Star Wars: The Last Jedi Review

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi Review

Noah Conley, reporter

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2015’s The Force Awakens was the cinematic event of a generation. After ten years and a poorly received trilogy of prequel films, J.J. Abrams brought back Star Wars in a big way. It was one of the highest grossing films of all time, and was critically acclaimed as hearkening back to the glory days of the franchise. Rian Johnson, Director of the new Star Wars movie The Last Jedi, had great expectations to fill. And let me be the first to tell you, that while there are some flaws in The Last Jedi, it does deliver a satisfying Star Wars experience that is certainly its own, and one that is not afraid to shift the focus to the new generation of heroes.

   The Last Jedi is interesting because it is a Star Wars movie with several plot lines going on at the same time, which is something I feel is a bit new for the franchise. Out of these plot lines, the majority are awesome and deliver great character moments, but the minority of these plot lines feel weak and underdeveloped, as if they were footnotes to the big picture. All these plot lines, however, do focus on the new heroes, such as Rey, the Force-sensitive girl who is just beginning to learn her powers and Finn, the defector from the evil First Order.These characters from The Force Awakens who, while they were the main characters, felt overshadowed by names like Han Solo and Luke Skywalker.

   Another thing I liked was the fact that potentially interesting characters from The Force Awakens who received very few minutes of screen time, got much more here. The prime example is Poe Dameron, The best pilot in the resistance, the group fighting The First Order. He did get one or two big moments in The Force Awakens, but now he is a major player, trying to save the resistance from being blown to bits by The First Order.

  New characters are introduced here too. There is Rose Tico, a resistance mechanic who becomes an important part of the film’s main plot. Her character gets a surprising amount of development for a character just introduced into the franchise, and I look forward to seeing more of Rose Tico in the future.

  Another new character introduced is Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, a character who feels like a bit of a tack-on character. She does serve for some crucial plot points, yes, but other than that her character feels weak and underdeveloped. She does get some good moments though, but I’ll just let you guys experience that for yourselves.

 The Last Jedi also makes good on the Star Wars tradition of amazing locales, providing amazing looking locations with aliens that are colorful and of all shapes and sizes. I must praise the sequel trilogy for its return to practical effects, avoiding the bad CGI that plagued the prequels. The visual effects in The Last Jedi are truly amazing, and I hope that we see even more improvements on these effects in Episode IX.

  The movie does not completely forget characters from the original trilogy however, and these characters do get several great moments in The Last Jedi. I have to criticize Rian Johnson’s portrayal of Luke Skywalker, however, solely for the fact that the Luke in this movie feels totally different than the Luke we’ve come to know and love, the one who saw the good in Darth Vader, one of the quintessential villains of our time. In The Last Jedi, Luke is portrayed as a crotchety old man in self exile on the planet Ahch-To, having given up on restoring the Jedi Order. However he does get several great moments in the movie, and has an overall satisfying character arc.

  If I had to describe the theme of this movie, it feels like a changing of the guard, the last shift being carried out by Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Leia Organa and such. But now the time has come for the new generation to be the heroes we look up to. If someone told me that in thirty years we’ll be looking  back at characters like Rey like we look back to characters like Luke Skywalker, I would not doubt them. Not at all.