'Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi' follows 2015's 'The Force Awakens,' which went on to become the highest grossing American movie ever made (not adjusted for inflation). J.J. Abrams successfully reintroduced moviegoers to fan-favorite characters as well as inject new cast members to kick off a new trilogy set in a galaxy far, far away. Rian Johnson, the man behind 'Brick' and 'Looper,' directs this installment and his vision of 'Star Wars' is something we haven't quite seen before.
Daisy Ridley returns as Rey and begins her training with the legendary Luke Skywalker, who is rumored to be the last remaining Jedi. Meanwhile, the First Order is closing in on the Resistance. The few remaining heroes, including Oscar Issac as Poe Dameron, John Boyega as Finn and Carrie Fischer in her final screen appearance as Princess, now General Leia, devise a plan to escape safely in hopes of preparing for a counterattack.
I'm trying to keep things as vague as possible to avoid any sort of spoilers here because while many of you may think these movies are sci-fi nonsense, 'Star Wars' fans are some of the most dedicated film buffs out there. The complaint from many of those that didn't enjoy 'The Force Awakens' was that it seemed too much like 'A New Hope' and didn't really bring anything new to the franchise. While the basic narrative of 'The Last Jedi' may not be terribly original, Rian Johnson has taken many risks, some of which may anger longtime fans.
In what has quickly become one of the most divisive entries in the series among fans, 'The Last Jedi' doesn't play it safe. Johnson delves into aspects of the long-running storyline and characters that has upset some moviegoers. While the film does fail to answer some of the questions of its predecessor, I found the film largely unpredictable towards the climax and genuinely didn't know what would happen next, which is sadly sort of rare in blockbuster studio filmmaking these days. Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, and Carrie Fischer deliver great performances in a darker vision of the galaxy that occasionally suffers from conflicting tones with some of the forced humor.
There are a few silly moments that I could have done without and a couple of scenes that I felt could have been removed entirely. But it also has some of the best moments I've ever scene in a 'Star Wars' movie, it has a fantastic finale in my opinion, and it was far more emotional than I anticipated. I understand fan complaints to a certain extent, but ultimately these are just movies, and they'll be releasing a new one every year for who knows how long. So you might like the next one. I, however, enjoyed 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' and I give it B+.