Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Our Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been released and everyone is talking about it. There are a few average or negative reviews floating about out there but for the most part it’s receiving very positive reviews. Everyone in the Pixel Pop Network office who has already seen the film was keen to voice their opinion on the film and rather than bombard you with a multitude of reviews we thought it prudent to simply summarise and give you everyone’s thoughts (in brief) in the one review.

Seen the film yourself? Let us know your (spoiler free) thoughts in the comments below!

John

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is, at times, stunning and expands upon some of the characters introduced in The Force Awakens in new and unexpected ways. Johnson has achieved the Herculean task of entertaining the masses with a new story in one of film’s biggest franchises.

However three films into Disney’s Star Wars endeavour and the cracks are starting to grate against itself. The reliance on humour over character for example is at war with the serious mythological underpinning that Star Wars has been known for (at least with the original trilogy). Making the disparity between Marvel films and Star Wars film almost nonexistent.

The introduction of even more new characters with their own plots and adventures muddies the water even more, leading to one of Star Wars most baffling digressions. A whole 30 minute section could be immediately cut with no change for the film, but when one sees there’s a lot of toys and marketing that would be lost from that, it’s hard to not be cynical.

The Last Jedi doesn’t change the universe, yet doesn’t necessarily better it either, but at the very least a good time for seasoned and non seasoned Padawan’s.

Score – 70%

Ben

This is quite possibly my favourite movie ever, I enjoyed the character arcs so much and the movie felt like a perfect set up for the conclusion of the trilogy. The Last Jedi was also surprisingly visually stunning and at times breath taking. I highly recommend seeing it and I know I’ll be seeing it multiple times while it is still in cinemas.

Score – 95%

Lin

There’s a reason Disney handed Rian Johnson a whole new trilogy of Star Wars movies soon after The Last Jedi hit pre-screenings. This movie shows that Rian is masterful in his craft and, most importantly, willing to take risks to bring Star Wars to a new generation of audiences.

It’s not quite a perfect movie, with pacing problems in the last hour that make it feel like the movie has two third acts and a romance subplot in a relationship that would be more meaningful if platonic. But damn it, I enjoyed every minute of this two and a half hour film.

‘This is not going to go the way you think,’ is the core conceit behind this movie since at its heart, it’s a deconstruction of Star Wars tropes and in particular the structure of Empire Strikes Back. Yes, it pay a lot of nods and homage to the past but it’s not afraid to pave new way.

In many ways this movie is a spiritual and thematic sequel to Rogue One. Characters mess up and pay heavy prices for their failures. Real human costs of war and conflict are shown. Some uncomfortable truths about the Star Wars universe that the original trilogy touched on, and prequels brushed aside, is directly addressed. That this is a universe where institutionalised slavery, massive wealth discrepancy, and rampant war profiteering is shown on the forefront of the movie.

Disney is just doing victory laps and flexing their muscles now, showing off that they are not just interested in painting by numbers here. They take a lot of risks with characters and mystery reveals that will be hotly debated by us nerds for years which I completely appreciate. The movie leave the future of Star Wars wide open, and I feel like anything could happen next, and that’s truly exciting!

Score – 90%

Dylan

This movie stands above all other Star Wars films as, instead of putting the main characters into various situations and then coming to a resolution, this whole film slowly ratchets the tension as it follows the different characters through their own escapades whether that’s to find an answer to the constant threat present during the film, or to find an answer to their own internal conflicts. Every actor suited their role perfectly and Carrie Fisher shined so bright that it’s upsetting to realise her talent won’t be gracing the screen anymore.

Score – 95%

Ethan

The Last Jedi is a thoroughly enjoyable film and probably one my favourites in the series. Rian Johnson is an amazing director that has given us a fun, exciting, humorous, edge of your seat(at times) film, that feels like a whole new take on the series. The Last Jedi gives us a look at new sides of several of the pre-existing characters that we’ve never seen, while also introducing several new characters that will no doubt have major roles to come in the future movies, almost every character has there own moment to shine, and they all do it beautifully. However there are some characters that feel a little redundant and have little reason to even appear in this film, their stories ultimately didn’t amount to much.  All in all Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a must watch for all Star Wars fans, and if its a sign for things to come from the franchise, I look forward to it all.

Score – 90%

Felicity

The slow start building up to the high-energy finish kept me well entertained throughout The Last Jedi. The plot line could have been more streamlined, but having said that I can’t think of any part of it I would have been happy to leave out without ruining any cool character’s story arc. Johnson seems to have been putting in as many good ideas as possible rather than leave some out for the sake of conciseness, though it certainly hasn’t ruined the movie, just made it a bit busy. Opportunistic moments of humour reminded me of the recent Thor: Ragnarok, and while I think they interrupted the flow the scene once or twice, it overall worked well to keep it from taking itself too seriously. The strong character arcs of the mains were good to watch, the whole movie had a lot of heart, and certainly can’t be accused of playing it safe like The Force Awakens was. The death of iconic General Leia Organa actress Carrie Fisher during filming created a noticeable hitch in her storyline, but was smoothed over (if you don’t like how, it’s worth remembering that Leia canonically had the same Force potential Luke had). It was lovely to watch both visually and storyline wise; my only real complaint is the musical score, which I think was rather too heavy-handed on the emotional beats. My family and I loved it.

Score – 85%

(Editors Note: It’s believed Carrie Fisher had actually completed all of her filming requirements for this film prior to her unfortunate death).

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