The Force is with this Film

By Chloe Kauffman ’18

I would like to preface this review with stating that my Star Wars opinions are usually unpopular. I am used to being the anomaly in the Star Wars fandom. That being said, I loved The Last Jedi.

Even before the movie came out, The Last Jedi was at a disadvantage. It is the second movie in a trilogy, and though not ranked as the worst Star Wars movies, both the two previous “second movies,” Attack of the Clones and Empire Strikes Back, are not as universally loved as some of the other Star Wars films.

Secondly, and this is the fault of the movie creators, the movie is staggeringly long. The Last Jedi runs for two hours and thirty-five minutes, compared to the average two hour and fifteen-minute run time of the other Star Wars movies.

While an extra twenty minutes may not seem like much time, the movie industry has a rule that each page of script should be about a minute of the movie. Thus, the script would have been about twenty pages longer than the other movies, and with all of the talk about unnecessary scenes and side-plots, it is fair to say that there may have been too much content presented at once.

However, I greatly enjoyed every minute of the long run time. After my first viewing, I thought I might have simply been hyped up on the excitement of a new Star Wars movie. Therefore, I went to see it again about a week later, and enjoyed myself even more the second time.

I do agree that there were some unnecessary or cheesy plot-points that the movie could have done without. For example, the worst part of the movie definitely occurs when General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) wields the power of the Force to fly herself back to the ship she was just expelled from in an explosion. It honestly looked very cheesy.

I also agree that some of the side-plot involving Finn (John Boyega) and Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) was unnecessary, but I was not mad about seeing more of Finn and meeting a lovable new character, Rose Tico.

Now, what I love about the movie is an extensive list. It has an interesting plot, and it is scenically beautiful. Exciting battle scenes are coupled with homages to the original Star Wars films, as Luke (Mark Hamill) returns to the scene to train Rey (Daisy Ridley).

However, the best aspects of the entire movie are the extensive, in-depth character developments that occur.

For example, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is a character that I previously hated. I thought that he was whiny and petulant for no reason, and the fact that he idolized Darth Vader without realizing that Anakin was a genuinely good person annoyed me to no end.

Despite my previous views, The Last Jedi totally upended my opinions of the new trilogy’s villain. I am generally a sucker for conflicted characters, and the movie delves into why Kylo Ren is (currently) evil.

By taking a look at the betrayal he felt from Luke’s distrust in him and his newfound occlumency-like (Harry Potter, anyone?) connection with Rey, the movie proves that there is much more to Kylo Ren than meets the eye.

In short, he is now my third-favorite Star Wars character (behind Anakin and Padme, respectively), and the epic battle that he and Rey fight together is one of my all-time favorite Star Wars scenes.

Another interesting character development that occurs is Luke Skywalker’s. Some die-hard Star Wars fans are upset because The Last Jedi displays the dark side of Luke’s personality, showing how he distrusted and betrayed Kylo Ren by nearly murdering him, then running from his mistakes after they occurred.

Personally, I appreciate that the filmmakers decided to continue the theme that there is dark and light inside everyone, especially by utilizing a beloved character like Luke.

Rey also experiences some flirtation with the dark, as she is drawn to the evil energy that surrounds her in training. Simply the idea of both light and dark characteristics persuading a person is something that I greatly enjoyed in The Last Jedi.

Overall, I would highly recommend the movie. It is now my second favorite Star Wars movie, and I think that it is a key movie to watch if you want to better understand the key characters in the newest trilogy.

For those who love Star Wars already, do not skip this movie. For those who want to watch it as a singular movie, go ahead. There are plenty of battle scenes and new character experiences to keep even a non-Star Wars fan entertained.

Just be warned, the movie is, again, long. Prepare for an exciting adventure that you will need to dedicate a few hours to, but I guarantee that the time spent will not be wasted.