In your travels in the internet over the past few days, you may have seen comments, user reviews, and tweets calling The Last Jedi a bad film. Or a disappointment. Or claiming it “ruined Star Wars.”
These opinions are objectively wrong.
In the coming days I’ll expand on my thoughts of what a masterpiece this movie is. But in order to do so I’d have to reveal major plot points. For those of you who haven’t seen the movie yet, I’m give you one traditional, spoiler-free review.
I can’t emphasize enough how much I like The Last Jedi. The more I think about it, the more I like it. I can’t think of a single Marvel MCU movie that is superior. In fact, The Last Jedi serves as a direct response to those films and their often “paint by numbers” nature. It makes me wonder if any of those films are that good to begin with.
It doesn’t draw from a place that most fans of the modern blockbuster are necessarily familiar with. It draws from the same influences as the Original Trilogy, especially Kurosawa. But there’s a heavy dose of Greek Tragedy and Bergman in there too.
That is to say, despite a surprising number of jokes that land, it is a bleak, bleak movie. Far bleaker than The Empire Strikes Back dared to be. Then again, I’ve never seen Empire without being able to watch Return of the Jedi in short order. I don’t know how bleak Empire must have felt to people who viewed it in 1980.
That said, this isn’t a perfect film. There are legitimate questions about how well the creative choices will hold up if Episode 9 doesn’t stick the landing. These points are hard to get into in a spoiler free review, so I’ll save them for later.
Overall, the Last Jedi is the best Star Wars movie aside from the first two. With time to breathe and a well executed Episode 9, it may rank even higher in the end.
You might like The Last Jedi if: You are willing to challenge your assumptions about what a franchise blockbuster should be.
You might not like The Last Jedi if: All you want is a predictable remake of The Empire Strikes Back.
(C) 2017 D.G. McCabe