‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Shows Early Signs of ‘Star Wars’ Fatigue (SPOILER FREE REVIEW)
The latest chapter of the Star Wars saga is here.
Star Wars has always been a constant in my life. I've seen all the movies multiple times and become "that guy" when I find out someone hasn't journeyed to "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away." Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi was my most anticipated movie of 2017, so how did it hold up?
First off, I really enjoyed what director Rian Johnson tried to do with the movie. It definitely had a different feel than 2015's The Force Awakens. While the former movie followed similar beats to the crowd-pleasing A New Hope, The Last Jedi is more of its own thing, but is a spiritual successor to The Empire Strikes Back.
The movie picks up where The Force Awakens left off, with Rey finally reaching the island and confronting Luke Skywalker. This is the main plot that drives the film, but it often takes a backseat to several other plots that are occurring simultaneously. Seeing Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker was a real treat and his story stayed consistent to the character he established in the Original Trilogy.
I enjoyed the surprises that the movie sprinkled in as well as the genuinely shocking moments that you don't expect. The film had a good amount of emotional depth, yet none of this carried the same weight as "I am your father" or Anakin killing younglings. Still, it's nice that a Star Wars movie can still surprise the audience.
I would be doing a disservice if I didn't give a shout-out to the real MVP of The Last Jedi: the Porgs. The bird-like creatures of the island were adorable and weren't overdone. Do they exist to sell plushies and toys? Probably, but when they are adorable and make adorable noises, I'm OK with it.
The movie does have issues though, some of which are the fault of the movie and some which are the fault of Disney. The issues that the movie has is pacing. The movie moves pretty slow during the first and second act, but then drastically speeds up during the third. The movie also feels very long, which is not something you want from a Star Wars movie. There were several times towards the end where I was sure they were just going to cut to credits and end on a cliffhanger. Thankfully, that didn't happen and most plot threads are resolved before the credits roll.
The Disney issue comes from what I'm calling "Star Wars Fatigue." Back when Disney acquired LucasFilm and announced new Star Wars movies, everyone was excited. What we didn't expect was to have a new Star Wars movie every year. In theory, that sounds incredible for fans, unfortunately, we are 3 films in (in 3 years) and we are already getting burnt out. What made Star Wars special was that it was a genuine pop-culture event. My first midnight showing ever was to see Episode III. Now, if you have a new Star Wars movie every year for the foreseeable future, they become less events and more "Just a thing that happens." We might already be spending too much time in the galaxy far, far away.
My roommate and I were discussing his issues and he brought up the fact that Star Wars is now interchangable with the Marvel movies. They all follow the same structure of: action sequence, one-liner, action sequence, one-liner, downtime, twist, one-liner, big finale. I don't want Star Wars to be interchangeable. I want it to be its own thing.
Overall, The Last Jedi offers enough for Star Wars fans to consider it a "good movie," but it might be time to chill for a few years once this new trilogy wraps up.