Sir William Rose Blake’s review published on Letterboxd:
"A Master (sometimes) fails with their pupils; a Master (although) has guided too many pupils".
That's what I felt while pondering on the Saga during my prequel trilogy re-watch, and later with the Empire Strikes Back, I came to this sheer realization and insight. And subsequent re-watched in cinema. -- I think, if you're wise enough, you realize that made your best with a good or bad apprentice. A master is a Master after all.
given -- Two films that obviously mirrors each other -- the Master and pupil lessons, easy or hard, they're done; a supreme evil villain and its dark apprentice; the standard analyses between the evil and good; light and darkness; the fear and acceptance, and in a sombre note, family... What it means and what we were meant to be. In here, the eight episode of this very saga, the master and the pupil's theme are more starked and brushed over, all in all.
"Do our origins defines the powers and 'forces' we have?" -- Peer-to-peer, the Kylo and Rey's strength equals under divergent existential rocks. Kylo, previously Ben Solo; Son of a Princess-General, nephew of the Last Jedi, the legendary and recluse one, where their past wounds are about the wrap it again. And Rey, who's Rey? ... Not even herself knows who is their parents and who she is.... But she will. An apprentice whose denied his master's lessons, and walked away; the other who is about to learn the Jedi's everlastings secrets. So much in common, but so much in opposite... And not just because of the articles of clothing their wears or the colours of their 'flaming blades'. But, in the fact, is what their choices and fates define themselves.
This is a current trope in the saga, and I wouldn't obviously pinpoint, there's not so much rejoice in saying the same old things. Aside from humble origins or noble lineages. And as well, new themes and lessons that gives the saga even more depths. -- The lessons of Rey being a Jedi Knight, and the lessons of Skywalker as a master, and failing to be one, and learning again to be one. Not just these characters are on the route to understanding the new layers of their Force. But Finn with Rose, exploring and comprehending the evil deeds of the whole in the Far Away Galaxy, and Poe, whose bravely gesture his commitment to the New Resistance in an almost stubborn manner and fearless acting. Riot acting. For noble reasons.
The Last Jedi begins where it started the Force Awakens; putting the loved resistance in perilous situations, with the fire and fury™ of Star Destroyers and First Order Dreadnought by the First Order, unleashed on the space, while they strike back under the Commandant Poe Dameron (Isaac) order, almost Kamikaze-sque way; exploding and raiding the destroying highly successfully, without any major sacrifice. -- The Dreadnought was obliterated, as much the bombers one-by-one. -- For General Leia woes, she lost it all. -- For that, the Rian Johnson pops-up the narrative in middle of a battle during the evacuation, typical Star Wars way, he follows the traditions, but more boldly as the previous filmmakers; dramatically and giving emphasis on the Resistance heroes, their efforts and high risking defiance against the Order, there are these "close-ups" and focus on them, with greater importance, to the individuals and the peoples who lives inside these stellar ships. Such the Paige Rico's sacrificial death. It's beautiful to have contacts, even that briefly of common soldiers, aside from the trio, or any Skywalker, or the Chewie.
The written Johnson film has split into three pathway narrative, a sometimes common Saga artifices, putting three or two characters in divergent zones and interests -- Like Leia and Han Solo in the Episode Fifth, and the solely training of Luke Skywalker with Master Yoda, in this one, yet again; Finn and Rose Tico goes to Cant Bligh, a high-addictive Monaco-like and Las Vegas place, where games and gamblers bet their money and their lives. And Poe and Leia and their runaway struggle against the shadow tracers of the Order, fighting or running, in despair, and of course, Rey, Chewie and R2D2 on board of Millennium Falcon in Ach-To to find the Skywalker's whereabouts. The groups have their interlinked ways and purposes to find a way to defeat the second evil Empire.
Rey finds a reluctant Master, isolated from the world, ignoring to face the evil, or teach Rey, where both will find new truths in their Force link. Rey is looking for herself, and a place, a guidance, like she says, in the world, in the Galaxy, with the Force, with Jedi religion. Besides who she is, her parents, etc. -- Again, Rey get her inner strength, her true talents even more revealed to herself, the origins of itself, and her reach the powerful and omnipresent Force. Where Daisy Ridley shines as the young pupil; her despair and anxiety to communicate with Kylo Ren, the opposite Force sensitive-soul brother, a fallen Jedi and now Sith, the patricide. -- Someone whose despite the darkness, he connects with her, light years apart; the opposite to each other, in light and darkness, good and evil. -- They talk, they generate empathy, once they're binding in time. Daisy has a repulse, a rage towards to Kylo, substantially show when she shouts: "Murderous Snake!", crying and almost out of her lungs; a superb acting without acting hysterically; she is angry, because of her compassion, love, and nodding to Kylo Ren, Adam Driver in yet again, plays the loveless, self-centred and ambitious Sith, Knight; taken by Supreme Leader Snoke's dark luring, and by the bleak greed, the possessive desire to destroy everything, the past and everyone, anything that resembles small and weak to him. -- It's good to see Kylo evolving, and we witness his progress to the final status as a supreme darkly Sith. -- Perhaps, even more, stronger than Darth Plagueis or Vader, above Sidious and Snoke-- He's not equal to his father, or his grandfather, and Driver sells this gritty characteristic. -- The Red chamber Throne room is the sole example of that; echoing to when Anakin Skywalker calls for Padm Amidalá to rule the Galaxy with her, then, the wife, with Dictator and Supremacist behaviour; or when Darth Vader reveals his parenting during the speech: "Together you and I, like Father and Son, we can rule the Galaxy", to Luke Skywalker, at the iconic bridge scene in Episode V. Powerful, evil and obsessed Siths in need to the whole power, but alone in the world, resting it only option: Destroy it them all; the Resistance, the family and foes, because is better than being hated than if not loved at all.
Aside from Kylo or Rey, we have Finn and Rose, respectively, John Boyega and Kelly Marie Tran; the first continues to sound a plausible comic relief, including his chemistry with the whole cast, and the beloved BB-8, but it's her, Kelly, playing Rose Tico, who grieving for her sister, Paige's death, the brave Starfleet at the beginning of the film. -- That brings a sparkle in already enlightened by its brilliant cast; her intelligence and determination, in no holding and letting go, the sometimes goofy Finn in anything, up against her, or with her, she is cunning and brave, smart and audacious. A great addition to the cast, that I thought she died, I lamented but is very ALIVE! ---- And Poe Dameron, the spiritual successor of Han fucking Solo; bold and strategical person, who holds no fear to fight against the superior authorities, either by not trusting the other and only its guts and friends. Of course, Leia, that is very melancholic to watch it, her last film. Her farewell. There are new skin and layer over this woman, better and better as before.
--- In fierce and iron-handed leadership, and a complete strategic ahead of time schemes, seeing Carrie Fisher in her last gracious form, was to be a Swan Song. And, not to forget two performers, Laura Dern (my DIVA) and Mark Hammil also mark the presence. -- Laura brings the ambiguous tonally purple haired Admiral Amilyn Holdo, with sparse moments of a personal characteristic, her tenure playing the vague Admiral, her possible cowardice, and later revealed to be the most well-prepared ahead of time strategist, vague in her proposes and holding her leadership in meticulous approach. She never backs down against the rebellious Poe; she is what she is, a Leader, therefore her vision will be revealed as the tides of war come by.
Hammil. Mark Hammil plays again after 30 some years, Master Luke Skywalker, the legendary Jedi, the last one, an extinct Knight, in a remote world. -- Isolated, guilted and dark, enclosed himself to the Force, negating something so beautiful and destructive. -- A person with the same charisma and humanity, when we see it in the cave, telling about the nature of a Jedi, and why they're doomed to fail since the Sheev Palpatine times, due their unique abilities, it's the simple demonstration that Hammil knows the character is playing, and the kind of cape he wears.
To not end, if not last, Rian Johnson role in the franchise came to give a new cover, a new substance, in his direction, in his screenplay; directing with higher confidence in well knotted montage, where the close-ups the distressed and bleak looks of our heroes are seen in a deep emotional way, or the beautiful yet jarring battle scenes, when we see giant monochromatic palettes in black and white falling into a silence void. -- A realistic impact and demonstration of how the things are destroyed in the space-- Starkly, silent and overwhelming to watch, dozens of ships falling in pieces and hanged in the dark space. It's good, finally, a new film that emphasis more on family, personal dilemmas and fears, and pain, sufferings and sacrifices at war, the importance of its own force, with such complex mature substance. At the end of the film, you feel the air, the grasp and truly, real sense of a picture should be painted -- In live and vibrant colours. Pristine.
"May the Force Be with You. Always"
Review 100. 8th of 2017.