Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Most Controversial Chapter of the Saga
Daisy RidleyJohn Boyega...
Action & Adventure
In 1 Cinema
Star Wars is becoming more and more of a Christmas tradition, with all of the sci-fi saga’s latest movies coming out in December. After leaving us on a cliff-hanger in The Force Awakens two years ago, fans have been clamouring for answers to a slew of unanswered questions.
Starting almost straight after the events of The Force Awakens, we follow the resistance as they commence an immediate evacuation of their base while under attack of The First Order’s fleet; they temporarily escape by flying using light-speed but soon find out that they’re being tracked when using it, making chasers know their whereabouts.
We also pick up with Rey (Ridley), as Luke Skywalker (Hamill) defiantly refuses to train her into a Jedi and help the resistance. Meanwhile, Finn (Boyega) sets out with a mechanic, Rose (Marie), to find a code-breaker to stop The First Order from tracking them – all while Kylo Ren (Driver) tries to tempt Rey to the Dark side.
Beautifully directed, the movie’s wide panoramic scenes showing huge vistas, especially of Skellig Michael, where Luke’s Island was shot, make it one of the most visually impressive Star Wars movies to date. This also extends to the action sequences, be it space ship dogfights or hand-to-hand combat scenes, making them also some of the best of the saga.
In terms of acting, everyone delivers, with Mark Hamill giving his great performance as a broken, weary and tired man with the weight of the galaxy on his shoulders alongside his guilt. Similarly, Carrie Fisher doesn’t disappoint, reprising her role as Princess Leia for the final time. We also get to see a little more of Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron, who is positioned as a hot-shot. Jon Boyega’s portrayal of Finn also stood out, despite his story arc being a bit of a letdown.
And then there’s Daisy Ridley, of course, who once again proves she can carry the pressure of being main protagonist with yet another fantastic and convincing performance. The same can be said of Adam Driver, who gives it his all.
No movie is without its flaws, however. Saddled by pacing issues, the movie quite often kicks into high action, only for it to be stopped to a screeching halt in the next scene. One of the underwhelming story lines befell Finn and Rose. Their search for a code-breaker on went on and on and ultimately ended without a payoff.
Overall the movie takes a few bold directions that might not sit well with some fans which is evident in the huge divide between fans and critics; on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s has a 92% rating by critics, but only 52% by audiences.
One of the reasons here might be expectations. Hardcore fans have been theorising about a few key elements raised in The Force Awakens and they were answered in a whole different manner. On the other hand, casual viewers are unlikely to raise similar issues.
Many fans had also disliked The Force Awakens, suggesting that it was very similar to A New Hope – in then trying to pull-away from replicating previous films, The Last Jedi has also been labelled as being ‘too different’ – so where does the sweet spot lay? It’ll be interesting to see what happens when JJ Abrams returns to the director’s chair for the last chapter of the trilogy.