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Star Wars: The Last Jedi. FILM REVIEW


“Amazing. Every Word Of What You Just Said Was Wrong” – Luke Skywalker

2015’s The Force Awakens not only established a new trilogy in the Star Wars saga, the film also paved the way for many more exciting adventures and characters to come to us. While the last film was merely the stepping stones to the sequel trilogy, The Last Jedi shows the full potential of a Star Wars movie in this millennium and gives us the best entry since The Empire Strikes Back.

Beginning very shortly after the last film, the rebels are trying to escape the advances of The First Order in one of the greatest cinematic space battles I have ever seen. At the same time, we finally get to see what happens as Rey meets Luke Skywalker (yes, he does get to speak in this one). Rey needs Luke to help with both her own understanding of the force and help the resistance in their fight against the darkness.


Early in the film, we catch up with Finn, Poe, Leia, Chewie and well…everyone! We also get to see just how much of an impact the destruction of Starkiller Base has had on The First Order. The war is at its high point in this movie and the stakes have never been higher. The shocks are there and the action is breathless throughout, whether it was in space or amongst allies.

One thing we needed in this film was an answer to some of the big mysteries. We get a few answers and there is maybe one or two times in the movie where we have to accept we aren’t gonna be given everything! We also get to physically see Snoke, who inspires much evil and fear in his prominent appearance. Then we have Luke, we get to see what kept him away for all this time and we see just exactly how he feels about the war and his feelings about his nephew, Kylo!


Same as The Force Awakens before it and the spin-off hit Rogue One, The Last Jedi is a spectacle beyond my mere skills of explanation. The blend of practical effects and the best CGI that money can buy presents us with a depiction of the Star Wars universe that is impossible to hate. While a certain appearance will please the fans of old, one seen of a ship going into lightspeed presents possibly the greatest jaw-drop of the whole film.

Where as Episode VII was the first step back into this world, the new movie embraces what has come before it and ensures us that Star Wars is not afraid to break the cycle. Too many fans were possibly expecting a 2017 edition of The Empire Strikes Back, but that is not the case! Rian Johnson has created a piece which not only slots in perfectly to the established narrative, the film gives a sense of closure to some highly debated questions while keeping our excitement for Episode IX.


If I could pick my favourite character, I would only change my mind 5 minutes later. Mark Hamill does in this film what Harrison Ford did in The Force Awakens, this is a LUKE SKYWALKER film where as the last part was a HAN SOLO film. Without too much of a spoiler, we get to see a complete story for Luke and the pay-off is incredible.

Daisy Ridley is indeed the heart of the film, Rey is the character we are on the journey with and we do feel her need to learn and embrace the emotions she experiences on this story. Rey and Luke have a dynamic which is reminiscent to Luke and Yoda, but a lot more conflicted. Also, if you had any doubt about Kylo Ren as a villain, Adam Driver shows you in this movie that he is the most dangerous person (if still conflicted within himself) in this universe and someone you do not want to mess with.


We also get some other characters who shine in the extra screen time. Oscar Isaac’s Poe is fun and inspiring, Anthony Daniel’s C3PO gets a few decent laughs and newcomer Kelly Marie Tran gets to have a lot of fun with John Boyega’s Finn! We also sadly say goodbye to our Princess in this entry. Carrie Fisher has had a lot of attention on her in the last few years and it was her passing which really hit the fans hard. We all knew The Last Jedi was her last filmed appearance in this universe, but I can honestly say that Leia will be going out on such a great note. Nobody could ever replace Carrie Fisher and all I can say is that I wish we had maybe just a bit more from Carrie in this film.

The few gripes I have are just that, almost not worth the hassle. The film is a spectacle throughout and embraces the emotional and intimate beats perfectly. The action scenes remain fantastic and breathless as before. The only main issue I would have would be in the lightsaber battles, you need to watch the film to fully understand why. I just want to say I do like them, but there is nothing that compares to that fight in The Force Awakens!


With great character progression on multiple fronts, a real push in the story and a great set-up that will probably help for an easier wait for the fans wanting to see Episode IX, this film delivers all it needed to. Sure a few people may not like some of the choices, but you will indeed be surprised by this film and I for one can not wait to see what happens when J.J. Abrams comes back to conclude the trilogy.

Final rating: 9.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove


Star Wars: The Force Awakens. “You don’t know a thing about me, what I’ve seen… we all need to run.”



So, how can I describe this film without giving any of the spoilers? First off, the film is a huge achievement in what can be created in the world from George Lucas. Taking place around 30 years after Return Of The Jedi, we begin the story on the planet of Jakku. Jakku was where a huge battle had taken place many years before, and looks set to see more action from its earliest moments. We learn the FIRST ORDER has come to take over from the Empire and looks to defeat the Resistance, and the FIRST ORDER are tough. We are steadily introduced to our new lead stars, as they burst onto the screen in a fantastic way. From X-Wing pilot Poe, Scavenger Rey and Stormtrooper Finn, we get to see them introduced gradually over the first ten minutes. The amount of practical effects is evident greatly in the opening moments, and sets a great tone for the rest of the movie. Of course, we also get to meet new droid BB-8 (the best practical invention I have seen on screen for a long time). Also from the opening few minutes, we meet the main villain, Kylo Ren! From the very beginning, we know how powerful Kylo is (and there is a good reason he follows the path originally for Darth Vader). This is a character who controls the FIRST ORDER (the new Stormtroopers, who can actually aim well and mean business), very powerful with the force and owns a cool lightsaber. He has one main ambition, to hunt down a certain Jedi.


From the very beginning, we know we don’t need to rely on the old cast to make this film entertaining. The laughs are constant, especially during the first hour of the movie. The action makes a perfect blend of CGI and props really explode on the screen. Nothing beats the thrill of when you see Han Solo and Chewbacca first appear on the screen (I kid you not; there was an applause in that screen!). To have the millennium Falcon flying through the danger is always exciting, and the arm rests on my seat in the cinema definitely had plenty of wear from my grip (not force grip). To see the interactions of characters old and new is superb, whether it is BB-8 making friends with a familiar looking protocol droid or even Finn and Rey getting help with a smuggler and his hairy companion. Also, the number of villains in this movie may seem rather huge, but they all link back to the one cause. Kylo Ren may be the one we follow, but he is not the one in charge. Supreme Leader Snoke is a villain who looks to be the new emperor, but be sure to see more learnt about him as the film series go on.  Also, we see you can get bigger and better with the construction of Starkiller Base, a planet which is turned into a weapon (sound familiar? It seems like the Dark Side like to keep their plans huge!).


Remember, this is only the first of three new films in the main series. There is a certain amount of set-up in this movie, there is just so much going on and that last scene will be both slightly irritating and breath-taking. Daisy Ridley and John Boyega steal the show as Rey and Finn, both injecting a new blood to the system. Their combination works well on many levels and hopefully shall continue to grow in Episode VIII. Adam Driver portrays a convincing villain in Kylo Ren, his actions will have you both feeling bad (there are some issues) for him and hating him (when you see what he does, you will hate him!). Peter Mayhew and Harrison Ford lead the pack and provide central roles to The Force Awakens. Han Solo and Chewbacca do the same as they did in Episode IV and win fans over within seconds of appearing on screen, and Han is still a smuggler with a heart for adventure (wait till you see what he has recently acquired). There isn’t much to go on, but Andy Serkis brings a strong menace with Supreme Leader Snoke. When we next see him, it should be a chance to see the extent of his powers.  Carrie Fisher gets back into the Leia role nicely, and joined by Anthony Daniels as the popular C3PO definitely will please lifelong fans. There are too many characters to single out, but all play their parts well. Though I was hoping to hear “It’s A Trap” from one returning character, but it never pans out that way (but still very cool to see him).

Chewbacca and Han Solo in a still from the Star Wars: The Force

I must say, this has become my favourite film made by JJ Abrams (and only two lens flares that really stood out), and his writing partnership with Lawrence Kasdan (using Michael Arndt’s original and expanding on it) shows that they had the job down to a tee and Lawrence can still do top notch work like he did for The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi. George Lucas has passed this onto the safest of hands, and the future looks great. Having the opening text crawl is still the chill that sets you in for a great ride. The effects make the original trilogy not look out of place, making a good blend of what we saw and keeping the same look that we had back then. The film is not perfect, but it is superior to many films you will see this year. A few quarrels in regards to screen time for some characters are questionable and pacing is at times a bit off, but overall I loved this film. The excitement of two lightsabers striking each other is what we build up to in any Star Wars film, and this fight really does impress. It is a long wait now to May 2017 to see what comes next, but that last scene definitely shows you why you will want to watch the next one. Also, you know that Mark Hamill hasn’t been shown much in promotion, you will soon find out why! Also, look out for what happens when Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac, definitely will be the cool guy from this point onwards) shoot’s at a certain character, and soon regrets it.

A superb film, a pleasure throughout and the nostalgic trip which is easy to absorb. A great start to the follow-up trilogy we wanted. Best of luck to Rian Johnson, May The Force Be With You!

Final Rating: 9.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove