Film Review: STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI (USA 2017) ***1/2

Having taken her first steps into the Jedi world, Rey joins Luke Skywalker on an adventure with Leia, Finn and Poe that unlocks mysteries of the Force and secrets of the past.

Director:

Rian Johnson

Writers:

Rian JohnsonGeorge Lucas (based on characters created by)

When the film begins, the titles are clear to remind the audience that it is Episode VIII that they are watching.  It is also the second in the Star Wars sequel trilogy after THE FORCE AWAKENS.  Long time again a galaxy far away….. read the lines in normal word setting from right to left, then humorously followed by an introduction to the story in the normal STAR WARS type set from bottom to top of the screen.

At the press screening, the Disney representative begged those attending not to reveal any plot points or twists so as not to spoil the entertainment of those yet to see the film.  That, of course, will be respected in this review, but it is safe to say that there are quite a few of these twists to keep audiences on their toes.  But the main story is very simple and basically told in words at the film’s start.

The First Order reigns.  The rebels are planning their escape.  Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) is evacuating the rebel base while they are under attack.  It appears wherever the rebels go, they can be tracked.  So the aim is to board the Order ship that contains the tracker and destroy it.  Rey (Daisy Ridley) is recruited to get Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) out of his self-imposed exile on the planet Ahch-To (which looks a lot like Ireland because it was shot there) to help.  That is all one needs to know about the plot.  Of course, there are the villains, pretty good ones who can come across as quite funny or nasty as in the case of Ben Solo (Adam Driver).  And not to forget, there is the Supreme Leader (Andy Serkis), whose title seems to invoke laughter, just from the name of how it sounds.

All of what is expected in a Star Wars epic is there.  Fans should not be disappointed.  Original characters like Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia are there as are the old characters like Rey, Ben Solo, General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson), the Supreme Leader, Finn (John Boyega) , Poe (Oscar Isaac) together with c3p0, Chewbacca and r2d2.  The are lots of well executed fight scenes with exploding star ships and bases, light sabre fighting, pyro-technics  and CGI.  Fond sayings like “May the Force be with You,” or “May the Force be with Us” and a few new ones are there to prod the audience on the good fight alongside the Rebellion.  A few new creatures are added like the puffin-looking birds and icy type canines.  The film also has an eclectic cast which shows that all races work well in the Rebellion for a good Galaxy of beings.

THE LAST JEDI is marked with humour with some very funny lines.  This is what distinguishes this episode from the rest – it is the funniest.  The humour works as the film knows how to keep it both funny and smart with the film still serious in the fight against the First Order.

The film’s best line appears at the end credits.  The film is dedicated to our Princess Carrie Fisher.  THE LAST JEDI is a worthy tribute to the princess, for sure, being her final film before she passed away in 2016.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYRy5bCsWF8

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