Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi has more than other Star Wars movies; some of it hits, some of it doesn’t. The much publicised Porgs work for a moment or two, but they outstay their welcome. The film drew to a halt too many times to show-odd cute creatures. I didn’t care for the crystal wolves during the climatic battle and the aforementioned space Llamas feel like they belong in a Disney movie (wait, this is a Disney movie!).
The Last Jedi has some great moments (some of the best in the series) but it also has some of the worst. It’s better than Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (read the Movies In Focus review), but it doesn’t match-up to the original trilogy – or the much derided prequels. In fact, director Rian Johnson commits many of the same crimes that George Lucas did in those movies (plot diversions, silly humour, CGI creatures) but Lucas handled it much better. At 2 1/2 hours, Star Wars: The Last Jedi could have been tightened-up in the editing room, cutting out that bloated middle section and removing things like Maz Kanata’s cameo and the cute slave kids which feel like they dropped in from a totally different movie. When it works, it really works but when it doesn’t, it feels like bad fan-fiction with a million dollar budget.
Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker is the highlight of The Last Jedi, anchoring the film in the same way that Harrison Ford steadied The Force Awakens. The late Carrie Fisher is given more to do this time around – but there’s a moment in the film which could have been used as her swan-song. This wouldn’t have had much of an impact on the main thrust of the story and it would been a powerful way to have her exit the franchise. A shame.
Released in 2017, Star Wars: The Last Jedi grossed $620.1 million in the US and $712.5 million in other countries for a $1.36 billion global total.