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Darkness Rose and Light Met It

by Kalie Pead 4 years ago in star wars
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An Unqualified, Spoiler-Filled Review Of "The Last Jedi"

Do you feel it? The anticipation building in the auditorium. The murmurs of questions unanswered. The feeling buzzing in your fingertips. And then it begins. The triple notes. The dark screen and the preface of a distance time and a galaxy not our own, children of all ages inhale a collective breath and cheering erupts from the seats. This is the moment we have all been waiting for. It is not the first and it will not be the last time. Yet this time is more exciting than the last.

The Last Jedi. A title that had us flinching at every turn, worrying that this is the end of a saga. Even when someone promises that it isn’t the end, we often see it come too soon. Don’t get me wrong. This movie wasn’t without its endings…. The death of Luke Skywalker, the near-extinction of the rebellion, the possible spark of love interest between Rey and Finn, the hope for Ben Solo… And yet I left the theatre feeling like the dawn was breaking. A hope ignited in myself. A hope sparked by a few pivotal moments in The Last Jedi. Rian Johnson is a master at having you on the edge of your seats. If you want to see the most beautiful movie of the year, go see The Last Jedi. It was cinematically beautiful. Every moment of this movie was handcrafted to have you on the edge of your seats.

“Hope is like the sun…” I had hope for Ben Solo that was crushed about as effectively as it was sparked. Once Ben’s hands flinched and sent the lightsaber protruding through Supreme Leader Snoke, bringing him to his demise, and right back into the hands of its rightful owner, Rey, I thought for sure Ben would drop the Kylo Ren mask once and for all. (Shout-out to Adam Driver for smashing that helmet to bits and giving me chills). My hope was furthered with Ben and Rey fighting side by side, demolishing the Elite Praetorian Guard one by one. And yet the darkness in Ben had him turning his back once again. Ben is about as dead as his father before him. I know… too soon. But I couldn’t tell what was more heartbreaking; the look on Rey’s face when she realized she might have to kill him, or the powerful acceptance in Leia Organa when she told Luke that she had accepted her son was too far gone to the dark side.

Acceptance seems to be a huge theme in this movie. Acceptance of someone’s choices, acceptance that fighting and trying to be the hero doesn’t always save you, maybe even acceptance of that dark force that lives within. There was so much skepticism regarding Rey’s parents before this movie was released. Who were they? Obviously powerful people if she were to become a Jedi…. Maybe it WAS Han and Leia, and they left her behind to try to save her…. Maybe Luke somehow had a kid…. And the reveal was so much more than that. They were simply…. Nobodies. They didn’t mean anything. They didn’t do anything. They really did abandon their daughter for money to buy intergalactic drugs and liquor. It was a plot twist I had thought about, but not the one I dreamed about. I thought that there must have been something bigger. But the truth was simple…. And well done. Did anyone else’s heartbreak for Rey when Kylo tried to use that against her? I thought for sure he might actually care about her when he told her she didn’t matter to her parents and she was nothing to them… but not to him. Turns out he’s just as willing to stab her in the back.

This was the movie that we got the scene we had been waiting for. The ultimate showdown with Luke and Kylo. If you watched closely you would have known Luke hadn’t been there the whole time before that big reveal. What a beautiful planet they stood on. A planet where standing in the salt and shifting revealed red dust underneath. This was shown multiple times, through many methods. My personal favorite is when Kylo is preparing to attack and you see him shift his foot. A trace of red appears, just like the smile on Luke’s face because he knows what’s coming. Mark Hamill must’ve practiced his limbo skills for this movie. But you know the coolest part of this whole scene? When Luke shifts his foot and the sand stayed white. In that moment, if you were watching, you would have known he was projecting himself the whole time. The sheer power and strength that it required for him to keep that up while the rebels escaped the bunker was enough to end his life. He came, he saw, he did what he had to do. Saying goodbye to his sister was just the cherry on top. Watching his body phase with the sunset left tears streaming down my face. I imagine that is how Carrie Fisher went… just maybe with more cursing.

All I can say about Leia Organa is that when she gets blasted out of her ship, yet she pulls herself back onboard, I shed a solitary tear. I was happy she hadn’t been taken out of the movie that early, but mostly I was in awe of her power.

We can’t forget that this is by far the funniest Star Wars movie, hands down. The addition of the porgs was a toss up for me. I find those kinds of things hilarious, but other people may have found them annoying. However there is one amazing scene where Chewy has fried up a couple of porgs for dinner and you see them watching him go to take his first bite. He shooed them away and then goes to take a bite one more time. Out of the corner of his eyes he sees a porg, with a horrified look on his face, and a trembling lip to rival a two-year-old. I swear, that porg showed more emotion in five seconds than I’ve shown my whole life, just with one lip quiver. And how could anyone forget the moment Rey physically reaches out to grab the force and Luke teases her with a palm leaf of some sort.

There was so much to this movie that it’s impossible to go over every detail. I will say it is my second favorite Star Wars movie, I mean who could forget Return of The Jedi. I don’t know how they are going to phase Leia out of the next movie. She was in the movie for every last second and unless they were able to film more scenes, I can’t imagine she will be anything other than CGI in the next. I would recommend this movie to anyone. Even if you haven’t seen any other Star Wars movie, this one is worth the watch. 15/10 lightsaber rating.

The rebellion lives… Darkness rose… Light rose and met it.

star wars

About the author

Kalie Pead

I'm just your typical nerd trying to change the world one story at a time.

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