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Movie Review: Star Wars VIII, The Last Jedi (2017) *Very Minor Spoilers*

I'm not entirely sure what I expected to see in Episode VIII of Star Wars, The Last Jedi. Unlike Episode VII, I wasn't as hyped for this movie and therefore wasn't following all the trailers and other publicity as closely leading up to the release.

The movie picks up almost from where Episode VII ends, the First Order has had some time to regroup after losing Star Killer base to the Resistance. The film opens with the Order in pursuit of what appears to be the last remnants of the Resistance fleet commanded by General Organa.



There's a lot to like about this film. All the performances are pretty great, with what the actors had to work with, you get plenty of cool new tech, and see new aliens and places you haven't seen before. All things you want from a Star Wars film.

Thankfully those cute Porgs in the trailers don't become the next Jar-Jar misstep of this universe, despite their whole purpose being comedy relief.

Back to my expectations... I guess I was expecting this to be 'The Empire Strikes Back' of this new trilogy arc. Darker, more serious, increased stakes, and some kind of big hook into the final film.

(Minor Spoiler ahead - skip this paragraph if you don't want any spoilers). What I got was more comedy than I was expecting, and too many scenes that were a parallel to scenes from either Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi. By the end of the film several key characters have contributed very little to the story and pretty much everything is right back where the film started.

As I was watching the movie, more than once it crossed my mind that this is where I may just be out of being an ongoing Star Wars fan. I'm not exactly sure why? Perhaps it was the overuse of humor, with many jokes clearly there for the laugh rather than evolving naturally from the story. Or maybe it was the lack of depth to this story and its characters.

(Another minor spoiler in this paragraph) For example, Kylo Ren doesn't seem to be a complex guy. He just wants to rule the galaxy like his grandfather. Even though we get some insight into how he was turned to the dark side it's not enough to understand why he's so intensely focused that he throws tantrums when things aren't going his way. There's no real exploration of who he is or why Luke wasn't able to teach him successfully.

Overall, this movie is fine. See it in a cinema if you can for no other reason than Star Wars always is a better experience on a big screen. You'll probably have a good time. I would imagine younger audiences will really enjoy it. It's a solid movie, it just doesn't really move any of the character arcs along all that much.

It's basically 'lifting rocks' and carefully putting them back down again so you don't disturb what's under them too much (you'll understand that reference once you see the film).

Enjoyable, but hopefully the next in the series will do a lot more exploration of the characters and their motivations.

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