STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI – A Review by John Strange
In May, 1977, we were gifted with a movie that opened our eyes to a story that was "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away." Now, forty years and seven episodes later (plus a prequel I prefer to NOT talk about), we have been given a new episode. Star Wars: The Last Jedi reunites us with the rebellion and some old friends we first met 40 years ago.
The forces of Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) of the First Order, the militant order that took down the New Republic (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), under the command of General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson), are slowly destroying the forces of the rebellion under the command of Princess, now Admiral, Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher). Meanwhile, Rey (Daisy Ridley) has searched out Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) on his remote sanctuary island on a distant planet.
I could go on and on about epic battles against impossible odds. I could talk about heroic stands against evil. But instead, I will talk about an excellent script that allows us to see how our friends fared after Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) killed his father, Han Solo (Harrison Ford), and tried to kill Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
We watch as individual members of the rebellion take it upon themselves to do what they can to prevent the final defeat of their cause. Chief among these is a cocky fighter pilot named Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac). He is constantly in trouble because he does what he thinks is necessary regardless of the risk to himself and others.
The list includes pilots who refuse to give up against long odds, sanitation workers who prove to be the epitome of the rebel spirit, and sailors of all ranks who are willing to do what is right without making a big deal of their courage.
There are epic battles full of heroic actions, evil overlords directing their forces through intimidation, and nascent Jedi trying to master their abilities. Along the way we are entertained by the usual cast of odd creatures. As always, they push the boundaries on cuteness, some slipping a bit over in my opinion (remember Jar-Jar?).
As I sat in the theater and watched this saga unfold, it reminded me of the early films. The special effects are orders of magnitude better but the feel of the film is the same. Their epic tale is as dark as ever but I can see a tinge of light in the films ending. I think we will see more episodes of this saga. And I am looking forward to all of them! And I hope Rian is at their helm! Good job, sir!
Directed by: Rian Johnson
Cast: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Oscar Isaac
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for sequences of sci-fi action and violence)
Selig Rating: A+ (Worthy of FULL PRICE admission)
Runtime: 152 Min.
Movie Site: http://www.starwars.com/
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.