Star Wars: The Last Jedi

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Resistance fighters led by General Leia Organa evacuate their main base when a First Order fleet reaches the planet. After the fight, the Resistance vessels jump into hyperspace to escape. Leia reprimands Poe Dameron for a successful but costly counter-strike, while Supreme Leader Snoke reprimands General Hux for his failure to block the evacuation. Hux, however, is tracking the Resistance and a long pursuit begins, with the Resistance relying on their spaceships’ mobility and shields to survive while their fuel supplies dwindle. During one battle, Kylo Ren hesitates to attack the lead Resistance ship after sensing the presence of his mother Leia on board. TIE fighters destroy the bridge of the ship, killing many Resistance members. Leia is incapacitated, leaving Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo in command. Disapproving of their leaders’ passive strategy, Poe, Finn, BB-8, and mechanic Rose Tico embark on a secret plan to disable the First Order fleet’s tracking device.

Having arrived on Ahch-To with Chewbacca and R2-D2 aboard the Millennium Falcon, Rey meets Luke Skywalker. Luke refuses to teach her in the ways of the Force because of his past failure when teaching Kylo, even after learning of Han Solo’s death. Unbeknownst to Luke, Rey and Kylo begin communicating with each other through visions. Prodded by R2, Luke eventually agrees to initiate Rey in the ways of the Force, but also reveals his failures as a Jedi Master. Luke and Kylo give Rey differing accounts of the incident that swayed Kylo toward the dark side of the Force, and Luke to his hermit life. Unable to convince Luke to join the Resistance, Rey leaves Ahch-To without him to confront Kylo. Luke sees the ghost of Yoda, who destroys the Ahch-To Jedi temple for him and tells him that failure is the greatest teacher.

Holdo reveals her plan to discreetly evacuate the remaining Resistance members using small transports. Believing her actions to be cowardly and risky, Poe instigates a mutiny. Finn, Rose, and BB-8 recruit the computer pirate DJ at a casino on Canto Bight, believing that he will be able to help them disable the tracking device. They infiltrate the lead First Order ship, but are captured by Captain Phasma, but BB-8 manages to escape. Meanwhile, Rey lands on the same ship, and is seized by Kylo Ren, who takes her to Snoke. During a losing confrontation with Snoke, Rey tries to turn Kylo to the side of the Resistance. Snoke reveals that he controlled the mental connection between her and Kylo as part of a plan to destroy Luke. Ordered to kill Rey, Kylo instead kills Snoke. Rey and Kylo work together to kill Snoke’s guards. Kylo asks Rey to rule the galaxy with him, but Rey refuses, and asks him to join the Resistance. Using only the Force they struggle until Rey is able to escape. Kylo declares himself as the new Supreme Leader.

Having recovered, Leia neutralizes Poe and allows the evacuation to begin. Holdo remains on the main ship to provide cover, as the others escape to an old Rebel Alliance base on planet Crait. However, DJ reveals the Resistance’s plan to the First Order, and the evacuation transports are targeted with heavy losses but Holdo rams the command ship and its fleet at light-speed to stop the barrage. BB-8 frees Rose and Finn, who escape after defeating Captain Phasma, and join the survivors of the evacuation. When the First Order arrives, Poe, Finn, and Rose lead a charge with old speeders, but take heavy fire. The Falcon arrives and draws the TIE fighters away, while Rose saves Finn from a suicide mission to destroy the main enemy cannon, which then blasts a hole in the Resistance fortress.

Luke appears and confronts Kylo alone, giving the surviving Resistance fighters time to escape. Kylo strikes Luke with his lightsaber, but learns that he has been fighting a projection, and Luke is still on Ahch-To. Luke defiantly tells Kylo that he will not be the last Jedi, as Rey clears a blocked tunnel behind the base so the remaining Resistance fighters can escape.

On Ahch-To, Luke’s body vanishes as he dies. The remaining Resistance fighters escape aboard the Falcon. Leia reassures everyone that the rebellion has all that is needed to rise again. On Canto Bight, one of the children that helped Finn and Rose escape wields a broom like a lightsaber and a Resistance ring is shown on his finger.

REVIEW:

The day has finally arrived! All of us Star Wars fans have been patiently awaiting the sequel to Star Wars: The Force Awakens since its release a couple of years ago and now, with the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it is finally here. Theories have been rampant regarding what will actually happen to certain characters; who will live and who will die, that sort of thing. As the next chapter in the epic saga, let’s see if it lives to the legendary status of the “holy trilogy”

What is this about?

Rey develops her newly discovered abilities with the guidance of Luke Skywalker, who is unsettled by the strength of her powers. Meanwhile, the Resistance prepares to do battle with the First Order.

What did I like?

Carrie-ing on. About this time last year, we lost Carrie Fisher. Speculation abounded following her passing how her death would be handled in the film. Would she be killed off? Perhaps digitally altered scenes? A memorium at the end of the film in her memory. Not to spoil anything, but her character is handled with respect and reverence befitting the princess. On a personal note, when she first appeared on the screen, it was emotional, but only because of the fact she is no longer with us, not because of anything that happens to her.

Snoke bomb. In The Force Awakens, Supreme Leader Snoke was built up to be a figure similar to Emperor Palpatine in the original saga. I, and I am sure many others, was looking forward to getting more from him, both in terms of character development, backstory, and seeing why he is the so-called Supreme Leader. Some questions still remain, but two things are for certain after watching this afternoon. First, he is no Palpatine and second, we still don’t know who he is! That aside, at least we saw more than a hologram of him and were witness to his mastery of the Force.

New direction. One of the biggest complaints about the Force Awakens was that it felt like a remake of Star Wars and, because of this, many feared this film would be a reboot of Empire Strikes Back. Admittedly, there is a similar feel to Empire, but this one stands on its own and sets the franchise on a course for a new direction. Some of us die-hard fans from the original days aren’t happy with it, but it is what it is.

What didn’t I like?

Joke’s on Luke. For years now, Mark Hamill has been a very popular voice actor, with a resume too long to list in the small space. Needless to say, his biggest role, short of being Luke Skywalker, would have to be the voice of the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series (and many of the properties that followed). When Luke spoke, I could help but hear the Joker, rather than Luke Skywalker. I am not sure if this is how Hamill’s speaking voice sounds now, or if this could just be my personal affinity for the character. It would have been nice to hear him sound closer to what he did in the holy trilogy, though i know time and all those voices he has done have ravaged his vocal chords, so that’s a pipe dream.

Amor. Once Finn is re-established as a character and it appears he is running off to save/warn Rey about something, we are introduced to Rose. Now, Rose is a very sweet girl who lost her sister at the beginning of the film. As time goes on, we learn more and more about her until she sacrifices herself to save Finn. As she lay there near death, she professes her love for Finn and kisses him. W…T…F?!? First, there was absolutely no chemistry between these characters until then. Second, it seemed like we were going to get a Finn/Rey romance. Third, this whole subplot could have been cut and no one would know the difference. Why was this love story forced upon us?!?

More Death Star. A common complaint about the entire Star Wars saga is how in every film we get the Death Star. Well, no Death Star this time…sort of. While there isn’t a full-fledged battle station, there is a battering cannon based on technology from the Death Star. Can we not get away from that thing? Yes, it was awesome at first, but not it is just becoming a nuisance!

Final verdict on Star Wars: The Last Jedi? This one feels like they managed to get the balance of new and old, managing to make the film feel like a true entry into the Star Wars universe and also show casualties and consequences. Old friends come and go, new friends are made, and we are even introduced to some new creatures and younglings along the way that may be the future of this franchise years down the road. While I liked the film, I don’t love it. Something just didn’t make me jump up in my seat for this. Perhaps in another viewing, I will have a different opinion. That said, i do highly recommend this to any and all. Action, adventure, comedy, deceit…what else could you really want in a film? Check it out!

4 out of 5 stars

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