With my head canon and expectations effectively out of the way, I approached my second viewing of The Last Jedi in a different fashion than the first. I settled into my comfortable leather theater seat with more of an open, positive mindset and reminded myself to enjoy the ride, even though it does not line up with the way I once imagined it when all I had to go on was the promotional material.

And what a ride it is. Make no mistake, I still have some issues with the movie, but this viewing proved much more enjoyable. I picked up on some things that I didn’t the first time around and I have some more theories on what exactly is happening under the hood of this beautiful beast of a cinematic vision.

Ruminations (spoiler territory):

  • Kylo Ren is much more powerful than anyone — especially his naysayers who cannot get past Adam Driver’s hair and face — gives him credit for, including Snoke (and possibly even Vader). I’m fairly certain he has the ability to instill visions of his liking into anyone’s mind. He does this with Rey to manipulate her into helping him with Snoke and attempting to turn her to the Dark Side. Which means…
  • Rey is from a legacy bloodline. You heard it here first. My guess is Palpatine or Kenobi. This would explain her considerable affinity to the Force and the ease at which she harnesses it.
  • The use of the color red in this movie is absolutely gorgeous, making for two of the most exciting, memorable scenes in all of Star Wars.
  • Poe learns a lesson about leadership, shows character growth.
  • Finn is where Poe was and learns a similar lesson.

I had more of a problem with Poe’s mutiny this time around. He’s kind of let off the hook a bit too easily by Leia and Purple Hair. And the Rose/Finn/Code Breaker story line didn’t bother me as much, though I still think that this subplot is the weakest part of the movie.

The themes of failure, the nature of heroism and burning down the past in favor of the future play out beautifully here, giving the movie a much darker tone than most Star Wars efforts and makes for a piece of art that will be remembered as one of the best in the series long after people cease fire over the user review score on Rotten Tomatoes.

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