Star Wars: The Last Jedi has won the AARP’s Best Movie For Grownups award at last night’s bash. Thanks to the Solo trailer that was finally released during this year’s Super Bowl, the movie world has already turned its attention to the forthcoming anthology movie starring Alden Ehrenreich. However, The Last Jedi isn’t even two months old and with awards season firmly underway, there remains some serious red carpet business for Rian Johnson’s eighth episode to do.
Given that the AARP are an organization dedicated to enriching the lives of those in or heading into retirement, it’s only natural that their movie award ceremony focuses solely on movies “whose work has particular relevance to a 50-plus audience.” No Emoji Movie here, thank you very much. As such, their top honor is the Best Movie For Grownups award and while the terminology may sound a touch juvenile, opting for something along the lines “Best Movie for Adults” might have implied a very different genre of film. Previous winners of this prestigious award include Loving (last year) and 12 Years A Slave (in 2014).
The 2018 winner of the AARP’s Best Movie For Grownups award is none other than Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Luke Skywalker and co. saw off competition from fellow nominees Get Out, Lady Bird, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and The Shape of Water. The award was presented by Star Wars duo Mark Hamill and Kelly Marie Tran at last night’s ceremony at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. The winners are selected by the editors of the AARP Magazine.
Despite the Star Wars franchise being one of the most lucrative cinematic ventures of all time and an incredibly popular and influential part of modern cinema, many award ceremonies are notoriously shy when it comes to nominating science fiction movies for the top gongs. As a result, Rian Johnson and his team have every reason to celebrate this latest achievement.
It is, however, interesting that a Star Wars feature would pick up an award specifically aimed at grownup movies as, ever since the release of A New Hope, adult fans have had to endure being taunted for following a “kids movie.” This accusation is also frequently rolled out to counter fans who get annoyed about the franchise’s more child-friendly elements such as Ewoks, BB-8 and Porgs.
This award could be a result of sterling performances from Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill, reprising their iconic roles and providing two genuinely interesting – and highly capable – older characters. Alternatively, this award could be indicative of The Last Jedi‘s polarizing nature. Rian Johnson’s effort eschewed a number of franchise conventions and delivered an episode that was notably darker and more serious in places (Porgs aside). For instance, the traditional climactic lightsaber battle was dropped in favor of a more emotive confrontation and both the character of D.J. and the Canto Bight location highlighted a more realistic and depressing side to the war between the First Order and the Resistance. Although children across the globe would’ve enjoyed Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it is arguably the most grownup episode in the main series.
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