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Star Wars continues to excite fans with Episode VIII

January 17, 2018

HANNAH JONES
Staff Reporter | hej006@latech.edu

 

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Rating – Four of Five Stars

 

On Dec. 14, the second episode in the third installment of one of the most beloved sagas in cinematic history came out in cinemas nationwide. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” otherwise known as Episode VIII, continues where the previous episode left off.

 

The two-and-a-half hour film weaves together the story lines of various characters in the same fashion as the previous midpoint films, Episode II and Episode V. The Resistance continues their hold out against the First Order while Rey develops her understanding of and skill with the Force, including many subplots and new characters introduced throughout.

 

We have the introduction of new characters (and old) such as Rose, a member of the Resistance and possible new love interest, and the long awaited return of Luke Skywalker, the (supposedly) Last Jedi.

 

One interesting new development in this sequel is the thematic element introduced regarding the universal aspect of the Force. The prequels, as well as the original Star Wars trilogy ,continuously emphasize the idea that the Force is what binds everything and everyone together. Yet in these precursors and even in the “awakening” of the Force, comes the implication that the Force can only be manipulated by a select few, the elite or chosen of the universe.

 

This perception of the Force as inheritable and a part of particular creatures’ destinies is opposed with the big revealing of Rey’s parents. The build up of “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” fell flat on Rey’s face as Kylo Ren informs her what almost no one expected to hear: her parents were nobodies—mere junk traders who sold her to pay off debts and died unheroic deaths. How’s that for a plot twist?

 

The saga is all about parallels and anti-parallels (which is often where the plot twists come in). With this thematic development, the parallels are drawn back to “A New Hope” where a young “nobody” ends up saving the galaxy and then “The Phantom Menace” where a really young nobody ends up almost destroying the galaxy. In this way, the old and new fanatics of the Star Wars Saga can be appeased with this new sequel.

 

It is difficult to accurately determine a rating for “The Last Jedi.” As a sequel maintaining the substance of the original Star Wars trilogy, it would receive closer to a three out of five stars based on the lack of an actual lightsaber duel or the addition of completely new Force capabilities such as the telepathy and lightning produced by ghost Yoda.

 

As a sequel to the first installment of the new trilogy, the film definitely deserves a five out of five in its massive plot development, including character and thematic, as well as adding more subplots that leave the viewer utterly at a loss to predict the events of the final film (and thus causing the anticipation to rise).

 

So with two perspectives to acknowledge in rating “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” perhaps the only compromise is to meet in the middle with four out of five stars for fantastic action and drive weaving together multiple subplots in the network of the overall plot, including salutes to its precursors, but taking on a destiny of its own.

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