By Alexis Larsen
On December 17, 2017, Star Wars: The Last Jedi was released, as the eighth movie in the Star Wars franchise. The sci-fi adventure continues from where its predecessor Star Wars: The Force Awakens ended. The main protagonist Rey (Daisy Ridley) must train with the Jedi master, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), to fully understand and control her powers. Meanwhile, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the First Order prepare to battle and destroy the Resistance once and for all.
Multiple story lines play out simultaneously throughout the movie: Finn (John Boyega) and Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran), a Resistance maintenance worker, work together to find the master code breaker to help aid the Resistance. In the meantime, Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and the Resistance (which includes General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher)) work hard to fend off the First Order and to keep the spark of hope alive in the galaxy. While Rey starts her Jedi training with a reluctant Luke Skywalker, she has a ‘force connection’ with Kylo Ren.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the second movie of the newest Star Wars trilogy and it was the first movie and only to be written and directed by Rian Johnson. Other movies directed by Johnson include Looper, Brick, and The Brothers Bloom.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi was an interesting addition to the Star Wars Saga because there was a definite emphasis on moving forward in the Star Wars story and letting go of the past. Johnson calls out the Star Wars fans who are not ready to move the story away from the original trilogy, and want to continue the adventures purely with the original characters.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi was not a traditional Star Wars movie as it most definitely had an unpredictable plot that kept fans on the edge of their seats. Unlike the past movies, Star Wars: The Last Jedi was very humorous, and had subtle references to the original movies for major fans, such as blue milk or the Millenium Falcon dice. The movie gave a very similar vibe to the Marvel franchise movies with the amount of blunt humor, making the film feel less like a Star Wars movie.
Luke Skywalker, the young, hopeful main protagonist of the original trilogy, was transformed into a sad hermit who wants to be alone and forget his past life as a jedi. This change in character is due to his guilt from attempting to kill Ben Solo, which led to the creation of Kylo Ren. Although this plot helped explain Kylo Ren’s origin, it undermined Skywalker’s character. Additionally, Luke Skywalker, who spent the whole original trilogy learning to be a jedi, now no longer uses the force. Mark Hamill did a wonderful job portraying Skywalker again, but the character himself was a disappointment.
The whole Rose and Finn side story seemed unnecessary to the actual plot. They go through all of this trouble to find the master code breaker to destroy the tracking device on the First Order ship but they end up getting betrayed and captured, ruining their plan.
Kylo Ren (also known as Ben Solo) and his conflicting thoughts about whether he is truly ‘evil’ or not added mystery to his character. Everything he did was unpredictable, making audiences believe that there might be a chance that he will change his evil way.
The movies special effects were extraordinary. The effects blended well into the scenes unlike the prequel special effects. They made the battle scenes seem more real and epic, rather than reminding us that Star Wars is only a simple story made in a studio.