Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi ★★★½

My feelings veer closer to a hard 3/3.25, but The Last Jedi did something new and inventive that ALMOST worked - it was the first Star Wars in nearly forty years that was fully self-aware, almost painfully self-aware.

This really could have been the second-best Star Wars movie had everything worked as one big product. This is weird to say, given the film is a gargantuan 153 minutes that never drag, and at such a size it is easy to go overboard on the fluff, but the film doesn't. It feels like dozens of individualized moments that all work perfectly in their own respective bizarre ways, but never quite marrying as one big film.

Rian Johnson did the franchise the ultimate good in bringing Star Wars back to exactly what it is supposed to be: a wild, weird, and fun space opera. It isn't the actual war saga that George Lucas buried himself with, nor is it the nostalgia quest that JJ Abrams brought us back to. In turn, he creates a film that is simultaneously heart-wrenching and exciting while never taking itself too seriously. He brings back classic characters and digs deep into their souls, bringing out their actual purpose and humanity, creating a different perspective. Unfortunately, that didn't work the whole time.

The inheritance of a franchise means adopting characters one did not create, and Johnson, in his quest to bring Star Wars back to its identity, created a dumbed down rendition of a few very important characters that I will not specify. It reverses the established purpose of these characters, and creates a few blanks and holes. The characters he introduce are also extremely underdeveloped. His writing isn't particularly strong either.

I had a lot of fun watching this. I enjoyed it. Johnson almost hit it on the head, but misfired. It isn't a great film, or even a great Star Wars film, but it is still quality entertainment.

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