Stars: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, Andy Serkis, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern, Benicio del Toro, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Lupita Nyong'o, Joonas Suotamo, Frank Oz, Billie Lourd.
Director: Rian Johnson
Screenplay: Rian Johnson
This is the first original Star Wars movie that we have seen since Revenge of the Sith. It uses homage and story structure to present its universe and leaves nostalgia at the front door. This is an original take on the familiar rather than relying on the familiar trope of what people want. Rian Johnson was smart to use the Empire approach while turning it on its head.
In the last film the resistance really punched the First Order in the nuts, but after they groaned in pain on the ground it made them fucking furious which has left our heroes in a serious pickle that is not easy escape. The First Order are on the war path and with the republic obliterated all they have to do is pick off the resistance one by one. While at the same time Rey (Daisy Ridley) is trying to convince Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) to bring back hope and balance to the fight and pleading with him to help her control her awakened powers.
This is not a plucky save the day extravaganza fest like Awakens nor is it the pandora's box fiasco of Rouge One, It is basically a beast in the middle of the two and a surprising one at that. A lot happens here that excited me; how are you allowed to do all of this in a second chapter? All the while we are watching our heroes there is a finality to this film that you normally do not experience in a second part of an ultimate trilogy. There is mourning here. With Carrie Fisher's final performance being beautifully presented to us is pretty much more that I can take as it adds a gravitas and uncanny experience to the whole message of the film.
The focus on the grey area is done so well here; the middle ground that Star Wars does not always take. The Last Jedi focuses on perspective; perspective of Poe Dameron's (Oscar Issac) vs. Leia Organa's command styles, perspective of Rey Vs. Kylo Ren's (Adam Driver) connection between each other and the force, perspective of Finn's (John Boyega) vs. Rose's (Kelly Marie Tran) sense of loyalty, perspective of even the grey area of Luke vs. Rey. It is a film about people working together while misinterpreting or overriding each others approaches which ultimately leads to failure.
There is much more here I am sure, I am still processing what I have seen. This is new in the realm of this world, it functions well within it but it pulls at the normalcy of what we have come to expect. Next time let's see what it is saying.