Luke Skywalker's peaceful and solitary existence gets upended when he encounters Rey, a young woman who shows strong signs of the Force. Her desire to learn the ways of the Jedi forces Luke to make a decision that changes their lives forever. Meanwhile, Kylo Ren and General Hux lead the First Order in an all-out assault against Leia and the Resistance for supremacy of the galaxy.
Release Date: Dec 15, 2017
Cast: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Laura Dern
Rated PG-13 (for sequences of sci-fi action and violence)
Runtime: 2 hr. 32 min.
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is an enjoyable entry into the long running series. It has some moments that feel iconic but as a whole it never really captures a consistent feel that some of the better Star War films like The Empire Strikes Back and Rogue One. Rian Johnson delivers a solid entry that doesn’t deliver a bevy of familiar beats like The Force Awakens did three years ago. Instead we get some interesting story choices that don’t necessarily hit as well as they should have. I do give Johnson credit for trying something different instead of playing it safe but none of the choices really make for any sort of memorable moments. Instead we get 3 disparate storylines that run concurrently but never seem naturally cohesive. Separating the 3 new leads robs the story of letting these new generation characters form any sort of ongoing chemistry. Daisy Ridley is just as energetic and magnetic as she was in The Force Awakens. Ridley and Mark Hamill share solid chemistry together with Hamill adding impressive range and depth to Luke Skywalker. Oscar Issac is given more screentime, to the films benefit, this go around and Issac takes full advantage. He brings a strong sense of bravado and charm to the role which feels like a new generation’s Han Solo. John Boyega is still a little broad for my taste, it’s not his fault. The character is written very broadly much to Boyega’s detriment because he’s a solid actor but he isn’t given much to do here until the final act. Carrie Fisher delivers her final bow on film and it’s very much a fitting swan song even if her character is taken off the board for a large chunk of the film. My biggest issue is still Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren whose character is nothing more than a whiny emo man baby. There are a few choice bits written into his character which posits some interesting ideas about legend and legacy but it not enough for me to get past the fact that’s the character is eerily similar to Anakin Skywalker in the prequel trilogy. The film does boast some impressive set pieces sprinkled throughout even though you can’t help but think it all could have been trimmed down by a good 45 minutes. One subplot in particular feels like it could have been excised entirely while finding something slightly more interesting than a casino planet or the worlds slowest space chase. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is at the very least better than The Force Awakens in that if finds its own path. It’s not the perfect entry some have made it out to be but it’s an enjoyable entry.