Starring: Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Domhnall Gleeson, John Boyega, Kelly Marie Tran, Gwendoline Christie, Laura Dern, Benicio del Toro, Peter Mayhew, Joonas Suotamo
Written By: Rian Johnson
Directed By: Rian Johnson
Buy On Amazon.com
The latest Star Wars movie in the new trilogy caused quite some controversy amongst the fanbase. I liked the movie a lot and enjoyed it but I certainly wished some things happened differently. The Last Jedi does things differently this time around, but not sure everything worked in the end.
The Last Jedi picks up where The Force Awakens left off. While the resistance had a victory in blowing up Starkiller Base, the First Order is still very much a scary threat. After destroying many of their ships, General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), Poe (Oscar Isaac), Finn (John Boyega) and the rest of the resistance are on the run from Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis), Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson). Meanwhile, Rey (Daisy Ridley) meets Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), who has turned into a grouchy old hermit who wants nothing to do with anyone anymore. Rey must convince Luke to train her, and fight alongside the resistance before the resistance is all but wiped out.
Star Wars continues to be my favorite franchise and I still get excited to see these movies. It’s been my favorite since seeing Return of the Jedi on opening weekend when I was 5 years old. Seeing that opening crawl again and again still brings a glow of excitement and happiness to my life after all these years. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is highly entertaining, dark and a different kind of Star Wars movie. For those bitching about how The Force Awakens was too much like A New Hope, I doubt you’ll be able to compare this to Empire. Sure, both are dark but stories are completely different. It has a few questionable things in it that I didn’t like but I was overall pretty happy with the 2nd installment in the new trilogy by Rian Johnson.
It’s great to see Mark Hamill in a Star Wars movie, along with the late Carrie Fisher again as well. Every time they are on the screen, they just dominate. The new cast still shine as well. Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver get a lot of screen time again, since they are the main characters in a way. Oscar Isaac gets a lot more to do this time around, and John Boyega was fun to watch as well. I liked the new addition of Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran. It was cool to see Benicio del Toro in a Star Wars movie, although not sure why he decided to give his character a stutter. I would have liked to have seen more of Chewbecca than we did. The stuff he was in was great, but I wanted more.
Storywise, I liked some things but there were some things I certainly didn’t like. Obviously, the biggest controversy was about Luke and the way he was. Even Mark Hamill disagreed with Rian Johnson, including myself. I accepted it but I just wished it was something different than this crotchety old guy who just wants to be left alone. At least, I wish we got another movie where he won’t be a ghost. Luke trying to kill his nephew in the flashback scene had me scratching my head as well. Would Luke really do that? As much as I liked Luke helping out the resistance and battling Kylo at the end, I wish he was actually present there. The reveal of it was fun but I was still slightly disappointed we didn’t have this lightsaber showdown between the two. Perhaps I’ll hold off on some of my judgment on Luke’s storyline until the next movie. I’m sure he will be back as a mentor ghost for Rey considering he went peacefully and on his terms.
Leia’s fly through space was the biggest complaint I had with the entire movie, if not the franchise. Such a dumb, roll your eyes moment. Just when I was accepting that she was sucked out into space, that happened and made me shake my head. I liked Poe’s storyline because he learns that he can’t always be the macho hero that saves the day. Finn’s storyline was probably the weakest link in the batch, but they had to give him something to do. The whole casino thing probably shouldn’t have been in the movie and felt out of place with the rest of the stuff. Still, I enjoyed watching it but didn’t really move the story along. The stuff between Daisy and Kylo was interesting and kind of weird. The force connection scenes felt, a little forced (no pun intended). It almost seemed like they were developing this romance but thankfully didn’t go there. Weren’t they just trying to kill each other last movie? The whole Snoke throne room stuff was an absolute blast to see and surprised to see that Snoke wasn’t a relevant character at all. A little background on him and Kylo’s Knights of Ren might have been useful to show in this movie, no? I was hoping Kylo would have turned good then but who would they be fighting then? Lots of questions for the last movie, that’s for sure.
I like Rian Johnson and liked most of this movie, even though this has been one giant nitpick of a review. He pretty much gave all the fans the middle finger with this movie in a lot of the decisions he made. Some will like that approach and doing something new & unpredictable, but I think he has alienated a lot of fans with his decisions on Luke, Snoke, Rey’s parents and other things. The fanbase created stupid petitions to remove this from Star Wars canon so you know he hit a nerve. It’s his movie and Lucasfilm went along with it so now it’s canon. Fans have to accept it and move on, I have. It is what it is, I would have liked things to be differently but it’s not my movie. Don’t like it, don’t see the last movie or his new trilogy that he’s doing then.
It’s still Star Wars and in that universe so it will still put a smile on my face. At least with this new trilogy, it’s not just a showcase for CGI and it’s not wooden acting like we saw in the prequels. Lucasfilm finally figured out how to mix CGI and practical and the movies have looked amazing because of that. I thank JJ Abrams for that. Some people didn’t like humor in this but I did. The movie was dark a lot of the times with people dying so it needed some jokes or gags. Ok, perhaps not Luke Skywalker drinking green milk from a creature’s tit. I liked the addition of the porgs, and here I thought they were going to be annoying like Jar Jar. They were cute and I wanted to own one. They had some funny moments in the movie as well.
The Blu-Ray and digital HD features a ton of stuff to watch, if you care to. I loved all the stuff I saw like The Director and The Jedi, a 90 minute documentary on the making of the movie, deleted scenes, scene breakdowns and more. The documentary was awesome to see, and I just love watching that kind of stuff. It always makes me wish I worked on movies. By the end of it, most of them are beat and sleeping anywhere on the set. A lot of work went into this, there’s no denying that. For the most part, we got to see filming on location on Skellig Michael, other locations in Ireland, in Bolivia and at Pinewood Studios. There was a lot of terrific scenes with Carrie Fisher in the documentary as well. The deleted scenes contained a few things I wish were in the movie, but the movie was already long so I could see why it was cut. When watching the Finn, Rose and DJ scene on the First Order ship, I could tell there was more to that and some stuff was left on the cutting room floor. The deleted scenes showed that stuff, plus additional scenes with caretakers on the Jedi island, and extended scenes on Canto Bight which was already long to begin with. There’s 20 minutes of deleted or extended scenes. If they showed one dance scene with the caretakers, it probably would have caused a riot in theaters with some of the older fans. “Not again!” The scene breakdown stuff was cool because they showed you more of the special effects for that stuff, and how it was filmed. The Movies Anywhere app also has a cool feature, score only version where you can watch the movie with just John Williams’ score. Pretty cool to have and I’ll watch that at some point.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi has its problems but it’s still an entertaining Star Wars movie. Sure, it’s not what I was thinking the story or characters would go but rather have that than have the movie be predictable and generic. As much as I complained about a lot of stuff, I’m still going to hold some judgment on things until the final movie in the trilogy comes out. This definitely had a middle movie syndrome feel to it but also felt like third movie of a trilogy as well. I have no idea how they will handle Carrie Fisher’s death in the next movie or where they will go with this. Will they actually reveal Rey’s parents and reveal that Kylo was lying, will Luke return as a Force ghost, will Knights of Ren show up, will Kylo have an apprentice, will Chewbecca finally have something to eat?
The best thing you can do is not even try to theorize because if you do, stuff won’t happen and you will be disappointed. That’s exactly what happened with The Last Jedi. Everybody theorizes and discusses every little detail on youtube, reddit, social media and website and then everybody gets pissed when something doesn’t go there way.
The Director and the Jedi
Balance of the Force
Andy Serkis Live! (One Night Only)
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
English SDH, French, Spanish
Bottom Line: Not my favorite Star Wars movie but I still enjoyed it a lot, despite all my complaints.
Running Time: 152 mins