I am, admittedly, a late-blooming Star Wars fan. Science fiction has never drawn me in the same way that fantasy has and still does. However, thanks to a good friend who sat me down each night for a week straight to watch the Star Wars movies one at a time, sequentially from start to finish culminating in the release of the trailer for The Last Jedi, I am able to join the Star Wars conversation. I enjoyed the movies (to varying degrees, The Force Awakens was my favorite of the lot.)
As always, this review is spoiler-free, although if you are googling reviews and trying to avoid spoilers, you’ve probably already landed on a couple.
I watched The Last Jedi on a flight on the chairback screen in front of me, so keep that in mind. I didn’t have the greatest audio or screen size, but it was still fun.
Here are my thoughts:
Second in a Trilogy Struggle – As I explained in my review of Mistborn: The Well of Ascension, the middle chunk of a trilogy is the hardest to get right. Narratively, it’s the point when you are still wandering. You can’t reach the full climax, and you don’t have the newness factor to pull you audience forward, so it’s motivation-wise a tough spot. I thought that The Last Jedi did a decent job keeping the momentum moving forward on the strings of story promises. However, it did fail to deliver a satisfying answer to one of the questions I felt was most pressing. Likely, the answer is being saved for the final movie for a reason. I just felt cheated when the story built so much on the tension of answering that question, fulfilling that promise.
Rules in Space – There are plenty of moments in Star Wars (overall) when physics is completely ignored in lieu of ‘the awesomeness factor’ or for the sake of story-telling. However, there was a scene in the movie that bugged me in terms of physics and in terms of the force. There’s no point in going in depth here about in, and no way to avoid spoilers if I did. Suffice it to say, remember to turn off your rational mind for some of the movie so you don’t feel too embarrassed at the blatant disregard of rules is space.
Lightsaber Battles and Starships – What would a Star Wars film be without the lightsaber duels or galactic battles? The Last Jedi fulfilled all my hopes for epicness in that quadrant. I especially liked the dramatic (and relatively fresh) settings that were chosen for this movie.
Overall, I feel like the movie gets a healthy three stars out of five. It did well enough for a middle trilogy movie. It was a bit violent at times, but I was pleased to hear that the language was generally cleaner than the language is Rouge One. I recommend it to Star Wars fans as well as to all who would like to see the finale, which promises to be a whopping good movie. It’s not a great movie for young children, but that is clear from its target audience.
So, give it a try. It might be The Last Jedi movie you ever see.