First and foremost, If you are worried about the story being spoiled then rather than reading this article, as there are plenty of spoilers within it, go ahead and look to the bottom for a rating/recommendation. If you have, feel free to let us know your comments below.
Picking up where The Force Awakens left off, Episode VIII returns Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, who since the Return of The Jedi has become a hermit on a planet containing the last of the Jedi religion. As most hardcore Star Wars fans would agree, and as Mark Hamill even said himself, recapturing the childhood magic of the original trilogy most likely will not be your experience with The Last Jedi. However this not the effect of flaws with the movie. While there do happen to be some very blatant issues, they are nowhere near the absurdity of the prequels, and at certain points does happen to capture a hint of eye-watering nostalgic magic.
Episode VIII lacks some consistency in its development of characters seen in The Force Awakens. Where Supreme Leader Snoke’s role, Rey’s past, and the subplot of Finn and Rose were all extremely underwhelming. Snoke had an extremely ominous and enigmatic role in The Force Awakens. He fed off the fear of the unexplained, and emulated some of the aspects that made Darth Sidious an embodiment of true chaotic evil in the original trilogy. However the follow through to Episode VIII is quite lackluster. Snoke appears as and disappears like an incompetent dictator who, given his position in the First Order, doesn’t seem to match up with the level of reverence displayed towards him. Given the switch from director J.J. Abrams to Rian Johnson there seems to be a palpable dissonance in visions for certain characters and their importance within the story as a whole, and not only that, but the Force itself.
Many Star Wars geeks would agree that the attempt to change how the Force is perceived and the way it behaves is futile. The original trilogy set in stone the specific rules that dictate the way the Force works for all future movies, and to alter this in any way is a cardinal sin against the vision of the Star Wars universe. And yet, in one of the most gimmicky Deus Ex Machina’s of the year, Princess Leia somehow possesses the ability to float through space despite being blown to pieces by a First Order TIE-Fighter. It was a somewhat interesting concept, however lazily executed and proved to be one of the films weaker points.
The sub-plot containing Finn and newly-introduced Rose seems as if it were a rather out of place avenue for making a political statement. The entire thing gets both Finn, Rose, and the Resistance nowhere, and both end up in the same place as the rest of our protagonists by the end of the film seemingly completely unaffected and unchanged by the entire experience. As much as I agree with the statement made, commenting on the military-industrial complex, I feel as if without it the story wouldn’t have turned out much different.
As far as the rest of the film goes, the stunning visual effects and exhilarating fight scenes and extremely talented go to overshadow the weaker points of the movie. The Star Wars universe tends to follow a very specific pattern of Sith Lords rising up and attempting their crusade and purge against the Jedi and Galactic Republic. Time and time again the good guys always make it out on top. Rather than follow the trend common to Star Wars movies and even shown in The Force Awakens, the goal of our protagonists is survival. There is no indestructible space station for the Resistance to destroy, and the fate of the galaxy is decided upon whether or not the Resistance can survive.
For those who enjoyed The Force Awakens, you will without a doubt enjoy this movie. As for those more intense Star Wars fans, going into this expecting the nostalgic essence that the original trilogy has you will not come out of the theatre a happy viewer. Have an open mind, and know that this movie is not capable of being nearly as bad as the prequels.