This post doesn’t contain any plot spoilers or reveals. However, this is a warning for anyone who wants to avoid knowing ANYTHING about the film beforehand.
Only a few days left until the mass public will be able to see Rian Johnson’s chapter of the third set of films in the franchise. Some of us over at That Hashtag Show were able to attend yesterday’s screening over on the Disney Lot, and as our spoiler-free review will tell you……it’s going to be one hell of a ride. Throughout the year it has been slowly revealed that we would be introduced to new heavy hitters in the series to play alongside our Rebels and First Order members. Fear not! All of your favorites still get their time in the spotlight.
Vice Admiral Amilyn Hodo, played by Laura Dern
Academy Award nominee Laura Dern has gone from outrunning a T-Rex in Jurassic Park to outrunning the First Order in Star Wars Episode 8. Although the Vice Admiral looks like she was plucked out of The Capitol in the Hunger Games series don’t let her aesthetics fool you into thinking that she’s not cut out to be a military leader. She’s not one to mess with, and has a long history with Leia Organa. However, Poe will butt heads with Hodo when she is called to temporarily call the shots.
“She’s somebody who’s a bit off-kilter, who sees the world through a prism most others don’t understand,” Gray told StarWars.com of the younger Holdo. “At first Leia thinks she’s pleasant but weird, but as time goes on, it becomes apparent that there’s much more to Holdo than you might guess when you first met her. We don’t really have a lot of true oddballs in Star Wars, so it was fun to introduce one!”
DJ, played by Benicio Del Toro
One of the most odd-ball casting choices in Episode 8 may arguably be Benicio del Toro who has a long-running history in Hollywood as a character actor. Yes, Star Wars is a space epic, and not a biopic and oddball choices may fit the bill better than straight-laced actors. However, as one of our writers pointed out in his review, the character is easily one of the weakest in the film. Introduced as someone who could get the Rebellion out of a pickle by hacking into the First Order’s tracking systems the role is both disjointed and plays for laughs that aren’t executed very well. However, that is a very minor ding in a near perfect film.
“This character could come straight out of a Bob Dylan or Tom Waits song, or even a Dostoevsky novel,” Del Toro told Empire. “He’s like something out of Dickens. There have been characters like him in all kinds of literature.”
Rose, played by Kelly Marie Tran
Relegated to bit roles in television and sketch comedies this Vietnamese actress certainly leaves her mark in The Last Jedi as a fan favorite. By sheer “luck” and the character wonders if it’s going to be “good or bad luck” the Resistance maintenance worker is paired up with Finn early on as they venture off and head up the C plot of the movie. I’ll let filmgoers decide whether Rose and Finn have more chemistry (and that’s not exclusive to romance), than Finn and Rey, or even as our reviewer pointed out last night, Finn and Poe. Tran and Boyega do play off each other quite well, and Rose’s dedication to the Resistance after her sister is killed during a mission gives the character motivation and emotional depth.
Hopefully, we can soon stop giving accolades to filmmakers for putting POC in lead roles, something that the Star Wars Universe has been excelling at, and that it can just be the new norm, but this film makes franchise history as Rose is the first Asian-American woman in a major Star Wars role. At this year’s Star Wars celebration Rian had this to say about Rose;
“This possibility that any of us could step up and become a hero, that’s where Rose comes from,” Johnson tells the crowd, saying Luke Skywalker and Rey are cut from similar cloth — nobodies from nowhere who became vital parts of galactic history. “She’s not a soldier, she’s not looking to be a hero. But she gets pulled into a very big adventure with Finn.”
That rounds out some of our newest human characters, and I will tell you that the ladies of Star Wars are extremely bad ass. Who are you looking forward to seeing the most? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and look out for a cameo that seems, “leftover”.