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Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Reviewed by Stanley Brandt, © 2017

Format: Movie
By:   Rian Johnson (director/writer)
Genre:   Star Wars
Review Date:   December 16, 2017
Audience Rating:   PG-13
RevSF Rating:   9/10 (What Is This?)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi shattered expectations with its epic drama, humor, acting, plot twists, and originality. The film starts where The Force Awakens ended with Rey seeking Luke's guidance as a Jedi master and the Resistance in a war with the First Order.

The movie continues by creating relationships between the characters Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) as well as Finn (John Boyega) and Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran). Snoke (Andy Serkis) continues to sway his pupil Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) closer and closer to the dark side throughout the film. Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) quarrel over strategies to fight the First Order. While The Last Jedi does makes nods and references to other Star Wars films, it maintains a uniqueness seen through its plot twists and creative uses of the force, however it does not go without fault.

The Last Jedi clocks in at an exhausting 2 hours and 32 minutes. Many of the subplots, especially those not featuring main characters, were underwhelming. While the introduction of Tico and Admiral Amilyn Holdo (Laura Dern) added much welcome character depth and development, the stories themselves failed to spark much interest.

Rey\'s relationship with Skywalker, Ren\'s continuing conflict between light and dark, and Snoke\'s evil leadership offered far more intriguing plots points.

Rian Johnson expertly directed this eighth installment. His vision offers hope for the future of the franchise, since he is writing and directing the new Star Wars trilogy.

Easily the most humor packed Star Wars movie, the film hits the audience with genuine comedy throughout. Unlike previous chapters, the comedy does not come just from the droids, but emerges from from the likes of Dameron, Skywalker, and other humanoids.

The acting in The Last Jedi is uniformly good. Even the much maligned Hamill was much better than his previous Skywalker portrayals. Driver\'s stand out performance as the menacing yet conflicted Ren creates some epic and emotional moments throughout the film.

The stunning visuals of the diverse planets, creative creatures, stunning space battles, and epic lightsaber fights create enjoyable moments. Atoning for his lackluster The Force Awakens score, John Williams\' excellent music fuels much of the emotion, drama, and action in many scenes.

Perhaps the best part of The Last Jedi are the creative uses of the Force. The film explains and uses the iconic mysticism in original and unique ways that leads to the unexpected. Unexpected also applies The Last Jedi\'s enjoyable and welcome plot twists.

Rian Johnson, John Williams, and the cast create an amazing movie that must be seen. The Last Jedi\'s stunning acting, deep plot points, and genuine humor make it one of the best in the saga.


Born not that long ago and in this very galaxy, lifelong Star Wars fan, Stanley Brandt eagerly awaits the next chapter. Until then, he'll have to brood while rehashing the past and dreaming about celluloid futures.

 
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