Tag: The Last Jedi

Movie Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story

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Making a Star Wars movie in 2018 is fraught with dangers. Lurking within the dangerous fog that surrounds the only safe path are fans who have invested in personal visions of the universe based on recently de-canonized stories, critics eager to espouse opinions about franchise fatigue, and just when you think you’ve made it out with your precious cargo, here come journalists ready to pounce upon any reports of troubles on the set or changes in filmmakers. It’s almost impossible to avoid all of these traps and hungry monsters, and the worst thing is that there’s really no way of knowing when one will pop up. Did you hire directors whose trademark is their sense of spontaneity to make your movie that has to slot precisely into a rigid canon, then fire them when you realized that they weren’t going to button up and act right? Oops, there’s 6 months of bad news stories. Did you think it would be a good idea to focus a little on a prop that had accidentally become important after previous filmmakers cut the justifying scene from three movies ago? Well, now you’re scrambling to make up for a horrible movie that everybody hated (one that’s actually the best in the franchise), so now they’re going to hate your movie too. Is your film in part a prequel and in part a set-up for further untold stories? That’s not good storytelling, it’s just an excuse to be money-grubbing hacks. What’s a moviegoer to do?

A personal response to Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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I don’t like Star Wars. Wait, stop, don’t go yet. Let me clarify. I don’t like Star Wars movies very much. When I was around 7 years old, I got both the Original Trilogy (hereafter OT) and the Indiana Jones Trilogy on VHS at roughly the same time. I started with Star Wars and found myself enjoying but not falling head over heals with the films. Then I watched the Indiana Jones movies and fell in love with them. Here’s a movie for me! Whips! Nazi punching! The best part of Star Wars given his own films and no whiny kids to muck it all up (ok, well, at least not in 2/3 of them). That isn’t to say that I cast Star Wars aside entirely. In fact, if you looked at my toy collection for the next 5 or so years of my life, you’d think I was the biggest Star Wars fan there was. I did love the extended Star Wars universe. I read a bunch of the books, ignoring the generally bad prose for the pretty fun world-(or universe)-building. As I got older I got really into a few Star Wars videogames, especially the Dark Forces/Jedi Knight series and, of course, both Knights of the Old Republic games. When the Prequel Trilogy began I was 11 years old and of course I loved The Phantom Menace because I was the perfect age for it. I came home and fought the classic broom-handle-lightsaber battles with my friends. I played the terrible videogame that followed the events of the movie and the fantastic podracer game. I got Lego sets and the action figures. I made up stories of my own because the stories (and most of the primary characters) weren’t all that interesting to me. This is my Star Wars apostasy, I’m a spiritual Star Wars fan, not a fundamentalist. And that is why The Last Jedi is, for me, the first truly great Star Wars movie.