Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi ★★★


Spoilers are minimal, but tread softly.

Feel like it's necessary to throw in the disclaimer that STAR WARS isn't a particularly big node in my childhood lattice; I like it just fine but was never in awe of it -- hadn't even bothered to see EPISODE II or III until a little over a year ago. What that general detachment does grant me, however, is the facility to overlook changes to how I think the Saga "should be." (Conversely, I don't get nearly as giddy about seeing an old Mark Hamill with a lightsaber as I'm sure many do.) I'm a general Star Wars non-partisan. And from my purely subjective vantage point, this film was… Okay. Fellow reviewer Julian Towers does a great job succinctly unpacking the often brushed over morally wrought core of not just THE LAST JEDI but the entire STAR WARS Legacy. And not only is every character built around misdirection as he says, but nearly every single character arc is comprised of Failure to some degree, echoing hologram-Yoda's sentiments to a mentally defeated Luke. And I commend Rian Johnson for that different and daring worldview, a wake up call that this franchise desperately needed. Solely as a sci-fi action event, however, there were so many surface level missteps with this story and the way it was written. Hurts my head to think that if Holdo would've just told Poe the plan (which, let's be honest, she has no real reason not to), he'd never have sent Finn and Rose to find the codebreaker, nearly getting themselves killed and subsequently prolonging the amount of time the Rebels are under fire. This stupidity entirely cheapens her kamikaze attempt later on, not to mention the entire Casino sequence brings back painful memories of the things I hated the most about Jabba's pub in RETURN OF THE JEDI. (Tenfold when you consider the whole endeavor is superfluous.) Even as a non-STAR-WARS-junkie, the build up of Snoke was painfully underwhelming and his fate obnoxiously anticlimactic; I can only imagine how longtime fans felt about this. And don't get me started on Leia doing her best Mary Poppins impression. Trying to keep this to 350 words (already failed) so I'll end on this: it's got a lot of good mixed with a lot of problems, a couple exciting revelations and several plodding story elements. Too long, but I like where Johnson’s head is at, and I admire his gall. It was okay.

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