There is always hope for a new ‘Star Wars‘ movie. Two years ago with ‘The Force Awakens‘, Disney and JJ Abrams reinvigorated the franchise into becoming the #1 movie of all time. Not only was it financially successful, but it brought a new love to the film series, since the prequels almost destroyed all that ‘Star Wars‘ had built up since 1977. It was a new day in the ‘Star Wars‘ universe with new characters crossing paths with our favorite original characters, which made our collective nerdy hearts soar with happiness and nostalgia.
As those final moments of ‘The Force Awakens‘ come to a close and we see Rey (Daisy Ridley) hold out her hand with the iconic lightsaber to an older Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), we were forced to wait two years to see what happens next. The time is here now though with ‘The Last Jedi‘, which is the ultimate ‘Star Wars‘ movie and perhaps the most shocking ‘Star Wars‘ movie to date. I don’t know how many countless hours I’ve spent over the past two years, talking with my friends on possibly scenarios and theories on where these characters and story would take us. Needless to say, after all of the talk and hypothesizing, I was still way off, where Disney and director Rian Johnson (Looper, Brick, Breaking Bad) brought back that magic, emotion, and surprise that we first witnessed back with the original films.
‘The Last Jedi‘ picks up right where ‘The Force Awakens‘ leaves off with Snoke and Kylo Ren still wreaking havoc, as Rey is meeting Luke Skywalker and Finn (John Boyega) is recovering from his injuries. It doesn’t take too long to set the new story in motion with fights on land and in space. Johnson combines some excellent humor throughout the story too, which makes the film a lot of fun, all while being very serious. It’s a much needed sense of comedy that never feels too silly or over-the-top. In fact, it’s just perfect in how it’s executed. There are many different storylines that come together here that are never forced on us, but rather play out naturally. The dialogue and script is top notch, which touches on all the emotions. I found myself laughing out loud in addition to tears rolling down my face.
What’s great about ‘The Last Jedi‘ is that you really never know what path it’s going to take. You think it’s going on way, then it completely surprises you and leaves you excited for what’s to come. It’s something that feels totally familiar, and yet at the same time, something fresh and new. Everyone turns a solid performance here too, but the spotlight is definitely on Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher. Both have just grown into their roles over the past several decades, and they just own it. I can’t tell you how great it was to see Hamill play Luke Skywalker again. He plays it with such heart, wit, and expression that you can tell he’s been through some very dark times, yet he still has hope. It’s truly fantastic.
John Williams‘ new score combines the vintage ‘Star Wars‘ themes with some brand new ones and is highly memorable and adds to the tonality of each scene. I don’t want to dive into spoilers at all, but just know this is again, in my humble opinion – the ultimate ‘Star Wars‘ movie, that had me on the edge of my seat, shedding tears, laughing out loud, shocking me at every turn, and excited for what’s to come.