While Rules of the Game is largely intended to reflect on the rules, regulations, and incentives that help influence our lives, occasionally something hits close enough to home that I feel compelled to write about it on this blog. This is one of those times.
Let’s get this out of the way first. The Last Jedi is a poor film (91% fresh!). As a Star Wars film, it’s even worse.
Before breaking down The Last Jedi, I feel it’s important to make some disclaimers. I have attended Star Wars Celebration. Multiple times. I have a robot BB-8 and a Millennium Falcon pillow. My wife dressed as Padme Amidala for the release of Episode II. My Internet handle has been (and apparently always will be) a major Star Wars character. From any angle in either my formal or home offices you can see something from Star Wars.
I am invested.
With that as context, I sat down last Thursday with hope in my heart ready to be taken on another journey to that galaxy far, far away. While The Force Awakens was not my favorite Star Wars film, it was a decent enough re-entry for the franchise, and I was excited to see what the series could do outside of the long shadow of A New Hope. I had no particular “theories” about where the story would go, or what Writer/Director Rian Johnson and Disney would do with some of the hooks that The Force Awakens had left to them. I simply wanted to be told a good story.
Roughly three hours later, my excitement was largely dashed, and more than anything I was surprised to find how negative my reaction was. I didn’t feel I had “over-hyped” the film in my own mind going in. I knew that it had received strong critical reviews, but I had not read them, and I had been relatively luke warm (no pun intended) towards the two trailers I had seen. But still, Last Jedi felt like a punch in the gut.
Only days later do I feel I’ve digested enough about the film to understand what I think went wrong.
Let’s dive in.