STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

The Star Wars franchise is a galactic phenomenon of unimaginable proportions – the sheer mention of it has the population throwing money at it. The only thing that comes close is the Harry Potter franchise, pure viewer frenzy. In its opening weekend THE LAST JEDI has made a quarter BILLION dollars worldwide. I have seen it twice and Kernel Jack was seeing it for his fourth time yesterday. Critics are loving it and apparently fans aren’t as impressed. Well dear fans, you are wrong – I am both and this movie is the second best of all time, not far behind THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. It is out now playing on any cinema screen that can play movies. It is rated M and runs for a whopping 152mins, making it the longest in the franchise – I could have sat through double!

 

The Last Jedi John Boyega image

 

THE LAST JEDI SYNOPSIS:

This is the least spoilered synopsis that I can write!

The rebels are nearly done for – the last that remain are racing to stay in front of who can now track them through hyperspace. Finn and Poe have a plan that can get them on to a First Order ship to switch off the tracking device. General Leia is keeping the resistance alive and Rey is developing her Jedi skills with . Rey and have a strong bond that is cause for concern and/or balance.

 

The Last Jedi Daisy Ridley image

 

**** THIS SECTION CONTAINS SPOILERS ****

THE SECOND BEST STAR WARS MOVIE OF ALL TIME: 

As per the paragraph title I loved this movie. It pays homage to the past while ushering in a new era of Star Wars. Rian Johnson has made a movie about balance which in the end also appears to be part of a trilogy that honours each of the original three; Luke, Leia and Han. was not originally happy about where Luke’s character was going but I think it is perfect. It answers all his weaknesses and evolves him into the true master he has become – his iconic battle scene made me shiver on both occasions I have seen it, standing defiant in front of an entire battalion of The First Order is one of the best scenes in the entire franchise. It is a perfect Star Wars story arc. His final scene in the movie also had me shed a tear on both occasions.

Are the new generation of rebels and Jedi truly worth?

This is what The Last Jedi questions. Poe is the new Leia but is too keen to blow things up with little regard for others and he must learn leadership. Rey is obviously the new Luke but needs to control and harness her balance with the force – I still think she will become a Grey Jedi. And Finn is a new Han, of sorts, actually Poe is both Han and Leia in one in all honesty, the true son they deserved. Finn must learn patience and focus to be the greatest rebel he can be.

The best lesson THE LAST JEDI gave Finn was that there is balance everywhere and that there are people who profit from both the Empire and the Rebels. Discovering that the same people that make the weapons for The First Order also make the weapons for the resistance. A true political statement about the war machine running Earth at this point in time.

 

The Last Jedi Daisy Ridley and Mark Hamill image
Daisy Ridley and Mark Hamill

 

THE LAST JEDI WILL CAPTURE AN ENTIRE NEW GENERATION OF FANS

THE LAST JEDI has pissed quite a few fans off – this is disappointing and I can only put it down to a few fresh new things entered into the Star Wars canon. Is it puritanical fans unhappy with change or by the introduction of some Jedi developments that will fully blow your mind? There are three new Jedi skills you will experience that you never knew existed – and they probably (?) didn’t until this movie and am I glad they now do. It allows THE LAST JEDI to stand on it’s own in the universe, to take us into science fiction fantasy without relying on hundreds of books and preconceptions of STAR WARS.

Rian Johnson directs with a somewhat Spielbergian light and dark, again with the balance. His Star Wars movie is somewhat darker but at the same time has more appeal to the younger audiences. There are a lot of funny and somewhat cute new creatures in the movie and it appears he has returned to more puppetry than CGI (where he can). The final scene of the movie is heart warming and inspiring and gives hope to both the galaxy and the future of the series. This is the first of the new movies that made me feel young again, it took me back to the feeling of watching the original movies as a child. That is the greatest legacy THE LAST JEDI can leave.

 

The Last Jedi Carrie Fisher image

 

THAT EPIC CAST:

What can I say, I just love them all. The old and the new truly shine. The biggest question is can Mark Hamill return to the character of Luke Skywalker? At first I wasn’t too sold, seeing him as a somewhat Obi Wan recluse on his island he was stuffy and old and appeared to have no neck. Seeing him awake from his hermit life and stand up for the galaxy again, he dropped thirty years off his life and the real Luke Skywalker emerged – it warms my heart just thinking about it.

Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, , – all marvellous and all filling out in their characters in the series. I hope we get more of them than one trilogy!!  Special mentions to the new characters to join the main crew – all great additions! One thing that did annoy was a love interest for Finn, I really liked the ambiguity of a possible gay love between Finn and Poe! His kiss scene was unnecessary!

Carrie Fisher just makes me melancholic while watching, knowing this is her last role. Her mouth and voice struggle in sections but it suits her character and it was grand seeing her with Jedi skills in her last outing. I will forever miss you my Princess!!

 

The Last Jedi Mark Hamill image
Mark Hamill

 

IN CONCLUSION:

Where THE FORCE AWAKENS basically re-made A NEW HOPE anew, THE LAST JEDI is somewhat EMPIRE STRIKES BACK purely for the reason it is the second act in a space opera and must be the darker of the three. But Rian Johnson’s THE LAST JEDI stands alone in originality and for taking us places with the force that we never imagined. The movie is one for the entire family and takes some of the filmmaking skills back to basics and re-invigorates the franchise for younger audiences. It is as balanced as the light and dark of the force and is worth the ticket price alone for Maz Kanata throwing shade at Trade Union negotiations aka THE PHANTOM MENACE.

 

 

 

YOUR CRITIC:

 owns, writes and edits Salty Popcorn and Spooning Australia. He is a movie, food, restaurant, wine, chocolate, bacon, burger and brussels sprouts addict. He is a member of the Australian Film Critics Association and has been in the  industry for 26yrs. Furthermore he loves watching people trip over and is Leonardo DiCaprio’s biggest fan. 

** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher. Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.