Star Wars: Episode VIII-The Last Jedi

Daisy Ridley

Mark Hamill

starstarstar

 

I’ve been dreading writing this article. I think it is safe to say that The Last Jedi was one of the most divisive films of 2017. Major critics were lauding it as the best Star Wars movie ever. Fans were in two schools of worst Star Wars film ever and confusion about where the series will go next. I can understand the confusion. I’ve found that as I get older, I’m no longer able to catch everything in one viewing anymore or rather, I understand that I can’t catch everything in one viewing of certain films. The Last Jedi was no different. Post-movie discussions with my pals turned to typical queries of who liked it or not. I found I couldn’t answer. I mean, I liked how they took the Force out of the restraints of the Skywalker family and gave it to everyone. I liked how Luke Skywalker appealed to his own humanity not attempting to be the hero who saves everything…again. But it was a lot to chew on. With all these things to like, why is it, I couldn’t bring myself to answer in the positive? Perhaps because everything I thought I knew about Star Wars had been thrown up in the air and I didn’t have any idea where it would land and whether I would like it when it did. The Last Jedi takes the Star Wars franchise in a different direction and it is not for everyone.

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Felicity Jones

Diego Luna

reviewed by Tom-Tom

starstarstarstar

I didn’t have high hopes for this movie. I mostly liked Episode Seven but in my heart, I felt that Star Wars was slowly but surely moving away from that of my generation. Change isn’t always bad but the bittersweet nostalgic sense of loss is sorely felt. For me, (and perhaps my generation), Rogue One is a very welcome return to form for the franchise. Its characters aren’t immortal or all good or bad. There is something even more valuable than this though. The Star Wars universe has existed for nearly 40 years now and the first introduction, of course, was through Episodes IV: A New Hope, a film in which the mythical Jedi and the ways of the Force were first explained and shown. That a world in which neither existed in any way preceded this film is almost impossible to fathom. At least to this reviewer’s satisfaction, the world of the Jedi and their place in the universe didn’t come across very clearly throughout the prequels. OK, they’re not soldiers, they’re not police but they show up to slice off limbs, negotiate peace, requisition tens of thousands of clone soldiers. Without a clear purpose, it is no wonder they immediately fell into the world of myth and belief in the Force became “a sad devotion to an Ancient religion.” In “A New Hope,” it is easy to believe. We see Obi-Wan cut off his quota of limbs, “change the minds” of Stormtroopers and speak to Luke from beyond the grave. But how about those with nothing to prove their beliefs, nothing to look at and say, this, this is the Force. They are true believers and their faith is the strongest.

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Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens

John Boyega

Daisy Ridley

starstarstarhalf star

 

We, the faithful, have waited. We waited through the Apocrypha of Episodes I&II, the better than worse Episode III. We had misgivings about Lucas’ selling of all Star Wars rights to Disney until the MCU demonstrated it knew how to handle a film franchise. Even then, hearing news of an Episode VII gave birth to more misgivings until we realized who was in charge of it all. JJ Abrams. Here was the guy who rebooted the Star Trek franchise into a hip, happening film series with excellent casting and a lovely mix of old and new. He is a wizard in geek circles. Only Nixon could go to China, only Kirk could negotiate peace between Klingons and the Federation, and only Abrams could bring balance to the Force and allow it to awaken.

I’m very happy to say that the effort is mostly successful. Continue reading

Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Ewan McGregor

Hayden Christensen

reviewed by Tom-Tom

starstarstarhalf star

 

How does one even begin to review this movie? It’s like reviewing the ABC’s or the Green Lantern oath or the Konami up up down down etc code. Star Wars is an integral part of our culture, language, idioms, and even philosophy, whatever apocryphal horrors inflicted on the franchise by its very maker, which sounds like an oxymoron and it is. I will endeavor to view it as a first-comer. Who knows what I’ll find.

The film captures you from the beginning with the 20 Century Fox fanfare and then explodes into the inimitable John Williams Star Wars theme from which the cool font heads into the distance and the written prologue scrolls up serial style from bottom to top. This alone convinces the viewer that this film is large scale and not to be taken lightly. This is serious stuff. Or it was until Episode I.

Making a prequel is a hard job not to mention a prequel trilogy. Everyone knows what’s going to happen eventually so the only amount of mystery and suspense that is allowed is figuring out how it all happened. The last film revealed the clones mentioned first by Princess Leia way back (or way forward depending on how you look at things) in Episode IV when she told how General Kenobi helped her father during the Clone Wars. We know now that they were cloned from the very able Jango Fett whose “son” Boba would grow up to cause Han Solo so much trouble. At present, they are invaluable to the Republic as their main source of troops to fight separatists who are led by Count Dooku (Christopher Lee, always fiendishly charming in whatever trilogy he finds himself in) and aided by a General Grievous (methinks George Lucas has run out of interesting names to call characters).

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Star Wars: Episode I:The Phantom Menace

Liam Neeson

Ewan McGregor

reviewed by Tom-Tom

starstarstar

 

How does one even begin to review this movie? It’s like reviewing the ABC’s or the Green Lantern oath or the Konami up up down down etc code. Star Wars is an integral part of our culture, language, idioms, and even philosophy, whatever apocryphal horrors inflicted on the franchise by its very maker, which sounds like an oxymoron and it is. I will endeavor to view it as a first-comer. Who knows what I’ll find.

The film captures you from the beginning with the 20 Century Fox fanfare and then explodes into the inimitable John Williams Star Wars theme from which the cool font heads into the distance and the written prologue scrolls up serial style from bottom to top. This alone convinces the viewer that this film is large scale and not to be taken lightly. This is serious stuff. After waiting 16 years since the last film, we can only hope this film will be too.

The film begins with a feeling that the writers have jumped the shark. Immediately we have Jedi Knights before us come to the Planet of Naboo, which is being blockaded by the Trade Federation, an organization led by a tall, thin, green Viceroy with Tang Dynasty like attire, a Japanese accent and red bug eyes. He has the might of a mechanical droid army behind him despite his polite manner of speaking. The exact details of the blockade are lost on the viewer but then, one of writer-director George Lucas’ best traits so far has been not to explain everything but rather, in the manner of his idol Akira Kurosawa’s film Hidden Fortress, to let us figure things out with the most unlikely of characters as our guides. There’s a later cursory remark about taxation of trade routes but for the time being, there’s a droid army above a seemingly peaceful, planet with Greco-Roman style architecture.

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Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones

How does one even begin to review this movie? It’s like reviewing the ABC’s or the Green Lantern oath or the Konami up up down down etc code. Star Wars is an integral part of our culture, language, idioms, and even philosophy, whatever apocryphal horrors inflicted on the franchise by its very maker, which sounds like an oxymoron and it is. I will endeavor to view it as a first-comer. Who knows what I’ll find.

The film captures you from the beginning with the 20 Century Fox fanfare and then explodes into the inimitable John Williams Star Wars theme from which the cool font heads into the distance and the written prologue scrolls up serial style from bottom to top. This alone convinces the viewer that this film is large scale and not to be taken lightly. This is serious stuff. Or it was until Episode I.

Making a prequel is a hard job not to mention a prequel trilogy. Everyone knows what’s going to happen eventually so the only amount of mystery and suspense that is allowed is figuring out how it all happened. The last film revealed the mystery crushing existence of the contrived “midi-chlorians” a sort of “Force inducing organism” present in the bodies of those who would become Jedi. After all the hints, and mystery surrounding the Force, to have it revealed to be a sort of symbiotic disease was a bit of a let down. Would midi-chlorian injections make anyone a Jedi? Is a midi-chrlorian bomb going to be dropped on everyone in Episode VII hence the “Force Awakens?” It was also revealed that Anakin, like Jesus, was born as a result of immaculate conception.

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Star Wars: Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi

Mark Hamill

Carrie Fisher

reviewed by Tom-Tom

starstarstarhalf star

How does one even begin to review this movie? It’s like reviewing the ABC’s or the Green Lantern oath or the Konami up up down down etc code. Star Wars is an integral part of our culture, language, idioms, and even philosophy, whatever apocryphal horrors inflicted on the franchise by its very maker, which sounds like an oxymoron and it is. I will endeavor to view it as a first-comer. Who knows what I’ll find?

The film captures you from the beginning with the 20 Century Fox fanfare and then explodes into the inimitable John Williams Star Wars theme from which the cool font heads into the distance and the written prologue scrolls up serial style from bottom to top. This alone convinces the viewer that this film is large scale and not to be taken lightly. There aren’t even credits at the beginning aside from 20th Century Fox. This is serious stuff.

The final film of the Original Star Wars Trilogy doesn’t have much to offer in the way of originality.After a brief glimpse of a second Death Star and Darth Vader intoning in James Earl Jones’ beautifully deep and rich voice about the coming of the Emperor,  it begins on Tatooine with two droids wandering in the desert, just like in A New Hope. They have a purpose this time, however. They’ve come to deliver a message (sound famiilar?) to the nefarious gangster Jabba the Hutt. Continue reading