‘The Last Jedi’ is the Best ‘Star Wars’ Since ‘The Empire Strikes Back’

While here at The Mickey Mindset, we are extremely careful not to include any spoilers for ‘The Last Jedi’, we recommend you go into ‘The Last Jedi’ without any prior knowledge of the elements within the film, because in short, no amount of reviews could encapsulate the perfection of this installment. Bookmark this page and return after your screening, but if you’re still on the fence about it, feel free to read on.

Disney and Lucasfilm’s latest installment is the latest Star Wars trilogy is a brilliant experiment in the limits of film franchise storytelling. That is because Star Wars: The Last Jedi is quite unlike anything ever accomplished by the Star Wars franchise, setting a new standard in the capabilities of what a sequel can accomplish, let alone one that is another entry in an ongoing series that is now over forty years old. Whereas The Force Awakens is indebted to the original Star Wars and emulated the formula that defined a cultural phenomenon, The Last Jedi is similarly indebted to The Empire Strikes Back, both pinnacles of spectacular storytelling. However, the thing that makes The Last Jedi so similar to The Empire Strikes Back, is not that there are many similarities between the two films, it is that both films set themselves apart by being unique, ambitious, and completely unpredictable.  

The Last Jedi comes straight off the heels of J.J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens, now seeing director Rian Johnson in the director’s chair. From the very beginning, Johnson captures what may be some of the series most thrilling moments with intensity and precision, in what is probably the greatest opening scene in Star Wars history. Every frame within The Last Jedi is bursting with beauty and color, and everything that happens within the film plays a purpose within the story that Rian Johnson has also so carefully crafted, and the emotional aspects of the film. There is hardly anything that feels out of place, and everything works into the integral ideas set forth by this film. Johnson somehow creates a film that is so unlike anything Star Wars has ever accomplished before, yet made it feel incredibly familiar to the vast world of Star Wars.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) Photo: Lucasfilm Ltd. © 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

There are plenty of fan favorite moments to be found here, but what will ultimately stand out above all is the ambitious twists and turns this movie makes. That is because The Last Jedi has no shortage of surprises up its sleeves to entice the audience with, causing for moments that may very well bring you to the literal edge of your seat. There’s no level of predictability to where this story may head next, which is what makes the longest Star Wars movie in history, clocking in at 150 minutes, a gripping roller coaster every moment along the way. Despite being the longest film yet, there is hardly a dull or unimportant moment to be found, and the team behind The Last Jedi are sure to make use of every valuable moment and frame within this integral film.

As for The Last Jedi’s place within the new Star Wars trilogy, it acts as a spectacular middle chapter and poses no clear indication of where this story might wrap up. Several different subplots are unfolding throughout this movie, but in each and every one, the formula for the characters is pushed to the ultimate limit, and characters are set by new challenges that are exactly the sort of development and conflict you’d hope to see in the middle chapter of a new entry in a fantastic cinematic trilogy. Characters are filled with conflict and tough decisions, and most importantly of all, the film never gives you exactly what you want, or expect, something that also made The Force Awakens a spectacular way to kick off the new trilogy. 

If there’s anything that makes Star Wars stand out from most film franchises, it is in its complexity, and this movie is full of complex ideas and situations. The film continues to explore the ideas of conflict within each character, and that the idea that nothing in the Star Wars universe can be easily defined, most characters and situations are far more complex. There is even a particular sequence within this movie that does a wonderful job at reminding us about the complexity of the moral decisions made by those in the universe, and that most characters cannot be easily defined as good nor evil. 

Rian Johnson does a spectacular job at answering most of your burning questions, all the while posing even greater ones. There is hardly any doubt that most fans will leave the theater with even more burning questions than they had when they went in, but this film offers closure to many of the series greatest elements. This is done with absolute precision and care, and when those answers do come, which most fans will cherish its the place the vast world that makes Star Wars so truly magnificent. Ultimately, fans will also exit this film embracing much of its surprises and elements with solace and enjoyment in ways that have been tough to encapsulate since the Star Wars original trilogy. 

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is an essential part of what makes this forty-year old franchise continuously so impressive, and it is a chapter that will be cherished by fans and moviegoers for many years to come. The Last Jedi has absolutely no shortage of ambition, which plays to be its greatest strength, and it’s ability to surprise at every step of the way make it the truest successor to The Empire Strikes Back, a film with what is now the most iconic surprise of all time. The Last Jedi will make you laugh, cry, and most of all, cherish the beauty and magic that Star Wars continues to provide to audiences around the world. 

Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens December 15th, with evening screenings beginning December 14th. See it as early as possible.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi..L to R: Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill)..Photo: Jonathan Olley..©2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.


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