‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’

Star Wars: The Last Jedi hit the box office with force by scooping a staggering $494 million worldwide on its opening weekend.

Via Variety:

The tentpole has posted one of the top ten Mondays of all-time with $21.6 million domestically to lift the four-day total to $241.6 million with 31% of schoolchildren on vacation. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” leads that Monday list with $40.1 million on its fourth day, when 77% of schoolchildren were on vacation, followed by “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” with $32 million on the day on Dec. 26.

Internationally, “The Last Jedi” took in $22.3 million on Monday to push its total to $253 million, led by the U.K. with $41.7 million, Germany with $25.4 million, and France with $20.7 million. Parts of the U.K. are on holiday, while France and Germany have not yet done so.

Read our review, written by Brian CoSign below:

Star Wars The Last Jedi

‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Review

A long two years ago in theaters far, far way, ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ mesmerized audiences and in typical Star Wars fashion, captured their attention with soul-stirring cliffhangers, making our anticipation of the sequel more eager than a kid watching the Santa Claus radar tracker on local news. Well, we finally have a sighting. No, it’s not the red glow of Rudolph’s nose but the crimson hue of Kylo Ren’s light saber in ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’.

Director Ryan Johnson gets it. He moves this franchise in a direction that will further its legacy for years to come by poignant storytelling and compelling character arcs. The overall theme of ‘The Last Jedi’ is…The Struggle! The opening scene has the resistance’s backs against the wall as the First Order seemingly has them right where they want them. It’s an intense scene which prepares you for an equally intense space journey the likes of which you haven’t seen. The initial meeting between Rey and Luke Skywalker sets the groundwork for their entire relationship throughout the film. Luke’s been in solitude, questioning the very things he found as admirable in the Jedi ways. He’s more cynical after what’s happened between him and Ben/Kylo Ren. Rey is yearning for answers and a sense of belonging.

She is the complete antithesis of Luke. Her hope and his hopelessness make their scenes together extremely entertaining! Kylo Ren’s inner-conflict is the most compelling. He desperately wants affirmation from his mentor but is at odds with the confusion within him. His emotions spill out onto this movie like a pitcher of Kool-Aid on your mom’s kitchen floor. Poe Dameron has a greater role this time around, but he’s the same hot-headed, witty pilot we’ve grown accustomed to. I think you’ll like the direction his character is moving toward.

As you know, Carrie Fisher died earlier this year which makes her final appearance so surreal. Her performance as Leia is outstanding. She’s trying to keep the resistance together along with her sanity despite overwhelming odds. Be prepared for some surprises regarding her character as they will be QUITE memorable. Finn has a curious storyline. He’s kind of reserved but when it comes time for battle, he quickly turns on that ferocity. I guess it’s the Stormtrooper in him. There’s a sequence of that storyline which focuses on him and another character which may or may not indulge your interest. It’s a hit-or-miss subplot.

‘The Last Jedi’ is an action-lover’s dream! The CGI in this film is absolutely mind-blowing. The special-effects team outdo themselves on every movie. There are intense spaceship battles that are so realistic that you’ll look at other people in the theater and go, “Did you see that shyt?!” Other times, you’ll just be silent and marvel at that energy on the screen. There are more fight scenes in this joint than reality shows! I’m not going to give it away, but there’s interaction involving Rey and Kylo Ren that will be a classic. It rivals the fight between Darth Vader and Obi-Wan in the original ‘Star Wars’.

The score is simply a masterpiece. The music accompanying the action is like watching a high-powered concert. The sounds are their own individual movie. The pulsing of the light-sabers, the crackling of the laser cannons, the different noises the characters make…maaaaaaan listen! The cinematography is on another level as well. From Luke’s refuge on the island of Ach-To, to the salty, red planet of Crait, we’re treated to a visual world tour. There are many new characters included in ‘The Last Jedi’. Don’t worry, they aren’t lame. Each has its own unique style and contributes mightily. This is what ‘Valerian’ should’ve been.

The writing in ‘The Last Jedi’ is higher-esteemed than Kanye West’s confidence. It’s able to make Luke a serious yet funny older Jedi. Powe’s comedic dialogue continues to get better. In fact, there are a lot of snappy one-liners like you find in those ‘Avengers’ movies. All the actors interact with each other effortlessly. I know I’m praising this movie, but uh ruh, there are some missteps.

A few characters don’t get the proper backstory explained like we expected which will keep poking at you. Some questions from ‘The Force Awakens’ aren’t fully resolved in this sequel, either. Hopefully, the 3rd installment will satisfy those two problems. ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ is a 2 ½ hour Amtrak train ride; fast and full of scenery. ‘The Last Jedi’ must be first on your movie list!

‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ is a transition film. New characters are poised to take over the ranks and for true-skool Star Wars fans like myself, it’s bittersweet but necessary. It is headed in the right direction, however. The most iconic movie franchise in history is about to become more powerful than you can possibly imagine. This is the sequel we’ve were waiting for. I’m always taken back to my childhood when I see these movies and I know you will be, too.

I’m co-signing ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ to the fullest! This is the kind of film made for IMAX, so if you have the funds, check it out in that format, but check it out regardless. Santa Claus didn’t leave your best present under the tree, he left it at your local theater. May the Force be with you!