Review: Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi [2017] (Spoiler-Free)

Here’s our epic banner image for this post. Thanks, Crow!

BIG. MASSIVE. EPIC WARNING: I’ll touch on some moderate spoilers near the end. (I’ll let you know first. Don’t you worry!)

a(n early-bird!) review by the Azure-Winged Magpie.

Oh, you lot! Oh, you birdies and humans and delicious fishies!
Guess what I just watched a few hours ago?

Here’s a hint: it’s something I previewed none too long ago.

That’s right! I went back a long time ago to a galaxy far, far away, and I watched… hangonamo…

———|–() zwing! that’s better!

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And hoo boy-o! The (European) premiere was a total blast! It put a little crater in my Magpie-bank, but it was totally worth it. There was all sorts at the place and SO many fans. I even elbowed a few (gently!) Hey, they were in my way.

But I’m going to leave all that out for some other time and get down to talking about the film right now since I have to make this quick-like, and the film’s what you lovely lot are here for. But first! A bit of backstory, because I think my experience was a bit affected by a some things leading up to the film.

[Click here to skip to the film review]

Just to set things up: I REALLY wanted to flap into this one blind as a batty bat, but one of the Crow’s acquaintances had his mitts on some spoilers. I didn’t believe this guy (let’s call him Mr Soon Dead) since “LOL. Who the heck knows the details before the film’s out?” Anyone who dares spoil Star Wars is as good as finished in the business. No?

I don’t know if Mr Dead got away with it in the end (well, I’ll find him, some “sunny” day), but when the trailer I wrote my preview post about dropped, I realised I’d just done got spoiled. He was on the money. ITK. Sure, there was Reddit, and other places where spoilers JUST KEPT COMING, but he got everything down 100%.

The worst part of it all? I knew that most of the spoilers were lies, even though people got a good few guesses in. The good ones all fell into place too easy with what I’d already been told. I like theorising as much as the next fan, but when you get what you’re after so quick, it’s just…

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Pictured: yours truly, minus heart-break rum

But I kept my mouth shut. I didn’t tell no one what I knew. And I really REALLY REALLY tried to keep it all out of my head while watching the film, hoping that he’d be wrong and that he was just talking out of his [REDACTED].

But no. This guy was mostly right. I don’t know how far this guy’s version went over on the internet, but I’d just like to tell ANYONE who’s looking not to be spoiled: stay the **c* away from the internet until you watch it. A quick looksie tells me everything’s out there already.

And soon, Mr Soon Dead. I’ll… see you soon.

Right. Let’s get on with this review, then.

Let’s see… fan-girl brakes? Check. Dark side boss-helmet? Check. Voice modulator? Check. Dead jedi lightsaber hilts? Check. Spoiler Murder list? Check. Force instruction manual? Check.

…what am I missing again?

———|–( _ ) oh, right. I’ve got it in my hand…

Looks like I’m all set! Let’s all make the jump to hyperdrive, and… 

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Knights of Magpie: IGNITE!

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The Last Jedi

WARNING: This section contains NO spoilers.

Alright! It’s been a long time and the last film seems so far, far away (I’m not counting Rogue One, since it’s not one of the numbered episodes). And when this film started up… I was nearabouts pissing myself in both excitement and absolute nerves.

Aaand… I’m confused.
I’m confused, guys. I’m totally, flat-out, 100% confused.

I really really like this film. But on the other hand, I really really don’t like some of the choices they made. Don’t get me twisted: The Last Jedi kicks some neat butt (and has some nice butts on display, too) and is a really fun ride from start to finish despite some mis-steps here and there. But once I sat back and thought about it on the way back to the Battle Nest, I started wondering if this film did the right thing.

It’s different. Yep. It’s different. This ain’t Empire Strikes Back. They’ve done something new for sure. But maybe it’s a bit too… far, far away? Maybe they went too different? Something about the story felt really off-kilter. Maybe it’s this whole “handing things off to the next generation” thing kicking into full gear, but I don’t know if Episode VIII was the right time to make those things hit so hard.

Carrie Fisher’s (RIP) death makes the “handing off” thing hard to swallow as well. The series seems to be so invested in the younger blood that it’s quite happy to follow a rule it set in one of the voiceovers to the last major trailer (sorry if that sounds weird, but I have no way of saying it spoiler-free).

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But it’s not like it completely tosses away the old blood, either! Luke Skywalker… oh my Force-ghosts Luke-[REDACTED]-Skywalker. He starts off kinda like how I joked about him in my preview, and then, you see him slowly winding up like a ticking time bomb. There are some very strange scenes he’s a part of (and does something I thought was very “un-Luke-like” in the middle, especially after what happened in Return of the Jedi), but when he comes into his own (I mean, COME ON! That’s not a spoiler!), he’s totally, gob-smack-to-the-teeth AMAZING.

I can see why Mark Hamill wasn’t all that happy with what Rian had planned for him in this film, and I can see how just about anyone would do it another way. While I have some BIGHUGE problems with what he does and how his story goes, it… works.

Without giving much away, he gets tied into something big (no surprise) with some pretty big consequences near the end. This is the part I had the biggest problem with. It felt… wrong. But when it was over with, we got a scene showing the aftermath. And… okay. Everyone had the same reaction I did. It was an epic moment that really put his character into a league of its own in this story.

Am I happy with what happened? I don’t think so. Am I happy with the way the film made it work? You bet your crunchy skin I am!

But while that’s all cute and cuddlesome, the film’s got other problems popping up. One is Supreme Leader Snoke (put this on a shelf for now). And the other is a certain damn Casino side-chapter I would’ve been very happy to saber to bits in the cutting room.

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REVEALED! Secret Magpie EDITING TECHNIQUES! You won’t BELIEVE number 1843!

Kylo and Rey are pretty good at working with what they have. While I think that Daisy’s a total babe, I never thought she was really that great as an actress. But she actually did a bang-on job, here. Funny-face Ben was pretty good, too. While Hamill really steals the show, these two youngun’s step up to the plate just fine.

Now, I read a lot of other spoilers besides the ones that turned out to be correct. And let me tell you: the leading fan-theories about these two so far? If you think they were right. This isn’t going to go… the way you think. (Rey has a great: “lol. WTF is wrong with this guy?!” face at one point, too.)

Now, there’s a story point that crops up with a “mental link” of sorts. I found it a liiitle bit weird and … I dunno? Kinda blase? It works in the movie okay, but it’s still a bit weird when it first shows up. They’ve actually set up a good few things for future episodes, when it comes to the Force. How they use it, we’ll have to wait and see.

Let me talk about the others short-ish: Bae Domhall has some fun moments too, as General Hugs (sorry! Hux!). I thought Poe was a tad bit underdone, but damn does that handsome [REDACTED] own every scene he’s in. Rose, I actually don’t think I care too much for. She has one great line, and that’s about it. Forget Phasma. And as far as DJ goes… well, he’s alright I guess.

Oh, and there’s some humour in this one. It’s okay. Tad weird, but okay. I’d have left a good bit of it out.

In the end, I thought that a good chunk of the film could’ve been given to chunking out some of these other characters instead of the Casino joint thing. That part of the movie just ran too damn long. It could’ve been swept under something else. Easy.

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Put that dumb thing away, Ben!

And! And! And! Let’s jump back to Luke for a mo: he gets one of the best lines in the film, and follows it up with a line that would sound ridificulous af on paper, but actually clicks in the flick. The title of the Episode is part of the line here. And it’s an epic moment. (Think of R+L=J; cut to Jon Snow — just with some other people that the scenes cut between). It’s little scenes like this that made me squeal like a babby in the theatre (don’t worry. I wasn’t the only one).

So… you lot see how I really liked this film. But like I said: I got problems with it, too. I’ve not mentioned my problems with Snoke yet, and they’d better ‘splain that shiz, or else I’ve got a nice thick broom to introduce to a few skulls. Some bits of it drag, but the film makes up for it elsewhere. Example: the fights are LUSH and all very anime-like, and I did complain about the Akira/DBZ-feel from the trailers in my preview post. It looks like the guys at Disney-Lucasfilm made the most of it in The Last Jedi.

I don’t even know how to rate this one. On a pure entertainment level: this is some real rollicking fun. But as a main entry in the series, it misses SO many things that would make it a traditional “Star Wars” film. It’s different, and they sure didn’t hold back on that promise. It’s just that… this is Star Wars for newer fans all the way. Sure, us lot who grew up before the Prequel Trilogy have a lot to look forward to in this one, but this film makes a point of “handing” the series “off”. And I don’t know if Episode VIII was the right place to do it.

Kylo becomes a lot more interesting in this episode, and we find out enough about Rey to make her tick in the film. They’ve set up a LOT to work with in Episode IX, but believe you me: things in this galaxy far, far away have changed. Is it for the better? For the worse? Only Episode IX will tell…


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Pew! Pew! Pew-pew!

FINAL RATINGS

THE AZURE-WINGED MAGPIE: 5/10

Note: I know I said this film confused me, but I’m rating this really really low. On an entertainment level, this is like a 7 or a 7.5, but some of the more infuriating choices this film made made me go full Darth Magpie and use the power of the dark side on the rating (’tis why the rating is red, see?).

rating—–|–( _ )

Since I’ve already mentioned that thing with the rating here, I guess I’ll be leaving my “Closing Thoughts” section out. I’m going to go watch the film again soon, and I’ll see if I can drag that dopey old crow away from his science stuff to give it a gander, too. Ensign Swan(!) should also be reviewing the film soon here on The Corvid Review, so be sure to take a peek around next week for his take on Episode VIII — The Last Jedi.

I also wrote this out in one BIG rush, so I might touch this post up over the next few hours… while I get absolutely sparkling sober with my victory… rum… er…
Until later! Love you lot loads. Hope you’ve not been spoiled and enjoy the film when you get around to watching it!

The Minor Spoiler section’s down below. I don’t give much away, but don’t tell me I didn’t warn you!

Serious. DEAD SERIOUS. 


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MODERATE SPOILER SECTION

This won’t take long. I’ll be gentle. Promise.

Alright. Crack open dem jars. We got a few things I need off my tits.

First, foremost, and above all [REDACTED] else: SUPREME LEADER SNOKE. WTF?! I mean… WHAT?! It turned out he’s a Snoek after all (okay, bad joke — that’s a whole different kind of delicious fishie. Snoeks are yummy mackerels). I’ll leave that there. (I don’t think he’s really gone, myself.)

And what was with Leia Mary Poppins-ing it at that one point? What are these people smoking? And the “sloths” and the “crack penguins” and the “milk”? Oh my… It must’ve been some good s***

These things I just mentioned were among the earliest leaks/speculations. They sounded too silly to be true. Well…

And on that note: it was great to see our grammatically-challenged-robe-wearing-green-midget-wizard Yoda back (in the flesh, kinda). What it does best for the film is raise the question: ‘Are Jedi ever truly dead?’ I think not. Don’t think of these people dying. Think of them more like being frozen in Carbonite — just by choice. Remember what old Ben Kenobi said:

“If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”

Yeah, Grandpappy should’ve warned you about that, little Ben. See you later, kid.


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See how I went the whole post without mentioning Por– Force damn it!

…and REMEMBER

ONE: Rey’s origins being revealed mean nothing. There’ll be EVEN MORE theories popping up now that we know just that bit more. Believe you me.
TWO: Shirtless Kylo > Emo Kylo (never knew I needed that… wew!)
THREE: LOL, Reylo, as if. Not this time around, folks!
FOUR: Hux needs a hug.
And the Big One…

FIVE: If any of you are a bit gutted after watching this film about the lack of a true Big Bad, remember, you lot: there’s always a bigger fish…

———|–() yes, master… they suspect nothing…

Now you, kid over there… get a’broomin’.


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Pew! Pew! Pew-pew!

FINAL RATINGS

THE AZURE-WINGED MAGPIE: 5/10


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See Also

ORIGINAL TRILOGY

SEQUEL TRILOGY

ANTHOLOGY FILMS


Here’s the official poster:

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Here’s our official banner:

The Corvid Review - The Last Jedi

11 thoughts on “Review: Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi [2017] (Spoiler-Free)”

  1. My god, I hated this film so bad. I was kind of into it up until the last two minutes, which ruined the good parts of the previous two and a half hours. Absolute mishandling of characters I have loved for 30 years. A visually stunning mistake of galactic proportions.

    Liked by 1 person

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