Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Surrender is a perfectly acceptable alternative in extreme circumstances. These are not and will never be the sequels I am looking for. They will always be awkwardly rhyming episodes in a convoluted intertextual family saga, endlessly spinning the same black and white morality tale with minor variations.

This is possibly the most honest Star Wars film, because it makes explicit that the unending war between good and evil, and the endless production of sequels to Star Wars, are to be considered not merely linked but effectively the same thing. Corporate brand exercise as moral good.

Unlike Abrams, the compulsive mimic, Johnson at least seems to be interested in doing something novel within the existing framework (though not outside it). Unlike Edwards, Lucas’s true heir, he seems to actually be conversant with human-scale emotion, while still being able to convey the epic nature of the science fantasy.

God, I loved that one scene, though. And, you know, that other scene. And…

12 hours later:

I’ve been thinking a lot about what the person next to me at my screening said when the credits started: “Okaaay. So, what are they gonna do for the next movie?”

That really is the key question, isn’t it?

Having slept on it, I think I may have been too cynical, and possibly flat-out wrong.

I hinged my review on a reference-based joke about taking the Star Wars franchise on its own terms, but never seriously considered assuming that Johnson, and Abrams, and maybe even Edwards, are issuing statements of intent, made in good faith, and with a coherent goal in mind.

If the Star Wars franchise is actually committed to following through on the implications of The Last Jedi, this could be a genuinely astonishing and extremely welcome development, wiping away some of the most pernicious aspects of the mythology, and providing the opportunity for a renewed depth of engagement to match its global market share.

I remain extremely skeptical about the actual execution, and fully expect to be disappointed by Episode IX, but in these times, even a burned-out bitter fanboy like myself could use a little hope.

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