The latest addition to the Star Wars universe was exactly everything you could hope for and that much more. I went in speculating what the end result for this movie might be and I was not surprised. However, the journey on the way to that end was in true Star Wars fashion. With the main focus of the movie being on the newer characters, you can see a far far away future for the legendary franchise.
In one story arch follow Rey, played by Daisy Ridley as she approaches Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker to bring him back to the rebel fight. Although cliché, Hamill pulls off the old master not wanting to rejoin the fight with classic Star Wars style. Hamill does an excellent job of turning Luke into an Obi Wan persona with all the grief and guilt of losing a prize pupil. History repeats itself. But once again this focuses on the audience getting to know and accepting the new characters so the focus is on Rey’s journey on becoming a Jedi. Her training and discovery of the force and what the force really means. Just like Luke in the previous classic movies, Rey thinks she can turn Ben Solo played by Adam Driver from the side of the Sith and back to the ways of the Jedi. Daisy Ridley’s main interaction is with those two characters and she manages to switch her focus and produce great film chemistry with both. At the same time, we get a better and closer look at the tortured character of Ben Solo. Whatever reservations anyone had of Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren can now be put to rest. You actually get a better look at this villain than you ever did of Darth Vader and at times find yourself rooting for the villain.
In another story arch you follow Finn, played by John Boyega, and Rose Tico, played by Kelly Marie Tran, as they embark on a dangerous mission to save the Rebels. Just as in the last Star Wars installment, we see Finn become an unlikely reluctant hero. Finn is constantly put in situations where although his first reaction is to be self–preserving and selfish he is forced to step up to the plate and maintained the hero status that he really does not want. Like his friend Rey he is on a journey to be much more than what he thinks he is. Tran’s Rose Tico is the newest addition and a breath of fresh air. Rose inadvertently becomes more of a teacher to Finn in showing him how to be the hero he needs to be. Rose reminds us why there are rebels.
The opening scene features Oscar Isaac’s Poe Demaron seemingly facing off against the First Order alone. The devil may care fighter pilot. His humor and cockiness in the face of death makes the pain of not having Harrison Ford’s Han Solo bearable. But as all the new characters go through journeys, Poe’s journey is learning about leadership and the true meaning of bravery and valor.
The shining star of this movie is not with the newer additions to the Star Wars legend but with one of the original cast. Carrie Fisher’s last film appearance is her greatest film creation Princes Lea. You watch this film not thinking of the deceased actress in her last role but as Princess Lea leading a rebellion on its last leg. You watched a woman who has lead a rebellion that has cost her a brother, husband, son and any form of normal life. I watched this film the whole time thinking how the production will end her story because you can’t use her in the next movie. Without giving away any spoilers let’s just say if this is the last story of Princess Lea then somewhere in heaven Carrie Fisher is smiling and giving a nod to her latest work.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi was filled with action, adventure, and humor. The twist and turns this movie takes you on are amazing. I found myself on the edge of my seat due to the suspense as well as great action sequences. Yes, I admit, the end result of this movie was what I expected but the ride on the Millennium Falcon to get there was well worth the trip.
Kenny Walker Jr