(This Review is Spoiler Free)
Before going to see the Last Jedi, I threw my mind back to when I went to see The Force Awakens two Christmas’ ago. I left the cinema feeling somewhat disappointed. I’d been a fan of the Star Wars universe for a while (I have a rather fond memory of receiving a Lego V-wing fighter when I was 7. Those were the days…) so naturally I was rather excited to see the galaxy I know and love revisited with all new characters. Truth be told, the Force Awakens didn’t blow me away and I must admit to falling out of love with Star Wars somewhat. Rogue One rolled around a year later and, although it was entertaining (The final act in particular was simply awesome), my love of Star Wars remained diminished.
Consequently, my first screening of The Last Jedi came with a hefty helping of anxiety (Because this is the sort of thing that troubles me, I’m not ashamed of it and I never will be). Could it finally bring me back to a place I know and love?
It’s safe to say it well and truly blew my mind.
I honestly don’t know what I loved the most. The plot felt fresh, the characters more intriguing and I finally feel home again. I was lucky enough to see it twice within 24 hours and it was as equally enjoyable to watch on both occasions.
Mark Hamill’s full return to the role of Luke Skywalker took me by surprise. I hadn’t thought too much of Luke back when I watched the original trilogy, strange considering how big a role he had had, but he was awesome in this. I won’t say too much but he was delight to see on screen again.
As mentioned, the plot of this instalment felt fresh though not without call-backs to previous episodes. I think a part of why I enjoyed this one so much was the exploration of something a little different in terms of plot and it was nice to see a certain plot device avoided. The similarities with previous Episodes were present but approached in a way that didn’t just feel like A New Hope with a fresh coat of paint. The locations we got to visit were also sublime but again, I won’t give too much detail on that aspect as those included are pretty pivotal.
In terms of other characters, I found myself feeling far more connected to the new group of heroes (and villains) than in the Force Awakens. I appreciate we were only really introduced to them last time but each were given their time to shine and develop into characters with greater depth. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Rey in the Force Awakens but the elements of her character explored this time definitely portrayed her in a more interesting light. Kylo Ren was another character who under went some fantastic changes that I can’t wait to see expanded on later. The introduction of new characters like Rose simply blew my socks off with the genuine connections I was able to make to characters I had never met before. I appreciate again it’s easier to achieve with supporting characters but I can’t wait to see their return.
My only gripe in terms of character is the treatment of Captain Phasma. I can’t properly rant about it this without giving too much away but I was again left feeling annoyed with her time on screen.
The more humorous side of this movie was also rather surprising. Sure Star Wars has its witty one liners but the Last Jedi had more than its fair share. That being said, the humour never really felt forced (Though on some occasions it did fall a little flat).
Another thing is that I was left really excited for the future of Star Wars. As the credits rolled it dawned on me that I’m going to have to wait ages (2 years has never felt so long…) for the next episode of Star Wars and it genuinely frustrates me. Sure we are getting Solo next year but I want to see heroes I have grown to love side by side in their fight against the First Order.
On a more sombre note, seeing Carrie Fisher on screen almost broke me. It’s rather terrifying to think that she only passed away just under a year ago and I hadn’t realised just how special she is. The Last Jedi did a superb job in intermingling the new and old, reminding viewers just how fantastic the characters are. All I have left to say is that Fisher’s performance had a rather profound effect on me.
The Last Jedi is the spark that has ignited a fire in my heart. I left my first screening of Star Wars: The Last Jedi a true fan once more and for that reason, the Last Jedi takes top spot as my all time favourite Star Wars film.
Any thoughts or questions? Please feel free to leave them in the comments! All I ask it that you keep them SPOILER FREE for the benefit of those who have not yet watched the film.