Cert: 12A Runtime: 152 mins Director: Rian Johnson Cast: Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, Andy Serkis, Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern, Kelly Marie Tran and Carrie Fisher
I only know one truth: It’s time for the Jedi… to end
After the lacklustre Rogue One…we have now returned to the world of the First Order and Ray finding a purpose in all of it. Rian Johnson a film-maker I respect helms Episode 8. For me it was a slight surprise they went for him, I would recommend you watch Looper and Brick you’ll see his talent. From the early days Johnson has said he is taking the story to new directions, some Star Wars fans have sounded sceptical…..I for one have been salivating at the prospect. Once the trailers hit I must admit I wasn’t wow’d or had goosebumps…it just felt like Star Wars to me. A lot of rumours and speculations have been floating around the internet, but those rumours can be put to bed now as it’s finally here. So what is The Last Jedi about you ask? Rey (Daisy Ridley) develops her newly discovered abilities with the guidance of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), who is unsettled by the strength of her powers. Meanwhile, the Resistance prepares to do battle with the First Order.
Rian Johnson took a great gamble with the narrative, he created a fresh and daring take on a Star Wars film. Gone are the expected sequences and now this story has flipped to unknown territory. There are so many turning points you just couldn’t predict where the story was going next. For a two and a half hour run-time The Last Jedi does run rather fast. It does have a few small lapses when the story slows down and you do loose your patience slightly. One plot point I wasn’t a fan of Finn and Rose’s side journey, it was pointless for the narrative but it was character building and Finn needed this. Johnson has orchestrated some great action sequences, the opening fight really eases you back into this world but Johnson enables you to immerse yourself in the battle.
My only gripe with the screenplay was the forced humour, it seemed like the cheap Disney/Marvel approach. The humorous tone doesn’t compliment the narrative Johnson has provided. As for the cast Adam Driver shines again, he is the most complex villain I have witnessed for some time. You just don’t know what he is thinking and this is what Driver succeeds in. He plays an emo so very well, I can’t wait for Episode 9 now. Daisy Ridley as Rey was rather underutilised in the Last Jedi. I am sensing that Johnson did this as an homage to Empire Strikes Back, Luke was in the same boat back then. Mark Hamill took such a different turn with Luke Skywalker, he is complex and darker. Gone is the man that saved the Galaxy and now a man that lives as a recluse. Carrie Fisher’s last performance as Lea was a strong and fitting showing.
Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron continues to make me happy, he truly is Han and a true bad ass pilot. John Boyega has finally turned up for me, Finn is building a purpose in the Resistance. Laura Dern, Benicio Del Toro and Kelly Marie Tran as the newcomers provide purpose for their characters. They aren’t 2D they are fleshed out and great inclusions to the Galaxy. The big question that is asked, is it better than Empire? In my humble opinion now. But the fact that Rian Johnson had the cahoneys to flip the tale and Lucas Film agreed is amazing. The Last Jedi is great fun, dark, twisted and unpredictable. It is a fitting middle film for the trilogy with a prospering finale to come.