Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi premiered in theaters this week. Directed by Rian Johnson, it immediately follows The Force Awakens, picking up right where the film leaves off. Normally, I have a summary of the plot, but I’m afraid I will deliver too many spoilers if I do that. Thus I will give a full dive into my review.
I am no fan of Rian Johnson. I found The Brothers Bloom to be a boring melodrama that was all shock and no substance. Likewise, I found Looper to be one of the worst science fiction flicks ever made. It had bad acting and a plot with way too many holes.
That being said, he did create a decent Star Wars flick. I found the movie genuinely entertaining and I cannot complain about the performances of the principle cast. Daisy Riddley, Mark Hamill, John Boyega, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaacs, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern, all shine in their respective roles. Benicio del Toro is the only one who struggles is his part. His character was just there to be there and seems to stumble his way through his role.
While previously, I expressed my distaste for Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, I feel that he redeemed the role as a young Knight of Ren (not Sith for some reason). He grows in the part and takes him from being a special snowflake villain into becoming a true threat. Likewise, Daisy Ridley truly shined as Rey. While her origins are not explored very well, she herself did an excellent job bringing her role to the big screen.
The film did have a boring subplot where two Resistance fights (not Rebels till later) flee in order to find a code breaker to help in the fight against the First Order fleet. It was boring and ultimately served no purpose in the overall plot of the film. It was just Disney working in some SJW talking points to pander.
My overall trouble with the film is the same as The Force Awakens. It lacks any real originality, and served as a mash-up of Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi. Sure there are new aliens, characters, etc, but they seem to be younger versions of other tropes in the Original Trilogy. It seems Star Wars under the watchful eye of Disney is afraid of angering misguided fans who lashed out at the Prequel Trilogy. The prequels, for all their faults, built on the franchise, but still brought in original plots that I, as a true fan, enjoyed.
With that in mind, producer J.J. Abrams and his team are rehashing old ideas while at the same time, lecturing reluctant fans to “let it go.” Seriously, that line is in the film. It’s a contradiction. Abrams and Disney wants us to accept their new direction, but then they constantly shove the old tropes at the audience. Which is it?
Rogue One solved this problem, bringing in well known tropes, while also balancing it with the Gareth Edward’s creative direction. They should allow Edwards to direct IX instead of Abrams. He brought a masterpiece to the Star Wars Universe.
Please note, I am not saying that The Last Jedi is a bad film. Far from it! I enjoyed the movie a great deal. It has witty dialogue, amazing special effects, and it did a great job of telling the story. It is good, but not great. You will like it and even cheer the characters on. Just don’t expect to have your mind blown.
I understand it is dividing fans. Some either like it or really hate it. For me, I am right down the middle. I did think it was film worth seeing and even adding to my nerdy film collection. I just did not find it epic in the old sense of Empire Strikes Back.
FAVORITE QUOTE: And I am not the last Jedi.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Foul language, violence
Check out the trailer below:
That is my review. What did you think? Let me know in the comments below and tell me if there’s a movie you’d like me to review. Check out my thoughts on Justice League. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.