Star Wars: The Last Jedi is out now in cinemas, and with hardcore fans attending midnight screenings all over the country, I think the time is right to unpack all of the feelings we have about this movie.
Hey, look at that - a totally spoiler free intro. If you haven't seen it yet, do not read any further.
We've collected the thoughts of a whole range of people in the Allure Media office - from Popsugar to Kotaku, Lifehacker to of course, Gizmodo.
Please let us know yours too, in the comments.
Let's talk about Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Erin Riley: Parenting Editor, Popsugar
Star Wars occupies a funny place in my life: like most kids of my generation, I was raised on the original trilogy. My youngest brother in particular loves it. So while I'm not exactly part of the Star Wars fan community, I sit just outside it. I'm fond of the movies.
Which is important context, because I really loved this movie. It’s perhaps my favourite Star Wars movie ever. I found the story genuinely exciting: it was well-paced and the fact most of it took place over just a few days was a good move. I loved the role of failure in the film. I loved the fact schemes didn't always work. I love, love, LOVED Rose's character. Yes, I thought some of the themes were a bit heavy-handed, but overall, I really enjoyed it.
But my partner, who is far more of a fan than I, didn’t love it as much, and this morning, other friends who are really into the movies have had similar views. They’ve been pointing out inconsistencies and plot holes and theorising about gravity on the dreadnought (was it enough to get the bombs to drop?).
This movie seems to have more for the casual fan than who are more devoted to the Star Wars universe.
Also, Laura Dern's costume was amazing. That is all.
Jackson Ryan: Reviews And Round Ups Editor
The Last Jedi is a very good film.
I have reservations about calling it The Best because there are some niggling issues, but it’s far and away the most engrossing of Disney’s output from top to bottom. It goes for a long time, but it uses all those minutes to set up, break down and then tie together multiple narrative threads from a wide cast of well developed characters. Everyone gets their chance to shine but Hamill is ALL IN, Daisy Ridley gets to really evolve Rey from a naïve, force-sensitive nobody to powerful, force-controlling somebody and Kylo Ren’s motivations and aspirations become clear.
The first act is amazing action set pieces, the second act gets caught up on less exciting things for the sake of time but the huge third act is about forty minutes of the best Star Wars can deliver – and it delivers. I’m so glad that this movie is very good without being a retread of Empire. I am so glad it gave characters room to breathe and really set up Rey and Ren as the new Star Wars paradigm. The movie talks about 'letting the past die’ and with VIII, they didn’t let it die so much as kill it off in the most satisfying way possible.
We don’t need to hold on to our nostalgia anymore. We don’t need to pine for the Original Trilogy and hold onto our love for it, hoping the series can return to its former glory. This is the new order. This is the rebirth.
This is our Star Wars now.
Chris Jager: Editor, Lifehacker
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is really really good. It's the funniest and most emotionally satisfying Star Wars yet. Best of all, it's not completely predictable. If you thought Force Awakens was too much like A New Hope, you'll like where this one goes.
Hayley Williams: Social Media and Community Manager
The Last Jedi is a movie that brings balance to the Star Wars franchise.
I couldn’t stop thinking about the idea of balance in this movie. It’s a theme that’s played on heavily in the more Jedi theory-heavy parts of the story, but the film itself is so well-balanced you have to assume Rian Johnson has learned something from the old Jedi ways. I was never shy of pointing out my problems with The Force Awakens, but was pleasantly surprised to find that the second part of the trilogy improved on all of those annoying little issues.
Remember that clip of George Lucas calling the prequels ‘poetry’ in how they ‘rhymed’ with the originals? In relation to the prequels it’s a ridiculous statement, but I think the franchise finally got the rhyming thing down with Last Jedi and how it harks back to Empire Strikes Back. The Force Awakens was criticised for being too close a copy of A New Hope, but this time the relationship is subtler. It’s familiar enough to be gratifying to old fans, but new enough that the movie was never predictable or tired. It kept you guessing right to the end, leaving enough space for the next film to go any number of different ways.
The Last Jedi also balanced its comedic moments surprisingly well. This film probably has the most straight-out jokes of any Star Wars film, some of them coming at moments that are otherwise quite serious. Somehow it never gets obnoxious, though your mileage with gratuitous porg moments may vary. Despite the focus on humor, Johnson knows when to give space to a serious moment, and when to break up the tension with a more ridiculous moment.
Despite the expanding cast of characters, it felt like each character got their own satisfying arc in this film. Newcomers Kelly Marie Tran as Rose and Laura Dern as Admiral Holdo were particular favourites of mine, adding depth to Finn and Poe respectively while also getting their own character journeys along the way. I loved how Holdo’s character could call out the character flaws in someone as beloved as Poe Dameron, while not making us hate either one of them (at least not by the end).
With Luke and Rey’s storyline, The Last Jedi becomes the first saga film to question the Jedi and the Force more rigorously. While both The Clone Wars and Rebels have explored the idea of the Force beyond a simple Dark/Light dichotomy, it’s refreshing to see those questions and intricacies reflected in one of the franchise’s main films.
The movie wasn’t without its weak points, of course. The whole casino scene felt like a bit of a waste of time, and oddly paced considering the state of the Resistance. I wasn’t a big fan of Benicio Del Toro’s character in these sequences either. He seemed to straddle the line between major and minor character in a very uncertain way, as though he was shoehorned in at the last minute. Perhaps there are plans to do more with his character in the future, but from what I’ve seen in this film I’m not sold on him. The Clone Wars fan in me is maybe just a little disappointed that they missed the opportunity to bring in a more well-known scumbag from one of the animated series.
From a filmmaking standpoint, The Last Jedi is ridiculously gorgeous. The scenes on the mineral planet of Crait are almost too indulgent in their gorgeous red-and-white colours, but it pays off for some truly unique and interesting battle scenes. The destruction of Snoke’s ship was incredibly done, somehow managing to be impactful and stunning even in an age when we’re so used to giant CG-driven spectacle. The music is fantastic, underscored by the use of silence in the aforementioned scene of destruction. I’ll always love a film that knows how to use its quiet moments.
I have so much more I could say about The Last Jedi, but overall it was the movie I wanted in this trilogy – and the movie that the franchise needed. The Force Awakens was a fun movie, but it tended to lean on nostalgia a little too much. The Last Jedi has broken off from those bonds and is taking the series into interesting new places. It makes me want to dive into the Star Wars universe again and devour everything I can get my hands on while we wait for the conclusion to the trilogy.