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Does 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Live Up To Its Namesake?
Dec 27, 2017 at 05:02 AM
Photo by Public Domain

The Quick Facts

  • The latest chapter in the Star Wars saga, The Last Jedi, opened in theaters on December 15th to universal acclaim from critics.
  • However, the movie has turned out to be quite polarizing amongst everyday moviegoers and Star Wars fans, resulting in some backlash towards the film.
  • As of Tuesday, Rotten Tomatoes’ score for the movie amongst critics is at 92%; the score amongst the audience is at 52%.
  • So far, The Last Jedi has grossed $791.6 million worldwide and $395.6 million in the U.S. It is now the 3rd highest grossing film in the U.S. for 2017, behind Beauty and the Beast ($504 million) and Wonder Woman ($412.5 million).
  • The Last Jedi had the highest U.S. weekend opening in 2017 at $220 million, placing it far ahead of the Beauty and the Beast’s box office opening of $174.7 million. 

Food For Thought

What did people love or hate about The Last Jedi?

[Warning: Spoilers included in article summaries!]

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Rolling Stone

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Review: This Is the Epic You've Been Looking For

Peter Travers
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Our Commentary

This review from Peter Travers of Rolling Stone explains why ‘The Last Jedi’ is everything you can hope for in a Star Wars flick. Here are some of the type of arguments that he made:

1) The Last Jedi provides all of the old nostalgia of older Star Wars movie (like lightsaber duels, space dogfights, fantastical creatures, etc.) while taking the series to the “next level”, with characters that are much more complex than being either good or evil.

2) Rian Johnson, the director, infuses the film’s characters and plot with twists you will never see coming, making the story both engaging and refreshing.

3) The acting in the film is incredibly well done, especially from Mark Hamill. Hamill, as Luke Skywalker, gives the best acting performance of his life. His performance is ultimately responsible for the film's greatness.

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Empire

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Review

Our Commentary

This review from Ian Freer of Empire argues that ‘The Last Jedi’, overall, is a great movie, but is hampered by certain plot developments in the middle section of the film. Here are some of the types of arguments that he made:

1) The acting and character interactions are enthralling. Mark Hamill shines as Luke Skywalker. Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver create a gripping character dynamic between Rey and Kylo Ren.

2) Rian Johnson understands Star Wars as a series and directs The Last Jedi with its namesake in mind; however, he also isn’t afraid to add a new “cinematic grammar” into the film that enriches its overall delivery and allows it to uniquely stand out from its predecessors.

3) The movie does have its flaws, especially in the middle. It suffers from unnecessary plot developments that inevitably lead nowhere and have no direct impact on the overall story at hand. 

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Forbes

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Delights And Disappoints

Dani Di Placido
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Our Commentary

Dani Di Placido of Forbes states that he left ‘The Last Jedi’ in a “strange mood”, and that while there were many enjoyable aspects to the film, it also contained some very disappointing characteristics. Here are some of the types of arguments that he made:

1) While the humor in the film was “welcome” at times, it was overdone and overused, making the film feel more like a Guardians of the Galaxy sequel rather than a Star Wars film.

2) The film mostly had successes in regards to character development. Luke Skywalker is a much more unique character than he was in episodes IV-VI. Kylo Ren is now the most complex character in the entire Star Wars universe. Unfortunately, Rey’s character has become less interesting.

3) The resolution of several major plot points from The Force Awakens left us without closure and desiring greater explanation.  

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The Federalist

Why ‘The Last Jedi’ Is The Worst Star Wars Movie Ever

Benjamin Kerstein
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Our Commentary

In this movie critique, Benjamin Kerstein of the Federalist argues that ‘The Last Jedi’ may be the worst Star Wars movie ever. Here are some of the types of opinions that he shared:

1) The film is an unoriginal rehash of the standard ‘Star Wars’ second act, originally created by The Empire Strikes Back. Everything goes wrong, a team of good guys try to survive “all but certain destruction”, and an apprentice Jedi learns about the Force from a master Jedi.

2) Not only is the story unoriginal, it is written poorly and executed much more poorly. There are plot lines that ultimately lead nowhere, plot twists that make no sense, and plot holes that are never filled in.

3) The film’s “campy humor” undermines its progression and character development, ruining the overall quality of the film. The inclusion of the Porgs (a fantasy creature) seems to be solely a marketing scheme rather than a story enhancement. 

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