Without a doubt, Star Wars which was first released 40 years ago in 1977 is the most prolific and profitable franchise in movie history, now spanning 9 films.
Some 20 years ago the inventor of this amazing movie idea, George Lucas, decided to make 3 new movies starting in 1999, after saying for years that his Star Wars idea was only going to be a movie trilogy and he would never make another sequel. The 3 new Star Wars movies received a level of success and critical acclaim that was far less than the first 3 movies received and perhaps because of that, Lucas decided to sell the entire franchise to Disney for 4 billion dollars some years ago. Two years ago “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was released and the world now knows that there will probably be a new Star Wars movie released every December for the foreseeable future. The second movie, released in 2016, “Rogue One” was the first Star Wars movie that involved characters that were outside the original franchise, but this new one, “The Last Jedi” contains both the new characters introduced in The Force Awakens and the original characters that go back to the original movie released in 1977.
Everyone knows that a Star Wars release is virtually a guaranteed huge money maker and due to that obvious fact, very often due to the pressure to produce another film every years with so many special effects and action the screenplay takes a back seat, and in my opinion, that is the main problem with this film.
I have never been a fan of rapid-fire Michael Bay scene changes with no explanation or continuity or connecting thread as several stories move forward and then switch to another part of the story, then back again, then to another scene and before you know it, you have no idea what is going on and the entire experience becomes more annoying than entertaining. This movie plays like it was written by 5 screenwriters with so many different scenes and story lines going at the same time for over 2 hours. There are great special effects like like all of the Star Wars movies, but like I have said many times in this blog, special effects will never be a band aid for a poorly written screenplay or bad original story idea. While I don’t think The Last Jedi is by any means a bad movie, for me it was not good enough movie because of the “all over the place direction”. I expected more with this film and because of the rapid fire disconnected story telling, I was overall disappointed.
It was quite depressing to see the late Carrie Fischer in her last film role and in some ways, Mark Hamill, who looks looks much older than his 66 years. Perhaps the rapid aging of Fischer and Hamill is a reflection of the incredible highs and lows of their respective acting careers and after both of them reached such a huge highs 40 years ago, they found like so many that trying to be a Hollywood actor is an extremely difficult and precarious life choice.
See this movie for the special effects and the action scenes, but not for the great story.