Director: Rian Johnson
Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill
Length: 2hr 32m
The Last Jedi is a magnificently bold addition to the galaxy far far away which speeds through its two-and-a-half-hour runtime at a hundred parsecs-an-hour; leading the audience through red herring after glorious red herring, never ceasing in its mastery of surprise and suspense.
Far from the Empire Strikes Back remake some expected, Episode VIII twists and turns, defying expectations grounded in forty years of Star Wars allowing no stabilisation. After an awe-inspiring opening scene, the danger remains, in the back of your mind, behind the eyes of every character, inside every turn of the script, permeating every inch of the screen. Just when it seems as if the story is following any sort of convention, Rian Johnson takes a lightsaber to it and the very concept of what Star Wars is.
This vigourous unpredictability is at the heart of what makes The Last Jedi such an exceptionally thrilling addition to the Star Wars universe and what will keep vitality in the franchise long after the Skywalker saga concludes.
With a bleak story that still remains hopeful in tone, Johnson incorporates what was so brilliant about last year’s Rogue One. Whilst doing this, he instils a real zest into the story through some truly hilarious moments; this helps to balance the portentousness of the plot and prevent the audience from drowning in it as we are allowed to in Rogue One.
As well as there being not a single bad performance in The Last Jedi, the way that the multiple pairs of conflicting characters interact with each other is consistently scintillating. The chemistry between Kelly Marie Tran and John Boyega as Rose and Finn is a joy to watch as they bounce off each other in the gorgeously shot world of Canto Bight. The strong parallels between Kylo Ren and Rey are, again, fresh and new for this franchise and the internal squabbling of Poe against General Leia and Vice Admiral Holdo really amplifies the chaotic feel of the Resistance at this point in the saga.
The set design, as always with Star Wars is incredible. The salt-covered world of Crait and the traditional wonders of the Rebel and First Order vessels are all gorgeously put together.
With all this in mind, it appears the franchise is in good hands. Fans old and new will love The Last Jedi. There are ample nostalgic moments to satisfy ravenous member-berry crazed Star Wars diehards but breaks from formula in a radical enough way, not just from its predecessor, but from the very concept of Star Wars. We can only hope that it holds up after multiple views.
And yes, porgs are awesome.