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Star Wars: The Last Jedi expands universe in fantastic ways

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What can I say about Star Wars that hasn’t been said already? It is the quintessential science fiction/ adventure film franchise. Kids from all around the world grew up and are growing up with these characters. Star Wars changed the film industry when it was released. And now, with the release of the highly anticipated, multi million dollar film, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, more kids get to go home from the theatre high off the fact they just went on a new adventure with Luke Skywalker and escaped into a galaxy far far away.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the eighth “Episode” of the main Star Wars storyline, starring the likes of Rey, Finn, General Leia, and who fans have been waiting for, Luke Skywalker. The Last Jedi follows the Resistance continuing the struggle against The First Order, picking up from where The Force Awakens left us. Rey searches for Luke Skywalker, the last jedi, to learn the ways of the force to defeat the notorious sith lord Kylo Ren.  This film was shrouded in mystery, the trailers full of misdirection, something that director Rian Johnson intended to do. With Rian Johnson adding his very unique voice to the already established franchise, The Last Jedi was a fresh chapter, answering many questions and expanding upon the Star wars universe.

From the opening title card of “A long time ago in a galaxy far far away” I was ecstatic. Sitting in the theatre at 10:30 p.m opening night surrounded by my friends who know nothing about Star Wars I was ready to be blown away. To hopefully see the Star Wars film that was NEW and INVENTIVE and UNIQUE. Something unconventional, something no one has seen before. And dear reader, was this movie ever enjoyable, entertaining, and something truly new.

The Force Awakens set up the new trilogy, reintroducing new and old fans to the Star Wars world, but The Last Jedi had to take it one step farther. Rian Johnson’s job was to take the world to the next step, because they couldn’t keep recreating the original trilogy (something The Force Awakens is often criticized for). The unique direction and voice from Rian Johnson is what made this film feel new. If you ever seen Johnson’s Looper or Brick his mark is apparent all over this film. No wonder Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm, is giving Johnson his own new trilogy, set to release sometime after Episode 9.

The cast of this film is full of new and old characters. Rey, played by Daisy Ridley, shines again as our new heroine. Finn, played by upcomer John Boyega, paired with newcomer Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) offer a fresh pair of eyes through this film. General Leia Organa, played by the magnificent Carrie Fisher, has much more a role in this film, allowing Carrie Fisher to have the last performance she deserved. As set up by the cliffhanger in The Force Awakens, Luke Skywalker, played by the powerhouse of Mark Hamill, is arguably the best part of this film. This version of Luke Skywalker is Mark Hamill at his best. Kylo Ren, played by Adam Driver, is turning out to be one of the best villains of this decade, his story arc continuing to surprise me, two films into this trilogy.

Some of the most iconic parts of Star Wars is the score, and The Last Jedi isn’t an exception. John Williams’ masterful score creates the tone for the middle installment, lending itself beautifully to some of the film’s best scenes. The score is currently sitting at #3 in iTunes.

The Last Jedi, simply put, takes what you knew and what you expected from the new installment and shoves it down the drain. It burns the already predetermined idea of the Star Wars universe, and lays ground for a new forest to grow. But there will always be a few bad apples.

One of the storylines in the film is quite unnecessary, often pushing the film off course and disrupting the pacing. With the film being a total of 2 hours and 33 minutes, pacing is something that should be fast, consistent, and carefully planned. While the first act had me on the edge of my seat, the second hit the brakes. Hard.

Another complaint I have is with the character of Rose and her writing. With being as ambiguous as possible, I believe the film would have been better without her character entirely.

But when I think of my experience with The Last Jedi I remember the sheer enjoyment I had with the film, the great amount of entertainment the film offers. Whether you are a longtime fan of Star Wars, or this is your entry into the universe, The Last Jedi will surely have you walking out of the theatre as if you had just entered another world. One in which people can move things with their minds and fight with laser swords. One where space is not a boundary, but an avenue of discovery. And I urge you to go out the theatre and immerse yourself in this world. I give this film my highest recommendation, and cannot wait to go see it again. Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens December 15, 2017 worldwide.

1 Comment

One Response to “Star Wars: The Last Jedi expands universe in fantastic ways”

  1. Anish Tamhaney on February 25th, 2018 12:28 pm

    You know what Max, I disagree with this review! The Last Jedi took all my hopes, the carefully planted mysteries of JJ Abrams and trashed them carelessly. Yes, the film subverted my expectations but in ways that were far from reasonable. Rian Johnson offered one of the most visually distinctive Star Wars works to date, but one with important characters like Rey and Luke lacking development.

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