Written by Shiggins
To kick off this new decision of making movie articles, I feel it is only fair to review the film that finally made me take the leap; The Last Jedi! Sequel to The Force Awakens and a direct continuation of Rey's story, this film has immediately gotten both love and hate from audiences so it is definitely worth talking about.
Note: Full SPOILERS below. Since every other review out there is spoiler-free, and there are important scenes we need to discuss.
Warning: This one is longer than I intended it to be. Most reviews won't be this big obviously, but this one is Star Wars. It will always require a lot of sentences.
|Okay, apparently this is meant to resemble Vader's helmet. I don't see it though.|
Immediately, we're given two plots of equal interest, yet vastly different in every way. Rey's time with Luke is slow and has very little action, focusing on internal conflict and philosophy. She's afraid of what she is capable of and hopes Luke can be the help she needs. She wants a mentor like Han Solo almost was in Episode VII. The quest for her parents connects wonderfully to this, never feeling forced but rather a perfect fit for her character.
|Rey likes that boulder. That is a nice boulder.|
Also delivering a powerhouse performance is the late Carrie Fisher, and she owns her scenes. Every single time she stepped on screen, she took it over. From her reprimanding of Poe for causing chaos, to her weariness at the death around her, Carrie Fisher gave it her all. Her performance as Leia, leader of the Resistance, is one of the best she has pulled out of her entire career, and it breaks my heart that she can't finish the trilogy.
|The red capes are coming!|
This does bring us to the biggest problem of the film however; Finn's subplot. And while I want to stress that his story isn't bad, it is heavily flawed and feels mishandled. In this one, Finn is sent to find a man who can break open a door on the First Order's ship so they can shut down their tracker and the Resistance can escape. It almost sounds like a video game, doesn't it?
|By the ranks of single file|
Over ev'ry jungle mile
Oh, we stamp and crush
Through the underbrush
Hux: In a military style!
In a military style!
In Finn's plot, he teams up with a Resistance member called Rose, played sufficiently by Kelly Marie Tran, and they go to a casino planet. There, they meet Benicio Del Toro's character DJ and head off to the First Order's ship. Benicio Del Toro plays the role wonderfully but he feels more like an awkward diversion rather than a fluid addition. It's as if the director had to wrench him in to a plot that was already finished. On the other hand, DJ provides some of the most intriguing aspects of the entire trilogy, as he shows Finn that both the "good guys" and the "bad guys" aren't so different from one another. This is a concept I hope they build on in the next film, because it is fascinating!
Less fascinating however is the casino planet. While it does have a fun aesthetic, the area actually feels jarringly out of place. I had trouble believing that this city was a part of the Star Wars universe because of how radically different it is in terms of atmosphere and attitude. The prequels went for a brighter and technologically-advanced setting more akin to an epic version of Futurama, while the original trilogy went for a dirtier style with lots of steam and rough edges. This film is trying to combine both, and the casino scene proves that it just doesn't work. Which is a shame because there are some deep themes here, introduced to us by Rose, that I never thought I'd hear Star Wars talk about.
|Can we take a moment to appreciate how even his lightsaber looks as unstable as he is!|
All I've done so far is discuss the heroes. I think it is finally time to discuss the villains. Kylo Ren played by Adam Driver, General Hux played by Domhnall Gleeson and Supreme Leader Snoke played by the legendary king of motion capture Andy Serkis, all provide some excellent scenes and dialogue. All three of the antagonists are interesting and motivated, each working on their own goals for power and glory. I love villains that fight amongst themselves.
|The less obvious Nazi imagery, the better. Trust me, we already know these bastards are Nazis.|
Sadly though, this brings me to what has divided audiences; The risks. Some people have exploded in rage over the creative decisions in this film. Even Angry Joe, a man I usually enjoy, released a patronising video about why he got angry at this film. And since there are quite a few reasons fans are enraged, let's do the most common ones in list form!
One of the most often-mentioned problems of the film is a scene where the First Order shoot open a window and cause Leia, Admiral Ackbar and a few others to go flying into space. Everyone is killed immediately, except Leia. With the last of her strength, she uses the Force to literally glide through space and stay alive long enough to get back inside.
|I'd proudly salute her any day of the week.|
Supreme Leader Snoke
Andy Serkis is one of my favourite underappreciated actors of all time. I think you could drop him in Fifty Shades of Grey and he would somehow still be amazing. So I was utterly thrilled to see him be the next Palpatine. Snoke's design isn't anything special, but he manages to carry himself well. Until he is split in half by Kylo Ren who takes over his position.
On the one hand, yeah. I get it. We had this built-up villain that actually was quite intimidating and it looked like he was going to be a huge threat. He was the final boss, or so we thought. Fan theories were everywhere about who he really was, from a clone of Palpatine to a clone of Luke Skywalker. It was insane, and the fact he is gone is somewhat of a shame, especially since we never found out who he actually was. We never found out Palpatine's past either (until the prequels were released), but this could have changed that.
|Anyone else think he would have been a million times more awesome if they kept him giant like this?|
Oh please. Not even going to dignify this one with a sincere answer.
Ah yes, this one. When we discover that Rey is not a Skywalker, a Kenobi, an Ackbar or anything else super-special. She is just a normal person with normal parents who can use the Force. Theories littered the streets of the internet and this reveal destroyed all of them. People were pissed. And yet... I thought it was awesome!
Read my reasoning before you comment! Just.. Let me explain. Okay? Good.
|Only took him two bloody years to take hold of this.|
However, this brings that back! It brings back the idea we can use the Force if we believe! You don't have to be a bloody superhero with magic blood in your veins! It is all about faith. So when they revealed this, I was thrilled. This is exactly what Star Wars should be about.
Vice Admiral's Plan
As I mentioned earlier, the Vice Admiral of the Resistance has a big plan to help the rebels survive and she doesn't tell Poe or the majority of the crew. When Poe rebels against her for this, you could argue she never told him because she was worried of this exact situation, but... Yeah, this is a bit of a problem.
This is a classic example of a character refusing to simplify things by explaining the situation. If Poe knew where they were going, his chances of mutiny would have been almost null and void. This is a plothole that, looking back, is probably my second-biggest issue of the film. (The first being the casino planet).
|Who takes time to dye their hair during a rebellion?!|
|Oh and BB-8 is still as bloody amazing as he was before.|
The effects are gorgeous, once again combining practical with CGI and giving almost everything a feeling of being alive. While I did rag on the casino planet earlier, the other locations are beautiful to look at, from the island where Luke trains Rey to the mineral-covered planet that our thrilling climax takes place.
The action is of course great. I had a real problem with the amount of flipping and spinning that the prequels did, but this one finds the perfect balance of raw strength and quick agility that very few films have been able to achieve. While nothing is as great as Darth Maul fighting Obi Wan, or Darth Vader fighting Luke Skywalker for the first time, it is still wonderful to experience.
Is the film overly bloated at times? Yes.
Are there some plotholes here and there? Obviously.
Does it have a few corny moments, or unnecessary jokes? Of course.
The film is a treat though and has solidified itself as one of my favourite Star Wars movies ever. Funny when it needs to be but not afraid to go as dark as it can, it takes your expectations and your theories, and turns them on their head. I love a film that can do that. I don't want to be proven right. I want to be surprised! People will tell me that I am crazy for loving this film, but that won't change my mind one bit. This has set up the final entry in the trilogy with gusto, and I just can't wait to see how this all ends.
Final Rating: 9/10
Best Scene: Yoda's last lesson.
Worst Scene: Finn and Rose at the casino.
Best Performance: Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker.
|This year's marketing monster.|
Any questions you have? Or any films you'd love to see getting reviewed? Comment below!
Born under the stars of the Dark Gods, Shiggins owns the power of the Great Eye and is utterly magnificent in his omniscience. If you dare to discover more about someone as great as him, then go ahead. And to all my friends and family members, YOU are wrong and I should be disappointed! Not the other way round!,. You can find out about him or ask him stuff on ask.fm/shigginsishere or go to his tumblr page http://otakugajeel.tumblr.com/