The time is finally here: The first reviews of Star Wars: The Last Jedi are now online!
In an effort to help you get a sense of what critics are saying about The Last Jedi without spoiling the movie for yourself, we've combed through the first wave of reviews that are now up online, to bring you some SPOILER-FREE excerpts that will help you get a sense of the general consensus.
Read below for the first reviews of Star Wars: The Last Jedi:
Here's the breakdown in our official review of The Last Jedi:
Simply put: Star Wars: The Last Jedi is what the franchise should be in a post-George Lucas world. Instead of following the expectations of fans who grew up with the saga, The Last Jedi forges new ground with head-spinning plot twists and endearing characters.
IGN wastes no time throwing down the gauntlet for all the Star Wars movie rankings to come:
In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) tells Rey (Daisy Ridley), “This is not going to go the way you think.” That line proves to be true for just about every plot thread, every scene, every moment in the entire movie. Writer/director Rian Johnson packs the eighth episode in the Skywalker saga with genuine surprises of all kinds, which all amount to a thrilling, emotional, and funny film that is easily the best Star Wars movie since The Empire Strikes Back.
CNN had almost the opposite take on The Last Jedi, predicting that it will be a letdown for many fans:
If expectations for "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" were inordinately (and perhaps unfairly) high, thank "The Force Awakens," which had a huge donut hole in the shape of Luke Skywalker at its center. Yet even with Luke integrated into the story, the film feels like a significant letdown, one that does far less than its predecessor to stoke enthusiasm for the next leg in the trilogy.
Forbes felt burned by The Force Awakens, but feels that The Last Jedi rights the (space) ship in a big way:
After a crowd-pleasing but derivative franchise restarter that introduced interesting new characters but tied them down to previously established templates and an ambitious prequel/spin-off that sold its soul for a crowdpleasing third act, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the real deal. It is one of the best Star Wars movies we've seen thus far, standing alongside The Empire Strikes Back and Revenge of the Sith as a visually-dazzling and character-driven spectacle which sets itself apart from the blockbuster pack.
Variety throws out the claim that is about to be a hot topic of Star Wars flame-warring: the Disney effect:
As it turns out, although “The Last Jedi” meets a relatively high standard for franchise filmmaking, Johnson’s effort is ultimately a disappointment. If anything, it demonstrates just how effective supervising producer Kathleen Kennedy and the forces that oversee this now Disney-owned property are at molding their individual directors’ visions into supporting a unified corporate aesthetic — a process that chewed up and spat out helmers such as Colin Trevorrow, Gareth Edwards, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. But Johnson was either strong enough or weak enough to adapt to such pressures, and the result is the longest and least essential chapter in the series.
THR is falling on the light or dark side of its review, opting instead for balance:
Maybe the film is a tad too long. Most of the new characters could use more heft, purpose and edge to their personalities, and they have a tendency to turn up hither and yon without much of a clue how they got there; drawing a geographical map of their movements would create an impenetrable network of lines. But there's a pervasive freshness and enthusiasm to Johnson's approach that keeps the film, and with it the franchise, alive, and that is no doubt what matters most.
The LA Times breaks its full thoughts down in a video review, but here's the long-short of the review: they like it:
“The Last Jedi,” written and directed by the gifted indie auteur Rian Johnson, nails the balance of novelty and nostalgia in much more satisfying fashion.
GQ has particular appreciation for the throwback nostalgia Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill bring as an older Leia and Luke:
One of the great things about The Force Awakens was Harrison Ford’s final performance as Han Solo—so poignant and finessed when it would have been easy for Ford to coast on his work in the original trilogy. The Last Jedi gets similar mileage out of both Mark Hamill and the late Carrie Fisher. Both performances contain recognizable elements of their work in the original Star Wars trilogy—but much has happened since Return of the Jedi, and The Last Jedi also accounts for how much those years might have changed them. Both Hamill and Fisher are given the opportunity to explore unexpected and compelling new sides of Luke and Leia, and both of them rise to the occasion.
People feels that the themes and messages of resistance and hope in the darkest of times are all-too-timely, and necessary:
"Writer/director Rian Johnson’s entry into the Star Wars canon is rebelliously bold at times and full of rousing surprises, which make up for a few lulls in the lengthy two-and-a-half-hour run time. And the film’s foundation is built firmly on the franchise’s strong (and timely) message of optimistic resilience, which always keeps us coming back for more."
Finally, Mirror UK is calling The Last Jedi a 'perfect Christmas Present' more so than a movie:
"Disney are putting Santa to shame this year - because The Last Jedi is the Christmas present all Star Wars fans have been waiting for. The long-awaited Episode VIII is a spectacular addition to the long running sci-fi action adventure series. It is wonderfully exciting, funny and moving, and often at the same time. It provides top-drawer popcorn entertainment for the casual cinema goer, while hardcore fans will love it for the respect it has for the franchise history and for what it promises for the future."
As you can see, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is quickly falling into a love/hate chapter saga, with different critics seeming to have divergent opinions on the storyline and character choices. It also seems like there is a difference in preference between those who want The Last Jedi to be the new standard for the future of the franchise, and those who think Disney's influence is a irrevocably corrupting one.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens in theaters on December 15th. Be sure to stay tuned to our Star Wars Channel for the latest breakdowns and discussions!