Non-Spoiler Review of Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Wow. What a night. I’ll (try to) keep this short and sweet. Have no fear–there will be no spoilers here. First of all, we are lucky enough to live in Hollywood and we were able to walk to the “strip” where the premiere was happening. We saw the movie at Disney’s El Capitan theatre–an intricate, marvelous set up. There were people everywhere, the streets were blocked off, there was a 20 foot AT-AT and other amazing props. The hype and energy were tangible. I dressed up as Rey for the premiere and I’m so glad I did–I got lots of comments on my costume and some people even wanted photos with me! Anyhow, there is nothing like seeing a Star Wars movie on opening night–the energy is fantastic, palpable, and contagious. You know everyone is a huge Star Wars fan and dressing up like Rey does not make you a nerd in this crowd.
Anyhow, let’s get to the good stuff. Here is my review of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
What fun. What an excellently-made movie. It had every element of a great piece of film: humor, emotion, action, and good writing. There’s no doubt that director, Rian Johnson, created a superb movie. Plus, equally importantly, it was obvious that he is a die-hard Star Wars fan of the true Star Wars. So yeah, there’s a reason it currently has 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. I really enjoyed it. There were whoops of delight, frantic applause, barks of laughter, gasps of surprise, and more (literally, all of those happened multiple times).
Watching the characters really grow in this movie was a treat. Everyone was fighting their own internal battle and turning into the person they would eventually become, from Po Dameron to Kylo Ren. Rian did excellent work with the character development in this film. For example, I like Kylo Ren way more than I did in The Force Awakens, not because he necessarily did what I hoped for, but because we see a fuller picture of who he is. Each character gets to explore a different role in this movie and it was one of my favorite aspects of the film. Mark Hamill had an outstanding performance. I also looooved the diversity in this film too. Yay, make diversity a normal thing, Hollywood! There were heart-wrenching moments when our Princess, Carrie Fisher was on-screen and some lines seemed to even allude to her death which is impossible because she was obviously alive during shooting of it. I definitely teared up.
Battles and action scenes were jaw-dropping. Boy, did they put a lot of hard work into those. There were those transporting moments (like in Rogue One) where you felt like you were flying the starship and it was just intoxicating. The choreography was basically perfect for these battles and your heart was in your throat for each one. The lightsaber training and combat was also incredibly exciting. It’s obvious they took each move very seriously, but it was done beautifully. Nail-biting action.
The writing and acting were, in my opinion, mostly flawless. The actors knew their characters: their fears, their hopes, and how they should behave. The writing was crisp, made sense, and carried the plot to where it should go. There was a lot of humor in this movie, almost too much for my serious self, but it was really funny. I didn’t quite connect emotionally as much as I did with the last one, but that could be anything from this plot to some newer characters to who knows what. It’s not necessarily the same Star Wars movie as the old ones, but were we expecting that? You still get a taste, but this is a new generation. I still did have those emotional moments. Also, boy did they capture the Force right–described perfectly, it was as if you could feel it too. I loved that. Can I be a Jedi now?
Even though almost all of the characters were up against a wall, Star Wars proves time and time again, that hope never truly dies out. There is always a spark of it somewhere and it may not come from where you expect it to. I think that is always what has bonded me to closely to this franchise and why it’s always felt so real and important to me. I definitely got goosebumps in many moments during the film and that’s a good measure of it for me. I can’t wait to see it again. May the Force be with you!