Those of you close to me, or if you follow my work, know that the music of American composer John Williams has had a tremendous impact on my life and one of my biggest inspirations in pursuing a musical career. Hell, even Star Wars has done this for me, like thousands of others. So how the hell could an almost blasphemous statement that defines the title for this review even be shockingly uttered by me? Here's an even bigger question to this proclamation: how true is this statement?
The Last Jedi, the eighth chapter in the Star Wars saga, has shaken the entire fanbase to its core and divided them even more than The Force Awakens. Director Rian Johnson's film dares to take risks; pushes all of its characters forward in new challenges; attempts to kill the past (like its baddie Kylo Ren) in order to move forward; subverts almost all expectations of the so-called "dark middle chapter" in a trilogy; explores new concepts within the established mythology; and even laughs at itself (and its audiences at times) throughout the entirety of its 2 1/2 hour runtime. It's one of the most beautiful Star Wars films ever made (its visuals and effects are indescribably stunning), it certainly runs on emotional appeal, and most of its characters (even the newly introduced ones) are strongly developed enough to overcome most of its serious story issues. It's a film that can't be seen once; I've seen it twice, and I'm sure there are many who have seen it three or four times by now for their own reasons.
What doesn't take any major risks, however, is the score for The Last Jedi. For all of its strengths (and yes, as a Star Wars score, it obviously has them), it's almost shockingly bad how unoriginal the score as a whole really is when compared to its predecessors. In a manner which does not hopefully seem incredibly biased (...let's be honest, this will be partly biased), here's what works and doesn't work with this new addition to the operatic musical language of the franchise.
Composer: John Williams
Label: Walt Disney Records
Runtime: 78 minutes
Release Date: December 15, 2017
Rating: 2.5/5 stars
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