AKA Episode VIII
Written & Directed by Rian Johnson
Based on characters by George Lucas
Starring Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern & Benicio del Toro
Release Date: December 15, 2017
Running Time: 2hr 32min
Rey (Ridley) begins her training Jedi Master, Luke Skywalker (Hamill), who’s been in self exile for years after failing to train Ben Solo (Driver) who’s working for the First Order under the name Kylo Ren. Meanwhile, the Resistance, lead by General Leia Organa (Fisher), continue to fight off the First Order, who have a way to track them, even through light speed. Poe Dameron (Isaac) entrusts Finn (Boyega), a mechanic named Rose Tico (Tran), and BB-8 with a secret mission to find someone who can deactivate the First Order’s tracking device. Given how new this film still is, I don’t wanna give any major spoilers away. Plus, you can always look elsewhere for that.
Upon release the film earned over $1.3 billion worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing film of 2017, the seventh-highest-ever grossing film in North America and the ninth-highest-grossing film of all time during its theatrical run. It is also the second-highest-grossing Star Wars film, and turned a net profit of over $417 million. The film received positive reviews, with praise for its ensemble cast, musical score, visual effects, action sequences and emotional weight.
Conversely, many have complained about the long running time, the motivation of characters, Luke Skywalker’s arc, and some of the writing. There’s also been accusations of it being a giant social justice warrior film, and that’s complete bullshit. Also, actress Kelly Marie Tran was bombarded so much with sexist and racist comments on social media that she shut off her accounts, to which I say shame on all who participated in that! You don’t like the character, fine. You don’t like her portrayal, fine. But to actively bully someone, especially in regards to her gender and race (which she has no control over!) is a horrible thing to do! There’s no excuse for that behavior!
Personally, I have no idea why this film gets so much hate. I really don’t! Does it have flaws? Sure, but every film does, this includes the original trilogy which gets put on this pedestal. Obviously I love the original trilogy, it’s among my top 10 all time favorite movies, but at the same time they are still just movies. This is just a movie. It does not ruin the legacy that the original trilogy has.
I still think that this is a fun, exciting, and well made movie. I think the acting is on point, Mark Hamill in particular shines as a version of Luke Skywalker who became disenchanted with the Jedi Order. I don’t mind this arc for his character, maybe I’m just a sucker for a once bright eyed youth becoming disenchanted by time. Still, he gets a hell of a moment that is AMAZING! I would also be remised to not bring up the emotional reunion between Luke and Leia, which is even more poignant/bittersweet knowing that Carrie Fisher died before the release of the film!
You wanna hate this movie, go ahead. Just don’t give others shit for liking it and vice versa. We need to stop this toxicity!
The Star Wars Saga
- Episode I -The Phantom Menace (1999)*
- Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002)*
- Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005)*
- Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)**
- Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)**
- Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)**
- Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015)*
- Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017)*
- Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019)*