Index – The Last Word on The Last Jedi

I am so late to this party that the hot new thing is complaining about a completely different Star Wars film: “Solo”.  However, being late has never stopped me from having an opinion before, and the The Last Jedi is worth examining, both on its own merits and for the internet firestorm that it triggered.

Reviews of The Last Jedi were not mixed, for ‘mixed’ implies some level of equivocation. They were divergent. Opinions fell into two camps, and then those two camps seem to have been rapidly absorbed into the fog that is the larger culture war, in the process erasing any certainty as to why the film might or might not be relevant to the larger war. Going into the movie I had two questions.

First: is The Last Jedi a good film? This is a question to asked in terms of writing, character, cinematography, effects. You may consider this the question of whether the film succeeds on its own merits. One would imagine that the legacy of Lucasfilm, the might of Disney, and the general risk-aversive attitude of blockbuster directing would preclude anything below competence, but Rogue One had terrible writing, worse plotting, and nonexistent characterization. People moved from scene to scene, arguing, fighting, killing, & dying with out believable – or even consistent – motivations or rationales. Thus, it was an a priori live option that The Last Jedi might turn out to be a terrible film.

Second: is The Last Jedi a good Star Wars film? This is a matter of theme, tone, mood, philosophy, and consistency. As Star Wars is THE space opera of the Western canon, consistency of details is actually not the most important factor so long as the philosophy and mood hold together, and since I’m hardly a die-hard fan I am not in a position to judge detail consistency anyway.

I initially expected that the divergence of reviews meant that Last Jedi would be a good film, but a bad Star Wars film, and such was even suggested to me. However, having seen it I find it deeply flawed on both counts. Though I am probably the last person to watch this, I will warn: this series of posts will have spoilers.

[Outline below will turn into link index at rate of one post per week.]

I. As A Film

  1. Kubrick Influenced, Reviewer Approved
  2. The Problem With Rose
  3. Mutiny
  4. The Last Jedi

II. As Star Wars

  1. The Force & The Jedi
  2. The Cave
  3. Legacy

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