J.J. Abrams’ torturous embrace of determinism and nostalgic imagery sinks what might have been a triumphant Star Wars finale.
“Let the past die,” says Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) to Rey (Daisy Ridley) at a pivotal moment in The Last Jedi. It’s a surprising line to hear in the eighth episode of a 40-year-old saga. It also perfectly captures writer-director Rian Johnson’s approach to Star Wars. Unlike J.J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens, a showcase for […]
I paid attention to the little things in The Force Awakens. Some of these were visual — the small creature with eyes set apart like a hammerhead shark poking its head out of the sand, the vulturous creature picking at the remains of a ship as if it were a carcass. Others were musical, like […]
We all have to grow up eventually. There’s a grim air to that statement—it smacks of morbid cliché—but the inevitability of aging is a powerful motivator. It forces us to confront the decisions we’ve made thus far and confront our self-imposed stagnation. I don’t know if writer/director Noah Baumbach is a cynic but, like me, he is […]