Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi ★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

the # of times I've seen this is approaching self-parody but in my defense I did promise to go with friends while I was home for the holidays! and what the hell, I've had a blast every time. one of the things that makes it so rewatchable: the best blockbuster third act I've seen, like, ever? most climactic battles feel obligatory; the last hour of this is revelatory. nothing will top watching it on opening weekend, tho: the incredulous cheers when rey and kylo team up in the throne room; the reverent wow at THAT cut, into total silence.

this is one of the most, like, purposeful blockbusters I've ever seen, perhaps to a fault? but somehow that makes it more fun to rewatch? what I mean is that every word, every action, is functional. we understand exactly why everyone is doing and saying everything; their motivation and how they as characters/their journeys serve johnson's themes. there's none of the shagginess, the raggedness of TFA, where we don't understand who anyone is (why did finn defect from the first order? why join up in the first place? it kills me that we still don't know) or why they do what they do. any lingering questions post-TLJ are abrams', not johnson's (which makes me sooo nervous about episode IX but whatever) — and I love that johnson took some of those questions (who is snoke?) and sliced them in half with a lightsaber. in fact, he took the pointless "mystery" for mystery's sake of rey's parentage and wove it into her character and his story in a forceful rebuke of abrams and the toxic idea of destiny itself — the idea that created its villain, who btw is the best blockbuster antagonist of... my lifetime?

all credit to abrams for creating the character and casting driver, but johnson gets SO MUCH more out of him than abrams did. I love the shambling awkwardness of his movements (that slide out into the corridor!), the way he kind of stomps instead of walks, the crackle of his lightsaber — so different from the soothing hum of rey's. the sound of his voice through the busted helmet. "take that ridiculous thing off." snoke's — and hux's — contempt. his utter aloneness in the end. he and rey are seeing (or at least sensing) each other in his last scene, yes?

I am SO nervous about what abrams will do with them, with their connection, with everything...

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