How can one review something one loves through a critical lens? It’s like a parent trying to find their child ugly. Or disliking pizza. Here’s my best attempt to review “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”
Star Wars is less important than pizza but probably more important than my future children. I didn’t write a review of The Force Awakens when it was released. If I had, it would have been just 10,000 smiley emojis and exclamation points. (Professional writing is a skill position, folks). If I had reviewed it a year later, the reaction would have been much more sober. After the elation of seeing Han, Chewie, and the Millennium Falcon on the big screen for the first time would add several points in the positive column for any film in history. ANY film in history.
Once again we’re rehashing Star Wars’ history. A young Jedi trains on a far away planet. Rebels flee the First Empire Order in space. The handsome young sidekick goes to a cantina full of aliens, and Leia fights for her life on a planet covered in snow. Last Jedi’s director, Rian Johnson, leans on nostalgia with a lighter hand than his predecessor J.J. Abrams; he flavors Last Jedi just right. Which leads me to this – I’m struggling to find a way to critically review a movie when I’m still high from it.
I’ll spend no time recapping the plot, as everyone on the planet will see this movie. Instead I’ll say this – Rey is your hero, give us more of her, Finn is your sidekick, give us more of him, tell Bill Weasley to tone it back just a bit, and please no more comically bad villains (spoilers – thank you for killing Snoke, this isn’t a Marvel movie). Leave those for Hayden Christensen.
Last Jedi is a fun film, masterfully crafted by a director who had a mandate and (I’m sure) a short leash from Kathleen Kennedy. Daisy Ridley and John Boyega are once again fantastic. Johnson shows you the allure of the dark side. Rey and Kylo are not simply manifestations of good and evil, but people with real motivations and emotional greyness.
This is a top three Star Wars movie. Arguing their order is like arguing the best Beatle’s song. Everyone has an opinion, everyone is right in his or her mind, and everyone is wrong if they don’t say it’s created by George.
Review by Craig Sherwood