Obviously, I'm not the first to review The Last Jedi, but nevertheless, as a Star Wars fan, but not a nerd about it, I figured I'd give a semi-normal review. By this, I mean I won't feel the need to point out nerd-level, super-obscure references to some random no-name extra that was in some place at some time in one of the other movies and how Disney got it all wrong. I don't care about that stuff. For a saga, I tend to take each Star Wars movie on its own (I mean, you don't even need to see any prequels - they fill you in with a scrolling introduction before each movie).
So what matters to me? Fun! Was the movie fun? Hell yes. I laughed more during this Star Wars than any other and had a smile on my face most of the movie. Were there moments that I was like "uh... that's dumb". Sure. But overall, the movie was fun! It had a little of everything - light saber duels, Jedi force magics, space battles, plots and schemes, nuance, betrayal, lost love, new love, and porgs!
The Jedi Island and Luke (Favorite Stuff)
Despite Luke's insistence on being an old hermit with no reasons to live anymore, a lot of the movies best moments came from the scenes on the Jedi island. The plot was setup, the suspense and foreshadowing was built, and we get some nuance and back-history. A lot of negative reviews point out that Luke wouldn't just become some old hermit and abandon the Jedi ways. I think they give Luke too much credit. Not only did Yoda and Obi Wan also do this, but if you've been trying to rebuild the Jedi for 20 to 30-years only to lose it all and feel at fault I bet you'd feel like shit and give up too, regardless how strong you're light force is. Hell, I think he did well enough not to just say "F-it" and become a Sith.
Anyway - Back to the other characters. Obviously lots of comic relief here (porgs, caretakers, Chewy) to break up the dark/desperate mood of the Luke-Rey relationship. However, I thought that the force-connection between Kylo and Rey was perfect. The film built up suspense (Will Rey turn to the Dark Side? Will Kylo turn to the Light? Will Rey believe Kylo or Luke's story?) and when combined with other island goings-on, like Rey's failed (?) training and Luke's half-truth (not very Jedi like, but also he might be afraid to confront the truth) made for a great setup.
I'm looking forward to other movies because unlike Luke, Rey seems more conflicted on the force. She definitely has some hate in her against Kylo and the First Order (for some reason which I don't know yet... I mean, was she really that attached to Han given their like 3-days together?) which Luke never once mentions. Unlike the Yoda-Luke training in which Yoda constantly tries to control Luke's hate for Vader.
Least Favorite Stuff
The chase. So many poor decisions on both sides. If hyper-spacing a cruiser into a destroyer works - why not move everyone to the other two ships first, then hyperspace it in and be done? Also, why did the empire chase? Why not just hyperspace a few ships closer in? Also, why do laser shots "fall" in space? What gravity causes the shots to arc? Also, why was the replacement admiral (she's so unimportant I don't even remember her name) so tight-lipped? Couldn't just say, "Hey, we're going to evacuate to this secret base over here. Hang tight a while". For the Empire - they didn't exactly get through the shield unnoticed. The guy responsible for watching the shields noticed. But somehow a flicker on an advanced monitor results in a 1940's-era 'just tap on it'? Probably never flickered before in however many hours of operation - and doesn't even mention it to a tech-support? Or ask if anyone else has ever seen a flicker before and what it might mean? Not like it mattered anyway. Also - Phasma deserved better. Her death was so unsatisfying. She deserved something way better, even for a minor role with no significance to the story at all other than the former manager of a trooper-janitor. Whatever - it added 30-seconds to the movie.
The Again... Really?! Again. Moments
One day the Empire engineers will learn to stop making "hit me here and I blow up" parts on their stuff.
Fun movie - if you go in forgetting about any other Star Wars movies and imagine you're 5 again with limited logic and memory - As it should be. Star Wars is for kids. It's always been this way and I feel like the people griping are forgetting that.