I for one absolutely loved it. I was initially surprised to see how divisive it is among fans, but I don’t give a damn about the haters and it became clear that they would whine no matter what because it’s different and not exactly what they envisioned. Just like they whined about TFA being too derivative. It’s a damned-if-you-do situation with these fans, clearly no pleasing some people.
All I care about is my own experience, and my expectations were completely blown away, to the point I actually now feel MUCH better about Disney’s control of the franchise and especially Rian Johnson’s future trilogy than I did before. This blew both TFA and especially Rogue One out of the water.
In fact I’d go so far as to say that it’s better than RotJ and therefore the best Star Wars film since 1980. As far as filmmaking quality alone goes — direction, acting, script, cinematography, etc. — it might well best even the original. Not prepared to say it’s actually better because the original will always be special, but damn was this a well-made film that was firing on all cylinders.
Damn near everything about it worked for me: Every risk paid off, every scene kept me gripped in a way its two predecessors could not (especially Rogue One). There might be a couple minor nitpicks as there are in the best of films, but they are totally overwhelmed by the positives. This was everything I wanted from a new Star Wars movie and then some things I didn’t even realize I wanted as well. (Like that scene with Kylo and Rey kicking ass that felt like it came out of a Tarantino film.) It was original, smart, emotional, exciting, and satisfying with JUST the right amount of nostalgia. For the first time since Empire, it really felt like I was watching something NEW in a Star Wars film that wasn’t just derivative, a true progression. That theme of “out with the old in with the new” was of course echoed in the film itself, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.
By the way, how anyone has a problem with Luke’s “death” scene is beyond me. The binary sunset shot with the music swelling sent chills down my spine. It was absolute perfection.
Mark just knocked it out of the park with this. I sincerely hope he gets an Oscar nomination. It would be a first for a Star Wars film?
Alec Guiness was nominated in ‘77. I think it would be only fitting if Hamill was as well. This was certainly the performance of his career, it’s just a shame it came so late in his career. Guy was absolutely slept on for decades without being given a chance to grow as an actor because he was forever typecast as the whiny Star Wars kid who wanted power converters. Which is a damn shame and completely unfair. He has grown into a far more formidable actor and easily had the potential for several great performances over the last three decades that have passed him by.