I’m not going to give away any spoilers, I just wanted to get down my thoughts on the movie.
I have a habit of avoiding trailers, if I can. So I went into The Last Jedi without much knowledge about the movie. I think I had seen a single trailer for the film, and I tried not to pay too much attention to it. That left me free from many expectations. This being a Star Wars movie, I still had my thoughts on where the story would go, but I had nothing to base them on.
Even though I had very little expectations, this movie went in a completely different direction than I thought it would. I had seen a couple of headlines that compared the movie to The Empire Strikes Back. I didn’t read the articles (and I’m glad I didn’t), because I thought that they were comparing the quality of the two movies, and Empire is a truly fantastic film. Now, though, I think I understand the comparison. Both Empire and Last Jedi are middle pieces. When Empire was released, it got mixed reviews. Some people really enjoyed it and others didn’t. Just like Last Jedi. Those who didn’t like Empire often cited the fact that it didn’t resolve any of their questions and that it veered to greatly from what they were expecting. I think that Last Jedi is similar. Episode VIII doesn’t have the goal of resolving anything. Quite the contrary. Instead, it’s moving pieces around and positioning them for the final installment of this trilogy. Some answers are given, but from potentially unreliable sources. A few new characters are added that may or may not return. The ending, while more hopeful than the ending of Empire, still puts the resistance in a very dark place.
Story wise, I think that The Last Jedi did fine. I don’t think it was as horrible as others are saying. At the same time, without the resolution that comes in Episode IX, I can’t fully put the story in context. It may be much better, or much worse, than I think now. I will say that I found some flaws in the story, but I don’t think they were big enough to ruin the movie. For me, the worst part of the film was the humor. There were times where it tried too hard, especially in the first half of the movie. I was especially nervous about the Porgs (my wife fell in love with them from the previews). While I did think there were a couple of gratuitous scenes with the Porgs that really didn’t need to be in the movie, they were not as prevalent as I feared.
I liked the movie. I think it will hold up well. It’s not perfect, but it’s a good Star Wars movie. It’s just a shame that we’ll have to wait so long for Episode IX.