Come on, you must know about The Last Jedi. Do I really need to sell it to you? After a stellar year in film, 2017 ends on a big bang, in a galaxy far, far away.
Directed by Rian Johnson, of ‘Looper’ and ‘Brick’ fame, Episode VIII: The Last Jedi is the ‘Empire Strikes Back’ equivalent for the new, modern trilogy – and whether it will leave the same impact is yet to be seen but holy moly is this a tight and fun movie that only the Christmas Grinch would hate.
Following immediately on from Episode VII, where the Resistance put up a measly fight against the First Order and just barely shut down Star Killer Base AKA Death Star 3.0, things are certainly in the doldrums for our heroes. On the run, vastly outnumbered and out-gunned General Leia Organa (Carrie Fischer) leads the escape, and this is the root of the whole plot, where its tendrils spread across three main storylines.
‘Tis a hard film to review, as Star Wars deserves to go in completely spoiler free, so what I will say is – The Last Jedi is incredibly refreshing in that everything doesn’t revolve around some planet destroying technology, it is all about the chase, as General Hux (Domnhall Gleeson) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) attempt to eradicate all trace of the Resistance.
At the same time, Rey (Daisy Ridley) has found Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) who is not as we remember at all. The two must work out their differences, harness Rey’s immense force energy ability and summon the strength to fight – against all odds all anyone has left is hope.
Incidentally, Star Wars has a knack for the word ‘hope’ more than Fast and the Furious for ‘family’. When it is around 50 people against an entire Army I guess that’s the only thing you could have.
There’s also plotlines involving Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) the new Han Solo basically, with Finn (John Boyega) and newcomer Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) also having vital roles. Then there’s Supreme Leader Snoke too – the big bad, and his scheme and ship are nothing short of spectacular.
The whole film actually is beautifully shot, the SFX is profuse yet infused well amongst everything else, the script has been polished with a fine tooth comb, and there is enough fan service and hark backs without seeing ham-fisted.
How Johnson made a movie that is essentially a space western feel complicated and thrilling is the salient achievement. Audiences expect so much more now than the ‘pew’ ‘pew’ of laser guns and some AT-AT walkers (though don’t worry there’s still plenty of that) and somehow despite it’s very long runtime each character and narrative thread feels strong and considered.
I want to say more – but the only thing left to say is – see this film. Now.
The Last Jedi: 9/10
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