Tony's Take

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI review

It’s Time for the Jedi to End

Breathe….Just, breathe. When we last left our heroes, Finn was recovering from Kylo Ren’s attack, Rey had encountered Luke on Ahch-To, and the Resistance was celebrating the (small) victory over the First Order after destroying Starkiller Base.  As “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” begins, both the Resistance and the First Order are confined to ships in the Galaxy.  The Resistance are attempting to flee from their base, with the First Order closing-in.  Rey is pleading with Luke to show her the ways of the Force so she can help the Resistance defeat the first Order.  With defeat and annihilation nearing for the Resistance, Finn, Rey, and Poe must work together (but, separately) to not only save their own lives, but lives across the galaxy from the evil First Order.

Daisy Ridley reprises her role as Rey, who is seeking Luke on Ahch-To to become a Jedi.  Mark Hamill reprises his role as Luke Skywalker; older now, but a much wiser man than we have ever seen.  Adam Driver returns as the evil Kylo Ren.  Gwendoline Christie returns as the chrome-badass, Captain Phasma.  Domhnall Gleeson is back as General Hux.  Carrie Fisher reprises her famous role of Leia for one final time; May our Princess forever Rest in Peace.  Billie Lourd returns as Lieutenant Connix of the Resistance.  Andy Serkis finally gets to speak as Supreme Leader Snoke.  Laura Dern is a welcomed-addition as Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo.  Oscar Isaac returns as the loveable Commander Poe Dameron.  Benicio Del Toro plays a mysterious man named DJ.  Kelly Marie Tran plays a member of the Resistance, Rose Tico.  John Boyega returns as Finn, the First Order defector.  Lupita Nyong’o reprises her role as Maz Kanata.  Anthony Daniels and Jimmy Vee return as C-3PO and R2-D2.

Rian Johnson’s first venture into the famous Saga is bold, beautiful, and extraordinary; utilizing all that has come before it and paving a strong path to the future.  Make no mistake, Johnson’s “The Last Jedi” is not your average run of the mill “Star Wars” episode.  Scene after scene, the film takes risks; with the payoff more-surprising than you could possibly imagine.  Perhaps the most surprising element is the film’s humor!  The porgs and Caretakers supply a few laughs, as do various side characters and throughout the film.  The superb cast has returned, with even more to offer this time around!  Daisy continues to prove herself a fan-favorite, Mark Hamill fully-returns to his role of a lifetime, and Our Princess is given perhaps her most important role yet.  The newcomers do more than hold-their-own as well; Tran is sincere and captivating, Dern is a wonderful revelation, and Serkis is having a blast voicing Supreme Leader Snoke.  “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” also boasts some of the most impressive cinematography of the franchise!  The battle of Crait is beautifully-filmed and with a unique perspective, the wonders of Ahch-To are on full display (the Porgs and the Caretakers!), and the space battle-choreography is sublime.  John Williams’ booming score accompanies the joyous film, adding depth and tone scene-by-scene.  While serving the middle chapter of the Saga and, sure, there are a few “Empire” similarities, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is absolutely of its’ own mold.  Be sure to go-in knowing as little as possible!  The film has a runtime of 151 minutes, allowing for plenty “Star Wars” awesomeness while serving the story and setting-up for Episode IX’s finale.  Bravo Rian, you’ve given us a “Star Wars” film that refuses to obey all of the rules and we’re incredibly lucky to have his vision behind it!

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” represents the middle chapter in the Saga, pitting the last of the Resistance against the First Order.  The film is full of bold story elements, new and returning lovable characters, and beautiful cinematography.  If you are heading to the movies this weekend (and if you haven’t already purchased your tickets), go see “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” this weekend!

 5/5

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI is rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action and violence, in theaters DECEMBER 15TH! 

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