Tag Archives: Mark Hamill

iReview | STAR WARS The Last Jedi

The continuing adventures of a galaxy far, far away are finally coming to a Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD – Star Wars: The Last Jedi proves the most complex chapter in the ongoing saga that is the Skywalker legacy.

With the Force now awakened, STAR WARS: The Last Jedi the next chapter in the new trilogy is perhaps the most controversial narrative in the continuing adventures. As the galaxy races against time a mounting Resistance emerges to prevent the tightening totalitarian grip of the evil First Order from suffocating all that is good and right! After Disney purchased the franchise from its creator George Lucas, filmmaker J. J. Abrams was given the daunting task of reigniting the continuing saga, and went to work immediately to expanded on the universe.

In The Force Awakens Abrams introduced a new generation of heroes, the original trilogy’s cast was there too, but as a new threat to the galaxy emerges, the First Order, the Rebellion that defeated the Empire and destroyed their tyranny with the destruction of the second Death Star, has been mounting a new Resistance to stop this evil from taking root. Lead by the legendary might of General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) her ragtag group strike from hidden bases, but the First Order is growing and use a new super-weapon to destroy the New Republic.

It becomes apparent to the Resistance that if they are to defeat The First Order they must seek out Jedi Master Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), who must once again inspire them with renewed hope. The search for Skywalker is only the beginning for a lonely young woman on a journey of discovery, Rey (Daisy Ridley) who along with her companion, First Order defector Finn (John Boyega) and the astromech droid BB-8 begin an adventure that reunites them with the ill-fated Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and his trustee co-pilot Chewbacca.

Episode VII which sets in motion the events for this new trilogy, also introduced Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) who is the Force-wielding son of Leia and Han once known as Ben Solo. Luke Skywalker attempts to train his nephew, but loses him to the Dark Side. Rey is able to best Ren in combat as her own Force powers begin to surface, but she needs the self-exiled Luke Skywalker to help her. Once Kylo Ren mercilessly murders his own father, his path into the Dark Side becomes nearly complete, but Rey feels the conflict within him and is convinced she can save him.

After destroying Starkiller Base, The First Order’s weapon of mass destruction, the Resistance regroups, and Leia sends Rey to seek out Luke Skywalker with a map that will lead her right to him, but will Rey be able to bring the Jedi Master back into the fold, to rejoin the fight?

…in a galaxy far, far away.

Fans had waited nearly 40 years to see their favorite Rebel heroes back together! Although Abrams had sacrificed the rogue spacer Han Solo appropriately in the final act of his film; Harrison Ford had always expressed a desire to have his character meet a heroic end. Hoping to save the soul of his son, who is on the brink of complete corruption, Han exposes his vulnerability and pays the price. Abrams passed on directing the next installment and Kathleen Kennedy sought out Rian Johnson to both write and direct Star Wars: The Last Jedi the next chapter in the ongoing saga.

The filmmaker took a decidedly risky approach to expanding the universe, by elaborately deconstructing much of what Abrams had engineered to reestablish. The most obvious course for Johnson was to focus his attention on the new generation of characters specifically Rey and Kylo Ren whose fates appear intertwined. After Rey finds Luke Skywalker, the Jedi Master doesn’t live up to her expectations. Instead of a Rebel hero, she finds a cynical isolationist, who has lost the will to fight and is instead resigned to let the Jedi Order end.

Sensing the conflict within Kylo Ren, Rey uncovers secrets about the relationship between student and apprentice and the incident that leads to both their downfalls. Fearing that he’s failed his nephew as the evil influence of The First Order’s Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) Begins to take over the young Ben Solo, Luke feels he has no other alternative but to strike Ben down! The attempt delivers Ben Solo, now Kylo Ren right into the hands of Snoke, who sets his new apprentice on the path once traversed by his own grandfather Darth Vader.

For much of The Last Jedi the Resistance are at the relentless mercy of the seemingly unstoppable First Order and the advancing fleet that is slowly picking off each one of their vessels one by one. It seems foolhardy to say the least that the impressively powerful navy of the First Order doesn’t simply dispatch auxiliary ships to descend on the Resistance, giving the willful rebels an opportunity to strategize an action plan to make haste their escape. Dispatching Finn (Boyega) to the casino planet Canto Bight manufactures an opportunity to revisit a Star Wars trope indeed.

The film feels the most alien and not just because Johnson has created an entirely new world with Canto Bight, but introduced the idea of a corrupt capitalism and profiteering from war. The lines between who is good and who is bad are blurred, and even the question of whether the Jedi are necessary is questionable. These aren’t all-too new ideas within this universe, but it is the first time that they are so dynamically portrayed inside the narrative — and it is unexpected. As in The Empire Strikes Back, at the end of The Last Jedi there is a significant amount of loss.

The Resistance is decimated and ultimately make their escape aboard the Millennium Falcon; in effect all the remaining fighters fit within the smuggling ship’s seating area. Perhaps the most difficult pill to swallow is the uncharacteristic interpretation of Luke Skywalker; the actor himself, Mark Hamill had been very vocal about how disappointed he was with how the one-time Rebel hero and Jedi Knight was portrayed in what is obviously his last film. Johnson stood by his decision, even though Hamill protested. Whether it will ultimately serve the final act, has yet to be seen.

The most astounding aspect of the film is the complex relationship that is developing between Rey and Kylo Ren. How that is going to play out is still to be determined, and even now J. J. Abrams is figuring out what course to set with Episode IX, whether there is time to course correct will be determined by how much of Episode VIII, he intends to stick with; seeing as how much Johnson retconned to meet his own ends, will Star Wars Episode IX be something as obscure as The Last Jedi? Will The Force be with it?

The Blu-ray bonus features include several deleted scenes that fill out key action sequences, including pertinent dialogue that would have helped give Finn a little more bite not to mention a powerfully much more potent moment with First Order military Captain Phasma. The package also includes a specially produced documentary on the filmmaking process from Rian Johnson’s perspective that gives detailed insight to his process.

STAR WARS Episode VIII: The Last Jedi is directed by Rian Johnson and available now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD.

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Breaking Down the STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII – The Last Jedi Trailer

The Skywalker Saga continues and the helm is being passed down, but at what cost if the galaxy cannot repel the advancing forces of the First Order? How much is hanging in the balance?

Now that the glorious day has arrived, the trailer for the next chapter in the greatest space opera ever told, this first look at Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi raises more questions than answers them. The first images reintroduce Rey — the hero from Episode VII – The Force Awakens played by relative newcomer Daisy Ridley — as she undergoes what looks like the trials to become a Jedi who have been all but lost especially since the last of the order Luke Skywalker went into hiding.

The Last Jedi promises to pick up right from where we left off, with Rey arriving at the top of a lonely mountain after recovering the last piece of a map leading to a secluded location where Luke has been hiding. Fans of the original trilogy were in complete awe when Mark Hamill was finally revealed. The actor was the focus of the mystery that leads us up to this moment, and as the evil First Order presses on, the Resistance led by Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) may need all the help that they can get.

As the trailer relates the Resistance will find itself in several battles with the First Order and Resistance fighter Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) may not make it to his X-Wing in time to fight off the advancing fleet. Even his astromech BB-8 can outrun the firestorm. The one-time First Order stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) appears to still be recovering from his injuries sustained in the climatic confrontation with the menacing Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) who appears to be descending further into the darkness.

It may be all up to the Chosen One — the Jedi meant to bring balance to the Force. Over the course of the saga that mantle has been passed from one Skywalker to another, but perhaps there is still hope, especially if Luke is all too ready to put aside all he’s learned and allow nature to take its course. The trailer ends with Luke’s ominous declaration: “Its time for the Jedi…to end.”

Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi opens in theaters everywhere in December.

Trailer :: STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII – The Last Jedi

The wait is over and the saga continues! STAR WARS “The Last Jedi” Trailer is something to celebrate!

Oh glorious fans! Orlando is currently hosting the biggest and most profound fan convention of any genre with Star Wars Celebration 2017 taking over the greatest tourist destination in the world. Expectations have been high and only escalating since Disney purchased Lucasfilms, Ltd. and promised an entire new generation of stories from a galaxy far, far away!

The Star Wars saga reignited interest with the announcement that the original saga would continue with a third trilogy. 2016’s Star Wars: Episode VI — The Force Awakens brought back old favorites first introduced in the original trilogy continuing the adventures of the Skywalker family, and launched the new heroes that would eventually carry the torch forward.

By the end of The Force Awakens audiences of all ages, dedicated and inspired by the world of George Lucas, or entirely uninitiated had come to the realization — the Force is strong! No doubt among all the highlights of the weekend long celebration in Orlando, which included a reunion of some of the original cast 40 later returning to remember and honor Carrie Fisher who recently passed away, everyone was waiting with bated breath for the first glimpse from the next installment…and here it is finally — the trailer to Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi.

Though there is very little to draw on as far as large themes or narrative goes, one thing is for sure Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker will be playing a pivotal role in training the Force sensitive Rey played by Daisy Ridley as the mystery continues to unfold around who this young woman is and what her role in the coming battle between good and evil! The remnant of the evil Empire, the First Order is launching an attack against the Resistance armies but are they shifting balance in their favor? In the end, does Luke Skywalker have it in him to restore balance once and for all?

Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi opens in theaters everywhere in December.