The first is that director Rian Johnson has nailed the tone of Star Wars in a way unequalled since the first film in 1977. All the antecedents are there: the fairy tale, the family drama, the western, the war movie, and the samurai epic. He adds nuance to the tragedy of Kylo Ren and brings Luke Skywalker back into the fold, but in a very counter-intuitive way, a way that Mark Hamill took exception to, but to which he has committed in a visible and fulfilling way.
After the weight and predeterminism of all the prequels (including the excellent Rogue One), and the way that The Force Awakens evoked so much of the original film, I cannot fully express just how delightful it felt to be exploring new ground in The Last Jedi. There are new worlds to visit, new creatures to marvel at, and a couple of well-thought-out twists that bring a much needed sense of unpredictability and awe to the franchise.
And humour! After far too long an absence, someone has finally remembered that humour was a key reason for the success of the original trilogy, and emulated it here without undermining the gravitas of a rebellion fighting for its very existence. My advice on this basis is to avoid spoilers and revealed jokes alike, and see it as soon as you are able.
The second reason is that The Last Jedi is the most visually striking Star Wars movie to date. Ever. And, yes: that includes the original.
You might think this is due to the ever-increasing abilities of visual effects artists, but it doesn't; it is the manner in which those effects are used. From a squadron of battered landspeeders kicking up red plumes as they traverse salt flats, to the iridescence of ice foxes retreating from an advancing army, Rian has reinstilled the sense of childlike wonder that every fan of this universe longs to experience. He even manages to include the best destruction of a capital ship in a space battle ever, and you will recognize it when you see it.
I went into The Force Awakens with a sense of apprehension, having avoided seeing the third prequel for almost a decade. I left The Last Jedi with an ever-building sense of hope; a hope that we could perhaps end up with a second trilogy to approach the resonance and impact of the original.
As it happens, Johnson is not available to helm the final chapter of this latest trilogy, but he has been given the keys to the kingdom in that he will be the boss of a brand new trilogy after J.J. Abrams wraps up this one in 2019. I'm looking forward to that in a way I could not have anticipated even a few days ago. For the time being, I am hoping Abrams can meet the bar which has been set very high now by Johnson, and then stick the landing as well.