“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is a Blast from the Past


Matthew Jonas

Rian Johnson, who has also directed his debut feature, the 2005 American neo-noir mystery film “Brick”, has returned to both direct and write the amazing American epic space opera film “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”, which was mostly influenced by the original Star Wars trilogy.


“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” commences with Resistance fighters, led by General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), destroy a First Order dreadnought, and their fleet travels to hyperspace before being followed by the First Order. Meanwhile, Rey (Daisy Ridley), Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo), and R2-D2 (Jimmy Vee) arrive on the remote island of Ahch-To aboard the Millennium to recruit a grizzled, old Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) back into the Resistance. Luke at first refuses to do so, but R2-D2 prompts him to teach Rey the ways of the Force. Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) then tries to sway Rey away from Luke’s influence by telling her his account of what turned him to the dark side before Luke confesses that he briefly considered killing Kylo upon knowing that he was corrupted by the evil Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis). Convinced that Kylo is able to be redeemed, Rey departs Ahch-To to confront him without Luke. Finn (John Boyega), Rose (Kelly Marie Tran), and BB-8 (David Chapman, Brian Herring), with the help of underworld codebreaker DJ (Benicio del Toro), slip into Snoke’s ship but are captured by Captain Phasma, even though BB-8 escapes. Soon, Kylo brings Rey in front of Snoke before the Supreme Leader demands he kill her. Kylo kills Snoke instead, and teams with Rey to defeat Snoke’s elite guards. Things take a surprising turn when Kylo suddenly invites Rey to conquer the galaxy with him. After Rey refuses, the couple both use the Force to try to acquire Anakin Skywalker’s lightsaber for themselves. The tension of the combatants eventually splits the lightsaber in two. Meanwhile, DJ discloses the Resistance’s plan to the First Order, and the evacuation transports suffer heavy losses from being targeted. Holdo (Laura Dern) then sacrifices herself by smashing into Snoke’s fleet at light-speed while splitting all of the First Order ships in half and inflicting massive casualties on the First Order troops. Soon after, Luke appears and confronts the First Order so the remaining Resistance fighters can escape. When Kylo finally confronts Luke, he plunges his lightsaber into Luke’s body, but really hits his Force projection. Luke then tells Kylo that he will not be the last Jedi, while Rey uses the Force to assist Resistance fighters to escape on the battleship of Falcon.


Johnson has directed a brilliant continuation of the Star Wars saga, because he not only painstakingly combines comedy and drama in the new film, but also adds many interesting things to the Star Wars universe. The movie also contains quite a number of interesting and involving scenes. For example, the moment when Kylo Ren had a chance to redeem himself before returning to his evil ways is greatly executed, because the audience really feels sympathy for the character up to this point. Even though some of the sub-plots might not have been necessary to the story, especially the one in the casino, the ones that do add to the story provide lots of depth for the characters. Then there’s parts of the film that the audience can enjoy as part of a “popcorn film”, especially the scenes with the bird-like porgs, and the majestic horse-like fathiers escaping from the planet Cantonica. Overall, despite its occasional small missteps, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is an overall gripping and fascinating film for the vast majority of the time, even with non-Star Wars fans.