Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Review

Daisy Ridley as Rey in Star Wars: The Last Jedi Photo – Courtesy of Disney.

If an unexpected turn is what you want, that’s precisely what you’ll get.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi continues the story of Rey (Daisey Ridley), as she attempts to train with the legendary Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in order to defeat the First Order and face Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).

Fans will rejoice in splendor when they witness the gorgeous action sequences director Rian Johnson has brought to life – this is a film that triumphs in its action sequences. Daisy Ridley takes the flame again as the lead character, she is brilliant as our lead character and takes her Rey to new and interesting directions. Hamill provides a fantastic performance in reprising Luke Skywalker, I am deeply interested and impressed in the direction they took his character and find that Mark Hamill only makes these story decisions far better with his loyal performance. Adam Driver returns as Kylo Ren, the unhinged young apprentice of the menacing Supreme Leader Snoke – Kylo’s role is in parallel with Rey and find he is definitely the best in the series so far, Driver’s skills in showing emotion in his character are such a treat to behold and remain as the films greatest performance.

Negatively this film has a strong tendency to follow unrelated storylines that lead nowhere, these subplots extend the screen time beyond what it needed to be and eventually crowd the film by the third act. Ultimately the importance of the main storyline gives the side characters far less meaning. The Jedi related content was so invigorating that you beg for more of it the moment they aren’t on-screen. In another light, it is also no secret that the rebellion plays a large role in this film – focus on a rebellion storyline I feel is becoming tired, as 5 other Star Wars films have followed it as a main story component, it has started to lose part of its impact.

The twists in this film are fantastic and offer many moments of doubt from the audience, I can safely say these story arcs help bring the film to a level of satisfaction to appease almost all of the fans. The humour might be touch and go for many, but most mainstream audiences and fans can rest easy in the fact that it doesn’t brute force humour down your throat, it lightly touches on humour just like the originals.

This film stands strongly as one of, if not the most beautifully shot Star Wars film, with elegant and tightly wound camera-work you get views in action sequences that I never thought I would see; from the vibrant deep reds in its color pallette, to the wildly inventive and disorientating dream sequences, this film is visual ecstasy. The production design was faithful to no end, utilising practical effects wherever possible to bring the films in line with the original trilogy, Rian Johnson is a true Star Wars fan. Structurally this is where the film falters, with the choice of adding in parts for the sake of filling the story – I would have been happier to see this film be more hyper-focused on its main story and less on splitting it apart evenly between characters. As for the soundtrack, there weren’t any hugely noticeable changes but we are again given a deeply riveting score that brings this film to Star Wars epic scale.

Yeah, it’s not perfect, it’s not The Empire Strikes Back reborn, but trust me, you don’t want that, we want this film to be its own thing and is exactly what it is. Sure, components are reused from previous films but the main story diverges and you feel something fresh is on the horizon. This film does many things that other Star Wars films could not, but it also misses some in the process. I had a ton of fun with this film and am happy with the direction they took. I can’t wait for the next installment and hope it continues on this interesting path.

Building on story, developing characters, and adding up the layers already built – Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi takes hold of the magical components of Star Wars and amplifies them; spoiling audiences with a host of jaw-dropping story changes and magnificent action sequences.

8.6/10

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