Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Balance.

I do believe this is the main idea of the entire Force. The Sith are consumed with power, while the Jedi are consumed by peace. There is no peace without power. And power cannot be won through peace alone. Throw in hope and fear and you have a continually shifting spectrum with no true center.

Yet, balance remains the goal.

That none of our heroes or villains have achieved it makes Star Wars enduring. It’s a quest without an end. Purposefully crafted that way.

So, THE LAST JEDI is a great Star Wars movie, but if I’m honest, I’m tired of the endless retreading of what has come before. I very much agree with a certain character who says “let the past die.” I do think they achieve part of that goal with this film, but it’s still all too familiar. I kept thinking, “why do this all over again? Can’t we cover some new ground?” Sure, locations are different, but there is still some underwhelming “sameness” to the story beats that haunt this like they haunt THE FORCE AWAKENS. There are also more questions raised than answers given, which is just standard franchise film-making at this point(though it’s still kind of irritating). All in all, it’s minimal, but it’s still there…this overarching sense that there will never be any real closure, only continuation.

I don’t blame Rian Johnson for any of the stuff that annoyed me(again, which is minimal in a film that is definitely better than it could have been if say, George Lucas were still running the show). When he is allowed to paint with his own brush, the results are nothing short of magnificent. The unique camerawork he is allowed to deploy in various shots makes this look like a Star Wars film like none before it. There are visual risks being taken, and I applaud that, even if they were too few for my liking. And, when he is allowed to take some risks with the actual story, he does so mostly brilliantly. There is a sequence in this film that should have everyone talking when we aren’t afraid of spoiling it for people who haven’t seen it yet.

It’s hard not to go into details to express the full range of what I liked and didn’t like about this movie, but ultimately, it’s very emotionally satisfying. There are more genuinely funny moments in TLJ  than all of Star Wars that came before it, which is nice. And, there are more depressing moments in this movie than all of Star Wars that came before it, which is not so nice as it necessary. Which brings us full circle.

Balance.

JB Written by:

Joshua has been an avid fan of movies since he first saw Indiana Jones escape that rolling boulder and resoundingly punch Nazis to death. Forever wrestling with the notion of "why" in movies, he believes there is such a thing as "A Perfect Film."