Take a break after finals with ‘Last Jedi’


A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH — “The Last Jedi” is the eighth movie in the Star Wars saga. (

The end of the semester is stressful and often consists of holing up in a corner of the library to write a paper, practice a presentation or study for a final exam. Once all this cramming is over, though, this stress needs to be relieved – and the Force is just the cure.

Dec. 15 is going to be a big day for movie theaters as the second installment of a new trilogy of the Star Wars saga, “The Last Jedi,” releases. It also marks the 40th anniversary of Star Wars, as the first film, “A New Hope,” was released in 1977.

Fans of the Force last saw their new heroine played by Daisy Ridley, Rey, from the 2015 installment “The Force Awakens,” learning of her talents as a new threat arises in the galaxy 30 years after the fall of the Empire. Finn (John Boyega), a Stormtrooper defector, joins Rey as he leaves behind the evils of the First Order and fights for the Resistance. The film also re-introduced favorites from the original films, such as Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), among others. “The Force Awakens” concludes with Rey finding Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), who had van- ished to a lonely island while Han Solo dies at the hands of his son, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), who turned to the dark side.

For some time before the movie trailers were released, fans were worried about not seeing the beloved Leia in Episode VIII. Actress Carrie Fisher, who has played the princess since 1977, passed away in December of last year, at age 60. Luckily, fans need not have any fear. Fisher will be in “The Last Jedi,” as the trailers show her commanding the Resistance with Poe and R2D2, as they fight against Kylo Ren and the First Order.

The plot of the new film is as told by IMDB: “Having taen her first steps into the Jedi world, Rey joins Luke Skywalker on an adventure with Leia, Finn and Poe that unlocks mysteries of the Force and secrets of the past.” For the three main char- acters introduced in “The Force Awakens” – Finn, Poe, and Rey – “The Last Jedi” will see their character’s arcs grow and become more defined. Perhaps the most harrowing part of the movie’s trailers is said by Luke Skywalker: “It’s time for the Jedi to end.” What will this mean for Rey and even Skywalker himself? Lucasfilm has a lot of questions to answer with this next movie, as well as with Episode IX scheduled to release in May of 2019.

Though the producers and cast of “The Last Jedi” have taken extreme care to not allow the film to be leaked, it is clear that the latest addition to the saga will be a movie worth watching. Similar to opinions on “The Empire Strikes Back,” it will be much darker, and at 2 hours and 32 minutes is the longest running time of any of the films. Don’t let this deter you from going to watch. As director Rian Johnson explains: “Obviously it looks a little darker. The thing is though, for me, I loved the tone the original films, and also that J.J. [Abrams] had fashioned for ‘The Force Awakens,’ of fun. To me, it’s a Star Wars movie. First and foremost, we were trying to make it a Star Wars movie. That means you have the intensity and you’ve got the opera, but it also means it makes you come out of the theater wanting to run in your backyard, grab your spaceship toys and make them fly around. That’s a key ingredient.”

If you’re planning on watching in the Holland area, Goodrich Theaters and AMC’s first showings will both be at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 14.

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