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[Movie Review] Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi (2017)

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Plot Summary: Having taken her first steps into the Jedi world, Rey joins Luke Skywalker on an adventure with Leia, Finn and Poe that unlocks mysteries of the Force and secrets of the past.

Director: Rian Johnson

Writer: Rian Johnson

Runtime: 2h 32min

Main Cast:

  • Daisy Ridley as Rey
  • John Boyega as Finn
  • Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker
  • Adam Driver as Kylo Ren
  • Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma
  • Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux
  • Carrie Fisher as Leia
  • Oscar Isaac as  Poe Dameron

Review by: SymphoTitan

The nostalgia is strong with this one. Since the start-up of this new franchise for Star Wars, I have yet to be disappointed in what I give up my 13+ dollars for.

While searching for the hope of the galaxy that is Luke Skywalker, Ray is also searching for herself. Leia understands that Rey is out looking for the last Jedi so she holds the Resistance together in one last push for survival.

What I Liked:

I want to keep this as spoiler-free as possible so if you’ve watched “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” then jumped into “Star Wars: Rogue One” then this movie feels like it has not skipped a beat. The writing style of Rian Johnson in this movie feels reminiscent of the Star Wars of old. The panel shifting effects, along with having both sides of the story almost simultaneously reminded me of when I was younger watching “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” and “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi”. From the start of the movie, you could feel the passion, intensity, and weight of the hype that surrounds this movie. I believe even if you’re not a hardcore Star Wars fan you could be just as excited as a long time fan because this movie offers so much in its short 2 hours and 32 minutes. Rey (Daisy Ridley) has held onto her childish optimism from the previous movies, but you can feel her mature as the movie goes on and in the end, she finds herself. This is shown in such a way that leaves both herself, the Resistance and even us the audience left in shock. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) brings the flare and power you’d expect from him. If you don’t know Luke is one of the most powerful Jedi to date and he is given a chance to show you just what that means.

Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is one of my favorite character developments in any movie in a long time. He is no longer a pawn, or the off-brand Darth Vader. He needs a little more work, but he is in a place now that he can finally be called antagonist of this series. Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) is what brought about this change. He puts Kylo in a position that forces the change that fuels that fire that could now become the new generation Vader: Darth Kylo? We can only hope and see what happens. Kylo is becoming more powerful with each appearance, and his attempts at Rey to join him.

The introduction of Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) allowed for a new star character for the series and I can see the vision for her, I can feel how she can grow in this story. Watching her interact with Finn (John Boyega) gave a spark that was unexpected, but warmly welcomed. Especially considering how Finn feels in all of this Rose and Finn are sure to be a warmly welcomed as a wonderful pair! Rose’s character feels the most rounded character in the series considering her background there is no real surprise. Finn is such a fun character to watch simply because he is single-minded. He knows exactly what he wants and how to get it. Once he decided that Rey is more important he went to no ends to make sure she is taken care of in any way he can help.

Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) feels like less of just a fighter pilot and more of a captain of the resistance. He is a driving force in all this and his actions carry more weight. His decisions literally cause the narrative to shift in a way you do not expect and it really forces you to the edge of your seat. Leia (Carrie Fisher) carries the air of a leader seeking to pass on the torch. She’s coaching Poe, guiding him into something that isn’t clearly stated, but I feel as though he will be the new face of the Resistance. I absolutely love that we got to grow with Poe and if he does become the new face of the Resistance it will feel as though us, the audience, have grown with him and we have a friend in high places. This also makes us care about what happens to the Resistance and not just Rey.

What I Didn’t Like:

Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) as a character to me felt flat and almost unnecessary if he wasn’t who he was. Granted he is great to watch because of the comedy and information that is presented through him, there are times that felt like I was looking at paint dry on a wall. His interactions with Rey at first are hard to watch because of this. It is understandable considering what is going on, however, this was the hardest thing to get through for me.

Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) was literally only needed as a plot point for Finn and even at that point, she wasn’t all the important. I hope to see more of her and hopefully, she grows, but I’m not sure that will ever happen. The interaction she has with Finn is always a pleasure to watch, if for nothing other than the fact that Finn always has a witty remarks he shoots her from time to time.

General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) is such a flaccid character to me. He is ruthless and a great commander, but I feel as though he underestimates his enemies far too often to be considered in the same light as someone like Grand Admiral Thrawn. Thrawn who also held no power over the force, but he still went toe to toe with Jedi and Sith on his own grounds. General Hux could have been more conniving or scheming in a way that could have led to him gaining control of the fleet to do as he sees fit or defecting and creating his own sector or section that could rival Kylo or even the Resistance.

Images Courtesy of IMDB

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