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The late Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)
The Last Jedi honors the memory of our Star Wars Princess

Star Wars:  The Last Jedi doesn’t disappoint, nor does it shock hardcore Star Wars fans. The big question of this episode is “Who are Rey’s parents?” The film answers the question; however, the answer is anticlimactic when we discover that her parents are nobodies that sold Rey for drinking money. This does not mean that this is the final answer to the question, but Rey does seem to accept that as fact when Kylo Ren tells her.

As one may expect, the film is packed with action scenes, and the Rebels are in constant peril. By the end, Luke Skywalker is dead, no one in the galaxy responds to the Rebel’s call for help, the Rebels are decimated, and the remains of the entire Rebel army can fit on the Millennium Falcon.

On the plus side, everyone has hope. Run credits.

The biggest surprise was the significant role the late Carrie Fisher character plays in the film. Despite the actor’s unexpected death one year ago, her character is still alive when the credits roll. It was reported that she had finished all her scenes before her death, but that could have been a few cameo scenes, as was the case in The Force Awakens. In this episode, Fisher’s character does have a near death experience, but she recovers and remains central to the plot.

Mark Hamill’s character was only teased in the last episode, (Star Wars:  The Force Awakens,) but in The Last Jedi, Luke Skywalker’s hermit lifestyle is explained. Skywalker’s failure to train Kylo Ren has caused him to reject the Jedi religion, and he makes it clear he is just waiting for his death.

However, Skywalker is convinced to play a significant role in saving the few remaining Rebels, and he does so by deceiving Kylo Ren into a fight with a projected image of himself, that buys enough time for the to escape the First Order.

In the end, Skywalker gets his wish to die a Jedi death like Obi Wan Kenobi as his body mystically disappears as he sits on a rock far away from the battle.

Rey and Kylo Ren develop a relationship based on each trying to pull the other to their side of the Force. Rey has a temporary victory when Kylo Ren saves her by killing the Supreme Leader, Snoke, but then Kylo Ren claims himself to be the Supreme Leader and tries to convince Rey to join him. She declines in a forceful way.

The newer characters, Finn and Poe Dameron continue their solid performances from the The Force Awakens and spend much of this film failing to save the Rebels from being destroyed. In retrospect, one might wonder that with friends like Finn and Poe, who needs an evil enemy with massive firepower?

Chewbacca, Yoda, C-3PO, and R2-D2 all have supporting roles in this episode, but the constant reappearing presence is the BB-8 robot that saves Finn and Poe’s butts on a regular basis. All five of these characters (Chewbacca, Yoda, C-3PO, R2-D2, and BB-8,) along with the Porgs (a new cute and cuddly Star Wars species that has merchandising written all over them,) provide the comic relief throughout the film.

In the end, this was a worthy addition to the Star Wars series, and should satisfy even the most hardcore fan. Nothing in the film would be a galaxy-quaking revelation, but The Last Jedi effectively continues the saga of a galaxy far, far away.