Ragnar’s review published on Letterboxd:
Grade: GREAT (4 out of 5)
"The greatest teacher failure is."
While the first film of the sequel trilogy basks in the glory of the original movies, Star Wars: The Last Jedi provides what this new trilogy needs: a nod to the past and a brand new direction forward.
The film does have some noticeable drawbacks. Mainly, the pacing drags significantly in the middle. The Canto Bight scenes and Rose are the main culprits, which is a shame because the purpose of those scenes and that character are important. Rose helps progress Finn's character from a deserter to a hero willing to give up his life for the cause, the Canto Bight scenes help establish the main thesis of the movie: the Force, and the hope it brings, does not belong to the Jedi or Sith, to Skywalkers or Solos, but instead to us all. We just need a little flame to spark the fire. So it is a shame Canto Bight and Rose were executed poorly.
The main highlight for me is Luke Skywalker. Neither his success in Return of the Jedi nor his failure with a young Ben Solo define him; instead, his achievements and failures combine to create a wise but conflicted character. It is this conflict that makes him the most engaging character in the movie. Especially when, once again, Luke finds a way to overcome his fear and inspire the entire galaxy.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a great addition to the Skywalker saga. The film is less focused on action than Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and more focused on character development. The missteps the film takes along the way does not weigh it down too much, especially when what the film does right provides some of the most inspiring moments in the entire saga.
P.S I would have loved to go more in depth on all the Star Wars movies, but time was not on my side. I finished this review moments before getting ready to see Episode 9!