′Star Wars: The Last Jedi′: the best episode yet | Film | DW | 12.12.2017
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Film

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi': the best episode yet

Fans had to wait two years for it. The eighth Star Wars episode hits movie theaters right on time for Christmas. This much can be said, without spoilers: It is already celebrated as the very best one.

The First Order has become too powerful and wants to dominate the galaxy under the leadership of villain Supreme Leader Snoke.

The group of rebels around General Leia Organa is desperately trying to flee, but Snoke's General Hux and his fleet are very close on their heels. He doesn't manage to catch them, however, thanks to the gutsy pilot Poe.

Film still Star Wars: The last Jedi with General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson)(picture-alliance/AP Photo/Lucasfilm/D. James)

General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) sets out to destroy the rebels

The space chase nevertheless remains a dangerous and costly endeavor. The First Order keeps the upper hand — until two of the rebels secretly go on their own special mission.

Meanwhile, the young Rey, who hangs out on the barren island of Ahch-To, tries to persuade the last remaining Jedi, Luke Skywalker, to help her and thus the rebels as well. In the process, she is also searching for her own identity. Over and over again, she mentally connects with another vassal  of the evil Snoke, namely Kylo Ren, a former Jedi student. He has turned to the dark side of the Force, inspired by Darth Vader. But Rey still believes in his goodness.

A splendid work by director Rian Johnson

For more than 40 years, every new Star Wars film has been celebrated by fans as though this were prescribed by law. To keep it this way, the genre's top filmmakers have been assigned to the task. This time, director and screenwriter Rian Johnson signed the last episode.

Filmstill Star Wars: Die letzten Jedi (picture-alliance/AP Photo/Lucasfilm/D. James)

Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) in action

The film's world premiere on December 9 in Los Angeles thrilled fans and film critics alike.

Read more: 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' receives praise at 'mind-blowing' premiere

Star Wars fans can look forward to spectacular and amazing action and battle scenes set in space as well as on a planet with a unique and highly impressive landscape.

Once again, witty dialogues and references to previous sequels will delight fans.

Yet "Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi" has more depth than the last film. Even the quiet moments are thrilling, as the Force plays a big role once again, adding emotion and drama to the story.

Film still Star Wars: The Last Jedi - porg (picture-alliance/AP Photo/Lucasfilm)

The porgs are as cute as they are funny

Some truly entertaining little animals make their appearance; Disney, who has been producing the Star Wars series since 2012, has left its mark. 

Stronger characters

The main characters of  "Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens" have been given a stronger profile — especially Rey (Daisy Ridley), who feels the pull of the Force, and even dares search for her roots on the dark side.

Film still Rey in Star Wars: The Last Jedi (picture-alliance/dpa)

Who is Rey — and where will the eighth Star Wars adventure lead her? 

Pilot Poe (Oscar Isaac) has developed into a central rebel figure, whereas former stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) is now accompanied by a strong woman named Rose (Kelly Marie Tran).

In this latest episode, strong women have been given more presence than was the case in earlier films. Rebel leader Leia (the late Carrie Fisher, who died in 2016) is accompanied by Laura Dern's strong performance in the role of Vice Admiral Holdo. 

Read more: Iconic 'Star Wars' actress, writer Carrie Fisher dies at 60

The film's most important male character is however Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), who has become a lot older. He lives as a hermit on a rugged island, and has turned his back to the rest of the galaxy. He's therefore unsurprisingly not too keen on helping out Rey.

Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in Starwars Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (017 Lucasfilm Ltd.)

Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) has become a bit peculiar, to put it mildly

There isn't a single boring moment during the 2.5 hours of the film. The plot contains numerous surprising turns, never letting off viewers. Many questions are left open towards the end of the film. Obviously, a new episode is already in the planning.

 J.J. Abrams back on board

It's J.J. Abrams who will direct Star Wars IX. After the science fiction and action specialist served as executive producer of the eighth episode, he will not only direct the next film, but also write the screenplay.

Abrams has already directed the seventh episode, in which he built the rhythm and feel of the original films.

Abrams told Rolling Stone magazine that he saw Star Wars IX as a wonderful opportunity to conclude the stories of the newer characters, Rey, Poe and Finn. That end will probably be presented in two years. The premiere of the ninth episode of the Star Wars saga has been planned for December 2019.

 

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