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The Last Jedi is the eight installment in the franchise but it honestly plays out with a much fresher feel than you'd expect from the 8th installment of ANY franchise. Just look at Fate of the Furious for example.
The Last Jedi is a much more introspective movie than any mega blockbuster has any reason to be. It explores the themes of destroying the past, being starstruck by legends and mythos and the damage it can cause, and abolishing the cowboy cop trope in favor of more realistic strategy. It's like the film is telling us that it won't be hamstrung by the tropes of the franchise that Lucas built going forward.
One of the biggest benefits of the new trilogy overall is the absolute dearth of raw acting talent that's present on the screen at any given time. Oscar Issac as Poe Dameron is one of my favorite characters and his arc in TLJ is adjacent to Finn's but the hammer hits home much harder on Poe's side than Finn's. Poe is propped up to be knocked down in this film and I believe it should continue to the next one since his actions have significant effects on the end game of the film. Poe's blend of humor, pilot skills, and brass ones make him a unique character on his own. Not a Solo or a Skywalker expy but his own personality and footprint.
Between the Force Awakens and TLJ it seems that Poe and Finn switched places as in TLJ it seems as if Finn takes a more secondary role. His actions in his arc help play a part in the disaster of the third act but even then he seems to not understand the weight of his actions and who it effects. His adventure with Rose may have seemed extraneous but it's vital in introducing some weighty themes into the film regarding life in the galaxy under the boot of the First Order.
Rose was a great addition to the cast as the face of the run of the mill Resistance member. Not an ace pilot, or a disgraced stormtrooper, or a Force heavy Jedi in training, but a Resistance member who works day in and day out to insure the movement doesn't die. Someone who has lost something valuable in the war and works hard to live up to the standards of the "legends" around them.
I cannot in good faith discuss Kylo, Luke, and Rey as this is not a spoiler heavy review.
All in all, I'd give it 4 binary sunsets out of 10. (8/10)
There was a kaboom, but it didn\'t shatter the Earth. Or any other planet.
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