Team Kylo Ren. That is all.
As they say, the force is strong with this one. The Last Jedi is finally here! The latest StarWars epic has finally arrived and well, people are divided. It’s the longest film in the series to date, and is chalked full of epic moments and twists and turns. I saw this Thursday night, but wanted to wait a few days before writing my review, because for movies such as these I wanted it to sink in and marinate a little bit. I loved this movie, I think over time it may very well be regarded as the greatest Star Wars ever made. The Internet and fans alike might not agree with that statement. Going into The Last Jedi, there was a ton of speculation about certain things, who Rey’s parents would be? Who was Snoke? What happened between Luke and Kylo Ren? All of these questions are answered in some way shape or form. I think that people were thinking one thing was going to happen and got another, and what they WANTED to happen, didn’t. So they thought the movie was “bad” because they didn’t get what they wanted. I think that is a huge problem with Star Wars fans, because you’re not always going to get what you want, but that doesn’t mean that thing is bad. I won’t spoil anything that happens in this movie, because that would be unfair, I will tread lightly around certain situations and characters.
First things first Rian Johnson (director) has gone out and made a thematically rich, emotionally nuanced and narratively subversive blockbuster movie. Most big budget movies often lack substance; good story telling and mainly rely on explosions and CGI. People think this is so far from what we have become accustomed to when it comes to StarWars, that they feel Rian Johnson has some what destroyed this franchise, well he reinvented it. He takes such bold risks and tells such a rich story, it’s really impressive on what he accomplished. There is a ton of pressure that comes with helming something that so many people hold so close and dear to their hearts. I think he did as good of job than anyone could have asked of him. The new droids, planets, landscapes and the entire aesthetic of The Last Jedi simply build on what JJ Abrams was able to accomplish in The Force Awakens. Crait a planet where the last battle takes place. The white and red minerals, the red salt standing out so clearly during the battle, is one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in a Star Wars movie. The cinematography was just incredible. Throughout the entire movie itself, there are tons of artistic shots, that will make great one shot pieces, and images that will stand out in fans minds until the end of time. The whole movie deals with failures, and overcoming the failures. What happens to us when we fail, how do we respond? Almost everyone in this movie sets out on a certain goal or task and in the end, ultimately fails at the very thing they set out to do. We learn later in the movie, that failure is okay, it’s a part of life and it’s a part of growing as a person. People fail all the time, failure makes us stronger, makes us smarter. It was something I didn’t pick up on until after the movie, but failure is such a big part of this story. There is one thing that happens towards the end of the movie, you think the movie is about to take a MASSIVE risk, and they bail last second on it. The cop out, the way they get out of it, is so utterly insane, that I wonder how they felt this was a good idea. I wish I could talk about it more, but it involves Finn and Rose, and it was without a doubt the worst part, and one of the stupidest things I’ve seen in a movie in a long time. Especially with the timing of this event, it was just a real head scratcher.
This is a StarWars movie through and through. I mentioned it taking bold risks and trying to expand on this forever-growing universe, and it opens the doors to so many possibilities with the final installment, which we will receive in two years. From the opening music, before the always-epic scrawl, the opening shot of outer space, the light sabre fights, and just classic Star Wars moments. The story is pretty simple, Rey (Daisy Ridley) searches out Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) to get her proper training, Finn (John Bodega) meets a new girl Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) and they are trying to find Rey and lead her far away from the First Order. Poe (Oscar Issac) is struggling with becoming a leader, and the leader that the Resistance needs. While Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) is just trying to keep the remaining resistance fighters calm and well, safe. Meanwhile Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is trying to figure out where he belongs in this world, and what he really wants. The cast is fantastic, this is the best Mark Hamill performance we have ever gotten, and it can be said with Carrie Fisher. They both shine, and always steal the scene they are in. With the passing of Carrie this past year, it was only fitting that we got to see her at her best in this movie, and you could tell she really gave it her all. As for everyone’s favorite Jedi, Luke Skywalker, this is what people are torn on. I get and I understand the direction they took Luke in this movie. I’ll just leave it at that, because anything more would enter spoiler territory.
For me, this whole movie was all about Kylo Ren, who is built like a brick shit house I might add. Adam Driver gives one hell of a performance in this movie. Movies these days, well they lack great villains. Who was the villain in Doctor Strange, or Justice League that just came out? How about Spider-Man Homecoming? Kylo Ren is for me, is the best villain since Heath Ledgers Joker. From the actual character to the performance of the actor playing that character. You feel for this guy, Kylo is conflicted, he wants to be bad, but part of him is good. This is evident in one particular moment in the first act of the movie. He wants nothing more than to impress Snoke, who openly mocks him about his helmet, which is destroys in a fit of rage after being criticized by Snoke. After TheForce Awakens came out, everyone thought of Kylo as a spoiled little brat, an Emo kind of villain, where unlike his dear old Grand Father, Darth Vader, where Storm troopers would fear him. They kind of just don’t want to be around Kylo, because he is well a brat. You see the pain in his eyes, the conflict on who he wants to become. When you start to learn about his past, and what he has gone through, you start to feel for his character. He is so full of rage and hate, and once he throws his helmet away, you can see that on his face for the rest of the movie. He wants Rey to join him, he wants the pair of them to rule the galaxy together, he has a soft spot for Rey, and feels like he can open up and share his thoughts and feelings with her. I just think Kylo is a very compelling and complex villain, one who will stand out for many years to come, it helps that Driver gives such a fantastic performance. It also helps that he’s part of probably the best scene in StarWars history. I can’t wait to see where they take his character and what’s in store for him, in the final chapter. Because his story isn’t finished, he is “unfinished evil,” where I think we have only seen the tip of the evil iceberg for Kylo Ren, which spells trouble for Rey and the resistance.
People are having a really hard time letting go of the past. Even Kylo Ren has a line of dialogue in the movie. “Let the past die,” he says. “Kill it, if you have to. That’s the only way to become what you were meant to be.” That bears true in the movie, and in real life. These new movies are moving in a new direction, moving away from the past (Luke, Leia, Han Solo) and moving forward with our new heroes and villains. People are having a hard time doing so, especially those who have been with this franchise since 1977. They want to remember and hang onto this epic and wonderful characters for as long as possible, and now that the end is in sight for most of them, people are having a difficult time letting go. In order for something new to grow, usually something old must die, these new movies was about telling a new adventure with new characters, and not about the ones we grew up with, and everyone should be okay with that. Luke Skywalker was not meant to be the main character and center of attention of this new trilogy. It’s the second biggest opening weekend of all time, 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. But here is why the Internet is divided; the audience score is sitting at 56%. I think that has a lot to do with what I mentioned earlier and people not getting what they wanted. This is not a bad movie; hell it’s an incredible movie going experience. It’s beautiful; the score is epic, great performances all around. People are upset certain things didn’t go their way; I think they need to get over that and give this movie another watch.
Overall, this has one of the best space battles ever, in my opinion the best light sabre fight scenes, and the best performances given in any Star Wars movie. It builds on already so much rich history, it’s such a great story, with some flaws, but with a movie this big in scale, that will happen. It’s full of incredible moments, breath taking visuals and a lot of laughs. I found myself a little emotional during certain moments; you really get caught up in it all. That’s what you want when you’re sitting in the theatre. This is a really great epic Star Wars movie that shouldn’t be missed. Give it time, fans will come back around to seeing this as a great movie, they are just salty right now.
Check ya later.
Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – The Last Jedi = 92/100