Star Wars: The Last Jedi               review by Bobby Blakey

As a hardcore Star Wars fan it is a bit hard to stay biased as a reviewer as well when talking about the franchise, but I do recognize its flaws. With the Force Awakens and Rogue One it infused new life to the iconic series making this latest chapter The Last Jedi one that fans have been on the edge of their seat waiting for. Now the wait is over and the have united along with some new additions including Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Gwendoline Christie, Benicio Del Toro, Laura Durn, Domhnall Gleeson, Andy Serkis, and Billie Lourd, but does it take this new trilogy to the next level or will it indeed be the last of the Jedi?

Star Wars: The Last Jedi follows Rey joins Luke Skywalker on an adventure with Leia, Finn and Poe that unlocks mysteries of the Force and secrets of the past as she takes her first steps into the Jedi world. It is no wonder that Disney and Lucasfilm has given director Rian Johnson his own trilogy because he has crafted a damn near perfect addition to the franchise. There are some issues to discuss, but overall this is easily one of the best entries into the franchise yet. The story picks up pretty much where the Force Awakens left off in unexpected ways that are pure perfection. The longer run time has allowed in new directions while introducing us to some new faces.

Where we were introduced to Poe in the last film he never really got much to do outside of being a generic pilot, but that all changes here. He gets a great arc that allows to see who he is and see him grow into a fully realized character that fans will love all the more. Fin gets to take a new journey that keeps his original drive in place while taking him to new places and getting some closure. Rey has the biggest challenge stepping into the real world of the Jedi and these moments are some of the best of the entire film alongside Luke. Hamill is the real scene stealer offering up easily his best turn as the Luke to date. There are so many great iconic moments with his character this time around that will no doubt leave fans cheering. Every scene with Leia is excellent as well and made all the more emotional given the passing of Fisher. There is a moment in particular that was so unexpected and great that it will make you miss her even more.

The performances across the board are excellent with every single actor here bringing their A game. I was happy to see how well they all connected even more so with the material and each other. There are heart felt moments as well as heart wrenching ones. There has been a lot of people saying that this is a different kind of Star Wars film and that is accurate on so many levels, but it still stays grounded with the entire universe. These changes are perfection and what the franchise has needed for some time that have nods to both the original trilogy and the prequels while still being its own thing. There is little down time between the action and will keep you on the edge of your seat. There are some elements that fans have been hoping answered here, but you will be surprised in the direction as theories are tossed right out of the window.

If there are issues here for me it came in some of the effects. There are some CGI moments that are just too noticeable at times that sort of took me out of it, but not so much to ruin the overall experience. It is one of those things that I believe in future viewings will be unnoticeable now that the initial shock and awe of it are done. Bencio Del Toro is a great character addition, but underused and kind of out of place although I could see him playing some sort of part in the next chapter should they want to. A lot of you will be upset with the handling of Phasma this time around, but I was actually very happy with her this time around and getting a moment to really shine. For those that have been as obsessed with the Pratorien Guards like myself you will be really happy to see how they are used in the film.

Easily the biggest pre-release obsession is that of the Porgs and while they are there quite a bit I was surprisingly happy with them and how they were used. They offer up some of the laughs while not being anything other than what they are. There are some great surprises here and I for one cannot wait to watch this dark chapter numerous times. I am interested to seeing the debates that come out of this once it is released because there is going to be some heated discussions with some of the decisions that I think were all the rights ones.

Return to the galaxy far, far away and grab your copy of Star Wars: The Last Jedi available now digitally in HD and 4K Ultra HD and via Movies Anywhere and then on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and Blu-ray disc on March 27th from Lucasfilm and Disney Home Entertainment.

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