Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi ★★★★½

Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi is a piece of auteur driven studio filmmaking that I had given up hope on seeing from the likes of Disney and company. It’s subversive of what came before, highlighting the follies of romanticizing the past and demonstrating the need to tear down walls of stilted tradition to make way for progression of a new area, but still respecting what came before.

I have a few minor gripes with the B plot regarding Poe, Finn and a couple new characters, but I think rest is handled marvelously, especially Kylo. I was luke warm on him in The Force Awakens, but I saw seeds in his character that I really liked. Johnson takes those seeds, nurtures them, devolping his juvenile angst into mature anguish that adds layers of nuance to his character by fleshing out his troubled past with Luke and forming a connection with Rey.

This is also the most aesthetically pleasing Star Wars film that we’ve had to date. The third act take place on a salt covered planet, that when disturbed reveals a red clay underneath, creating a really interesting effect during the battle sequence, reminding me heavily of the mid samurai films like Ran and Seven Samurai. Like TFA, there is a heavy use of practical effects that present a tactile, lived in world, that makes the story and characters feel more grounded opposed to the constant use of CGI effects and green screen that ultimately cheapen the overall product.

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