Opinion, Reviews

A review: ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi

(WARRENSBURG, Mo.) – “Star Wars: Episode VII ­– The Last Jedi” was released to theaters Dec. 14, 2017. Not including “Rogue One,” “The Last Jedi” marks as the eighth film entry in the Star Wars franchise and the second entry in the new trilogy. “The Force Awakens” divided moviegoers when it premiered, and it was even more so for “The Last Jedi.” It seems that critics loved the film and audience members hated it. Who’s right? The critics or the fans? Here’s my two cents.

This movie has both good parts and bad parts. Generally, everyone who watched this movie would agree on that. The question is, which overshadows the other?

The battles scenes are amazing – the one in the climax is my favorite moment in the film. It was beautiful, along with most of the scenery throughout the film.

The comedy can be hit or miss. Sometimes it works well and other times it feels misplaced. For the most part, the characters are still good, especially the ones introduced in the previous film. I felt they were able to expand more through this follow up.

“The Last Jedi” does have some plot holes, but to be honest, so does every “Star Wars” movie. There are moments that make you scratch your head because it didn’t make that much sense. The story could’ve also been shorter as well. I think two and half hours long was excessive.

I have mixed feelings about Luke Skywalker in “The Last Jedi.” His character has become a dark, bitter old man. In the past, he was hopeful and could see the good inside Darth Vader, one of the worst people in the galaxy. But he couldn’t see any good in Kylo Ren, his own nephew, when he was struggling with the dark side?

To be fair, Mark Hamill himself didn’t like how Luke was written either. The writer/director, Rian Johnson, didn’t agree. But despite all that, I still appreciated what happened to Luke later on in the film.

“The Force Awakens” and “The Last Jedi” feel like different movies, with the latter having a different vision than the former. This is because “The Last Jedi” was not written or directed by J.J. Abrams like “The Force Awakens” was. He was replaced with Rian Johnson, who has his own vision for “Star Wars” – now Abrams knows how George Lucas feels.

I’m not the biggest fan of the Porgs. They are these new, small adorable creatures, and are the franchise’s latest attempt to increase toy sales. This is obvious right from their first appearance. Of course, having adorable characters intended to be merchandise is not a new concept for “Star Wars.” A prime example would be the “cute” Ewoks from “Return of the Jedi” – who are not so cute if you know how evil they actually are.

Now “The Last Jedi” does borrow elements from “The Empire Strikes Back.” Both have roughly the same plot – desperate rebels on the run from overwhelming odds. There is also a battle sequence with small rebel aircrafts against Imperial Walkers. I swear, it doesn’t feel like a rip-off. In fact, it borrows elements from “Return of the Jedi” as well. And unlike “The Force Awakens,” it doesn’t feel like a blatant copy-and-paste version of “A New Hope.”

I appreciate that this movie tried to introduce new characters rather than just rely on previous ones. However, there is an instance where a famous person in the franchise does make a cameo, and I am pleased to say it was well done and wasn’t just mere nostalgia.

I really did like this movie. It’s not quite as good as any from the original trilogy, but it’s still a good film. In its defense, it’s truly difficult for any “Star Wars” sequel to be better than the original trilogy. After all, those movies are “perfect” and “untouchable.”

Is it a great movie or is it just a good movie? I think it’s somewhere in between, but one could still argue either way. If you’re expecting perfection, then you won’t like this movie.

If you watch this movie, maybe the flaws will out-weigh the positive elements, or maybe they won’t. For me, it was a pleasant movie-going experience.

Regardless, I hope the final film of the new trilogy is better and is the best one yet. I also really hope there is not another Death Star to blow up, that would make me angry.

May the force be with us.

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