• Jeff South

Favorite Movies of 2010s: #10

10. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

I saw the original Star Wars movie at least three times during the summer of 1977. I was there for The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. I introduced my kids to the original trilogy prior to the release of The Phantom Menace in 1999. When The Force Awakens came out in 2015, we were there opening night. Star Wars is a big part of our family. The response of some of the fans to The Last Jedi nearly ruined all the Star Wars movies for me, but then I remembered that it doesn't matter what they think. The Last Jedi is a film that challenges our comfort zone with these characters and this story and infused me with something I hadn't truly experienced in a Star Wars movie since 1977: pure joy at seeing something I wasn't expecting.

Writer/director Rian Johnson has taken quite a few lumps from a part of the fandom that seems bent on reminding the whole world that he ruined Star Wars. He didn't. He energized it. Infused it with a new vigor. This was an exciting story that made me think about why I loved the characters of Luke and Leia so much and what I believed the new characters of Rey, Finn, Poe, and Kylo Ren would become.

Now, I haven't watched any of The Clone Wars, nor have I read any of the books. I guess that makes me unqualified to judge because I'm unfamiliar with canon. Meh. I don't care. The Last Jedi enraptured me. I felt like I was watching a unique vision for these characters and it was a blast. I thought it about all day after my first viewing. My second view a couple of days later only increased my enjoyment. Two years and about three more looks later and I'm convinced more than ever that The Last Jedi is brilliant.

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