December 15, 2017: Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Movie Review

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A Brief History

On December 15, 2017, the blockbuster major motion picture, Star Wars: The Last Jedi (also known as Star Wars: Episode VIII) will premier across the United States, having already premiered in the Los Angeles area on December 9th.  We watched a press screening of the film on December 11, 2017 and were quite happy with the latest installment of the Star Wars saga.

Digging Deeper

Set after 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi features familiar characters Princess Leia (in Carrie Fisher’s last movie role), Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill as an old, retired recluse), Chewbacca (without his pal Han Solo), and the favorite droids in the history of film, C3P0 and R2D2.  From The Force Awakens, we also get Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, the black sheep of the Skywalker family, John Boyega as Finn, and the lovely/brave/persistent/Jedi in training, Rey, played by Daisy Ridley.  A newcomer, Rose Tico, played by Kelly Marie Tran, adds another strong and capable female character to the cast.  As The Force Awakens left us, the resistance to the evil rulers of the Galaxy is kind of on the ropes, with dwindling chances and resources to fight Supreme Leader Snoke with his henchman/protégé Kylo Ren and the forces of the Dark Side.

The film is visually stunning, with the greatest special effects imaginable.  When giant space ships blow up, they really look like giant space ships blowing up.  The zooming and flashing of “fighters” conducting space dogfights is equally convincing.  How any film could hope to compete for the special effects Oscar is beyond our imagination.  Lots of action, lots of explosions, minimal slow time, and just a few subtle laughs to keep your interest up 100% of 2 hours and 32 minutes running time, the longest Star Wars movie yet.  The movie does not seem that long, and by the time it ends we could easily have sat through more of this excellent entertainment.

Without divulging spoilers, we can tell you the movie features several women in strong, authoritative roles that seem quite natural and convincing, something our female fans will appreciate.  No silly Jar Jar Binks characters this time, with nifty looking aliens and no mop top little kids to distract from the seriousness of the subject of rebellion and freedom fighting.  When there are children featured, they blend into the film without being a distraction.  Good job with that, Director Rian Johnson!  The script writers and director keep you guessing about how things will turn out, just when you think you have it all figured out.  Of course, the end of the movie leaves us eager to see the follow-on film, the only real question for hard corps Star Wars fanatics being what will the franchise do about the death of Carrie Fisher?

Fisher’s fan-made star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Of course, The Last Jedi is best enjoyed by those with at least some knowledge of the previous Star Wars films, but we strongly recommend the movie even for those that have never seen one of the other 7 Star Wars movies.  At History and Headlines, we are split between The Last Jedi and The Return of the Jedi as the best of the Star Wars franchise.  Go see the movie and tell us what you think!

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Hidalgo, Pablo.  Star Wars The Last Jedi The Visual Dictionary.  DK Children, 2017.

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About Author

Major Dan

Major Dan is a retired veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He served during the Cold War and has traveled to many countries around the world. Prior to his military service, he graduated from Cleveland State University, having majored in sociology. Following his military service, he worked as a police officer eventually earning the rank of captain prior to his retirement.