Largely I am writing this for Jeff Morrissette . Spoilers ahead for everyone else. I have not seen TLJ again yet, but after thinking on it for two days, I've concluded that it is the best Star Wars movie since ESB, maybe on par. I was not sure at first if it was even a good movie, but now I am. Let me start by saying this: If you know what Mon Calamari are, or the name of the crystals that power a light saber, this movie was not made for you. If Luke Skywalker was your childhood hero, this movie was not made for you. And the funny part is, neither were ANH or ESB or ROTJ. That is what made those, and this movie, awesome: it wasn't made for a rabid fan base who feel like they own the story but was instead something completely unexpected, made for a young audience developing their own attachment to great heroes. If you are not polluted by your expectations, this was very, very well done.
In order to reach this conclusion I have to cast myself back to my childhood. I was born in 74 and so was too young to remember ANH in theaters, but I remember ESB vividly. I remember the shock of Vader = dad. I remember the chill and exhilaration of Vader catching Hans blaster bolts out of the air. I remember the mystery of the shadowy emperor and the dread at seeing him in ROTJ. I remember the tremendous fun that was all of ROTJ, yes including the Ewoks. 10 year olds didn't hate the Ewoks. We grew to hate them as adults. and we were stupid for doing so, because the movie was not made for 40 year olds. I took my kids to see this movie and they loved it, as they did TFA. My daughter LOVES Rey. And she feels about Luke the way I felt about Obi Wan. And for all intent and purpose, they play exactly the same role in both series. R2 even plays the Leia message to reinforce the idea: Luke is not the hero. He's the guy that sets the hero on the right path, and dies for no other reason then to let the doomed heroes escape (on the Falcon no less). Like Obi Wan, Luke was a failure. He had great victories in the past, but ultimately he dies lonely, old and with no grand impact, regretting having failed his greatest student. That is such awesome story telling that it nearly passed right over my head. wedding guest dresses for over 50
Why did Luke die so pitifully? Because he's not the hero and some grand savior moment would lessen the real heroes. Why did Phasma spend so little time in the movie? For the same reason Boba Fett did. They are just not that important aside from acting as a foil for the secondary hero. Why did we not learn more about Snoke? Because it makes no more difference to our new heroes than Palpatine's back story did to the last. Why did Snoke die? Because we don't need another Palpatine.
This is not some over detailed obsession quencher, filled with details that only matter if you plan on attending a convention this year dressed as a Gamorrean Guard. If you spend even two seconds thinking about whether Leia should be able to Force Push a door open, you have forgotten how mind blowing it was to watch Yoda lift the X Wing. The Force was never meant to be logical until we all obsessed and took it way too far. I'd rather the Force be unexplainable magic that binds the universe together than the aftereffect of blood parasites. And to that end I say, "Fly Leia fly!" If I want semi logical pseudo science, I'll go watch Star Trek, which I often do.
At its core, Star Wars is a story about young heroes, rising from nothing, to take on a hydra so large that its hard to describe. It just happens to be in space. The first movie gives hope and victory to tie you to the heroes. The second brings great darkness to prepare you for the final act. There are a couple of old hands around to guide the heroes but not steal their thunder. And even though the themes are as old as Beowulf, the actual plot is unpredictable. Its a tale targeted at young people who are still developing their sense of heroism. It was true in 1977 and it is true in 2017.
As we speak, Rey is off screen learning the Force from books and maybe the ghost of Yoda and Luke. Just like Luke was doing after ESB. She'll likely get her equivalent "I'm a bad ass Jedi" entrance in the next film, just like Luke in Jaba's palace. My kids will have chills when they see it, just as I did. And by the way, just because Ren told Rey her parents were nobody, that might mean nothing. After all, Uncle Owen told Luke his dad was just a freighter pilot.
If you are an old fart like me, you'll see how great this film is only if you follow Ren's advice: "Let the past die. Kill it, if you have to. That's the only way to become what you were meant to be." This is a really great Star Wars movie, you just have to stop thinking it belongs to you, or that it owes homage to the past, because it doesn't, and because the original films didn't either.