If The Force Awakens was following the rule book, The Last Jedi took that book and threw it out the window to rewrite it. This movie will divide fans. It will either be loved or not, there is no real in-between. But maybe that is why this movie works so well, it’s because it wasn’t created by a bunch of studio executive that just wanted to recreate the originals but instead was the work of an artist who wanted to change the rules.
Already, The Last Jedi has divided fans. Some love it, and others don’t. But we can all agree that this movie isn’t a normal Star Wars movie, it isn’t what we are used to. This movie feels very much like a new beginning stuck in the middle of a new trilogy. This was the Star Wars universe resetting itself to new beginnings. Done with the old, enters the new. Mysteries that we started during The Force Awakens were answered in ways fans didn’t really imagine while new ideas were set in motion to continue in the next installment of the trilogy.
Let’s begin by saying that this movie is beautiful. One scene in particular towards the end of the movie set the whole theater in silence, you could hear everyone holding their breath. It was a momentous moment, and the silence in the room was something that still just thinking about it gives me chills. It is just one scene, and yet it could be classified as one of the most beautiful scenery in the whole Star Wars movies.
Making the movie take place right after the end of The Force Awakens was a good idea. Seeing Rey meet with Luke and not skipping over the training (and having the training being very different then the one he got in Empire Strikes Back) was a solid move from Johnson. While many might not agree with how Luke reacts to Rey and when Kylo Ren has become, it does create a good conflict for the story and a storyline for Rey that doesn’t reflect exactly what Luke’s was when he was training.
Rey isn’t Luke, and her story is different. The underwhelming identity of her parents make that clear, and the reveal that goes against a lot of fan theory is something that you have to give to Johnson. He listened to his gut and didn’t go with what would have pleased the fan but what he believed fit with Rey and who she is. It also does a great job at setting Rey and Kylo as two polar opposite. Two people with similar stories who decided to go in opposite paths and sets them up for the last movie of the trilogy.
This movie belongs to Adam Driver. While everyone is at the top of their game, Adam Driver did one of the best performance by being able to portray a Kylo Ren who doesn’t know if he should stay with the Dark Side or go to the Light. His ultimate choice sets him up for the rest of the trilogy, but Driver is able to create a portrayal of the character that is nuanced and very interesting. His interactions with Ridley were always on point and amazing, showing how he had grown into the character over the two films.
The new trio, composed of Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, John Boyega as Finn and Daisy Ridley as Rey were also much better in their second go in the movie. Isaac had a lot more to do with this movie, and this new direction will be interesting to see in Episode 9 with the early death of Carrie Fisher. Boyega and Ridley might not have had a lot of scenes together in the movie, but the reunion of Rey and Finn was one of the most tender moments in the whole movie. While Mark Hamil was amazing as Luke in this movie and he owned every scene he was in, Carrie Fisher did an amazing job and seeing her so good in this movie makes her death even sadder as this movie was setting her up to be what Han was to The Force Awakens and Luke was to The Last Jedi.
Newcomers to the franchise Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro did an amazing job with what they were giving, particularly Del Toro who played one of the most intriguing characters of the movie. And let’s talk about Kelly Marie Tran as Rose. Seeing Rose have her moment towards the end of the movie was amazing. Her character was amazing, and her portrayal of a grieving young woman who hates the First Order and just wants to save the Galaxy was amazing. Her introduction scene set up who she is and everything you need to know and Tran kills it. Her palpable chemistry with Boyega was one of the strong suits of the movie.
The Last Jedi has changed Star Wars forever. It took the series away from the Skywalker Saga that it has always been towards something different and for its future, it needed to do it since, after all, it will keep going after Episode 9, and it couldn’t rely on its original cast forever. This movie is a beautifully crafted story that while has some problems at some points it does a good job of setting up the stage for the last movie of this new trilogy.