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Review: “The Last Jedi” is a spiritual journey guided by the force

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The Last Jedi wasn’t quite what I expected.

In fact, it was the exact opposite in just about every way.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi took the concept of the “Empire Strikes Back” and sprinkled in elements of “Return of the Jedi”.

Twist and turns all over the place, the tension in the theater was unbelievable.

There was 3 or 4 moments in the film in which everyone gasped in amazement, including the grand finale.

I have covered more prize fights than I can count, and tonight carried that type of excitement before the opening salvo, and at various points during the film.

The new installment also introduced dynamics that have never appeared in any of the seven films that preceeded it.

When Disney first purchased Lucasfilm, hardcore fans quietly worried that the new studio would tinker with a universe that was just fine the way it was.

The  original films established rules, principles, values, to see that played with is an affront to millions of people.

The Force Awakens was a disappointment because of that, the film felt like a distant cousin of Star Wars, not a member of the nuclear family.

Rogue One meanwhile was supreme because it was truly rooted in the source material.

The Last Jedi is a different animal, and confirms some of the fears hardliners like this writer had going in.

I am trying my very best not to spoil the movie, but this is a review.

Read from this point foward at your own peril.

From Disney/Lucasfilm

The Last Jedi is the most Force focused film of them all, more of a spiritual journey than an action adventure,  the film firmly establishes a never before seen perspective of the comsic energy that is at the center of all the films.

The film succeeded in teaching the force to a newer generation of viewers, but it did so at the expense of the fans who have been riding all along, there was so many rules broken, and other plot points that contradicted the original movies.

Luckily, the lead in the film produced a breakout performance.

Rey was sparkling, she could close out this franchise as the most impressive Jedi lead of them all.

Rey’s character is the driving force of not just the movie, but the entire galaxy, she emerges in the film as somewhat of a Messiah, it’s clear the producers wanted the film to be her coming out party.

Rey is much more emotionally balanced than Luke or Anakin was, she is  essentially a mix of the two, and that confluence shines through on screen.

Luke Skywalker was not the beacon of hope he was at the conclusion of Return of the Jedi, which ended up that hurting the character.

Luke is supposed to be a force for good, the Star Wars universe version of Superman.

To see a broken down surly old man was disappointing, many of us were hoping for the Obi Wan Kenobi type character we saw in a New Hope.

The film elevated Rey’s value system over Luke friggin Skywalker’s, what’s up with that?

“The Jedi must end”?

From Disney/Lucasfilm

Luke’s entire quest to destroy the Jedi was so puzzling, and detrimental to the memory of the Jedi Order.

Even the monologue about the failure of the Jedi during the fall of the Republic was surreal, it felt like the character was being misrepresented.

The relationship with Rey was ridiculous at times.

Luke spent long stretches of the film dumping on someone that just wanted to love him, and all his “lessons” were rooted in negativity.

What did he teach Rey?

Even more so, how did they part ways?

Those questions hurt the film.

Luke’s interactions with Rey, and his overall contribution to the film was almost terrible, nothing about that performance will enhance what was once was an untouchable legacy.

I blame the writers.

Kylo Ren is not a genuine villian unless he is wearing the mask.

In fact, they should have just kept the mask on his face for the entirety of the three movies.

Adam Driver is such a weak villain, that the movie itself made fun of him throughout it, there was cues for the audience to laugh at the sheer impotence of Driver’s character,

Even Supreme leader Snoke roasted him to the tune of laughter in the theater.

The fact that he is the central villian in the new Star Wars trilogy is hard to believe at times.

Darth Maul, Darth Vadar, Kylo Ren, it’s really upsetting when you think about it.

Leia was even worse, Carrie Fisher was the face of Star Wars, they could have done so much more with her character, paid proper tribute to a fallen legend.

There is also a question about where exactly the character goes from here.

That should not be the case considering everything that has happened.

Visually the movie was eye candy, Disney has done an awesome job of upgrading an already cutting edge property, the special effects were out of this world, and did the legacy of the series justice.

The supporting cast did an excellent job as well, I look forward to seeing them again.

Finn, Rose, Poe, we have a group of heros that anyone could root for, and it works as many of the original characters have departed the series.

Finn was surprisingly good in the film, any doubts about where he fits in the narrative were answered, and Poe Dameron’s character development while forced at times ended being a nice touch.

Rose stole the show, in some ways, her character saved the film.

Rose is a character that could have appeared in the original films, she represents what Star Wars is all about, she is similar to Gyn Urso in that she is propelled by tragedy, and fights the first order tooth and nail.

Rose has heart, hope, and faith in being on the good side. .

John Williams rocked the house, the score was the best element of the film, Williams spliced in classic themes, but managed to package it in modern way.

Star Wars The Last Jedi was an upgrade from the Force Awakens, and contained enough game changing moments to be considered a decent entry into the Star Wars Universe.

But it ain’t no Rogue One

Tastie Fish Rating: Three Fish out of Five

 

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