This movie is called Star Wars: The Last Jedi. And upon fear of death, that is the most specific detail I feel comfortable sharing about the film. So worry not, this is going to be one vague review.
Ok, here goes… A super basic, setup: The First Order is extremely angry at the rebel scum following the destruction of their roided up Death Star (yes, I know that’s not what it was called), and they’re ready to strike back in a way that will crush any spark of life (both figuratively and literally) the rebellion has in the universe.
Oh, and Rey was there too.
I’m just gonna say it: I hate when movies (and books) choose to split groups up, sending one or two characters off on their own sidequest that has little or nothing to do with the main storyline, taking away the connections and bonds formed with the rest of the characters that are likely the biggest reason I was so invested in the first place. I hated it when Luke went off on his own to find Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back, and I hate that it is mirrored in this movie with Rey’s journey to find a Jedi master to call her own. Sure, we get the overhyped porgs and we learn a thing or two about, um… things… But when all is said and done I can’t help but feel disappointed with the different elements of this half of the film, leading me to play the treacherous “I wish they had” game, fixating on the belief that there is a different and far more satisfying path that would lead all the characters involved to where they needed to be later in the film.
Honestly, I’m playing the “I wish they had” game a lot with The Last Jedi, and that’s keeping it from reaching The Force Awakens’ final resting place on the love it side of the Star Wars spectrum. That said, this sequel isn’t too far behind its predecessor because there are a ton of amazing moments and plot points that will move you in one way or another, whether it be to tears or to pure glee. There was that time that that person did that thing, and that ship shot that ship, and then that new character showed up with an actor that kills it, and then that other person did that other thing, and BB8 was the most BB8 that BB8 can be… Yeah… When I say a ton of amazing stuff happens, I really mean it.
And that’s about all I can say about The Last Jedi. Yes, I have my problems with the film, but I did with The Force Awakens when I first saw it too. And like with that movie, the level of pure entertainment in The Last Jedi easily outweighs the complaints, so much so that eventually I’m sure they’ll stop mattering so much to me, if at all. And if you know me, that’s saying something.
P.S. – Once you’ve seen the film this weekend please come on back early next week to listen to the next episode of The Middle of the Row Podcast in which the boys and I go deep into the spoiler filled section of the Galaxy.