Get ready for laughs, surprises, and edge of your seat action in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The battle continues between the First Order and the Resistance, and we (finally!) find out how an aged Luke Skywalker responds after Rey has tracked him down on the planet Ahch-to and offers him back his light saber.
As Star Wars episodes tend to do, the movie weaves several stories into one as familiar characters connect with new ones and bond over a common mission.
Right at the beginning, there is laugh-out-loud sarcasm between Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) blended with thrilling battle scenes and explosive action.
We meet the Porgs, cute little critters with big, endearing eyes that live on Skywalker’s planet (of course, the kids will love them).
And then we’re thrown into plots within plots that blend together smoothly and give us a deeper understanding of how the characters came to be.
The new characters include Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran, above), a brave Resistance worker who goes on a mission with Finn to an impressive casino city called Canto Bight; DJ (Benicio del Toro), a mysterious hacker; and Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, played by Laura Dern (below). Amilyn is a Resistance Leader who is firm but quirky and mysterious.
There are three main subplots happening throughout the movie:
- General Leia Organa, played by Carrie Fisher, leads the rebel army as they battle the First Order and try to keep up with the enemy’s advancing technology. This leads Rose and Finn on their mission to seek someone who can help them.
- Rey encounters Luke Skywalker, and learns that the force is much more than she realized.
- Though far away from each other, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and Rey learn about each other through an unusual psychic connection.
Sadly, this is Carrie Fisher’s last Star Wars movie due to her passing last year, though it was fortunate she was able to fulfill her role in this one, including an unexpected supernatural scene. The movie is dedicated to her.
This movie added depth to the characters with such details as Kylo Ren’s training with Luke Skywalker and how he eventually “fell” to the dark side. As the viewer, it convinced me how any good person can turn to bad, and vice versa. And we learn that things may not have happened the way they seemed.
The final scene of the movie will impress and move you. It takes place on the planet Crait, where white salt covers the ground’s red soil, making for cool effects as speeders flew through it, leaving red trails behind. It’s actually quite beautiful. In this scene there is a light saber duel that is dramatic and doesn’t go where you expect (notice the pattern of surprises?).
My Thoughts – and is it Kid-Friendly?
What I love about Star Wars: The Last Jedi is how entertaining it is for all generations. The Star Wars world is diverse and creative, with plenty for long-time Star Wars fans and younger, new ones.
I recommend it for grade school age and up – anything younger than kindergarten age is probably too young as it will go above their heads. There of course is killing and darkness, but if you were expecting the darkness of The Empire Strikes Back, which some suggested this one would mimic, don’t worry. It’s lighthearted and family-friendly.
As for gruesomeness and scary images, the most unpleasant visual in the movie is probably Supreme Commander Snoke himself. Though completely computer-generated, Snoke is evil and hideous with crater-like scars on his face. Even I didn’t want to look at him, though he isn’t as intimidating real-size as he was as a gigantic hologram in “The Force Awakens.”
This was probably the funniest Star Wars movie yet, which seems to be the buzz from other critics. Though you can tell some of the humor was intentionally added in for the laughs, it worked, and helped keep the movie from getting too serious.
Do I recommend it? YES! I’ve loved Star Wars for everything from the special effects to the relatable, brave and very real characters that come to life on the screen, and the twists and turns in every episode. This one doesn’t disappoint.
Watch the trailer:
Additional things to note:
- The movie is 2 hours and 32 minutes, which makes it the longest Star Wars movie to date – get your bathroom breaks in before it starts!
- It’s rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action and violence – there definitely was violence, though I’d say there were more violent scenes in previous Star Wars movies
- It was written by Rian Johnson, who had to come up with what happens between Rey and Luke after the cliffhanger ending of “The Force Awakens” (I think he did a good job – you’ll have to see for yourself!)
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STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI opens in theatres everywhere December 15th!