Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017) – Encore Review 4

“I’m sure you are! The Resistance is dead, the war is over, and when I kill you, I will have killed the last Jedi!” – Kylo Ren

“Amazing. Every word of what you just said was wrong. The Rebellion is reborn today. The war is just beginning. And I will not be the last Jedi.” – Luke Skywalker

Number of Times Seen – 5 (13 Dec 2017, 14 Mar 2018, 21 May 2019, 18 Dec 2019 and 31 Aug 2021)

Link to original reviewHere, Here, Here and Here

Brief Synopsis – After the Republic destroys Star Killer Base, The First Order seeks out the remnants of the Republic in order to eradicate them forever.

My Take on it – I usually write reviews that are spoiler free, but I decided to take the opportunity now to discuss certain aspects of this film in more detail which could be considered Spoilers, so if you have never seen this film, read my other reviews of the movie first and then come back here after you finish watching the entire movie.

I have been an avid listener of The Star Wars Minute for a number of years and love what both Pete and Alex (and their guests) bring to the world of Star Wars as well as to the fans who also like to nitpick and devour everything related to Star Wars.

I am a HUGE fan of just about everything related to the franchise, yet I still have always seen myself as a traditionalist.

That’s probably why after seeing this movie in the theater 3.5 years ago, I was less enthusiastic about the way that things play out than I have with any previous film in the saga.. (Yes, even the prequels).

The tone of this film bothered me a lot and I felt that they were trying too hard to transform Star Wars into something like the MCU, (which I also love but there are fundamental differences between the way both have been presented on screen.)

This is the only Star Wars film that I only saw once in the theater and have probably seen it the least amount of times of any of the films.

Up until today, I had even seen Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (2019), the same amount of times as this film and there is a 2 years gap between their releases.

As a reference, Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) has been watched and reviewed by me 9 times since it was released and that was 5 months after this one came out.

Rian Johnson is a great writer and director, but I just never was able to enjoy the way this story plays out.

That was until now….

Having listened to 152 episodes of Alex and Pete discussing this film with their guests in such minute detail has helped me get a much better understanding and appreciation for the direction that this film has taken.

The fact that JJ Abrams took over for the final film changed everything that was planned by Johnson and it didn’t allow the fans to see where he wanted to take things.

Being able to listen to fans of Star Wars who could help explain why the changes in tone of this film were for the better really opened my eyes to something I never thought was possible.

The story told here is the right one and adds many more layers to the franchise and the development of these characters.

The special effects are superb and always enhance any Star Wars film, but some of the small tweaks here make it jump forth in ways I never expected.

The fact that the franchise needed more internal conflict within the characters is what Johnson saw and despite seemingly going against the grain, he found a way to add it to the story while also helping to take things in a new direction along the way.

The insights about Poe Dameron’s journey as a commander is also shown really well here and says so much about the weight of decision making for the character.

What most amazed me were the insights about Luke becoming a hermit and how it makes so much sense how the bitterness has overtaken him.

The podcast made me rethink the story and I enjoyed it even more this time than all of the other times up until now.

It will obviously take me many more viewing to fully appreciate everything in this movie but I’m glad that the bitter taste in my mouth for it is now completely gone.

Tnx to Pete and Alex and all their guests for a great season and I’m looking forward to them starting up the new season with Solo in a few months… who knows, maybe that now that I’m an MxM podcaster, they’ll have me on for an episode!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The three Resistance fighters who pop up from the trenches on Crait are Mark Hamill’s children. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10) (no change from original review)



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