Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi ★★★★

One day I'll be giving this a different rating, I think. But right now, The Last Jedi has been a lot to digest for any Star Wars fan. I definitely liked this movie quite a bit, but I have my reservations for it, which might be quelled some with successive viewings. In the meantime, I'm going to forego my typical review method and give my thoughts on some of the big talking points. I'm going to keep this spoiler-free, though, so don't worry.

Luke Skywalker's character.
Luke's character has been the subject of repugnance for many fans of the franchise, which I find odd. While I can see where their animosity is coming from (this is, indeed, a character that the audience has missed the peak of and are left with a shell of the Jedi's former grandeur) I cannot say that what we are presented with here goes out of line with Luke's character.

Disinterest in previously established questions and storylines.
Rian Johnson took many plot points and stories that Force Awakens set up and literally tossed them aside. While it's again understandable why this would upset some fans, I was thrilled with how he handled Snoke and Rey's backstory. Johnson has basically completely moved the agenda forward for the series away from the direct remake strategy that Force Awakens went for. While it is a little absurd that so many storylines are now deemed unnecessary, I appreciate the film sending the series into its own direction.

That, erm, one scene with Leia Organa.
There's no defending this choice. Those of you who've seen the film know exactly what I'm referring to. In an otherwise admirably intelligent film, this choice was flabbergastingly stupid.

A middle act that drags.
Again, I can't really defend this one too much either. I appreciate what Johnson was doing with the slow-motion chase here, but I also feel like the First Order could've simply launched into lightspeed a couple times, blocked their path, and destroyed them all. It's a plothole that's difficult to look passed.

The overly "jokey" humor.
Once again, it's difficult for me to defend this fully. While some jokes landed nicely, a lot of jokes in this film did feel like something out of Spaceballs instead of Star Wars. Okay, maybe they weren't that bad, but humor in previous Star Wars films always stemmed more from the interactions between character choices rather than feeling like written bits so it doesn't always feel very "Star Wars."

Those are my thoughts on the big complaints people have been having. Some of them are justified, but others are simply challenging their expectations, which is what a good film should do. As for other elements of the film...

The effects are incredible and the art direction is some of the best in the series. The characters and their stories bring up complexity and depth that audiences simply will not be use to in a Star Wars film. There are parts of the film I dislike--in addition to the above complaints, I also really disliked everything in the casino (though it was beautiful to look at) and there were too many side characters that felt like archetypes instead of fleshed out characters. I also dislike the way the film (and the sequel trilogy in general, at least so far) seems far more willing to kill off characters from the original trilogy rather than the newer characters. But the last third of the film (from the time they arrive on the new planet until pretty much the very end) I will say is one of the greatest sequences in any Star Wars film to date.

So, where does that leave me with this film? Conflicted. Super conflicted. Will see how this film does in time, but right now it's one of the best-made Star Wars films except for the times when it's one of the worst-made Star Wars films.

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