‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ elevates the franchise

Leah Beyer, Blue M Academics Editor

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The latest installment in the Star Wars saga (“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”), with its perfectly-timed humor, delightful new characters and concrete depiction of the significance of failure and the struggle to find your place, certainly does not disappoint.

At the heart of this movie is Rey’s attempt to discover who she really is and the role she will play in fighting for the future of the galaxy. Looking to Luke Skywalker to guide her in understanding her relatively untouched potential, a side of Rey is seen that has not been exposed before. Meanwhile, General Leia Organa is leading the resistance through their attempt to hold off the First Order advances.

The humor seen throughout “The Last Jedi” makes this movie not only emotionally intense, but also remarkably endearing. The comic relief presents itself in ways not seen in some of the earlier Star Wars movies, although much like that in “The Force Awakens,” and results in truly laugh-out-loud moments.  

While many have already commented on the tributes to “The Empire Strikes Back” seen throughout “The Last Jedi,” similar to the tributes to a “A New Hope” in “The Force Awakens,” “The Last Jedi” develops its own characters and plotlines that bring the Star Wars franchise to a whole new level.

One of the best parts of “The Last Jedi” is the addition of new characters. Although there are fewer than seen in “The Force Awakens,” the depth of each is seen clearly. Specifically the addition of several more strong females in the resistance balance out what used to be a slightly male-heavy cast. Another warming addition to this movie is the introduction of a new species, the porgs. The porgs deliver some comic relief in just the right times. They were also not overused and, therefore, maintained their charm. The pairing of the porgs with Chewbacca led to many memorable moments.

In addition to the new characters and humor, the underlying theme of finding yourself and the struggle between light and dark is depicted thoroughly. While these themes are generally present throughout many of the older Star Wars movies as well, “The Last Jedi” revamps them and creates a whole new interpretation of their meaning. It also touches on the importance of learning from failure and how those who have experienced failure are most often the better teachers.

While many people and critics thoroughly enjoyed the new Star Wars, there were some who held criticism. According to the New York Times writer Manohla Dargis, “Rian Johnson’s ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ is a satisfying, at times transporting entertainment with visual wit and a distinctly human touch.”

Admittedly, the movie does start out at a slower pace. However, once the action begins, all of this is forgotten. Time and time again, the characters are presented with the chance to give up, and time and time again, they refuse. There are certainly plenty of moments that will continue to be quoted for many years to come.

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‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ elevates the franchise