BE WARNED! SPOILER TERRITORY!
The eight film in hollywood’s most successful film franchise is finally here! Star Wars: The Last Jedi is released over forty years after Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope (1977).
Here’s the official synopsis of the film:
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.
The cast of The Force Awakens comes back with some nostalgic faces from the old trilogy. It’s classic meets new generation; an absolute powerhouse of a cast. All of them did an exceptional job which made every character from the main cast all the way to the supporting ones feel rich
Daisy Ridley as Rey, Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, John Boyega as Finn, Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, Kelly Marie Tran as Rose, Laura Dern as Vice Admiral Holdo, Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma, Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux, the late Carrie Fisher as Leia, Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata, Benicio Del Toro as DJ, Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca, Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, Jimmy Vee as R2-D2 and Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is written and directed by Rian Johnson who is well known for directing Looper. Star Wars is an action, adventure, drama, science fiction franchise that is based off the characters created by George Lucas. The original cut of the film ran for three hours while this one has a total runtime of 152 minutes which still makes this the longest Star Wars in the franchise. They still kept the traditional text crawl in the opening shot but it’s kind of peculiar how they included the episode number in the opening crawl but not in its marketing.
Action packed, emotional, funny and thrilling to the very end. This has to be one of my favourite Star Wars film in the entire franchise. It has many layers to peel through that uncovers a lot of story arcs and character motivations. The Resistance are on its last legs. With only a few of them remaining, the plot of the film revolves around them constantly trying to slip away from the First Order. You feel the tension and impending doom breathing down our heroes’ neck from start to finish as the First Order constantly progresses with their plans. They managed to track the Resistance even on light speed and blow up some of their ships.
While all of these space battles are happening, Rey is being trained by Luke Skywalker in a remote planet named Ahch-To. Luke was hesitant in training Rey at first but eventually gives in. Rey then suddenly gets to psychically communicate with Kylo Ren at random moments which leads Rey to uncover the dark relationship of Luke and Kylo. You can’t miss a single scene in this movie. It is paced fast and we get to see a lot of details as to how the world of Star Wars works. It also gets very political through Kylo Ren’s intentions of letting The First Order, The Resistance as well as the Jedis stay in the past to proceed and create a new movement to rule the entire galaxy.
Truly the greatest strength and weakness of the movie is how they develop their characters. They are all interesting and in each one we get to see how dynamic they are from one another. I do wish that they have done justice to the development of supreme leader Snoke and Captain Phasma. They both are very interesting but the film doesn’t give us any backstory to their characters.
In some moments of the film, we see Rey and Kylo communicate with each other through the force. This brings out a lot of character development in the film as we get to uncover the past of Kylo Ren and his relationship with Luke and why he went on to join the First Order. In these moments, we see that Rey and Kylo both comfort each other and try to understand their true character motivations. These moments make Rey believe that she can still turn Kylo Ren away from the dark side. These moments made me ship these two. I hope they end up together in the next film. Sorry Finn, I don’t think she’s the one for you.
Inside Supreme Leader Snoke’s Throne Room
This is a very cool set piece. The dominating red colour of the red background gives a very intimidating and scary look to the film. Inside this throne room is where we can see how ruthless and evil Snoke can be. He throws Kylo Ren around like a volleyball and we also see him get zapped with his lightning. This is also where we can see one of the most shocking and hair raising moments in the film. Snoke reveals to Rey that he was the one who connected the mind of her and Kylo. Snoke then orders Kylo Ren to assassinate Rey. Kylo Ren, conflicted with this order kills Supreme Leader Snoke by using the force to activate the lightsaber beside Snoke which impales him slicing his body in half. Kylo Ren then fights off the remaining guards together with Rey and this sequence will absolutely give you the chills.
When some of the tie fighters managed to blow up the bridge of a Resistance ship, the crew along with Leia gets sucked into outer space. During this scene I thought for sure that this was the last time we’ll see Carrie Fisher as Leia since she unfortunately passed away back in December 2016. But we then cut to her frozen hand moving and her eyes opening. She awakens and flies back to the ship. This was a very moving scene as we can see that Leia has some ability to use the force as well. I would really enjoy seeing a movie wherein Leia gets to showcase her ability to use the force more often.
Let’s take a deeper look into the characters of the film
The girl from nowhere who showed her amazing force skills in the first movie is now figuring out how to channel her energy better in this instalment. She constantly tries to pursue Luke to teach her the ways of the force and when she finds out the truth about Luke’s past and his unwillingness to believe in Kylo, she flies out of Ahch-To in the Millennium Falcon to try and save Kylo Ren. She wants to find out who her parents are and she is a true believer of the Jedis. Brilliantly played by the beautiful Daisy Ridley, I hope in the next film, we get to uncover more of her past.
He hid himself from the world when he did something he deeply regretted in the past that caused him to feel hopelessness. “I only know one truth: It’s time for the Jedi… to end” he says to Rey. He sensed evil in one of his students which he then assumed that his student had no hope. This leads him to assassinate Kylo Ren but Kylo awakens and overpowers him, killing all of his pupils and burning his entire Jedi Academy to the ground. When Rey leaves him, he is visited by Yoda and he gets encouraging advice from him. “We are what they grow beyond” The next sequence that we see of Luke is one of his coolest scenes ever. In the despair and loss of the Resistance, Luke arrives and helps them. All of the ships and AT-M6s fire their cannons at Luke but Luke still lives while brushing off his shoulder. Kylo then faces him one on one which buys time for the Resistance to escape and after their face off, we find out that Luke is not the true one who is facing Kylo but rather a projection of himself. Luke finishes his projection and passes away like how Ben Kenobi passed away. Leia and Rey felt his passing and they figured that his demise wasn’t painful or sorrowful but rather fulfilling and purposeful.
Filled with hate and memories of his past, he struggles with the conflict inside him. Adam Driver has an amazing performance as Kylo Ren and has made his way to be my favourite character in Star Wars. I empathised with him as I saw his struggle to prove himself as one of valuable members of the First Order. In this film, we can see a lighter side of him when he reveals to Rey all the pain he has faced. When he killed the Supreme Leader Snoke, he asked Rey to join him side by side to rule the galaxy not as the First Order, Jedi or a Resistance, but as something entirely new. “Let the past die. Kill it if you have to” is what he preaches and at the final battle of the film when he becomes the Supreme Leader, he certainly showed his enthusiasm to end Luke Skywalker.
Finn awakens and finds Poe while he assumes that he has a lot of questions as to what has happened. Finn’s following question invalidates Poe’s assumption as he asked “Where’s Rey?”. In Finn’s desperation to find Rey, he goes to one of the escape pods with a packed bag to find her. He then stumbles upon Rose who stuns him for desertion. A lot of Finn’s defining moments boil down to the very last parts of the movie. He faces Captain Phasma one on one as he hits her hard enough to fall down to a flaming pit. At the final battle, he attempts to take his life for the survival of the Resistance – a thrilling and nail biting sequence which had me holding my breath. I was able to breathe again when Finn is saved by Rose.
In the opening sequence, a member of the Resistance sacrifices herself in order to drop the bombs on to the Star Destroyer. It is later revealed through a necklace that this was the sister of Rose. Rose works in the pipes and she has a heart of gold she really wants to make a difference. After stunning Finn for desertion, they then come up with a plan for the Resistance to escape. They travel to Canto Bight which is a casino planet to find a master hacker. Rose comments that the demographic in the casinos are people who got rich by selling weapons to the First Order. She sees them as part of the contributors of evil which is why she despises them. This sequence was an important part of the film as we got to explore the other aspects of the world of Star Wars. Rose at the very end saves Finn from doing something foolish by ramming her ship to Finn. Rose expresses her love for Finn and gives him a kiss.
A young and very talented pilot with a quick fuse, his first scene is him successfully dodging plenty of lasers and ships. He has a lot of ideas and he is very wild. He’s always in a hurry and he has a sort of mother and son relationship with Leia and a very bitter one with Vice Admiral Holdo. He is the type that can’t handle authority but is very dedicated to the cause and purpose of the Resistance. He caused an internal divide between some of the officers of the Resistance and parties who are loyal to the Vice Admiral. He takes a lot of risks and he certainly is a rebel at heart.
Vice Admiral Holdo
A new character played by Laura Dern who stirred a lot of spark and confusion in the Resistance once she was elected as a temporary replacement for Leia. At first glance, she might seem like a cowardly leader who is unwise and is mean to her crew. But deep within this assumed facade is a leader who is willing to sacrifice her life for the good of the Resistance. Her decision to evacuate the crew from the ship saved a lot of lives and her decision to set a crash course onto the First Order’s ships saved even more. The crash scene contained no sound and was done in slow motion. Although very dramatic, it still effective as audience members gasped.
The master hacker with a funny way of speaking, Benicio Del Toro plays this role well. He is a thief who only cares about the higher bidder. He gave away the location of the Resistance to the First Order for gold. His philosophy in life is “Live free. Don’t join”.
She was on screen for a short amount of time and I wished she showed more of how she was a great captain. She did get a fight scene with Finn but it wasn’t able to showcase her skill as a captain. This character should be better developed in the next film. That is if she’s still alive.
A wise general who plans ahead. He is always in competition with Kylo Ren but in terms of commanding the army, Supreme Leader Snoke is more confident with having in command as compared to Kylo Ren. Kylo then replaces the Supreme Leader which lead him to following the orders of Kylo Ren by force. It would be interesting if his character arc in the next film is him trying to oust Kylo out of his position.
Supreme Leader Snoke
Performed by Andy Serkis, this character has excellent CGI. We always see him physically in the throne room. But even if he is just a projection, he is able to force choke anyone who upsets him. He is very powerful and he is able to summon lightning with his bare hands. He throws General Hux around like a rag doll and he can get information from anyone using the force. He is great and interesting but I do wish we had more backstory to his character before he died. The decision to kill this character off was a very bold one and will certainly split fans apart.
The Vultpex and the Porgs were there for eye candy and for Disney to sell toys. They weren’t really integral to the story. Yoda does make a cameo in the film and he isn’t CGI, he’s a puppet again. Yoda gave some wise words to Luke and he also showed his power by summoning lightning from above which burned the old tree down.
Overall I really liked this instalment of Star Wars. The operatic space battles, the funny one liners, the rich characters except for Snoke and Phasma and the tension throughout the film made this one of the best Star Wars to date.
I give Star Wars: The Last Jedi a 9/10
I would like to thank SnippetMedia for giving me the chance to review this film.