SPOILERS, SPOILERS, SPOILERS... not many. I don't talk much about the twists and turns, but... be warned.
Two years between anthology films is a brutal wait period. It builds up anticipation beyond all measure. With it, a thin crystal sheet of expectation. For me, the sheet was strained under the film’s weight, but it never cracked. It’s the pinnacle science fiction film series, worth a watch. But, I needed some montages…
Visuals and sound
Visuals are stunning. However, far too many scenes are packed with needlessly disorienting fast-action camera movement. This film felt like a larger world versus the Force Awakens. The technology, ships, alien life and worlds were far more diverse and colorful this time around. It did feel like a “cold” filter was put over the camera lens throughout.
Sound/music was great, as always. Though, I didn’t hear anything I thought was new and memorable.
I couldn’t help but think that a galactic government would come to the aid of a war hero, Leia, to defeat the empire resurgent – but they don’t. Instead the “Galactic Republic” leaves these two small groups to fight tiny battle with each other, and it all feels a bit empty. Because of this, I see the early sacrifices by brave “resistance” pilots and troopers as a fruitless and empty sacrifice.
Like two neighbors fighting in a neighborhood. If one house has an evil inside, in reality, the whole town will come down on top of it. It leaves me asking, “why?”
The three acts of this movie were intense, dull, and nerve wracking, in that order.
Ben Solo/Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is lonely, Rey is lonely, Luke is lonely, just about everyone is lonely. They fight tiny sad battles in lonely parts of the galaxy far far away. It’s a school yard fight with no one around.
Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) showed the loss of Han Solo was still fresh throughout the film. She managed to be a believable heart and wise cornerstone of the resistance. She was underused in my opinion.
Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) is the gem of this film for me. He’s still cool as the only Jedi in the galaxy. But, Luke’s ultimate fate was the lonely cherry on top of a cold icy-cake of desolation. I can’t help but feel abandoned too. So much potential wasted here too with a terrible ending. How Luke is ultimately handled should be considered an intellectual property crime.
Our main hero, Rey (Daisy Ridley), is a complete natural at everything in this film. Her time with Luke Skywalker was unnecessary, she already knew everything apparently. Even a special guest said so directly. How can she become an instant Jedi master with zero training? Anakin had to train. Luke struggled and trained with Yoda. Even Ben Solo is shown to have gone to Jedi school.
We all like to root for the hero and see the hero struggle to overcome their challenges. We love to see montages of the hero become what they need to be. There was no struggle to root for. No montage. Rey always won. Frankly, I found it to be a bit boring. It’s hard to relate to someone with mystical innate Jedi talent. Zero relatability.
This is all I thought: Here’s a challenge. Oh, you got this? Great. Here’s another… oh, you go this too? Alright…
It’s the connection and discussion between Rey and Ben that I loved most. Those were periods of personal discovery and development for the characters. It’s an interesting new use of the mystical “force.” The Midichlorian count in our force sensitive character must be off the scale, the use of the force was quite strong and nimble.
The rest of the main cast of characters are fun. Humor is fairly awkward. The droid action is phenomenal. I must say, they portray BB8 as an action hero, and R2D2 more like a TV drama hero.
Like this film kept saying, out with the old – in with the new.
Again, the ships and tech looked amazing. Making everything bigger seemed to be the directive here. The First Order ships were enormous or at least implied to be. Though, I couldn’t get a grasp of scale without an older film ship next to it.
In many parts of the film, technology was fixed or hacked. It was nice to see what looked like actual electrical components and wires and not just a wad of electronic mess popping out everywhere. I have so say, it was almost believable looking. Though, as always, you can pull huge husks of electronics off of things, and they’ll still work – which is completely unbelievable.
A new character, DJ (Benecio Del Toro), is a “master codebreaker” some of the heroes seek out to help them stop the bad guys. He’s a welcome true anti-hero type, unlike any in the universe to date. His hacking of electronics and breaking of codes had be saying “cool.” He had a speech impediment, which loved to see in a character like this, instead of a simple rogue persona. Far too little of this electronic black arts shone. But, I suspect he’ll be back.
Where it leaves you
I mean, where it left me. Feeling a tinge of loneliness and almost no excitement for episode 9. Despite “purpose” being a theme for the Last Jedi, I feel there is little purpose to go around in this new trilogy. Purpose will no doubt be found in the next one… but another two years… here we go again.
Nevertheless, it’s still awesome to see.
I rate it a 3.89 out of 5.00, mainly for Mark, Carrie, Benecio and BB8.
I rate it a 2.00 out of 5.00 for an overall aimless story and a purposeful removal of potential and excitement for the series. The last jedi is a spectacle. It's fun until you realize something bad is happening to your Star Wars. Then you're sad.