• Guy Jeffries

Star Wars: The Last Jedi


Director: Rian Johnson.

Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill, Kelly Marie Tran, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac.

So this is the long awaited sequel to The Force Awakens and the overall eighth film in the Star Wars saga. Rey goes off in search of Luke, Finn is in recovery and Poe, with the assistance of BB-8 is trying to lead the remnants of the rebellion to victory. But is this the start of the decline for the Star Wars saga?

I gave The Force Awakens a very favourable review because of what it achieved, rekindling my childhood passion for the much-loved, epic sci-fi adventure, so I was undeniably looking forward to seeing the follow up. But my first glance at the trailer actually had me worried. What the trailer suggested to me, was that they’re taking it too far... far, far away.

I admired the bravery of Force Awakens for using the old Star Wars template for their story and essentially, The Last Jedi mimics and takes a lot from both Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. It’s balanced but is long. They cover a lot of ground possibly in attempt to make you forget about certain key characters, but this does become a flaw where by the end, you have forgotten about other certain pivotal characters.

There’s some great scenes but there’s also some equally cringeworthy parts. It’s predictable but in unpredictable scenarios. There’s the continual convenience and obvious heroics with plot pieces thrown in for obviously weak story holes; some of them feeling quite unnecessary. Glady, they didn’t over do it on the theatrics whilst still retaining some very epic scenes which reminisce the old but uses some smart cinematography not seen in a Star Wars film before.

Rey does better this time round and she has the best scenes. I mean the best scenes in terms of story and quality. And the rest of the cast seem to be on par. But the depiction of Luke, Hamill himself has reported to be unimpressed with Johnson's direction and he doesn’t appear to be the same legendary Skywalker. Granted, he’s that much older now with so much that has happened in the universe, but he’s not a Skywalker I really recognise.

Theres a casting pattern that appears to be adopted by the studio that doesn’t sit well with me and that’s propping up the leading and fairly unknown cast with big screen names. It’s actually having a negative effect on the characters they portray because where I should be absorbing the character I’m more shocked to see a familiar face. There’s no reason to have these actors in these roles, especially if they’re not even headlining.

As for the special effects, it’s the usual Star Wars fanfare but some CGI just looked CGI and distracted away from the real magic of the rest of the film. I was mostly concerned about the addition of the Porgs, thinking that maybe they had done too much, but they provided some laugh out loud moments and they’re undeniably cute; but this in turn leads to me wonder, if they're so cute, why are we only seeing these creatures now? I can see Porgs being a massive seller on the black market in Mos Eisley.

William’s score is on point as expected and I wonder how much more can he recycle from his iconic scores. But he surpasses melding themes from old into a fresh score that echo all the films that have gone before. I’m so happy he’s returned his ragtime jazzband sound too, with “Canto Bight”; some things should just never change.

It’s quite a gamble for both Disney and Rian Johnson's career to accept responsibility of making a Star Wars movie. It’s far from being the best Star Wars film, but he’s hasn’t made a bad addition to the franchise and it definitely keeps more in tune to the recent episodes and the originals which should be pleasing to fans. But it does feel like the same plughole Attack of the Clones went down, like it’s steering closely to the brink of failure. Maybe my 10year old self would think otherwise, I would like to think so.

Rogue One is currently my favourite good solid Star Wars movie of the recent additions, but let’s see what Solo has to offer.

Running Time: 8

The Cast: 5

Performance: 6

Direction: 6

Story: 6

Script: 6

Creativity: 8

Soundtrack: 9

Job Description: 7

The Extra Bonus Point: 0

61% 6/10

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