I made the effort to get to a 12:45 show of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”, which would be episode VIII, in IMAX-3D at AMC Tysons Corner today, through horrific traffic (one near-miss to an accident on a badly marked sudden lane change) and unexpected snow. The film is directed by Rian Johnson and written with George Lucas, for Disney, which had already taken over the franchise from 20th Century Fox.
This sort of film you have to see to stay in the reviewing business, and I’m normally not a fan of sequels and I’m not a guru on all the intricacies of the plots, space geography and characters of the series. I view a film like this as a chance to experience what visiting an alien civilization (on Earth that’s China perhaps) would be like. A lot of scenes with Skywalker seem to have been shot on the Irish coast and look appropriate for a Middle Ages spectacle, with slightly different creatures.
The film delivers that in the middle section, with a depiction of a city (like Yzordderrex) built on a shoreline hill with four-story condos leading up to a grand hotel and casino. This may have been filmed in Croatia (Dubrovnik). All the characters appear, and it’s wonderful, almost like the “gay bar” scene in Star Wars I (1977).
The title makes the main plot obvious. Mark Hamill plays a now grizzled Luke Skywalker, who survives a final battle confrontation on an icy plain (was this the salt flats in Bolivia? see “Salero” May 8, 2016) with “The Apprentice” Ren (Adam Driver). It seems Luke has made a doppelganger hologram copy of himself. This time, it’s enough for “The Resistance” to survive.
Now it’s rather obvious that the script plays on the idea of resisting Donald Trump. The Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) may be concoction of Trump and Kim Jong Un, although he is made thin in order to appease Milo Yiannopoulos. One problem is that generally speaking nearly all of Trump’s winning candidates on his show were good people. So it is here, Adam Driver, as in all of his movies, plays someone you want to like. He usually plays a kindly slightly autistic person like the poet in “Patterson” (Jan. 23). I wonder if Driver could well have played ABC’s “The Good Doctor”.
The late Carrie Fisher gives a command performance as Leia, and Laura Dern is chilling as the Vice Admiral
Wikipedia picture, Irish coast.
Article on the locations of the film with photos.
One note about AMC at Tysons Corner, VA: Now, it seems most sales clerks are eliminated and you have to buy your tickets on the kiosk if you don’t buy online first.
|Name:||“Star Wars: The Last Jedi“|
|Director, writer:||Rian Johnson, George Lucas|
|Format:||2.35:1 Imax 3-D|
|When and how viewed:||AMC Tysons 2017/12/15 noon show, almost sold out|
|Companies:||Walt Disney Pictures, LucasFilm|
|Link:||official, Roger Ebert|
(Posted: Friday, December 15, 2017 at 7:30 PM EST)