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article imageReview: ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ is what fans didn’t know they wanted Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Dec 14, 2017 in Entertainment
‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ is a formidable second chapter in the trilogy that embraces the conflict of the past, present and future of the characters and the galaxy.
Now that Disney is releasing a Star Wars movie every year for the foreseeable future, it’s somewhat hard to believe there were so many years between films prior to their purchase of Lucasfilm. Yet in spite of the many decades that have passed since audience’s first ventured to “a galaxy far, far away,” their appetites for sci-fi adventures and the Skywalker saga have not waned. With new creators taking the helm, and advanced technology and special effects techniques supporting their visions, the results have been magnificent — and they’re only getting better. And now we have the second picture in the latest trilogy, Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Rey (Daisy Ridley) has tracked the legendary Jedi master, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), to his secluded island hideout, but his response to the Resistance’s plea for help is not everything she’d hoped it would be. In the meantime, pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) leads an attack on another of the First Order’s deadly weapons. However there’s an even more dire and unexpected consequence of their actions, which General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) cannot readily resolve. Finally, Finn (John Boyega) and an engineer named Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) embark on a dangerous mission to save an otherwise doomed fleet of Resistance fighters, which takes them to a gambling haven and then into the heart of the enemy. Meanwhile, on the dark side, Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) push forward their plan to wipeout the rebels.
Where J.J. Abrams’ opening chapter needed to serve as a bridge between the original trilogy and the new one, a frequent criticism was it too closely resembled one of its predecessors. That is surely not something that can be said about writer/director Rian Johnson’s picture. It earns its two-and-a-half-hour runtime by telling a complex, detailed story that answers many questions — though it may not be the response for which audiences hoped or expected. There are also four simultaneous narratives unfolding for the majority of the film, each of which transition between gripping, meditative, touching and exciting at varying points throughout the movie. Moreover, in spite of the overall seriousness of their situations, there is still laughter sprinkled all through the picture in manner that is effortless and organic.
There is a lot to process in this film, and there are several scenes that will inspire further contemplation and discussion. While all the meticulous sets, imaginative aliens and lifelike special effects remain stellar, the movie narrows its focus to the core characters and their respective missions (rest assured the adorable Porgs still get their fair share of screen time). There are a limited number of new personalities introduced — with the chief ones portrayed by Tran, Benicio Del Toro and Laura Dern — but they each play a pivotal role in the story. The epic fight of good vs. evil is cemented in this chapter as sides are chosen, lives are once again lost and the combatants for the coming battle are set. And the big, red Praetorian Guards prove to be an impressive lot with which they have to contend.
While the length and intricacy of the film may not appeal to everyone, this is surely the more ambitious sequel for the beloved franchise fans desired.
Director: Rian Johnson
Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Mark Hamill
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