Capsule Review (NO spoilers, promise!):
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is Episode VIII of the Star Wars Saga, and it picks up where Star Wars: The Force Awakens left off, continuing the story and turning it in a new direction. In The Force Awakens, they had to re-acquaint us with the galaxy from Far, Far Away to get the ball rolling. Good thing BB-8 is one! The Last Jedi builds and improves on it, in many ways. It’s an excellent film that made me giddy, just like the original trilogy of films did. This is my favorite film of the year. Do go see it.
Words of warning – there is the Star Wars level of violence. Also, it’s a long film, clocking in at 2 hours, 32 minutes. Do what you have to before it starts, and you will be rewarded.
Standard Review (with minor plot spoilers):
The film picks up immediately after the end of The Force Awakens. Finn (John Boyega) is in a coma. The First Order is hot on the trail of the Resistance, led by General Organa (Carrie Fisher). Rey (Daisy Ridley) has found Luke, and wants him to return to help, but he flat out refuses. Why? Well, I could tell you, but you should see yourself. Meanwhile, The Resistance is having a liiiittle trouble escaping. Po Dameron (Oscar Isaac) has some ideas, and Finn wakes up from his coma, and starts thinking of a way out. Not so fast, Finn!
So much to discuss, but I can’t say more about the story. I expect that many people will see it several times, just to take it all in. You’ve got your dazzling special effects. You’ve got your John Williams score. You’ve got a good story with a bit of unpredictability. Oh yes, and Porgs – you’ve seen them in the trailer. I’ll stop there. There are a few moments of humor that seem ‘forced’, pun intended, but some of them work, and the others are barely a whisper against the wind of this entertaining movie.
As mentioned, The Last Jedi has a long run time. A lot happens, and the story doesn’t feel stuffed with filler. You will realize that there are some parallels to The Empire Strikes Back, but not nearly as many as there were between The Force Awakens and A New Hope. The story feels real, and the acting befits the story. I was impressed more than once that they were able to take the Star Wars saga to new heights.
Chances are that I’ll see it again, soon.