The Last Jedi was a good film. Not a great film, but enjoyable enough if you are prepared to selectively ignore certain aspects.
Where the orginal trilogy were amazing and groundbreaking, and the prequel trilogy broadly disappointing, the latest instalment joins The Force Awakens somewhere in a middle tier. Paying enough homage to the established franchise, while also introducing new characters.
The Last Jedi continues in creating scenes that draw imagery from the original films, from a ground assault by imperial walkers, to the young force-strong trainee being brought before the evil mastermind by the dark figured villain. But The Last Jedi takes manages to avoid being completely predictable, with some unexpected turns in places.
The characters introduced in The Force Awakens continue being developed. Yet also continue to suffer the same flaws they had in the first film. Rey is too conveniently good at everything unless doing so would be inconvenient to the story. Kylo Ren remains conflicted and angst-ridden. Finn remains single minded and fixated completely on Rey.
One character who does enjoy some strong development is Poe Dameron. His character benefits from the attention it gets in this film.
And added to the cast of heroes is Rose Tico played by Kelly Marie Tran. An actress who came from obscurity to eclipse the current generation of key characters to quickly claim the titles of most likeable, and most relatable character added to the post-Disney franchise.
Benicio del Toro appears as only he can. With a character that is both uniquely his own, and yet is still unique amongst the characters he has portrayed. Yet, unfortunately, playing a character that did little in terms of serving the story.
The other new face Vice Admiral Holdo, played by Laura Dern added another generally forgettable face.
The Supreme Leader Snoke scene took an unexpected turn, leaving another new character failing to reach their potential. But was nonetheless an enjoyable twist and one of the better fight scenes involving lightsabers.
The Finn / Phasma battle was good. Though if stormtrooper armour can be laser proof, why aren’t they all wearing it. Hopefully, not the last we see of Phasma.
The use of Luke was enjoyable. His finale was not unexpected. Other original characters like Chewbacca, R2D2 and C3PO given minor and relatively inconsequential roles.
But this leaves what is to me the gaping hole in the current films. The villains really aren’t all that intimidating. General Hux is almost comedic in his ineptitude. Kylo is an emo teenager on constant tantrum setting that everyone is too frightened of to spank. Not exactly making for a galactic force of darkness. Yet they somehow have control of the galaxy.
Development of the bad guy team would really serve the franchise well. Build them up as intimidating. Perhaps some mentor of Phasma or a relative of Hux explaining how that twit got to be general, taking control of the faction.
It will also be interesting to see what the next instalment holds. Will Disney look for a climactic film to wrap these into a trilogy, or will it be treated as just another instalment in an ongoing franchise?