The force is stronger in STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI
“A long time ago in a galaxy far far away….”
It is from those ten little words that the franchise to end all franchises have earned a reported 37 billion dollars, and not just in ticket sales (which has brought in around 7 billion dollars) but in sales of action figures, elaborate spin off tales, video games, and other merchandise.
More importantly, there is a loyal fan base that will support this franchise through thick and thin. Since 1977 when the original film premiered, millions of fans boarded the proverbial Millenium Falcon so as to get any bit of the saga they can. With Force Awakens and Rogue One garnering mostly positive reviews, it begs the question, can the The Last Jedi continue this positive streak?
The short answer? Yes yes and yes! I’m willing to say that it exceeds the other two in plot, action, and acting. To any of my friends and family that will ask in the next few days, I will simply say, run, don’t walk to the cinema to get your fix this weekend, because this was some epic storytelling. I must note that this was the longest Star Wars film to date, clocking in at 150 minutes total, it didn’t seem to drag for me as much as I feared it would, but be forewarned.
So let’s talk turkey without spoiling the whole dang thing! We essentially follow Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega) as they continue their story arc from Force Awakens. Rey is carrying out her mission to find the elusive, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), while Finn is carrying out his personal mission to find Rey. Additionally, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is much more conflicted this go around. This begs the question, is there any hope that Ben Solo will return? Poe (Oscar Isaac) is on his own internal mission to learn how to be a better leader. General Leia (Carrie Fisher) is there to set him straight, as Poe still prefers to charge in guns blazing, in contrast to her more methodical approach (which tends to result in far less carnage).
All this leads to the very big question of Carrie Fisher and her legacy? I think The Last Jedi succeeds in “passing the torch”. Without giving too much away, the film felt like an official blessing of approval from the original characters in the continuation and evolution of the franchise, to a new generation.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t get emotional seeing General Leia on screen. Even recognizing her daughter, Billie Lourd in scenes with her mom, was a cause for this nerd to tear up. While honoring Fisher’s legacy, the film in no way detracts from the storyline.
With epic fight scenes, fantastic character add-ons, the exploration into the complexity of beings (as opposed to the trope of “good guy vs. bad guy”), and the spark of hope to keep the Rebel Alliance afloat, I can confidently say that this was one of my favorite movies of 2017.