Aahil Dayani’s review published on Letterboxd:
The Last Jedi is like a hand reaching out when you desperately need to be reminded of how intrinsically human you are and how the path to hope is paved with the burdens of the past and failure.
December 14th, I didn't need that hand. Everything was going well and I was looking forward to this picture and I walked out straight up disappointed. It was weird, somehow obsessed with resetting rather than enduring, and felt like a subversion of expectations simply for the sake of it.
It was really just a change.
I didn't need change at the time. I was happy with the way the franchise was going and how my life was progressing. The release of The Force Awakens marked a pivotal moment in my life where things were going down and the film just picked me right back up - reminding me of what I loved so much about the world. It was the closest thing I had to therapy.
2 years later, this piece of shit comes out and it's far from special. It's slightly annoying more than anything. I ignore it. I love Star Wars just like everyone and their mother, but I don't need this negativity in my life. I don't need to see Luke embrace the end of the Jedi and I don't need to see my sweet angel Kylo Ren become an even more insufferable douchebag.
And then, all that positivity and energy dried up a few weeks ago. I embraced my inner cynicism again and decided to take risks that I normally wouldn't. They didn't work out, and I walked out a bit confused, a bit scared, and uncomfortably regretful. I had made some changes and they were the best for me in the long-term, but not for the short-term. The day to day was mundane and disrespectful to my former self.
The Last Jedi drops on digital HD and I'm in need of a distraction and The Force Awakens won't cut it at this point. Annihilation seemed too heavy and my Mad Men rewatch was just bringing me back to my existential bullshit. On a whim, I start watching The Last Jedi, hoping that I can just let it play in the background, and maybe I can find some sort of enjoyment out of it.
We always talk about the movies that we fell in love with at first glance. The ones that inspire us to create and understand. The ones that remind us why we love the art of filmmaking so much.
We never talk about the movies that we fall in love with slowly. The ones that are etched at the back of our minds. Maybe our first viewing was distasteful. Maybe it wasn't made for us at that time. The beauty of cinema is that we can always go back, it's a moment that's only fleeting in limbo.
I needed The Last Jedi, just only a few months later. I'm late to the party and I think everything to be said about this movie has been said by writers far more talented than me, but I think I'll try.
The Last Jedi has many messages but I think the most important one is embracing not what's behind you but in front of you. You have to let the past die, kill it if you have to. Our pasts are ripe with failures that keep us up at night, decisions that haunt us, and memories that we'd rather dig a grave for.
You can either wallow in your misery or go forward. You can either let the past dictate your present and future, or you can let it serve as a reminder that you've failed and there's nowhere to go but up. You can cherish those moments that mattered and attempt to replicate them or you can create new moments that will matter even more. It's all about letting the past die. It's a reminder and nothing more.
Hope cannot be achieved without these reminders. Hope that beyond all the darkness, regret, and anger, there's something out there. There's a spark that will quite literally light the fire that will burn down your biggest hurdle: the past.
Earlier, I spoke of The Last Jedi as a hand, a hand that reaches out to you and pulls you forward. I think I'm ready to take that hand now. Thanks, Rian Johnson.
fuck that was therapeutic.