*spoilers; also don’t be shocked by a positive review… and don’t hate SW8 lovers…
The finale’ to three trilogies has a lot to live up to, especially after the controversial penultimate Ponzi scheme that was the Rian Johnson debacle. Once again playing to OG fans in the safest of safe ways, JJ Abrams blinks past the memory of two years ago and allows respect to renter the universe. Sure, mock the risk-averse take on a timeless classic, but don’t tell me you don’t love Rey’s new kick flip force moves, or throwback speeder races, or a visit to Endor.
This time, Luke’s saber must be earned, falling rocks mean something, pogs get only a flash, and you can continue to ship Poe and Fin. Abrams fans will also see revivals from favorite faces of Charlie from Lost and two favorite characters from JJ’s hit 90s TV series Felicity: Greg Grunberg and Keri Russell . This film has everything from Sarlackian sinking sand pits to movable monster chess, Wookies in handcuffs, and Lando Calrissian.
It’s a date with the old franchise that raised you – plus a few of the new tricks like lightspeed skipping and interdimensional force fighting. Leia’s role is a perfect compliment to her character and career. And my favorite aspect of this film was the new perspective on the balance of the force that created resolve and unexpected connectivity between all nine films: Rey uses the force to heal. All others use the force to see or to fight, but Rey follows her heart and lays a hand of healing on her enemies, building relationship, forging heroes.
Kylo Ren’s journey becomes the echo of the Anakin story we all cared enough to follow over four decades. The which, I am grateful to have lived through. Star Wars and I have had a long journey together, and in this great wide universe, there will be conflict but we are never alone and there is always hope.
RATING: 7.5; C+ …not the hateful 8th, but perhaps a recap of 7. I gave the “Honest Trailer” for this one all aces.