Film Review – Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) – Jordan’s Take

star wars the last jedi rey and luke

Rey and Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)

Written and Directed by Rian Johnson

Based on characters created by George Lucas

Starring Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher

Review by Jordan

Note that this review contains no spoilers

“Let the past die. Kill it, if you have to. That’s the only way to become what you are meant to be”

The authentically cinematic nature of the Star Wars films is unrivalled among the bastions of competitive franchises who would seek to dethrone its status.

Unlike the pantomime scenarios and unlived worlds presented in some big-screen blast of pop-culture cross-referencing, the series born from George Lucas’ original vision of a galaxy far, far away and the timeless battle and personalities that define it, and now continued through grandiose episodes both nostalgic and future-focussed in partnership with spinoffs that populate oft discussed gaps, feels both genuine and fantastical.

This has always been Star Wars’ strength: to ground the unbelievable and add consequence to every act.

Following Episode VII: The Force Awakens and the unexpectedly outstanding Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi takes the expected struggle between the domineering First Order led by Supreme Leader Snoke and decimated Rebellion commanded by Leia Organa, and uses its destined existence to focus less on the war, and more on inner turmoil and instincts of those fighting it. This is a captivating approach that naturalistically unearths hidden mysteries, though regrettably the outcomes of key character uncertainties aren’t as unpredictable as they originally, and so promisingly seemed to be.

The flaws of Poe Dameron (inability to distinguish loyalty from sacrifice), Finn (instinct to engage an adversary takes precedence over valuing life) and Luke Skywalker (trust for those with power to wield it admirably) are shown to have varying levels of account, and each hero receives the humbling and development they need; though at times Finn’s role in all of the dazzling chaos does appear uncertain. The predominant drawback relates to aspiring Jedi Rey and the anguished Kylo Ren, in the form of a deflating realisation that the captivating intersection their paths cross at may not lead to an end befitting its potential.

Ben Solo is such a tormented character, and his mantra of letting the past die to create a personal fate not pulled down by it so befits his deformed, though strangely compelling agenda. His power heightened and proposition made in earnest, its possible to view the film’s final act from the perspective of an exasperated mind struggling to comprehend the futility of good an evil without a lasting outcome.

It seems that Star Wars isn’t invested in lasting outcomes that define the greater balance; only the shifting sands of power as it resides in the hands of light and dark, maintaining consequences that will lead to the scales being tipped one way or the other until it tips again. Episode VIII: The Last Jedi is an important continuation of an epic saga in many respects, and as always it breathes cinematic quality, but the unforseen moments that lead to less than the anticipation they generate hold it back from greatness.

4 questionable milk sources out of 5

For Eddie’s take on the film CLICK HERE

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13 responses to “Film Review – Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) – Jordan’s Take

  1. Pingback: Film Review – Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017): Eddie’s Take | Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys)·

  2. I read yours and Eddie’s reviews together.
    I loved the movie, while what you say is correct that the series is not opting for long lasting stability, it is what i loved about it. Now I would have loved to see a spoiler review of the movie to know what you all thought about every big scene in the movie.

    • It was hard to not include any spoilers! For me the pivotal sliding doors moment was the snoke confrontation.. that’s where Ren and Rey’s fates combined so dramatically well, but then separated with little regard for how outstanding it could’ve been if they forged a new path…
      Jordan

      • I think they couldn’t have forged a new path. Kylo’s past was bloody for there to be no consequences.

        I really liked how they did it, how they stuck with what they believed in though that scene teased a lot especially with Rey being so similar the OG Anakin

    • I’m keen to see what my thoughts are upon RE-watching. I was so surprised seeing the reactions of most of the fans after my midnight screening who were really deflated about it!
      Jordan

  3. Just followed your guys’ website. Enjoyed both your reviews of this film and Eddie’s take on the best and worst of the year. I’ve admittedly not gotten to see many movies this year but was glad to see your opinions on the year. I’m honestly mixed on this film but I do agree it’s not really bad from a general film perspective but am mixed on it as a Star Wars film. Love the chicken walker and questionable milk sources aspects of both of your ratings.

    • Great to have you on board Samuel!

      It will be interesting to see how the dust settles on the Last Jedi but both Jordan and I agree its not a bad film at all, just one that perhaps isn’t what Star Wars is all about.

      Look forward to providing you with more honest reviews in the future.

      J and E

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