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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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June 16, 2024

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Review

The+Last+Jedi
Photo by Graphic by Nic Tan
The Last Jedi

This review contains minor spoilers
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is a movie that does a lot of things well, while at the same time doing other things very poorly. The film is strong in its message, but lacking somewhat in story.
The Star Wars franchise has always been dependent upon a clear-cut struggle between good and evil. It has always been abundantly obvious who the bad guys are throughout the series. With names like “Darth Sidious” and “Dark Side,” it’s kind of hard to miss. One thing that The Last Jedi does very well is to shine a little ambiguity, a little doubt onto the long-standing dichotomy of good and evil.
Director Rian Johnson did an excellent job of showing, for the first time in Star Wars movie history, that heroes can have their dark moments and that villains are more than just a mask.
How he conveys this message however, is where my mostly positive opinions of the film take a turn. For those of you who have seen the movie, I’ll just come out and say it: I hated the Finn plot line. Everything about it seemed cheesy and forced. It didn’t fit with the rest of the film, and it seemed downright sloppy. From the cartoonish space-dog racetrack scene to the over-dramatic confrontation with Captain Phasma, Finn’s whole story seemed superfluous, and cumbersome. Every time his face popped up on screen, I couldn’t help but think “get back to Rey!”
With that being said, there was one positive aspect of Finn’s half-cocked journey through space. The newly introduced character DJ, a Han Solo-esque arms trader that Finn encounters on his quest, was one of the more interesting parts of the movie. Everything about DJ, Star Wars fans have seen before. He’s a scoundrel, ripe for redemption, who everyone expects to reluctantly save the day at the last second.
The interesting thing is, without giving too much away, he doesn’t actually redeem himself. DJ is just one more way in which Johnson turns a well-established Star Wars convention on its head.
Finn’s antics aside, I found the primary Rey plotline to be excellent. It was spectacular to see the ideological contrast between Rey and Kylo, and even greater to witness the conversations they held. It was interesting to entertain the idea of tempting someone back to the light side after turning dark, which is another concept we haven’t really seen before in Star Wars (Vader’s final moments aside).
The cinematography was beautiful, with striking colors, and stunning land, and space-scapes. The beautiful visuals matched wonderfully with the film’s beautiful themes.
All in all, “The Last Jedi” broke form for Star Wars, but in a good way. It explored places the franchise hadn’t been before, but places it needed to go. It was brilliant thematically, and showed a more accurate description of good and evil than its seven predecessors. It could’ve used some work on its plot, but overall, The Last Jedi is a quality film.

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