Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi Review (Spoiler-Free)

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi Review (Spoiler-Free)

The eighth entry brings a new and needed complexity to a saga built on homage.
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From the moment that John William’s orchestra introduced the familiar, golden title of Star Wars, I felt an overwhelming sense of excitement and nostalgia rush through my veins. Having the privilege of a midnight premiere a day earlier here in England than back in the States, I remembered back to the stories my parents told me of seeing the original trilogy when it came to theaters. Getting the chance at real excitement for new Star Wars films as they premiere, I feel a connection to the previous generation of fans and the unspoiled pleasure of finding out what is next in store for the saga. As I read the opening description which set the scene for the eighth entry, which picks up right after the end of The Force Awakens, I considered my expectations for what this film would bring. Good guys, bad guys, hope, fear, action, one-liners – the common characteristics of a classic Star Wars episode. It had those things, but it had something I had not foreseen – complexity.

This film, similar to the (likely) eternal-reigning Empire Strikes Back, brought in shades of gray between the light and dark side of the Force. Many people agreed that Rogue One made strides in showing the darker sides of the Rebellion, but The Last Jedi showed the nuance of every character we’ve been introduced to – Luke is a struggling hero of the past, Rey and Kylo Ren are conflicted, powerful beings, and Poe Dameron clashes with authority. The good guys are not all good, and the bad guys are not all bad. This film brought a balance and a complexity to every character and situation that the series as a whole has desperately been missing since Empire.

This shift led to a deeply engaging film that made me forget to blink for the over two-and-a-half hour runtime. Not only was it engaging, but it was nerve-racking. In most of the other episodes, you have a pretty good idea of who is going to live and who has the potential to die. In VIII, everyone felt like fair game, and I was scared for my favorite characters like never before. This didn’t just have to do with death either, because I was anxious to find out some of the burning questions left from Episode VII - who were Rey’s parents going to turn out to be? Why did Luke really go into exile? Which way was Kylo going to turn to next? Don’t worry, I said that this would be spoiler free, so if you want these answers, I implore you to go see the film (and seeing it in the theater is the best option for an epic like this).

The Last Jedi was not completely devoid of negative aspects, but there were certainly very few. If anything, the long runtime could have been cut down slightly in some places, but I’ll take as many minutes of Star Wars as I can get. Aside from that, there were a few moments that left me thinking things like “Hmm, was that really how it turned out?” Once you see the movie, I’m sure you will be able to pinpoint a few spots that apply to that query.

The latest entry in the Star Wars saga succeeds in so many ways because it has strayed from what the prequels and JJ Abrams’ The Force Awakens tried to do, and that was to pay homage to Star Wars. This was a Star Wars movie first and foremost, but one that was not afraid to tread through the taller grass of unfamiliarity, nuance and complication. It established the idea that conflict is much deeper than what the other films have made it out to be. It was humorous, it was thrilling, it was intense, it was badass and it was thoughtful. Rian Johnson made a greater Star Wars directorial debut than I expected and effectively exceeded the very high standards that were set for him. As always, hope was a large theme, and this film followed through by giving us exactly that – hope that Star Wars moving forward can be so much greater than it already is, or than we had ever imagined it could be.

Overall Rating: 9.5/10

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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14 Stages Of Buying Jonas Brothers Concert Tickets As A 20-Something In 2019

"Alexa, play "Burnin' Up" by the Jonas Brothers."

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In case you missed it, the Jonas Brothers are back together and, let me tell you, they're giving us some major jams. For those of us who were there when it all began back in 2007 with their first album, It's About Time, this has been one of the most important events of the year. But nothing, and I mean nothing can rival the excitement every twenty-something felt as the Jonas Brothers announced their Happiness Begins tour. I, for one, put my name in for ticket presale, have been following every single social media site related to the tour/group, and, of course, listening to the Jonas Brothers on repeat. And if you did manage to snag tickets, then you know that this is how your brain has been ever since they announced the tour.

1. Finding out that they're going on tour

2. Hopefully entering your name into the lottery to get presale tickets

3. Finding out that you actually get to buy presale tickets

4. Impatiently waiting for your presale tickets by listening to their songs on repeat

5. And remembering how obsessed you used to be (definitely still are) with them

6. Trying to coordinate the squad to go to the concert with you

7. Waiting in the Ticketmaster waiting room...

8. ...And feeling super frantic/frustrated because there are about 2000 people in line in front of you

9. Actually getting into the site to buy the tickets

10. Frantically trying to find seats you can actually pay for because, let's be real, you're twenty-something and poor

11. Managing to actually get the seats you want

12. Joyfully letting your squad know that you've done it

13. Crying a little because all of the dreams you've had since 2007 are coming true

14. Listening to every single Jonas Brothers song on repeat (again)

If you, like me, have finally fulfilled one of your dreams since childhood, then congrats, my friend! We've made it! Honestly, of all the things I've done in my adult life, this might be the one that child me is the most proud of.

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Severus Snape Is The Worst, And Here's Why

Albus Severus, sweetie, I'm so sorry...

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I grew up being absolutely obsessed with the Harry Potter franchise. I read the books for the first time in second and third grade, then again in middle school, and for the third time in my last year of high school. Recently, I had a somewhat heated argument with a fellow fan of the books about Severus Snape. As I've reread the Harry Potter books, I've noticed that, although J.K. Rowling tried to give him a redemption arc, he only got worse because of it. Here's why I still think Severus Snape is the absolute worst.

His love for Lily Potter was actually really creepy. When I was younger and reading the books, I always found the fact that he held fast in his love for Lily to be very endearing, even noble. However, rereading it after going through a couple of relationships myself, I've come to realize that the way he pined over her was super creepy. It was understandable during his time at Hogwarts; he was bullied, and she was the only one who "understood" him. However, she showed zero interest, and if that didn't clue him into realizing that he should back off, her involvement with James Potter should have. She was married. He was pining after a married, happy woman. If he truly loved her, he would have realized how happy she was and backed off. Instead, he took it out on her orphan son and wallowed in bitterness and self-pity, which is creepy and extremely uncool. When a girl is kind to a boy during high school (or in this case, wizard school), it's not an open invitation for him to pine for her for the literal rest of his life and romanticizes the absolute @#$% out of her. It's just her being a decent person. Move on, Severus.

He verbally abused teenagers. One of the most shocking examples of this is in The Prisoner of Azkaban when Snape literally told Neville Longbottom that he would kill his beloved toad, Trevor if he got his Shrinking Potion wrong, and then punished him when he managed to make the potion correctly. Furthermore, poor Neville's boggart was literally Snape. The amount of emotional torture Neville must have been enduring from Snape to create this type of debilitating fear must have been almost unbearable, and even if Snape was simply trying to be a "tough" professor, there is no excuse for creating an atmosphere of hostility and fear like he did in his potions class for vulnerable students like Neville. In addition, he ruthlessly tormented Harry (the last living piece of Lily Potter, his supposed "true love," btw), and made fun of Hermione Granger's appearance. Sure, he might have had a terrible life. However, it's simply a mark of poor character to take it out on others, especially when the people you take it out on are your vulnerable students who have no power to stand up to you. Grow up.

He willingly joined a terrorist group and helped them perform genocide and reign over the wizarding world with terror tactics for a couple of decades. No explanation needed as to why this is terrible.

Despite the constant romanticization of his character, I will always see the core of Severus Snape, and that core is a bitter, slimy, genocidal, manipulative trash being. J.K. Rowling's attempt to redeem him only threw obsessive and controlling traits into the mix. Snape is the absolute worst, and romanticizing him only removes criticism of an insane man who just so happened to be capable of love (just like the vast majority of the rest of us). Thank you, next.

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