[FILM REVIEW] “The Last Jedi” proves to be another visual masterpiece in the Star Wars saga


Fair use image from Star Wars webpage

“The Last Jedi” has managed to top U.S. box offices by a far margin, while remaining third worldwide.

Four decades ago, George Lucas put out the first ever Star Wars movie, “A New Hope.” It is now 2017, two late-plot arc movies, three prequels, one even earlier spinoff, and two movies of a new saga have been released. It is fair to say that the Star Wars franchise has cemented itself as one of the most enduring and impressive movie franchises in cinematic history. With this reputation, though, come huge expectations for high quality. Since Luke Skywalker first stepped onto the silver screen, there have been some truly great movies that followed, like “The Force Awakens” and “Rogue One,” but there have also been some not so great movies, basically the entire prequel trilogy. Thus, director Rian Johnson was faced with the incredible task of making a movie that not every Star Wars fan would hate him for. Luckily for Johnson, he pulled off a film that made Star Wars fans appreciate him, but definitely not love him.

The most impressive part of this movie was the visuals. The new planets feel so real that one could visit just hours away from their home.”

One of the great things about the most recent Star Wars movies has been the acting, and “The Last Jedi” is no exception. One of the most anticipated returners that fans had been waiting years for was Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker. Hamill’s mix of experience, humor, dork, and tragedy makes Luke just as great as he once was. Newcomers Daisey Ridley [Ray] and John Boyega [Finn], played both their roles to perfection as they did in “The Force Awakens.”

There are two standout performances in this film, though. The first being Oscar Isaac, who plays Poe Dameron. Poe is a highly skilled X-Wing pilot, and Isaac plays right into it, using his blend of cockiness and bravery to pull of this role impressively. The second is Adam Driver, who plays Darth Vader knock off Kylo Ren. Driver’s role as Ren seemed like a moody teenager who gets mad at their parents for making them wash the dishes but gets sad when they won’t give them a hug before bed. But what’s so peculiar is that he does this just so well. His outbursts of anger, his fiery emotion, his hope to do something off importance, and his evilness exemplify why Driver is a skilled actor, and he uses his talents to full effect here.

The most impressive part of this movie is the visuals. Every single Star Wars movie, even the prequels in some capacity, has taken huge steps in the visual department. The new vehicles like the Dreadnought, a new space cruiser, and the AT-M6, a giant, gorilla like vehicle are incredible. The new planets feel so real that one could visit just hours away from their home. Even the animals, especially a small bird called a Porg, are scarily real. Huge props must go to the special effects and visual department, as this movie is an example of a masterpiece when it comes to visuals.

Though, like many movies, this isn’t perfect in every way. This movie had many plot holes from its predecessor “The Force Awakens.” This just creates an immediate problem, as strong followers of the series just feel cheated by the end of this. Huge questions weren’t answered, plot points weren’t covered, it didn’t leave a good taste in the mouth. The second act which included Finn and new character Rose, played by Kelly Marie Tran, taking on a casino planet feels slow and just too disconnected from the plot. Finally, there is Benicio del Toro’s character, DJ. It was huge in the lead up to this movie that such a big and talented actor such as del Toro was going to play a part in the new film. In the end, though, they just didn’t give him enough screen time and the moments he played weren’t that high quality. Hopefully there is more to come, otherwise it feels as though this was a huge chance that missed the mark.

In conclusion, this movie is great. The acting, the visuals, the story, the emotion, there was just so much good. Even with plot holes and wasted chances, this movie serves as a wonderful sequel. It might not feel as much as a Star Wars movie as any of the others, but this is the right step into a promising future. With the final movie set to come out in 2019, “The Last Jedi” will definitely have a huge population of fans craving for more content.



4 out of 5 stars

“The Last Jedi” can be seen locally at Highland Theater.