Bringing writer-director Rian Johnson on to make a Star Wars film was -- regardless of the polarizing contention between critics and fans -- one of the best decisions this franchise could make. His last effort, LOOPER, is one of the best sci-fi mind-benders over the last decade, perhaps longer. Have you seen it? Stop reading and watch it now, if not.
Taking on such a beloved franchise is a stomach ulcer waiting to burst, but Johnson did the best he could, brought a lot of fresh fun to the franchise, and changed a few things up, for better or worse.
I'm a fan of Star Wars to an extent -- I grew up on the originals and watched them religiously on VHS. I went to see the "upgraded" ones where Lucas added a bunch of unnecessary CGI look cool, and I even asked Harrison Ford the infamous "Who shot first?" question when I interviewed him. (Note: I asked before it started to drive him batty.)
All that said, there's a lot I love about THE LAST JEDI, and there's a lot I don't enjoy (to put it kindly), and I have crazy respect for him adding and taking away things from the Star Wars canon.
The hyperspeed crash Vice Admiral Holdo (Lauren Dern) does is breathtaking and will leave you slack-jawed for a moment. But once that moment is over, it forever changes the way I -- and millions of others -- see this valuable method of escape. What if our hero hits hyperspace and on the way hits an asteroid and his ship blows up? This is a valid argument someone like me is going to let go (but always think about) because this is a movie about humans living in space without spacesuits and live, work, and hang out with Aliens. I can bypass this little itch.
The big problem with THE LAST JEDI isn't that it's a bad movie -- it's that diehard fans are having trouble letting go of the troupes Johnson got rid of, and I applaud him for that. New beginnings.
STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII is now on 4K Blu-ray, Blu-ray, and other formats.