The Last Jedi, God Forbid

I wasn't that impressed.

That being said, I'm not sure I'd say I've really enjoyed any of the Star Wars films all that much if I'm being honest with myself. There's something that feels so childish about the black-and-white morality and infuriating about the focus-group-tested punch lines. Something vapid, pointless in the constant reaffirmations that the resistance was the spark of hope in a galaxy devoid of it (maybe the filmmakers needed that hope more than the galaxy itself). The visuals, however, were predictably stunning. Particularly the reds in the salt-world scene, and all the delightfully cute alien animals.

Oh yeah, and what was up with ALL of the machines that needed to be destroyed? The plot points seemed to revolve exclusively around the disarming and dismemberment of various technologically-advanced weapons. And the relationships felt empty or forced (Finn and his lady, for example, felt both). The one engaging (and potentially groundbreaking - we'll see) relationship dynamic was that between Ben (Kylo) and Rey. Here it felt that there was a real potential for change within both characters - the use of the relationship as catalyst for personal growth, in positive or negative directions. Finally, the impact of humans on one another - brought front and center. Wish there was more time spent on that relationship, rather than empty space battles (and perplexing supernatural sequences!!!).

Saw the film with Benji, Carson, and Mom. I found joy in talking with Benji (who sat next to me during the film) as it went on. More so than I have in the past. At least I had a partner with which to scorn the film's less-than-profound morality, in real time, as well as with whom I could gasp at the stunning reds and blues of space. There is, of course, a value to the awe-factor of impressive special effects. In fact, I believe it's enough to carry a film. But wielding the heirloom of one of the most successful film/crossover franchises in history requires more emotional ambition, rather than conservatism. There is a responsibility to that task, and I believe responsibility in the arts is aligned with ambition and risk more than it is conservatism.