Star Wars: The Last Jedi Reviews
It was just as satisfying the second time around and I hope weathers as well as the original trilogy.
The Last Jedi has given the sequel trilogy life that hadn't existed.
The Last Jedi will polarize Star Wars fans into two groups: those who want to hold onto the past, and those who are willing to, as Kylo Ren says, "Let the past die," while still loving and respecting the franchise's history. If you are the latter, then you will love The Last Jedi. I have been a Star Wars fan my ENTIRE life. I've seen every movie hundreds of times (not an exaggeration). I can quote all the lines and I know all of the random background characters (Grizz Frixx or Willrow Hood anyone?). I passionately love the franchise and everything it has been, but without the trailblazing new directions from master filmmakers like Rian Johnson, our beloved franchise will eventually die. With The Last Jedi, Johnson creates the most character driven Star Wars film of all-time. It is also the best directed Star Wars film to date. Johnson crafts gorgeous scenes with breathtaking color and a constant sense of awe. The action in the film is also marvelous. Lightsaber combat has the same raw grit of the Original Trilogy, while combing the impressive choreographed sequences done in the Prequels. The acting is also second to none in The Last Jedi (a shocking feat considering Harrison Ford's absence). Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are as great as ever, but Daisy Ridley, and in particular, Adam Driver, are incredible. The Last Jedi is exactly what all the cast and crew have said: different. Don't go in expecting a nostalgic recreation of The Empire Strikes Back. Expect to be surprised, and enjoy what is placed in front of you. Overall, The Last Jedi is an excellent film. It may not be Star Warsy in an Original Trilogy sense, but like the Original Trilogy, these new movies have pave their own way in order to stay relevant and keep the audience guessing, and Johnson smartly cares more about story and character than worrying about appeasing to fan nostalgia. If you want to see Empire, go rewatch it at home; you will always have that film, but with The Last Jedi, Star Wars fans can once again expect the unexpected.
When I was a boy, watching Return of the Jedi on VHS, I began to realize I was watching something more than just a grand spectacle with action and adventure. By the end of that film Luke Skywalker saves the day, not by blowing something up or wielding a light sabre. Instead, he throws his sword away and sacrifices himself. He does something that most cinematic heroes do not do. He forgoes violence and puts his faith in the humanity found in the destructive and corrupt monster he was meant to slay. Learning that the entertaining action film I was watching was also a story of forgiveness and redemption, left a mark on me at a young age. I believe it is why my love of the Star Wars films endured into my adulthood.
In the Last Jedi, Rian Johnson also succeeds in his attempt to create a movie that was more than just an adolescent spectacle. He does give us a film with desperate space battles, wondrous creatures and emotional duels with laser swords. However, he also takes the time to create an unexpected journey for each of the main characters. In this film the reckless hotshot doesn't get to be the hero with a foolhardy act of youthful bravado that ignores the costs of war. The hard-driven general, who has always been the strongest soldier no matter what the cruel galaxy takes from her, finally feels the burden of all she has lost. The survivalist learns why he must sacrifice. And in this saga, the villain and the hero are left with no clear quest or mentors to guide them.
The film ends with Luke Skywalker saving the day in a unique and unexpected twist that upon reflection is very familiar. Like in Return of the Jedi, he does not use his laser sword or grab or push something with the force. But instead, through an act of sacrifice and faith, he inspires a new galaxy of heroes and redeems himself.
The Last Jedi did not go the way I thought. It was a more complicated, daring and complete film and it will hopefully leave a mark on young fans for a lifetime.