Star Wars: Episode VIII -The The Last Jedi
starring Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Benicio Del Toro
written and directed by Rian Johnson
by Walter Chaw I wrestled for a long time with this review. Not what I would write but whether I should write it at all. I consider director Rian Johnson to be a friend. He's kind, smart, true, and unaffected despite having been handed the reins to the most revered American mythology--save for becoming somehow more humble during the course of it. In the middle of a period in which everyone in the business, it seems, is being outed as a cad, Rian is something like hope that there are good and decent men left. Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (hereafter The Last Jedi) is every inch his movie. It's about hope, see, and hope is the word that's repeated most often in his script. By the end of it, he suggests that hope can even grow from salted earth. It's a beautifully-rendered image as open, guileless-unto-corny, and genuine as Rian is. I don't love everything in the film, but I do love Rian and The Last Jedi as a whole. In a franchise this venerated and valuable, it's ballsy as fuck that he decided to do his own thing and that Disney let him. Now they've decided to invest another $600M or so in letting him do his own thing some more.