Things are not going to go the way you think, this movie will not be what you expect from a star wars movie and that’s okay. If you’ve seen any of the trailers and think that you know the plot you will be wrong. The Last Jedi listens to fan complaints from its predecessor and is not an empire strikes back clone, instead director Rian Johnson takes full control and makes a movie that is tense, thrilling and surprisingly humorous.
The film starts where The Force Awakens ends, with Rey (Daisey Ridley) having found Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) hoping to convince him to return and join the resistance against the first order. The Luke we see here is not the hero we all love and remember, this is a damaged jedi master that has shut himself out from the force while he awaits his death. Luke is living with the consequences of his failure training Ben Solo and is hesitant to train Rey. Reys story picks up where it left off in The Force Awakens, she’s still trying to search for her parents and learn more about her connection with the force. The interactions between Luke and Rey are the backbone of this movie as Hamill and Ridley play well off each other.
Meanwhile Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the first order are on the brink of destroying the final faction of the resistance being led by General Leia Organa (the late Carrie Fisher) and hotshot pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Issac). Kylo Ren is struggling to find his place in the light side of the force or pleasing his master Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis). Driver gives another brilliant performance as the nuanced and emotional Kylo Ren.
This was Carrie Fishers final role in a movie and she steals every scene that she’s in as a wise and courageous general. Her presence is felt whenever she’s on screen and she reminds us that Luke isn’t the only Skywalker that’s a badass. In a battle in the second act we see her do something that has never been done before and it’s a huge Wtf moment for the audience. She will be deeply missed in the final episode of this new trilogy.
Poe Dameron leads the resistance fighters in some of the best aerial dogfights in the series and comes off as a brash but very charismatic character. Poe is given more to do here in the last jedi and the film is better for it. It also seems like they are working him into more of a leadership role for the final movie and I’m interested to see where his character will go.
Finn (John Boyega) and newcomer Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) a resistance maintenance worker embark on their own mission to casino city Canto Bight where they’re looking for a notorious hacker to help them turn the tables on the first order. Finn and Roses plot tends to slow down the film and doesn’t add much to the story other than a curious and strange obscure hacker named DJ (Benecio Del Toro). There’s also a scene at a racetrack that involves some child slaves that may seem unessential to the story but has a huge impact on the future in the final scene of the movie.
The final hour of the movie turns into a tense showdown between the light and dark and throws a bunch of twists and turns at us that most people won’t expect. It’s an action packed finale that holds up with the best battles in the series. Snoke may not get the payoffs that fans are hoping to get but there is an amazing scene that takes place in his throne room that fans will love. The final battle on the salt planet has amazing visuals and very tense situations for our heroes and reminds us all why we love these movies.
The Last Jedi is one of the better Star Wars movies that we’ve gotten and worthy entry in the new trilogy. It’s tense, action packed and hilariously put together with masterful direction by Johnson. Some payoffs to questions raised in The Force Awakens may not hit right but they don’t do much to undermine the whole experience and that’s exactly what this movie is, an experience.