Star Wars is one of the most colossal pop culture phenomena ever, let alone one of the largest and top grossing movie franchises ever. To that end Star Wars: The Last Jedi needs no introduction. Certainly, everyone has at least heard the name or something to do with the movie or its predecessors; however, in case one has never heard of this movie, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, is a sci-fi adventure film set in a “galaxy far far away.” The movie continues the adventures of Rey, Finn and Poe (the main characters in the previous film in the trilogy, The Force Awakens) as each continue their fight with the Resistance against the First Order. The film stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher and is directed by Rian Johnson.
All the performances in this movie are absolutely fantastic; however, highlight performances include those of Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver and Mark Hamill. The dynamic between Rey and Kylo, the protagonist and antagonist, respectively is a major plot point of the movie and that dynamic would not have worked as well if it were not for Ridley and Driver.
Another standout performance perhaps the best of the movie, is Mark Hamill’s portrayal of Luke Skywalker. Playing an old and weary Luke Skywalker, Hamill demonstrates the true range of his acting and shows another side of the famous character that many know and love. This performance is particularly demonstrated in the last act of the movie in his interactions with classic characters from the original trilogy. Overall, the performances were outstanding and one of the best aspects of the movie.
Another great aspect of this movie is its cinematography and visuals. The movie has several gorgeous shots that almost take one out of the movie because of their beauty. Included in the cinematography are several stellar and beautifully choreographed fight scenes on land and in space that, along with the various locations, draw the viewer in and increase the believability of this world.
The movie is not perfect, however, and there are some serious flaws. The premier and most discussed is a subplot, in which two of the main characters, Finn and Rose, explore a casino planet. This subplot takes up a significant portion of the movie without affecting the overall plot in the end and ends up negatively affecting the pace and length of the movie that weighs in at two hours and thirty five minutes.
In addition, although the main characters each get enough screen time, their performances are sometimes wasted on events that do not directly relate to that character’s development or growth.
Star Wars films are known for their fun adventures, solid characters and simple theme of good vs evil. Star Wars: The Last Jedi continues this tradition, albeit using a more nuanced view of that theme.
The film is a necessary watch for Star Wars and sci-fi fans alike and is a great film even for those who are not the biggest Star Wars fans. Despite its flaws, The Last Jedi is a great entry in the series and an outstanding film by its own merit.