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Seeing ‘The Last Jedi’ Ahead of Friends Back Home

December 14th, 2017 · 1 Comment · Abu Dhabi, France, Movies

This was something celebrated on at least one Facebook account:

Seeing Star Wars: The Last Jedi today, a day before Everyone Back Home had a chance.

Movies in France tend to open on Wednesday. In the States, an opening often is Friday, especially for big movies like this one. So, at least one of us was feeling, oh …

… “a little bit smug” to see the eighth installment of the Star Wars franchise while equally-as-interested/excited Star Wars fans (hello, Daniel) were sitting on their hands, in the USA.

I have been warned about divulging spoilers pertaining to the film. One of us (the smug one) was so concerned about this that all reviews went unread. Though it should be noted that movie critics for most major publications carefully avoided spoilers, having grown weary of death threats. Just kidding. Not.

Like 99 percent of moviegoers, I was fascinated by the first of the franchise, which came out in 1977 and seemed to jump light years ahead of its competitors in the genre, making millions of lifelong fans, in the process.

I saw the next two, and was OK with them, until the Ewoks took over the third film. (Just saying, have you noticed that the Imperial storm troopers are remarkably hapless? A lot of shooting, not many targets hit. And falling into every Ewok forest trap, and on and on … Someone should get those guys out on the blaster range.)

After that … not sure I can say I ever saw, in a single go, any of the fourth, fifth or sixth movies (according to release date), but I saw enough to know I was not interested in Jar Jar Binks and Young Darth Vader and a lot of other characters who wandered through those three.

Saw The Force Awakens in late 2015, a few days before leaving Abu Dhabi for France, and liked that one more than the previous three, and I think that was a general reaction, as well, because I do not recall the excitement ahead of Force Awakens to be as intense as what we have seen (even in France) for Last Jedi.

It was easier to find the movie than we expected. We feared we would have to drive more than an hour each way to/from cultured and refined Montpellier to see the film in its original English.

However, the less-worldly operators of the multiplex in Beziers, only 30 minutes away, had an 8 p.m. showing in the “vo” (version originale — English, that is), and there we were, among a crowd of at least 100 in the Big Room, for the 2 hours and 33 minutes of fighting and chasing and chatting.

(Ever notice how many people get killed in a Star Wars movie? Like, hundreds. Or hundreds of millions. An entire planet was blown up by the Death Star, no? The violence is toned down by ships imploding in space in a flash of light and the bloodless killing of faceless storm troopers, but the numbers are big, if you think about it.)

One of us loved Last Jedi and will see it again. One of us was OK with it, noting the running time (the last battle takes forever) and even ranked it No. 2 in the history of the series, but might wait a bit before seeing it again.

The one who loved it was the one who took to Facebook to … oh, gloat is such a harsh word … to celebrate having seen it before anyone in the U.S. did, and eager to discuss.

Now, comes a suitable interval, the wait of three, four weeks, before mentioning major plot points on social media. And then the wait for the next one begins.



1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Judy Long // Dec 23, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    I liked it better before I started thinking about it. I hope the next/final one gives us some believable backstory/motivation for the character/actions of Kylo Ren/Ben Solo, even if it is a retread of the Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader arc.

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