Star Wars: The Last Jedi

  • 06 Jan - 12 Jan, 2018
  • Mohammad Kamran Jawaid
  • Reviews

Along time ago in a galaxy far, far away… which was, by chance, the time of my youth, Star Wars used to be a grand franchise. Today, after the prequels trilogy and in the middle of the sequel trilogy, the grandness is limited to special effects and perhaps a moment or two of giddy excitement brought about by nostalgia.

I don’t think it’s worth my time anymore to give the saga its due credit. With Episode VIII - The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson (the man who wrote and directed Looper) gives us a small, one-chapter story that culminates classic characters so that the franchise can give way to a bunch of new ones and finally let go of George Lucas’ lineage.

Personally, I think the corporate decision to milk Star Wars annually is as bad as George Lucas’ decision to make Episode I till Episode III. Things are happening too quickly and old characters, and their actors, are past their prime; Carrie Fisher is no more, Han Solo is dead and as people may expect, either Leia or Luke Skywalker may die too. Old supporting characters are killed off as well, because they were relegated to just window dressing anyway.

One thing Johnson does better than both Lawrence Kasdan and J.J. Abrams from Episode VII, is giving credible depth and likeability to the new lot. Poe Dameron (Oscar Issac), one’s core reason for rock-solid attachment to the new parts, has a better space in the story (the film opens with a hero-sequence with him an X-Fighter, recklessly taking out a gargantuan dreadnaught’s defenses). Rey (Daisey Ridley) is on the path to maturity, and praise be to the lord, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) finally, gets to be something more than a snivelling villain.

Unfortunately, Kylo, and the reason he turned to the dark side, is still handled with haphazard events and shaky fingers. Finn (John Boyega) has a brief story arc, and hopefully, a new love interest in Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran)–a maintenance worker who is both star-struck by Finn because of his previous adventure’s fame, yet faithful to her duty, so that he doesn’t escape around like a whimpering, scaredy cat. With Rose – the best addition after Poe and the loveable droid BB-8 – Finn turns into a somewhat likeable person.

Mark Hamill, as Luke Skywalker, has grown into a phenomenal actor; after Stars Wars one may gauge the level of his growth from his voice acting credits (he is, till date, the voice of the Joker from Batman).

Hamill’s Skywalker intends to spend his last days saving the last of some old Jedi texts; one can see that they hardly matter – and that his reasoning for letting the Jedi die with him doesn’t really make sense.

The visual effects are fantastic. But you know you’re getting that nonetheless. The story seems fine, and in a way slightly better than the last film (and even Rogue One). However, I feel that I am now at a point to move on, just like Skywalker and find better, unexplored universes. Maybe far, far away.