The Last Jedi

Big surprise, I went to the opening night of the latest Star Wars movie. And I know so many of you are waiting for my review before you decide to go and see it for yourself, right? Because I have that out-sized impact on people’s movie viewing habits, I know. Well, let’s dig into things:

The story of The Last Jedi picks up pretty much exactly where The Force Awakens left off. The First Order is aware of where the Resistance has been hiding out and has dispatched a big fleet to wipe them out. General Leia Organa Solo knows they’re coming and so the Resistance is on the run. Small problem: the First Order has them cornered (metaphorically, not literally) so that, even as they flee, they can’t really shake them. The leadership of the Resistance has one plan. Poe Dameron, Finn, and a newfound ally named Rose, have a different idea of how they can escape. So Finn and Rose run to a casino on a planet called Canto Bight to find help before the Resistance is utterly destroyed.

In the meantime, fledgling Jedi Rey has traveled to the first Jedi temple to seek out Luke Skywalker, not only to bring him back to the Resistance, but also to find her place in the galaxy as a Force wielder. Small problem: Luke is a shell of who he could be. His failures with Kylo Ren are weighing heavily on him and he has come to believe that the time of the Jedi is over.

Will Rey be able to find what she’s looking for? Will Finn and Rose? Or will the First Order finally succeed in their ascension to become the dominant force in the galaxy?

So okay, I was really happy with this movie. For the most part. I liked it a lot, but I still have some lingering questions. I won’t discuss those in this post because they are most decidedly spoiler-y. Maybe in a week or two when more of you have had a chance to see the movie.

In some ways, this movie was all about taking Star Wars in a new direction. For example, the language of this movie felt a lot different from other Star Wars movies. There are more modern anachronisms that sneak into the dialogue, for example (look no further than Poe’s brief chat with General Hux at the beginning of the movie to see what I’m talking about). Plus there’s some social commentary on class structures in the middle that I wasn’t really expecting but was kind of a nice insight into the universe.

Not everything is perfect with this movie. There was one sequence in the middle that had my suspended disbelief rattling its cage pretty hard (I mean, I get why it happened and, in the long run, it worked out okay, but it strained my credulity more than a little). And the middle act kind of drug out longer than it had to.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m satisfied with what I saw. It’s a good movie. Some of the visual shots were striking and very well done (one in particular toward the end had me leaning forward and taking in a deep breath). And I definitely want to see where all of this goes in Episode IX. What concerns me are the sheer number of dangling plot threads that may never get tied off in a way I find satisfactory.

Definitely go see it, though. It’s a good movie and a good Star Wars movie.

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