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  • Writer's pictureRob Ervin

Rob Reviews "Star Wars, Episode VIII: The Last Jedi"

I see a lot of movies (as you may have seen by now… LOL). I mean, a LOT of movies. This year alone to date, I have seen over eighty films, and I’m not even done yet with the number of screeners I have received to try to watch before year’s end. The thing about seeing the amount of films that I am privileged to have been able to do is that some great films early in the year have the possibility to get lost in the shuffle towards year’s end, and there are even some great films that get released in the latter months of the year that get too overhyped for me by the time I get to them. Combine the time frame of a December 15th release date, and two-and-a-half-hour run time, and some of the vaguest trailers I have ever seen, and my margin for error with “Star Wars, Episode VIII: The Last Jedi” was a mixed bag of emotions as I walked into the theater.

With the First Order keeping the Rebellion on the run, General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) believes that they are ready to lay the final blow on their “rebel scum” once and for all. Under the leadership of Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), the Rebellion is on its heels, led by General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) and her unpredictable pilot, Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac). All the while, Rey (Daisy Ridley) has ventured to a far off planet to try and get Jedi Master Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) to join the fight as the last of the Jedi Order and the only one that may be able to turn the tide for freedom for the entire galaxy.

And that’s about as far as I am going to go here.

Sure, the third December release in a row makes it so films like this are fresh in my mind as closing time for my list grows near, but in all honesty, this film could have been released on New Year’s Day and it would resonate as much with me as it did when I saw it the day before I wrote this review. I said it as the end credits rolled, and I have been saying it ever since: Most. Complete. “Star Wars” movie. EVER.

“Looper” director Rian Johnson also wrote the script for this chapter of the saga, and this guy now has a lifetime pass for me, as long as he never decides to direct a “Transformers” film. This story is nothing but strong from beginning to end, fleshing out some characters that needed to be after “The Force Awakens” so that when the final chapter of this trilogy happens in two years, we are all emotionally invested in the eventual climax and aftermath of this particular tale within George Lucas’ visionary universe.

It is incredibly difficult to review this and navigate the minefield that could be construed as spoilers, but I will simply say here that this film has EVERYTHING. After I left the auditorium, I was emotionally spent (which is a very good thing), as there were multiple moments where I teared up, laughed out loud, got completely taken off guard, and even cheered all at the appropriate times. I know that second part may be a bit odd for a “Star Wars” film, but it actually has intentionally funny moments that do not take away from the greatness of the overall experience.

Granted, there ARE a few moments that seem out of place that I will let you bear witness to on your own, but even with those elements, this is simply one of the best films of 2017, and I can say something that has not happened since “A New Hope” forty years ago: I see MULTIPLE Oscar nominations coming out of this, including Best Picture. This film is THAT good.

With “The Last Jedi,” Disney continues to take Lucasfilm to the next level by bringing a quality film that works on every level. In the holiday season, this is going to continue the tradition of making a TON of money for the House of Mouse, and I for one cannot wait for what is coming next in “Han” and eventually “Episode IX”.

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