THE LAST JEDI FIRST THOUGHTS

oh – holy – crap.

So so so much goodness just happened in this movie. Literally sitting in the parking lot tapping on my phone.

This is a word for word conversation I just had with a guy standing next to a group of folks waiting to go into the show after ours: “There was that thing! And that other thing happening at the same time, all while – holy cow – that other thing with those you knows! Right? Oh oh oh and don’t forget that one part!! Right?!? Because, holy cow, you know???”

Not quite exactly, but almost exactly how we talked as we tried not to spoil it for the people in line. There was so much greatness in this Star Wars Movie. The franchise is officially rebooted.

Remember back when Luke was wondering how this ragged band of people could ever push against the darkness? How impossible it would be? That’s where this movie is. I really don’t want to spoil absolutely anything for anyone. I am not saying anymore for now. But I just wanted to throw this out right away and say, man. What an amazing flick. Definitely my number one film in the cannon. Definitely. No hesitations. It was Empire and more. It was dark, but hopeful. So good.

Alright? Now go give Disney your money, and see it.  Preferably on the biggest, loudest, screen you can find. (I’m looking at you IMAX). Love to know your non-spoiler thoughts about it below.  (But heck, feel free to email me your spoiler comments… we can discuss them there.)

Such a fantastic film.

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10 Responses

  1. Ricardo_noRicky

    this was actually the best film in the series for me and im 34… this movie was just awesome from start to finish.. and luke… just wow

    Reply
    • Taylor Holmes

      dude. Luke. totally.
      And apparently Mark Hamill wasn’t a fan of the writing because Luke bailed on the resistance? I thought the writing was spot on.
      So much goodness. So far I’ve seen it 3 times. fantastic little movie.

      Reply
  2. matthew

    I’ve become a fan of your little site here recently. A lot of good movies thanks to you. However, i find it difficult to believe someone such as you could praise the writing here. The recent star wars movies are perfect examples of generic trash pandered to the masses. The characters are incredibly hollow. The jokes are forced. Disney has its palms spread all over this one. I’m not sure what you found original or particularly well done in this or the other film.

    Reply
    • Taylor Holmes

      Matthew.
      100%. I agree. When it comes to Star Wars I cannot give it an honest review. Cannot. But, while I agree that this is a money making juggernaut, I disagree with you that the characters are hollow, or that the jokes are forced. What is dangerous about what Rian created with 8 is that Kylo Ren is too fleshed out and too realistic a character. All the bad guys, save for Vader at the very end, were silhouette-menaces, and nothing else. Kylo on the other hand has his doubts, has his wobbling doubt, all happening right in front of us. I highly doubt you were ever a Star Wars fan, so I sort of take what you are saying as an outside critique. Sure, great, fine I get what you are saying. And the guy that rips Marvel movies here agrees with you. But as an enormous fan of the entire saga I disagree with the detail of your points.

      Star Wars is nothing more than a modern day retelling of the story of the Knights of the Round Table, with the same level of writing and detail there. If you like King Arthur, and the legends there, then I would argue that this is what Lucas gave us. It is why the stories resound in popular culture. It’s why they have done so well. We have good, we have bad, and we have the struggle for virtue. We have Arthur, Lancelot, Guinevere. And the drama of that crazy triangle. There is Mordred, the wicked son from Arthur’s relationship with Morgause. We have ruses and counter ruses. We have moral failures and noble deaths. Arthur is similarly moronic… but I highly doubt you would criticize them because they are somehow ‘better’.

      I don’t expect most readers here to like Star Wars. That’s fine. And yes, I’m being duplicitous by enjoying them. But I am 100% ok with that. There is an internal logic to the Star Wars universe that I adore. And not only that, but I hate Star Trek for the same reason as that internal logic prescribes. Trek is a populism and egalitarianism I disdain. Star Wars is the story of the gods come down. It is Arthur, but it is more, it is the Greek Pantheon struggling for balance amongst their powers. So all that to say, yes, it is a pandering melange of colors, CGI, and light sabers. But underneath all that is the struggle to find one’s identity in the face of a bigger story. And that? That resounds for me because I believe that it is our story. We all struggle to know what part we play in this story called life and to learn our purpose.

      But no amount of philosophizing will justify the dichotomy I’m sure. And that’s ok. At the end of the day, I enjoy the Star Wars franchise because the 8 year old me enjoyed them. I enjoy the franchise more now that Disney owns them, Lucas was soon to drive the stories into the ground. If you saw the Vanity Fair article that told of Lucas’ stories for 7, 8, and 9 we now know that he was wanting to tell more teen stories… which smacked of the prequels and would have gone about as well. Regardless, sorry that I have an acceptionally enormous achilles heel on this point. But it’s one I happily relish and I don’t see it changing any time soon.

      Glad you enjoy the site, and hopefully we can still remain on good terms despite my inconsistencies on this particular topic. Want to know what’s worse? I enjoy the Transformer movies too. And that movie franchise? That movie corpus is completely indefensible. 100%. I can’t name drop King Arthur. I can’t speak to philosophical underpinnings. Nothing. I just like watching them transform and kick ass. That’s about it. hahaha. So if you’d like to take me down a notch, Transformers is definitely the place to get me. haha.

      Taylor

      Reply
  3. Dan T

    I really cannot understand the sheer vitriol being heaped on this movie by a large segment of the “fan” population. I’m a minor follower of the saga (more of a Planet of the Apes and Doctor Who guy myself) but even to me its readily apparent that there are FAR WORSE installments than the current #8.

    I’m still really angry at Disney for buying and burying Lucasfilms’ Strange Magic (clearly the best movie I have seen all year) and even I won’t rag on this fine little film. Sure, there are little problems… but come on, people! “The worst movie ever?” “Complete and utter garbage?” Seriously?

    Reply
  4. Thomas Jeffries

    Tay, I just saw TLJ this weekend with the family in Indiana, so I couldn’t join you and (what’s left of) the GMN crew in CO, but my take is that TLJ is a decent movie, but it’s not a good Star Wars movie. It was still far better than episodes 1-3, I’ll give you that, but I just found myself saying, “Huh … Really? I don’t know about that. Boy, that’s really out of character. Etc.”

    I mean, if Force-ghost Yoda can physically appear places and light stuff on fire, then could he please appear inside the First Order fleet and light all their ships on fire from the inside, thank you very much? And why do Sith lords keep training apprentices if the rule is well-established by now that said apprentice will surely murder them?

    Like I said, if TLJ existed in a vacuum, then I would call it a fairly decent action movie. But it doesn’t. The Star Wars universe is already well established with 8 prior films (Rogue One definitely felt like a Star Wars movie, FWIW), which makes TLJ an inconsistent fit at best. The people I watched it with are some of the biggest Star Wars fans I’ve ever met, and they said it this way: “If Rogue One was a Star Wars movie without the Jedi, then TLJ was a Jedi movie without the Star Wars.” And after I saw it for myself, I found it hard to disagree.

    More important, Tay, I find it hard to understand why you haven’t yet written about “Bright” (Netflix). I mean, orcs, elves and Will Smith … what are you waiting for?

    Merry (suprasubliminal) Christmas!

    Reply
    • Taylor Holmes

      I loved it, and I am totally open to Disney breaking the rules, as long as they explain the new ones eventually.

      As for Bright, I heard it was awful. Panned by absolutely everyone. You saying I should see it? The show you are missing out on is Dark. Amazing.

      Reply
      • Thomas Jeffries

        Should you watch Bright? By your own admission, you thoroughly enjoy various and sundry Transformers, which are likewise universally panned — so yes, I think you should watch Bright. It wasn’t great, or even excepionally good, but it definitely held my attention. Should you view it three times; yea, even four? Nay … just once will surely suffice.

      • Thomas Jeffries

        Keep in mind that I am old. I saw Return of the Jedi with my high school buddies on the day it was released. No midnight showings back then, young buck.

        Respect your elders, dadgummit! I’m (slightly) older than Will Smith, for goodness sake! And I’m still not convinced that he’s a Scientologist.

        His wife, on the other hand …

      • Taylor

        Fine. I’ll watch.

        Last night I watched my Cousin Rachel, totally loved it. Sublime Ambiguity. Love open ended movies. Makes for great arguments.

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