Benz Eye View: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

It is time for another Star Wars film in the Sequel Trilogy.  Will it outdo its previous installment?  Only one way to find out…

the-last-jedi-theatrical-blog
Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Pros: 

1.) If there is one thing I did enjoy in the last film, it was the characters, and they are still great in this installment.  Rey has a better emotional conflict compared to the last film, Finn wants to be of use in helping the Resistance, Poe has a bigger role of protecting others instead of trying to deliver the plans of Starkiller Base, returning characters (i.e. Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa) have a huge role to fill, and even new characters (i.e. Rose and Holdo) have something interesting to put in the film.  All of these characters are interesting in their own ways, and they are all fully-realized.

2.) Many argue that The Force Awakens is too similar to A New Hope.  While The Last Jedi does have elements of The Empire Strikes Back, it does have a concise story (almost, but I will get to that in a moment).  All of these characters I mentioned have their own conflict (I would be specific on what they are, but I believe it is best for you to watch it yourself to see what they are) that clashes with other characters like Rey and Luke’s conflicts.  It all leads up to the awesome third act that will give every Star Wars fan a chill in their spines.

3.) This is Star Wars.  Of course the production and post-production values are great.  The costumes, the special effects, the environments, the set designs, the lighting, etc. are fantastic.  I would say more, but I think you will get the idea when you see the film.

 

Cons: 

1.) If I have to nitpick what I have noticed in the film, I feel like the first half of it slightly dragged a bit.  There are moments where I felt that some areas were confusing, but I did manage to catch up over time (there are a couple of exceptions, but I will not get into specifics).  Still, despite having a well-written story, there are arguably a little too many sub-plots that take over the film.  It is paced well enough to follow all of it, but some get more time than others, and I argue that a few scenes are not really needed (unless if they are foreshadowing Episode IX).  In fact, one sub-plot that is probably the worst out of all of them is Finn and Rose’s subplot.  It is unfortunately necessary, because it is needed to progress the main plot, but maybe a few rewrites then that subplot could have been better.

2.) There are a couple of characters that I initially thought were a big deal when they were introduced, but the film disappoints me when it is revealed that they are not.  Once again, I will not spoil it for those who desperately want to watch the film, but when you do see it, I think you will know who they are.

3.) Another disappointing thing to bring up (but will not spoil) is that certain questions that were brought up after The Force Awakens.  A couple of those questions are answered, but are not fulfilling.  Maybe some of it will expand in Episode IX, but…well, we will just have to wait and see.

Side-Con.) This side-con does contain slight spoilers, so avoid it if you do not want to see it.  I will be vague on this slight spoiler if you are really curious, but I suggest you watch the film in order to understand what I am talking about.  (SLIGHT SPOILERS)  What they did to Luke Skywalker in this film disappoints me personally.  I am a huge fan of Star Wars, and they reduced him into this?  It makes me wish that the original Expanded Universe is still canon.  In terms of the film itself, it actually gives some depth to the character, but I really do not like how a great character that we have known since his inception has been reduced to what he is now in the Sequel Trilogy instead of what I like about him in the original Expanded Universe.  I am willing to not let it affect the score, but it still bothers me to no end.  (END SLIGHT SPOILERS)

 

Overall: 

On December 15, 2017, Star Wars: The Last Jedi was released into theaters.  The Force Awakens was a huge success (especially compared to The Phantom Menace) despite many similarities to A New Hope.  Now that J.J. Abrams has stepped down from directing Star Wars (until Episode IX), it is now up to Rian Johnson (who directed Looper) to direct this new installment of the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy.  Apparently, his producers thought he did such a great job that the idea of a new Star Wars Trilogy outside of the Skywalker plot circle that he pitched and was approved.  Does The Last Jedi prove not only to be great, but also allow for Rian Johnson to create his new Star Wars Trilogy?  Short answer: yes, and better than The Force Awakens, but just barely.  I admit that the only reason why I liked The Force Awakens is the nostalgia factor, and now that I watched it multiple times and looked closely, it should have gotten an 8/10.  However, The Last Jedi improved many of the flaws from the previous installment (though they did add some new ones) while making its own film that is set in the Star Wars Universe.  I agree with many people that this is currently the best Star Wars film in the Sequel Trilogy, and now let us see how Episode IX will hold up (as well as Johnson’s new trilogy).  Any Star Wars fan will be happy to see that the Force is strong with this one.  However, there are things that I have noticed that tick off some of the fans, so I suggest watching it with low expectations.

8/10

I did watch it in 3D, and there is very little point of having it on, so watch it on 2D if you wish.

Before I close this review and Star Wars Marathon off, I just want to say that it is unfortunate that Carrie Fisher (the actress who played Leia Organa) passed away a week after Rogue One.  It is sad that she is gone, and I have heard that she was a great and wonderful woman.  Here is a video that was shown in the D23 Expo that is a tribute to Carrie Fisher.  May the Force be with her, and rest in peace.

 

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