Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi ★★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Some disparate thoughts about this wonderful film:

- it IS overly long and you do start to flag about the halfway point, but the people who say the casino is the weak point are completely wrong. This is something we’ve never seen in the franchise: the life of those complicit in the works of the Empire/ First Order rather than merely members of those groups 

- Captain Phasma is certainly the Boba Fett of this trilogy: looks cool, does nothing

- Rose is alone pretty much enough of a reason for the new films to exist

- Johnson plays scrupulously fair with the final battle with Luke, more than once drawing our attention to the red dust caused by people touching the ground 

- Gleeson is often a brilliant actor but he is quite utterly the worst thing in this and maybe worse than both Anakins

- the world building is beautifully done and full of little details that say more than these things usually do. Porgs, considering they started out as an attempt to hide some puffins, are Ewoks done right 

- Johnson manages to sneak in some of the most beautiful filmmaking in all the movies with some startling compositions and lovely touches such a green chutes popping up. It’s also nice to see Yoda funny again. It’s a very funny film a lot of the time, best being Luke’s little shoulder dusting

- Johnson also manages to be quite playfully subversive with our expectations: of COURSE Leia will have some force powers; Dern is just following orders; DJ betrays for money plain and simply (although Theroux’s cameo turn looks amazing and I would love to see more of him); of course Rey’s parents are nobodies, of course Snoke just dies 

- I hope Abrams doesn’t flub the drop: we’re in a position where the good guys are on the ropes (and unfortunately with no obvious way out of the Leia problem) and the bad guys are less on the ropes, more run by blind fury and cowardice. Even if the last film does drop the ball, having the First Order run by an incompetent and a mass of fury is a brilliantly brave direction to send the franchise down

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