With the holidays and various things happening, I didn't do my somewhat regular end of the year post...or any other posts. Time to catch up.
And, just in case even though its been a few weeks, warning: spoilers ahead.
The Last Jedi released, so now I can start getting back to some of the pre-movie things I missed to avoid spoilers as much as possible. There is certainly a never ending supply of new material these days, so it will take time. I prefer to see the movies without a lot of outside input, beyond trailers, some things in Star Wars Insider, and The Star Wars Show. I did a decent job this time around.
Of course, this movie also released a new wave of internet commentary, which I also tend to avoid. You can't miss it all....I mean, my facebook feed and much of twitter was wall to wall Star Wars, most of which declared "Spoilers" in some way. So I see responses to what is likely out there, without pursuing reviews or think pieces or whatever. Plus I had a fair amount of time between viewings, and I wanted at least one more to fill in gaps before hearing too much about things I may have missed or seen a different way. One interesting aspect of writing Star Wars products is that people I don't necessarily expect to discuss the movie with suddenly seek out my opinion at work and other places.
So, I'm not doing a complete review here. My personal experience is that I enjoyed the movie. There were a few head scratching moments like the way the bombers dropped bombs in space with no gravity (though technically microgravity), or why not just microjump the First Order fleet ahead of the resistance cruiser? The bomber thing I eventually came up with a couple of possible explanations (that's what game masters do), but I haven't picked up the cross sections book just yet, which I figure will likely cover it in some way.
I learned a long time ago to try not to carry a lot of expectations into the theater as to how I think the story is going to go. This is one of the reasons I avoid spoilers ahead of time. It helps avoid preconceived notions - at least for me.
The minute I saw the red Star Wars logos for the promos, I did have a bad feeling about Luke's fate. As he is my favorite character, it was a distraction during the movie, as was how they might handle Carrie Fisher's passing in this film. On the whole, I liked Luke's character development. I'm not yet convinced that he needed to fade away at the end. That said, it was suitably dramatic, and I loved the double suns.
It would have been a happier ending (for me at least) and more victorious feeling without Luke's disappearing act. During the ending scenes of the movie, I had a will they or won't they story analysis going on in my head right up to Luke's last moment. I thought with Yoda's comments about passing on what he learned - the good and bad - might indicate Luke would stick around to actually carry it out. It could still happen in ghost form, of course. I had the same real time analysis thing going on with Luke's showdown with Kylo Ren at the end - was he there or wasn't he? How are the filmmakers messing with us? It turns out I was overthinking it a bit.
I continue to feel disappointed and a bit cheated that we never saw Luke, Leia, and Han all together at the same time. Of course the funny thing about that is, we don't see them together very often in the original trilogy, so it's not exactly shocking here. Still, it would have been nice and, more importantly, a lot of fun to see it.
I was surprised when I first hears about an online backlash by fans. Most people I've talked with were reasonably happy with it, even when it went in unexpected directions. There are the typical questions about physics and about the series repeating itself in broad terms. A few friends didn't like it at all and it's impossible to please everyone. It has made for some interesting discussions about story and character development that are far more than just complaints.
So, on to the Han Solo movie....