Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi—A Spoiler Free Review
For 42 years Star Wars has been one of the most popular movie franchises. Even after the widely panned episodes 1–3 threatened to keep another one from being made, fans continued to ask more, and more is what they got.
I think it’s pretty well accepted that J.J. Abrams Episode VII: The Force Awakens was not only a complete 180 for the franchise, but a nearly universally nerd pleasing anomaly. Even the cash grab that was the cinematic equivalent of Laverne and Shirley: Rogue One was quite entertaining. Maybe even more so than The Force Awakens.
With all this scintillating space drama it should go without saying that a lot was expected from The Last Jedi. People want answers.
Who are Rey’s parents? Does Luke go to the dark side? Does Leia die? Who’s Snoke really? If Rey and Kylo Ren are indeed related, will they continue on the long standing Star Wars tradition of taboo (and in most states illegal) relationships?
At 155 minutes they certainly have the run time to answer all those questions and more. And while I won’t say whether they do get answered or not, I will say that this movie could have easily been cut down to an even 120 minutes and it would have been markably a better movie.
With The Force Awakens paying so much homage to A New Hope, I figured The Last Jedi would pay homage to The Empire Strikes back. Now, while I won’t say to what degree, I will say anyone who watched the trailer would agree with me.
There are a lot of great things about The Last Jedi, but only two things that made this movie the runt of the Disney Star Wars litter. Clearly they’re big things. The first is the writing of Rian Johnson. More than once my jaw dropped and my hands went up in the air at the pure ridiculous of what I was witnessing. My second point of contention, which I already touched on a bit, is the editing, or rather the lack there of. Editor Bob Ducsay may be less to blame as the director has a little something to do with how a film is typically cut, but when you have previous credits like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2016), San Andreas (2015), and Godzilla (2014) it is easy to assign blame.
I’m not going to tell you whether you should see The Last Jedi or not. You, as well as most everyone in the world, have already made up your mind on the subject. I think afterwards we’ll all agree that it’s a good thing J.J. Abrams will be directing the final movie in the series, Episode IX.