REVIEW | Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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Review by Dustin Heller

I think it safe to say that Star Wars: The Last Jedi needs no introduction, but here goes nothing.  The Last Jedi is also known as Episode VIII and it is the second film in this new trilogy.  It is written and directed by Rian Johnson, the man behind such great films as Brick and Looper.  Johnson is a Star Wars fanboy and seems like the perfect fit to take over the reins of this illustrious franchise.  The enormous ensemble cast includes Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Laura Dern and Benicio del Toro.  The Last Jedi is rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action and violence.

A brief SPOILER-FREE synopsis…the First Order has the Resistance on the ropes and on the run, and the only thing that can save them at this point is Jedi Master Luke Skywalker.  Rey is on a mission to track down Skywalker and enlist his help, while the rest of the Rebels fight for their lives amidst the furious attack.

The diehard fanboys out there will have my head for this, but The Last Jedi is not a good movie!  Actually, that is being too nice, this movie is an utter mess.  The storyline is uneventful and terribly boring and with a runtime of two and half hours, almost nothing happens.  I’m not sure how that is even possible, but somehow they managed to pull it off.  Star Wars as a franchise, has become what it is today in large part due to the relatable and likable characters.  That is not the case with The Last Jedi; the characters are all vanilla, and what made them so exciting in The Force Awakens completely disappeared in this movie.  It wasn’t a case of bad acting, but rather uninteresting character arcs.

Another thing that really bothered me was the misplaced comedy.  Star Wars always had a comedic element with Han Solo’s snarkiness and the funny droids, but the humor here just didn’t fit.  To be honest, if really felt like they took notes from The Guardians of the Galaxy writers.  That definitely works in the Marvel Universe, but not so much here.

The last thing I’ll rant about are the action sequences–I found them boring!  When I was a kid growing up with the original trilogy, nothing in the world was cooler than a lightsaber.  Every stick I’d find would magically transform into this awesome weapon.  That said, where were the vintage lightsaber battles in this movie?  They were non-existent!  This had to be the most disappointing part of the entire movie for me.  The iconic lightsaber battles define the Star Wars films and they really missed the boat in The Last Jedi.

So, what do we do with all of this?  I hope Disney can get the right people on board to turn this thing back around, because The Last Jedi has pointed the franchise in the wrong direction.  I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the diehard fans don’t even get on board with Episode VIII.  I’m not going to recommend that people don’t see this on the big screen because that would be fruitless.  Everyone is going to see this movie and have their own opinions.  What I will recommend is to keep your expectations in check and just hope for something better next time around.

Grade:  D

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is now open in theaters

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