By Marc Woodfork

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is a fitting title for latest adventure from a galaxy far, far away.  And I don’t mean that in a positive way. It really should be the last film in this franchise.  Unfortunately, it won’t be.  Too much money to be made.  Disney Studios has sacrificed great filmmaking for nostalgia and dollars.  The Star Wars universe has an abundance of opportunity and plot lines to make very good films.

What happened to the momentum that “Rogue One” brought to a franchise that was drowning in overdone SFX and poor scripts?  On the heels of “Rogue One” I was expecting “Last Jedi” to take the baton and run across the finish line.  Sadly, the baton was dropped, along with my hopes for a great run of Star Wars films.

Episode 8, ‘The Last Jedi’ is filled with everything you’d expect.  Big SFX,  massive spaceships going to battle against each other.  Lots of explosions and lasers and lightsabers.  But it doesn’t deliver what made Star Wars great.   It lacks heart.  It lacks character.  It lacks substance.  Everything that made us care about the individuals is not in this film.  Halfway through the movie, I found myself thinking, “I don’t care about any of these people anymore.”

There are scenes in the movie that make you shrug your shoulders and wonder why that was even included.  And at a whopping two hours and forty minutes, it really shouldn’t waste time on frivolous scenes.  Long, and at times very tedious, often very dull, and dare I say, boring.

One bright spot is the performance of Benicio Del Toro.  His character is interesting and engaging.  A character from Episode 7 returns and is one of the most intriguing in the entire Star Wars universe succumbs to an undignified end.  More questions remain than are answered in Episode 8.

In the end,  Star Wars will always have a loyal following. There will be fans who support the franchise no matter what.  But that’s nostalgia.  It should never be confused with good filmmaking.  The producers at Disney should try and remember that.  Even super fans can only be fooled for so long.

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