Wooooooooooo! Wow! Damn does this move have fans conflicted, a lot of hate out there, even more then for The Force Awakens, which I didn't even think was possible. I see why too, I really do, but at the same time I enjoyed it, it was definitely a roller coaster with it's ups and downs, but still a fun ride. I'll say this much, this movie has balls, and when I say "movie" I mean director Rian Johnson and Disney has the cajones to be really fricking bold in their decisions in deconstruction what was set up by J.J. Abrams in Episode VII and direction of long established characters.
I can't even bring myself to write a proper review for this film it's got me so messed up. Part of me loves this movie, but another part extremely dislikes a lot of which transpired. Notice I did not say hate, I am not on the "this is the worst Star Wars episode EVER!" bandwagon. It is different, and way way totally different then anyone expected or even guessed or methodically theorized for the next chapter of Rey's and Kylo Ren's trilogy.
With the Prequel trilogy I felt that the story of Attack of The Clones should been the first episode of Anakin's trilogy starting with him already a Jedi Knight which could of gave us another episode set during the Clone Wars or a pre-cyborg Darth Vader hunting down Jedi, but with this new trilogy it feels like we should of had an episode before the reveal of Kylo Ren's identity and the death of Han Solo which should be considered mid-trilogy points, not chapter one. After watching Episode VIII I now see The Force Awakens not only with A New Hope similarities, but also about half of The Empire Strikes Back's structure in one movie, and The Last Jedi with the other half, and the story tying up flow of Return of The Jedi smushed together, leaving truly unknown territory for the sequel trilogy's final installment. I love the "idea" of Kylo Ren, Luke Skywalker's powerful fallen apprentice would of nicely echoed that of Obi-Wan and Anakin, but I still feel even after this movie that Adam Driver is no where near the right choose for Ben Solo, I don't see the struggle, or his anger at all, he has no screen presence at all, more like a stand-in line reader was accidentally filmed.
To say that this movie is "Meta" is an understatement, the product that was produced took everything talked about inside and outside the previous installment like a well played chess board full of pieces, and knocked them on the floor like a sore loser, while at the same time the message is repeated throughout this new tale that the past has to be destroyed, and something new erected in it's place. With that mentality sewn in to the narrative it really hit's close to the heart, and that's what is upsetting and outraging so many fans, cause we are seeing a Star Wars story basically telling us: "we are going to be different just to be different from what you've known and loved.", and to long time fans that is very traumatizing, so I understand where this explosion of hostility is coming from.
With that out of the way, God Damn! I can't wait to see this movie again, I got more excited, more goosebumps, laughed more, and more teary eyed then I did during The Force Awakens, I was a kid again most of the time, stuffing my faces with popcorn and candy being blown away by some truly spectacle entertainment. Holy shit! All praise to the mighty awesomeness that is Mark Hamill, what actually transpired was not what you, I, or even Hamill himself wanted to play out for Luke Skywalker's return, but damn was it fricking emotional, and no where near the worst outcome that could of happened. They truly gave him a nice send off, unlike the telegraphed for the whole film eventual weakly handled death of Han Solo.
Blame Johnson for alot of things he did with this film, but I truly have to thank him for seeing Yoda again, and it being proper Empire Strikes Back puppet Yoda, both physically and vocally, Thank you. I am truly thankful for these small nuggets of nostalgia, but with this movie I've come to the harsh realization, that started with Force Awakens, but now solidified, that this new trilogy is not really for the majority of us long time fans, but Disney is purposefully manufacturing it for mass appeal, and for a younger newer audience. Really if you take away the established Star Wars sci-fi fantasy aspects, this new trilogy feels more like a young adult book adaptation injected with some Marvel Studio lightheartedness, semi-formulaic, and not-too violent well choreographed action.
Unfortunately with it's 40 years of non-stop popularity, and now with the 21st century marketing why give you any or all details about anyone or anything in a movie when you buy a book or comic, watch a webisode, or play a video game on sale now at the same time to get that information. Which sadly dilutes and takes away from a story, leaving you in the dark unless you track down, and pay for said additional content. I hoping really hard that Abrams and Episode IX brings not just the last two chapters, but all three trilogies together, and gives us something truly awe inspiring not just for the new fans who are gonna be keeping it going far in to future, but also the long time fans that have made the franchise the billion dollar property it has become today because of our unending love of a trio of films of a galaxy far far away.