What sticks out to me about The Last Jedi is the star cruiser chase sequence. It’s all a mad race with Leia, Holdo and Poe trying to get to the supposed safe rebel harbor on another ice planet (this time one that bleeds red).

This is a film where a fighter infiltrates a landing bay just to blow it up. The First Order pursuit of the rebel fleet is a slow-motion chase sequence so attenuated that it exhausts plot point after another in maddening attenuation. The usual jump to hyperspace strategy seems to work, except now “they can track us through hyperspace?” But they’re too big to be fast enough to chase the fleet runner! Which immediately runs out of fuel. They start picking off the slower ships in the convoy. So, the rebels begin smuggling people out in small transports that are hard to track! Which the First Order can suddenly track! That’s when Holdo, doubted and questioned by Gung Ho Poe until he must be subdued, demonstrates her actual command experience and takes out their foe with a surprise kamikaze move! And it would be worth the sacrifice if only the pursued could get to the hidden base with the giant Shield Door. Which can only be breached by the big cannon the First Order brought (the bad guys in Star Wars always have the bigger guns!). The good ones use tiny pistols like Leia in Return of the Jedi and attack by surprise and stealth.

Is there a back-way out of the now-breached hideout? Well, those ice glass kitties are coming from somewhere. And that’s when Luke shows up to confront his former padawan in his own last-ditch effort, a beautiful moment where he evinces his always precocious Force mastery yet again, says goodbye to Leia, and delays Kylo just enough for Rey to levitate a landslide out of their way for a last-minute escape. In so doing, she inherits the Last Jedi mantle from Luke, and she’s now the final stage of the game.

The film of course is divisive and set up a golden opportunity for review hate-bombers and fragile male egos to declare their Star Wars forever betrayed. And other people were just honestly not entertained, but I’m sorry guys, Lucas let us all down with the prequels long ago. The Abrams/Johnson era has been about righting the ship, re-investing in Luke and Leia, finding a way to continue Vader’s dark legacy in a new generation. It’s kind of amazing it’s happening at all, I was resigned to never getting all nine movies promised way back in the 1970s.

And maybe it was all the master plan of a hidden player still left to be revealed. We’re left at the end with many unanswered questions, and with the need to finally resolve the mysteries of this new generation. Gee, I wonder when I felt like that before (cough! Empire!). I anxiously await the Christmas denouement.


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