As soon as the Star Wars logo appears on-screen and the music starts, I cannot help but react exactly the same as when I was a child. The excitement, the faster beating heart, the goosebumps, the thrill, eyes wide open. Space opera time!
The literal meaning of opera is work, in the double sense of labour done, and the end result. The original trilogy is definitely a work, an opus. It is a standard, and hard to be measured up to.
Star Wars, The Force Awakens was a tough one for me. I felt manipulated: all characters were so likeable, it was all so ‘by the book’, all so psychological, all so small. Where was the charm? The fun? Where was all that the theme music promised; the ups, the down, the over the top? There was something I missed and I mumbled with sadness that I preferred the prequels over this. At least they had a lot of worlds and hairdo’s. (This caused me – understandably – to be accused of insanity.)
Not sure if my expectations changed, or if this movie is truly different, but Star Wars: The Last Jedi lived up to my opening-credits-excitement. Things were going on! Plans! Counter plans! Betrayal! Space ships! Cringe romance! A never to win situation!
I liked Snoke’s evil plans (and would he really be betrayed by Kylo or was this yet again part of his plan to seduce him further on the dark path). I liked Luke’s whininess and Yoda – his grey hairs, his lighting up a tree! – teaching him yet another lesson. I liked Chewie making a Porg friend. I liked Kylo and Rey fighting side by side. Never expected this to happen, but I am starting to like Kylo. I liked slicing D.J. I liked the red chain light saber. I liked Luke doing a battle jedi-meditation-style. I liked the white-red sand.
Some thoughts came to mind; was Rey a new Anakin but stronger, since he had a mom (she became pregnant with him from the force, instead of a man); did Rey literally appear from nobody? She only saw herself in the dark side mirror. Could she become Darth Rey? Episode IX would have been all about Leia, will she meet her dark counter? It seemed to be more about balance than ever. Even BB had a dark twin. (Liked that too.) And why did everything look retro?
Of course there were parts I liked less, but I didn’t care, because it was space opera time!
And the end credits were fitting.
Carrie Fisher will forever be our princess.