Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars 3

You may or may not be surprised to learn I do not automatically swoon every time I hear the words ‘Star Wars’. But, I’ll be damned if I didn’t feel a distinctive shiver down my spine watching The Last Jedi.

It’s been no easy task adapting this saga for a new generation. While J.J. Abrams did an admirable job making the big leap with The Force Awakens, it’s Rian Johnson who takes the reins and makes this baby run. Adding a surprising dose of laugh out loud humor, Johnson picks up where we left off and fills the screen and story with fabulous visuals and friends old and new. The actual plot, the basic good versus evil stuff, feels very fresh here, due, in part to the terrific actors embodying them, but also, dare I remind you, of the times we live in. And if you don’t get wrapped up in some of the handsomely staged battles or a few of the quieter moments, well, you probably weren’t paying attention.

Admittedly, I can see where the mind might wander a bit. Running 2 hours and 32 minutes, this is still a long sit, as enjoyable as most of it is. Just make sure you prepare properly going in.

Because the few sagging moments aren’t long enough for a bathroom break or popcorn refill. Daisy Ridley continues to impress as Rye, Oscar Issac and John Boyega are great fun as Poe and Finn. Adam Driver gets to do more this time around and he’s terrific. There are lots of familiar faces that show up, some we can see (Laura Dern, Benicio Del Toro), some rumored to be voicing Stormtroopers and such. The happiest addition is the dandy Kelly Marie Tran, the sweetest reunions are with Mark Hamill and, of course, Carrie Fisher, to whom the film is dedicated.

There’ll be arguments as to which is the best Star Wars film. I’ll leave that to others. But I’m sure this one will be up there, sealing fates, opening doors and assuring The Force is with us.