#REVIEW: “STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI”
Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
In 2015, fans waited with bated breath on a new Star Wars movie but there was its share of skepticism. Thankfully J.J. Abrams was able to deliver. Fast-forward to today with Rian Johnson being assigned the daunting task of continuing the Skywalker Saga making it new, and exciting for fans after a benchmark-setting The Force Awakens. Not only does Johnson makes an incredible Star Wars movie, he makes an incredible Sequel, called by many a re-birth of Star Wars. The Last Jedi is through and through a fantastic achievement providing new twists and turns fans will never see coming. It builds upon the Skywalker Saga and gives life to new characters whom fans have and will come to adore. The Last Jedi is the Star Wars film that fans have wanted so much, bringing a little nostalgia and a little bit of the new.
The Movie focuses on two Plots simultaneously, the first is in regards to Rey (Daisy Ridley) finding Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and learning the way of The Force. The second Plot is the Rebellion lead by General Leia (the late Carrie Fisher) along side Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) trying to take down the First Order led by General Hux (Domnhall Gleeson) alongside Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis).
Star Wars is tricky to explain without giving too much away, but performances here are phenomenal, truly capturing the essence of Star Wars. All the returning players are great, Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver give it their absolute all in The Last Jedi and prove that if given an opportunity they could carry their own Franchises. However, it is newcomer Kelly Marie Tran who is the breakout star of The Last Jedi. She embodies the pure joy and excitement that these Movies give to their audience while also being a emotional standpoint for the Film. Moreover, the strong performances from Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Laura Dern and Domnhall Gleeson no matter how large or small the role, help transport us into the world the Film creates.
When telling a new story for a Franchise that is constantly under the scrutiny of its ardent fandom, there always needs to be a careful weaving of fan service and giving a fresh take on a beloved story. Rian Johnson both on paper and behind the screen manages to do exactly that. Sure the Movie has some Empire Strike Back vibes to it, and considering that Empire often is regarded as the strongest Star Wars movie, that’s not a bad thing. He also tells the story with a fresh perspective and gives the audience some genuine laughter and surprise throughout the Film. The battle between good and evil, light and dark, has never been more fun, shocking, or engaging since the original three episodes of Star Wars.
When speaking about Star Wars, the visuals and especially lightsaber battles are always a question and talking point. The visuals in The Last Jedi truly are breathtaking with each shot is more beautiful than the last, as well as the set pieces. There is nothing more gorgeous than watching these planets and worlds which the Cast explore, come to life as though they are almost real life. There is something just quite eloquent and beautiful about these worlds/planets that the characters visit, something native to the Star Wars universe. However, moving towards the lightsaber fights, The Last Jedi has some of the best saber fights ever. These fights are masterfully-choreographed and exhilarating to watch.
With new obstacles and more understanding of how the light and dark side operate for our new heroes and foes, The Last Jedi is a great feat for the Star Wars fandom. While we lost a princess this year, The Last Jedi honours the incomparable Carrie Fisher. Star Wars: The Last Jedi brings the force to the forefront, and it is with the audience stronger than ever.
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada release STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI in theatres everywhere on Friday, December 15, 2017.