Another December month’s arrived, which means another Star Wars movie is now in theaters. The sequel to The Force Awakens is finally here. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is now in theaters and is by far the most different Star Wars movie I have ever seen. I had to see this twice before I could gather my thoughts and make a concrete review.
The Last Jedi takes place immediately after The Force Awakens and the fleet is on the run from The First Order, while Rey seeks training from Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, who is reluctant to train her after Kylo Ren turned on him and destroyed the new Jedi Order.
If you are someone who hates what Disney has done with the franchise, this won’t change your opinion much. Episode 8 is different enough from the others and it might like this movie but I can’t speak for someone else and I can only speak for me and for me The Last Jedi was an awesome experience filled but an extremely different film of the one I was expecting. This is first and foremost a Rian Johnson movie. I’m a fan of Rian Johnson. He’s a great filmmaker and a great person in a general, so humble and enthusiastic to bringing his own voice to Star Wars and he takes this movie in directions that you will never see coming and will react strongly too, negatively or positively. The Last Jedi will not leave you indifferent. There will be people who love it and hate it and this is a movie you see twice in order to make up your mind, which is great for box office revenue so Disney must be thrilled with this movie.
Mark Hamill is once again great as Luke Skywalker, who has become a broken man since we saw him in Return of the Jedi. His character arc has evolved and his relationship with Rey, played superbly by Daisy Ridley, is one of the best parts of this movie. They’re chemistry and time spent together is fantastic and everything on the island is amazing.
Carrie Fisher is once again wonderful as our princess and this is the last time we will ever see her, and this is no secret since she tragically passed away last year. It’s hard to watch her, knowing that she’s no longer with us, but she’s great in the film and it’s also great to see her daughter Billie Lourd alongside her.
Adam Driver as Kylo Ren is also again terrific as the tortured Ben Solo and his character is expanded upon and his chemistry with Daisy Ridley is awesome. They’re characters together are by far the best part of this movie and they’re my favorite characters of the new cast. Oscar Isaac is also very good as Poe Dameron and while his character arc isn’t the most interesting in this film, he’s still awesome to watch.
Snoke, played wonderfully by Andy Serkis, is just mind-blowing in this film. He’s menacing and a terrifying threat to our heroes, and I absolutely loved what Rian Johnson did with the character and it made his role in The Force Awakens so much better.
Rian Johnson takes a lot of risks with this movie and some fans won’t be satisfied. The choices he makes are bold and audacious and when you’ve speculated and theorized about some things for two whole years, it’s hard not to be let down. Was I let down? On some things I was and on some things I wasn’t. Rian Johnson did things that I would never have done. But I like what he did more and more as I think about it. Rian does take risks and some pay off while some don’t and that’s perfectly okay.
Now for the cons, because no film is perfect and there are some issues with The Last Jedi. Finn’s and Rose’s storyline on Canto Bight is without a doubt the least interesting part of the movie but it’s integral to the plot, so you can’t remove it and it just exists. It’s way too long and this movie could easily have been twenty minutes shorter. Benicio Del Toro’s character was a complete disappointment and was kind of a waste. John Boyega and Kelly Marie Tran are both great in the film, and while they’re chemistry isn’t as good as Rey and Kylo or Rey and Luke; it almost makes the detour worth it but the storyline unfortunately doesn’t feel warranted or important too the overall picture. The humor also doesn’t always land and at times it does, but sometimes it’s a bit too much and kind of forced and falls in a thud.
There are also some major inconveniences that happen throughout this film and The Last Jedi sometimes asks you to suspend your disbelief like in a lot of other adventure, action movies do—but at what point does it become too unbelievable?
Overall, The Last Jedi is a bold, risky, Star Wars film that will shatter expectations and divide people and while it’s not a perfect film, it was an extremely satisfying and rewarding experience in the theater.