If Star Wars The Last Jedi isn’t one of the best additions to the franchise, it is undeniably the best film at expanding the mythos of the galaxy far, far away. Rogue One does this exceptionally well through the character of Chirrut — here are my thoughts — but the Last Jedi continuously does so through nearly all of its characters. The Jedi, as many fans were hoping for in this film, do not engulf the majority of the film’s runtime. They are indeed a central component but not entirely the dominant one. People are going to hate this film (edit: they do) and I was aware of this the moment I left the theatre. Others, like myself, are absolutely going to love this film and how Rian Johnson gives his viewers a unique Star Wars experience.
The issue with Star Wars, and not the films but the cultural phenomenon, is that it has become too big and too much of a bigger-than-life saga to helm and satisfy all of its fans. People complained that The Force Awakens was unoriginal. Fair. Director Rian Johnson took the director’s chair in Episode VIII, gave people a completely original film that does not hit the same beats as Empire Strikes Back yet people are now complaining that the film doesn’t feel like Star Wars. It’s a phrase that I never understood, “It doesn’t feel like Star Wars”. I guess people mean that it doesn’t feel like the iconic original trilogy since the prequels are so hated (I don’t hate them). But the Force Awakens and The Last Jedi both pay excellent homage to the OG trilogy from the editing, to the aesthetic down to the use of practical effects perfectly meshed with modern computer generated images. And so this paradoxical debate will never end.
The Last Jedi, and I may still be on a nerd high from it, is a superb film and arguably one of the franchise’s best. Rian Johnson’s movie isn’t perfect from beginning to end as it does suffer from significant pacing issues. Nonetheless, when his film is good it is phenomenal. Maybe this comes with my increasing appreciation for filmmakingbut I don’t remember being completely in awe so many times with a Star Wars film’s visuals. The editing, which was incredible in the original trilogy, is so unique in this film. In terms of cinematography, direction and even the use of sound, The Last Jedi is unlike any other entry before it.
Fans demanded a unique, imaginative and risk taking Star Wars film from new property owner Disney and Rian Johnson delivered them just that. I can’t say more without spoiling a film which deserves to be watched without knowing anything at all. Johnson subverts expectations and takes unique twists and turns throughout the film that I’m sure the best SW theorists couldn’t have fully guessed. The Last Jedi isn’t perfect but certainly an absolutely beautiful, beautiful addition to the franchise.
Enjoy The Last Jedi and feel free to discuss the film without spoiling below. I am planning a spoiler filled review in the next couple of days that will break down character arcs, battles, epic moments, locations, and filmmaking.
Stay Tuned and may be the force be with you.