The Zephyr

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Review

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Ashley Christopher, Opinion Editor

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Few films can claim to have influenced society as much as Star Wars has. As a series of films and storylines that have crossed four decades, the epic space saga continues to build its legacy in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the second installment of writer-director Rian Johnson’s new Star Wars trilogy.

At the heart of every Star Wars movie is the ongoing battle between the light side and the dark side. The Last Jedi picks up where The Force Awakens left off, with Rey (Daisy Ridley) seeking training and assistance from Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) while the dwindling Resistance continues its fight against The First Order.

Immediately, fans can expect to be amazed by realistic battle scenes that differ in several ways from the traditional space confrontations. The movie continues to add twists on classic Star Wars elements such as new alien species (the wide-eyed, fluffy Porgs are sure to capture the heart of every audience member) to iconic lines and humor. A large theme throughout the movie is character identity and dimension with there being parallels between many characters and their internal conflicts. Rey struggles with finding her place amidst the ongoing conflict around her; the villainous Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) faces conditions that challenge his own role on the dark side; even Jedi Luke questions his own moralities.

The newly introduced maintenance worker Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) has quickly become a fan favorite and is a relatable “normal” person in a galaxy of legendary heroes and villains. Not only does Rose deliver some of the best lines, her character adds diversity to a series in a place where women of color are not often portrayed. True fans will be delighted to see cameos of some of their favorite characters including C3PO, R2D2 and Yoda. Don’t worry, our orange companion BB-8 is in there too!

The full running time is an impressive yet daunting 2 hours and 33 minutes. As there are multiple plotlines occurring at once (Rey’s training with Luke, Kylo Ren working to destroy the Resistance and Poe, Finn and Rose’s scheme to take down The First Order), the overall lengthiness is understandable. At a certain point in the film however, dialogue between certain characters becomes a bit repetitive and may leave the audience wondering if there will ever be a resolution (spoiler alert, there is). While it’s up to viewers to determine if there is such a thing as too much screen time in a Lucasfilm movie, it is safe to say that every moment blended well with interesting transitions and plot crossovers.

Overall, Rian Johnson and the cast produced an incredible addition to the space saga. The editing was flawless, the acting superb and the cinematography pure gold. Johnson did what great directors should: take a series that is already idolized and add his own perspective, while preserving the sacredness of the plot and characters we all know and love. If you choose to watch this movie, be sure that you have seen its prequel first! When it comes to a score, I give Star Wars: The Last Jedi five out of five paws. I look forward, rather anxiously, to the final installment of the trilogy.

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