Rian Johnson thoughtfully expands on the Star Wars universe, deepens the new characters, and finds ways to surprise an audience already expecting surprises. At the same time, he trades in the series’ trademark serial TV episode vibes for a more traditional three-act structure. That change is jarring, but I’d like to note that the last film in the series to do that was Empire Strikes Back. 

The Last Jedi’s true quality depends on Episode IX, though. Empire is ultimately great because ROTJ follows through. The Matrix Reloaded is bad because its sequel destroys what it set up. I’m hoping for a sequel that makes TLJ an even better movie. 

For now, giving TLJ4.5. I reserve the right to change that in two years.

Reply on Letterboxd