Mike Vanderbilt reviews “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” on Daily Grindhouse


There’s a moment in THE LAST JEDI where the villainous Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) smashes his helmet in a fit of rage after being belittled by Supreme Leader Snoke for his costume. Ren’s get up was as much an ode to the character’s idol Darth Vader as it was a throwback to the original STAR WARS trilogy. The latest STAR WARS adventure seeks to “destroy the past”— a theme in the film—by attempting to avoid the critiques of 2017’s THE FORCE AWAKENS being simply a retread of the 1977 original. While JEDI certainly is not a riff on THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, it does feel like writer/director Rian Johnson culled sequences from EMPIRERETURN OF THE JEDI—and even takes a few cues from the maligned prequel trilogy—and rearranged them at random. If THE FORCE AWAKENS was the film to get older fans back in the saddle, THE LAST JEDI is made for the generation of STAR WARS fans that were introduced to the dysfunctional Skywalkers through Padme, Ani, and Qui Gon Jin. While infinitely more enjoyable than the prequel trilogy featuring slam-bang action, witty dialogue, and some terrifically memorable character moments, the more modern in style LAST JEDI just misses the mark, feeling overstuffed and at the same time more hollow than audiences expect from STAR WARS.


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