Star Wars: Episode VIII “The Last Jedi” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi - Title Card

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Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi - Title Card

Star Wars: The Last Jedi brings hope not just to the characters in the universe but fans as the trilogy finds its own voice.


Director(s) Rian Johnson
Writer(s) Rian Johnson
Noted Actors
Rey Daisy Ridley
Luke Mark Hamill
Leia Carrie Fisher
Finn John Boyega
Rose Kelly Marie Tran
DJ Benicio Del Toro
Vice Admiral Holdo Laura Dern
Kylo Ren (Ben) Adam Driver
Supreme Leader Snoke Andy Serkis
Chewbacca Joonas Suotamo
Yoda Frank Oz
Poe Oscar Isaac

 

Summary

Picking up where we left off, Rey is doing all she can to try to convince Luke to return to Leia and possibly save the universe. The problem is, after the failure that has become Kylo Ren, he has disconnected from the force and simply waits for his time to die. Meanwhile, Leia, Finn, Poe, and the rest are learning the first orders newest technology makes it so going light speed no longer means a quick escape. Leading to base after base having to be abandoned and Finn, alongside a new friend, possible love interest, Rose doing what Poe finds himself unable to do.

Yet, what can two people without the powers of the force do? There is a battleship shooting at the Rebel ship and just when they think they did the impossible? They broke into the battleship and nearly disabled the dreaded tracker, they get captured. Then, to make matters worse, DJ, their code breaker, he sells them and what is left of the rebel forces, who are trying to escape, out.

But, despite that, there is consistently hope. Vice Admiral Holdo, the remaining person on the rebel’s major ship, goes light speed through the battleship and rips it in half. Also, while all this goes does, Rey is breaking through. She breaks through to Luke and gets him to at least give her one lesson, shows her where the books of Jedi history are, which she saves from Luke’s planned destruction of them, and she also breaks through to Kylo Ren. Well, at least long enough for him to kill Supreme Leader Snoke.

However, what Rey thought might have been a glimpse of the light was truly just part of the dark side. For with the death of Supreme Leader Snoke, now Kylo can create his own destiny. One he wished Rey to join since they grew close, but she rejects the idea of him and her ruling the universe. So, he continues on, solo, and finds himself being what Vader never did become – supreme leader.

Though, with Kylo still a very emotional person, he is unable to keep the rebel forces from escaping his grasp. Luke, channeling himself from the island, after Yoda reminds him of his purpose, distracts Kylo long enough for Leia and Chewbacca, with the Millennium Falcon, to rescue all that remains of the Resistance. Yup, you got that right, all that remains fits onto that one ship.

Well, maybe that is not entirely true. While, after pinging for help, no one came to assist the resistance, we do see one child Finn and Rose encountered, looking like Anakin Skywalker, as a child, using the force. Him seeing the resistance and what they can do, well, between him and the rest of the kids, the bottom of the rung of a gambling city, so begins a new hope.

Collected Quote(s)

“We are what they grow beyond.”

“Weakness, when properly manipulated, can be a sharp tool.”

Highlights

A New Hope

With Carrie Fisher’s death, and Luke talking about being ready to die, so came the question if the new trilogy passing the baton would always be through blood. The top pilot in the series died in the first and so came the question with Rey and Finn, arguably, representing the new hope for the galaxy, would that mean the forbearers would pass? Well, with Luke becoming one with the force, that might be a possibility.

For, with the way the movie was made, it seems the idea has become that the legends of the resistance are no longer enough. New blood, people willing to take risks for the resistance and not simply seek out to be heroes, they will be the new leaders. Those like Rey and Finn who don’t have noteworthy parents, hence anyone could be like them, they are to be leaders of this new world. Not princesses or those with legendary parents or powers, such as the force, but the common people.

After all, when this is all over, they are the ones who are to rule. The rich and powerful showed what happens when they are in command. They oppress and dominate, and any force seen as threatening to their stolen power, they are marked rebels and hunted like feed. Which, with the Resistance not getting a response from assumed allies, it could very well be they didn’t sit out the battle for it was already Pyrrhic, but because they needed new blood for the legend and works of Leia no longer was enough.

It Remains a Genre Bending Franchise

One of the things that has made Star Wars such a huge franchise is that it is one of the few sci-fi productions which is blend genres. Being that it is a “space opera” we get comedy in the characters interactions (such as, as soon as Rey handing Luke his light saber, him throwing it over his shoulder non chalantly), romance of requited and unrequited kinds, over the top drama as well as tear jerker moments, and the suspense! Oh, let me tell you how I was having Furious 7 flashbacks and how the death of Carrie Fisher truly made you believe there was a serious threat and that Kylo Ren may take out both of his parents. Especially considering the USA Today article [External], back in April 2017 that said Fisher wouldn’t be in part IX – due to filming scenes for it or other methods.

It Keeps You Engaged The Full Two and a Half Hours

Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi - Oscar Isaac - Poe

With this episode, as noted, we see things transition from the original actors over to the new ones, and they step from behind the capes of their forbearers in a big way. Daisy Ridley continues to prove that Star Wars will simply be what launched her career and not the summary of her career. For whether she is in a scene with Mark Hamill or damn near making it seem her and Adam Driver’s characters are siblings, between the writing and her craft, arguably she forces both men to keep up with her.

And speaking of that perception Rey and Kylo Ren were siblings, you have to love the twists and turns given in which, as much as they answer questions, they post new ones for fans to ponder. Could it have truly been just the powers of Supreme Leader Snoke which connected Rey and Kylo as they are. Not were, but are. Since even after Snope’s death, they still are very well connected.

Also, speaking of Snope’s death, being that the conflict of Kylo is such a big deal, and whether Rey could turn him, so came the question of could she succeed? There is a lot of talk about visions and things intentionally left unsaid to keep up in the dark, but when it became a case of whether Kylo could turn or not, you are seriously left wondering if that is possible.

Not to forget, him talking about Rey and himself ruling the galaxy? So came the question of why he would push for this? Was it some sort of, “You understand me like no one else ever had” kind of thing? I mean, I could go on and on, including how Rey looked kind of jealous when Finn was looking after Rose, but that is what makes Star Wars so good. Whether you are heavily into sci-fi, romance, drama, or even comedy, there is something for everyone and you don’t feel like they are trying to appease everyone but simply just do.

On The Fence

Kylo Ren as The Villain

Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi - Adam Driver - Ben Solo - Kylo Ren

Perhaps the main issue, that may remain fairly consistent throughout the trilogy, is Kylo Ren kind of sucks as a villain. Yes, he is touted as a complicated being pulled between the light and dark side, but be it Driver’s way of playing him or the writing, he is more annoying than endearing. Take his temper tantrum after Snope chastises him or Luke Skywalker literally playing him for a fool so everyone could escape. I get the boy isn’t and will never be the new Darth Vader, but it would be nice if there was a true villain which makes the New Order seem like a real threat. For honestly, at this point, as much as you want to look at the Resistance and think they have only gotten this far due to luck, the same could be said about The New Order. Especially since Snope got killed so easily and now, if I understand the hierarchy of the whole order right, they have the emotionally unstable Kylo Ren as the supreme leader of all their forces.

Overall: Positive (Worth Seeing)

Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi - Kylo Ren - Ben Solo - Adam Driver

While Star Wars: A New Hope, I mean, Star Wars: The Last Jedi has a serious villain problem which may make the end of the trilogy a bit anti-climactic, everything else seems rather brilliant. The new leads have officially taken the reigns, as the originals just sit in the back and occasionally give pointers; the action and suspense, plus or minus Fisher’s death, keeps you consistently worrying who may live or die; the fan service, like Yoda showing up, isn’t over done, but still welcomed; and for those who may not click with the sci-fi or action elements, there is still the drama of Rey and Kylo struggling with their pasts and destiny, as well as the potential relationships Finn can have in the future – while still being one of the ass kickers.

So here is to the final episode and hopes that the spin-offs and anthology films aren’t as disappointing as Rogue One.

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About Amari Sali 2628 Articles
New Jersey native Amari Sali takes the approach of more so being a media advisor than a critic to sort of fill in the gap left between casual fans of media and those who review productions for a living. Thus being open about bias while still giving enough insight, often with spoilers, to present whether something is worth seeing, buying, renting, streaming, or checking out at all. An avid writer, Amari hopes to eventually switch from talking about other people's productions to fully working on his own. Such a dream is in progress to becoming reality.