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'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' review: The Force is stronger than ever

A still from 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

With The Last Jedi, we pick up exactly where things were left off with The Force Awakens. Rey (Daisy Ridley) is handing over the lightsabre to Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) at Ahch-To, the Jedi order’s temple where he’s self-exiled himself. The Empire’s First Order has risen again under the guidance of Snoke (Andy Serkis) and his protégé Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). The Resistance, under the leadership of General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) is struggling to fight the dark side. After J.J Abrams’ successful direction of the first in the sequel trilogy, the reins were handed over to Rian Johnson (Looper) who subverted most Star Wars tropes with his fantastic vision for part two. While the first of the trilogy was distinctly dark, Johnson makes his sequel light, injecting comedy in unusual places. There’s a strong focus on the characters instead of what they stand for. For instance, the lightsabres are minimally used, even Kylo Ren is without his mask for most of the time.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • Director: Rian Johnson
  • Cast: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern, Benicio del Toro
  • Story line: Rey must learn the ways of the Jedi from Luke Skywalker to defeat the First Order

It’s difficult to talk about ‘The Last Jedi’ without giving spoilers so here are a few reasons, you should make your way to a screening of the film asap.

The Force: If you believe in it, the Force is within all of us, but seeing its manifestation in Rey, especially her learning to control her powers is incredibly heartening. But it’s Skywalker’s shining moments that are truly uplifting. The Master, to paraphrase The Wire, stays the Master.

Nostalgia: The order of the Jedi lives on with Hamill’s Luke Skywalker returning to train Rey in the ways of the Force. Fisher as Leia Organa is every feminist’s wet dream with her strong leadership. Even R2D2 does his part to make the audience go aww. Johnson equally focuses on keeping the legends alive while allowing the young ’uns to let loose and be wild.

Heroes and villains: The battle between good and evil comes down to the new generation. Kylo Ren follows his deceased grandfather Darth Vader’s footsteps, constantly thwarted by Rey’s developing Jedi powers. We’ve seen how the two are strangely connected by the Force. The new film explores their bond, delving deeper into their past and what truly lies inside their soul.

New characters: With The Last Jedi, we’re introduced to so many new heroes. Watch out for the brave Admiral Amilyn Holdo (Laura Dern) stepping in to lead the Resistance and the courageous Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran). Even Benicio del Toro appears as the unscrupulous codebreaker DJ.

A still from 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'

A still from 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Action: No Star Wars film is complete without plenty of outer space and laser combat scenes. The Last Jedi doesn’t disappoint keeping you on the edge of your seat every time the First Order gains on the Resistance. There’s plenty of bang, whether it’s hand-delivered or machine-made.

Furry friends: It’s the little moments in The Last Jedi, courtesy Johnson, that truly make the film great. Take for instance, Chewbacca’s friendship with the Porgs — fluffy penguin-like birds from Ahch-To — whose wide-eyed stare will put Puss in the Boots to shame. Then there are the Fathiers, horse-like animals used at races with huge bodies and equally gentle personalities. Lastly, there are the Vulptex, crystal foxes that save the day in the nick of time.

Arguably, one of the best Star Wars films in the whole franchise, ‘The Last Jedi’, as clichéd as it sounds, has something for everyone. While fans will be more than satisfied, the film is blockbuster entertainment for the uninitiated as well.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2021 10:16:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/star-wars-the-last-jedi-review-the-force-is-stronger-than-ever/article21669968.ece

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