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Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

It’s time for another movie review presented by our good friends over at FatCats Gilbert on the southwest corner on Greenfield and Baseline! FatCats Gilbert is the best place to see all of the latest box office hits like the brand new Star Wars film, Star Wars: The Last Jedi! To see all showtimes and to purchase tickets, you can click right HERE!

It’s finally Star Wars time! It’s nice that we have that to look forward at the end of the year now. I’m not exactly the guy who can recite every fact about all of the movies, television shows, books, and comics, but I do love Star Wars, and being able to sit down in a theater and experience a brand new installment of one of my favorite franchises since I was a little kid is awesome. This is one of the reasons I watch movies. It’s not necessarily because of Star Wars, but the feeling I get when the lights go out in the theater and I hear the John Williams score is the exact feeling that I love, and few things can give me that feeling the way movies do. I’m also not on the side that hates The Force Awakens. Say what you will, but I loved The Force Awakens, and I think it’s much more than a remake blanketed by nostalgia. Rogue One has somewhat fallen off my radar, though. Of course, I love the Vader scene, but I can get my eight hours of sleep at night simply knowing the events of Rogue One as background knowledge for the original 1977 film. Anyways, I was psyched to finally get the chance to see The Last Jedi, so let’s talk about it! I also want to say that this review will be completely SPOILER-FREE. I won’t be spoiling anything in this movie, so feel free to continue on untainted!

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is directed by Rian Johnson and stars Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Carrie Fisher, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Laura Dern, Andy Serkis, and Kelly Marie Tran. In the midst of the First Order’s final steps towards finishing the Resistance, Rey comes to the legendary Jedi Master Luke Skywalker for training and to find out exactly who she is.

Again, this review will be relatively vague and spoiler-free which is why I tried to keep the synopsis shorter than usual, but I’ll say that I loved this movie. I had the same feeling walking out of the theater that I had right before the film started. It’s pure happiness and excitement, and The Last Jedi is a completely worthy eighth installment in the saga. First of all, it’s very different from every other Star Wars movie. It takes so many risks and takes twists and turns that I never would have expected it to take. If you had an issue with The Force Awakens being too similar to A New Hope, I think you’ll walk out of The Last Jedi completely satisfied. I know that I was more than completely satisfied. There are points in this story that shocked me to the point where I didn’t know how the trilogy would continue on. My mouth was stuck open multiple times throughout the film, and I love when a movie can do that to me. It’s also full of incredible character moments. The reason I loved The Force Awakens so much was because of the characters and the unforgettable character moments. The Last Jedi delivers those character moments and more, and years from now we’ll look back on them as saga-defining scenes. They all beautifully fit into the story as well. They don’t feel like singular moments. They feel like parts to a bigger and better whole, and I think that Rian Johnson did a fantastic job. He told this story as well as he possibly could have, and he hid the secrets to come later in the film brilliantly. He could keep his secrets and keep us on our toes, but reveals never detracted from what we see early on in the film. This movie also looks amazing. I see where every single penny of the budget went, and this story-world was near-perfect from a visual standpoint. We travel all throughout the galaxy at light speed, and not once did I think that a shot didn’t belong visually. It’s also very well-edited. All of the transitions lead into the next scene seamlessly, and we can bounce all over the universe without having a certain edit feel jarring and without losing investment in certain story-arcs. We cut, then I instantly invest myself in what I see on-screen. It’s well-made, it’s different, it’s filled with amazing character moments, it’s filled with surprises, and it had the ability to make me nerd out in my chair with my mouth stuck open multiple times. Maybe the best part of all of this is that it feels like a Star Wars movie. It’s true to each film that has come before it, and it builds upon the mythology and the groundwork that has been lain for it. I loved this movie so much, and I can’t wait to get to the theater and check it out again.

In case you missed it up above, I loved this movie, but there are a few things that I didn’t particularly care for. I’m still not going to launch into any spoilers, but I will go over the issues I had with the film. A couple of character moments do miss. There are a lot of hits in this film, and if we were talking in terms of baseball, The Last Jedi would have about a .900 batting average with multiple home runs, but there are still moments and arcs that didn’t quite work for me that I could definitely discuss if we were to talk about this movie in some more detail. For now I’ll just say that I had some issues with both new characters and old characters, Finn, DJ, Leia, and Holdo to name a few. I also think that there are a lot of conveniences. I know what you’re saying. “Come on, Justin. It’s a Star Wars movie. Han found Luke on Hoth.” I know, but I still think that there are times where a couple of dots fail to connect. To be fair, there are lots of moving parts in The Last Jedi, and I’m sure it was cut down to two hours and thirty-two minutes from somewhere between four and five hours, but there are certain disconnects that didn’t work for me.

I did end up absolutely loving the movie, and it might be the film I’ve enjoyed the most in 2017. Many people didn’t like how similar The Force Awakens was to A New Hope, but The Last Jedi is nothing like The Empire Strikes Back. It’s nothing like any Star Wars movie or show we’ve seen, and it absolutely shocked me. It’s risky, it’s surprising, and it’s exciting, and I think that Rian Johnson did an incredible job bringing all of the insane moments of story and character together to form a fascinating emotional roller coaster of a movie. There are certain sequences in The Last Jedi that will go down in Star Wars history because of how they shifted certain characters and threw the overall arc of the trilogy for a loop, and I think that it’s great that it was willing to shock audiences. I’ll remember this movie, and I’ll be thinking about it for a long time. It made almost all of the characters from The Force Awakens better, and it introduced some excellent new characters as well. It also might be the best looking Star Wars movie. There are shots that made me sit back in my seat and gulp because of how beautiful they were terms of framing, lighting, and coloring as well as what was happening on-screen. It has those perfect moments that I wish I could see again for the first time, and all of those moments add up into a greater whole. The Last Jedi feels like another Star Wars film that is true to its predecessors legacy while also building upon it. While there are many character moments that hit, I do think that a few character moments, scenes, and arcs miss, but I can’t wait to get back in the theater and experience this one with fans. As much as I love going to the screenings for films like Star Wars: The Last Jedi, there’s nothing like experiencing some of these moments for the first time surrounded by people who have no reservations about audibly freaking out at freak-out-worthy moments. I’m going to give Star Wars: The Last Jedi a 9/10.

Will you be seeing Star Wars: The Last Jedi? Comment down in the comment section and let me know! As always, thank you, and keep listening to 88.7 The Pulse!

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Justin Lyons

Hey, it's Justin Lyons! I am the Chief Film Critic for The Pulse. Have any questions for me? Please feel free to email me at movies@pulseradio.fm