Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi ★★★★½

"Let the past die."

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is insane. So much happens in this movie, but it doesn't feel overstuffed. The characters are tested time and time again, and prevail despite desperate odds. The rules of the universe are rewritten in an utterly spectacular sense. In a lot of ways it doesn't feel like Star Wars. Paradoxically, this makes it feel more like Star Wars than Star Wars has been since 1980. It's a shock to the senses, a reminder of when blockbusters took gung-ho risks at the beginning and just kept running until the end.

Johnson's direction and script is key to its success. He did not ask what audiences wanted out of a sequel to The Force Awakens. He asked what did the characters need, no matter how frustrating that might be fans. This has already proven to be a divisive film, and you'll discover early on if you're on board with what Johnson is doing or not. If you're not, you'll call it utter sacrilege. If you are, you'll enjoy the most risk-taking installment in all ten Star Wars films. With higher risk comes higher reward.

There's a ton more to say about The Last Jedi, but I know I'll revisit this multiple times in theaters, so I'll hold off on talking about other aspects until then. For now, the past Star Wars has died, the one in danger of falling into dull spin-offs and predictable mainline entries for years to come. The new one lives though, one with a clear ending in sight and a promising new story awaiting afterwards. For the first time since Disney purchased Lucasfilm, a truly new hope exists.

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