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December 15, 2017

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Directed by: Rian Johnson

Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the second instalment of the third trilogy, in the now Disney owned property hit theaters around North America Thursday evening and Star Wars fans everywhere stood in long cold lines to be the first to see what has been deemed by many as one of the greatest Star Wars films since Empire Strikes Back.

The Last Jedi from Disney’s Lucasfilm was directed by Rian Johnson.

I went into this film not knowing what to expect. I had heard the hype, but had purposely avoided spoilers and even other reviews. Needless to say I was completely surprised and spoiler free going in to the movie.

Now I have to say off the bat this will be a spoiler free review, which will make it difficult to go into great lengths as to why I think what I think about the film, but I will do my best to give you my thoughts without ruining the movie.

Off the bat, this is a good movie. It was well acted, directed, shot and with a few exceptions it kept my attention from start to finish.

Mark Hamill, gave his best performance as Luke Skywalker I have ever seen. Daisey Ridley and Adam Driver were strangely satisfying as Rey and Kylo Ren respectively. John Boyega was both funny and dramatic in a way we’ve come to expect from this great young actor.  Of course. Carrie Fisher was mesmerizing in her last performance ever.

The Last Jedi is the most unique of all Star Wars films. Rian Johnson gave this movie a feel and tone that we have yet to see. Because of this I know there are some die hard Star Wars fans who will walk away from this film upset and unsatisfied. But for me, I found it so unique and fresh that I walked away from it mostly happy.

If there is one thing I didn’t like,  it was one side storyline involving the Finn and Rose characters that kills the pacing of the film. With a 2 hour and 33 minutes running time, this side story did the film no favors. I don’t want to say too much about it, but I feel that even though the Rose and Finn side story was well acted and is an important plot device of sorts, it kills the pacing of the film. I am hoping that this side story will pay off in future films.

Let’s talk lightsabers! Wow! The fight sequences were so well done and believable. One of my biggest complaints with the prequels was the extremely unrealistic lightsaber battles. These were so well done and believable

The Force is wielded in new and dramatic ways we have yet to see in the Star Wars Universe. This will upset many fans but I love the direction they are taking it. It’s nice to get away from the same old lifting rocks and X-Wings trope.

The Last Jedi did a lot of unexpected things so be ready to be thrown off when you see. It was beautifully shot, well directed, wonderfully acted, hilarious, heartwarming , serious, thought provoking and a bit frustrating at times.  It is too early for me to say where this film lands on my ranking of all Star Wars films, but I will say it was, for me better than The Force Awakens. I have to see it 7 more time before Christmas!

All that to say go and see The Last Jedi! I will be seeing it again and again and again. It’s a great film and a good Star Wars movie that will having you walking out of the theater asking: “Did I love it or hate it?” It makes you think, which for me makes it satisfying!

If you want more in depth spoiler talk be sure to tune into The DCast Podcast this Monday as Skyler and I talk about this film, spoilers and all!

Overall: 85%

Andy Herndon is a husband, dad, film geek, Disney nerd, video editor, YouTuber, host of the DCast Podcast and film student at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, OR. You can follow him on all the various social media networks at @andyherndon, listen to him on http://www.thedcast.com or see him on YouTube at youtube.com/andyherndon


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