The excitement is building. If you’re a Star Wars fan of any caliber, whether you’ve seen them all once through or you’re a diehard Star Wars cosplayer and fan theorist, you probably know that there’s a new film coming out Thursday night. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” has been generating lots of buzz this past few months, and hopes are high that this latest installment in the Star Wars series will live up to its gargantuan amount of hype.
Reviews came in Tuesday for the film. Most of the initial feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with the film gaining a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a website that aggregates reviews from critics across the board.
Some of the positive reviews had much to praise about director Rian Johnson’s work on the film. Many of them mentioned his expert incorporation of various influences and genres into the movie’s blockbuster scope, while also staying true to soul of Star Wars in the process.
David Edelstein of New York Magazine/Vulture wrote:
“[Rian Johnson] achieves what no one else has since The Empire Strikes Back: a fusion of junkyard genre parts and passion.
Katie Walsh of Tribune News Service shared:
“As indebted to the previous installments and “Star Wars” canon as it is to classic Westerns, sword-and-sandal epics and martial arts films…. it’s the blend of reverence for its roots and embrace of the new that makes “The Last Jedi” a triumph.”
Others, like K. Austin Collins of The Ringer, commented on how the film brings back that old joy of just losing yourself in a movie:
“This is a movie not only for Star Wars fans but also for fans of losing themselves in, and falling in love with, blockbuster movies. That’s a feeling most Hollywood movies have forgotten-and “The Last Jedi” is here to make us remember it.”
Critics who disliked the film complained that it was a bit too long, growing sluggish in the middle, and that they tried to pack too much into a movie that eventually collapses under its own weight. Kate Taylor of the Globe and Mail wrote:
“But gradually, Johnson’s many additions become too much of a good thing and The Last Jedi grows crowded, busy and long. Promising new characters – a gracious rebel admiral (Laura Dern) in conflict with Oscar Isaac’s energetic Poe Dameron; a lovable rogue played by Benicio Del Toro – are often shortchanged”
Taking in what critics have said, fans will have to see for themselves whether or not “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” lives up to the hype. The internet will surely be blowing up with fan reviews and theories in the next few weeks. Meanwhile, moviegoers will pack into theaters for their chance to soak in the latest installment of the famous franchise. Popcorn and cheap soda will likely be consume at an alarming rate.
The movie features the return of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) as one of the film’s major characters, and fans will be eager to see what the hero of The Force Awakens, Rey (Daisy Ridley), learns on the island where she confronted Skywalker at the end of the last film. Also returning are John Boyega as former Stormtrooper Finn, Oscar Isaac as the pilot Poe Dameron, and Adam Driver as the First Order leader Kylo Ren.
The film also features the final Star Wars performance from Carrie Fisher, who reprises her role as princess Leia Organa in the movie. She passed away soon after the filming of “The Last Jedi” wrapped up, and will be sorely missed by Star Wars fans worldwide.
Notables joining the cast for “The Last Jedi” will be Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro. It will be interesting to see how their characters integrate themselves into the Star Wars universe. Hopefully they aren’t as “shortchanged” as the critic Taylor makes them appear.
Regardless of the buzz, it’s sure to be an exciting weekend for Star Wars fans. In many ways, the franchise seems pumped full of new energy, a fact that will hopefully equate to another respected and exhilarating entry into the Star Wars canon.