The latest installment of the Star Wars franchise, The Last Jedi, is drawing a ton of fanfare, as most Star War films do, as well as speculation about how it will stack up compared to the rest of the series. According to the reviews of The Las Jedi, the film appears to be the strongest Star Wars film in years, if not one of the best of the series altogether. Critics who saw The Last Jedi raved about its action sequences, heralded as some of the series' best so far, along with memorable performances by Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, and the late, great Carrie Fisher. Furthermore, most reviewers felt director Rian Johnson took many risks with the film while remaining faithful to the characteristics that lured everyone to a galaxy far, far away in the first place.
That being said, no critiques of Star Wars: The Last Jedi stated it was a perfect film. Rather, The Last Jedi reviews discuss the negatives aspects of the film with the positive, the latter apparently outweighing the more annoying or frustrating aspects of the film. Overall, it would appear Star Wars fans can expect to enjoy The Last Jedi, as long as they don't expect it to meet their every wish.
In spite of a few hangups, most reviewers agree The Last Jedi stands as the best Star Wars film in recent memory, if not one of the best Star Wars adaptations of all time. Just look at the headlines for their reviews:
"The Last Jedi Is The Best Star Wars Movie In Decades" - Ira Madison III for the Daily Beast
"Star Wars: The Last Jedi Is a Near-Perfect Reinvention of the Franchise" - Brian Raftery for Wired
"'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Embraces the Magic and Mystery. Here’s Our Review." - Manohla Dargis for The New York Times
"Star Wars: The Last Jedi is (mostly) a triumph" - Chris Nashawaty for Entertainment Weekly
Though not without their criticisms, the vast majority of reviewers truly enjoyed the latest Star Wars installment.
With 40 years of experience playing their character, Mark Hamill and the late Carrie Fisher know Luke and Leia better than anybody else. As a result, their performances are heralded as some of their finest works, keeping the spirit of these classic characters while adding hints of nuance only true veterans of the franchise could ever achieve. Chris Nashawaty for Entertainment Weekly wrote:
"Unfortunately for the future of the franchise, it’s the old faces that provide the most poignant moments. We know that The Last Jedi will be Fisher’s final film, and we savor every moment with her like we’re saying goodbye to a loved one. And Hamill, who once created one of cinema’s most iconic characters but would never be considered by anyone to be a great actor, gives the single best acting performance of his career. When he first enters the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon and first reunites with his old friend Artoo, you might even get choked up."
Given Fisher's own sudden death shortly after filming, it feels appropriate she would walk away with the scene-stealing moments.
"Fisher, however, manages to stand out and apart, like James Mason in Joseph Mankiewicz’s “Julius Caesar,” merely by talking," wrote Richard Brody for the New Yorker.
As the addition of Jar Jar Binks showed everyone, adding new characters to an established franchise can backfire in unexpected ways (though Lucas should have seen the Binks backlash from light years away). But apparently Johnson and co. scored a hit with the Porgs, tiny fluffy creatures that inhabit Luke Skywalker's place of exile. Though unconfirmed how important a role they hold in the film itself, it appears their presence is at least welcome.
"The cutest (right in time for Christmas tie-ins) are Porgs, saucer-eyed mewling creatures with plump, puffin-like bodies that are mainly on hand for easy laughs. The creature design throughout is so inventive — there are less-fuzzy whatsits on the island, too — that you wish more had been added." - Manohla Dargis for The New York Times
According to those who watched it, The Las Jedi features many shots of characters staring and brooding.
"There are a lot of staring-toward-the-screen scenes in The Last Jedi, which is full of psychic-connection chats between characters, and which pushes the metaphysical powers of the Force further than any previous Star Wars film." - Brian Raftery for Wired