Nerdlocker Movie Review: Star Wars: The Last Jedi


Every now and then fate or karma or whatever you believe actually comes through in a positive way. In the case of The Last Jedi, it was given the guidance and direction of Rian Johnson, whose previous credits are criminally underrated. Well, it seems now he is getting his greatly deserved time to shine as not only the director of The Last Jedi, which stands among the best of the Star Wars films, but he has also been given the keys to create an entirely new trilogy from scratch. When this news broke I knew The Last Jedi had to be exceptional to be shown this kind of faith, and it is absolutely fantastic.

Answers are revealed and more questions raised as characters arc in their personal journeys to uphold their fates and change them if truly desired. Rey shows an unhinged, raw strength that is both awesome and terrifying as her heart is being split between lies and truths, dark and light. As she carries on trying to absorb all that she can from Luke Skywalker, he sees a familiar kind of unfocused ability that terrifies him to his very soul. On his island, his self-induced land of isolation is a sort of protection from those seeking his help and those seeking to destroy the Alliance and the Rebel forces once and for all. He believes his involvement in anyway spells disaster no matter the outcome. Rey must convince him otherwise as she too navigates her own morality tale and attempts to find her true north.

Finn continues to struggle with his own path split between his own well-being and the courage he has to muster to join his friends of the resistance to rid the galaxy of evil. He doubts his place and abilities to contribute to the overall picture and thinks everyone may be better off without him. It takes the courage of those around him to show him the light and his true destiny of salvation, both personal and of the galaxy.

One of the most compelling story arcs in this episode is that of Kylo Ren. The strength of the dark side motivates him but the pull of the light side is stronger than ever as he torments himself over the death of his father by his own hand and the scary desire to give his mother the same fate. He tries to follow the path set before him by his grandfather, Vader, but his interpretation of what the pull between dark and light actually means may be his greatest weakness. If he manages to truly understand his place in the galaxy, he will become a deadly weapon for the side he ultimately chooses.

The Last Jedi is very much a tale of finding one’s self. Whether new to the war of light vs. dark or a tattered veteran, the age of each character is irrelevant as no single path is clear no matter the position in their respective paths. Even in the twilight of life, things remain uncertain for every character which is used by some as a strength of rebellion or a weakness that should be buried, never to be spoken of. The choices they make range from small to story altering which clashes among the others creating unforseen scenarios that are both amazing to watch and fascinating to contemplate the possible consequences of these new directions being taken.

Every character is given a great amount of screen time and no one feels left out or underutilized. Despite a dense storyline, everything carries on at a brisk pace making for a meaningful complete film but also crosses the two and half hour runtime at a reasonable rate for those who may be a bit more unsettled at the thought of sitting still for that long. Fear not, it goes by quickly and does so confidently with great storylines and astonishing visual splendor that is a treat to experience all its own. A blockbuster that aims for the stars (pun) in every way is nothing short of hype-worthy.

The best they could have hoped for with this latest installment is a great sense of both completion and a desire to learn more and in this regard I believe The Last Jedi succeeds immensely. When the end credits began, I wanted more at the same time as feeling completely satisfied, that’s a good sign if you ask me. It’s an epic space adventure that balances a singular plot while managing to set up future plot points without any kind of heavy-handedness. The best advice I can give going into this film, accept that not everything you want answered will be and that a story going in unexpected directions is a good thing. For my money, Star Wars is in a great place and The Last Jedi is a resounding success.

Rated PG-13 For: sequences of sci-fi action and violence
Runtime: 152 minutes
After Credits Scene: No
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill, Domhnall Gleeson, Adam Driver, Carrie Fisher, Andy Serkis, Oscar Isaac, Laura Dern
Directed By: Rian Johnson

Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 4.5/ Acting: 4/ Directing: 5/ Visuals: 5
OVERALL: 5 Nerdskulls

Buy to Own: Yes

Check out the trailer below:

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Chase Gifford

"Cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world"-Jean-Luc Godard