Saturday, December 16, 2017

Star Wars - The Last Jedi

I rarely talk Star Wars because it's the closest thing to my heart. I don't want to argue with anyone about what is and is not good about the Star Wars Universe. I am just too invested in the characters and the mythology and the greater connected epic. The release of NEW HOPE changed my life and you all have read my experience with the first time I went to Star Wars in a theatre. I am therefor incapable of judging this film. I can only happily accept what I have been given and find all the cool in it that I can as I keep watching it for the second time.

This one repeats many of the same themes from Episodes IV - VI but that can no longer be avoided after forty years. There are certain things we expect to see and hear from a movie of this franchise. It's just the way it is and thank the Force for it because it anchors the whole story to a strong foundation so it can just goes nuts from there. I liked the twists and turns. I like how 2 people can see the same event two different ways and from each's perspective the event destroyed both men and BOTH were right. I understand Kylo now more than ever before.

Many things happen in this movie that I never saw coming despite the fact that I have seen a similar moment in a dozen other movies. I just didn't expect them to show up when and how they did and by whom? Does that make any sense? Let me say it this way - people you think will die, don't and people you don't think will die, do. This is a rebellion after all, people.

This is the story of the near extinction of a rebellion that needs a miracle and might not get the one they expected if a miracle comes at all. And any miracle of course always comes with a cost and the price we have to pay to love this movie is a high one indeed. I wish I could just add spoilers to my analysis because after you have seen the film all of my balloon juice will make perfect sense.

This one cannot be described to anyone. You have to go and experience the movie for yourself. It's a great piece of celluloid. Like with the prequels I spent most of my time wishing that I could pause the movie just to appreciate all the sets and vistas. The story could use a bit a tweeking but that is what the internet is for. I can have OTHERS explain to me what some things mean. Like that last shot with Luke.

Leia was luminous and made me miss Carrie Fisher all the more. She is still every inch the rebellious Princess she always was and in her later years had now become something MORE. Something amazing. Many of you will roll your eyes and THAT scene but I was filled with a joy that I never feel these days. A Princess is always a Princess no matter how much she ages. When are you people going to understand that. I cried at some of Leia's last scenes knowing how precious they were. I haven't done that since Spider-Man 2.

Rose, was a character I immediately feel in love with as well. She is the heart and soul of this picture and a natural born rebel you will never quit. I dig everything about that girl. Sometimes Rey can be a bit of a pill to be around but Rose was a joy especially after she finished zapping someone with her taser. She is the bravest and spunkiest rebel fighter ever who exists purely on hope. It's infectious to everyone around her and to the audience.

Poor Luke. Poor damaged Luke. He has some serious PTSD. He's got enough ennui to fill the smuggling compartments of the Millennium Falcon and then some. He is just too damaged to be of any help to anyone and his initial attitude really bummed me out. I wanted him to go out as the hero I remember him being. Not this island dwelling stinky old hermit. I should have never doubted him. No way I chose wrong. MY childhood hero would eventually do what is right to save the day.

Now Kylo has grow up from the last movie and I found his journey in this film to be one of my favorite things about it. Sure he is still got major issues with the adults in his life but he really is the man with the plan in this one and the most major of all the kids playing Jedi in this chapter. But then Kylo pulled off that great moment in Snokes chamber and it was the last thing I expected to happen so the kid got my respect. I loved the fight against Snoke's Crimson Guard and how natural Kylo and Rey looking fighting alongside each other and not against each other.

Again Rey just had to be a buzzkill for most of the movie. The secret identity of her parents is a huge let down when that is revealed. Such a cop out and a really missed opportunity by the smart people involved in the creation of this film. This is MYTHOLOGY we are building her people. Familial connection matter in the Star Wars Universe so make the reveal something HUGE or don't have the character have this issue at all. Just give her parents to be killed off if you really don't give a shit. Then for two minutes she thinks she is all big and bad despite barely getting out of every fight she is in with her life. It's never assured with her. I half expect her to cut off her hand or foot with that light saber. She has no business every picking up a light sabre and that is health and safety issue.
Speaking of respect - I usually hate everything that Laura Dern does but her death was epic enough for me to give her a further pass for life. It's just the kind of guy I am. Nothing like a Rebel last stand to get the blood going either. Especially when LUKE SKYWALKER gets involved and finally, everyone from the Fifth Order to Kylo Ren understands what a true Jedi Master is capable of doing. And what it might cost him in the end means nothing in the moment. Maybe that day WAS a good day to die.

Darkness Falls and Light Rises To Meet It.

A last minute arrival by the Millennium Falcom reminded me that the more things change the more they stay the same and it totally connected this future to the glorious past that I have loved since I was 12. Was it necessary at all? No. Waste of time and animation? Sure. Then why do it? Because of those little penguins that live it that's why.

 Luke and Leia's last conversation brought tears to my eyes because it said so much about the two actors as human beings than it ever did about two fictional characters played by two actors. They are forever bonded like we are to them. I think Luke did right by her and the rebellion. That was a gift to me. Luke as you know was my all time favorite childhood hero and his sister is not far down that list.

Critics love this one with 93 % on Rotten Tomatoes but only 40 % of audiences enjoyed the movie. According to the numbers, more people like Justice League than this one. To me that is just crazy talk. This one is just the middle chapter in a story that is not yet finished. I can't wait until next Christmas to see the completion of all this effort. As I said at the beginning - the closest thing to my heart. Go see it in a theatre full of fans.



Monc said...

As I recall, not many people liked The Empire Strikes Back when it came out. Look at what happened there.

I saw it last night and loved it. A buddy of mine saw it this morning and texted me that The Last Jedi is now his favorite SW film. I look forward to seeing it again.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

It's a movie that needs to be seen a few times before I can make a definitive opinion.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

You know, with a hooded Jedi robe and your beard, you could cosplay Old Luke.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

I was their second choice if he couldn't do the film. My luck he was all KEEN.

Rob R said...

I absolutely LOVED this film. Was it perfect? No. However, it kept me riveted and genuinely surprised throughout. Additionally, it was beautiful to look at. I feel bad for the people who couldn't enjoy it...

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Such are the times we live in when no one can just enjoy what they enjoy and not be bashed for it. This is one reason I don't argue Star Wars with anyone because people don't undertand what the movie met to me as a twelve year old boy

Chase March said...

Hey Calvin,

I saw it last night with my son and we both did not like the last two films, but this one was really good. It felt original and not just a rehash.

I agree with most points you make here in this review. I don't like Rey. I was hoping she would die and that Luke would be the titular character.

I liked your theory about her possibly becoming the next Darth Vader. And, like you said, that parent reveal was a total cop-out.

Those penguins were ridiculous too. Did they really need to be in the Falcon?

Thanks for a great spoiler free review too. I appreciated that.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Thanks you for that Chase.