This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Quinn Bailey’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
UPDATE ON THIS FILM WITH ADDITIONAL SPOILERY THOUGHTS:
1) This is now my favorite Star Wars movie. Sorry, Empire.
2) There’s a real sense of thematic unity here that I can’t say I’ve seen in any other blockbuster this year, or even in any other Star Wars movie. Every plot thread is tied together by ideas of ego and how it creates shallow, false perceptions of the world - Finn is forced to “look closer” on Canto Bight, Poe must learn that his cocky “jump in an X-Wing and blow stuff up” tactics are not always positive, Rey has to let go of her preconceptions about her family, Luke must learn from his failures and Kylo must free himself from his abusive relationship with Snoke. Every situation is defined by a new turn on the same theme of “rejecting the lures of ego and false power” (or to put it in terms of Rian Johnson’s influences, “honor through betrayal”), and it keeps everything grounded.
3) So... erm... why are people so disappointed with the Canto Bight parts again? They give the finale the setup it needs, expand our understanding of the SW universe into some dark but necessary places, and let us go deeper into Finn and Rose as characters. Besides, they’re set in space Casablanca. SPACE CASABLANCA. How is that not awesome?
3) Star Wars has always referenced Kurosawa, but this might be the first film where the series nails down the empathy and humanism that Kurosawa was known for. Every person matters in this film, especially the ones who might not matter in another blockbuster. We need more of that populism and empathy in modern cinema. (TL;DR: none of us deserve Rose Tico.)
4) I just realized that Luke’s first-act nickname for “Rey from nowhere” could be read as foreshadowing for the twist about her family, and now I’m doubly impressed.
5) Killing off Snoke was one of the best things this series could have done. No offense, Andy Serkis, but we don’t need Emperor 2.0.
6) This movie is pretty. SO FUCKING PRETTY. That is all.
7) Was that a Seijun Suzuki reference with the backgrounds of Snoke’s throne room? If so: nice.
8) “Cranky Laura Dern doing awesome things in wigs” is one of the few running themes of 2017 I can actually stand.
9) This is to Star Wars what The Man who Shot Liberty Valance is to the Western... The Han who Shot Liberty Valance, so to speak. SHUT UP IT’S A GOOD PUN
10) Porgs. Porgs porgs porgs porgs porgs. This movie gets porg/10 porgs for all the porgs. PORGS. (Also cute ice foxes, but they’re nowhere as easy to hug and pet as ALL THE FUCKING PORGS.)