I'm not joking, this is getting spoilered to high hell.
Right. I need to get what I saw of Star Wars: The Last Jedi down into something. I can't do Twitter because it's literally less than twelve hours since release so to say anything approaching spoiler territory, let alone actually spoiling a thing, would be suicidal. Same for Facebook. Needless to say, social media to discuss my thoughts, even brief outside something approaching 'OHMYGODINCREDIBLE' thoughts, is not gonna happen.
With that in mind, I'm gonna write down bullet point thoughts of what I seen last night and just process what I saw. This goes with the caveat that I mostly didn't go into it with a massive critical eye, that there is most likely a lot of recency bias here and excitement pre and post-viewing and a second viewing will happen next week to process what I seen and see things a bit more critically.
But I think I can say this before getting into the spoilered stuff that I fucking adored The Last Jedi, loved it. With that in mind, what you are about to read - in case this hasn't been made evident by now already - will be filled with spoilers. After quite a considerable chance to get out, everything, if not most things, will be spoiled for you. So get out if you want to be preserved before you see it. Or you've already seen it or just DGAF. Well, good for you. All the same, spoiler warning ends after the BB8 and Porg GIFs.
[SPOILER WARNING STARTS HERE]
[FINAL SPOILER WARNING]
[SPOILER WARNING ENDS HERE - BUT HERE'S THE GIFS ONE MORE TIME FOR SAFETY AND ALSO BECAUSE BB8 <3]
- Love they immediately jumped into the action. No waiting about, it went straight into it
- In watching all eight Star Wars movies, I don't think I've seen self-sacrifice done as wonderfully as Rose's sister. It sets up her arc well and gives purpose and meaning to her character
- This was a film which had actually a lot of comedic aspects to it, even down to Luke Skywalker nonchalantly throwing away his lightsaber. That shouldn't have been funny - but it just was. Even Chewie's bondfire dinner and eating a cooked Porg in front of live Porgs is actually a lot funnier than it was
- Me pre-TLJ: I do not get this obsession over Porgs. Stop trying to make them happen, Fetch. Me post-TLJ: I LOVE THE PORGS AND I WILL DIE PROTECTING THEM IF I ABSOLUTELY MUST
- "NO. FUCKING. WAY." I remember saying out loud to myself as I saw the outline of Yoda. Lo and behold, there he was. And I remember just smiling at the end of it after the subsequent conversation with Luke. It was pure fan service and I loved it
- Daisy Ridley and Mark Hamil's chemistry together is just fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. It was evident even in promotional stuff for The Force Awakens, but coming together for The Last Jedi, it just completely clicked off the bat. It was wonderful.
- The force connections at times between Rey and Kylo/Ben was odd to me at first, but as the movie wore on, it actually added more to the possibility of Ben turning - and maybe even the faintest possibility of Rey turning
- I'm going to write this in bold to emphasise this: Kelly Marie Tran is the best thing about this movie. Or at least one of the two leading best things about this film. Rose is as pure a character as they come - grieving at the loss of her sister, but called into action near immediately to help Finn, it's clear she's loyal, caring, funny and . The Monaco-like planet where Rose and Finn head to to get the codebreaker, played incredibly well by Benicio Del Toro, shows Rose not easily impressed with what is going on around her, even disgusted, considering how the First Order ruined her family's livelihood and how those she's currently surrounding herself are those making massive paydays in the weapons trade thanks to the war. I can't stress this enough, but adding Tran was just a casting stroke of perfection and I can only hope whoever made the decision gets a bonus of sorts, if not a pay rise, for casting her. For Tran herself, her star will grow massively after this and it is well deserved considering she puts in a star-making performance. And for Rose, having not only a massive POC character in the Star Wars canon but the first major Asian representation in the films will do incredible wonders for not only little girls in the same way Leia and Rey have done, but for POC children. If nothing else, it's something Tran can truly, truly be proud of
- Snoke getting killed off was actually a big surprise to me. I honestly didn't expect it to happen so soon. Likewise in turn, having it set up by Rey and Ben suggested maybe Ben is being turned
- Holy fuck that lightsaber teamup between Rey and Ben on Snoke's personal unit was brilliant
- In turn, the force fight between Rey and Ben (Kylo from here on out) was rather fun!
- Kylo taking up the mantle of Supreme Leader from Snoke after Hux's objections was a hell of a Vader-like moment
- Finn is underused a bit more than expected in the film, but still gets the job done when it shows with his partnership with Rose. And his battle with Phasma is brilliant
- Saddened Phasma seems to be done now and killed off. It seems pretty conclusive anyway considering how she went out so I wouldn't put money on an appearance in Episode IX. It felt like there was a lot of potential in her character that didn't really get a chance to come out, I felt
- As Finn is racing towards that big ass cannon that's firing up, I genuinely thought at one point they were actually going to kill him off. It actually felt like it was happening. Then Rose comes in with the save and crashes Finn off the path and I think, 'oh thank god' but then think 'DON'T YOU DARE KILL OFF ROSE ALREADY', especially after the moment had in the aftermath of the incident
- Also: that sequence pretty much kills off any chance of Finn and Poe. Although the end sequence suggests the possibility of a love triangle between Finn, Rose and Rey. Hmm.
- Luke's fight with Kylo, their final showdown, was fantastic, but kept thinking at first why isn't Luke going for Kylo in the same way Kylo was going for Luke. And then the reveal he actually isn't there but is rather a sort of force-like holographic representation (for lack of a better term) was rad. "I'll see you around, kid," was a hell of a way to sign off as Luke went the way of Yoda in a bit I really should have seen coming in hindsight considering what we seen earlier
- Which brings me to the second best leading thing about this film and, like above, I'm going to bold this: I am going to miss Carrie Fisher so much. Her final appearance as Leia before Fisher's unfortunate and heartbreaking death last year is filled with conviction, joy and heartbreak in equal measure. I felt certain they'd kill off Leia especially at the start of the film. And it felt like they pulled the trigger on it when their ship was bombed our by the First Order and killing everyone onboard (salute to you, Admiral Ackbar *salute*). And yet, she somehow survives thanks to what appears to be the Force. As the end of the film approached, she comes back strongwilled and in need to do something drastic to escape the First Order's pursuit of the Resistance. Her face-to-face with Luke is an incredibly hard-hitting, emotional moment, especially when in light of the Resistance about to seemingly lose everything, and had me welling up hard as Luke kissed her forehead. And as the movie comes to a close, giving one final message of inspiration in that the smallest spark can inspire hope as we see a wide pan shot of the main cast before showing a small boy, seen earlier in the mission Finn and Rose were on, wearing the same ring Rose is wearing indicating she was resistance. And I near fell into tears knowing that not only the final word of the movie would also be the last time we'd hear Leia, but have be something so meaningful too. It hurts even more knowing Episode IX was meant to be Leia's film in the same way The Force Awakens was Han's movie and The Last Jedi was Luke's. There'll be no one quite like Princess/General Leia Organa again. And in turn, there'll be no one quite like Carrie Fisher again. Godspeed, our Princess, our General. May the force be with you
- Rian Johnson proved his worth here and made a movie that was worth the build and more. Episode IX has an incredible lot to live up to, but Lucasfilm's decision to give Johnson a new Star Wars trilogy to be in charge of is looking like its already paid off in spades
- JJ Abrams delivered greatly with The Force Awakens, but he now has an incredible load of pressure to get the landing right for this trilogy with Episode IX. I can only hope he sticks it
- God, I've not even mentioned Laura Dern's turn as VA Holdo. Or Billie Lourd's low-key great performance as Lieutenant Connix
TL;DR - This movie was fantastic and I realise there is an element of recency bias saying that along with blind excitement post-viewing, which is why I'll go have a second viewing next week to go into it with a bit more of a critical eye on things, but I feel absolutely, positively certain I loved this a lot, lot more than The Force Awakens. And I loved The Force Awakens too.
See this film. Now.