“The Last Jedi” has been highly anticipated since it was announced in late 2012. It’s predecessor, “The Force Awakens”, broke box office records and received extremely warm praise from critics and fans alike. Everyone was excited to see if “The Last Jedi” would live up to the hype. I can say with surety, it does.
The Rebellion and the First Order are at it again. The conflict in this film is that the Rebellion cannot simply jump into hyperspace (think galactic freeway) to escape, since the First Order has found a way to track them. This is a game changer in the Star Wars universe. In the past, the only way to escape the hands of the evil Sith was to jump into hyperspace and hope it takes them a while to find you. Even under the command of General Leia Organa (the late Carrie Fisher), the Rebellion finds themselves trapped in the hands of the First Order. Fuel is running low, supporting ships are being targeted, and hope is running out.
Meanwhile, Rey (Daisy Ridley) is convincing aged Jedi Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), to teach her the ways of the force on a mysterious and empty island. Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is trying to find them, in hopes to defeat Skywalker, thus destroying the last remnants of Jedi culture. Skywalker finds himself conflicted in whether he should teach Rey, defend the Rebellion, or stay out of it completely.
Rian Johnson, the writer and director, seemed to have the perfect vision for this movie. He made every character and situation incredibly realistic to the audience. I found myself emotional over some scenarios in the movie, completely forgetting that this was, indeed, just a movie. The best part about “The Last Jedi” was how convincing it was. It is war, and a couple times throughout the movie, I thought “this is the end for this side.” Johnson takes you right to the edge.
You’ll find that “The Last Jedi” is unexpectedly comedic. It doesn’t stray away from Star Wars tradition at all, but it adds to the entertainment value.
The cast excelled. Adam Driver and Daisy Ridley have amazing on-screen chemistry. I won’t spoil anything, but there is a warmth in their interactions. They are the rare few that work on-screen both as enemies and as potential allies.
The newcomer to the Star Wars screen, Kelly Marie Tran, was specifically impressive. She is a simple boiler room worker on a Rebel commander turned-hero in the nick of time. She brings even more feminine heroism to the film with a touch of innocence.
The only thing I could do without in this movie was the terrible, overbearing accent of General Hux played by Domhall Gleeson. It seems like he needed some training on how to do a convincing and non-comedic British accent, even though he is Scottish himself. It was a bit distracting.
Laura Dern, who plays Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, also seemed like she didn’t quite fit into the puzzle. She was a bit too simple Southern California for the complex universe that is Star Wars.
The most unexpected thing about “The Last Jedi” were the surprises. You would think the Star Wars universe couldn’t hold anymore of those, but there were many in this film. I found myself with a dropped jaw too many times to count.
Fans may walked out of this movie satisfied but deeply conflicted. It is a middle movie, enthralling audiences to just wait a little longer for the conclusion. You’ll see what I mean.
This is one film I can say that, whoever you may be, you will enjoy it. If you are a super fan, a tough critic, or not even a space opera fan, I recommend it. It’s simply one of those great movies that will live down in history.