Joe Bandy’s review published on Letterboxd:
“The greatest teacher, failure is”
These words, spoken by Yoda to a frazzled Luke, will never not fail to warm my heart. It’s an affirmation of human imperfection and a reminder of its power. Failure isn’t just a part of a life, it’s a part of becoming stronger.
Ironically — there’s not a hint of failure in sight in this movie. It’s a film I have such a distinct memory of seeing in theaters and thinking “this is a masterpiece”, which is rare enough but especially so with blockbusters (and always has been). Every inch, from the dorky gags and heartfelt moments between all the characters to the operatic grandeur and jaw dropping imagery of the action are exactly what, where, and when they should be. And while you can appreciate that stuff in the context of the film itself they’re even more astounding when viewed alongside the rest of the series where its boldness is all the more impressive. Even beyond the main Skywalker series you can feel the best of The Clone Wars and Rebels imbued in it. Blows my mind it’s as good as it is!
I don’t have the time, energy, or emotional capacity to watch JJ’s follow up on this marathon. A movie that has the exact opposite effect on me, sucking out all the warm fuzzies and leaving me a cold, cynical shell of a man. Best for me not to engage with it because, to paraphrase the amazing Rose Tico, things are a lot better when you stop fighting what you hate and focus on what you love :)