Previously on my Blog:
I said that I may well give a review of Star Wars: The Last Jedi
My Review: Putting The Magic Back Where It Belongs
That is it that is the review! Deal with it, have a spittle effected complaints & drama session, get it out of your system, etc.
So why is Rian Johnson A Genius?
Well I cannot speak for Rian in particular, though I certainly know enough about my own life story and history and indeed the varied connectivity of Star Wars Threads that run concurrently throughout that time period.
I can cast my mind back to being a little older than a toddler perhaps of primary school age and the adults taking myself, brother and some other children to the cinema to see Star Wars and indeed the surrounding news on TV and the kind of lift off effect that Star Wars had in the school playground with us kids, whether we were 7, 8, 9, 10 etc. Running around the yard playing Star Wars somehow managed parity with previously popular Soldiering War type Games (Same Game New Name I can perhaps say with a grin) that is when we were not charging across the yard playing bulldog or playing football and various other school yard games that are probably all banned now due to Health & Safety Mafias. And yes I even got to see Darth Vader in the Flesh during his stint as the Green Cross Code Man when he visited school and lifted a number of us up, sitting on his hands, we did not care for the green spandex costume or probably the road safety message so much, as the fact it was Darth Vader.
So as I grew older I stayed a Star Wars Fan at age 10, 20, 30, 40 and so on, and throughout that time period owned Video’s and DVD’s and so on, even investing in the Computer Games when they came along. I also as an enthusiast sought background knowledge about its creator George Lucas and The Stars, Harrison Ford was still appearing in other popular movies though Mark Hamill & Carrie Fisher all but disappeared (at least it seemed that way to us UK audiences, who perhaps had occasional sightings on Christmas shows on one of the 4 available channels etc.).
So George Lucas said his inspiration for Star Wars was the classic black & white Flash Gordon type shows of his childhood, and I loved repeat showing of those shows here in the UK when they were on during my own childhood, so have some knowledge of what he spoke and the next weeks exciting episode cliff hangars etc.
So where did Star Wars go wrong? I do not necessarily think that Star Wars went wrong so much as the Fan bases & society in general did, as to how life was to go in this direction, and as you grow older, much of the childhood magic is lost as the demands of many Establishment institutions or Empire’s demand that this is how Society must operate and be and so on and this is your place within it (if you accept external demands & pressures), at some point along the line your childhood innocence and love of the Magic of Disney or Lucasfilm gets squeezed out of you as you go through various expectation manglers, school, college, various jobs, and yet you still cling to some of those childhood heroes & heroines as an escapism At some point you can potentially become akin to the Dark side type characters and not be at ease with your new identity, or indeed not be fully happy with being a member of the rebel alliance, if all that they live for is being broke & against all and anyone in position of power, or wealth and so on etc.
So anyway for myself “The Last Jedi” puts the Magic back into Star Wars for a new generation of young fans, and perhaps reignites the spark for older fans who have lost there way, the tells are quite easy, which characters do you most identify with or behave like?
Whilst reviewers understand the duality of debate and gave the film exceptionally high ratings, that I must state I personally agree with, for myself the film hits the mark across so many audience demographics & on so many differing levels that I genuinely cannot understand much of the negatives coming from some sections of the Fan Bases.
All I can perhaps say is that is bringing a kind of balance to the ever so many differing Fan Kingdom Groups that exist, be they Original Movie Fans or Prequal Fans or Computer Game Fans or Comic Book Fans, they are all effectively complaining about issues related to the lack of representation for there own gang or grouping (at least it seems that way to myself) each wanting there faction to dominate a monster franchise that this movie demonstrates is big enough for everyone & does in its own way represent everyone.
If you want to experience a rollercoaster movie that is also a masterclass in storytelling that will keep you glued to the screen throughout then The Last Jedi is your movie. The Film-craft & workmanship & costumes & music is an amazing blend from all the films contributors, yes some say what about the hammy script & you have to ask, when did any of these POP CULTURE movies not have trashy dialogue and so on. My complaint for example of the dentist chair scene in episode VII was because it was out of keeping with the “Overall” presentation of the entire movie. In VIII you would not feel that the scene was out of place, because a far greater representation is given to such Humour and whilst you might think this aint gonna work, in the overall scheme of the movie everything works because everything keeps coming at you sideways, the humans, the drama, the pace and interweaving of stories and the number of cul-de-sacs or slight of hand feigns you are given will make you dizzy in a fantastically good way.
I have written on this blog historically regarding ideas as to smoke & mirrors & misdirection and this film is a masterclass in such techniques, hence perhaps so many fans dazed & confused & unable to reconcile how they are supposed to now feel about there passion for Star Wars and the pre-existing expectation they had when they entered the auditorium, as to how they feel when they leave.
I myself am sure I could easily watch a multitude of repeat viewings of the film & walk out on each occasion thinking on something I missed in a previous viewing, from start to finish the journey you are taken on is jam packed filled with adventure, excitement, one liners, funny looking aliens, silly humours and the list is endlessly mindboggling.
So Rian Johnson is an absolute Genius, as are his star performers and the crew he assembled around himself whether Disney or Lucasfilm and his own long time collaborators to make this production.
The underlying message & theme is often one of LIGHTEN UP, though clearly some fan quarters struggle with that basic hidden message or maybe that is a message for myself, if you cannot take your own advice then whose can you take & follow.
So another song from an earlier generation was Michael Jackson’s SMOOTH CRIMINAL and I have a strange feeling that the song is a secret anthem in Rian Johnson’s collection, yes he boasts of Mountain Goats & other more internationally obscure cults groups we’ve never heard of though that is what he is, a smooth criminal that I am sure many of us do not mind having been hit by.
An ancient tanoy announcement gag remodelled
the Movie arriving at auditoriums 3, 4, 5, 6 is coming in sideways & you will outright love it or be glued solidly to the screen for a 2 and a half hour rollercoaster journey before pretending otherwise less parts of your own ego think less of you.
Thank you for reading, God Bless and Be Well!