2017 wasn’t supposed to be this complicated, but at least it’s ending on a high note.
It’s been a busy fall, so I kind of forgot that back in October when tickets went on sale, I snatched up a couple of Thursday evening IMAX 3D tickets to Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Like most of you, I don’t go out to movies as often as I used to — somewhat due to rising costs but mainly due to the ubiquity of high-quality content on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO and others — so it was a lot of fun to be in a festival-like atmosphere for the biggest opening of the year.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Last Jedi, despite some flaws in the timeline (which I won’t get into because I don’t do spoilers). Rian Johnson is one of my favorite directors (I’ve seen Looper half a dozen times and am yet to tire of it), and he approached the Star Wars franchise from, I think, a similar place to Taika Waititi in Thor: Ragnarok — of purposeful reinvention and, primarily, humor. I’m not a diehard Star Wars fan but a casual imbiber of its pop culture influence. I’ve seen all the movies enough times to know the plot but I don’t care whether Han shot first, nor do I follow the various easter eggs down holes from which I’d never emerge. To me, it’s a science fiction fantasy franchise like any other, and The Last Jedi was one of its strongest entries yet.
I loved the freedom every actor was given to pursue a slightly off-kilter version of the character they’d previously played. Or, for the new ones, to carve out a piece of the canon they didn’t feel like it was a recreation of something George Lucas would have wanted