Star Wars: The Last Jedi Review

Praise Eteng '18

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CONTAINS SPOILERS

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is directed by Rian Johnson and stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Carrie Fisher, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Mark Hamill. In the second installment of the new trilogy, Rey finds Luke in his self imposed exile. While on the island with him, she tries to get him to train her in the ways of the jedi and convince him to join the rebellion once again. Meanwhile, as General Hux (played by Domhnall Gleeson) and Kylo Ren close in on the resistance, Poe Dameron, Leia, Finn, and Rose (played by Kelly Marie Tran) must find a way to stop them. In order to really say what worked for me and what didn’t I will have to discuss some plot points so keep in mind that this is a SPOILER REVIEW. If you don’t want the movie spoiled, just know that The Last Jedi is a good movie that takes star wars in a different direction.

Adam Driver gives an amazing performance as Kylo Ren, who has become one of, if not the best villains in recent memory. Mark Hamill is also great as Luke Skywalker, giving his best performance yet. I loved Carrie Fisher’s performance, but I was surprised in the direction they went with her now that she has passed away and Disney has said they won’t revive her with CGI (thank God!). Either way I was happy to see her and she will be missed. The action is fantastic, with the best fighting scene in any Star Wars film ever. The cinematography is breathtaking, with beautiful establishing shots and awesome wide shots. It’s clear that Rian Johnson was inspired in some of his techniques by Japanese Filmmakers like Akira Kurosawa and Shinichirō Watanabe. There are some glaring flaws but I enjoyed it anyways and you should go see it, I give it 7.9 Jar Jar Binks out of ten.

Now that I’ve gotten what I liked out of the way let’s get into what didn’t work. The way Leia uses the force in this film had me scratching my head. She was blown up into the vacuum of space but manages to use the force to move herself to safety just before she passes out. I was expecting her to die because Carrie Fisher passed away last December. However, I’m glad she didn’t die in the movie because the scene where she meets up with Luke is one of my favorite scenes in the film. Her death could’ve led to her being replaced by Vice Admiral Holdo (played by Laura Dern) sooner. I found the actions of her confusing. Why didn’t she just tell Poe that there was a plan in store? That way Poe wouldn’t have felt the need to send Finn and Rose to Canto Bight, which was hands-down the worst part of the film. Canto Bight slowed down the pace of the film and wasn’t interesting at all. We’re in the middle of much more engaging storytelling like Rey learning about who her parents are, the truth about why Luke has given up on the ways of the Jedi, and all that is brought to a screeching halt so that Finn and Rose can find some codebreaker to disable the First Order’s tracking systems so that the resistance can escape. The codebreaker they find, DJ (played by Benicio Del Toro), was very uninteresting and ends up betraying them! They tried to make him some stuttering quirky guy and Del Toro did the best with what he was given but at the end of the day it just didn’t pan out.

The last thing I didn’t like was how they treated Captain Phasma. Phasma joins Boba Fett, Darth Maul, and General Grievous as awesome looking characters who exist just to look intimidating. She’s a captain yet has nothing to do in the entire film and then gets killed by Finn. Also, what was the point of showing her eye before she dies? She deserved better and Gwendoline Christie deserved better.

One of the biggest criticisms of the film was that Kylo Ren killed Snoke, however, I don’t have a problem with it. Fans are angry that Snoke is dead because “they never got to learn anything about him” and “he was wasted” but I disagree, the focus of this trilogy was never on Snoke, it was about Kylo Ren. Instead of having Kylo Ren remain loyal to his master he saw an opportunity to kill him and took it, like a sith would do. Why does Snoke’s backstory matter? Emperor Palpatine’s background is still a mystery and no one cares about that. I like the direction Rian Johnson took with Kylo Ren, now he is unhinged with no one to hold him back.

Another criticism I have is how Luke Skywalker is portrayed in this movie. Critics say that Luke would never turn his back on his friends and go into exile, and he would never try to kill Kylo Ren in his sleep. I think that Luke deciding to leave to go into exile makes sense, he felt that he had failed himself and the Jedi and the only way he could atone is to isolate himself, Yoda did the exact same thing in episode three and no one found that odd. One might say that they’re different people and that is true, but they are both Jedi masters and have the same resolve, it’s not so far fetched that Luke would decide to go into exile. As for attempting to kill his own nephew in his sleep, he later says in the movie that he immediately felt ashamed for thinking that Kylo Ren was too far gone that he couldn’t be saved, but by then it was too late. Luke almost did the same in episode six when he nearly killed Darth Vader. He gave into his anger and felt that Vader needed to be killed, but saw the error in his ways and stopped. Luke did the same thing here but it was too late for Luke the second time around.

All in all, I liked The Last Jedi. While there are some flaws, I still enjoyed the film. I’m very glad that Rian Johnson took the new trilogy in a different direction and I can’t wait to see how it concludes. As for where The Last Jedi ranks in all of the Star Wars films I think it was better than Rogue One but it’s hard to say if it’s better than The Force Awakens. I’d have to rewatch the entire series but as of now these are my rankings:

1. Empire Strikes Back

2. A New Hope

3. Return of The Jedi

4. The Force Awakens

 

5. Revenge of The Sith

 

 

6. The Last Jedi

 

7. Rogue One

 

8. The Phantom Menace 

9. Attack of The Clones

While many might say The Force Awakens is a reskin of A New Hope, it was a better film with less problems with The Last Jedi. Despite its inconsistencies, The Last Jedi is a good movie and you should go see it.

 

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