Star Wars The Last Jedi Review – A Better, Cohesive Star Wars Movie; Empire Still Better Though
I just got back from the VIP screening of Star Wars: The Last Jedi (thanks Disney and Columbia Pictures) and today I’m doing this Star Wars The Last Jedi review for all the folks already antsy to see the film by Rian Johnson and stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver and Mark Hamill.
So for starters for this Star Wars The Last Jedi review, I want to just say that the film’s a step better from the last movie, The Force Awakens. It’s got fleshed out mains, fleshed out supporting characters even new characters like Rose leave a mark for viewers. The CGI and the fight scenes are well done and they actually do some new stuff for the fight scenes that’s never been done in all the other Star Wars movies.
In “The Last Jedi”, we pick up where we left most of the surviving characters (sorry Han) and then like any other epic adventure, we get to see these plots move forward in a great way. Finn has a new mission for this film, Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron has something new in his plate and Daisy Ridley’s Rey (still without a last name) is progressing with her own mission to find the reclusive Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). Then there’s also the whole continued plot of the First Order versus the Resistance which gets new dynamics before the movie ends (no spoilers for now).
The real stars for the movie are Rey and Kylo Ren as we see a new layer to them in the movie. Ren’s goes through a serious character revamp for this movie, they’ve drastically lessened the amount of crybaby moments for the character and we see him become a better (worser) character in my humble opinion while writing this Star Wars The Last Jedi review. The same goes for Rey who grows so much in the movie while still maintaining that sense of naiveté and wonder.
What about newcomers to this movie?
Laura Dern as Admiral Holdo is both calm and warm and very tough. Her arc’s written a bit vague till the very end which kept viewers at the edge of their seats whenever she’s onscreen.
Benicio Del Toro as DJ is forgettable as fuck. Sure he had some great moments and a lot of comedic quips but he never just stood out as a good Star Wars character. Disappointed too because he would have been a great addition to the cast for the third movie.
Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico is the best thing that happened to the franchise since Rey. She’s this air of positivity and honor and a great sidekick to John Boyega’s Finn. She’s also the type of character that we’ll love especially how we see her backstory and main motivation in the first few minutes of “The Last Jedi”. Who she was and who she becomes by the end of the movie is something that I feel will win audience and more importantly gain more female fans. As an actress, I loved her performance too in this movie and I expect more things for her as we get to the third movie in the new Star Wars trilogy.
There’s so many things I wanted to cover in this Star Wars The Last Jedi review but I am cautious of my wordcount. So to sum it up nicely, the film is filled to the brim with everything we love. Lightsabers, X-Wings, Space dogfights, new creatures like the Porgs (yay). If it was another movie, it would have become tiring but this is Star Wars so no, its never becoming a tiring visual treat. Did I mention how much the fight scenes here have evolved or how much improvement we got for spaceships including that final battle?
“The Force Awakens” opened the door for lighter moments here in “The Last Jedi” and that’s great. I loved the brand of humor the screenwriters and director Rian Johnson added in to take a break from those tense moments. I liked how they also don’t do fanservice as sleazy as what they did in Episode VII. These moments were self-contained and very precise. Still there were a few misses and forced humor, things we all can look past.
The Dark Side of the Star Wars The Last Jedi Review
Now here are some of the things I hated/disagreed/ disliked…
- Would have loved it if they got they got more action scenes in this one. Like we got 5-6 in total? Not nearly enough to satisfy an action-hungry crowd
- Some scenes could have been done away. I don’t mind that it was long but there could have been scenes that were high-octane.
- They did good with the deaths in Rogue One, but for a main Star Wars movie, it kinda had a negative impact on me.
- There were some moments in the movie (without spoiling) where you could say “you could have done that hours ago!”.
- Star Wars The Last Jedi ends rather on an vague note. I appreciated how “The Force Awakens” but not so much this movie. This was the series ‘Empire’ but it kinda felt that this was “Return of the Jedi” to be honest.
Overall, those were small nitpicks, nothing really major. As a Star Wars fan I loved most of the moments which is why I’m writing this lengthy Star Wars The Last Jedi review. All the pieces fit perfectly and while a bit clunky, they move cohesively. But if you’re going to compare Empire Strikes Back to this, I’d still go for ‘Empire’.