Half a star because this production paid living wages to a lot of talented, hard-working animators and other various staff members who were given a thankless task.
There's a great movie here... like a fucking tremendous one. But I can't let go of how it manages to avoid three-dimensional female characters and POC (especially given that the first "Blade Runner" had THREE Asians with speaking roles). It also feels a tad overlong, and I wouldn't miss the twenty to thirty minutes they could cut from this thing. I'm mostly just surprised the writers were able to make a case for the digital waifu.
Go figure - I like a Star Wars movie. We live in an interesting time where our expectations for a franchise built on the success of a single film back in the 70s hinge on the very same cultural phenomenon. Filmmaking has certainly changed in the last 40 years, and Star Wars has changed with it. For all the stunted idol worship we've given the series, it still manages to produce exciting and adventurous films. Yeah, some of the best…
Review from the Louisiana International Film Festival premiere
Damn me for liking this movie. The first 25 minutes tried REALLY hard to get me to walk out, but by that point I realized that the story was actually doing a good job of... being a story. And the characters were well-rounded. And the romance wasn't contrived. And it was (mostly) uphill from there. I'm genuinely happy that this film was a literal surprise (this was a secret screening held under lock and key until the moment it ran onscreen) and that I was not expecting to see it.