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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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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Things To Do When You're So Bored All You Want To Do Is Cry

Do something artsy

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Everyone has times when they have nothing to do and boredom strikes way too hard. From experience, I have found some top things to do when you literally have nothing else to do!

1. Clean

Not super fun, but will keep you busy.

2. Netflix

Find a new show to binge watch. Watched them all? Rewatch something you haven't seen in a while!

3. Shopping

Retail therapy can always keep you busy.

4. Make a home cooked meal

Spend some time in the kitchen and make something yummy! Even invite some friends.

5. Visit friends/ family

Pop in on some people you care about that you haven't seen in a while!

6. Write

Writing is something we all do and is a great way to express ourselves!

7. Exercise

Hit the gym or go for walk, do something to keep you nice and fit.

8. Volunteer

Go to an animal shelter, food bank, museums, or anywhere in your area that needs help.

9. Look for a job

If you're bored, maybe getting a part time job will keep you a little occupied. Plus it's extra money in your pocket.

10. Draw/ do something artsy

Even if you think you're a bad artist, drawing is something fun to do! You'll get better in time.

11. Join an Odyssey Team!

Writing articles through the Odyssey is an amazing experience and can always keep you busy!

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