Yesterday Dara and I did as we are wont to do on Christmas, and went out for a movie. This year, the movie in question was of course Star Wars: The Last Jedi. As always, I will be doing a review/reaction post! This year, however, there will actually be two of them. I’ve been asked for a non-spoilery overall reaction, so this post is for that.
This movie is very much the “middle movie of a trilogy”, but to my relief, it did not do what I was afraid it would do, and follow all the beats of The Empire Strikes Back the way The Force Awakens echoed A New Hope. Don’t get me wrong–I really liked The Force Awakens. But I was willing to put up with one “rehash the original plot” movie in this new trilogy. I wasn’t willing to put up with two. Fortunately, I didn’t have to!
As I do, I went back and started reading a bunch of the posts on both The Mary Sue and Tor.com, and at those sources, I’m seeing commentary along the lines of how this movie was overstuffed with plot threads. I do agree that it was possibly longer than it needed to be, but one particular B plot I’ve seen people taking issue with actually didn’t bug me. (Canto Bight, to be specific without going into detail; I’ll talk more about this in the spoiler post.) And overall, I didn’t feel like the movie ground to a screeching halt at any point, despite its length.
I will warn nonetheless that if you’re planning to see this thing in a theater and you have issues with movies that run longer than two hours, don’t drink soda beforehand!
There’s not much I can say about the plot without getting into spoilers. So instead I’ll note a few character performances that stood out for me.
I have seen commentary that described Carrie Fisher’s performance as “luminous”. This is correct. Because she commanded every single scene she was in, and moreover, gets to do one particularly badassed thing that made my heart just leap.
I have also seen commentary along the lines that the real sorrow of this movie is that we won’t get to see Leia’s arc conclude in Episode IX. This is also correct. Sniff.
Mark Hamill was fucking amazing, full stop. Dara remarked to me that this was the first time she’d been able to buy Luke Skywalker as an actual Jedi Master. She’s not wrong.
New character Rose was absolutely adorable.
This woman doesn’t get a lot of screen time, but she owns what she’s given, and she’s responsible for arguably the most cinematically striking moment in the whole movie.
I want this boy to be thrown down a reactor shaft for what he pulled in the last movie, but I do have to admit, Adam Driver’s doing a great job with the character.
Fuck yeah. I adore this girl and every minute she’s on screen.
I’m going to save what quibbles I have for the spoiler post, since what quibbles I have don’t really detract from my overall opinion of this thing. Which is to say: goddamn, this movie. I cried multiple times, and enjoyed the hell out of it, and am very much looking forward to seeing it again.
More to come in the spoiler post!