Star Wars fans, I know you have waited for this. Is this The Empire Strikes Back level good? Or is this The Phantom Menace bad?
I watched this last night, 12th December 2017, and I am glad to report that it was EPIC. Not just good, not just so-so, not just fan service (The Force Awakens, I am looking at you), but a true and legit chapter in the world of Star Wars.
There is no way for me to write this without spoiling the movie. So let me just say, Pew pew pew! Noooooooo! Yesssssss! Pew pew pew! Ooooooh. Porgs! Light saber battle! Waaaaaaaat??? More light saber battle! Wait what??? Pew pew pew!
You will be pleased to know that my prediction that Jabba the Hutt was Rey's father, did not come true.
*Mild Mild Spoiler Alert Ahead*
Some bits were a little OTT. Superhuman even. You will understand what I mean when you see it. I also found the casino side plot a little distracting.
Some of you may be disappointed that your questions from The Force Awakens will not be answered or may be answered only partially. I say, suck it up. More will probably be revealed in the next chapter.
Rose Tico, played by Kelly Marie Tran, was an awesome new character. She is an engineer who shows how even characters in the background can play a major part in an epic rebellion. I thought her role grounded the movie. I had the pleasure of meeting her when she visited the Apple Orchard Store. Kelly is lovely in person too.
Laura Dern's Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo was another standout. I was not sure if I was going to like her at first ("What was up with the quirky outfits and coloured hair?" asks the reviewer with the blue hair) but she grew on me. She made me feel angry at Poe Dameron amd won me over with her charm and sense of duty.
There were nice little moments in the movie when it alluded to scenes from Empire. Yet the fan service did not distract or take over the movie, and the story stands on its own.
There were also poignant moments in the scenes between Luke and Leia. Luke, oh, Luke Skywalker is the best version of himself in this movie. I liked him here more than I ever did in 4, 5 and 6.
Kylo Ren is still a whiny little boy but is more fleshed out this time. Fleshed out (recalls a scene, chortles to self).
Rey, she is very charismatic, even in long closeups. More Rey please. I even watched Murder on the Orient Express because of Daisy Ridley (that movie was beautifully shot, Hercule Poirot was brilliantly acted by Kenneth Branagh's moustache, but the story was a bit slow and weak. End mini-review.)
As usual, what will the Resistance do without the droids? BB-8 is a true hero, like R2 before him.
*Mild Mild Spoiler Alert Ends*
My wife, who is not as huge a Star Wars fan as I am, enjoyed it too. And she said it didn't feel like two and a half hours long, which means they got the pacing right.
I am going to catch it again soon, this time with my kids. I am raising my own generation of Star Wars children. I was a kid when I watched the first Star Wars, and to be able to continue watching the saga unfold with my own kids is awesome.
Pew pew pew!