STAR WARS: Episode VIII The Last Jedi (2017)




STAR WARS: Episode VIII The Last Jedi

Directed by: Rian Johnson
Starring: Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Laura Dern, Benicio Del Toro

It’s not flawless and it does stumbles at times but Rian Johnson succeeds in showing that despite the limitations there is still room for imaginative artistic vision in the primary narrative of the STAR WARS universe. For me there is no question THE LAST JEDI is worthy of entering the pantheon and will only get richer on repeat viewings as the newest addition to the annual marathon viewing of all available chapters.

The latest Episode in the Skywalker saga manages to successfully incorporate the essential elements dictated by the previous mythology while not being beholden to them. Expanding and exploring the the nature of the force and further shading the lines between Sith and Jedi by questioning dogma and instinct.

The new characters continue to grow as they search for identity and purpose while the war weary elders reflect on the losses and failures of the past in an effort to act in the present. The cast all bring unique personality and presence to their roles. Mark Hamill’s best work since THE BIG RED ONE bringing a maturity and dimension to the part that we have never seen. Daisy Ridley and John Boyega continue to charm and Domnhall Gleeson has a blast with his slimy villainy that is skillfully formed to not lean into the comedically camp evilness. Benicio del Toroexplodes onscreen in that shady nonchalant way only he can. Oscar Isaac effortlessly fills in the more roguish heroism as Poe. I can’t be objective about seeing the magnificence of our Princess Carrie Fisher in her final cinema appearance in the role that defines her for many…feelings.

This is a Star Wars film looking to be many things and achieving it for the most part, Visually too the film uses the familiar as a base but is willing to use composition and color in new ways within the framework. The sound design and score too build a rich, fresh experience that feels distinct yet familiar.

During the 2 hours and 33 minute running time I was spiritulized in the way that only these films can provide to an unashamedly imprinted disciple. By now you know if the franchise is for you or not. Fellow lovers of a galaxy far, far away, all Star wars films are not created equal but this is one of the better ones. Those who aren’t fans of the saga, I hope you find a similarly rapturous joy in some of the other billions of franchises in existence….though who knows maybe you will connect with the differences in this chapter?
Has anyone else seen the latest installment? What did you think?

-FilmFrak Adam-

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