Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi ★★★★★

The Last Jedi is the first legitimately great Star Wars movie since The Empire Strikes Back. Like that film, it challenges what a Star Wars film is, using the power of the Force to destroy a now tired infrastructure to begin to finally move forward and build something new. Rian Johnson knows Star Wars in a way that maybe even George Lucas himself didn't quite understand (the prequels would certainly suggest it), and he uses that knowledge to create the Star Wars movie that you've always wanted, even if you didn't even know that you wanted it. It's funny, exciting, exhilarating, dark, and morally complex. It digs deeper than the surface level concepts of good and evil to get at the heart of the duality of man, but it's also fun and silly in the best Star Wars tradition. The returning cast is uniformly excellent, especially Mark Hamill, who gives a tour de force performance, easily the greatest of his career. And, a lot of that is because of Johnson, who knows how to work with actors in a way that no previous Star Wars director has, and whose script is hands down the best of the series. The Force Awakens was your once favorite band's greatest hits album, a fun distraction to remind you that you used to love them. The Last Jedi is their comeback album. Star Wars is back, and it's better than ever.

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