The world’s most popular space opera returns with Episode VIII, The Last Jedi. Does it live up to expectations? I feel it does!
Star Wars: The Last Jedi Synopsis
Rey locates Luke Skywalker and succeeds in persuading him to train her, after which Luke reveals his conviction that it is time for the Jedi Order to end. Meanwhile, the remnants of the Resistance are hotly pursued by a First Order fleet, only hours away from complete annihilation as their fuel is depleted. In the face of desperation, Po, Finn, and a newfound ally devise a plot to save the day. Their plan, to secretly depart from the Resistance mothership in order to locate a master code-breaker. The code-breaker is the only person able to disable the device used by the First Order to track the Resistance mothership.
I begin this review by saying something sacrilegious. Sacrilegious for a Star Wars fan, that is.
The Force Awakens was many steps above the prequels. Sadly, it was also weighed down by the compulsion/obsession to do fan service, to the extent it became a dreary basket of Easter Eggs in the latter half.
Believe me when I say I correctly guessed what was going to happen to Han Solo the moment he confronted Kylo Ren. By that point, TFA had become a drill. An insistent albeit snazzy drumroll of repeats of the best moment of the original trilogy.
A good number of Star Wars fans share my opinion. Well, at least in the online fan communities I visit, and in South Park. These opinions are obviously acknowledged by the team behind The Last Jedi because while there is still plenty of fan service moments in this episode, counterbalancing them is a slew of unexpected developments and audacious plot twists, the totality of which injects a whole new depth into the entire saga.
Again, I make a sacrilegious statement by saying that beloved as it is, Star Wars has never been acclaimed for its character depth. Character types, yes, but depth? Even the saga’s most complex character i.e. Darth Vader is but a classic tormented dark knight, one who predictably chose family over power in the end.
With The Last Jedi, the ambiguity of the Force and the burden of its dual nature are finally discussed in length. These discussions infuse the story with a lot of fresh poignancy. The space dogfights and lightsabre duals are still attractive, but this time around, they are the icing to the story. It’s no longer the other way around.
I dare say this is the best episode in Star Wars to date. For me, this is the ESB of the new trilogy. Possibly, the ESB of all nine episodes confirmed to date.
And as I’ve written in my visual summary, it is a befitting swansong for Carrie Fisher. Our princess’ final movie will go down in sci-fi history as one of the genre’s best.
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