Theatre & Reviews

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Cast: Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fischer, Domhnall Gleeson), John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Kelly Marie, Bernicio Del Toro

Director: Rian Johnson.

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is a rollicking, great ride that embraces fresh ideas, fresh characters and a new world of special effects. It will surprise and stun and certainly won’t disappoint hardened fans..

Writer and director Rian Johnson has approached this popular franchise with a bold new vision. He sticks to the spirit of George Lucas’ creation and the story’s  dynamics, and his dazzling production will wow new devotees.

The opening sequences of the space opera, with its iconic text crawl, updates the state of affairs between The First Order and the Renaissance which, once again, are at war.

We see a group of evil First Order ships floating in space. There’s a battle brewing, but instead of an opposing fleet, the Order’s General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson), is met by a single fighter piloted by the Resistance’s Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac). Hux is enraged and determined to crush the impish Poe, but a fun element is introduced when the character out manoeuvres the pompous General.

In “Luke’s last words to Leia now serve as an inadvertent but perfectly bittersweet farewell.

The Force Awakens” the key characters were dispersed. “The Last Jedi,” however, spends a great deal of time assembling the band again. Rey (Daisy Ridley) struggles to convince a disillusioned Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), a powerful Jedi Master who has been in self-imposed exile on the planet Ahch-To, that the Jedi faith still has a contribution to make toward galactic harmony. She also develops her newly discovered abilities under Skywalker’s guidance.

Kylo Ren

Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is Supreme Leader Snoke’s loyal servant who is strong with the dark side of the Force and leader to the Knights of Ren. He vies with Hux for the attentions of Snoke (Andy Serkis) and struggles with his own internal allegiances. In another story thread the trigger-happy Poe tries to persuade Laura Dern’s Vice Admiral Holdo to take the fight to the First Order instead of taking up a defensive approach.

And Finn (John Boyega) joins with Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose, an enthusiastic grease monkey whom fate promotes to being a key player. Rose is tasked with  a journey to retrieve a key element in the Resistance’s defence strategy.

Director Johnson does a sterling job in keeping the various plots afloat and the many characters active. The striking cinematography enhances every frame as the entities come into focus. There are even new creatures like the Porgs, which are furry, wide-eyed, winged critters.

Mark Hamill’s Luke is a worn out figure, bent double by the weight of his own failure, and his appearances are tinged with bitterness. It shows in his face.

Carrie Fisher died after filming was completed, but Johnson has left her story, pointing to a now-impossible role in “Episode IX,” intact. Her role gives a hint of fragile mortality. Luke’s last words to Leia now serve as an unintentional but perfectly bittersweet farewell.

The Last Jedi

Alongside them has risen a new, more diverse cast of universe-savers who are perfect for the moment. They are born into an unending war that may never really be won, that knows that evil can be kept at bay but never defeated. Without the responsibility of beginning a trilogy or ending one, Johnson has the freedom to steer “The Last Jedi” into murkier moral waters.

“The Last Jedi” is a film of genuine beauty, with awesome set designs and sharp   choreography and characters that will resonate with audiences some of whom you will hate and others whom you will root for.

This production is going to be the hottest movie ticket in town.




About the author

Peter Feldman

Peter has been a journalist and arts critic for almost 50 years and served on The Star in various capacities for 35 years, ending up as a specialist writer on films, music and theatre. During that time he travelled extensively on assignments and interviewed many international film and pop stars, both in South Africa and overseas. He also covered some of South Africa's biggest film and musical events. He was one of only two South African journalists to be invited by Steven Spielberg to the Hook film junket in LA in 1991 where he interviewed the famous director as well as Dustin Hoffman and the late Robin Williams. He attended the gala James Bond premiere in London in 1981 and did an iconic interview in a Rolls Royce with Roger Moore who played Bond. He spent a week touring England with Queen prior to their Sun City visit in 1983, interviewed a host of international stars on films sets in Hollywood and London and was the first local journalist to nail an interview with The Rolling Stones prior to their SA visit in 1995.
He is active in the freelance field and his work has appeared in a variety of South African newspapers and magazines. He has also worked on TV and radio (ChaiFM 101.9) in his specialist capacity. Over the years Feldman has been the recipient of several awards for his contribution to music journalism and the SA record industry. He is a recent recipient of the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz award in recognition for his long standing journalistic support for the arts. He wrote lyrics for some top artists, including Sipho Mabuse, and had a hit disco single, "Video Games," which was released in 1988. He coined the phrase "Local is Lekker" which he used in his columns in The Star Tonight and broadcast in the 70s on David Gresham's popular afternoon show on Springbok Radio.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Sorry! No About Author Shortcode Found.