Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi ★★★★½

This is probably the 3rd best Star Wars movie.

As much Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi as The Force Awakens was A New Hope.

But strangely shifts the trajectory to uncharted territory. Where does Star Wars go from here? The Force Awakens made us expect something that The Last Jedi deconstructed in some ways. Moved away from and towards in a round about way. By negating our expectations just enough...by being just different enough while still giving us throwbacks to Empire and Jedi and by filling it with likable interesting new characters....somehow they did it?

Some points of thought.

-Finally a group of strong women. Branching off from General Leia. Expanding from her. The future women of Star Wars will not be as held down by the male gaze. This movie is the spark both explicitly in storyline and metaphysically in how we think about Star Wars.

-Laura Dern's Amylynn Holdo is both calculated and warm. I love her more every time I see this.

- Rose drags Finn's unconscious body twice in the movie. Showing that she is the stronger of the two.

-Maz Kanata's cameo does more for her character in a minute than anything in The Force Awakens.

-Kylo and Rey's relationship is just as enveloping as Luke/Vader's. But with a side dish of shirtless Ben and sexual tension.

-Rey's scene in the cave is TLJ's version of Luke seeing himself as Darth Vader on Dagobah. Luke was feeling the pressure to join the dark side and feared going down the same path as his father. Rey wants to know her place, her destiny and how she belongs. Not just where.

-The Throne Room scene reminds me of Dorothy meeting the wizard. "Come forward!!"

-Canto Bight is a welcomed detour but not executed to its fullest potential. The Falthier design seems more Final Fantasy than Star Wars. The war profiteers and their riches are not navigated through enough. Only hinted at. Suggesting potential storylines. That is disappointing. Benecio Del Toro is great in his small role, though.

-The cave allegory is as old as storytelling. I think the writers did a great job wrapping up the final moments of this film. How do you move a mountain? One stone at a time. And Moses led his followers through the parted Red Sea. Myths and archetypes past down from generation to generation. Much like Star Wars. Somehow film has allowed a similarly timeless story that aches with ancient queries.

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