I thoroughly enjoyed Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It is worth seeing in the theatre, sooner than later.

I’d avoid spoilers, but the truth is there aren’t many spoilers to be had because there isn’t much in the movie that is truly unexpected. Instead of big reveals and progression of story, Episode VIII is a full-on explosive nerdgasm of Star Wars fan service.

There’s new walkers, cute creatures, an R2D2 and Luke reunion, BB8 acting like a badass, Anakin’s lightsaber hilt (inexplicably called a “laser sword” by Luke), and the Millennium Falcon saves the day. If you’re surprised, you probably haven’t watched 9 other Star Wars movies, 3 TV series, and a Holiday Special. If you don’t enjoy it anyway, then why did you watch 9 other movies, etc.?

Major character deaths were expected to the point where you’re sort of just waiting to see how they die. Leia’s thirty-five separate “omigosh they killed her” scenes were completely trumped for emotional impact by a single goodbye credit to Carrie Fisher.

Like The Force Awakens, the filmmakers made a point stuffing the ranks of the rebellion with female and ethnically diverse uniform fillers. Flashing to a cockpit to show that a craft is piloted by a black woman is only “progress” by Hollywood standards, because she moves a switch and is never shown again. Now, The Last Jedi does a better job because some of these—short lived—characters are minor heroes struggling for their last moment to give hope to the larger story.

Unlike The Force Awakens, Episode VIII is not just a retread of an earlier film. Though it has the same general theme as Empire—the rebels are perpetually on the run while trying to get Luke to be a Jedi—there is story progression which is unique to the series. They are definitely trying to establish a new path and conflict for new stories and characters. Kylo even goes so far as actually saying that Rey has to let all the old ways die for the new order to be good for the universe. I’m not sure if that was supposed to be written in the dialog or the script notes.

On the topic of new characters, Rose Tico (played by Kelly Marie Tran) is another janitor turned hero (like Finn) that really grasps the “epic seen by characters in the lowliest stations” that was the original film, and Benicio Del Toro’s “DJ” reminds us that scoundrels are still a part of Star Wars.

Modernization of dialog bothered me in Force Awakens. In The Last Jedi, I got over it and really enjoyed the throwing of shade and general nose-thumbing at the stuffier elements. Bathos prevails throughout the film. While that detracts from deep meanings about the force, balance, and the Jedi religion; Star Wars isn’t a story of deep lessons about humanity. It is the American myth about heroic triumph against impossibly overwhelming oppression—and jumping into an X-Wing and blowing things up.