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Star Wars: The Last Jedi - Movie Review

Movie Review

5 stars

“This is not going to go the way you think.” –Luke Skywalker

Never has a line from one of these films so succinctly encapsulated the adventure you are about to witness. This second part of the third trilogy of the Star Wars saga is going to take your expectations and throw them through the ringer. Whether that appeals to you or not will depend on your leaning, because there are some true surprises. Some that do not go the way fanboys or anyone would have thought. It will be divisive to some (as I suppose it always is) but there is a lot to talk about it, so let’s get started.

The Last Jedi opens right where The Force Awakens left off, with Rey handing Luke Skywalker his long lost lightsaber back to him. The First Order has successfully taken control of the galaxy. The New Republic is gone. Rey is there to bring Master Skywalker back from his exile and restore hope to the hopeless. Let’s just say it doesn’t go well as leave it at that.

Rian Johnson has written a spectacular script that moves at a breakneck pace. Clocking in at over two and half hours, The Last Jedi is the longest running Star Wars film to date and I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t feel like it. All the new characters from The Force Awakens are now established and are given—to a one—storylines that build upon what we’ve seen them do before. The legacy characters, specifically Luke and Leia, are given some rather meaty character challenges in this one; far more than in the last one and they may even put a lump in your throat, should you be prone to such things. Johnson manages to give many characters, from Chewy, 3PO and R2 to new characters such as Admiral Hondo, DJ and Rose something worthwhile to contribute while serving the stories main character: Rey. In Rey and Kylo you get to experience the real cleverness of Johnson’s writing. If you think the trailer had misdirects galore wait until you see the movie. There are so many turns, where it looks like a character is going on way and then they go another, that it really isn’t cemented until the final act. It’s very compelling to watch.

"Johnson’s team have given The Last Jedi some distinctive looks in this one that definitely set it apart from the rest."

Porgs: fear not. They are used to great effect and are bloody funny. There is a hilarious campfire moment between Chewy and a porg that just continues to build. We’ll leave it there.

There is great humour throughout the entire film, with the newer actors having settled into their roles and the legacy actors rising to the challenges of this film. I am heartened that Carrie Fisher got to go out on the back of this performance. She is pivotal to the film and is splendid and moving in her performance. Hamill also turns in a spectacular and nuanced performance as a very different Luke Skywalker. I now see why he was apprehensive about it going in, but he commits to his director’s vision, and I think this is his greatest performance of the series.

There are so many surprises; none of which I will do you, the good readers, the disservice of revealing here. Save to say some will thrill you, some will move you, and some will frustrate you. It isn’t perfect and not all of Johnson’s choices are going to sit well, but if I may offer my perspective? This is second part of the three act story. This one’s job was to thrill you, move the characters along, complicate their lives, and leave some tendrils for the finale. In that Johnson is successful. This is not a film that gives you all the answers; and those answers that are given are not really concrete fact until Episode 9’s credits roll.

It seems repetitive to write, as this is what I say with all these films, but the music, effects, and production design are all first rate. I will say Johnson’s team have given The Last Jedi some distinctive looks in this one that definitely set it apart from the rest.

There are things that happen in this movie I won’t know how to feel about until the story is complete, but now we’re two thirds of the way through this trilogy this is confident, thrilling and unpredictable new entry into the Star Wars saga.



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Film Details

Star Wars: The Last Jedi - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action and violence.
Runtime: 152mins
Director: Rian Johnson
Writer: Rian Johnson
Cast: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill
Genre: Sci-fi
Tagline: The Last jedi
Memorable Movie Quote: "I've seen this raw strength only once before. It didn't scare me enough then. It does now."
Theatrical Distributor: United Artists
Official Site:
Release Date: November 16, 1976
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: October 11, 2016
Synopsis: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.



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Star Wars: The Last Jedi - Movie Review

Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Disney/Buena Vista
Available on Blu-ray - March 27, 2018
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1; French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (2 BD-50); iTunes digital copy; Digital copy; Movies Anywhere
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Disney’s treatment of the next chapter in Star Wars is a visual treat of detail and color. This is easy viewing, folks as it was digitally shot. It’s a stunning mix of practical and computer effects and it looks amazingly crisp on this MPEG-4 AVC 1080p transfer. Framed in a 2.39:1 aspect ratio, the film preserves the cinematic experience and delivers a solid treat for fans of science fiction tales. The whole thing rumbles along nicely with strong textures in the costumes and in the droids. The technologies of the ships cruising around the galaxy are authentic and create a strong feel to the overall picture. The final battle is epic in its destruction. The sound is also a win with a solid audio punch from the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track.



Fans can also view the movie with a marvelously in-depth feature audio commentary by writer-director Rian Johnson.  He explains his thought process behind some of the more challenging bits that angered a lot of fans and, you know, he’s absolutely right.  Sorry (not sorry) for those who can’t get behind it.

Special Features:

Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi—the next action-packed chapter of the Star Wars saga— earned critical acclaim and the No. 1 spot atop 2017’s list of highest-grossing films.  It also pissed off a lot of fans who wanted more of the same and weren’t hip to the message being communicated.  The visually stunning film is now available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and Blu-ray.  Director Rian Johnson takes fans on an intimate journey into the creation of Star Wars: The Last Jedi in a feature-length documentary, explaining his unique interpretation of the Force, detailing the painstaking process of creating Snoke, and deconstructing action-packed scenes from the film such as the epic space battle and the final confrontation. Johnson also reveals two exclusive scenes, featuring Andy Serkis as Snoke prior to his digital makeover, as well as 14 never-before-seen deleted scenes, in addition to his audio commentary.  This release also marks Disney’s first title available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc in both Dolby Vision™ HDR and Dolby Atmos® immersive audio, delivering consumers a transformative viewing experience.

The Director and the Jedi – Go deep behind the scenes with writer-director Rian Johnson on an intimate and personal journey through the production of the movie—and experience what it’s like to helm a global franchise and cultural phenomenon.

Balance of the Force - Explore the mythology of the Force and why Rian Johnson chose to interpret its role in such a unique way.

Lighting the Spark: Creating the Space Battle – Get a close-up look at the epic space battle, from the sounds that help propel the action, through the practical and visual effects, to the characters who bring it all to life.

Snoke and Mirrors – Motion capture and Star Wars collide as the filmmakers take us through the detailed process of creating the movie’s malevolent master villain.

Showdown on Crait – Break down everything that went into creating the stunning world seen in the movie’s final confrontation, including the interplay between real-word locations and visual effects, reimagining the walkers, designing the crystal foxes, and much more.

Andy Serkis Live! (One Night Only) – Writer-director Rian Johnson presents two exclusive sequences from the movie featuring Andy Serkis’ riveting, raw on-set performance before his digital makeover into Snoke.

Deleted Scenes – With an introduction and optional commentary by writer-director Rian Johnson.



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Star Wars: The Last Jedi - Blu-ray Review