Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Directed By: Rian Johnson
Starring: Mark Hamill
Kelly Marie Tran
The Last Jedi is a divisive movie. In fact it’s so divisive that this article should have been written days ago. But I needed to just sit and take in everything I’d just seen. Process it. Prepare to write this review in a way that does this film justice. So I will try. WARNING I will be delving into FULL spoilers for the film, please do not shout at me for ruining the movie. Reading any further than this is your own risk. We’re gonna put a giant old picture of like Luke or something to preserve the mystique.
Ah, I lied it was Kylo.
Alright spoiler zone let’s go kids.
So The Resistance is still scrappily (rebelliously?) fighting the First Order, after a massive loss is sustained while taking out a massive Star Destroyer Poe (Oscar Isaac) is demoted for his recklessness. Meanwhile Finn (John Boyega) awakes from his coma and attempts to flee. He runs into Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) and they realize the First Order has been tracking them through hyperspace. General Leia (Carrie Fisher in her final role) is gravely injured after a massive First Order counterstrike. She’s replaced by Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern) who plans to flee.
In retaliation; Poe, Finn and Rose concoct a plan to head to the casino planet of Canto Bight. While getting arrested and rescuing some enslaved animals (and meeting some kids) Rose and Finn encounter DJ (Benicio Del Toro) who claims to be able to help them hack the First Order’s tracker. So the three (and BB-8!) get on the First Order ship and just before they can disable the device they’re sold out by DJ and captured by General Hux (Domnhall Gleeson) and Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie).
Meanwhile Poe is clashing with Holdo over her methods, as she plans to escape the First Order, he declares her a coward and stages a coup. He’s interrupted by the return of Leia who stuns him and loads him onto a transport. He realizes they were near a Resistance base and were attempting to regroup quietly.
As ALL of that is happening Rey (Daisy Ridley) attempts to sway Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) to help them. He plainly refuses but once he discovers Rey’s force sensitivity agrees to train her. Her strength in the force frightens him but her dedication encourages him to persist in training her. He bitterly explains why he believes the Jedi should come to an end. First they sent Anakin straight to Palpatine, but then he sent Ben to Snoke himself. As Luke trains Rey she uses the Force to communicate with Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Luke explains that years ago he had a monetary lapse of judgment and tried to kill Ben, unfortunately this just further pushed him to the dark side. Rey believes there’s a light in him and leaves Ahch-To to try and turn him.
Rey arrives on the flagship of Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) with Kylo Ren and makes her attempt to sway him. Snoke mocks her and reveals he orchestrated the connections between them to lure her there. As Snoke taunts her Kylo takes advantage of the arrogance and bisects his master. Him and Rey then dispatch the Praetorian Guards. Ren tells Rey her parents were ‘nobodies’ and extends an offer to join him; but she refuses and a struggle over the Skywalker saber ensues.
It’s at his time, where everyone’s stories catch up. Holdo has stayed behind on the Republic flagship as a decoy, Finn and Rose are captured, and Rey and Kylo are locked ion a struggle. The First Order fires on the fleeing ships of the Resistance and Holdo makes a jump to hyperspace and destroys the First Order ship in a suicide run.
Ren awakes in the wrecked throne room to Hux scolding him. Ren threatens him and declares himself the new Supreme Leader. Finn and Rose battle Phasma, and she is bested by Finn before falling to her death.
Following Rey leaving Luke decides to burn down the Jedi Tree and its books. He is met by the Force Spirit of Yoda (Frank Oz) who torches the tree and informed Luke that failure is the greatest teacher, and the Jedi don’t need to end, just evolve. Through this encouragement Luke opens himself to the Force once more.
The Resistance rallies on the planet Crait but Supreme Leader Ren mobilizes a massive strike force including a miniaturized Death Star cannon. Finn, Poe and Rose along with other members of The Resistance prepare to attack but are easily picked off. Rey arrives in the Falcon to help but the Resistance is still beaten back; and Rose sustains massive injuries (But not before kissing Finn). Just as hope seems lost Luke arrives and briefly speaks with Leia before walking to face the Order alone. Kylo comes down to taunt him but soon realizes it’s a projection. Luke has tapped into the force in order to stall Ren and project himself to a planet light-years away. The combination of strain and age causes Luke to die as he stares out upon twin suns, his body vanishing. Rey takes the Falcon to rescue the rem
ainder of The Resistance as Leia informs them that they’ve got all they need to start a rebellion. On Canto Bight a young boy uses the force to grab a broomstick and gazes out amongst the stars
So, my thoughts on the film. Firstly I loved it, thought it was fantastic. I absolutely wept when Luke died and I thought his death was
a beautiful moment. So I’m gonna primarily target areas I’ve seen picked apart online and give my thoughts on them.
But as for the movie overall I thought it was a fantastic ride, beautifully filmed and wonderfully written. It caused me to laugh, cry and grin like a literal child.
I didn’t think the humor was too much and in fact I thought the bulk of the jokes were smart and landed well. As far as Luke being a grouchy old hermit it made so much sense to me, he was wallowing in his failure and that felt real and natural. He felt like a man who had made mistakes and just had such a hard time coming to terms with them. His death seen felt both beautiful and redemptive, and he had some pretty awesome moments as well. Kylo Ren finally felt like a realized character and killing Snoke made him the top dog in the First Order. In short he was finally a badass. Speaking of Snoke I felt absolutely no disappointment in not learning his backstory; we never learnt the Emperors until the prequels and we turned out just fine. In fact he was more meaningful in death by spurring Kylo on. The other major news, Rey’s parents being nobodies seems like a lie though, I firmly believe she’s a Solo.
All that being said my number one highlight in the movie was the return of Yoda, I gasped when he appeared and grinned the entire time he was onscreen.
I left the movie excited and happy and eagerly awaiting the next installment, Bravo Rian Johnson, Bravo.
Colin Ginter is willing to debate with his twitter followers @thecolinginter