Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the eighth chapter in the universe where the First Order has a loaded ship of weaponry, Storm Troopers, and an utter desire to wipe out the last of the Force, who is on the run in space trying to find a new base camp. The thing is, they are not only running low on light speed fuel, but they've realized the First Order has technology that's somehow able to stay in range of the rebellion even if they do succeed. Rey has managed to find the last jedi himself, Luke Skywalker, and she tries to get a regretting and hurting old man to teach her the ways of the force so she can stand against General Snoke, Kylo Ren, General Hux and whatever other villains await her as the heir to the Skywalker lightsaber. Finn thinks he knows a way they can escape the First Order, but it will put all the eggs in one basket, except in this case, the eggs are the Force and the future of the entire galaxy.
I remember when Rey held out Luke Skywalker's lightsaber to him in an island that took the whole movie to find, and the credits rolled, saying: Directed by J.J. Abrams. The packed Peterborough theatre exploded with claps, including my own, and I've waited two years to see the outcome, and I didn't expect the decisions The Last Jedi makes at all. In fact, some would say the jokes went too far. Just look on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic to see how divided critics and fans are. Like mother!, the divisiveness fueled my excitement as a critic. And after the credits rolled in the theatre, the rest of my family got up but I stayed in my seat, lingering in what just happened. My family tried to shut me off of my trance and I purposefully didn't. Sometimes I'm in battles with my family over stuff like this, and I almost always rebel. But I was flabbergasted. Did the rest of my family not feel the chills from this movie that I got?
Admittedly, is this as good as The Force Awakens? Uh-uh. And I can't spoil why I think so many Star Wars fans are divided after seeing The Last Jedi, but let's just say there are some dismissive story approaches and decisions about moving forward that didn't sit well with lots of audience members, including me. It in a way looks to the future and leaves the past behind, one of the things that didn't sit well with me.
But I gave it a B+, didn't I? Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was a brutal experience, albeit a realistic war movie, and The Last Jedi shows that even if these characters are now kind of destined to be in the next instalment that they'll survive, there's actually still a chance this franchise will mess with our minds. This is a real war that's going on. There's death at every corner. Our heroes really aren't able to catch a break. And a twisted turn of events in the big climax leads to an improvisation of a story that has an attack where light travels faster than sound like it should and farewells that are all perfect.
To change back to the light negatives, one of the things on the list of things I would've changed to bring it up to par with The Force Awakens was when Rey has a vision of a tunnel that looks like a black hole that trapped the shape of the sun. But that tunnel is closer than she thinks. Couldn't it have been off on some other planet? At least we're able to get some special effects with Rey as she investigates this weird sort of forever mirror.
I also liked the introduction of Rose's character. Her backstory adds to the story on a big scale, all relevant to our heroes, new and old, and makes her a worthy edition to the gang. And Kylo Ren, played by Adam Driver, who was cast into a role where he knew a lot of people would singlehandedly hate, no, want to massacre his face, is given surprises along the way that just like the climax twist involving the mission, messes us up partially.
Look, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is fast-paced, but it is not a ride. It's nowhere near as good as The Force Awakens and focuses most of its attention on twists, some of which aren't to my preference, but its gravity, considering how much it's in space, shows that this franchise may have evoked a lot of toys and merchandise and fans who believe one day their plastic lightsaber will land them in Dantooine, but the movie shows people how this franchise didn't earn its fans without trying.