It almost goes without saying, but spoilers ahead. To call Episode VIII a decisive film may soon become an understatement, with nearly every aspect receiving equal amounts of praise and scorn from fans and critics alike.
One thing that can be agreed on however, is that the film took the series in a new direction, actively repelling what the series represents to many. If you ever take a class in story writing most likely within the first lesson you’ll be looking at a PowerPoint slide titled “The Hero’s Journey” next to a Star Wars poster. Since the concept’s popularisation from friend of Lucas, Joseph Campbell, the two have been near inseparable. The young nobody with a mysterious heritage and a natural ability faces a seemingly unbeatable foe – they rise, fall to their lowest, only to rise again triumphant. The Force Awakens retraced these points to a tee, delighting in its heritage and nostalgia to the point where many deemed it more a remake than a sequel.
The Last Jedi actively takes the opposite approach. It no longer creates parallels between its counterpart film, but mocks them. A snowy planet showdown isn’t at the start of the film it’s at the end, and it’s not even snow! The tree reminiscent of the cave where Luke fights himself in training isn’t a place of darkness, but a place of light. There’s a sunken X-Wing, begging to be lifted out of the water, but when Luke does return it’s revealed he never even left the planet. These small moments are when the film seems to be looking at The Force Awakens and holding it’s hands up, acknowledging its predecessor’s faults with harmless changes. Read more