When the Lucasfilm logo appeared on the screen for the showing of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," nerds like myself cheered in anticipation of the next chapter in this beloved saga.
Lightsabers glowed brightly and waved with much enthusiasm as the opening sequence began to scroll on the screen.
As the story unfolded on the screen, those cheers changed from a loud roar to a low murmur of disappointment.
In the latest chapter, Rey (Daisy Ridley) finds Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamil) on a desolate planet and convinces him to train her in the ways of the Jedi order. As her training progresses, Luke is still haunted by his past in which he failed a student, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), who turned to the dark side.
As Rey and Luke work together, the rebels prepare to do battle with the First Order. They are outnumbered, and their ranks are dwindling in numbers. The fate of the rebellion faces mounting obstacles and an uncertain future.
Growing up, “Star Wars” was one of those stories that I could really sink my teeth into. I pictured myself — countless times — carrying a lightsaber and battling it out with hundreds of stormtroopers coming out on top.
The last two films in the franchise, “The Force Awakens” and “Rogue One,” really made believe me once again in a galaxy far, far away. Those movies helped to remove the painful memories of what George Lucas did with Episodes One, Two, and Three.
The Last Jedi had a lot of great moments that you come to treasure, such as the last on-screen moment between Luke and Leia (Carrie Fisher). Another moment where you really felt connected with the characters was when Luke explained how he lost his faith in the Jedi religion.
To balance those emotional parts out, there were some adrenalin pumping space battles and lightsaber duels. Those scenes were nicely done with eye-catching action.
However, with all that good there is a lot to be said about what the movie was lacking, which was a definite direction. I felt, at times, the plot was half written. When I was watching it the story, it would be progressing in one way, but then it suddenly would change. It left a lot of unanswered questions, which at times kept me more focused on that rather than the plot moving forward.
These abrupt changes gave the plot the appearance of Swiss cheese with significant and very noticeable holes in its story. It almost felt as if the directors and the writers could not agree on the main points of the film.
The other issue is that it felt noticeably long. At 152 minutes it was not as streamlined as some of the other movies in the franchise. There could have been steps made to make the story smoother, but the editing was left out of the final cut. During several points in the movie, I glanced down at my watch and was surprised that the story hadn’t progressed.
In the end, the final product was something that I thought was good but it was not something that I loved or really cherished. Star Wars: The Last Jedi leaves a lot left on the table for fans to ponder the question “what if.”
I give “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” three and a half mustaches out of five.
It is rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action and violence.