Star Wars: The Last Jedi Review

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The Last Jedi in Review

As John Williams’ theme blared over the quintessential yellow crawl, the audience went silent in respectful anticipation for Star Wars. Episode VII transparently forecasted the big reveal of Rey’s parentage in The Last Jedi, but also left fans hungry to uncover the secret behind the villain who seemed to be pulling the strings in the fresh trilogy—Supreme Leader Snoke. Theories regarding Rey’s ancestry populated the web after the debut of Episode VII, many speculating a Skywalker relation. The same can be said for guesstimations about Snoke’s identity. The conjectures concerning Snoke left many questions to be answered in the next film: is he a reanimated Darth Plagueis, mentioned by the Emperor in Revenge of the Sith, a Sith Lord so strong with the force that he has the ability to “create life” and perhaps return from the dead? Is he a mutilated Grand Moff Tarkin who somehow survived the explosion of his battle station? Is he a new character, yet to be explained? The mysteries teased in Episode VII begin to unfold in Episode VIII when Rey and Kylo Ren’s minds are joined by the force. Perceiving conflict in Kylo, Rey leaves the planet Ahch-To and travels to the First Order fleet, where she attempts to convert Kylo to the light side of the force. When they unite, they see that their connection had been orchestrated and manipulated by the Supreme Leader. To further quash any sense of control that Kylo has over his own fate, Snoke demands that he execute Rey. In the next sequence, Snoke sees Kylo’s thoughts, stating that “resolve” has replaced “conflict.” Unbeknown to Snoke, Kylo decides that his “true enemy” is not Rey, but Snoke himself. Snoke narrates Kylo’s visualization of striking down his foe as Kylo, the seemingly demoralized apprentice, turns the lightsaber on his master, slicing him in two. Though Snoke’s death was super cool, this abrupt end to the Supreme Leader’s character arc left me unsatisfied. Snoke’s cunningly malicious persona was never explained or developed. The Supreme Leader was just a pawn played to demonstrate Kylo’s true power with the force. Using the mere shell of a character to drive the storyline forward felt like a cop out to me. But, let’s move on to a more gratifying unveiling of a character’s true self. Just after Snoke’s assassination, Kylo makes his first stride in accomplishing his hand-picked destiny: choosing his own apprentice. Rey, understanding that Kylo’s choice did not alter his devotion to the dark side of the force, refuses. Infuriated by her rejection, Kylo tries to unnerve her as his former master would have done to him, taunting her about her parents. Rey knows, she always knew, that her parents were nobodies who stranded her on Jakku for no divine purpose. Everyone I talked to about this reveal felt that it was disappointing given all that the revelation was hyped up to be. I see it differently. Rey has great influence over the galaxy despite coming from nothing. Her being nobody in particular is what makes her a crucial part of the Resistance’s cause. For, she can inspire hope among those who feel powerless, who feel that they too are no one special. To Rey’s developing character, I tip my hat.

So, overall, I think The Supreme Leader would sense conflict in how I feel about The Last Jedi.

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi Review