” I only know one truth: It’s time for the Jedi… to end.”
- What is this movie about?
Rey develops her newly discovered abilities with the guidance of Luke Skywalker, who is unsettled by the strength of her powers. Meanwhile, the Resistance prepares to do battle with the First Order.
[BEWARE OF SPOILERS]
Here we have (finally) Episode VIII of this space saga! And while some critics are saying this is the best movie of the whole saga, I beg to differ: nothing can compare to the original trilogy, and nothing can be better than The Empire Strikes Back (ESB), so sorry. That said, here comes my critical review and again, beware of spoilers!
The movie as a whole is good and entertaining one. The story picks up mere seconds after the end of The Force Awakens (TFA) and here we are shown two and a half hours of pure Star Wars entertaining, which I felt it was a bit too long even though there were many open story paths that we as an audience follow that needed to be closed and new ones that were opening. As for the opening, it starts pretty similar like the one in ESB where we had the epic Battle for Hoth, where the rebels had to flee from the planet and here this is happening again: the Resistance needs to flee from the First Order but they do here in a less victorious way, and it takes them the whole movie to get away with it (sort of), even though the survivors are only a bunch of people. Most epic scene? Leia using the force (finally we get to see it!!). But besides it, it looks like everything is a mess for the Resistance as the First Order is only winning step by step and they are just running away and losing people, kind of depressing if you think about it.
Then there is all the Rey and Luke plot, which reminds us again of the ESB; when Luke goes to find Yoda so he can train him. Here, besides the almost inexistent training and a guest appearance by Master Yoda, we are faced with Rey connecting all the time with Kylo Ren, who tries to persuade her to join him and rule the galaxy… er… be rulers of the First Order. And as like in Return of the Jedi (ROTJ) she goes to meet him and try to change him, which for a moment it looks like he will, as he kills Snoke (or was it Darth Sidious?) to save her but then he isn’t that good. Speaking about Snooke… what a waste of a character! But at least he died like old Darth Maul. He appeared and disappeared faster than we can say Jar Jar and we have no clue about his background, such a pity.
Going back to Luke, he is like a grumpy old man who wants to end the Jedi history. Why? We don’t know, but he is stressed out. What we do know is, that it is his fault that Ben became Kylo as he foresaw the future, much like Anakin saw Padme dying of childbirth. At the end of the movie Luke finally does something good and we get to see some Jedi battle, only to finish with Luke’s death. Which makes us wonder if there is a pattern there: Episode VII = bye bye Han. Episode VIII = bye bye Luke. Episode IX = bye bye Leia? We’ll have to wait two years to get our answer.
Then we have the Flinn and Rose subplot, which for a moment it reminded me of The Phantom Menace (TPM), but instead of flying machine we have lovely animals. Was this plot needed? Probably not. Because in the end what they do is kind of useless for the Resistance, but we needed some funny moments in the movie and they are the responsible to do so. And for Finn to face Phasma for the last time (or is it not?).
Finally, there is the final scene. That little boy accioing his broom and almost flying like Harry Potter into the horizon. Does it confirm that Rey parents are a nobody, like Kylo Ren tells her? Hopefully the answers will come in 2019. Above all the movie is way better than TFA where new questions are left in the air for us to think about their answers. More than a continuation of the story, the movie closes the previous storyline and begins a new story which will end in Episode IX; instead of being a bridge between the first and the third movies of the trilogy. As a final note, the music is fantastic and as a true fan you will feel really nostalgic with it and with the many references and easter eggs that appear. Plus, we love porgs.
– The film was released over forty years after Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) and marked the 40th anniversary of the Star Wars film franchise.
– With a running time of 152 minutes, this is the longest movie of the Star Wars saga. The previous record was held by Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002), with 142 minutes.
– The original release date was May 26, 2017. However, in January of 2016, the film’s release was rescheduled for December 15, 2017, based on how successful Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015) was releasing in December
– Luke Skywalker mentions “Darth Sidious” by name, the only throwback to a name that only appeared in the Prequel Trilogy (Though Darth Sidious does appear in “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi,” he is only referred to as Emperor Palpatine). It is likely that Luke learned the Sith title of Palpatine by conversing with the Force ghosts of Obi-Wan or Yoda sometime between “Return of the Jedi” and “The Last Jedi.”
– This is the first “Star Wars” film to use a flashback structure. Previous entries had always used Force visions to allow exposition.
– This was the eighth Star Wars film to be composed by John Williams.
– Director Rian Johnson admits that he moved Kylo Ren’s facial injury. In Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), Rey slices his face with her light saber, giving him a laceration that goes across the bridge of his nose. In this film, the injury has scabbed over, but is now over his right eye. Johnson says a scab over his nose did not look right. Coincidentally, the placement of the scar matches a similar injury on Anakin Skywalker, in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (2005).
– The scene with the “ship” that turns out to be a clothes iron is likely a tribute to “Hardware Wars”, a spoof short made after the original Star Wars was released.
– General Lea Organa’s Mon Calamari cruiser bears the name “Raddus,” named for the character of Admiral Raddus in Rogue One (2016).
– The creatures known as Porgs are never actually mentioned by name on screen.
– Lawrence Kasdan initially wrote a story outline for the film, but was called away to work on Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015) when problems arose with that film’s initial script. When Rian Johnson signed on as director, he requested to be allowed to scrap Kasdan’s story and write his own script from scratch, to which the producers consented, as Kasdan’s outline no longer matched up with the finished storyline of the previous film.
– This was Carrie Fisher’s final film due to her death in December 2016.
– None of Carrie Fisher’s scenes in the movie were cut out following her death in 2016.
– After the breakthrough CGI that was displayed in Rogue One for recreating long gone actors, the filmmakers of this film saw fit to issue statements ahead of release, shutting down any speculations (or worries) on the possibility of such a technology being used for the late Carrie Fisher. In short, all her scenes (barring the stunts) are categorically hers, including the dialogue.
– Carrie Fisher was also a well-known writer, whose services were often called upon to act as script doctor for other films. She later began declining such assignments when producers would solicit her story ideas, then hire someone else to actually change the script, and use her ideas without paying her. However, director Rian Johnson revealed that Fisher helped with the writing of the script for this film.
– This was the first film in the series in which Kenny Baker was not involved in the portrayal of R2-D2. Jimmy Vee was given the job, shortly before Baker’s death.
– Joaquin Phoenix turned down the role that eventually went to Benicio Del Toro.
– It is rumoured that British Princes, William and Harry filmed cameo appearances in the film as stormtroopers.