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Star Wars: The Last Jedi Review

WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD

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As the second installment of the third Star Wars trilogy, The Last Jedi, provides a new feeling to the fans that the past two trilogies did not. When the USA release date of December 15 of 2017 came around, millions of Star Wars fans swarmed the theatres in order to see the 155-minute runtime film. When it was all over many fans walked out with mixed emotions regarding the highly anticipated Star Wars film. With that came a wide array of reviews, some called it the worst of the Star Wars films and some thought it was up there with the highly regarded, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. With the cast of the Force Awakens returning along with some promising new faces added, making for wonderful acting performance. Plus the cinematography was very engaging which is expected in a star wars film. However, there are moments in the film were plot choices in the writing become unnecessary and disrupting to the flow of the film and the overall quality.

The Force Awakens left us with a fragmented group of Protagonists, which was The Last Jedi’s task to bring them all together through multiple subplots. The subplots were built up through previous films sewn together by a series of hyperspace travel transitions in The Last Jedi. Usually, when films use the methods of transitioning through subplots, the film ultimately brings all the plots together in one big climax. With the constant switching of plots can become very obnoxious and disengaging to the audience.

The amazing cast of Daisey Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Issac, and John Boyega all return to their formal roles as well as Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Frank Oz all return from the original trilogy. We also welcomed new faces like Kelly Marie Tran portraying Rose and Laura Dern as Vice Admiral Holdo. Whether the brand new or original cast, each actor brings new expressions and depth to their characters in ways that are unique and refreshing for both fans that are new to the Star Wars franchise, and fans that fell in love with the galaxy far, far away back on the original release of the 1977 film.

All that’s left is the writing. The writing is split into two plots, with each entertaining multiple subplots as well. One major plot is based on Rey and her ongoing conflicts with Kylo Ren and Luke Skywalker. Luke begrudgingly agrees to train Rey in the Way of the Force and in a true Jedi way- Rey leaves to confront her enemy, Kylo Ren before her training is done. This could have been the perfect opportunity to answer the many questions asked by fans since The Force Awakens: Who are Rey’s parents? Who is Supreme Leader Snoke? How did Kylo Ren turn to the Dark Side? In answering these questions they could have had an Empire Strikes Back moment when Luke finds out Darth Vader is his Father. But were they able to create such an iconic moment?

Writer and director Rian Johnson somewhat did but in a very underwhelming fashion. Rey’s parents are simply passed off as junk slaves in two lines of dialogue, Kylo Ren with ease saws Snoke in half with a lightsaber, and in one scene of Kylo Ren escaping and destroying Luke’s Jedi temple. The three major questions that have been on every Star Wars fans’ minds since 2015, seemed to be daintily brushed into small scenes. There was so much opportunity to fill this film with suspense and drama. But Johnson decided to go a different route, a very unfavorable route. He decided to quickly pass off important plot pieces and nonchalantly go through the scene and hope no one notices. To have all of this anticlimactic material serve as pivotal plot points is very disappointing and just bad writing.

The second featured plot of the film follows The Rebel fleet as they are chased by the First Order and their multiple subplots on attempts to escape, in the midst of which, The Rebellion’s main bridge is blown out and Leia is thrown out into space unprotected. While heartbroken, I thought this was an appropriate way for Rian Johnson to write the late Carrie Fisher out of the script. But once again, Rian threw us a curveball. As the camera did a panoramic on Princess Leia and all of a sudden she woke up and began flying through space by using the Force. Even though Leia has never used the force before. Except for a brief moment to communicate with her brother Luke. Nor has the force ever been used to fly through space. Which disrupts the movie for many people (myself included) by stretching our concept of the universe too far and in too many ways at once.

 

Yet these moments take a relatively small portion of the movie and The Last Jedi remains a Star Wars film through and through. The acting from both returning and new cast members brings new levels of depth to characters, plot and the franchise as a whole. The cinematography allowed for great plot development over an extended run time. However, the writing did have enough questionably written moments that it took away from the movie slightly. Nevertheless, this movie is among my personal favorites and will be enjoyed by almost anyone who sees it, new or old fans of the Star Wars Franchise.

Brickie News gives “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” an 8.5/ 10

 

 

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi Review