Star Wars – Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

9.3 Overall Score
Performances: 9/10
Production : 10/10
Writing: 9/10

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

The plot is a bit frantic.

 

 

Star Wars – Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
Director: Rian Johnson
Writers: Rian Johnson, George Lucas
Stars: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill
Disney
2017

In a world of uncertainty and pain, it is a great comfort to know that I will die expecting the next Star Wars film. The immortal Disney owns this most august of franchises, and they will extrude product on the regular from now until the worms burrow in what were once my eyes. Or the singularity makes us all into undying infomorphs. The point is, we’re going to be seeing more things like Episode VIII: The Last Jedi for a very long time to come, and for that, we are grateful.

Spoiler alert—this is a multi-billion dollar cultural institution. So no, this isn’t really the last Jedi. Just so you know. Episode IX will shortly be emerging from hyperspace.

If you like Star Wars, go see The Last Jedi. Mark Hamill is a standout reprising legendary Jedi Master Luke Skywalker. It is poignant and sweet to see Carrie Fisher’s final living performance be Princess Leia, one last time. Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver do a beautiful job of developing their characters. The rest of the cast is excellent, the production value is epic.

While the plot is overstuffed, it often surprises. This is not just the re-scrambling of known elements that made The Force Awakens so tedious. An orphan on a desert planet, a bigger Death Star, Luke gets promoted to Yoda, if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it has been discarded for some originality, and it is an improvement.

The first thing they did on this project was to write SPACE OPERA four feet wide across the top of the whiteboard. This is a sprawling epic of a film, still full of knights and princesses, and Disney knows exactly how to hit the fans in the feels and the right beats at the right time. It skates on the edge, it almost lands on-the-nose, but never quite.

It’s the last trap when the First Order executes a hyperspace jump ambush. May the Force by with you, Fish-face. You’ll always be my admiral.

Here is the risk, though. No one but Entropy wins all the time. How long can Disney put out an installment each year before the quality starts bumping along the bottom, and the franchise becomes a joke about Star Wars? The dark side is easier, quicker, more seductive. Will it prove to be the stronger?

 

 

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Brian Downes
Author: Brian Downes View all posts by
Brian Downes is a writer who lives in Orlando, Florida. His novel, The Berlin Fraternity, about a man who hunts vampires for the Third Reich, is available on the Kindle and through Amazon.com. He enjoys pen and paper roleplaying games and geek culture. He clearly remembers waiting for The Empire Strikes Back to hit theaters, and vindicate his opinion that of course Vader was not Luke's father. You can't trust Vader's word!

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