Movie Review – Star Wars: The Last Jedi

“You must unlearn what you have learned”

“You’re going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view”

“This isn’t going to go the way you think”

These quotes should be kept in mind when you’re both watching and thinking about The Last Jedi. 

To those dogged in their belief that everything has to mean something, or that everything has to be explained, this film is going to feel like a middle finger the size of a First Order Dreadnought. Rian Johnson doesn’t care what YOU want. He loves Star Wars and he’s taken the opportunity to create a brave and clever episode with The Last Jedi; a film that at several points left me breathless as it debunks myths, tears down our idea of what a hero is, and leaves us wondering what exactly will come next.  

This quote from my TFA review encapsulates why TLJ excites me so much – “There is a clear reverence to the original trilogy, with the story taking more than a few cues from A New Hope in particular. That’s no bad thing considering my love of that film, but I do hope that moving forward the films will branch out further and make their own mark on the series without relying so heavily on nostalgia.”

When The Empire Strikes Back was released in 1980 there was uproar about how it was so different to what came before. Look what happened there.

Those clinging to their childhood perception of what should be true are in for a rude awakening, as Johnson seemingly takes my quote to the core of what he did with this film. His choices are game-changing, giving the saga the chance to go anywhere and be anything.

Putting my excitement aside for a moment, I can see where some criticism is coming from. It might be daring and brilliant in my eyes but it also isn’t perfect. For instance, the timeframe seems very odd as different arcs seem as though they should take a lot longer than others. Maybe that will become clearer in the future. Whilst I love the feeling that no character is safe, and how they all change, some characters seemingly just bumble around a bit and some get very short shrift.

But what I’d like to impress on you, and I really mean this, is that for any story to grow things need to change. 

The Last Jedi jumps straight into my top three films of the series and is possibly the most visually arresting of them all. It’s full of vibrancy, humour, determination, and revelations, with enough goodness to easily outweigh any quibbles. Disagree with the changes as much as you like—that is your right as a viewer and consumer—but you can’t deny that a lot of us got what we wanted; an exciting and mysterious future for Star Wars.

When The Empire Strikes Back was released in 1980 there was uproar about how it was so different to what came before. Look what happened there.

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1 Comment

  1. Yes, yes and yes. I really had a blast with this film (despite what the detractors may say, in terms of plot holes and stuff) and despite that casino planet sidebar being a bit “meh” I think Rian Johnson knocked it out of the park. I look forward to revisiting this one multiple times on DVD in the years to come!!

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