Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

i think that the first two star wars trilogies are most satisfying if we position ourselves between them temporally, so that prequels function as history and the originals function as prophecy. thus, we view the tragedy of ep 1-3 as inevitable, guided by the hand of fate, crushing and inescapable, and the arc of 4-6 as the promise of liberation through collective effort - as a singular work which encourages radical action against imperialism and fascism.

the problem of the sequel trilogy then is that it must contend with what happens when a movement fails, when the efforts of an entire generation don’t make lasting change. jj’s entries are about continuation; belief that the original trajectory of the movement has simply not met its logical endpoint yet. in their most ridiculous twist, it is revealed that space hitler (sheev palpatine) is not dead but actually in hiding, complete with absurd boys from brazil cloning. they seem to say that it is not possible for fascism to resurface in a new form, that it must have been guided by the same hand all along. implicitly: fascism is only in the past.

what makes the last jedi interesting is that it (briefly) throws all of abrams’s stupid ideas out the window. what if the most important revolutionaries of the next generation are complete nobodies, invested in progress not because of any historical ties but because they believe it’s the right thing to do? what happens to freedom fighters when they grow old and watch their friends die knowing that the world is still fucked? in what new ways can we begin to build a better world?

i don’t love it, but at least it feels like it was made by someone who spent at least five minutes thinking about the plot and not by a child playing with action figures.

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