“The Last Jedi” new direction thrills


Reproduced with permission of StarWars.com

Brian Ellis, Staff Writer

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”, the eighth installment of the Star Wars franchise, released Dec. 16, adds a chapter to Rey’s growth with the force. New characters, new settings and new plots that audiences have never seen from the Star Wars universe create a path for the journey of the Rebellion and the direction of Star Wars. In this story, director Rian Johnson attempts to connect the new story to that of the original three. Avid Star Wars fans will be overcome with nostalgia from references to “A New Hope” and will have questions answered about the intriguing concept of the force.

Main characters followed up great performances in “The Force Awakens” well. Most notable to me was Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hammill. He does a great job portraying a former hero who clearly has some years on him. Hardships have worn him down, but you can still tell the young Skywalker is still within him. Great overall performance.

Daisy Ridley as Rey was once again awesome. She’s the perfect female lead, showing strength and fearsomeness in battle scenes. Whether you’re a boy or a girl, you’ll always feel connected and engaged with her.

The strength that Kylo Ren and Rey possess is reinforced throughout the film. They experience a telepathic connection that adds an interesting dynamic to the concept of the power of the force.

The CGI throughout the film was stunning. The X- wings and Tie Fighters, the realistic scenery on new planets, and the battles between the pilots of the Rebels and The First Order jumped out from the screen making space more appealing than ever.

Rose, a new character who works for the Rebellion, begins a relationship with Fin. But the relationship feels oddly forced, the actor’s chemistry just doesn’t work. The characters never seem to fall in love as the director intended it to be, making scenes with these characters boring and the perfect time to go to the bathroom.

Also, don’t expect much from Snoke. Audiences craved more explanations and scenes from this cryptic character, but he doesn’t see much screen time. This is sure to disappoint fans who expected a much larger role from the elusive leader.

The comedic elements Disney tries to include doesn’t always land laughs.  A few characters’ antics gives the crowd a giggle, but much of it was awkwardly included in the action scenes. It appealed to many of the children in the audience, but older fans may find these jokes unnecessary and taking away from the action packed movie.

The fight scenes, especially ones with lightsabers, were incredibly executed. Fights didn’t feel choreographed, but completely natural, overwhelming the audience’s senses. This made me engaged, far more than I was with previous films battles, I could feel the sheer intensity of these battles.

“The Last Jedi”, despite its detractions, solidifies its place as one of the stronger Star Wars movies.