Star Wars: The Last Jedi ★★★★½

Despite it being a Star Wars movie, as well as one that I remember really liking at the time, I hadn't revisited The Last Jedi since I saw it once in theaters last December. Maybe there was some level of nerves as to whether my initial reaction was accurate, brought on by the vocal minority that has dominated the film's post-release narrative, but I can't imagine it would just be that. I like plenty of things that have some level of mixed to negative reaction in their post-release discourse (films such as Ant-Man, the Ghostbusters remake, and Saw, as well as television shows such as Doctor Who and Family Guy all come to mind), and I rarely find that public perception hampering my enjoyment of whatever it is I like.

After rewatching the film, I am confident in two things:

One, the film is very aggressive and confrontational, a fact which I think can be credited in a major way for the unease I had towards returning.

And two, I really like The Last Jedi.

That doesn't mean I don't recognize some of the genuine criticisms of the film. "Saving what we love" is a terrible moment and a terrible line. "Leia Poppins" is a beautiful concept that just looks weird. Holdo would have been much more interesting if she was a character we had any familiarity with. Some of the pacing is a little on the slow side, and there are some bad moments of dialogue.

But there is a lot I love here. Making Skywalker into a flawed, human character when we, and more importantly, the characters, expected a myth is a fantastic move. Keeping the plot simple to focus on it's themes of failure and disappointment is extremely effective. Ben Solo is an absolutely fascinating character, and I can't wait to see where his story goes. And of course the general theme of the failure of the Gen X ideals of the 70's and 80's is incredibly interesting to see explored.

Overall, while the discourse around this film is oddly unique in it's toxicity, the film itself is one that I enjoy very much.

Don't @ me.

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