When we last left our heroes, Luke was dead, Kylo didn't shoot first, and Finn was in a pointless B-plot.
And now on with the show …
I know I'm late to the party on this, but as far as remakes of “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi” go, it's not bad. I certainly liked it way more than I did the previous installment, and it was clear that J. J. Abrams ran from Rian Johnson's direction of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” for good or ill.
And make no mistake, this is a remake of “Return of the Jedi,” down to a showdown on the forest moon Endor and good ol' Emperor Palpatine pulling his “give in to your hate, strike me down and rule the galaxy” shtick he pulled on Luke. But hey, J. J. Abrams also directed “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” which was a remake of “Star Wars: A New Hope,” so I'm not terribly surprised by it either.
The movie, like all Star Wars movies, is visually beautiful, but … I think I don't care for modern movie techniques like quick editing and over-reliance on garish special effects (I was surprised by the epileptic warning of flashing lights shown at the beginning of the movie—yes, it's that bad) and this movie is filled with them, to the point I found it distracting during the climax of the movie. Another aspect of the movie I found a bit annoying was the whole “fetch quest” vibe I got from it. The whole “we need to go here to get this MacGuffin that will show us how to get to the next MacGuffin.” I thought I was watching a Star Wars movie based on a role playing game. And due to the MacGuffin hunt, we went from location to location. In the original trilogy, “A New Hope” took place in three primary locations (Tatooine, the Death Star, Yavin 4), “The Empire Strikes Back” takes place in three primary locations (Hoth, Dagobah, Bespin), and “Return of the Jedi” takes place in, you guessed it, three primary locations (Tatooine again, the second Death Star, and the forest moon Endor). I lost track of the number of locations in this movie—I think at least six planets and numerous ships.
And can we get away from the XXXXXXX desert planets already? Sheesh.
Afterwards at dinner, refrigerator logic started to kick in as little details started not making sense. One example: one MacGuffin the characters obtained that, story wise, must have been made after “Return of the Jedi” but before “The Force Awakens.” But as I starting thinking of that particular MacGuffin, I asked myself, who made it? Why was it made? Who was it made for? It didn't make sense. And that's just one MacGuffin—there are others.
If this wasn't a Star Wars movie, it would be a fine popcorn type movie. Decent, but nothing terribly special about it. And that's what's sad about this movie. It's … okay. It wasn't bad, but it's not great. I don't hate it.
So … yeah.