STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII – THE LAST JEDI

Star Wars is a franchise created by George Lucas and his studio (Lucasfilm) at 1977 by releasing its first movie titled “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope”. Like the title presume, Star Wars tell the story of a war between Jedi, the light side of the Force and Sith, the dark side of the Force in a conflict that happens in outer space. In 2017, the franchise released a new sequel called “Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi”. I feel amazed when I first heard the title. Who is the last Jedi? Is it Luke? Rey? Or Kylo Ren? Despite of the critics that say the title is not so Star-Wars-like.

Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi is a movie directed by Rian Johnson about The Resistance led by General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) and some notable character like Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) the brave pilot and his droid BB-8, Finn (John Boyega) ,the ex-stormtrooper, and Rey (Daisy Ridley) the Jedi in training that fights and despise The First Order ruled by Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) and his subordinates, General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), an organization that aim to conquer the galaxy through sheer force and tyranny. The movie starts with its nostalgic crawling title that tells the audience of what happened before the movie starts and its notable music composed by John Williams. Following the aftermath of Episode VII, The First Order found the Resistance’s main base while Rey search Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) the Last Jedi to train her and bring him back to the fight. The Resistance then try to evacuate and struggle to keep their members alive while First Order with its giant fleet of armada continues to bombard Resistance’s main base and starships. In another place, Rey found where Luke is and ask him desperately to fight alongside her and the Resistance, but Luke refused her offer because of the past he had with Kylo Ren.

In terms of the story, The Last Jedi is so complex in a good way. The story building is slow-paced, but great. Rian Johnson can manages the duration and the story of the movie with a well-balanced proportion. With its distributions, old-fans can recall the nostalgia of the old franchise, the new-audience can understand the story, the character can build their own story and relationship, and of course the epic lightsaber battle. I love how the new trilogy create three new main character (Rey, Finn, and Poe) interact with three old main character (Luke, Leia, and Han) as the old character die one by one. It’s like they want to tell the fans that it is the time to entrust the future of the world to the young generation while the old generation should give them a lesson according to their experience.

Spoiler alert! For those who hasn’t watch the movie and doesn’t want to get spoilered can skip this paragraph.

My personal favorite character in this movie is Admiral Amilyn Holdo, played by Laura Dern. She is the temporary commander in charge while Leia is being treated of her injury. She seems to be a total douche at first, because of how she speaks and how she deny Poe’s questions, the typical I’m-always-right-because-I’m-in-charge character. But later she become the hero by staying in the Resistance’s main ship while the other members evacuate and later drive the ship to crash all of the First Order’s ships with lightspeed warp — and BOOM!! (This is my favorite scene). While her being my favorite character, my least favourite character in the movie is Rose Tico, played by Kelly Marie Tran. Introduced when she was seen mourning the death of her sister that only has a minute of the screenplay. Travel with Finn to Canto Bight in order to search the master codebreaker and riding a horse? Then when Finn, a stranger, BB-8, and Rose managed to infiltrate the control room Finn told Rose to show off her skill but the stormtroopers then arrive not long after that before she can show off her skill. So, what is her skill exactly? Finally when they battle with rusty old plane, Rose is one of the pilot while she supposed to be a mechanic and when she crash against Finn and kiss him before she fainted. The romantic relationship between Finn and Rose is being forced and has no chemistry between them. Just hope she has a strong purpose in the final movie of the trilogy.

Star Wars characters have so many different and unique development. Either it’s the alien character like Admiral Ackbar and Yoda, or the human characters. What I like about the new instalment of Star Wars franchise, they tend to give the main character to a non-American people. An example of this statement is the hero of the movie which usually played by a man, now played by a woman. The best friend of the hero played by black people, and the new character ‘Rose’ which is an Asian. This choice of casting is a form of a protest against a stereotype casting of the many movies which often use white people as the main character. This occurrence is now happening on many Hollywood movies such as Get Out, the new Ghostbusters movies, and the 89th Academy Awards Best Picture winner Moonlight. But even though The Last Jedi use many diversity in their casting, the ‘formula’ of the movie is pretty much the same. It starts when the bad guy attacks, then the victim of this incident is people like Asian, black people, fat people, etcetera. Then, comes the hero, the white people beat the hell out of the bad guy. My opinion about this occurrence is neutral, as long as it has a purpose of its own and makes the movie better, I support it. But if this choice of casting is used solely on a purpose of the protest and unnecessary for the story, I object it, because the main purpose of a movie is to show audience your story not to embrace an issue.

Overall, The Last Jedi is a great movie, many old fans expecting to feel the nostalgia they had when they are in the 80’s, and I think The Last Jedi is successful in bringing those feelings. The story they present is intriguing, you start to hate a character then love it in the end and vice versa. With great character comes a great casting. The Last Jedi is very concerned about their choice of cast, although they wanted to carry the issue of minority, they didn’t ignore the story either. May the Force be with you.

Author: Ihsan Nurfajri

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