By Sebastian Rodriguez, Assistant Web Editor
Star Wars is undoubtedly one of the biggest movie franchises ever created. The first Star Wars movie released was originally called “Star Wars.” It was released in 1977 and was directed by George Lucas. Eventually, it was retitled “Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope.”
Since 1977, there have been 8 Star Wars movies released. One special thing about the Star Wars franchise is that the movies were not released in chronological order. The release order of the movies are as follows:
- Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope
- Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
- Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi
- Star Wars Episode I – The Phantom Menace
- Star Wars Episode II – Attack of the Clones
- Star Wars Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
- Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens
- Rogue One: A Star Wars story
As the list shows, Lucasfilms actually released the final three Star Wars movies before they released the first three installments. I know it sounds confusing, but that’s the path that George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, decided to take.
The latest installment in the Star Wars franchise is “Star Wars Episode VIII – The Last Jedi.” This movie is the sequel to the 2015 film, “The Force Awakens.” This film premiered in the United States on December 15th, 2017. The Last Jedi picks up exactly where the “Force Awakens” left off. Rey, one of the main characters, has just located Luke Skywalker, the main protagonist from films IV-VI, and she seeks his help in order to defeat Kylo Ren and the First Order.
“The Last Jedi” achieved something that none of the previous Star Wars films have done before; it was able to unite the original Star Wars fans with the new age fans. This was done through the appearances of old characters from the first Star Wars movies as well as the introduction of new characters. The old characters, such as Luke and Leia Skywalker, helped fans of the original trilogy relate to newer Star Wars fans. Characters such as Kylo Ren also shadowed Darth Vader to an extent, which gives kids of this generation a villain to dislike in the same way that Darth Vader gave kids of the 70s and 80s a villain to dislike.
I didn’t watch the Star Wars movies until this past summer. The first movie I watched was the “Force Awakens.” Seeing characters I really liked from the previous film reprise their roles in the Last Jedi was awesome. Since the summer I have taken the time to watch every single movie in both chronological order and release order to further my understanding when it comes to Star Wars.
Characters from the previous installment who reprised their roles include Gwendoline Christie, who portrayed Captain Phasma; Daisy Ridley, who portrayed Rey; Adam Driver, who portrayed the villainous Kylo Ren; Oscar Isaac, who portrayed Poe Dameron; and Jon Boyega, who portrayed Finn.
“The Last Jedi” also opened my eyes to Kylo Ren. In “The Force Awakens” Kylo seemed like a child with parental issues. In the Last Jedi we realize that it wasn’t hatred towards his parents that pushed him to the dark side, but rather he was persuaded to turn to the dark side by Supreme Leader Snoke. This is very similar to the way his grandfather, Anakin Skywalker, turned to the dark side with the persuasion of Emperor Palpatine.
For the majority if this film, Kylo seems a lot more composed. We didn’t get to see Kylo in action much in “The Force Awakens,” but in this movie Kylo is involved in numerous fight scenes. These fights that Kylo is involved in showcase the tremendous fighting ability that Kylo Ren possesses. He did train in the fighting ways of the Jedi for the majority of his life, after all.
“The Last Jedi” also introduces new characters who quickly became fan favorites, such as a Kellie Marie Tran, who portrays Rose Tico and Laura Dern, who plays Vice Admiral Amilyn Tico.
“The Last Jedi” will be followed by “Star Wars: Episode IX”, which is scheduled for release in 2019.
I give “Star Wars Episode VIII – The Last Jedi” 8/10 stars for an overall fantastic connection between old and new characters, and the introduction deep, new characters to the Star Wars universe.