Directed by: Rian Johnson | Produced by: Kathleen Kennedy, Ram Bergman | Written by: Rian Johnson | Starring: Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern, Benicio Del Toro | Music by: John Williams | Cinematography: Steve Yedlin | Edited by: Bob Ducsay | Production Companies: Lucasfilm Ltd., Bad Robot Production | Distributed by: Walt Disney Studios, Motion Pictures | Official Website
When you first know that the latest Star Wars episode is going to be released soon, what do you expect from this The Last Jedi? A space soap opera? Check. Cool lightsaber fighting? Check. Strong shows of what the forces will do? Check. On this review, I try my best to not spoiling any twist on this movie, but if there’s some plot unevitable to be revealed, I beg your pardon.
Set right on the timeline left by Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Rey (Daisy Ridley) has asked Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) to teach her how to control the force. Unfortunately, Luke has drown himself in sorrow and disappointment, and refused to take Rey as his apprentice. On the other side, the Resistance under General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) faces new attacks from the First Order, led by Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis, adding his portfolio of grotesque performance under CGI) and his loyal right-hand Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), previously known as Ben Solo, Leia and the late Han Solo (Harrison Ford)’s son. Leia is assisted by wingman Commander Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), First Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern, stunning with her purple hair) and stormtrooper-turns-Resistance Finn (John Boyega).
Finn then meet Rose (Kelly Marie Tran), a technician who has the idea of shutting down power of Snoke’s ship to stop the attack. With Poe’s permission, they begin to search a way to penetrate the ship. Meanwhile, after being rejected by Luke, Rey finds out that the force creates a way she can communicate with Kylo, kind of you and I are communicating using Skype. Sensing a man who deep down knows he needs a moral turnover, Rey wants to lure him to the light. Sensing a young pretty girl who can be manipulated and molded, Kylo wants to drag her down deep into the hell, umm I mean to the dark. Although their interactions were cute in a way, Kylo’s ambition ruins everything. He is now ready to attack the Resistance latest fortress, taken down his own mother, and face to face with his previous master Luke who has failed him.
The Last Jedi is a Star Wars release that has released themselves from the old patrons of every Star Wars trilogy. Since it has so many characters to be handled from the original trilogy to this latest release, each has their uniqueness, and so many stories to be covered, it’s almost impossible to knit a story that can tie them together harmoniously. However, director Johnson proved himself as a smart writer who successfully wrote a story that not only give each character room to develop, but also makes them essential to the whole plot. He also gives reason to every character’s behavior, makes the story unbelievably interesting and enjoyable. Every twist, every turn, every up and down were delightful and somehow emotional. Watching The Last Jedi is like riding an endless ride, joyful and we’ll never know what twist is waiting on the next scene.
However, I feel that this trilogy lacks of strong character to anchor the whole emotion. The original trilogy has Leia, and this trilogy has no one. Rey is busy being a spirited young girl who discovers new way of knowing herself better, and how her new discovery will create a new entire life for her. Finn is still coward and somewhat we can’t find any good from this character. Poe is dubbed as the new Han, but he ends up being too obsessed of blowing everything out to show he is capable. The new hope comes from Rose, who is quite delightful to be watched, and now has reason why she must fight for the Resistance.
As The Force Awakens has been dedicated to Han, this The Last Jedi is said to be Luke’s. It’s true, in a very relieving way they can ever give us. However, the next episode IX should have been dedicated to Leia, and since Fisher’s death, I think The Last Jedi leaves us with one question: what will the battle between The First Order and The Resistance would be looked alike without Leia?