Star Wars: The Last Jedi



Not so much a movie as a stepping-stone to Star Wars IX, and it's a turgid, convoluted, 

thudding disappointment.

Star wars The Last Jedi

Pondering the plot: Daisy Ridley as Rey


When the original Star Wars rebooted the sci-fi genre in 1977, it ran for a trim, exuberant two hours and fifty seconds. The Last Jedi, forty years on, lasts an interminable two hours, 31 minutes and 38 seconds. Yet it is merely a stepping-stone between The Force Awakens and Episode IX. And like many a chapter in a franchise these days, it doesn’t feel like a whole movie. Whereas The Force Awakens (2015) brought a fresh, post-modern spin to the series, its disjointed sequel has fewer surprises up its sleeve.


It was a risk to bring a filmmaker of Rian Johnson’s experience on board such a massively expensive enterprise. Besides helming three episodes of Breaking Bad, Johnson directed the convoluted, loopy Looper (2012) and the self-satisfied, wilfully abstruse Brick (2005). Here, he’s tasked with juggling manic action sequences with ponderous longueurs involving Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hamill as a sort of Alan Bates lookalike. When Luke rejects Rey’s plea for help to shore up the Resistance, he tells her, “nothing can make me change my mind.” Later, when he’s changed his mind, he warns, “the war is just beginning” and one’s heart sinks.


On the acting front, Harrison Ford is sorely missed, while Domhnall Gleeson gives us an am-dram interpretation of blinkered power in the form of General Hux. On a poignant note, the late Carrie Fisher adds gravitas and credibility to her General Leia, by contrast turning her co-stars into comic-book ciphers. There’s also good work from Andy Serkis as the Supreme Leader Snoke, a deformed, reptilian being of untold power and malevolence.


All one asks of any film, regardless of its genre, is to be transported, engaged and to be moved. The only movement involved in the watching of The Last Jedi is the restless shifting of one’s impatient derrière.




Cast: 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, Frank Oz (voice only, as Yoda), Benicio del Toro, Peter Mayhew, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (voice only), Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Adrian Edmondson, Justin Theroux, Lily Cole.


Dir Rian Johnson, Pro Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman, Screenplay Rian Johnson, Ph Steve Yedlin, Pro Des Rick Heinrichs, Ed Bob Ducsay, Music John Williams, Costumes Michael Kaplan.


Lucasfilm Ltd-Walt Disney.
151 mins. USA. 2017. Rel: 14 December 2017. Cert. 12A.