Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi ★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

love what it's trying to do and a lot of the risks it takes, it feels like the most idiosyncratic and real that these disney versions of star wars will ever be but i think it doesn't live up to the potential it sets, the promise of what could be, the idealism of the new. moments here are some of the entire series' finest work, the stuff about destroying the past and creating something new, subverting expectations of what a star wars film should be, who the good guys really are and what they're fighting for. the conflicts that rey and kylo face, the spiral of their psyches and their balancing of the light and the darkness inside them. i'm just sad that none of what they're fighting for means anything, that their hope is foundated on the same shit that they fought for 30 years ago and that the overall arc of the film (from my interpretation) is that we have to hope that the way we had it before can be better, instead of taking the ideas of destroying the past and building something new and taking the darkness, the evil out of it and to fight for something that's different, to break away from the ideas of the republic and the jedi order, to forge something better for everyone, instead of creating another cycle of death and decay. maybe i hope for too much out of these movies but it set up so many interesting complex ideas about morality, about the war, about human consciousness and then it felt streamlined, as if all the risks taken were in the end reduced to something that can be made easy to digest, something corporate. cause in the end, disney are a corporation designed to make as much money as humanly possible out of licenses and for these movies to continue, the cycle has to be unending, there's always going to be another collapse and there's never going to be change, because war is profit. the rebels are destined to fight and die for liberal democracy before the democracy they fought for falls apart and the fascism at its core rises up again, controlling and suppressing those under its grasp. i wouldn't be disappointed in this if i didn't feel like it could have made the hope for something different, something better palpable and the core realisation of the movie instead of embracing the past failures and refusing to learn from them. we can profess things will be different this time but without changing anything, without changing the approach to democracy, to how the galaxy should be, nothing will be different. hope is doomed to live on falsely, instead of genuine belief that things can be different. i'm haunted by the shots of the poor abused slave children believing in the rebellion, believing that their lives will be better after this war is over, that the rebels will look after them, but i know what the republic looks like and i know what happens after it falls. it had the potential to be fighting for more, to be radical to its core but profit is the answer and hope doesn't need to be genuine if it makes more money. this gets a 3 and not anything lower because rian johnson made me believe that his risks, that his bold decisions would lead to something bold and uplifting and game changing for the future of this franchise, the hope that the wars will end eventually. but they won't, and that saddens me. stuff between rey and kylo is pitch perfect before it eventually falls apart with a rushed and underdeveloped conclusion to their respective arcs in this film, carrie fisher made me cry a lot and oscar isaac is the saviour of cinema. del toro's suitably wacky and compelling enough to make his minimal presence adventurous and entertaining as hell too. this is likely the peak of disney's grasp on the franchise, and that makes me sad. all good things have to come to an end, but i know this won't, that bums me out, and i say this as a guy who grew up with the franchise, who was obsessed with it, who still got chills when the theme blared and the opening text scrolled down the screen. i had fun, for a while at least, and that's something but god, this doesn't feel right, doesn't feel real anymore. plus john williams needs to calm the fuck down, his score was frequently overbearing and took away from the emotion and stakes of the individual moments, it was genuinely distracting and irritating and was frequently too upbeat for situations of genuine intensity. nothing i say means anything, you're all gonna see it or already have, and then the next one will come out and the cycle will continue. bummer.

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