Star Wars: The Last Jedi is without doubt the most highly anticipated movie this year. It’s Star Wars it was always going to be huge and naturally fans went crazy as soon as it was announced. The Force Awakens left us all with so many questions. So SO many questions and The Last Jedi answers a very good number of them.
I’ll try to keep the spoilers low and inconsequential, but some of them may eek out.
Initial fan reactions have been really quite mixed, I personally loved almost every second of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but I can totally understand why some people didn’t. This review will consist of two parts, the first part will be why I loved it and the second will be why I can understand why people didn’t enjoy it (and they’re wrong).
The Last Jedi received some of the best marketing for a movie I have ever seen. All of the trailers left us asking so many questions; Why do the Jedi need to end? Why is Rey reaching out to Kylo Ren? Will Luke teach Rey? What the hell is that Porg thing and where can we get one? Then the ominous voice over from Luke (played ever so brilliantly by Mark Hamil) “This is not going to go the way you think!” encouraged even more questions.
I just want to say, that line is my favourite line of dialogue from the whole movie. Star Wars: The Last Jedi had some absolutely brilliant dialogue but that one line is quite literally perfect. People asked me what I thought of the movie and I would simply remind them of that quote and walk away. It throws the best Kansas City Shuffle I’ve seen since Lucky Number Slevin, when you’re looking left everything goes right and it’s fantastic. Not only did all of the trailers keep you guessing but so does the entire movie.
One of the things you watch Star Wars for is the epic starscape backdrops and awe-inspiring special effects, something Star Wars: The Last Jedi has in spades. As you’d expect the effects work has only improved over time and the latest entry into the Star Wars franchise looks absolutely stunning at every turn. The charge of the sand skimmers is nothing short of iconic purely from a visual effects stand point, not to mention the army of AT-ATs bearing down on the Rebel base.
Of course, one of the other things you’re watching the Star Wars movies for is the sweet laser sword fights. Daisy Ridley picking up a lightsaber has to be one of the best things to ever see, then watching her wield it like a master in mere moments of training is spectacular. The Prequels had overly flashy and acrobatic lightsaber battles, the Original trilogy featured lightsaber duels that were slower and more emotive; This is something The Force Awakens recaptured brilliantly and the same can still be said for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. There’s a little bit of fancy footwork and swordplay but for the most part each lightsaber scene is incredibly well choreographed, showing off some brilliantly well shot moves and still retaining the same sense of character the originals held.
Okay…now time for the bad. Just to reiterate, I loved Star Wars: The Last Jedi but I can understand why some people didn’t and here’s my take on why.
Finn. Boyega is brilliant and he plays his role perfectly, he’s not the problem, Finn is. Finn is almost entirely pointless throughout the whole movie. For one of our leading roles, he’s horribly under used and his fight scene with Phasma is pretty underwhelming. The day that they put a freaking lightsaber in that mans hand again will be a damned good day!
It’s very much the Rey, Kylo and Poe show. While the character development Rey and Kylo receive is great and answers so many of the questions we’ve all held for so long…Poe doesn’t really get much growth, more of a solidifying his character as “arrogant hotshot”. Since these three kind of monopolise the screen time it leaves the rest of the cast as little more than faces that occasionally appear to offer a wise crack or a small piece of advice. Rey being the obvious main character is fine but it means Finn doesn’t really do all that much.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is pretty different. It’s not something I can accurately pinpoint but the movie definitely feels quite different to the other Star Wars movies in the franchise. This in itself isn’t terrible but it’s a little odd for sure. On that note, there’s one scene with Leia that just feels weird and out-of-place. The fact that the studio didn’t cut any of Carrie Fisher’s scenes out of respect for her is amazing and I respect that but there’s one scene that just really doesn’t make sense. It’s well shot for what it’s worth but it is just weird.
And finally…If there’s ever a reason to dislike the movie it’s this one; Chewie cooks a couple of Porgs. That’s right, call Space PETA, even though we’re assured no Porgs were harmed in the making of Star Wars: The Last Jedi… Chewie definitely cooks at least 2 Porgs and eats one. Looks the adorable little bugger right in the eye as he does it to the heartless bastard!
So with all that said, I loved the hell out of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It delivers on every aspect you’d expect from a Star Wars movie and then some. The story keeps you guessing and on your toes, Kylo and Rey get some serious character growth and of course you get to see Mark Hamil be as badass as Luke Skywalker once again! What’s not to love?
Except 3-PO… screw that guy.