Star Wars Episode VIII Last Jedi
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Star Wars Episode VIII Last Jedi

After a few decades of watching moves, it is to be expected to observe a few trends. One rather obvious one is the genre most likely to proceed from the sequel, to the trilogy and on to fully recognized franchise is horror movies. While this is statistically valid, the exceptions are often quite meaningful. In science fiction, two franchises dominate the genre eclipsing all other contenders, ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Star Wars.’ The former is experiencing a successful reboot while the later is in the middle of its third trilogy with a few one-offs, character-oriented movies. Studios are perpetually in negotiations, swapping lucrative rights like baseball cards. Now, ‘Star Wars,’ is owned by Walt Disney studios, along with the most lucrative and successful franchise in film history, ‘the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The most pertinent aspect of this arrangement is Disney has the clout and resources to create the most imaginative movies feasibly. After the debacle knew as the ‘Prequel Trilogy,’ the current set of films has been amazingly well-crafted stories, revitalizing the franchise. In many respects, this third trilogy represents a revival, featuring members of the original cast, albeit understandably older. It bears noting that their inclusion was done tastefully, incorporating their much-be, loved characters with appropriate respect and importance to the story rather than stunt casting as a cheap publicity ploy. Kenny Baker, who portrayed R2-D2, had past away previously and Carrie Fisher died towards the end of production. Her daughter, Billie Lourd, portrayed Lieutenant Connie, a member of, General Organa’s staff. Few franchises convey the weight and possess the emotional baggage as this venerable epic space opera. Fans are among the e most ardent in the world with conventions, role-playing and incorporating social aspects of the story into their lives. Can personally attest to this observation after my daughter had a Star war theme wedding.

After the climactic battle that concluded the previous episode, ‘The Battle of star-Killer Base,’ General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), order the immediate evacuation of the resistance base on the outer rim planet, D'Qar. Before they could leave the draconian First Order mounts an attack. Instinctively responding X-wing pilot and natural leader, Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), organizes a countermeasure. Greatly outgunned, the resistance suffers substantial losses. The costly maneuver was not in vain; they manage to accomplish the impossible, destroy the ultimate class of battleship wielded by the First Order, the massive Dreadnought. It is supposed to be impossible to track a fleet through hyperspace, but somehow, the First Order managed to follow the Resistance. This time, the First Order strikes a devastating blow, destroying the bridge of the flagship. Leia is blow out into space, but before she dies in the emptiness of space, she stretches out her hand, channels the Force and glides to an airlock. This was a point of substantial contention among the legions of diehard fans. The groundwork for Leia possessing Force abilities established in ‘Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.’ When revealing his sibling relationship to Leia, he states "the force is strong in my family" including his sister. Many fans were bothered was not only such an overt display of Force control but the even partial protection of the vacuum of space, that not previously established. The main factor in favor of this revelation is that it is entirely consistent with the central theme of this trilogy’s story, family.

Intermixed with the space battles an emotionally grounded aspect of the story unfolds. The climactic scene that concluded the prior episode had a scavenger, Rey (Daisy Ridley), who demonstrated a preternatural and intrinsic control of the Force, had located Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), his long-lost lightsaber. That shot was among the most iconic, not just within the franchise but in cinematic history, one of the most important aspects of crafting a successful action dependent franchise is pacing. Immersing the audience in an unending battle sequence will quickly tire the viewers, exhausting them while degrading their attention. Ideally, a great director will intersperse dramatic moments with the excitement. This goal was readily achieved with a seamless collaboration between the director/screenwriter, Rian Johnson, and his editor, Bob Ducsay and the project’s cinematographer, Steve Yedlin. The character-driven, emotionally expressed entwined thread follows Rey as she desperately tries to convince Luke to come out of his self-imposed exile and rejoin the fight for freedom. Her immediate concern is to have Luke accept her as his Jedi Padawan. The most significant reason for Luke’s withdrawal was the betrayal of Luke and the destruction on the nascent new Jedi establishment by his student, Ben Solo, now a top echelon leader of the New Order under his nom de guerre of Kylo Ren. The betrayal of Luke’s idealistic plan to restore the Jedi Order as a newly evolved entity. To be undermined by his flesh and blood completely crush what had always been an indomitable spirit.

As the resistance regroups under the command of Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern), who is forced to contend with the morale devastating combination of near military annihilation and their beloved leader of the resistance and its embodiment, Leia. At this juncture, the main narrative follows several distinctly defined threads. The leadership of both the Resistance and First Order scramble to gain an advantage over their respective nemesis. As cited above, Rey ren=mains with Luke who finally yields to her headstrong, nature and begins to help train her, much in the same ad hoc fashion employed with him by Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz), so many years ago. Both Rey and Kylo Ren are perplexed by the unprecedented Force drove connection and highly inexplicable communication their share. The stress and uncertainty push Kylo to act against Supreme Leader Snoke brought to life by the Grand Master of Performance capture, Andy Serkis. Mr. is practically responsible for the state of the art level of the computer-aided techniques for infusing digitally created characters with natural, organically consistent motion. With his expertise, the computer artists were able to expand this craft to encompass not just motion, but the subtle nuances imbued by the minute changes in facial expressions. This is made possible thanks to the extension of the computer sensor points to a myriad of placements on his face and lands. It is well worthwhile to watch the extra featurette detailing this amazing process.

One of the trademarks of epic action franchises under the banner of Walt Disney studios is the careful placement of humor. This was especially noticeable in the MCU and is carried over here with great results; one scene exemplifies this observation, a chase through an intergalactic casino owing its roots to the silent era’s ‘Keystone Cops.’ Featured here is one of the breakout star of the previous Episodes, Finn (John Boyega), former a stormtrooper designated, FN-2187, who deserted his post. He is partnered with the brilliant newcomer introduced here, Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico, a member of the Resistance who at the beginning works in maintenance. There is action-oriented, comedic chemistry between the pair that is palatable, helping to bring the move to such heights of entertainment. Understandably, as the middle act in this trilogy, the ultimate mod is rather somber with several plot points poised on the precipice of disaster for our heroes. After the final credit has crawled passed the screen, you will be left with an enormous need to watch the conclusion in the upcoming, episode IX. Following the regrettable trend affecting many blockbuster movies, the theatrical release included eta real 3D edition; sadly, this is only available through retailers in Europe.

bulletCast Commentary
bulletTribute To Carrie Fisher
bulletOuttake Reel
bulletTheatrical Trailers

Posted    05/20/2018

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