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A fantastic space adventure awaits

StarWars.com

StarWars.com

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In this latest installment of the newest trilogy, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” directed by Rian Johnson, one can witness the oldest stars such as Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, alongside the newest cast members, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, and Adam Driver.

Boyega, a rising star, has appeared in shows such as “Major Lazer” and other movies such as “Imperial Dreams,” and is a decorated nominee for many MTV and British performance awards. He plays Finn, the Dark-turned-Light Side stormtrooper finding his way through right and wrong.

Ridley’s break-through performance is playing Rey. Much like her character, Ridley had come from a place seemingly from nowhere only to find her true calling, having done only minor roles in productions and shows beforehand, such as “Casualty” and “Lights On.”

Adam Driver plays Kylo Ren, a brooding and unstable character. He’s appeared on the big screen before “Star Wars,” playing in movies such as “The F Word” and “Hungry Hearts.”

At the beginning of this episode, the audience is plunged into one of many harrowing battles as the rebels find themselves being chased after destroying the First Order’s Starkiller Base. A fundamental aspect of the plot is that there are several subplots, justifying its 150-minute length.

For the rebels, resources are low, and stakes are high. Holding true to the story’s overarching theme, light versus dark, hope versus succumbing, each character is tested in many surprise twists. Rey finds herself at odds with old and wary Luke Skywalker, who resists her repeated attempts to gather the wisdom she needs to fight Kylo Ren.

Kylo Ren appears throughout the movie during key scenes that highlight the abuse and emotional turmoil he faces while trying to keep faith within the Dark Side, mostly at the hands of Supreme Leader Snoke, while becoming increasingly enraptured with Rey.

Meanwhile, Fin, Rose Tico, and Po tempt fate repeatedly to disable the lightspeed tracker on the First Order’s ship to increase the Resistance’s survival chances, all under the nose of Princess Leia and her crew.

Receiving a 91 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, this most recent episode has grossed a respectable $1.296 billion.

However, the cult-like followers of this franchise may disagree with its success.

Many traditionalists question if the movie really stays true to the original Star Wars Trilogy, one reason being its subtle breaks from the classic that new enthusiasts may not notice. The movie took a lot of criticism from these traditionalists during plot-altering scenes that simply would not have flown during George Lucas’s original intent of the storyline. No matter the controversy, these scenes, along with relatable and charismatic characters, and sappy, heartfelt moments, is undeniably Disney.

The director and writer, Rian Johnson, took pains in giving our beloved Luke what he needed and maintaining a consistency that even dates to the prequels. Johnson also co-directed the preceding episode, which may have helped the films flow from one to the other.

Prior to “Star Wars,” Johnson directed successful films such as “Brick” and “Looper.”

Longtime work partner Steve Yedlin was the cinematographer for this production, and a notable one at that. The visuals and vast landscapes throughout the film were dazzling and imaginative.

However, while the CGI was convincing, the acting top notch, and the plot ever flowing, there were certain stylistic choices in cut scenes and conversation that took some getting used to. Also, the relationships between the main characters were utterly confusing at times and unfortunately the least developed aspect of the movie.

The score for this film by perhaps America’s greatest composer for film, John Williams, was pitch perfect. Williams wrote the music for two others in the series, “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” in 1977 and “Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace” in 1999. Other credits include scores for “Saving Private Ryan,” “Raiders of the Lost Arc,” and a host of other Academy Award-winning films. Wiliams has received five Oscars for his work over the decades.

No matter the opinion, it is undeniable that “The Last Jedi” is a new take on the old classic, as well as an addition to a fantastical story that holds true to its roots. Just as Rey must find the balance between light and dark within herself, traditionalist and new movie fans can come together to conclude that this movie provided a fantastic space adventure.

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A fantastic space adventure awaits