Rian Johnson pulls off a magic trick with The Last Jedi, revealing that JJ Abrams’ purposefully empty ‘mystery box’ is actually Pandora’s box, and that it’s been open the whole time… and all the evils our heroes must face have already been unleashed.
But, of course, hope still remains.
In the time that The Last Jedi has been in cinemas, I’ve been to watch it four times…
The experience of watching a Star Wars film in the cinema is a novelty that never fades, it always feels momentous. I’m still laughing at all the jokes; I’m still realising, in the aftermath of certain scenes, that I’ve been holding my breath; I still reach the credits with a ridiculous grin on my face – trying, in vain, to articulate coherent thoughts to the person I watched the film with…
What can I say? I loved the film. I daresay it even ranks in my top three of the Star Wars saga. It just clicks with me because Rian Johnson’s vision for the delivery of this film speaks to a lot of my own storytelling sensibilities.
One of those is a storytelling technique that is of central importance to how The Last Jedi deals with the big questions set up by The Force Awakens, one that the Star Wars films have never really dabbled with before – what we will refer to as ‘narrative substitution’.
(Deflector shields for spoilers are down.)