Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Directed by: Rian Johnson
Run Time: 2h 32min
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
4 Frames out of 5
By: Shari K. Green
I’m not going to give anything away so don’t worry about that but outside of being a bit too long, you’re going to be tremendously satisfied with the eight installment of the Star Wars saga. This may be bold to say but it’s very strong and as far as where it sits in the series, for me, it’s near the top. No, it’s not New Hope, it can’t be Empire, but I was almost as pleased while exiting the film with The Last Jedi as I was with seeing New Hope and Empire originally.
Director Rian Johnson (The Brothers Bloom, Looper) used everything he could to make the film dark, to make you feel the presence of the Dark Side and doubt the power of the Force, something which felt very new and strange. He keeps you intrigued by not really allowing you to know which power he himself was in favor of. He embraced, and in a way has you almost accept the two powers by showing them positively and by equally questioning them both. I won’t say how but this is done beautifully and what I was most fond of, as I had never really seen it from the bilateral points of view quite like Johnson tackles the subject.
Johnson took a big chance by loading the film with more humor than usual which worked to keep heavier moments light. You’ll relish the opportunity he gave you to release a giggle at a few of the nastier characters who deserve to be laughed at and at the same time he reminds us not to take ourselves too seriously. But have faith, the battles against evil are most central to the story. The battles are well engineered and crafted for maximum impact and heightened gratification. They generally resulted in the creation of new characters to cheer for and strengthen our love for the sci-fi genre as a whole. Speaking of battles, the choreography and excitement during an altercation using lightsabers is the best since the first time I ever witnessed one. I’d love to hear anyone who could disagree about that very point.
As you may know from the trailer, there were several new creatures introduced and a few who I hope will make their return in future films. The pesky but precious little Porg upstaged everything and everyone they’re in scenes with… even one very large and familiar character you feel great affection for and believe it or not, they’re part of some very memorable moments. The struggles each individual character has and the weight on the shoulders of the leaders of the rebellion are heavy and very much felt by the audience because of how well the movie was orchestrated. Generally, there isn’t much you can say didn’t work for The Last Jedi. The actors are all marvelous in their roles and they give you so much. When Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren decides not to be just a boy in a mask, he provides renewed hope for the franchise and Carrie Fisher’s Leia is a beautiful representation of the old making way for the new… so are some others but I’ll let you discover that on your own. Thankfully, Johnson was very much aware of and met an obligation to the audience to recognize Fisher’s legacy and gave her a loving and touching tribute of sorts which you’ll truly relish in the moment that it happens and you’ll cherish forever.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi comes out today. Go on Fandango to get tickets in advance because this will be one of the biggest films of the year and will be a tough ticket to get for the rest of the year.