The Last Jedi | Movie Reviews + Features | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper
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The Last Jedi 

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For many fans, “Star Wars” is as much about ritual as anything, and this second installment of the franchise’s third trilogy ably restates the dynamic: It’s the mythic Hero’s Journey as filtered through a tale of Shaolin monks versus Nazis in outer space. Writer-director Rian Johnson’s entry revisits Rey (Daisy Ridley) as the new Luke Skywalker; Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) as the neo-Darth Vader; Poe (Oscar Isaac) in the Han Solo role; and Luke himself (Mark Hamill) more or less becoming Obi Wan Kenobi. Last Jedi admirably offers even more strong roles for women, with Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern) joining General Leia Organa (the late Carrie Fisher, in her final role) as a space boss. The charismatic John Boyega returns as Finn, the former storm trooper now helping the Resistance battle the imperial First Order, with its hissing and hissable villains, in well-staged fights on new planets populated by bizarre creatures. At two-and-a-half hours, with about nine separate cliffhanger endings, it’s a bit long, but Johnson’s keen visual sense, doses of humor and a couple of cameos buoy the film. He keeps things interesting even as the franchise marches on, on the whole, exactly as it must. 





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