Not planning on spoiling anything, but please be wary…
TLJ opening weekend take could slide in just behind TFA
Last night, Deadline Hollywood reported: “Saturday’s ticket sales are actually up over Friday ($59.8M) by 6%. This puts the Rian Johnson-directed sequel at a weekend opening of $219.3M, still the second best ever behind Force Awakens’ $247.966M.”
[A]nyone who thinks that there’s waning interest in Star Wars or that sequelitis is in full force here with Last Jedi needs to get their heads examined. While Last Jedi is off some 11% at the high end of its estimate from Force Awakens three-day (an organic and very good ease for a sequel) the movie is +42% over the opening of last December’s Star Wars spinoff Rogue One ($155M).
And you’ll remember that Rogue One went on to rake in $1.1 Billion…
Perhaps the most interesting note in the article pertains to the social media wallop packed by The Last Jedi.
To which I say, “Lucasfilm, you’re welcome…”
Lots of deleted scenes…
Deadline Hollywood also had a Q & A with Rian Johnson and Ram Bergman fresh off the London Premiere. The piece is too dense to synopsize in a round-up, and it’s a must-read.
However, the most interesting bit of‘s piece lay in this quote from Rian Johnson:
We shot a lot, man. Just like any other film, it came together in the edit. The editing is the completion of the writing process. We were not at all precious about this film. We tore it apart. We ripped stuff out. There’s going to be a lot of great deleted scenes. I’m not trying to sell Blu-rays here, there are just going to be a lot of deleted scenes.
Well, Rian – you just sold at least one Blu-ray.
Bloomberg’s Four Points
One thing that has been immensely satisfying while researching and writing and compiling thoughts about The Last Jedi has been the vast number of NEW sources that have popped up in my Google searches. Yes, I understand that every media outlet doesn’t want to miss out on the opportunity for clicks, and yes, some of the new stuff is just Bantha fodder.
However, a lot of it is fun, and some of it is quite good. Case in point, Stephen L. Carter’s piece for Bloomberg News, entitled, “Four Points That Make ‘Last Jedi’ So Fascinating: The latest Star Wars movie is not only fun but also makes you think.”
This is just a God-send to a blogger who tires of the frequent eye-roll when asked about my muse. I’ve known since I was two-years-old that Star Wars is thought-provoking, but I am glad to see that I may now cite a columnist who is a “professor of law at Yale University and was a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.”
Not sure why I need that validation, but “Bazinga!”
But I digress…
Carter’s four points are, indeed, thought-provoking in and of themselves, with my favorite being (very much in deference to my vocation), “Teachers’ responsibility for what their students become.”
The question commands our attention throughout the film, as Luke Skywalker reproves himself for his role in creating Kylo Ren. But this isn’t mopery. There’s a mute self-horror that Mark Hamill acts so wonderfully that we quite readily believe that this despair is the reason Luke has exiled himself to a far corner of the galaxy.
It’s another wholely-worthwhile piece. Be sure to give yourself a quiet moment to check it out.
A well-executed movie…
Another new outlet in our compilation is CNBC, where Alissa Wilkinson penned a column entitled, “The Last Jedi is a magnificent next step for the Star Wars universe.”
While we agree in principle, Wilkinson comes at this from a “certain point of view”; a POV that says that The Last Jedi is a damn fine movie — not just an excellent Star Wars movie.
There is catharsis aplenty, something the Star Wars movies are designed for, encouraging us to cheer when our favorite characters show up on screen and letting us thrill to the chases and the romance and the vistas and the explosions and the lightsaber battles. (This installment has one of the most purely perfect lightsaber battles the series has yielded thus far.) But as written and directed by Rian Johnson, The Last Jedi doesn’t just feel like a well-executed Star Wars movie — it feels like a well-executed movie, period, one that keeps its eye on the relationships between characters, and how they communicate with one another, in addition to the bigger picture.
As I sit here in the kitchen at 7:10 AM, I am tempted to stand up and yell, “Woooooo hoooo” a-la Han Solo. But I am an “adult” (and my sleeping wife and children may murder me if I wake them early on a Sunday morning).
And all this soul-searching about the film has me feeling better about seeing it a third time today because I am not exactly sure about everything that happened. I need to continue to unpack what was indeed an experience for many of us.
As Wilkinson writes of her feelings after the film, “I felt expectant, and I believed not just that what the movie was saying was true — that even a small band of people with purpose, conviction, and a good, true story to tell can carry on in the face of evil — but that there’s a special power to saying it in a movie.”
BTW: Thanks to everyone who chimed in on my call for TLJ reviews on Twitter. I received so many; I am re-thinking how I might post my own analysis in conjunction with many of your contributions. Look for that amalgam soon, and know that our virtual interactions via Twitter were a real holiday gift to this blogger. Thank you and MTFBWY – always. JB