Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi ★★★★★

"We are what they grow beyond."

Imperfect but beautiful. If the prequels served the profound historical tapestry of a seemingly inevitable, archetypal tragedy (ex: depicting the sociopolitical & moral trajectories of the rise of fascism) - and the originals, although abstractly, served the revelations of liberation through the revolutions of collective unity and redemption - then The Last Jedi both serves and vigorously evolves the next logistical archetype in Lucas's sweeping embodiment of the generational conflict against fascism... where the lost, corrupted, and broken youth of the next generation are forced to endure an even greater resurgence of a fascist power, subsequent to the failures of the prior generation to implement changes that prevent such a thing. More than that, however, this film believes in the sheer emotionality of the nuances and historical conflicts of moralism that stem from the deconstruction of its overarching myth (partly by allowing itself to be contextualized by prior thematics; by the war for the moral soul of an entire universe), in which the traumas and failures and anguish of the past are confronted with the empathetic musings of the struggles to embody the relative absolution of true human goodness - amid grueling swirls of fear, oppressive remorse, and optimism lost to a lack of answers (also: the history of the franchise correlates with its archetypes, so the contemplative progression here - in its confrontations - applies to both contexts). Formally, I must note, this is such a vastly idiosyncratic, expressive endeavor - in images, spatial communication, narrative intersections, etc. - that I'm inclined to label Rian Johnson as an auteur merely for all the classical, impeccable construction on display. A myth repurposed: for the art of unity, of the equal agency and exhilaration that's offered to imperfect nobodies (the new revolutionaries) who must confront their imperfection and change the fate that was forced upon them; to fight not in the name of historical obligation... but because it's the moral thing to do (which includes the philosophical inquiries of discerning right from wrong, justice from revenge; and to pass on such knowledge). The revolutionaries of the past, now much older, subsequently have to endure the consequences of their failure... of a gradually collapsing universe, of watching friends die at the same speed at which hope is lost - via the burden of decades of failures, political and otherwise. And yet, the youth fights on; all through the wasteland that surrounds them. Because progress must be achieved. And there's nothing more important than creating a better world for us and for our friends. So much pain, so much blood as always. But there is hope. To move on while enduring the burden of the past, so that the next generation won't have to carry that burden. Hope derived from myth. Truth derived from the purpose of myth and that which lies beyond dreams. But the motivation to fight for change... that's derived from the unfathomable power of storytelling; and I can think of no better example than this film. There is nothing to fear in failure. One day, the next generation will succeed. Through unity, the Rebellion will be reborn. Because the war is just beginning...

And there will not be a last Jedi.

"Did you come back to say you forgive me? To save my soul?"

"No. I failed you, Ben... I'm sorry."

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