Star Wars: The Last Jedi

The Force is strong with this one
9/10 - The Force remains strong with the latest Star Wars instalment, which is sure to please fans
Release Date: 
Thursday, December 14, 2017
Written by: 

Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher return for another action-packed, fan-pleasing instalment in the sci-fi franchise


In 2015's The Force Awakens, Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker was barely in it, showing up in the last few minutes of the movie, when Rey (Daisy Ridley) goes to his remote island to convince him to return and help the Resistance.

That all changes with The Last Jedi, where he really gets his chance to shine.

The film picks up where the last one left off, with Rey looking to Luke for advice and training and trying to get him to join the Resistance, whose numbers have been seriously depleted following an attack by The First Order, led by General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) and Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis via motion capture).

The Resistance's main ship is running low on fuel and the First Order's spacecraft is always one step behind them, ready to attack, so Finn (John Boyega) and newcomer Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) go on a mission to disable their enemy's tracking device so they can escape into outer space.

But first, they must go to a planet and find a codebreaker to help them with their task.

After cameo appearances in The Force Awakens, it will please fans to know we see much more of Luke and Leia (Carrie Fisher), now general of the Resistance.

Oscar Isaac as fan-favourite pilot Poe Dameron also gets far more screen time and is always trying to create his own attack plans rather than listening to Leia or Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern).

Gleeson also gets more to sink his teeth into this time around but has been given a comedy overhaul, playing Hux for laughs, which is a stroke of genius.

Ridley has more emotional scenes and is involved in the most exciting moments of the movie, which mostly feature Luke and Adam Driver's Kylo Ren, the best new Star Wars character and the most interesting villain we've seen in a franchise movie in a while. He humanises Kylo and makes him vulnerable in the standout performance of the film.

Some actors do draw the short straw - Lupita Nyong'o essentially has a cameo, as does Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma, while Boyega and Tran's storyline is meandering, ultimately pointless, and the weakest of the bunch. A lot of this could have been trimmed to shorten the film's two and a half hour runtime, which felt about 20 minutes too long.

It may be too long and have the occasional dodgy piece of dialogue, but The Last Jedi is also visually stunning, highly entertaining, and contains some exciting fight choreography as well as some shocking revelations that will have fans on the edge of their seats.

Director Rian Johnson has made an excellent addition to the franchise.

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