There is no question about the fact that Star Wars has conquered the globe, and with a new instalment in the series every year, it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere soon. This year were given the second instalment of the new trilogy: The Last Jedi.
The Last Jedi was directed by Rian Johnson (Looper) and star Daisy Ridley (Murder on the Orient Express), Mark Hamill (Batman: The Killing Joke), Carrie Fisher (When Harry Met Sally), Adam Driver (Paterson), Oscar Isaac (Ex Machina), John Boyega (Detroit), and Andy Serkis (Rise of the Planet of the Apes).
No matter the movie, Star Wars tends to have incredible special effects, and this movie is no exception. From lightsaber battles, to star ship fights, and animated creatures, everything flows together seamlessly making the story seem incredibly real. One of those animated creatures were the adorable porgs, and no matter how you feel, you feel something towards the porgs. I, for one, loved them. The visual effects really helped bring the film to life, and hopefully as technology continues to advance, this trend will continue without the effects becoming campy an trite.
However, visual effects are not the only thing that make this film a visual masterpiece. Johnson’s directing brings the story to life in way that hasn’t been done in the series before. All of the fight scenes, in space, on a planet, or with lightsabers, all look amazing with no exceptions. (Though I will say Johnson seems to have tendency to use red). There’s also an entire concept in this movie, that even though I didn’t love it, it was brilliantly filmed.
While I don’t love the whole storyline (I’ll talk about that later), the main idea and plot of the story was very appealing, and brilliantly harked back to the original movies, without completely copying their plot like Force Awakens did. The story provides many characters with powerful arcs, such as Poe, that give them plenty of room to grow, while still connecting with the overall arc. The story also provides a unique take on Luke that I definitely didn’t expect, also providing a strong storyline for Leia. It propelled the story, without taking it too far and provided a lot of nice plotlines to be explored in the next installment in this trilogy. However, it can be said that this movie is very long, and it is the longest film in the franchise, but this runtime doesn’t feel as long as it contains essentially two movies in one. So, even though it was long I never found myself being bored.
Let’s be honest, Star Wars isn’t known for its acting, however for the most part, this film was really well acted. And while some of this falls on changes to the characters, a large portion of it falls on the actors. Mark Hamill for one convincingly played a very different version of Luke Skywalker, yet somehow he was still portraying the exact same character as he was however-many-years ago. Daisy Ridley also really comes into her own in this film. Rey goes through an emotional and crazy story and Ridley excels throughout the film portraying a myriad of emotions. Oscar Isaac also gave a heartfelt and intriguing performance as Poe. In the last movie Issac didn’t have much to do so it was great to see him really get to come into his own in the role. This was also a phenomenal way for Carrie Fisher to leave. Her performance was mesmerized and I couldn’t think of a better send off. John Boyega also gave a great performance. The only portrayal that left something to be desired was Adam Driver as Kylo Ren. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an amazing character, this movie just seemed a little off because of it.
So both of things I really had problems with were story elements. There was an aspect of the story between Rey and Kylo Ren that just felt a little forced and awkward and made me really uncomfortable. I didn’t completely hate this part of the story but I also didn’t love.
The only part of this movie that really got to me was Finn’s storyline. It was long and kind of boring in my opinion and then it didn’t end up affecting the overall plot of the movie besides giving Finn a love interest and creating unnecessary anxiety.
Overall I give Star Wars: The Last Jedi 8/10 stars