‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’
Director: Rian Johnson
Starring: Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley
4 (Out of 5) Globes
Plot: Set in a galaxy far, far away Rey (Daisy Ridley) travels to the remote planet of Ahch-To, where she looks to develop and hone her newfound abilities under the guidance of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). However, the legendary Jedi is shocked and unsettled by just how powerful Rey is. At the same time, the Resistance, led by General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) and with Poe (Oscar Isaac), Finn (John Boyega), and Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) in tow, prepares to do battle with The First Order and Snoke (Andy Serkis), Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson).
Review: In the immediate aftermath of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” you’ll feel genuinely dazed by what you’ve just seen. Dazzled, too, as writer and director Rian Johnson kicks the film into hyperdrive from the off, never relenting as the film unfolds with such intensity and at such a ferocious lightspeed that you’re constantly left in awe by the sheer ambition of the storytelling, the scale of its set-pieces, and the striking gorgeousness of its visuals.
But while familiar, this is a “Star Wars” film that isn’t overly beholden to its past, playing with the tropes, themes, and characters of its predecessors in a way that is both unsettling but necessary.
You can immediately understand why Lucasfilm have trusted Rian Johnson with his own “Star Wars” trilogy. Because while the humor (it is probably the funniest “Star Wars” film yet) and all round fun that has made the franchise so popular is present, it’s more political, emotionally complex, and muddled than before.
Not all of it works. Some of its surprises and twists underwhelm. In fact, occasionally, it brought to mind the legendary British comedy sketch from Morecambe and Wise with Andre Previn, where, after being accused of misplaying a song on the piano, Eric Morecambe responds, “I am playing all the right notes. But not necessarily in the right order.” Things are never so drastic that “The Last Jedi” flounders, just so intense and new that it is disconcerting. This is a film that will take many views to truly absorb.
But those worries are quickly eclipsed by the moments and shocks that do land. Ferociously. So much so that you’ll want to leap onto your feet and scream with joy. And while the film doesn’t necessarily drag, come its conclusion you do feel drained and are well aware of its 2 hour and 32 minute long running. Considering what it puts you through, though, that’s to be expected.
Ultimately, “The Last Jedi” might not be the greatest “Star Wars” film ever made, as it lacks the wonderment and joy of “The Empire Strikes Back” and “A New Hope,” something that, in all honesty, will probably never be replicated again in movie history.
But “The Last Jedi” is the film from which a new galaxy and universe will build, as it taps into what made its past so glorious, propels it forward, and gives the “Star Wars” franchise the rejuvenation that it never even knew it needed.