Star Wars: The Last Jedi Film Review

Jordan Samuel Jordan Samuel
Expert Contributor
December 12th, 2017

Content Editor, Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast


Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On December 12, 2017
Last modified:December 16, 2017

Summary:

Packing another planet-sized punch, in reshaping the entire DNA of Star Wars – with a transition – to the new and now iconic characters. Once again the Star Wars IP has reinvented itself and shows an old idea can be updated.


Reviewed by:
Rating:

4
On December 12, 2017
Last modified:December 16, 2017

Summary:

Packing another planet-sized punch, in reshaping the entire DNA of Star Wars – with a transition – to the new and now iconic characters. Once again the Star Wars IP has reinvented itself and shows an old idea can be updated.

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi Film Review

Dir: Rian Johnson; Starring: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, and Benicio del Toro 12A cert, 119 min

JJ Abram revived Star Wars with fresh blood in the anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens, bringing a long-running franchise back to solid foundations with an incredible sense exploration and nostalgia. Force Awakens brought together a new generation of Star Wars to fans, with new characters and environments while paying respect to the established canon. The spectacular feeling of seeing the Millenium Falcon again was indescribable, as plenty of childhood wishes came true on screen. Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) both delivering grand performances, within an emotional reunion

A needed change when compared to the tragic comedy that Phantom Menace delivered, a trilogy which forgot the main characteristics of Star Wars. JJ Abram’s sequel brought back the vision seen in A New Hope, relying less on CGI and boring politics centric plots. Focusing on exploration within the larger universe, new characters and space battles. It was the right positive change, needed to reinvent a classic franchise for modern audiences. Despite backlash on the safer themes and overreliance on recycled plots.

After the critically acclaimed soft-reboot, the primary question is where do you from there? Without losing franchise DNA. Empire Strikes Back is regarded as the most excellent movie from the original trilogy, which found ways to reinvent Star Wars. It brought in the franchise most significant plot twist and bringing a darker tone to the table. In turn becoming the best in series history, and ever since Looper director Rian Johnson signed on for a sequel all eyes on him to do the same.

Rian Johnson is up for the task with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which is attempting the answer darker questions and bring new characters into the fold. According to Disney and Lucasfilm, it is the most ambitious film in the series history. Set to answer an essential question in what is a Jedi? And can the dark and light-side intertwine? Perhaps we are going to witness the end of both sides of the light. But does Rian Johnson vision work in the galaxy? Or fail in bringing anything new to the tables.

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Credit: Lucasfilm

Having taken her first steps into the Jedi world, Rey joins Luke Skywalker on an adventure with Leia, Finn, and Poe that unlocks mysteries of the Force and secrets of the past.

Rian Johnson does the unthinkable in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, somehow topping Empire Strikes Back as the franchises best effort. A more original plot and darker themes bring audiences a very different adventure than its precursor. Delivering an enormous amount of character building and lore additions which set it apart from the past. The darker tone allows the film to have more gravitas and emotional investment for audiences. It may not compare to Rogue One but does enough to provide needed stakes for our heroes. Making us rethink the way we look at these heroes and villains.

Johnson does not take the easy road with The Last Jedi, instead goes on a bumpy gritty journey but the results are worth it. Rey, Finn, Poe, and Kylo are all given solid character arcs which flesh out their personalities. I loved how much information is given to the audience, making these characters real people within a make-believe universe. The Last Jedi focuses on its ideas and does not get stuck in a limbo between the past. Pushing away from the safer Force Awakens – and setting up for future adventures.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi picks up straight after the previous installment as Rey hands a lightsabre to an older version of the now famous Luke Skywalker, starting her journey to become Jedi. New Order and their boss Snoke are rebuilding after the destruction of Starkiller base, with a darker motivation in conquering the galaxy. Rebellion is on their latest missions with Finn, Poe, newcomer Rose Tico all joining in the fight and ultimately crossing paths with Rey. The Last Jedi's plot is a darker experience than the predecessor, with some of the emotional twists tugging at heartstrings, allowing for new layers to each moment. Expect to shed a couple of tears within the runtime, as Johnson has some tense standoffs between Dark side villains and lighter heroes.

Credit: Lucasfilm

Featuring one of the best performances from Mark Hamill to date, who is an old and experienced version of young Luke Skywalker - pushing the character to his darkest arena. Delivering tear-inducing scenes with his trainee Rey, who both share a bond between each other: that brings out her inner strength. Johnson makes sure to give Mark Hamill some Oscar-winning scenes, which harkens back to nostalgia while still feeling original.

Upcoming actress Daisy Ridley (Rey) made a name for herself in The Force Awakens, delivers another productive performance as the iconic character. A character who this time is wiser and more understanding about her place in the galaxy far away. She has grown since witnessing the destruction of Starkiller Base, getting a more substantial grasp on her destiny within her journey. Daisy Ridley delivers a better performance here, as the connection between her mentor and friends are pushed to new levels. Rian makes sure to give a needed boost in character development, for the mysterious young woman that is finding a place in the world.

Finn played by Attack the Block standout John Boyega, continues to bring needed charisma to the franchise - this timeless afraid to get involved in the fight. He wakes up from his slumber and takes on a mission against the New Order, putting self in a revenge story against his former bosses. I adore these changes as the rebellion agent is given something to fight for, giving us some banter filled scenes between Poe and newcomer Rose. John Boyega’s charismatic performance reminds me of Han Solo, with his overconfident persona working so well with the other characters. Poe and Finn’s bond is tighter in the Last Jedi, as Rian Johnson makes them feel like a brotherly unit, giving a sense of hope in the dark universe.

Credit: Lucasfilm

Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) is immense as the best aerial pilot in the galaxy, who gets fleshed out after basically being the awesome guy in Force Awakens. I sensed that Rian Johnson wanted to push Poe into a more rogue induvial, with his push for change in the galaxy motivating modern-day rebellion fighters. Oscar again delivers a good performance, with his motivated pilot given a motivation to end all fighting across the galaxy. Fans will adore his flesh out character arc.

Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) returns as the second in command for the First Order, who has become stronger since his epic battle with Rey and Finn. Depending on a rugged attitude and darker intentions Adam Driver does a solid bit of acting in the role, pushing the character towards new territory. You can understand his motivations, and question his destiny in the universe. The Last Jedi spends allot of the run-time explaining his origin and fleshing out him as the universe's most compelling deadly force. The relationship between Klyo and Hux is involved, as they all fight for attention from the mysterious Snoke.

Rian Johnson (Looper) does a good job ensuring The Last Jedi, is the next adventure for all these characters- processing them further into a trilogy conclusion without forcing unnecessary story additions. Johnson makes us care about the characters during high stake battles, with the development of Rey and Kylo being incredible. Audiences and long-time fans will be impressed as each character have an equal amount of screentime, including the late Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa. All the people who thought Force Awakens played it too safe, will be impressed with the more original take on the universe.

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Whether Hux (Doomhall Gleeson), delivers some shrieking monologues to the Stormtroopers or Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) drops some hilarious jokes and Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) kicking ass. Rian Johnson does a good job giving each character a moment, something missing from JJ Abram (The Force Awakens) the last film - I love the change as nobody is side-lined in the story.

Credit: Lucasfilm

The film is also jam-packed with Millenium Falcon battles and X-wing/TIE Fighter battles which look outstanding, maintaining a rush natural on the eyes but still grip the audiences with awe. Rian Johnson makes sure fans have a needed dose of action, but remain emotional to the core. One sequence in particular near the finale should be regarded as the most significant action scene in a decade. Bringing all the big guns for a completely smashing conclusion.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is an event that pushes the series to its limit and succeeds. It’s beautifully crafted and does its job in bringing fresh blood into the franchise. Mark Hamill’s (Luke) return is beautiful sending shivers down my spine, a feeling lost in the 2017 movie season. Rian Johnson has brought together the darkest and emotional installment in the franchise since Empire Strikes Back.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

  • 4
Packing another planet-sized punch, in reshaping the entire DNA of Star Wars – with a transition – to the new and now iconic characters. Once again the Star Wars IP has reinvented itself and shows an old idea can be updated.

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