Star Wars is back with the second entry of its new trilogy, The Last Jedi. Critics have been raving about this film as the best Star Wars film since The Empire Strikes Back. Unfortunately for me this is not the case and the film is not as good as The Force Awakens.
The film directly follows on from the end of the Force Awakens. The First Order and Emperor Snoke along with Kylo Ren are tracking the Rebels even through lightspeed meaning the rebels are unable to escape the clutches of the First Order.
Meanwhile Rey has found Luke. He has no interest in helping Rey or the rebels due to his failure training Ben Solo (Kylo Ren).
The rest of the film follows two arcs. The first arc is of Kylo and Rey communicating via telepathy leading to Rey believing she can save Kylo and change him so he joins the Jedi.
The second arc follows Finn, Leia and the rebellion as they try to escape the First Order and internal battles facing them.
A main criticism of the Force Awakens was that it was a re-run of the first Star Wars film. This has clearly played on the minds of writers and producers who have tried to craft a unique story. However, in their effort to create something new, The Last Jedi feels like a filler movie between the first and last film of this trilogy. What made the Empire strikes back such a great sequel was the character development, the progression of the story and different tone to the original Star Wars film. The Last Jedi fails on the majority of these points. Barring Luke and Kylo Ren there is little character development. Rey has honed some of her skills but has had no progression from the start of the film.
The rebellion much like the Force Awakens now has momentum over the First Order but very little has happened in terms of banding together or finding weaknesses in the First Order.
One of the most frustrating parts of this film is the storyline of Emperor Snoke. There is no pay off to his story that is cut extremely short. It feels like they have purposely not explored who or what he is to allow for prequels set between the Return of the Jedi and the Force Awakens to show who he is and where he came from. This means his character is diminished and filler in the overall story.
Despite these frustrations sections of this film are fantastic. The contrast of emotions between Finn and other members of the Rebellion is a real positive to this film. However, the star of this film is Mark Hamill reprising his role as Luke Skywalker. The arc of his story is played out perfectly which makes the lack of progress and storytelling in the film that much more frustrating.
The CGI in this film is fantastic, however, the limitations of green screens and CGI are still painfully obvious at times. The film feels ultra realism only for a few shots to make you cringe due to the obvious and poor CGI. The cameo and addition of Porgs is a brilliant addition to this film. They add a cuteness and bit of humour that is used perfectly. Overall this film has not gone down the Marvel route of turning this sci-fi film into a comedy but there are still moments where the humour is forced and falls flat which is a real shame.
The action sequences and battles are fantastic and still feel fresh despite all the battles in the franchise,
Despite these issues I would rate the film 3.5 our of 5 stars. It is an extremely enjoyable film to watch, but in its attempt to do something different to previous entry’s to the franchise it has ended up not progressing the storyline and just been there as filler between the first and third film. Following on from last years Rogue One this film is a major step back for this franchise and looking forward I have serious concerns how they will process in sections of the final film and arc of Princess Leia in particular,