In honour of the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Future of the Force writers picked their stand out moments.
The Last Jedi, has been one of the most hotly anticipated Star Wars films of all time, and its arrival has seen a colossal return at the worldwide box office. Mark Hamill’s return as the iconic Luke Skywalker, has prompted a fan pilgrimage to cinemas everywhere which has helped secure an opening weekend return of $450 million dollars.
Despite a mixed reaction from the fans, the film’s success has ensured the Force is truly strong with Lucasfilm and its president Kathleen Kennedy. The incredible score, composed by godfather of the saga, John Williams had fans jumping with glee as Kylo Ren and his companions drew their laser swords and kept us on the edge of our seat. So, in honour of Rian Johnson’s sublime efforts, the writers of The Future of the Force picked some of their favourite moments that they thought everyone should applaud. From the opening sequence, to the Battle of Crait, the team dissected them all and whittled them down to just an elite few…
Luke Skywalker v Kylo Ren: By Thomas Storai
I loved the movie, every second of it but if I had to choose only one scene, right now it would be the Force projection of Luke facing Kylo Ren on Crait. It was a scene filled with iconic shots and breath-taking visuals! There’s so many shots I’d use as a desktop on my computer, it was so beautiful! More than just beautiful, this scene was Luke’s last stand. He knew that he was trapped on Ahch-To, but he decided to sacrifice himself by Force projecting himself on Crait to give time for the Resistance to escape.
He made the ultimate sacrifice and only a hero and a Jedi could make such a selfless choice, a true act of courage. I loved how in his rage Kylo Ren didn’t even notice that it wasn’t Luke but just a projection, there were many clues first being Luke having his father’s lightsaber while this one was destroyed just a few moments before. It showed that Kylo Ren was really lost to the Dark Side while Rey was completely in the Light Side, two opposites.
Luke’s final speech to Kylo Ren was quite powerful telling him the Rebellion was reborn and that he wasn’t going to be the last Jedi. It was a speech full of hope and mostly looking forward, not looking at the past. And that’s exactly what this movie was about – it was about letting go of the past and looking forward.
The Cave: By Stewart Gardiner
Rian Johnson brings the arthouse back to Star Wars and it is a beautiful thing to behold. And yes, I do mean ‘back.’ George Lucas was already well versed in world cinema when he made A New Hope, which was of course heavily influenced by Akira Kurosawa’s Hidden Fortress. Johnson subtly alludes to another Kurosawa picture, Rashomon, during the course of The Last Jedi. Rashomon examines a single event from multiple points of view, dismantling the idea of an objective reality in the process. Johnson shows us what happened between Luke and Ben Solo, although unusually for Star Wars the audience is presented with three contrasting versions of the scene. Two of these competing narratives are in fact delivered by Luke himself; he has become as unreliable a narrator as Kenobi. (Kenobi bends the truth about Luke’s father, but this is told rather than shown.) More so perhaps, as Luke may be lying to himself as much as to Rey.
However, Kurosawa isn’t the only arthouse point of reference in The Last Jedi. Prior to the cave sequence, Rey is framed against the night of the island in a quietly powerful moment. The sky and the sea behind her feel like nature untamed; there’s a power about them and it’s connected to Rey through the Force. I couldn’t help but think of the opening scenes of Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal, where the knight (played by Lor San Tekka himself, Max von Sydow) plays chess with Death. The positioning within the frame may differ, with two figures rather than Rey’s one, but the cumulative effect feels similar. And, after all, the knight is really alone, grappling with questions of his own mortality.
Rey enters the cave searching for answers to her own inner questions. She peers through a Jedi glass darkly, but all she sees is herself, repeating into seeming infinity. Yet Rey understands that the answer to the question of who her parents are lies at the end of that line of selves. Ultimately the only one there staring back at her is, also, herself. That the answer resides within her is revelatory and utterly believable. The fact that Rey narrates the experience in the past tense adds another layer of strangeness, throwing the audience further off their guard. It is not standard practice for a Star Wars movie, which makes it all the more exhilarating.
Johnson adopts classical filmmaking techniques in shooting the cave sequence. He eschews flashy effects and instead delivers what feels like a tangibly dreamlike optical illusion. It’s an unforgettable sequence, up there with some of the greatest sequences in cinema history; think of the mirror sequence in The Lady from Shanghai as a fine point of comparison. Rian Johnson binds narrative and thematic purpose together in the cave, distilling the wonders of his Star Wars masterpiece into one person’s heroic journey into her own soul.
The Battle of Crait: By Carl Roberts
After seeing The Last Jedi finally on the biggest screen I could find, I marvelled at what the film held. It’s hard to pick out any single sequence to claim the title of my favourite as there are so many to choose from. The opening assault on the First Order Dreadnaught, Snoke revealing his force abilities to Kylo Ren, Leia finally using her force abilities, Rey’s learning of the Force, The Rey/Kylo team up against Snoke’s guards, the final Luke/Kylo stand-off, Holdo’s sacrifice at Light Speed, all could claim the title, but one just beats them all.
The Falcon flying through Crait, being chased by TIE Fighters with the scream of John Williams’ Sentry Ship attack score from A New Hope blasting from the cinemas speakers takes top spot. This is Star Wars at its best, a fantastic action scene that, even though it’s far too brief, gives us a much-needed fist thumping classic Star Wars sequence. Interspersed with some light comedic relief courtesy of Chewbacca and a Porg, this scene hooked me and brought a huge grin to my face.
Master Yoda & Poe Dameron: By Megan Rickards
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (a comedy). So much to talk about, where do I start? I guess with my two favorite scenes. They are just so funny, I couldn’t choose between them. In order of the movie, my first favorite would be Poe talking to General Hux and “warning” him about the attack that is seconds away. It was just a funny as hell scene and great way to start the movie. Then to follow it up moments later with Poe actually hanging up on General Leia? That was just…I’d be hard pressed to say which was funnier. While the first lasted longer, hanging up on General Leia is just something you don’t do, hence his demotion when he next saw her.
As if the movie couldn’t get any funnier, the scene where Yoda shows up, and with ONE FINGER lights the Force Tree of Knowledge on fire…Oh how I missed you Yoda. You and your comedic ways. While prior to the movie I had heard rumors of Frank Oz (Yoda’s actor), showing up to Pinewood Studios where they film the movies, I thought that was all they were, rumors. To see him in this one and have him acting as he did? Oh, that was phenomenal. Sure, people can say that it’s dumbing the “wise old Jedi Master” down, but they also forget that it’s how we were first introduced to him in The Empire Strikes Back. He was this very curious, almost child-like creature. To now have him act like that again, but with the “wise old Jedi Master” mixed in? Rian, I doubt you’re reading this, but if you are, I would just like to ask where you came up with these hilarious ideas.
I cannot wait for more in your upcoming trilogy. May the Force be with you in that and all your other projects.
The Unconquerable Carrie Fisher: By Katarina Schultz
There are so many good scenes I could choose as my favorite from Star Wars: The Last Jedi, from Force-sensitive Leia to the Rey-Kylo team up to Admiral Holdo’s goodbye. However, I’m going to trust my amazing FOTF colleagues to elaborate on the many excellent moments in the film and choose something a little different for mine. A moment that has stuck with me since my first viewing is the dedication to Carrie Fisher in the credits. It reads: “In Loving Memory of our Princess, Carrie Fisher.” I grew up admiring Leia, but Carrie became my hero as I reached adulthood. Her willingness to be open about her struggles with mental illness and her no-shame attitude was and continues to be an inspiration to me in my own struggle with MI.
I was devastated last year when she passed away. I had met her at a convention only 4 months before. I coped with her death by waiting on The Last Jedi. She wasn’t truly gone if there was another movie coming out, right? But when the film ended, and I saw that dedication, I finally realized she wasn’t coming back. I found I couldn’t stop crying. I’ve been mourning her loss all over again, and while it’s painful, it’s also a chance to re-dedicate myself to living by her lessons. Fight hard, eliminate shame and stigma, be unabashedly yourself, and give zero f***s. As Carrie Fisher said herself, immortalized in her Twitter bio (and my college graduation cap!), “there’s no room for demons when you’re self-possessed.”
Rey & Kylo Vs the Praetorian Guards: By Darth Elvis
How do I pick one scene from this movie? A scene that stands out for me? To me, this film fulfilled so many expectations, I find it hard to pinpoint one particular moment. I went through wave after wave of emotion. Every scene that featured Leia was a joy to the eye, with Carrie rocking the hot dang hell out of each film cell! I am a huge fan of Rian Johnson’s films to date, so The Last Jedi delivered big time for me.
The scene I have chosen to talk about is from the Snoke Throne Room. This scene was packed full of surprises; the fight choreography with Rey, Kylo and the Praetorian Guards was inspired and beautiful as it is brutal. Ask me the same question after further viewings and I could have a totally different answer. This film, in my opinion, is up there with The Empire Strikes Back for me and I cannot wait to see it again and again.
A New Hope: By Brad Tracy
Favorite scene? Favorite scene?! The editors at Future of the Force want me to pick my favorite scene from The Last Jedi. That’s like picking your favorite child, and I’ve only got four of them to choose from! Was it Vice Admiral Holdo’s sweet hyperspace maneuver that took out the First Order flagship? (A maneuver, mind you, that I would love to pull off in Star Wars Armada.) That was cool, but no. How about Luke’s Force projection? Amazing! I’ve been waiting to see the Force used in that manner onscreen for years now, but no that’s not it.
For me, it was the very last scene of the movie. Why? (Besides the fact that goose bumps just ran up my neck as I type this.) It was the looks on my children’s faces when they saw the torch of the Jedi being passed to a new generation. This breath-taking scene was the “Twin Suns” moment for a whole generation of Star Wars fans and to me it epitomizes why Star Wars is the necessary mythology of the 21st century
R2-D2’s Cheap Move: By Patty Hammond
The Last Jedi is a wonderfully unexpected Star Wars film and there are many outstanding moments. For me the best moment for TLJ and the most nostalgic was when Luke told R2-D2, while sitting on The Millennium Falcon, that there was nothing he can do to change his mind in teaching Rey. R2 without any hesitation immediately projected Leia’s original full message to Obi-Wan from A New Hope.
Luke’s reaction to this is priceless!
Hope: By Katelyn Mathis
A movie’s ending is meant to wrap up the basic plot as well as set the tone for the sequel. In The Last Jedi, the ending was my favorite part. Adding in the twin suns for Luke’s final scene was absolutely perfect. However, that kid…The movie ends with our heroes making their way somewhere else. Somewhere they can restart the rebellion. Luke is gone, and with him the last of the old Jedi teachings. Rey has the books. The next generation of Jedi will be trained completely differently, and probably truer to the original meaning of the texts.
That kid at the end represents the new beginning. He is the new hope. If you notice, he didn’t touch that broom. It came to him. And the way it looked like a lightsaber…pure genius. We are now set for a new kind of Jedi built from nothing. An Order not built on tradition and rhetoric, but pure teaching and belief. Get ready. We might just get a glimpse in X of the Jedi Order was supposed to look like.
The Millennium Falcon: By Phil Roberts
For me, nothing screams Star Wars like the iconic Millennium Falcon. Without the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy zooming through space and dodging TIE Fighters, Star Wars just wouldn’t be the same. And in The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson delivered a beauty!
The Millennium Falcon, rockets through the subterranean caves of the crystalline planet of Crait, with a squadron of TIE Fighters in pursuit. As is always the case, the TIE’s are completely outmatched by the sublime piloting skills of the mighty Wookiee, Chewbacca and the Falcon swiftly loses them amongst the endless stalagmites of crystallised salt. This sequence alone, would have been enough to secure a special place in my affections, but John Williams, dialled it to eleven.
As the Falcon slipped between the jagged spires of salt, the classic Star Wars theme, made famous during the escape from the Death Star in A New Hope, exploded through the speakers to accompany the scene. The six-year-old inside me had an overload of euphoria, and the butterflies in the pit of my stomach remained aflutter until the end credits came to a fitting end. It was the perfect sequence, far beyond anything else in The Last Jedi.
In a film where stand out moments are aplenty, the Millennium Falcon reigns supreme.
The Last Jedi has certainly got the fans talking, and there have been some fantastic selections from the team, but do you agree with us?
Drop us a line and share your stand out moment with us…
until next time
May The Force Be With You
Phil Roberts is the Owner, Daily Content Manager, and Editor-In-Chief of The Future of the Force. He is passionate about Star Wars, Batman, DC, Marvel, Star Trek, Indiana Jones, Ghostbusters, King Kong, and the Ray Harryhausen movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force and babbles frequently!