“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Laura Dern, and Benicio del Toro. Released on December 15, 2017, the film has Rey training to become a Jedi while the First Order forms a new plan to destroy the Resistance and rule the galaxy.
The film is directed by Rian Johnson, who also directed Brick, The Brothers Bloom, and Looper, and it is the second film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. We have been anticipating for the latest chapter in the acclaimed sci-fi franchise for an entire year, and now, it’s finally here. The Force Awakens reintroduced the famous brand to audiences around the world by incorporating new characters as well as the classic characters that they grew up with, such as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia. Not to mention it broke several box office records in the process. This next chapter in the sequel trilogy not only continues the adventures of Rey and her friends, but it also marks the final appearance of Carrie Fisher as Leia before her unfortunate passing last year. Rian Johnson is no stranger to the sci-fi genre as he is known for directing the critically-acclaimed science fiction thriller “Looper” back in 2012. So having him direct a Star Wars film should mark as a true test to see if he’s able to take on the responsibility of creating a new Star Wars trilogy. Was he able to pull it off?
Continuing where The Force Awakens left off, Rey (Ridley) manages to find the self-exiled Jedi Master, Luke Skywalker (Hamill), and starts learning about the ways of the Force. Meanwhile, the Resistance, lead by General Leia Organa (Fisher), is still fighting off against the First Order for the fate of the galaxy. Now, some people might think that “The Last Jedi” is copying off “The Empire Strikes Back” based on the description above. Well, it’s somehow like that, but it does have its differences. Since this film tends to have plenty of surprises, I will try my best to express my feelings on it without going into specific details on the plot. So consider this my spoiler-free review. All I can say about it is that it has everything a Star Wars movie should have, ranging from its heart-pounding action scenes to its well-developed characters. Most of the main cast reprised their respective roles from its predecessors, including Daisy Ridley as Rey and Adam Driver as the villainous jerk, Kylo Ren. I called him a jerk because of what he did in the last film. They once again did a great job portraying their characters, but the ones that I believe stand out the most were Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher as Luke Skywalker and General Leia Organa, respectively. This movie introduces a different side of Skywalker compared to him in the original trilogy. He’s now seen as a broken and concerned man who blames himself for the events that lead him to his exile. If there’s one person who can portray this type of character, it has to be Hamill. I would definitely consider this his best performance in a major film since…well, the Star Wars original trilogy. As for Fisher, need I say more? Very hard to see her go so soon. The film’s running time is at least two and a half hours long, making this the longest Star Wars film in the franchise. At first, I was skeptical on how they’re going to tell this story with this type of length. But as the film went on, I started to not care about it. Yes, it’s filled with a lot of visuals and action sequences, but it never lost sight on making the story and the characters interesting for its audience. The story was nicely told in terms of its usual themes and some surprising twists. There were a couple of moments that I already noticed right before they happen, and there were a few that somehow caught me off-guard. The visuals still look fantastic as always, blending CGI effects with some old-school practical effects to create fascinating worlds, creatures, and spaceships. I would also give credit to the film’s cinematography for capturing the perfect scope for the sceneries and the action sequences, which were very engaging. I know that you’ll get tired of me saying this, but John Williams’ score never cease to amaze me. Still a joy to listen to, especially when you’re a Star Wars fan.
Overall, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is an exciting and well-told continuation of the sequel trilogy. From its talented cast of characters to John Williams’ incredible score, this is another Star Wars experience that deserves to be seen on the biggest screen possible. Does it top “Empire Strikes Back” as my favorite Star Wars film? No, but it was worth the effort. I know it seems that I’m sugarcoating it a little bit, but I still can’t help but be amazed at the worlds and the characters that the franchise is known for since 1977. This film definitely delivered on those things, along with an intense, yet engaging, story. If you’re a fan of Star Wars, then it’s worth checking out.