Star Wars: The Last Jedi Review – May the Force Be Rebuilt

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The following review includes a discussion of the plot and the fates of characters in the latest Star Wars saga; if you don’t want ANY spoilers, do not read beyond this sentence.

I took my 9-year-old son to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi on the IMAX 3D screen at the AMC Hoffman 22 yesterday. Personally, I was very skeptical about how good this episode was going to be given how eerily similar episode VII ‘The Force Awakens’ was to the 1977 classic episode IV ‘A New Hope’. I will say that while ‘The Force Awakens’ revived the Star Wars franchise, ‘The Last Jedi’ will have old and new fans loving the franchise more than ever.

This episode is funny, dark, and filled with great action. The great joy of ‘The Last Jedi‘ can be summed up in a line from Luke Skywalker: “This isn’t going to go the way you think.”

While this episode has some parallels to ‘The Empire Strikes Back,’ the parallels are told in such a way that tears down and completely rebuilds the Star Wars franchise and that was refreshing to see from Writer/Director Rian Johnson. This is evident when Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) tosses his lightsaber away after it was brought to him by Rey (Daisy Ridley) on Ahch-To, the sacred Jedi island. This is also evident when Supreme Leader Snoke orders Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) to take off his mask. One thing I did love about this movie is just when you think the movie is near an end, we get another plot twist to make you love Star Wars even more.

This episode is full of lightsaber battles and quirky creatures. We get lots of Leia and Luke Skywalker unplugged. There’s Rey and Kylo Ren coming to terms. And Yoda makes a lovable appearance.

The action scenes, especially in 3D, are not to be missed on the big screen, including a battle where Kylo Ren and Rey join forces against Snoke’s Praetorian guards. The scene where the Resitance cruisers bridge is blown up (and General Organa is blown out to space) will make you gasp. Another, in which Vice Admiral Holdo single-handedly wipes out a whole First Order fleet, will forever live as one of the best space war scenes of all time.

While there’s plenty to love, the movie does run a bit long as there is quite a lot to tell. For example, I didn’t like the casino scene. It seemed pointless, as if it was written in the film to give the underused Finn something to do.

While it may be slow-moving, ‘The Last Jedi’ finishes by giving the series not just a new hope, but a new and electrifying sense of purpose and a passing of the old guard to the new. Best of all, no one is blowing up a Death Star.

You can find showtimes at the AMC Hoffman 22 at this link.

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