To be honest I have very mixed feelings about The Last Jedi. I feel like they made a real effort to make this story unique from Empire, but there was a point in this movie when I thought to myself, this feels kind of like The Rebellion Strikes Back, not sure at which point I thought this, but the thought crossed my mind.
Things I Loved:
Light Speed Into Snoke’s Ship
This was so great, possibly the most unique thing I’ve seen in a Star Wars movie. It was incredible to see members of the first order go from feeling invincible to absolutely petrified in a matter of moments. I can’t say enough about this, but it was such a quick scene there is actually very little to say, lol. To be perfectly honest, knowing that Carrie Fisher is actually dead in real life, I kind of wish that she would have been the one to stay on the ship and drive it straight into Snoke’s ship. It would have been such an honorable ending for her character. Sure she wouldn’t have been able to speak with Luke that last time, but it’s not like that conversation even amounted to much, although Luke’s walk out the gaping hole was pretty cool.
I think that perhaps this movie uses humor too much, but I think it’s a good idea to use comedy wherever possible, but not to overuse it. I loved when Poe started trolling Hux by pretending that he was still on hold. I don’t mind this at all. It says more about the character of Poe that he is willing to screw with Hux like that in order to buy time. I was actually fine with much of the humor in the movie, but I can see how Rey actually reaching out with her hand and Luke tickling her with a leaf would bother people. I also liked seeing Snoke screw with Rey everytime she tried to use the force against him.
Kylo Didn’t Shoot
I don’t know why I liked this so much. It’s just one of those things, he couldn’t bring himself to kill his mother, there is still humanity in him, which laid the foundation for his eventual betrayal of Snoke. It sucks because I would have liked to see Rey and Kylo team up against Snoke in episode 9.
Leia Flying Through Space
This was definitely odd to see, a little too Mary Poppins, lol, but I enjoyed it. It would have been a cheap way for Leia to die and we’ve never seen Leia actually do much with her force powers, so in a way I’m glad they took the opportunity.
I didn’t realize it at first, but it’s actually really stupid how they could open the door to let Leia back in the ship and this didn’t cause the entire cabin to decompress blasting Finn and Poe out into space.
Star Wars Bizarre Love Triangles, Squares, and Tetrahedrons
There were so many moments in this movie where potential romantic connections present themselves only to lead nowhere. If I had to read into the true future of this franchise based on nothing but the ending of The Force Awakens, I would say that Rey and Finn would end up together. But now it looks like Finn and Rose could end up together, even though Finn obviously cares more about Rey. And because Rey finally met Poe it seems like they could end up together too.
There was also an earlier scene where Rey and Kylo are communicating through the force and Rey tells Kylo to put a shirt on, to me this moment was full of sexual tension and I legitimately thought this movie could end with Kylo and Rey attempting to rule the universe as King and Queen of the darkside, which would definitely have been unique but would have doomed the future of the franchise, especially with Luke gone.
The Force Projections
I can see how this would be a huge point of contention for Star Wars fans, but it was definitely unique and resulted in a very memorable ending for the movie. I think they may have made a mistake by having Kylo actually get water on him back in the star destroyer while he was projected at Rey’s location. It’s not that this isn’t awesome because it is, but it seems more like teleportation than it does a projection. I also don’t understand how Snoke could have linked the mind’s of Rey and Kylo and also not known exactly where Rey and thus Luke were.
The Death of Intrigue
I will expand more on this point in the final few paragraphs but I just have to say that The Last Jedi made a few horrible mistakes.
For me intrigue is everything. I love it and I hate it, I need it. It’s what gets me out of bed in the morning. I need the questions, so I can get the answers. It’s why I make predictions and theories. Strangers Things does intrigue so well and for the most part Star Wars always has too, but now Star Wars takes the two biggest questions I had left and completely pisses them away. What is Snoke’s backstory and who are Rey’s parents? This movie does everything it can to say “These things don’t matter.” It almost disrespects the viewer for even wondering in the first place.
How can LucasFilm not realize that by throwing away these story elements they are throwing away the allure of intrigue? All that’s left is fan-service. You can’t have Star Wars without big reveals and you can’t have reveals without meaningful questions left to ask. I just can’t get over this, it’s not like this was the end of the trilogy and they tied everything up in a nice little satisfying bow. Imagine the Empire Strikes Back without “I am your father.” I don’t understand what they gain by killing Snoke. There is no villain left in this story that deserves the title of villain.
Rose and Finn’s Waste Of Screen Time
It’s been said by many already, but it can’t be said enough, the entire section of this movie involving Rose and Finn looking for the codebreaker should not have been in this movie. They should have had someone on their own ship who could break codes. Why couldn’t the Rose character have been the high tech one? Then they could quickly break through the shields on Snoke’s ship, sneak to the room hiding the giant flux capacitor and attempt to break in but are unable to complete their mission because the same bb-9 droid spots bb8 and foils their attempt. This would put them in the exact same position they were in before the ship gets split in half by the lightspeed kamikaze run. It’s this kind of stuff that makes me think there are not enough people in the writer’s room willing to actually speak up. Why don’t studios replace test-screenings with test-script readings long before filming begins? Have a decent amount of people sign confidentiality paperwork and give them a seat at the table for honest feedback.
Rose Saves Finn and Dooms the Rebellion
While attempting to give his life for the rebellion, Rose knocks Finn’s speeder out of the way causing them both to crash. In the moment I thought this was beyond stupid. I’m glad that Finn is still alive, but Rose is a piece of garbage for doing what she did, if she wanted to bump him out of the way so she could take his place and be the one to kamikaze into the laser, then fine, but no, she did it because she is selfish and didn’t want to see her crush be killed. And her reasoning to Finn was so terrible. “We’re not going to win by stopping our enemies, we’re going to win by saving our friends.” Right before their enemies blow a hole in the door, making the deaths of their friends all but a certainty. We know now that she is just badly injured and unconscious, but in the moment I thought she died right after kissing Finn and I was going out of my mind, if she was just going to die there she could have sacrificed herself, but again, she lived so whatever.
I love that Chewbacca is still around in these movies, and outside of C3P0 and R2D2, he is the only Character left from the original movies. But there is just something about Chewbacca being the pilot of the Millenium Falcon that seems kind of hollow for me. We can’t understand Chewbacca, so whenever Rey talks to him, we’re only getting half the conversation. It worked in the old movies because Han was the pilot and Chewbacca was really just responding to Han’s commands and there were often many other people in the cockpit to create a conversation for the audience, but with Chewbacca in such a prominent role and often the only one in the cockpit of the Falcon, I see this as a huge problem. Unless Poe takes over the role of Han Solo and flies the falcon while Rey is busy doing the Luke Skywalker thing, that could fix it. Poe’s x-wing was destroyed along with all the others. I can’t imagine they have much access to X-wings anymore, but they did mention that one of the rich guys was building both Tie-fighters and X-wings so who knows. I just think there is missing voice from the cockpit of the falcon and we need it back if Rey is gonna be the one operating the turret.
This Depiction of Yoda is an Eye-sore
I couldn’t find a picture of Yoda from the new movie, when I do I will put a side-by-side image above here. I was very happy to see Yoda in this story. His reveal was great, just a pan left over the top of his head, it was perfect until they showed the front view of Yoda. Somehow they managed to make him look worse than the cgi yoda from the prequel movies. It was so bad the first few times we saw him in Episode 8, and then all the sudden he looked okay again when he stood in front of the fire creating kind of a silhouette look and it even looked okay while he sat beside Luke facing the fire, but overall, his face reveal was terrible, and it’s a black mark on the movie.
This movie seemed so determined to keep delivering surprises that it just didn’t know where to stop. I loved the reveal that Luke never actually came to the rescue, it one swoop the creators wiped out about 1000 plot holes of how Luke even got to that location.
How did he get off that planet? How did he get to this planet? How did he get into that cave? How did he survive all those laser blasts? There were way too many plot holes created from Luke’s arrival and I’ve never in my life seen something like this that immediately erased any plot hole they created in such a clean and graceful way.
I also noticed that when Kylo and Luke fought that Kylo’s feet caused the red salt to appear, but Luke’s feet did not affect the ground at all. I forgot all about that until after the movie, but that was a way to show that Luke was not really there. It was very subtle and I liked that a lot, I just don’t know how Rian Johnson can make great decisions like that while also making terrible decisions.
I’m not sure they even gave any reasoning for Luke to just die like that. I found myself thinking only moments before Luke died, that I would love to see what is next for his character, I want to see him grow into the Jedi Master I know he can be, especially now that Yoda taught him the lesson about how failure is just part of the learning process. Sure Luke will still be around as a force ghost but this means his story is done, force ghosts are not going to contribute anything but advice to the living. To me this makes Luke’s story meaningless. He has no real redemption, all he did was trick Kylo and allow Leia and the others to escape. The reveal was cool, but it seems a bit cheap in the grand scheme. I feel like the only reason Luke died was that it allowed Rey to be The Last Jedi.
Rey’s Parents Were Nobodies
I have a pretty big problem with this reveal, I can’t even call this a reveal it’s a complete cop out. If you were never going to reveal Rey’s parents in a meaningful way then they never should have built up the mystery. They set it up so much for a big reveal and completely diffused it. What I’ve really liked so far about these new Star Wars movies is that they recapture the vibe of the original trilogy and I would argue that the single most important thing about Star Wars is the reveals. Is there any bigger reveal in film history than “I am your father.”? No there is not a bigger reveal than that, so in later installments, I’m looking for gigantic reveals. They set this up so well in The Force Awakens and when the time came for the reveal they completely ran from the opportunity. It’s actually really sad. The whole thing wreaks of “We couldn’t think of anything meaningful so the reveal is that there is no reveal.” This is not meaningful in anyway and if you were going to do something like this Rey could have learned about her parents in the previous movie.
I would have taken literally any meaningful reveal in this moment, Kylo could have said that Obi Won Kenobi was her grandfather and he had a thing for desert prostitutes, lol. That’s a joke, but seriously they could have done anything here. Literally anything else would be more meaningful.
After Kylo reveals Rey’s parents he says something like “You don’t have a place in this STORY.” Or “Your parents don’t have a place in this STORY.”
I don’t remember the exact line, but when I heard it, it really bothered me. That was such a dumb line, he actually said STORY, like that is something people actually say to each other when they are talking about their actual lives. This briefly took me out of the movie. It was almost like Kylo accidentally memorized Rian Johnson’s notes in the margins of the script and they accidentally left the line in the movie.
Snoke Dies and His Backstory is Never Revealed
I have to say that Snoke’s death scene was incredibly cool and very surprising. It was great seeing Kylo get the best of Snoke like that, especially because Snoke was in the middle of talking shit about Kylo. It was so cool seeing the surprised look on his face right before his torso falls to the ground, then began the brief but epic team up of Rey and Kylo fighting the Royal Guards.
I kept expecting Snoke to come back to life, his two halves to lift up and reattach themselves together, showing a true power that Kylo never imagined possible. I thought for sure this moment would happen when Hux said the Supreme Leader was dead, but it didn’t happen.
Overall, Snoke’s death and the resulting lightsaber fight were all very satisfying, but on the other hand it really kind of kills any remaining intrigue in the Star Wars universe. If Snoke had some secret past or hidden power we will never know because he’s dead, his character is insignificant going forward and all that is left is some power hungry kid leading the first order. At this point I know pretty much everything about Kylo’s backstory, there’s basically nothing left to reveal. At this moment, writing this only hours after seeing Episode 8, I feel that this movie completely killed my interest in Star Wars 9. What can you really do at this point with the final movie? We’ll get to see Kylo and Rey fight again, that’s all. I might feel different in a week, but for now, I just feel kind of blah about the remaining episode of Star Wars.
Disney seemed absolutely determined to wipe away any trace of the original cast to make room for the new younger actors and I find myself asking why. There is only one more movie in this trilogy. That movie is almost guaranteed to wind the story down. Is there any third installment of a trilogy that could be considered the peak of the trilogy?
Rian Johnson is a great director. There is a lot to like in this movie, very stunning. He did the movie Looper also, which I love, but some decisions were made in The Last Jedi, that are just dumb and what is so troubling is that these things were mixed in with great decisions. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such a mixed bag of great and terrible in one movie. This guy has the keys to the new Star Wars trilogy after JJ Abrams’ Episode 9. Which means that Rian Johnson has control of the future of Star Wars, it’s not a dark future, but I just hope it’s not a dumb future either. Overall I liked the movie, it’s in the top 5 Star Wars Movies, but I just can’t get over some of the dumb and lazy decisions made in this movie.
Here is my top 5 if you were wondering:
1. Empire Strikes Back
2. A New Hope
3. Return of The Jedi
4. The Force Awakens
5. The Last Jedi
I can’t say enough about how disappointing Snoke’s death was for the future of Star Wars, so I decided to go into greater detail in a different post. Why Star Wars: The Last Jedi is Disappointing
What did you think of The Last Jedi? What was your favorite part? What was your least favorite part? Let me know in the comments below.