Director: Rian Johnson
Cast: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Andy Serkis, Benicio del Toro, Laura Dern
Age Restriction: 10–12PG V
Runtime: 2hrs 32min
Release Date: 15 December 2017
When filmmaker Rian Johnson was brought on board to direct the eighth Star Wars chapter, I was positively more excited for this instalment than J.J. Abrams' Episode 7.
Let’s face it, the Looper filmmaker is a genius and one of the most inventive directors in Tinsel Town right now. The fact that Disney has already recruited Johnson for a separate trilogy of Star Wars instalments shows their confidence in the filmmaker.
Episode 8: The Last Jedi continues on from the previous chapter with Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) finally seen in the flesh, and franchise newbie Rey (Daisy Ridley) hoping to learn the ways of the Force from the seasoned Jedi Master.
On the other end of the galaxy, we have the ongoing war between the rebels – led by franchise legend, Princess Leia (played by the late Carrie Fisher) – and The First Order – led by the mysterious Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) and his apprentice Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).
And that is the plot in a without-spoiling-the-movie nutshell. We all remember that Episode 7: The Force Awakens – while thoroughly entertaining – was a carbon copy of A New Hope. Bringing in Johnson for the follow-up was a smart move as the latter film does the exact opposite.
The Last Jedi is packed full of new ideas that – while innovative – remain faithful to the Star Wars legacy, with numerous twists and turns many won’t see coming. The result: a satisfying, trendsetting and excellently plotted Star Wars chapter with edge of your seat entertainment.
Taking its place as the longest Star Wars film in history, Johnson uses this to his advantage, giving these complex characters more than enough room to breathe – and the development from the film’s opening to its conclusion is a massive leap for each character.
Ridley, Driver, Hamill and Fisher are easily the acting standouts, with the latter delivering a final performance that will be remembered by many – particularly the actress' snappy one-liners, sharp wit and emotional finesse.
Speaking of wit, The Last Jedi is possibly one of the funniest chapters in the franchise as well as the most emotional. Expect out of this world visuals and dazzling action sequences never seen in a Star Wars film before.
Verdict: Innovative, unexpected, well-acted, character-driven and exceptionally well-written; Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi breaks new ground, cementing itself as the second best entry (only behind The Empire Strikes Back) in the long-running space opera film series. Yes, the force is strong with this one!