Film & TV

Film Review Episode Two: Star Wars – The Last Jedi

So you may have heard about this little thing called Star Wars and the recent instalment The Last Jedi. With a wide range of different opinions and reviews, we thought it best to ask what our Quench contributors had to say about the galaxy far, far away… (oh and there’s spoilers ahead)

The one feature I personally value over all else in a film is the story: what it is and how well its told. So that being said my first issue with The Last Jedi is that the storytelling is frankly appalling.

Threads that are set up in The Force Awakens are not explored at all. Mysteries like the origins of Snoke or Rey’s parents are thrown away. I’m not angry that they don’t relate to the originals in some way, like fans of this film suggest, I’m annoyed because they go nowhere, invalidating years of fan speculation and therefore frustrating many people.

Additionally, characters and side stories are pretty much irrelevant. Potentially interesting new characters like DJ and Rose ended up being two-dimensional cut-outs of characters we’ve seen before and other characters like Snoke and Phasma are reduced to nothingness. The whole quest with Finn and Rose is a waste of on-screen time, and even then, the main story is ridiculously full of plot holes and flaws.

The comedy feels forced. The pacing is all over the place. You’re never in one place long enough to fully immerse or invest yourself into it so none of the story really sticks until the end, which is a straight-up rip-off from TESB. That’s not the worst part though, the biggest crime Johnson commits is (spoilers) KILLING ACKBAR OFF-SCREEN AND REFERENCING IT IN ONE LINE. ONE LINE. HOW DARE YOU?

That all being said, visually the film is incredibly, and possibly the most beautiful piece of cinematography I’ve seen is at the end of act two. Simply stunning. Brilliant performances from Driver, Ridley and Hamill throughout.

Additionally, the film explores some intriguing themes; about command in wartime, the ethics of war and delves further into the nature of the Force. It’s just a shame they’re poorly explored and executed throughout the film.

By Samuel Capper

Having seen The Last Jedi twice now, I am certain about one thing: I love Porgs. That and Princess Leia is the best Superman since Christopher Reeve. Now, is it a good Star Wars film? Yeah.

Continuing on from The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, for me, is the course correction this trilogy needed. From the beginning, all bets are off. Everything which didn’t quite work in The Force Awakens is addressed. Didn’t like how Rey managed to beat Kylo Ren at the end of the last film with seemingly no training whatsoever? You’re in luck. Thought he was a whiny child? That’s brought up. Curious about Snoke’s origins? That’s a shame.

Although I didn’t think much of Kylo Ren up to this point, I do have to say that he made this film for me. Adam Driver’s conversations with Daisy Ridley are brilliant, who incidentally gets some of the funniest scenes with Mark Hamill. John Boyega’s Finn and newcomer Rose, played by Kelly Marie Tran, also get some great interaction with DJ, a rogue played by Benicio del Toro. The film is full of vibrant characters, a special mention however goes to Ade Edmondson, who plays off Domhnall Gleeson’s General Hux subtly but beautifully.

Now, no film is without flaw. The Last Jedi does have a tendency to be overly-comedic at times, which does hamper at least one important scene. The Last Jedi is also the Star Wars film with the longest runtime, which is noticeable, as the film seems to have two endings spread over half an hour.

This isn’t a retread of Empire Strikes Back. However, given how the film ends, I cannot see Episode IX being anything other than a modern Return of the Jedi. But I was happily surprised here, hopefully that’ll be the case again.

By Anthony Stonestreet

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