Friday, December 15, 2017

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Here is my preliminary spoiler free review of  Star Wars: The Last Jedi, having just seen it.

This is the Star Wars movie you're looking for.  It is thoroughly entertaining.  However, Star Wars is more than just entertainment; it is also modern mythology.  People take Star Wars very seriously, especially hard core fans like myself. My review of The Force Awakens said that it feels like an imperfect imitation of a Star Wars movie, like they mostly got it right, but not quite.  I could say the same thing about The Last Jedi.  It deviates from previous Star Wars movies in so many ways, but every time it quickly returns to its Star Wars roots so that you feel like you are watching a real Star Wars movie.

Almost every scene in this movie has some form of levity, so much so that the film overdoes it, but not to the point that it turns the movie into a farce.  You can see an influence of The Guardians of the Galaxy, but not to the point that it becomes a comedy.  The prequels, by comparison, seem uptight.

There are things that happen in this movie that seem impossible, or over the top and possibly illogical, but not so much that it ruins the movie.

If you compare this to The Empire Strikes Back, the character development is not as good, but it is good enough.  One reason for this is that there are too many characters.  The action sequences, like many modern movies, are a little overdone, but again this doesn't ruin the movie.  On both these points I think that Rogue One is better with its more human story.

If you watched all the trailers and listened to the rumors, then you are probably already aware of most of the major plot points.  But the movie relies on a few plot twists in an apparent attempt to surprise the audience as much as possible.

The ending is very good and made me a believer.

The final scene has a definite Disney influence to it.  I found the scene touching, but I felt like I was watching a Disney movie as much as I was watching a Star Wars film.  It also breaks with the Star Wars tradition of having no dialog in the final scene.

Disney has too much money riding on this movie for it to turn out a failure.  With merchandising and everything else, billions of dollars are at stake.  I think that Disney and Lucasfilm tried to hedge their bet by putting so much stuff in the movie that even though it may feel busy and not 100% faithful to the Star Wars franchise, the audience is bound to find it entertaining.  And it is.  As such, the die hard fans might have a few problems with it, but almost everybody is going to walk away from this movie feeling entertained and emotionally moved.  It is Star Wars for a new generation.

I'm not going to give it a rating until I can see it again.

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