Star Wars: The Last Jedi Review
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the middle chapter of the latest Star Wars trilogy, takes up back to a galaxy far, far away with a more expansive, high stakes adventure filled with plenty of fresh and classic elements.
The Last Jedi continues where The Force Awakens left off: The Resistance had successfully taken out the First Order’s Starkiller base and now the rebels must flee their own base in order to survive. Meanwhile, Rey (Daisy Ridley) has tracked down Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) to convince him to train her in the ways of the Force and pleaded with him to return and help fight.
When J.J. Abrams was tasked with reviving this epic series with The Force Awakens, even though the story was pretty much finished, was no easy task. Abrams was able to reinvigorate the franchise by bring in enough new elements that went together perfectly with classic characters, bringing fans to theaters and making it a box office success. Now, new director Rian Johnson has a more difficult task, continuing the stories of both the original characters and a new generation of heroes. Thankfully, Johnson does a stellar job at providing a original story with classic Star Wars themes of hope and good vs. evil, with plenty of room for character developments, new and old, and some truly awesome twists.
The Last Jedi is one of the most unique installments of the Star Wars franchise, mostly because of how big it feels and weighted the stakes are. The forces of the Resistance and the First Order have never been felt quite as much as they do in this film. The desperation of the rebels is an ongoing thread throughout the film. The stakes in this film set up an exciting and breathtaking fight between good and evil. Even though that has been the main theme of Star Wars since the original trilogy, Johnson has found a way give viewers a better insight into the true scope of the war the rebels are fighting.
The movie is rooted in compelling character drama, courtesy of Rey. Rey is a long way from home and is on her journey to lean the ways of the Force and Daisy Ridley is spectacular in bringing charm and heroism to the role. In his first true return to the role of Luke Skywalker, Mark Hamill brings to life a different, yet memorable, version of the character that fans remember but will still leave viewers satisfied. Finn and Poe also have their moments to shine. Even though they don’t get huge character arcs like Ridley’s Rey, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac still continue to bring heart and humor to the story. This is especially seen when it comes to Finn’s mission with Rose - played by Kelly Marie Tran, who is a notable standout in this huge and extremely talented cast.
The Last Jedi has a runtime of two and a half hours, but with a breakneck pacing helps propel viewers forward. Johnson has helped bring this latest Star Wars trilogy into new territory that is fresh and also honors the original movies. He has not only met what were undoubtedly high expectations with his installment to one of the biggest movie franchises in history, he’s exceeded them. And last, but certainly not least, Carrie Fisher gave us her final performance as beloved princess turned general Leia Organa and is still as strong and loved as ever before.