Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi ★★★★½

It's understandable that the greater the personal attachment to a saga such as this, the higher the standard for the films that follow and the greater the desire for a work that replicates the feeling one felt falling in love with that saga. However, the most remarkable thing about The Last Jedi is its refusal to kowtow to such expectations and its ambitious desire to forge its own path, a new vision for the series. From my perspective, such a novel vision has long been sorely needed, and the idea that the experiential satisfaction of this movie is lesser than that of, for example, The Force Awakens, is almost laughable. Though by no means perfect, the direction which Rian Johnson chooses to take the Star Wars saga with this, its eighth film proper (discounting offshoots), is fantastically refreshing, totally thrilling, and with a level of depth in character building and development that is beyond anything George Lucas has displayed ever since the original characters' initial conception. The film has a number of massive action sequences which are wholly engrossing and never feel labored or excessive, and also some quieter and more philosophical sequences during the second act that will undoubtedly infuriate some. The film succeeds at pulling all this together by having it all driven completely by character at its core; each of the momentous decisions which push the film forward feel totally natural because Johnson and his cast have invested heavily in character, rather than mere plot or exposition. It is this that, for me, differentiates the film from most of its predecessors, and makes The Last Jedi the most satisfying Star Wars film of the modern era.

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