It has been too long since I last reviewed a movie, and seeing how the last movie I did (Emoji) kinda dampened my spirit, it was nice to go back to the theater, and return to a galaxy far far away. Disney's third Star Wars film is here, and there's been a lot of hype and buildup for this film. Disney themselves seemed so confident in director Rian Johnson, that they've already given him his own separate trilogy, despite this trilogy not even being finished yet. What kind of film were we in for? Well if you remember last time, I thoroughly enjoyed JJ's glorified rehash. Yes, it's a rehash, but it's damn fun. There's nothing wrong with that. Yeah I probably gave it a bit high of a rating, but I did remember thinking that this movie would need to go into new territory if it wanted that same praise. So... does the Last Jedi deliver?
Well... despite a few vague similarities, it pleases me greatly that The Last Jedi really does seem like Disney's first major bullseye in the Star Wars universe. It doesn't just retread familiar territory, it explorers new territory that I wondered if diehard fans would even accept. This is a very bold film that pays off in more ways than one, and just keeps going and going. It's great to see characters like Poe, Finn, and Rey back at it again, while getting introduced to new characters in the process. And of course, it's great to see the old timers back in the saddle again (unless your name is C-3PO... I'm almost willing to bet he'll die next film).
Now before I get too far ahead, fair warning that you will notice a few similarities in this film to Empire, and even Return of the Jedi. There are similarities. The beginning of the film, the Resistance is on the run from the First Order, Rey is getting trained by Luke. It's all there. But they take this material and go about executing it in probably all the right ways... and even a few ways I'm not entirely sold on. There are certain scenes that my logistical mindset was scratching my head on. Only in Star Wars I guess. But I won't say anything there. You'd think with certain similarities, that this movie would be predictable, but it's the exact opposite! There were twists I didn't see coming at all! This makes this likely one of the best films to come from Star Wars in decades! And unlike Force Awakens, it doesn't rely so heavily on nostalgia and fan service for you to get your kicks.
Now, at the end of Force Awakens, we got to see the return of Mark Hamill and I remember groaning when the film ended, because I wanted to see what Luke's contribution to this story would be so very bad. And man does this story deliver. Luke in this film can deliver some of the absolute best moments of the entire franchise I feel. He's badass and renowned, yet at the same time, he's gotten rather snarky and it makes for some genuinely great comedy in this film. And the way he goes Scott expanding the lore in this movie about the Force is absolutely beautiful. But that's literally all I can say here because I refuse to spoil his story. It's done just so incredibly well. You won't be disappointed. Guarantee that.
The action? It's there as always. Now that said, I do think the action of Force Awakens and Rogue One was a bit better. Here, it can be a bit more tame. I don't really feel like I'm in the scene as I did in Rogue One if that makes sense. But that said, it is still a lot of fun.
I think if I'm gonna criticize anything in this movie, it's that there are times this film feels oddly out of place in the Star Wars franchise. I don't wanna say too much, but there are times it feels like you're watching an entirely different movie. This can be both good and bad. And during these particular scenes, I did feel that the morality that these films are not exactly the best at graying in kinda stand out in the wrong way. It gets a bit preachy in certain areas actually that just kinda felt silly to me, but in the same way, the film's unpredictability can make for twists in this area that will make your eyes widen.
I could go on about what I loved in this movie, but in the spirits of keeping it spoiler-free, I need to wrap it up. This film is easily the strongest film to come out of Star Wars in decades. Better than any prequel, better than the other Disney films, I'll go out on a limb to say this is on a level of excellence in the same ways of Empire Strikes Back. Is it as good? Probably not, but I believe most fans will definitely applaud the effort of this film by the time the credits start rolling, and it's for this reason, I award The Last Jedi with a solid three and a half star rating out of four, and it just barely misses the full rating. Barely. This is one of the years most entertaining films and an absolute joy to behold, and sets up the final film of this trilogy up nicely. Let's just hope JJ Abrams is up to the task. Until then, thanks for reading.
Final Verdict: 3.5/4