Juliet Jolley’s review published on Letterboxd:
For some reason I didn't love this as much as the 20 other times I've seen this (yes, really, that many times) and it's either due to years of horrendous Star Wars discourse or noticing how much of the continuing story was ruined by the next film. This is by far the best Star Wars movie, but maybe it's because I was hoping it would feel like a fitting conclusion to the story set up by The Force Awakens (because the third one is very bad) and it doesn't, which isn't the fault of the movie at all. A double feature of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi leaves a lot to be desired, a lot which is never fulfilled.
I miss a lot of things from The Force Awakens, the Finn and Rey duo dynamic, the saturated colors, Han Solo, but what I miss the most is the momentum that movie has. The Last Jedi is an incredible story that feels almost Shakespearean, but that also makes it feel like a 5-act epic that's kinda really slow. It really feels like we have two different 3rd acts, both are still incredible in their own ways.
I don't know why I'm complaining about this, it's definitely the best Star Wars by a long shot. Rian Johnson directs with perfection and purpose, every shot feeling necessary and rewarding. It's a great contrast to JJ Abrams's action blockbuster directing style with constant movement. It's a breath of fresh air to have a lot of shots that are tied down, along with the my favorite little dramatic push-ins. And the visuals? Best in the saga. Steve Yedlin is a genius.
I love so many little things in this movie. Paige Tico's bombing run made me cry. The fathier chase in Canto Bight! All the cool little aliens on that planet are great, too (my favorites one being the opera singer with the multiple boobies that are actually egg sacs and the vagina on her head called the Xi'dec, and there's one that looks just like Onision and I fucking hate him.). Finn and Poe gay rights! Maz Kanata fucked the master codebreaker? BB-8 murders people?! Rose and Finn's kiss was so awkward (like in the text it's awkward, stop blaming Kelly Marie Tran) and that's because Finn and Poe gay rights! Ben Solo doesn't care that he's not wearing a shirt, he doesn't give a shit! The best fight in the whole saga??? Yoda! The music! Specifically, the track ‘The Spark’ when Luke faces down the First Order with a laser sword. The fish muppet nuns HATE Rey so much. PORGS?! SUBJECTIVE FLASHBACKS IN STAR WARS!!! THE ENTIRE THRONE ROOM SCENE!!!!!
Can we talk about the acting? Let's talk about the acting. I love that Poe is a major player this time, Oscar Isaac is the most charismatic person in Star Wars. John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Kelly Marie Tran, Adam Driver, all knock it out of the park. The standout performances to me are Andy Serkis as Snoke and Mark Hamill, Serkis being a genuinely menacing villain, and Hamill giving maybe the best performance of his career. Incredible stuff all around.
The themes? The themes? Definitely the most complex Star Wars story and I'm far too stupid to actually recognize and deconstruct everything this film is trying to say but I love the central theme of “Hey! Fuckin stop being a fence-sitting centrist and actually believe in something, moron!” Yes, there's also failure which is a more prevalent theme, but Rian Johnson really loves hating the rich. Finn's entire arc is literally just getting radicalized, learning to join a cause. The perfect antithesis to this is DJ, a “both sides are bad so I'm in the middle” piece of shit that sells them out for money. This is also in Luke and Rey's story, Luke taking the centrist route with the Jedi, learning that the Jedi religion and ideology is what makes them the good guys and realizing what he wanted to end was the institution of the Jedi Order that cared more about playing politics than upholding the beliefs and values of the Jedi (Rian Johnson criticizing liberalism in a Star Wars movie is really based). We also see this with Kylo, him moving from a fascist to a centrist, wantings to burn down “both sides.” Of course, he's still evil, because he's wrong. This entire movie is about believing in a cause bigger than yourself and believing in hope, this is why Holdo keeps her plan a secret, she's essentially testing the Resistance and forcing them to believe in hope. Holy shit! This movie is about how believing in leftist values and how the ideology and not the institution will defeat fascism? AND Rian Johnson put a sequence where a bunch of rich people's shit gets destroyed for fun? Best Star Wars movie.
Anyway, Finn and Poe gay rights, fuck centrists, and MILF Laura Dern can Holdo Maneuver me any day of the week. No wonder right-wingers hate this movie, fuck right wing Star Wars fans! This franchise isn't for you! George Lucas LITERALLY made the America the fucking Empire and blew it up! This franchise doesn't pander to racists! Wait what's this? In 2019 this franchise pandered to racists?