This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Vanina’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Majorly conflicted about this one, it feels anti-climactic. It's true that I usually love the origin stories most, prefer the first instalment of pretty much every major franchise I can think of, but I wanted to love this and instead felt a little burnt out by it.
Maybe my elation over 'The Force Awakens' was the result of the relief of being on board with the direction of a new trilogy, but this film undermined a lot of the things I loved about the previous film. Finn is underused, Rose is kind of shoved down our throats. Although I'm all for female ass-kickery, I'm not a fan of throwaway characters to further our established heroes. I like what they did with Luke Skywalker, but there's some utterly cringeworthy dialogue between him and Yoda and an emphasis on cheap sentiment throughout the film that annoyed me.
The first half just really lagged for me, and I didn't start to enjoy it fully until they came to Crait. The planet was very visually impressive, a stunning backdrop to the film's best scenes, and I love how the violent red ties the film's two best scenes together (the confrontation between Rey and Kylo Ren in Snoke's lair and Kylo Ren and Luke's battle on Crait).
Thank goodness for Mark Hamill, for Carrie Fisher, for Leia's relationship with Poe, for Billie Lourd - but mostly, thank fuck for Adam Driver for embodying the ambiguity of his character so well. I really loved how this film deals with perspective, and how assumptions about someone else's behaviour can trigger a point of no return in your own attitude, but it feels over-stuffed with lesser plots, with single-serving characters that merely exist as diversions.
I hope to watch this again with my nephew, I'm hoping his reaction to it will bring me out of my funk.
PS: Was Snoke meant to have a face littered with tiny vaginas, or was that just me?