Star Wars: The Last Jedi (no-spoiler) review | Manila Mash

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (no-spoiler) review

Star Wars The Last Jedi showed story arcs from the previous generation that allowed us to be able to familiarize ourselves with what was happening and play against expectations while, at the same time, wrapping-up loose ends in an attempt to slowly veer away from the The Empire Strikes Back formula and enable a more flexible platform in the sequel we are all but expecting.

Kylo Ren

There were fears allayed at how J.J. Abrams and writers Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Ardnt are supposed to nudge the Star Wars franchise into the future while respecting the fans’ original love for Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewy, and create a formula centered around new characters without having to rehash the bases of the first three specially coming from A New Hope (Porgs included). It was rather difficult to recognize that The Force Awakens was pretty much a remix of familiar tones with the hero escaping a desert planet, traveling in the Millennium Falcon with Han and Chewbacca, escaping an army of troopers, a conflicted Kylo Ren (Pseudo Darth Vader), and so forth.
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Finn

Based on those premises alone, writer-director Rian Johnson simply had to continue the trend of remixing Empire Strikes Back to a more familiar feel or completely remove anything familiar and create a story arc outside of what fans know. While the latter would prove exciting and confusing at the same time, it was a pleasant choice, and rather an unexpected path, do both.

Leia Organa 2

The narrative of the characters and the story arc itself is asking the audience to be able to ‘move away from the past’ to not cling to what was because the concept of the Jedi and the Sith no longer exists because the same effects are ‘holding them back’ and that it’s time to ‘let it go’. The Last Jedi is often painful, mournful about losing all the beloved characters in place of new allies, new themes, and a bigger story arc never before imagined in the franchise. A lot of the “New Hope’ has been lost in this episode and has been replaced by defeats and deaths. The Force Awakens ends its familiar arcs in the Lost Jedi and asks both the audience and the characters to wisen-up and embrace the painful path to rebirth.

Luke Skywalker
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Apart from the sorrowful goodbyes to the old ways, this allowed The Last Jedi a lot of room for finding its own voice – from the space chases to the laser enabled dogfights, the hero finds a mentor but has all the tools needed anyway, towards Rogue One-esque information and filtration schemes, the attempt at destroying the Death Star, and a lot of Force manipulation (that will surely mean a lot of talk on Reddit about the significance of what they did) paired with electrifying ligthsaber scenes and a lot of surprises along the way.

Poe

The 2 hour and 37 minute runtime is justified by new characters including an emotionally charged, hardly useful Resistance techie Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran), a non-allied operational thief and hacker DJ (Benicio Del Toro), and a steely but rather soft-spoken Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (Laura Dern). The Last Jedi separates a lot of the familiar tones into tied-up loose ends and side quests that allow a lot of breathing room for the next episode into an ongoing attempt at allowing a better narrative to emerge for the untitled sequel.

Porg
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Later on, it will be up to you to decide whether or not you will find the comic-relief of C-3P0 and R2-D2 paired with Han Solo’s quips and banter distributed to almost all of the characters that either disrupts the thought bubble of placing your heroes at a pedestal to now seemingly a more human approach. This, in turn, moves the playing field to eye-level with just about everyone on the table.

Kylo Ren

The film does not go as far as Thor:Ragnarök in totally reformulating and radically veering away from its original narrative but rather places all their psychology into bite-sized pieces for the audience. Johnson delves deeper in to the impulses of the Pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and the reckless hero complex he’s been playing and placing into perspective whether or not it is justifiable. This is shown from a stand-off from an early part of the film towards the perspective at the very end.

BB8

Johnson also places in great relief about Force user Rey (Daisy Ridley) and the contrast of her parental issues, and the attachments about the Jedi. The Kast Jedi also places in perspective about the inner struggles of villain-or-not-really Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) about where he really wants to be.
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Leia Organa

There wasn’t a lot of screen time for First Order Stormtrooper defect Finn (John Boyega) and less time on the martyr complex that goes with living or dying against the empire and General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) has been given the opportunity to delve into the finer details of her love and compassion for her people and her personal affection to those that matter to her.

The Force

Where Johnson can, he has accomplished delving away from the archetypes the characters are known for and makes them more human to the eyes of the audience without trying too hard. In a way this is a good step forward into being able to define the next episode as its own compared to the rehashed version of Return of the Jedi.
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Rey

We are all satisfied with the questions left from the original trilogy as the writer and directors answered all the open-ended arcs we have all been debating and creating fan-made theories about. From the very large question to the “ah, finally, that has been answered” part.
Finally.

AT AT

The Last Jedi works in both ways to sum up the theme and all the parts fans having been looking answers for and is trying, respectfully, to be able to move away from what we are all used to and look for the real next adventure that awaits Star Wars. Johnson wants to let go of the old ways of the narrative that lets us, painfully, say goodbye to all our heartfelt heroes and does so while holding our hand and moves us along where we should be next.

We are all left to wonder, now more hopefully, as to what the franchise has in store for us next as we are, gratefully, been given a vision of someone who cares about the series much as we do and sees the blue ocean ahead of where the story from a galaxy far, far away can take us.
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We’re giving this a rating of 5/5 stars.

In case you’re playing catch-up (or, you know, wanna do a full series refresh,) iflix has all the first six episodes and our viewing order recommendations here.

What do you think of Star Wars: The Last Jedi? Let us know at the comments section below or over at Twitter @MNLMash

Mabuhay, Manila.

Drew Uy

I do words, food, coffee, and photos. Hit me up on Twitter @ginuhit

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