Recently…in a Galaxy Far, Far Away… a Galaxy Far, Far Away...

Bina Lee, Staff Writer

Within the first three weeks of its release, the highest grossing movie of 2017 domestically became Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It earned $533.1 million in just ticket sales (according to IGN) and a box office revenue of $1.056 billion. Although there’s been a great deal of hype surrounding the iconic sci-fi/fantasy film series and universe (by myself included), I wouldn’t say the recent film was any better than the rest.

If you’re not familiar with the plot, here’s a quick synopsis. The eighth episode of the Star Wars series follows the events after The Force Awakens with the Resistance battling the First Order. The First Order has discovered the Resistance’s base while Rey has set out to meet Luke Skywalker (who’s currently in hiding) in order to seek training from the Jedi Master. Mark Hamill stars as Luke again, and Carrie Fisher reappears as Leia in her final portrayal, since Fisher passed away in 2016. Additionally, the cast of the seventh episode returns, with Daisy Ridley as Rey, John Boyega as Finn, Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, and many others. Some new faces added to the Star Wars universe include Rose Tico, played by Kelly Marie Tran, a Resistance gunner whom we meet as she teams up with Finn, and Admiral Holdo, played by Laura Dern (Jurassic Park, Big Little Lies). We’re also introduced to fresh alien species such as the Vulptex, fox-like creatures with crystalline fur (pictured below), and the Porg, puffin-like creatures. Their extraterrestrial features are interesting, but I would have preferred that the film focus more on the plot/conflict between the Resistance and the First Order or go more in-depth with the consequences of what occurred in The Force Awakens.

Vulptex is shown above.

While Awakens centered on the fatherly love and relationship between Han Solo and Kylo Ren, I would say the recent chapter explores the motherly love of Leia and her relationship, but not by a whole lot when comparing the two side by side. Moreover, I noticed some attempts at jokes, but, honestly, they weren’t as amusing or appealing as the jokes in previous films in the series. However, the action scenes—such as the battle between TIE fighters and the X-wing Starfighters—are just as fantastic as those from any other Star Wars movie.

Rian Johnson, the director of The Last Jedi, has introduced numerous new characters while leaving countless questions unanswered…and leaving me disappointed. Rebecca Parish (’21), a big fan since seventh grade, was asked about her thoughts on this new addition to the franchise.

I personally liked The Last Jedi more than The Force Awakens. The Force Awakens followed A New Hope too much.

— Rebecca Parish ('21)

“I personally liked The Last Jedi more than The Force Awakens,” Parish said. “The Force Awakens followed A New Hope too much. But many people didn’t like it.” On the other hand, she does agree that she was bummed that a lot of parts were left out and  that there were questions yet to be answered. However, she acknowledged that she didn’t connect with some of the newer characters. “Admiral Holdo kind of made me mad at some points of the movie,” Parish explained.

Admiral Holdo, played by Laura Dern.

With the next episode, Star Wars: Episode IX, J.J. Abrams, director of Awakens, will return for the final film of the sequel trilogy, and maybe—hopefully—the next installment won’t be as much of a letdown.