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News Link • Entertainment: Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Is a Near-Perfect Reinvention of the Franchise

•, Brian Raftery

It's a shot that could have been lifted directly from the original Star Wars trilogy, and thus one of the few moments of pure franchise-fealty in writer-director Rian Johnson's otherwise rebellious new film, which is the springiest, most assured Star Wars entry in years—and a movie that drops a proton torpedo into our beloved galaxy far, far away. In Last Jedi, old allegiances are frayed, family bonds are lightsaber'd in half, and even an ex-farmboy like Luke Skywalker must contend with a deep, depressive existential crisis. It's the gazillion-dollared, 152-minute equivalent to setting fire to all of your childhood Star Wars toys in the backyard, and getting high off the fumes that follow.

he Last Jedi begins not long after the events of 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens, director J.J. Abrams' sleek if occasionally slavish regional production of 1977's A New Hope, and a movie that united orphaned desert-scavenger Rey (Daisy Ridley) and ex-stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) against Kylo Ren, the millennial foul-kin bad-guy sired by Han and Leia (and played, with brooding-beefcake woundedness, by Adam Driver).

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