Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Almost a Masterpiece

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Michael Preston

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi movie poster

Star Wars: The Last Jedi movie poster

Google Common License

Google Common License

Star Wars: The Last Jedi movie poster

On December 15, 2017, the Star Wars saga continued with its newest edition to the franchise, Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Directed by Rian Johnson, Star Wars TLJ brings new characters such as Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), while also showcasing old favorites such as Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). Although it received a 90% overall on Rotten Tomatoes, the movie fails to meet the expectations of The Force Awakens and Rogue One. I give the movie a 7.7/10.

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

Unfortunately, the concept of sequels comes with the idea that the movie will never be as good as the first. This isn’t true in all cases, but what TLJ presents is more of a “transition” of a story rather than another “chapter in the saga”. Taking The Force Awakens and the to-be-released Episode IX out of consideration, The Last Jedi becomes somewhat hollow. Some movies, such as Lord of The Rings, require you to watch the previous movie first to fully enjoy it, but Star Wars has never been such a series. Going into the series blind, one can enjoy each Star Wars movie individually without stopping to question the plot, characters, and the direction the movie takes. The Last Jedi is an exception from this for many reasons.

The movie itself is choppy. There were multiple instances where I expected the movie to end and the credits to role, but it still continues. The most significant part of the movie where I experienced this was a scene between Kylo and Rey. The two are on the collapsing Mega Star Destroyer, both exhausted from the intense fighting scene with Snoke’s Pretorian Guard. Rey asks Kylo to join her and the resistance to restore balance to the galaxy, but Kylo refuses. Kylo asks Rey to join him and rule by his side as both the Resistance and the Sith are left to rot. Speaking of which, the battle between the two sides commences around Kylo and Rey, and time is running out. The two then engage in a force battle to grab Luke’s lightsaber, and the movie reaches another climax. The scene was extremely well done, and he movie could’ve ended right there. But it didn’t; it simply concluded another story arc within a movie that should have been the eternity of it.

The Last Jedi had some amazing moments. Mark Hamill did a stunning job in the flick, and his climax at the end of the movie is easily one of the best moments in Star Wars history. Driver (Kylo Ren) had amazing character development throughout the film, and he felt so much more real as a character than he did in The Force Awakens. The interstellar conversations between Ridley and Driver was remarcabile, the fight on the crystal planet Crait has become iconic, but the whole movie felt off. With so many unnecessary story arcs, such as Finn’s and Rose’s (Kelly Tran) episode at the casino, and many choppy transitions, the movie holds itself back from becoming a true masterpiece. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a enjoyable flick, but it’s own plot becomes it weakness.

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