The Stampede

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Review

Anthony Santa Maria, Staff Writer

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   The latest installment of the Star Wars saga, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, was released this past December to an eagerly awaiting fan base. The Last Jedi racked up the second largest North American opening weekend revenue in cinema history with $220 million made at the box offices.

    Fans worried that The Last Jedi would have a plot similar to Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, due to the fact that 2015’s The Force Awakens almost had the exact same plot as 1977’s A New Hope. Rian Johnson, director of The Last Jedi, steered away from those worries completely. This installment is unlike any other Star Wars that I have seen, in both good ways and bad.

    The Last Jedi is the longest of all the Star Wars movies to date. The two-hour and thirty-two-minute runtime takes the audience through the galaxy far far away and follows the journey of almost every character in the movie. Throughout the movie, I almost felt overwhelmed by how much there was to actually take in. It seemed Disney used every aspect of Star Wars lore, like old characters and plots to make this film, unlike any other Star Wars movie. In doing this the movie created more questions and confusion than answers.

    The Last Jedi takes place after The Force Awakens, and once again brings back legendary characters Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Chewbacca from the original saga. The past two Star Wars films have been centered around Rey (played by Daisy Ridley), Kylo Ren (played by Donald Driver), and Finn (played by John Boyega).

    The connection between Rey and Kylo that was established in The Force Awakens becomes stronger and stronger throughout The Last Jedi. It established that Rey and Kylo both had great knowledge and strength with the force. It also became clear that they have a connection in some way. The communication between the two is an originality in Star Wars that we have yet to see, and was very interesting. The connection is similar between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader in 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back and 1983’s Return of the Jedi. The two could talk to each other from different places in the galaxy.

    Luke Skywalker (played by Mark Hamill) returned once again to the new trilogy, but this time he played a large role in the movie compared to less than a minute of screen time in The Force Awakens. It was refreshing to see such an important character in Star Wars to return an have a big role in the movie. At the same time, I was disappointed in the way that the screenwriters wrote his character out to be in The Last Jedi.

    Skywalker was a paranoid hermit who seemed fearful of the power of Kylo Ren at the beginning of the movie. He eventually came to his senses with the help of his Jedi master, but Skywalker is a Jedi, he never should have been fearful or paranoid about the power of the dark side. Though, Mark Hamill had a stunning performance in playing a new side of Luke Skywalker that only he could accomplish.

    The Last Jedi introduced small characters that played a large role in the plot of the film, but eventually die off by the end of the movie. Characters played by Kelly Marie Tran, Benicio del Toro, and Laura Dern all had a crucial role in how the movie unfolded, but their screen time is short lived. They were introduced, given barely any backstory, get a subplot, and vanish. For example, Rose, who was played by Kelly Marie Tran, was introduced as a maintenance worker on a rebel ship goes on a wild goose chase for a random code breaker with Finn and falls in love in the process with him.

    All Star Wars movies have crazy and literal out-of-this-world characters and scenery, and The Last Jedi was second-to-none in using these. The imagery was stunning, with scenes shot in Ireland, Croatia, Bolivia, and Iceland. The scenes shot in real-world places looks more natural and has a certain beauty that the CGI just can’t accomplish.

    The Last Jedi introduced new random creatures that almost look like a five-year-old drew them, which isn’t such a bad thing. These creatures included Porgs, fat puffin-like creatures with large eyes, Volptexes, crystal foxes, and Fathiers, a giant horse-dog mix. It makes the viewers wonder about how these characters behave and what real-life animal they were modeled after.

    The Last Jedi is a Star Wars movie unlike any before it, in good ways and bad. The Star Wars fan base is mostly split on this newest installment, but it is a vital film in understanding the newest trilogy and the battle between the light and dark sides. The Last Jedi is a movie all Star Wars fans should see to get a better understanding of the war between the rebels and The First Order.

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About the Writer
Anthony Santa Maria, News Editor & Social Media Manager

Anthony Santa Maria is a junior at Monte Vista. This will be his second year writing for the paper and will be the news editor for the Stampede. Anthony loves sports, especially basketball and golf and plays for the Monte Vista basketball team. He enjoys to spend time in the mountains and listening to country music and classic rock.

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi Review