Review: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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I expected, sidling towards the cinema on the day of this film’s release, to walk into a packed cinema with Star Wars mega-fans wearing costumes for the occasion. Instead of accidentally walking into a cult’s gathering, I entered a cinema with only half of the seats filled. What? How could this happen for the biggest film release of the year? Even I am in the cinema wanting to see what on earth happens next, might I be the commander of a silent minority?

Please, please, stop trying to be funny

Regardless, has this film redeemed the Star Wars franchise in my eyes? The trailers threatened that something new might happen, something unseen before in any part of the original trilogy. Even certain parts of the film threatened to do just this. Alas, this film still mainly offers recycled parts of the original trilogy with a cynical tone.

The most unbearable part is the comedy, or the attempt made at comedy. My half-filled cinema didn’t make much noise and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) is excruciating to watch. I would rather stick razor blades in my ears than listen to him for another minute. The film has its DNA in modern blockbusters, with an inconsistent tone which leads much of the humour to fall completely flat.

Why have these two not been mentioned? Because they aren’t that interesting

Speaking of the film’s DNA, although The Last Jedi story begins immediately after the end of The Force Awakens, in these zero seconds we are led to believe that the First Order have not only fully recovered from their loss of Starkiller Base but that they have also tracked the resistance’s base. On top of this, they have developed technology to track the resistance ship through light speed, technology previously thought to be impossible. Seriously? If you are going to pull a threat from thin air between the two trilogies at least don’t treat your audience like complete simpletons by trying to do something like that!

This is a massive shame, as the plot of the chase that comes from this threat is sometimes interesting. The storyline of Rey’s (Daisy Ridley) training is confusing, as a certain scene comes out of nowhere. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) plays a stereotypical veteran who is unwilling to help. There is nice world-building, yet this is only faint praise as it mainly stays in the background.

It’s behind you! Panto villain General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson)

Kylo Ren returns and is still the carrot on a stick that is never followed by the lazy donkey of a film, being interesting while the rest of the film is played out. His story, however, ends in a place that is both daft and nonsensical. Does he feature in a lightsaber fight? Yes; however, it is possibly the worst lightsaber fight in any of these films. The constant use of slow motion during certain action in so many scenes ruins the intended effect, with my reactions to them after a while only being internal groans.

Is the acting still sub-par? It is better on the whole, but it is very much pantomime delivery from most of the First Order at the best of times. The acting is poor, the writing is poor, the only direction this product (for to call it a film would be an insult to filmmakers with creativity) should have gone is the bin. Is it better than The Force Awakens? Yes. Are you still better off burning your money? Yes.