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Star Wars: The Last Jedi review

by Eli Duncan, Opinions Editor

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Rating: 9/10

Director: Rian Johnson

Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher

Release Date: December 15, 2016

MPAA Rating: PG-13

 

The Empire Strikes Back is widely regarded as a perfect movie and many fans consider it their personal favorite Star Wars movie. The Last Jedi gives it a run for its money.

Director Rian Johnson has done something with the Star Wars saga that has not been done before. He managed to take the few good aspects of the Prequel Trilogy and mashed them together with good aspects of the Original Trilogy. He took every negative thing the fans said into account and the final product had lines that sounded and felt like the fans of the series would say if they had control of the script.

Set directly after the events of The Force Awakens, watching the First Order attempt to destroy the rest of the Resistance after obliterating the Republic, the only rival to the First Order’s power. While that is going on, Rey (Daisy Ridley) is right where we left her and is trying to get an aged and saddened Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) back into the world. Right from the start, the stakes are high and the situation only declines from there.

This film tells the tale of one of the most intense Star Wars adventures yet it is also one of the funniest.

Being the middle film of the trilogy, The Last Jedi takes on the emotional side of the space opera series. Mark Hamill does not play the same powerful and happy Luke Skywalker that we last saw in 1983’s The Return of the Jedi. This Luke is an emotionally damaged, horribly conflicted Jedi Master, but it is also the best Luke Skywalker performance to date. Hamill did an amazing job and used his facial expressions and his voice range to truly convey Luke’s feelings in this movie.

Ridley and Hamill play off each other very well and is the same padawan and master relationship that we saw Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi have in the prequel trilogy.

The questions that the fans have about Rey’s parents are the same questions Rey had in this movie. These questions drove the emotional conflict in the movie. The emotion came from the fact that Rey has this raw power, the same power that Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) has.

Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) wants Rey’s power, much like the Emperor wanted Luke’s all those years ago. The dark side surrounds Snoke and Kylo Ren and they tried to push that onto Rey, much like with Luke and Anakin in their respective stories.

This conflict led to one of the greatest action sequences to ever appear in Star Wars, a sequence that will leave you wanting more and more.

While Rey was battling the allure to the dark side, Finn (John Boyega), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), General Leia (Carrie Fisher), and Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) have their own battles to fight.

The First Order is on their tale and they are running out of options. Finn and Rose are secretly tasked to find a way onto the First Order’s flagship so they can pave way for the Resistance to escape. This journey lands them on a new and exciting planet where everyday is like Casablanca, minus the Nazis.

This planet is where we meet DJ, a hacker that is played by the phenomenal Benicio del Toro. DJ is the comic relief that Jar Jar Binks aspires to be. All of his scenes are enjoyable and give you a sense of relief in an otherwise tense mission.

However, this side plot runs on for a little bit too long and some scenes could be cut out of the two and a half hour movie. It definitely feels fun and it keeps you attention for the most part but it interrupts the flow of the film. This time could be used to go get a drink refill or use the restroom and you would not miss anything major.

With the unfortunate death of Carrie Fisher last year, it was heartwarming to see Leia on the big screen and all of her scenes felt like a tribute to Carrie. All of the scenes were fun and it had the same level of feistiness that we fell in love with in the first Star Wars movie, A New Hope.

Overall, each of the actors worked well together. Rian Johnson at the helm of this movie was the perfect addition to the Star Wars universe. We got the action we all love to see, but we also got to the allure to the dark side that almost makes the viewer want to take Kylo Ren’s hand and rule the galaxy with him and Snoke. Alongside that, the score that was done by John Williams was fantastic, but that goes without saying. The real treat of the movie was to see a fan favorite return in all of his glory. The character came back at the perfect time and was voiced by the original actor, which was amazing to see and hear.

The Last Jedi is not a perfect film, but it is a perfect Star Wars movie that will introduce new ideas into our beloved fandom. The only major issue I have is that now I have to wait until 2019 before I find out what happens, but there is a Han Solo movie, simply titled Solo: A Star Wars Story coming out in May of 2018 to hold us all over.

Remember, may the Force be with you… always.

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