When Luke says goodbye to Leia, it’s an absolute heartbreaker. Carrie has a decent role in the movie and almost seems to be performing a farewell for fans. So painful and prescient. But before she goes, we finally get to see her use the force – so we know her spirit lives on.
The Last Jedi is a movie about relationships, temptation and betrayal. The main relationship is between Rey and Kylo Ren, and it is surprisingly tender, both fascinating and fraught, and strangely believable. Indeed, it is the story of this relationship that pretty much carries the whole movie, particularly because the two leads have well developed characters. Oddly, Finn’s (John Boyega) relationship with Rose (a feisty Asian technician) is far less developed or relevant. Indeed, Finn’s entire storyline is weirdly redundant (completely wasting Benicio del Toro’s role), parallel and bolted on to the main story arc. Actually, most of the characters beyond the leads are two-dimensional, meaning we struggle to care about them or the hackneyed plot (a rerun of The Empire Strike Back, quite frankly). Finn’s story almost seems like a different movie, in fact – and the running time of 2hrs33mins makes it feel like we’re watching two movies’ worth as well!
So it’s not a perfect movie. Personally, I didn’t like all the under-cutting humour either. Although the audience I was with laughed delightedly, the movie just never seemed to take itself entirely seriously (so it never quite felt as momentous as the first trilogy). But clearly that’s just a matter of taste. Most will forgive its small failings because it does so much else well. The weird alien creatures are great (I love Porgs), Snoke is a convincing baddie (his CGI work is much better this time round) and Chewbacca has a role that involves more than chewing scenery. Oh, and Rey’s training on Luke’s island is decent old-school fare. So, all in all, I score it 7.5 out of 10.