Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Today, I finally got to see the new Star Wars movie.  In lieu of the usual opening crawl, here’s a summary from IMDB:

Rey develops her newly discovered abilities with the guidance of Luke Skywalker, who is unsettled by the strength of her powers.  Meanwhile, the Resistance prepares for battle with the First Order.

The latest addition to the Star Wars franchise doesn’t disappoint. There are two separate story lines:  Rey and Luke, and the rest of the Resistance and their tension with the First Order. It took awhile to get to what was happening with Rey and Luke.  But once the action starts, it doesn’t let up at all.  It had quite a bit of backstory too, which was surprising, but welcome.

A certain metaphor was particularly striking.  Channeling The Force is a lot like practicing meditation.  Rey (Daisy Ridley) just sat quietly and tried to visualize what was going on around her.  So, it makes sense that meditation is akin to the Force.  It doesn’t give people superpowers, but meditation is still useful.

The special effects were off the charts.  All the explosions and fight sequences were amazing.  The filming was also interesting.  During one scene, the movie made use of subjective camera movements.  In other words, the camera movement provides several convincing cues through space, often motivated narrowly to represent the view through the eyes of a moving character.

And last but not least, Carrie Fisher.  It was bittersweet knowing that this was the last movie she made.  They had a nice “In Memory of our Princess” during the credits.

If you get a chance to see this, don’t pass it up.

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