Stay on target Is The Last Jedi Good?It’s great!Whew!Yeah, I was worried too. But it’s great.Better than the last two?I think so. Better than Force Awakens and Rogue One, better than the Prequels. Probably better than Return of The Jedi – probably.What’s it about (no spoilers, please!)?It picks up immediately after the end of the last movie, with Rey following up on Jedi-related business with Luke Skywalker on that island planet, General Leia and Poe Dameron working help the last of The Resistance outrun the First Order in a fleet-vs-fleet space-chase and Finn teaming up with new character Rose to hunt down some technology that will aid in the escape.How much time do we get with Leia?Obviously, it was going to be a big deal seeing Carrie Fisher onscreen for one more movie no matter what, but she’s actually a HUGE part of the film this time and… look, I won’t spoil, but in a movie where almost every character old or new with a name you’re supposed to remember gets at least one BIG “moment” to themselves hers is an all-timer (you’ll know it when you see it.) Same goes for Luke – they’re both a significantly bigger part of the film this time around, even as the storyline is increasingly much more about the new generation of characters.So we’re still doing the meta “sequel about sequels” thing?Yes. It’s “about” Star Wars itself the same way The Force Awakens was… but in a more subtle, opaque way that’s eventually a kind of “anti-nostalgia” in terms of what it’s looking to say about the characters, their world and what things need to be going forward. To put it in as non-spoilery terms as I can: If Awakens was about The Resistance and The First Order repeating the cycle of The Rebellion and The Empire, this one is all about how they have to become their own things and what the proper way to get there is going to be – and that’s exciting.How is Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran), the new hero character?She’s delightful – a different sort of character (in several respects) that you don’t often see in a role this prominent in big movies. In terms of the “new generation inheriting the legacy” meta-narrative, she’s the contemporary-fan: Someone who’s the same generation as Finn, Poe and Rey and is already seeing them as Resistance icons but also able/willing to assert herself when she sees them as in the wrong – the actual-warfare version of a fan who wants to keep their faves “honest” via social-media callouts. She’s also a “worker’s voice” voice for class-consciousness, which becomes important toward the middle of Act 2.How are the returning new generation characters, overall?It’s difficult to discuss them without spoilers, as they all have fresh arcs to play out in this one that are directly tied to important parts of the storyline. Poe Dameron gets a much bigger role this time around, but in an unexpected way. Finn gets to show more dimensionality and be on the receiving end of having to evaluate the limits of his perspective while still being the “everyman” character. Rey… anything I could note in detail about where Rey’s story goes is going to be a spoiler, but suffice it to say her storyline is very much about driving home the “Who’re you calling predictable?” aspect of the broader uncharted-territory theme of the overarching narrative – and I’m kind of in love with how upset certain points that drive this home are going to make certain people who’ve spent two years smugly trying to “figure out” the new films ahead of the filmmakers.Does it do anything significantly different than other Star Wars movies?Constantly. We’re seeing all new planets and all new types of planets, different sorts of creatures and tonal/stylistic techniques that break the mold in terms of visuals, action styles and narrative devices that aren’t typically used as part of the Star Wars visual language. There’s a dialogue exchange, played for laughs, in the first few minutes that’s completely unlikely any back and forth we’ve heard before in the series, and in many ways it feels more like a proper WAR movie than even Rogue One did: With events that come into play in sudden random bursts and many of the characters frantically scrambling to stay on top of things like you do in actual chaotic situations that you just don’t see in big movies away.Is it possible to name some highlights without spoiling anything ?I’ll certainly try: We see at least three new Force Abilities we haven’t before (I mean entirely new, not Kylo-Ren-freezing-a-blaster-round stronger versions of classic powers style things). There’s a lightsaber battle that hits a perfect balance between the aggressive broadsword fencing from the originals and the wuxia-inspired swordplay from the Prequels. The Porgs are a fun addition to the menagerie and don’t wear out their welcome. The specific manner in which a certain beloved character’s appearance is realized got me physically choked-up (you’ll know it when you see it.) The the red/white “salt terrain” of the planet where Act 3 plays out makes an action scene look like something out of an arthouse flick. There’s a “holy shit!!!” moment of villain-obliteration so bad-ass most movies would end on it that this one uses to close-out Act 2 because it knows its finale is that strong.Are there problems?A few, and they aren’t necessarily minor. The main issue is that, as with The Empire Strikes Back, having the bulk of the storyline (apart from Rey/Luke doing the Luke/Yoda thing elsewhere) be an evade-and-pursue narrative means that there isn’t a comfortably-rigid three act structure to follow. What more or less counts as Act 2 is a little overlong and involves A LOT of sequences where characters make the same mistakes repeatedly, have things go wrong at random and generally manage chaos, so it can feel a little ungrounded at points – particularly an extended digression with Finn and Rose that doesn’t end up counting for much plotwise (but DOES serve to touch on some issues that franchise has kind of ignored since The Phantom Menace and sets up the film’s basically-perfect final shot.) Not significant wounds, but imperfections certainly.Any other reservations?After seeing what Rainn Johnson did here as director, it’s hard to be excited about going back to a thoroughly-average stylistic-mimic like JJ Abrams for the next one.What recent blockbuster NOT connected to the Star Wars franchise would it compare to?In terms of tone? Dunkirk. In terms of theme? Thor: Ragnarok.And you recommend it?Unreservedly. One of the best blockbusters of the year. 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