This movie is a double edged light saber. Without spoiling anything, this movie is everything I’ve ever wanted from a Star Wars movie, which is so problematic because it comes in easily the worst circumstances this franchise could find itself in.
The Double Edged Light Saber
Coming off the heels of the previous films, the general movie going audience has begun to feel a lack of hope for the franchise, excuse the pun. Many fans did not like the artistic decisions made in the previous films, leaving many to wonder where the story could go from there.
To my surprise, this movie does an immaculate job of taking many loose threads from The Last Jedi and telling an entertaining and satisfying story. It even makes sense of many cliffhangers that I’m sure never had any future plans from the previous director. There are many things the audience did not like about The Last Jedi and even though the movie found creative ways to use these bad ideas, I think overall we would rather have just gone without them. I hate that I’ve found myself using this metaphor yet again, but this movie feels like making a delicious dish out of ingredients you don’t like (almost like making spaghetti out of rotten tomatoes).
The pacing is fast. Sometimes it works, but overall it doesn’t. The movie takes off running, but after about 20 minutes it doesn’t slow down. It doesn’t ever stay on a setting or moment long enough to be drawn into what’s happening.
In its worst moments, I thought about what I ate for dinner while larger than life battles flashed across my blank face and I did not care. Some of its best scenes play out exactly how I would want that it was almost predictable. This may be the reason many other reviews say this feels akin to a high budget fan-fiction. While the climax was thrilling, I’ve felt like I had seen it all before. This movie is somewhere between Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Endgame without the Avengers. There is literally a moment that is replicated exactly from a scene in Avengers: Endgame as if Disney couldn’t help but push their other properties.
Too Many Hats
On top of that, this movie is trying to do too many things. Not only does it have the burden of having to correct the errors of the last films, but it also has to tell an interesting story in and of itself and be have to conclude the overarching plot of all of the films in the main story line. And on top of all of this, it has the role of being the year end blockbuster in the same year that the biggest movie of all time was released.
Star Wars isn’t Star Wars
The worst part about this film is that it’s a Star Wars film. 30 years ago this franchise defined blockbuster, a guaranteed spectacle should you choose to go to the theater to see it. Somewhere along the way, it seems like the audience became obsessed with trying to recreate the feeling of watching Star Wars for the first time. Essentially, this backed the franchise into a creative corner.
Any new additions to the mythos would dissatisfy the base and anything too familiar makes the movie feel cliche. Which is ironic because Star Wars is the originator of many of these tropes. Unfortunately, Star Wars is not the Star Wars of this generation. The Marvel Cinematic Universe was built on an expansive pool of comics to draw inspiration from and fans of those comics were excited to not only see the movies be made, but to be made well. Harry Potter grew with it’s audience so it was treated as a necessity to see the franchise off.
It’s obvious that Disney recognizes the success and stature of these franchises, which is why they tried to replicate that as best as they could. This may be what gives older fans the impression that Disney doesn’t know how to handle the franchise, because in their eyes Star Wars doesn’t and shouldn’t feel like anything else.
It sucks, but the feeling of seeing Star Wars for the first time again will never be able to be recreated. One thing is for certain, this movie is definitely a satisfying way to see Star Wars for the last time.