I've been waiting for this for over 8 months now. Even though I've written about The Last Jedi before, each time I found myself having a lot of difficulty doing so. This is because The Last Jedi is the best movie of the whole saga. Nope, didn't stutter, and no, I'm not crazy. Pound for pound, The Last Jedi understands what Star Wars is better than any of the original six and does a better job at executing Lucas's vision than any other movie in the series. It is the climax of the series, where everything comes to a head. When I think of The Last Jedi I think of the entire movie series. This movie is the climax of the Skywalker Saga. I doubt that I'm wrong, not at this point. If I am I will be more than happy to eat crow. But I think what I'm writing here is accurate, more or less. Like I say to my three year old son (who seems to have more maturity than a lot of The Last Jedi haters): ONWARD! TO THE REVIEW!
After the charm of Oscar Isaac had convinced Abrams to keep Poe on, we add him to the main characters in The Last Jedi. Let's be honest: Poe is a tool. I mean, what did you think was going to happen when the guy who was hopelessly outnumbered and captured by Kylo Ren was going to do when facing down a dreadnought, be serious? But let's not kid ourselves, Poe is a man-child with massive talent, which is perfect considering that he's military. Part of what makes the military so spiritually deadening is not caring about how something is done, so long as it gets accomplished. Those of you who would splutter at my seemingly flippant take on the military and ask about military honor have either never served in the U.S. military or are the type of vet that remained naive throughout their career. Hotshots like Poe can (and do) thrive in a military setting, where their character defects are ignored because of the results they generate... until someone needs them to be a leader. If the groomer has integrity they call out the soldier on the defects of character which, up until that time, were irrelevant. But if the groomer does not... well... that's how we get the vast majority of the U.S. Air Defense Artillery leadership, isn't it? Thank God Leia isn't ADA, cause Poe would have fit in quite nicely in that ancient and venerable branch of the U.S. Army.
(And for those of you who say that Leia couldn't have survived in the vacuum of space, please do some research and leave space fantasy, which you shouldn't be nitpicking at this level anyway, alone. Thanks.)
For his part, Finn is confronted by his own doppelganger: Rose. Like him, she was someone who worked behind the scenes. Unlike him, however, she's actually got a set of principles and is, contrary to first appearances, not naive. Rose genuinely believes in the cause of the Resistance, something that Finn has never had the luxury of having. The death of her sister Paige unlocked heroism within Rose, in direct contrast to Finn, who just became a runner. It's through her that we find out that The First Order has been preparing for this assault for at least twenty years. But their idiocy and haste gets them jailed, away from the master code breaker and they find themselves trusting DJ, who initially comes in from the right.... and of course they trust him! Because they're far more concerned about results than doing it right Finn and Rose show the callow of youth, begining a chain reaction that no one could have seen coming. Well, except for Maz. She probably would have. Too bad she's too busy being shot at right now.
Rey's encounters with Luke are even worse off than I'd anticipated in my prediction of who Luke was. Luke is past despondent, he's ready to die....right? We'll get to Luke's motivations in a minute.With Rey and R2 Luke finds his old self coming back, bit by bit. He teaches Rey while belittling her idealism and shows, once and for all, that Yoda was right: he is afraid and he did succumb. This is where Luke has always been headed, to the point where he lost faith and needed someone's help to get back to the fight. The film does tell us in typical right to left fashion that Luke did fail Ben, and that Rey will also let Luke down, but that's coming up in the subversion, isn't it?
That is exactly what Luke has done. No, he didn't do the right thing. But he did the next best thing he could think of.