Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi ★★★★★

"We are what they grow beyond..."

THE LAST JEDI is astounding. A plethora to process... but a powerfully human, romantic adventure epic about the toils of war and failures of the past.

If THE FORCE AWAKENS is a movie about being unable to build a future (it is), then THE LAST JEDI is about finding your place in it. The previous generation confronts their failures. It's not "their" fight, anymore but they still have a part to play. A guiding hand, if you will, to help the next generation.

Not that the new generation is always entirely correct either. After all, Kylo Ren killed his fucking father. Not exactly a good egg. And even on the side of the Resistance, there's a story about even in the utmost dire of times, people shouldn't lose themselves along the way. The "ends justify the means" is bullshit and it's nice to have that idea continue in a series called STAR WARS.

But it's ultimately focused on the battle between light and darkness. Rey and Kylo. Effectively our two leads for this new trilogy, perfectly balancing one another on opposite ends of the force. Manipulated by a previous generation's false promises and broken dreams, to the point where they might be the only two who understand one another. In another universe, who knows what they might be together.

All this is set against some gorgeous imagery from First Order throne rooms to a planet of salt mines. Red, black and white give the series an imposing color palette that actively feels like new territory. Marry that with the material? This movie is beyond a dream. It's a real deal.

Johnson's specific dialogue flourishes during the First Order/Resistance stuff. All before reaching peak Johnson in areas like the Canto Bite Casino set pieces with characters proclaiming how they'd like to "burn the whole town down." Even in a galaxy far, far away, Johnson's pop noir dialogue zings like he made it from the comfort of his backyard.

TLJ feels like one of the few movies that actually earns its 2.5 hour run time since not only is there a lot of ground to cover, it's constantly exploring new territory even if there are a familiar beat or two from EMPIRE. But if you think these movies are rinse-and-repeating the original trilogy by this point, that's on you, my dudes.

For everything else, THE LAST JEDI is as good as I had hoped and nothing like I expected.

UPDATE: Full spoiler filled podcast breakdown of this fucking behemoth at TWP. 

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