Star Wars: The Last Jedi Review

  • Every year since 2012 my friends and I have made plans to go and see a film at Christmas.  It began when various members of my college class wanted to go and see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in 2012 so we decided to all go and see it together one day after college was over.  This quickly became a tradition and since then we’ve always seemed to put in a bit more extra effort into making ourselves available for the Christmas film.  This year was the turn of Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Episode VIII) and with a party consisting of nine people including myself we were a Force to be reckoned with.

    I was a tad apprehensive about going to see the newest instalment of the Star Wars saga as I had been exposed to spoilers about what happened in the film about a week before we went to see it.  I was so very relieved to discover these supposed spoilers were not true whatsoever! I’d managed to go into the film totally blind, which is an achievement in modern times.

    The false spoilers I had been told involved discovering Snoke to be a kind of Force Vampire who sought after Luke’s Force energy and was using Kylo Ren & Rey as pawns to lure Luke to him.  There were a few other things but they’ve all managed to successfully escape my memory.

    However, before you read on, this review is going to be rather spoiler-heavy so read ahead at your own risk.


  • The Last Jedi opens up with the Resistance on the run from the might of the First Order through space.  Due to technological advances the First Order can now track the Resistance freighters through light-speed jumps so that the Resistance cannot escape the pursuit.

    Finn and newcomer to the series, Rose, team up to try and disrupt the tracking technology on Snoke’s Star Destroyer to allow the Resistance to make their escape whilst Po stages a mutiny on the Resistance ship after Leia is wounded in battle and is replaced by a woman who seemingly has no long-term plans outside of running away.

    Rey manages to convince Luke to train her but the training sessions don’t go over too tell and Rey learns the truth of what happened the night Kylo Ren slaughtered Luke’s Jedi protégés.

    Rey and Kylo Ren discover they have been connected by the Force and begin to talk with one another, learning of each other’s lives and ambitions.  Rey even managing to convince Kylo Ren to open up to her about his conflicting feelings between the dark side and the light. In doing so Luke confronts her and he and Rey have a brief battle which results in Rey leaving Luke to go to Kylo Ren and try and convince him further to join the Resistance and betray Snoke.

    Kylo Ren captures Rey and she is taken to Snoke who toys with her, displaying his abilities with the Force and demonstrating that he is a force to be reckoned with.  He commands Kylo Ren to kill Rey but Kylo Ren does indeed betray him and he is killed.  Kylo Ren then offers Rey the chance to join him in taking control of the First Order and ruling the galaxy together but she refuses and escapes, Anakin’s old lightsaber being broken in the process.

    All three stories converge in act three when the Resistance manage to escape to an unused and abandoned Rebel base on Crait when the First Order stage an attack against the remaining Resistance fighters. Po, Finn & Rose fighting to protect the base while Rey and Chewie offer aerial support.  Things look hopeless for the Resistance but Luke appears and offers them a distraction so that they can escape through the base’s cave network.

    Luke and Kylo Ren face off against one another in a climactic lightsaber battle but the fight ends when Luke reveals he was a Force Vision he projected to Crait from his island solitude and the Resistance have been given plenty of time to escape and be rescued by Rey & Chewie.


    • The humour was a surprising addition to the film but it fit well enough when it was used and never felt forced.  There were a few laughs through the run time of the film and it got positive reactions from the general audience.
    • Mark Hamill rules in this film.  It is one of his best performances and he is the driving force of the film.  He had the best one-liner running gags and his story was one of the more compelling of the fourney.
    • Kylo Ren & Rey’s relationship during the film felt very natural and was an interesting development that I didn’t expect to see the full brunt of in this film.  Adam Driver & Daisy Ridley compliment one another brilliantly in the roles and their scenes together are charged with tension and genuine mystery to what could happen next.
    • It is revealed that Rey’s parents are just nobody junk peddlers who sold her off as a child to afford a ticket off-world and left her.  As sad as it is, I really like this development because for two years now everyone has been trying to figure out how Rey is connected to Luke, or Obi-Wan or Palpatine, when in actuality, she’s no one special whatsoever.  It’s one of those “It’s so obvious it’s brilliant” solutions that makes it clear that anyone and everyone in this universe can be important, regardless of their history.
    • Porgs – I liked them.  They were rumoured to be as bad as the Ewoks but they’re a cute non-imposing little bit of comic-relief that never gets in the way of the story whatsoever.  More of that, less of Ewoks, please.
    • After Rey abandons Luke on the island, he is visited by Yoda, and that I did not see coming whatsoever.  Yoda was a treat and he was as bat-shit insane as he was in the Empire Strikes Back, which is perfect.  He burns down the first Jedi temple and declares the era of the Jedi is over, which is a bit odd, but I’m sure it will be explored further in the as of yet untitled episode VIX.
    • Speaking of the end of the Jedi, the film strongly hints at the convergence of the dark side of the Force and the light side, making the Grey.  Grey Jedi and Grey Sith are extremely cool, so if that is where the story is heading and Kylo Ren & Rey end up bringing full balance to the Force via merging the two sides into one, I’d be pretty down with that.
    • Crait was fantastic.  I did not expect the salt planet to be the location of the third act.  It was visually stunning and it set a good backdrop for the last stand of Luke Skywalker.  It’s such a unique concept for a planet that I’m surprised hasn’t been done before now (At least in my knowledge)
    • Of course, a major good point of this film was that none of the spoilers I had been led to believe to be true were actually false.  That’s not an observation of the film, I was just glad to realise I knew nothing of what I thought I knew a lot of.  If that makes sense.


    • How much of a let down was Snoke?  Throughout the Force Awakens and since its release he has been hyped up as the big-bad of the new trilogy and he went down so quickly and easily it was blink and you’ll miss it.  I suppose they’re planning on making Kylo Ren the big-bad but… Why? Snoke was fine.  He was intimidating and interesting but now he’s dead and we still know practically nothing at all about him and it’ll probably stay that way now… *Sigh*
    • As with Avengers: Age of Ultron I came out of this film feeling like it was an episode from a TV series, which I suppose is good in its own way, especially with Avengers as a lot of comics is indeed rather episodic.  Though for Star Wars it just felt… Odd.  It felt more of a serial than a film, multiple episodes each with a small plot leading up to a larger series finale.  Dare I say “pacing issues”?
    • At the very start of the film Po Dameran leads an attack on a Star Destroyer and manages to blow it up, costing the Resistance half of their fleet and all of their bombing ships.  That’s not an exaggeration.  And in the end, it meant nothing anyway because for a majority of the film the two ships are in a stalemate anyway, so the whole opening scene was rather pointless and only really there so they could say they have a space battle in the film, as per Star Wars tradition.
    • When Finn & Rose decide to disable the Star Deswtroyer’s tracking systems so the Resistance can escape through hyperspace, they end up having a mini adventure through a casino planet and through the Star Destroyer itself… But then the entire sub-plot is made meaningless when they’re captured and the Resistance escape via escape-pods to Crait anyway. Waste of time, really.
    • Something I noticed early on in the film, it’s a bit of a nit-pick but I couldn’t help noticing it every time it came up.  In the third act of The Force Awakens Kylo Ren runs his lightsaber up Finn’s back, taking him out of the battle and leaving him in critical condition.  However, in this film Finn is sporting the same jacket he received from Po which he was wearing when Kylo Ren slashed his back but the jacket has no marks on it whatsoever.  Bit of a continuity error.  It could be a new jacket, but it’s already worn down by the start of the film, which is set almost immediately after The Force Awakens, and is exactly the same one that should be two halves of a jacket with nasty burn marks on either side of the splits.
    • One of the more interesting things to come out of the Force Awakens was the chemistry between Finn & Po.  A lot of fans wanted them to become Star Wars’ first gay couple and whilst I was neither necessarily for or against it, it was a tad disappointing to see that Finn & Rose seemed to be creating romantic tensions, whilst not sharing as much chemistry as Finn and Po.  But what can you do?
    • Captain Phasma was wasted in this film, again.  Admittedly, she did about twice as much as she did in the Force Awakens and her fight against Finn was pretty awesome.  But she’s a fine example of the film unnecessarily killing off major players in the story for unexplained or underwhelming reasons.  Didn’t even get to see her without her helmet on.  That at least would have been better than, as Finn puts it, “Chrome dome”.
    • The very obvious similarities to The Empire Strikes Back.  From the opening scroll, it seems like we’re in for another repeat of the original trilogy, but when the film tries to be its own thing, it really works.  When it’s just copying Empire Strikes Back, it’s very obvious and distracting.  Another example of it is when Luke warns Rey if she leaves before finishing her training she’ll regret it and will be more at risk of falling to the dark side.
    • One thing I didn’t realise until a short while after is the complete betrayal of Luke’s character.  Think back to Return of the Jedi. Luke went to Hell and back to bring Vader back from the Dark Side because he could sense there was still some light in his father.  Yet he tried to slaughter his nephew in his sleep because there was an inkling of darkness in him? How do you get a character so fundamentally wrong?


  • All in all, I really liked the film.  It was by no means perfect, but it was very good nonetheless.  I understand why people would dislike it, but I understand why people would consider it the best of the saga.

    I’m looking forward to seeing how Rey and Kylo Ren’s stories progress in the future and 2019 cannot come fast enough! Though I am slightly concerned with what will happen with Leia now.  After Carrie Fisher’s unfortunate and untimely passing, it leaves an open ended plot for Leia which will more than likely never be fully resolved.  If they kill off Leia in episode VIX it has to be in good taste, they’ve already stated that they will not be CGI-ing her face onto a body actor as they did with Peter Cushing in Rogue One, so I honestly don’t know what to expect.

    A fantastical star-spun adventure into a galaxy far, far away that’s a valued addition to the saga, Star Wars: The Last Jedi gets a 6/10 from me.  I’d go see it again.  It’s certainly a film that warrants a second viewing, so maybe that’ll be on the cards at the turn of the New Year.


    Until next time though, have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone and I shall see you after the festivities are done when I shall be reviewing Peter Capaldi’s swansong Christmas Special of Doctor Who – Twice Upon A Time.


    May the Force be with you