It’s been damn near impossible to avoid spoilers of any kind the two months it took me to go see this movie, but I managed pretty successfully. The only information that was unavoidable was that Kylo Ren was shirtless in a scene (and the hilarious memes that ensued) and that there was a lot of fan anger geared towards this new installment. I did not read any reviews and I avoided cast commentary. I was essentially a blank slate walking into the theater, which was pretty impressive if you ask me considering the popularity of this particular film.
The very first scene in the movie is probably one of my favorites. Watching a lone bomber, who we would later find out to be Rose’s sister, fight until the end was beautiful. You could see the peace on her face when she completed the mission and knew that it was her time. This scene really set the tone for the whole movie and felt perfectly aligned with Rouge One – sacrifices have to be made for the greater good. The missions in The Last Jedi were filled with failure and disappointment but that’s what made the hope that these characters held on to so inspiring.
Another aspect of this movie I really enjoyed was the scenes at the casino. I always sort of assumed the world of Star Wars to be pretty black and white. You’re either for the Dark Side or against it. Of course there were varying degrees of for or against (like Lando Calrissian or Saw Gerrera) but still pretty straight forward. To see the varying shades of gray in arms dealers was pretty intriguing to me. In this world of good vs evil there is still a faction of the elite unbothered by it all, selling weapons and supplies to the highest bidder – regardless of which side of the line they fell on. For this reason, among many others, is why I loved Benicio Del Toro as DJ. I’ve always been a fan of the antiheroes for as long as I can remember. I can appreciate someone serving their own purposes, just trying to survive in a world at war.
At the moment there is only one true complaint that I have about this film (this is subject to change on future viewings). I am still upset at the treatment of Captain Phasma. She is supposed to be one of the strongest warriors, even claiming to be the strongest warrior in Parnassos. So why was she defeated by Finn, a storm trooper with very little training? Just pure luck? With the help of the force? Or was it just a lack of concern over the development of the character of Phasma?
I know that some of the fan anger was geared towards Luke Skywalker although I’m not quite sure why. I enjoyed his vulnerabilities and his wariness. It really is a far cry from the fresh faced boy of A New Hope, but I think it was to further demonstrate all that he’s been through. Plus, I got all the feels when Yoda appeared on screen. The whole Yoda scene was done well. If ever there was a way to incorporate Yoda into a scene, and ensure that it isn’t cheesy, this was the way to do it.
I could go on and on, scene by scene but I will cut this review short by saying that this was another visually stunning installment to the Star Wars franchise. I love that diversity is at the forefront of these stories and I hope that it is a trend that will continue. I am curious to see if writers and directors of this franchise are going to be able to keep up this momentum, and I guess that we might find out with Solo a little later this year.