“Amazing. Every word of what you just said was wrong.”
I observed in my review of Rogue One that the main Star Wars movies are (excellent) high adventure tales of good versus evil, while it showed there was also room for exploration of the shades of gray realities of warfare embedded in the struggle of the Rebellion and the Empire. The Last Jedi ends up somewhere in between in atmosphere, scope, and story, and I adored it. This is a movie featuring nuanced characters (including several excellent new additions) with conflicting and changing agendas, strong reveals, and significant open potential for next movie.
There were no easy answers and the characters, including familiar faces, are all too fallible. This seems to be one of the main reasons behind the mixed reception I’ve noticed, but I felt it added a wonderfully layer of depth. Without faults they have no room for growth, and the conflicts, missteps, and hard choices our heroes faced made this one of the most interesting Star Wars films for me. Without getting into spoilers, I also seem not to have made certain assumptions others did after Force Awakens, and the different expectations (or lack thereof) I had likely explain some of the disconnect between my impression and what appears to be more common consensus of longtime fans.
Of course I’m not claiming the movie was perfect and I did have some minor quibbles, most relating to certain aspects of Finn’s subplot, but nothing that significantly impacted my enjoyment.
One last aspect worth bringing attention to is the incredible visual look of the film. Rian Johnson not only introduced new and interesting locales, but also found new and interesting ways of presenting things we’ve seen before, with little details and creative choices that really aided and enhanced the movie’s impact.
So for what it’s worth, from a lifelong fan of Star Wars, I thought The Last Jedi was incredible overall and am extremely excited to see how everything proceeds from here.