The stuff with Luke and Vader and the emperor is genuinely great, an emotionally thrilling climax to the trilogy. And while the cynical part of me thinks George designed the Ewoks to sell toys, I don’t mind them that much. But other than the climax, this feels pretty artless and tasteless and doesn’t compare to the prior two. Honestly, it feels rushed and like nobody’s heart was in it (except for Ian McDiarmid and Mark Hamill, bless their souls). 

My understanding is that Empire was not that well-liked at first. Folks have told me it took about a decade for that film to be appreciated. That checks out. We don’t really like middle films in trilogies, and they are awkward on their own. Nobody had really done a middle chapter” as a film before Empire, so I can understand the resistance. 

I bring this up because it feels a little like Jedi is a response to Empire’s backlash the same way Rise of Skywalker is a response to The Last Jedi. It’s a lot of fan service with very little substance. Want more Tatooine? Brought it back. You liked the Death Star? Brought it back. It’s a remake disguised as a sequel. This movie is fortunate Empire gave it so much to do, because otherwise there’d be even more familiars ground. 

It’s not that it’s all bad; it’s just not all good, which makes it the first of many middling (or worse) Star Wars entries. 

Some other notes:

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