The Star Wars film we deserve, that’s the way I’ve explained it to many that ask my expert opinion on whether to huddle en masse this winter for the opportunity to view the film opening weekend. The Force Awakens and Rogue One were warning shots on the bow, compared to the direct hit that is The Last Jedi. Compared to Empire Strikes Back, by many, this film is a much more complete adventure as we bring the past forward instead of going backwards to revel in nostalgia.
Our new generation of rebellious heroes returns to cast a light upon the shadow that is The First Order. Supreme Leader Snoke (Voiced and animated by and Andy Serkis) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) focus upon the last Jedi Master, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Rey (Daisy Ridley), a Force strong fighter that doesn’t know her past or place in the galaxy.
We left off in Force Awakens with Rey holding out a lightsaber to a questioning Luke Skywalker, and that is where we pick up, though not with the results that Rey imagined. Skywalker has retreated from the force and the galaxy. He sees his choices and goals as failures and vows not to relive them.
Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and Leia (Carrie Fisher) find themselves at the end of a large spear that is The First Order. Not yet a rebellion, more of a guerilla force, they must find a way to raise an army and spread the word of the doom that may come to the galaxy. Leia works to calm the hotshot pilot in hopes that growth and wisdom will outweigh ego and spontaneity. Because, what a rebellion needs more than a famed pilot, is a trusted leader.
Finn (John Boyega) returns after being hurt in the last battle. His thoughts still of Rey, he vows to find a way to contact her. Through his misled choices, he comes across an engineer named Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran), a hopeful young woman that has lost much, but looks to gain a greater victory. Together they work to save the people and cause they care about, before it becomes a footnote in First Order history.
The cast and director of this film sing together in a wonderful song that delivers not only characters, but actual freakin’ Star Wars (I know, right!). Not only that, but the tension between Rey and Kylo only grows, as a connection forms that has you questioning the light and the dark side. And newcomer Rose Tico delivers a character that is more human and shines brighter than most force-wielding beings in the galaxy. Lastly, director Rian Johnson has been given the keys to create the next Star Wars trilogy and if TLJ is any indication, he can move-in for good. The future of the galaxy, the rebellion and all nerdom is safe. Buy a ticket, watch the film and tell us what you think.