ENTERTAINMENT
14/12/2017 03:57 GMT

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' - HuffPost Verdict

Our spoiler-free review of the latest chapter in the Star Wars saga

Disney

K E Y   P O I N T S

  • Latest addition to the Star Wars universe picks up right after 2015′s ‘The Force Awakens’
  • Rian Johnson, director of ‘Looper’ and ‘Brick’, takes over from JJ Abrams
  • The film is dedicated to Carrie Fisher, who makes one final, posthumous appearance as the iconic General Leia Organa
  • Meanwhile, Mark Hamill returns in full as legendary Luke Skywalker
  • ‘The Last Jedi’ has earned almost universal acclaim, and is already the most highly-regarded Star Wars film of all-time, according to review aggregator RottenTomatoes.com

S N A P   V E R D I C T

If ‘The Force Awakens’ was about re-introducing us to the wonder of the ‘Star Wars’ universe so many know and love, ‘The Last Jedi’ is about taking what we thought we knew and tearing it apart like the blackness tearing away at the soul of antagonist Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).

Whereas its predecessor was criticised by some for seeming too safe and by-the-book, ‘The Last Jedi’ dares to be much bolder and more surprising, asking us to look twice at the rules and teachings we believe about the Jedi and both the light and dark sides of the Force, as well as challenging us whether our heroes are really who they seem. It’s to director Rian Johnson’s credit, though, that these deep ruminations on the very nature of morality in the ‘Star Wars’ universe don’t bog down what is a fun and action-filled but still long film, sitting at 2hr 32min.

As well as marking a big philosophical shift, this film feels like a gigantic shift in character focus also. ‘The Force Awakens’ leaned on pre-existing characters such as Luke, Leia, Han and Chewbacca - ‘The Last Jedi’ instead firmly places its trust in the acting prowess of key players Daisy Ridley and Driver. And let’s not forget Resistance fighters Poe, Finn, and Rose (Oscar Isaac, John Boyega and the more-than-excellent newcomer Kelly Marie Tran, respectively), who do a terrific job embodying the everyman heroism ‘Star Wars’ has always been about.

It’d be criminal not to mention the elephant in the room surrounding the film, the untimely and premature death of Carrie Fisher, to whom the film is dedicated. Put simply, ‘The Last Jedi’ is a fitting tribute to Fisher and her spirit - ambitious, brave, charming, vibrant, unpredictable, and utterly unique.

B E S T   L I N E S

 

There hasn’t been a Star Wars movie, yet, that has explored war in the way The Last Jedi does. It’s very messy. The categorizing of good and evil, it’s all mixed together... John Boyega, speaking to Newsweek

 

T A K E   H O M E   M E S S A G E

Before ‘The Last Jedi’ even hit screens, Disney announced that director Rian Johnson would return for his own trilogy of ‘Star Wars’ films. You can see why they were so comfortable, his first crack at the series will be a gigantic hit. ‘The Last Jedi’ is a must-watch - get yourself to a cinema screen, and to a galaxy far, far away, as soon as humanly possible.