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Star Wars: The Last Jedi Is Oscar-Worthy

Adam Aleksic, Editor-in-Chief

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi had the second highest-grossing opening of any film ever, and it’s honestly surprising it didn’t get first. The movie failed to disappoint on any frontier, telling a surprisingly deep story with stunning visual effects and awe-inspiring action.

Watching the premiere on opening night, a chill crept down my spine as the entire audience applauded the Lucasfilm logo and subsequent blast of John Williams music. The opening title crawl revealed the rebels fleeing the menacing First Order, but so many things happen on a deeper level than that. Rey, the parentless protagonist of the previous picture, develops a mind connection with Kylo Ren while learning dark secrets about Luke Skywalker and the Jedi. Finn encounters a new sidekick, Rose Tico, and they visit a gambling planet while searching for someone to aid their mission. Most unexpectedly, a coup is attempted inside the Rebellion.

While The Force Awakens followed the New Hope/Return of the Jedi plot of the good guys blowing up a big evil weapon, The Last Jedi was a trailblazer in the Star Wars universe, with a completely new and innovative plot. Unlike the “prequels” (which don’t really exist, so let’s not mention them again), though, it actually is an example of decent scripting, depth, and movie-making.

Oh, the movie-making. Each of the animations was rendered in staggering quality and detail. The action sequences were especially breath-taking, with the most cinematic of the scenes taking place on the planet Crait, where the disturbance of red salt not only offered a dizzyingly satisfying portion to the battle, but also a cool map of sorts to show the evolution of the conflict. The space dogfights continued prior quality in the series, and The Last Jedi had possibly the single greatest one-on-one battle with Mark Hamill.

Both new and old details were introduced to make any Star Wars fan writhe in excitement. Porgs, tiny inhabitants of Skywalker’s island, add a humorous element to the story, even if they were probably just added for Disney to mass-market plush versions. Fathiers, cute little ice foxes, and toadlike nuns only add to the satisfying list of new animals. The new planets, and I really have to emphasize Crait again here, were also visually and internally gratifying. And, once you’ve seen the film, you’ll know exactly what reintroduced feature really pleased fans of the original trilogy.

The actors performed excellently, and a large degree of character depth and development was added to all the roles. Insights into the backgrounds and moral conflicts of Rey, Luke, and Kylo, all drive a major theme of the picture, and the cast delivers both their jokes and their fights in a way that made the audience applaud nigh perpetually.

This film has etched its place among the greats such as A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, thanks to the brilliant directing of Rian Johnson, a great story to be told, and the pure fact that this is Star Wars. My initial impressions appear to be unbiased, as almost every news outlet and a 93% Rotten Tomatoes score can corroborate the high quality of the movie.

Even if you’re just jumping into the Star Wars franchise, there’s no movie like the present to show you what a great universe it is. If you’re a longtime fan, what have you waited for? This is the sequel we all deserve. Watch it! It’s worth it.

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