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REVIEW: Star Wars The Last Jedi, Great but Still Leaving Many Questions (CONTAINS SPOILERS)

Ok so I just got back from the movie theater seeing Star Wars: The Last Jedi and it’s taking every ounce of energy I have left in my body as this film completely wiped me out.  So many of my friends who haven’t seen The Last Jedi yet, immediately texted me asking how the movie was, and I was at a loss for words.  Let me start out by saying it was a great movie, and a worthy successor to The Force Awakens (in fact I liked it better on first view), but it still leaves many questions unanswered, 16 of them to be exact! 😉

In The Last Jedi Trailer you hear Luke say: “This is not going to go the way you think.” and that pretty much sums up this film.  There is one twist after another.

Before I go on any further, let me warn you that THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS.  So if you haven’t yet seen the movie, don’t read my The Last Jedi review, unless you don’t care about getting things spoiled for some strange reason.

I’m not kidding!  Don’t leave me any nasty comments on my site saying you weren’t warned because I’m telling you THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!

Ok now that that’s out of the way…

The Last Jedi is a technical and visual marvel and is everything you’ve come to expect from this new generation of Star Wars films.  But the film’s strength is how it builds on The Force Awaken’s strong point, which are its interesting and lovable characters.  Watching The Last Jedi you get to know those characters that you were already deeply invested in over the last two years a bit more, and watch their growth right before your eyes.  Director Rian Johnson takes massive risks with the characters, the majority of which pay off.  BB-8 stole the show as he did last time, but Rey, Poe, Finn, and Kylo are also strong.  And Mark Hamill gives what might be his best version of Luke Skywalker that he has ever done.  There were a few parts in the middle of the film where it seemed to tread water, but the thrilling finale made up for any slow parts.

The film has in my opinion just the right amount of humor, making it funny but keeping serious at the same time.  I know some have complained saying The Last Jedi is too funny, but those same people forget that during Empire, Han, C-P30 and the gang were essentially a walking comedy act, yet it worked.  I thought Rian Johnson hit on working in just enough humor, making it perfect.

The Last Jedi also shines for its originality too.  There are so many surprises, so many twists and turns you really don’t know what’s coming next.  That to me was my biggest complaint with The Force Awakens.  It lacked originality.  I know fans wanted to see the Star Wars franchise go back to its roots after the abomination that was the Prequel Trilogy, but The Force Awakens seemed like it was trying too hard to copy almost everything from A New Hope.  Instead The Last Jedi went in so many different directions that it was difficult or almost impossible to guess the outcome before it happened.  Let’s get into some of the details…

The Last Jedi follows 3 main storylines: 1. Finn and newcomer Rose and their quest to find someone who can help them to save the resistance ships from impending doom, 2. Rey and her quest to convince Luke to join her join in the fight against The First Order, and 3. Kylo Ren and his continuous struggle against his pull towards the light and the dark.

I’ll start in the beginning.  I thought the opening sequence was really incredible.  Some were saying that it’s the best opening sequence in any Star Wars film, which probably isn’t too much of a stretch.  Viewers are left on the edge of their seats watching Poe go single-handily into a fleet of Star Destroyers on what looked like a suicide mission.  Instead as the bombers arrive, they are able to bring down the massive First Order Dreadnought ship in a gripping and moving scene.  This essentially allows the Rebel ships to escape, but only momentarily as The First Order has developed a new technology which allows them to track ships even though light-speed and follow them.  That sucks…

I thought the parts of the middle where The Resistance ships were caught in no-man’s land not being able to escape from The First Order was a little slow, and I wasn’t huge on the storyline.  And even though I really liked the scenes between Rose and Finn, I wasn’t crazy about their whole journey down to Canto Bight, although it was interesting to learn how weapons manufactured for both The First Order and Resistance both come from arms dealers there.

But let’s get to the big plot points.  Because for as much as I thought The Last Jedi was an incredible movie, I can’t help but feel just a bit cheated from what Lucasfilm has fed to me over the last 2 years.  Who are Rey’s parents?  Who is Snoke?  What secrets are we going to learn about in the first Jedi Temple, especially from those ancient Jedi manuscripts?  No one.  Nobody.  And nothing.  Huh?  That’s right.  Those big plot points we’ve been waiting 2 years to find out ever since The Force Awakens built them up so much for us, don’t have any answers.

In Episode 7 and for mot of 8, we are wondering who Rey’s parents are.  Is she Luke’s daughter?  Leia and Han’s?  Obi Wan’s?  Nope.  She’s not the daughter of anyone important.  She’s just a daughter of slaves who dumped her on Jakku.  Seriously?  I spent all that time thinking about who they are to learn this?  I guess on one hand it’s cool because the galaxy might be full of force-sensitive people that haven’t yet harnessed its power, but I was really hoping for more.

Snoke, this huge baddie, who has taken on the role of the Emperor, who obviously is ridiculously strong with the force and has formed the entire First Order to take over the galaxy, in the end is a nobody.  They don’t explain anything.  Where did he come from?  Where was he during the whole original trilogy?  Why is he all deformed and scared of Luke?  It doesn’t matter cause he dies a quick death without getting any of the answers.  I mean I’m fine with him dying and all, and I’m happy that Rian Johnson felt the liberty to take some chances in the film, but at least give me some of those answers before you take him out.  Also I just think it was a bit weak how he went out because he is so strong with the force he was able to manipulate Kylo and Rey like little pawns the whole film, and then Kylo just takes him out that that….hmmmm.  I did love the action sequence in the chamber and was geeking out when Kylo and Rey were smoking the Imperial Guards, I thought it was the best part of the film.

I mean these are huge plots points from the previous movie that they spent so much time on, and now they are basically saying: “they aren’t important at all.”  I can’t help but just feel slightly toyed with and used.

Kylo really does have a Vader fetish because he’s trying his best to follow in his grand-daddy’s shoes.  Rey was able to resist Kylo’s temptation to join him in ruling the galaxy, and a big showdown is obviously coming between them in episode 9.

What we thought about Luke was pretty much true, he was running from the war and is disillusioned from what happened with Kylo’s training and subsequent turning to the Dark Side.  I liked his hobo look and I thought Hamill’s acting was superb in his role.  Let’s just say he isn’t happy at all with Rey showing up, badgering him for training, but in the end gives in and shows her the ways of the force.  In the end I would have liked to see a bit more of Rey and Luke together than what we saw in the end.

I was a bit upset though that they just glossed over the Jedi Temple and ancient writings.  When Yoda came to visit Luke (was geeking out at the sight of Yoda btw), he basically said: “you know all that stuff already, and Rey does to so you don’t need it.”  Then he blows the tree into kingdom-come, which was a pretty neat trick btw.  It was nice to see Yoda back and knowing that Qui-Gon Jinn’s training on becoming a Force spirit is still working.  This does make me wonder if Jedi can still use their powers even to harm people once they are dead, because that’s the first time we’ve seen any of them do anything of the sort, and makes me wonder who else could make an appearance in Episode 9.  Maybe Vader himself comes back to stop Kylo?

We also learned the truth about what happened with Kylo and Luke, and that Luke discovered that Snoke has already turned him to the dark side and therefore was set to kill him in his sleep, but hesitated, and in doing so Kylo killed some of Luke’s students, took others with him, and escaped.  I’m guessing those other students are the Knights of Ren, and seeing as we still haven’t seen them yet, they are sure to make an appearance in Episode 9.  It was quite shocking knowing that Luke was about to murder his own nephew and touched on the subject of what’s right and wrong that we saw in Rogue One, where characters who are technically “good” still at times end things that are morally questionable if not plain wrong.

The final sequence was riveting and had me on the edge of my seat.  With Kylo now single-handily running The First Order, they make an assault on Crait, where the last few dozen Resistance fighters have chosen to make their stand.  I loved seeing the new AT-M6 walkers in action too, which are an even beefier version of the AT-AT’s.  In the end Luke comes to save the rebels, or at least in some form, as he shows down with Kylo, only that we discover later it was only a projection of himself and the real Luke was still sitting on a rock back on his island.  This allows the rebels just enough time to escape and as he tells Kylo, the war is only just beginning.

Lastly I was happy to see Luke finally get reception for what happened in the past with Kylo, something Han was not able to do.   I was happy when Kylo wasn’t able to kill Luke, but was a bit surprised again when Luke then dies at the end on his own, I guess from exhaustion.  I knew this moment would eventually come one day and I guess at least after having invested to much into a character over the last 30+ years, I was happy that Luke had a fitting end to such an iconic character in movie history.

They way he was talking to Kylo in their confrontation though makes me believe this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Luke and he’ll be back in some form, probably to help finish Rey’s training and prepare the next generation of Jedi.  Speaking of which it seems like we got a glimpse of just that at the end when the young boy who seems to be force-sensitive is cleaning the manger.  The next generation of Jedi on display…

In the end I think The Last Jedi was a really good film, but it’s going to have the Star Wars fan base split on how they view it.  If anything it feels to me more like the 1st film in the trilogy, and The Force Awakens is more like a pro-log.  In fact in a lot of ways the The Force Awakens now feels cheap to me because as a hard-core Star Wars fan I invested so much time and energy into the storylines of the film that now after The Last Jedi are not even important.  I’m fine with being bold and daring with the new direction, but I would have liked some closure to those plot-lines we were meant to think were actually important.

These of course are my thought only a few hours after seeing The Last Jedi, so I still need some time to let it all set in, and I’m sure I’ll have some more thoughts after the second viewing this weekend.  Overall I think it is an excellent movie that every Star Wars fan needs to see, full of thrilling twists and turns that just falls slightly below the original trilogy.  Not a bad place to be.

Also Read my 16 Questions We Still Have After The Last Jedi

Your Thoughts:

I want to know what you think about my The Last Jedi Review.  Did you like the movie?  What was your favorite part and where does it rank on the all-time Star Wars list?  Let us know in the comments section below!

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