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‘Last Jedi’ leaves controversial mark in the Star Wars Saga

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Written and directed by Rian Johnson, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, is the second installment in the sequel trilogy to the original space opera. This controversial middle movie has divided the Star Wars community. With jaw-dropping visuals, captivating scenes, and questionable decisions, Last Jedi made its mark on the Star Wars saga.

The films begins right where Force Awakens ends, with Rey (Daisy Ridley) meeting Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) for the first time, while the Resistance rushes to escape their recently discovered base before the First Order’s full offensive forces destroys their cause and hope. Last Jedi mainly centers around the connections between Luke, Leia (Carrie Fisher), Rey, and Kylo Ren (Adam Diver) with the additional subplots from the remaining cast.

Star Wars is famous for its visual effects and Last Jedi does not disappoint. The best example of the immense detail put into creating beautiful shots is with the newly introduced planet, Crait. The salt planet has a thin layer of white, but with the tense battle between the First Order and the Resistance, the red underlayer is relieved creating a dramatically stunning contrast. As the Millennium Falcon zooms through the complicated web of red crystals one cannot help be impressed by the work of the animators.

The film’s runtime is two hours and 35 minutes, making it the longest Star Wars movie. Last Jedi is fasted-paced and jam-packed with information and visuals that engage the audience into the universe. However, during the particular sequences with Finn (John Boyega) and Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) the movie tends to feel like it is dragging on. They are sent on a wild goose chase to find a “master code breaker,” yet come up empty-handed at the very end of the film. Their journey adds no essential elements to the main storyline.

A modern movie trend has movies disrupting emotional scenes with humor. And Last Jedi is not exception. With General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) being reduced to the punchline of a joke to the unnecessary side remarks during moments of tension take the audience out of the emotional heat of the moment.

Although the Last Jedi has its flaws, it does not take away from the various scenes that leaves audiences wanting more. From the reunion between Luke and Chewbacca–as well as R2D2– to the unexpected jaw-dropping fight scene with two unlikely characters working together, viewers get to enjoy the magic of the Star Wars universe. One of the most emotional scenes, yet one of the quickest, is when Luke and Leia are finally together again for Luke had isolated himself for years. Their small remarks to each other remind fans of the original trilogy and back to Han Solo’s comment on Leia’s hair in Force Awakens.

With the recent passing of Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia/ General Organa), the film was dedicated to her legacy as an actress, role model, and princess. Fans get to see Leia as the natural-born leader that she is throughout the entire movie. Having helped Johnson write several scenes in Last Jedi, you can she hear her flare stand out the most when Leia scolds Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), “Get your head out of your cockpit.”

Star Wars: The Last Jedi, with all its flaws and successes, offers fans–even the casual viewer– a thriving experience through stunning special effects, compelling story points, and nostalgia for the original trilogy.

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