Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi ★★★½

Why is the Force connecting us?” 

The first twelve minutes of The Last Jedi, centered around Paige Tico and her sacrifice are unbelievably well done. The visuals, the significance of what is happening, the way Veronica Ngo plays that moment… A perfect Star Wars moment if I’ve ever seen one. 

Overall, I think that’s the appeal of The Last Jedi for me. Not always great, but when the moments are good, god they’re good! 

I adore the way the moments between Rey and Kylo are filmed. The way the sounds around them so abruptly cuts away upon them being connected via the Force. The eeriness of those moments. The way their connection is implied through dialogue and gazes cast off screen rather than trying to get them in the same frames. Ingenious!! And the scenes with them in front of Snoke are quite interesting in conveying their dynamic more fully and the dynamic between Kylo and Snoke. 

The depiction of the Force in general in this trilogy, but particularly in this installment, is spectacular because it so thoroughly proves how much bigger it is than those who wield its power. The visualization of the Force in both its light and dark iterations was also so well done. Those moments felt particularly like they were coming from Rian Johnson’s direction but I do think that was a good thing! I really enjoy expanding the catalogue of alien creatures shown in the films as well. It’s one thing to see alien races as part of society, but I do think great world building comes from showing the alien wildlife as well. 

The visuals for Holdo’s big moment are INSANE in their beauty, the direction it takes the film, and where it places all of the main characters. In my opinion, it’s another example of what a perfect Star Wars moment looks like. 

Finn and Captain Phasma’s big fight is also most certainly worth noting. The setting im which it takes places it beautiful and the actual choreography is fantastic. The way it also replicates a scene from Star Wars: Rebels is SO cool. 

Also I love Rose Tico. She’s darling and such a wonderful character to join the ranks of Finn and Poe because her motivations are so clearly conveyed and reinforced. Her “Saving what we love” line is so perfectly placed and a really special moment. It makes me so sad and angry what becomes of her character because of shitty viewers. 

I wish this film continued the focus on Finn and Poe and Finn and Rey’s relationships the way the first film did, although their separations do make sense and we do get some brief but lovely moments. Additionally, I feel as though the true direness of the resistance in this film feels so minimized despite saving them becoming the only focus of Finn and Rose’s journey. I loved the tension between Poe and Holdo and those final moments with Holdo though! Also Snoke is such an interesting villain, he is so clearly EXTREMELY powerful and I wish we had a better understanding of where he came from and all of his motives!!! And there’s so clearly a deeply important relationship between Leia and Holdo that we just do not know anything about!! What the heck!! Final eh thing: it felt so bizarre that Rey and Poe had never met until the end of this film, over halfway through the entire trilogy?? WILD!! 

Full transparency, it took me about 6 hours total to watch The Last Jedi and in that time, I essentially watched it twice. Thirty minutes from the conclusion, I realized I’d completely checked out for the past hour. Such distracted watching felt like a disservice though, considering how much I loved Force Awakens and virtually every other part of my Star Wars marathon. I refuse to end it in a state of checked-outness!! And I’m glad of that because I found myself definitely enjoying things much more than I did on my first watch! Most certainly flawed but nowhere near as unenjoyable as I recalled previously. 

I thought I’d find answers here. I was wrong.

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