Last Jedi Movie Poster

Star Wars Episode VIII - The Last Jedi Review

I've watched The Last Jedi twice so far and enjoyed it both times. This movie is a fun space adventure in the Star Wars tradition however it is unlikely to ever rank with the best in the series. I couldn't fault the music, actors or special effect teams on this episode. The environments were certainly up to the high Star Wars standards. The writing however left a lot to be desired. This is the longest movie in the Star Wars saga and in my opinion it really didn't need to be. The movie would have benefitted from serious editing. This is not to say that all the writing was terrible and this is still an enjoyable film but don't expect to love every moment.

Warning: some minor spoilers in rest of review

Let's talk a little about the good writing in this movie. Kylo Ren's character is fleshed out in a big way and his storyline with Rey is easily the strongest in the movie. Yoda makes a small appearance that is wonderfully true to character and makes for a powerful part of the movie.

On the downside Luke's character is given little scope and has nothing to do with the young man we met in the original series. It appears all he has learnt in 30 years is fear, rather a contradiction since one of Luke's key characteristics was always his bravery. That said, Mark Hamil does his best with the script he has been given.

I was personally disappointed with Poe and Finn's storylines. They're not terrible but they could have been a lot better.

The very talented John Boyega gets very little to work with. And the addition of new character Rose doesn't bring any entertainment to the show, only lectures on a casino apparently populated with only rich people who are bad weapons dealers (?). Considering in your average casino the big players are far outnumbered by desperate Joe Averages and the number of innocent employees that would be harmed by "punching a hole" through the place these scenes seriously lack believability. We also get another unneccessary new character in hacker DJ. The away mission and new characters almost bring nothing to the overall movie. The one shinig light in the storyline is BB8 who is as enetertaining as ever.

Poe gets a potentially powerful character arc and Oscar Isaac plays his part to perfection but there's not enough action and the new addition of Vice Admiral Holdo who refuses to discuss the rebellions escape plan with the head of her fighter pilots makes no sense. His storyline would have been a lot stronger if he and Finn had headed out on their mission together before she'd had a chance to talk to him and the "away mission" would have been stronger for having Isaac and Boyega playing off each other.

There were a few places where the writing fell out of universe in this movie that weren't neccessary. "God speed" and "You've come to save my soul?" would have been more powerful as Force appropriate lines. Poe's surprise at the sight of Vice Admiral Holdo when Star Wars leaders wander around in long robes and elaborate hairstyles all the time, makes no sense. And using travelling at lightspeed as a weapon is not only badly universe breaking but it robbed the characters on the enemy ships of an opportunity to carry out a clever plan. As it is they achieve practically nothing there (?). Leia's force flying feels wrong, something more Force consistent like a premonition would have played a lot better. One issue even I had with Force Awakens was the speed with which Rey appeared to master the Force although I accepted it as due to her scenes with Maz having been cut for time constraints however the theme continues in this movie even though her scenes with Luke could have been a great opportunity to rectify this inconsistency with the Star Wars canon.

All in all this is still an enjoyable space romp and I'd recommend watching it but I'm still hoping for a big improvement in Episode IX.