I think whether Star Wars: The Last Jedi is good or bad purely depends on how you feel about the franchise at the moment. If you loved The Force Awakens and Rogue One and are hungry for more, then I think you’ll enjoy The Last Jedi.
If, however you’re hoping for a fresh and original Star Wars film, then you may have a mixed reaction to episode eight.
Me personally I feel that Star Wars should’ve ended after Return of the Jedi. Everything that came after I don’t think was necessary, they were really just produced for profit. There’s only one truly solid story that can be told in this universe and it’s already been done.
So while The Last Jedi does certainly contain some new drama and ideas, the film does still borrow a lot from the original trilogy.
Rey, Kylo and Luke
The journeys these characters embark on in the film are fantastic. Picking up immediately from where The Force Awakens left off, The Last Jedi depicts Rey’s training dictated by her new master, Luke Skywalker. However, Luke is reluctant to teach Rey at first. We learn that Luke’s views on the Jedi has changed. This will be a spoiler-free review so I won’t go into specifics but I will state that Rey and Luke’s plot explores the moral perceptions of the Jedi. It’s the most compelling part of the film. I was leaning forward, quite close to the edge of my seat, every time they were on screen.
Kylo’s story is also quite compelling. Avoiding specifics again, Kylo is presented as the same villainous young Vader-wannabe as he is in The Force Awakens. However, like in The Force Awakens, there are instances where it seems Kylo is unsure of his position. The Last Jedi expands on this uncertainty, which makes the plot even more engaging because you never really know what Kylo’s position is.
Po, Finn and Rose
The plots regarding Po Dameron, Finn and his new friend Rose carry most of the film’s flaws, believability being one of them. As the resistance flee from the First Order, trying to escape their pursuit, there are a few moments that challenged my suspension of disbelief. Not only were they difficult to believe but they also got little development and attention after they occurred, making them seem even more unbelievable.
These plots, like The Force Awakens, borrow a lot of beats, ideas and imagery from the original trilogy, particularly from The Empire Strikes Back and even A New Hope towards the end. I was hoping the film would rely less on previous films for material as this is the second part of a brand-new trilogy and it still feels like we’re trapped in the world and scope of the original trilogy.
As stated before, whether you will like The Last Jedi or not depends on your current feelings about the series. In my opinion, the film presents some solid new material and drama in the form of Rey’s training, Luke’s changed stance on the Jedi and Kylo’s moral uncertainty. However, it still rehashes beats from previous films and the plot gets very far-fetched occasionally.
If you want to see a completely new and fresh Star Wars film then I would lightly recommend The Last Jedi but if you want to see a more typical Star Wars film with the spirit of the original trilogy, then I highly recommend it.
I give The Last Jedi a good 8 out of 10.