Friday 29 December 2017

SPOILER TALK: Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Part 1)



Luke Skywalker

              This film was always going have a lot of focus on Luke, all with that ending of the previous film and the title basically referring to him. But to be honest, the first time we see him, I thought he was a little "not-Luke". But the moment he first speaks, I start to feel his presence again. It wasn't the greatest scenes to see his life in exile (though nice to know), but since he meet R2-D2 again, and R2 plays out that original message from Leia (from A New Hope), I can see the old Luke Skywalker back again.

                His interactions with Rey are also good & fun to watch, from the trainings to the flashback stories. And it ends (physically, at least) with a great confrontation/duel between the two.

                Of course, a major talking point with Luke would be that scene in the planet Crait. I had my suspicions initially...but then I thought it was really Luke as everybody else could see him. From then on, I was just thoroughly amazed with Luke's ability, but more importantly, I enjoyed the confrontation between Kylo Ren and Luke. It was emotional & powerful. Then, it was revealed that Luke was never there. Looking back, I should have spotted more of the clues (no physical contact, no red dust in the ground, etc), but I actually liked being surprised this way.

               So I'm happy to know that Luke isn't dead...but, NO. In the moments after, he sat in peace and he looked towards the sunset and vanishes into thin air. I was sad, but it felt right. And sure, he could always come back as a Force Ghost later on. Another thing I would like to add is that I am glad that we get to see Luke & Leia (despite not physically) have a nice moment together. That was a special scene.

Master Yoda

                And then of course, how could we not talk about that Yoda cameo? It is a nice little surprise to see the Force Ghost of Yoda again, still giving that same lecture & teachings to Luke. That chemistry between Luke & Yoda is exactly the same as it was in The Empire Strikes Back.
                I didn't particularly fancy the idea that Yoda can conjure that lightning as a Force Ghost, but it didn't bother me much. I still like the scene overall and it was a very nice character moment.

Beautiful Sequences

                I will get into more of the main characters in the next article, but for now I'd like to call out some of the sequences which are amongst the most gorgeous I have ever seen in film. This is my biggest appreciation to director Rian Johnson.

                The first of which is the sequence in the cave, where Rey sees mirror images of herself, and I especially like the sound design involved, like when she snaps her finger and the other mirror images followed in quick succession. It was beautifully shot, and just an amazing sequence to behold.

                Next up is still with Rey, but this time involves Kylo Ren, in a Force-Communication, where they see each other and can speak to each other. I really like how Rian Johnson shot this sequence, and the positioning of both characters made it feel like they are literally facing each other, despite being in two different places. And again, the sound involved was great. When we are with one character, the other character's voice fills the whole theater/room, as if their voice are really all that we can hear inside our minds. And that is brilliant.

                 The final sequence was that one where Vice Admiral Holdo engaged the cruiser into light speed and drove straight through the enemy's command ship. That shot was just gorgeous to witness, and the fact that there was no sound at all is just amazing. It was breathless.

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