Movie: Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
My Rating: 4 stars
I want to see this movie again. In fact, I think I need to see it again in order to fully process the story. As of writing this, I’ve only seen the movie once. I saw it in the theater, which I think is the right way to experience a movie of this scale. This movie is the next installment in the reincarnation of the Star Wars franchise now that it’s in Disney’s hands. In general, I’ve been happy with the direction they’ve taken the property in. The Star Wars universe is vast, and really should be in the hands of someone who is willing to dedicate enough budget and resources to do it justice. But of course, since the movie so epic in scale, I feel like I wasn’t really able to take in the full picture in that one viewing. So, I’m definitely going back.
This movie is a heartbreaker. It’s pretty much an exercise in processing catastrophic loss and managing one’s grief. We lose many characters we’ve grown to love and even more that we’ve just met. And, the characters who do survive have to make such painful sacrifices that you know they’ll never be the same again. It’s pretty brutal. And, it’s the kind of movie that leaves you with a very heavy heart when you’re walking out of the theater. But, it’s very beautiful. And, I found myself really thinking about it for days afterward. I think the most interesting thing about this movie is that it is so unpredictable. It starts up right where The Force Awakens left off (in fact, moments after). And, at first it appears that the story will take the same heroic tone that we got from that first film. But, quite abruptly the story veers off that broad road, and starts to take us on the strangest ride through the metaphorical underbrush. And, the surprises just keep coming. The film will give us a few predictable moments, followed immediately by the most idiosyncratic turns. I don’t think there’s any way to foresee what’s going to happen next, or which direction the story will take. There are so many sharp turns and dead ends along the way. In the film, Luke Skywalker says to Rey, “This is not going to go the way you think.” And, I think that really applies to the film as a whole. It’s very disorienting and totally captivating.
As I mentioned before, I will be watching this movie again. I feel like there’s so much I missed, and so much that I want to pay closer attention to. I think it’s probably going to take me a while to really get a good feel for the film—or even to cement my feelings about it. So, naturally I recommend it. Of course, it won’t make any sense unless you’ve been following the films so far. So, make sure you see those. But, definitely give this one a watch or three.