The Last Jedi is a great movie. In fact, it's easily the best Star Wars movie of the Disney era. Not only is it action-packed but it also moves the saga forward in a new direction. It can certainly be said that writer-director Rian Johnson had a bit more freedom to tell his story and take risks with the characters. J.J. Abrams simply didn't have that liberty when crafting The Force Awakens, a movie which was tasked with bringing the classic Star Wars experience back to a world that had seemingly moved on since the Prequel Trilogy.
There are many reasons that The Last Jedi is better than The Force Awakens and one of the main ones is that Episode VIII doesn't dwell so heavily on the past. Instead, it answers many of the big questions left over from its predecessor. Oh, and it features a lot more Luke Skywalker!
Fans will undoubtedly clash over which Star Wars movie is best for the foreseeable future. But for now, the case can easily be made for The Last Jedi.
Those hoping to see Yoda, one of the most popular Jedi Masters, in The Force Awakens were left disappointed. Fortunately, The Last Jedi gives the little green alien a meaty cameo that showcases both his wisdom and quirky sense of humor. Original puppeteer and voice actor Frank Oz even reprised his role for the brief scene.
As promised, there's way more Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Better yet, the movie fully pulls back the curtains on what's been going on with Luke for the past few years. This new version of Luke might shock you, though. He's no longer the great warrior from Return of the Jedi. Rey finds a broken man haunted by his failures and unwilling to help the galaxy fight off another evil empire.
Rey and Kylo were depicted as opposites in The Force Awakens, one an agent of the dark side and the other a champion of the light. But being on opposite sides of the Force ultimately brings them closer together. In The Last Jedi, they have a mysterious connection that adds a lot of complexity to the usual hero/villain dynamic.
While there's definitely a bit of nostalgia in The Last Jedi, particularly in the final battle scene, which is a big callback to the Battle of Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back, the movie subverts expectations for the most part by twisting familiar tropes with surprising outcomes (like Kylo slicing Snoke in half midway through the movie). The Last Jedi takes some major risks, which is a breath of fresh air when compared to The Force Awakens, which often feels like a greatest hits compilation about A New Hope.