The dust has begun to settle on what has been an enormous opening week for The Last Jedi. This opening was second only to The Force Awakens. Much like its predecessor it has caused controversy in all corners of our fandom.
Here are my spoiler-free thoughts…
The Last Jedi
Rian Johnson has delivered a visual masterpiece. The Last Jedi gives us an epic struggle between good and evil, light and dark, love and loss. This film pushes the boundaries and challenges the audience to open their minds to new ideas, a new direction and to see things from a different perspective.
Though sparking controversy, The Last Jedi is truly unlike any Star Wars Movie that we’ve seen before.
If we felt sorry for JJ Abrams; juggling the hopes, dreams, and desires of our fandom, then we feel worse for Rian, he is performing the same trick, doing so whilst riding a unicycle, blindfolded, the middle of any Star Wars Trilogy will always be compared to Empire Strikes Back; held in many fans hearts as the greatest film of all time. Rian provided a much darker tone and direction than we saw in The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi adds humor at critical moments, some at potentially inappropriate moments. But for the most part, it’s the simplicity of these comedic interludes that add another dimension to Rian’s addition to the Star Wars saga.
The Last Jedi is a stunningly beautiful Star Wars Movie, potentially the most visually stunning of all. Johnson has managed to mould practical effects, and CGI in a way that seems natural and real. Stunning beauty will only wow the viewer for so long, thankfully, at the film’s core, is a character-driven emotional rollercoaster of a story. One opinion that is shared amongst the majority of the fandom is that Adam Driver is spectacular in The Last Jedi. His inner conflict is believable, and the unpredictability around his decision making was a particular highlight. At Blabba the Hutt, we always assumed there was more to Ben Solo than met the eye. Adam was given the opportunity to show us both Kylo Ren, and the deep inner torment raging inside Ben, and he did not disappoint.
The Last Jedi was not the film that some fans wanted, (rightly or wrongly; that’s a different discussion). Rian Johnson was never going to please everyone. This fact is illustrative of the beauty of fandom, we all have a vision for what Star Wars should be and how it should look. That individuality is what makes our franchise so special, it creates dialogue, opens the discussion, theories and even is the foundation for a lot of amazing fan films we have today. We may not always agree, but ultimately, these aspects of fandom are an enormous part of our identity as Star Wars fans.
In the end, we have a movie unlike any other Star Wars Movie, perhaps the greatest division of opinion amongst Star Wars fans since The Phantom Menace. This franchise is moving in a new uncharted direction, remember, a lot of the criticism for The Force Awakens was around how similar it was to A New Hope, we got that and people are still not happy, granted there are some very good opinions on what should or could have happened, but ultimately Star Wars has moved forward at Hyperspace speed, and ultimately Star Wars fans need to decide if they are ready for more.
Is The Last Jedi the film we all wanted? Probably not.
Is The Last Jedi the movie this trilogy needed? Only time will tell.