Star Wars: The Last Jedi left me floating out in space after the First Order blasted my ship. Can I find my inner force to pull me back into the final Skywalker trilogy?
Believe me. I’ve tried my best.
I’ve re-watched it several times. I’ve read dozens of reviews. I’ve watched Youtube videos. I’ve listened to podcasts.
No matter what I do, I can’t seem to make my peace with Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
I’ve been a Star Wars fan for as long as I can remember. I was elated when the special editions came out. I was over the moon for Episode I. I was all about the hype for The Force Awakens.
And all ended up with flaws. But, not the addition of Jedi Rocks in Jabba’s palace in the special editions. Not Jar Jar Binks in The Phantom Menace nor Rathtars in The Force Awakens could prepare me for what I felt coming out of The Last Jedi.
It appeared the Star Wars I knew was over.
Photo Credit: Lucasfilm
Finn was funny and engaging in The Force Awakens. Here, he is given absolutely nothing to do except ride a CGI donkey and complain about rich people. I thought maybe he had some latent force powers? Apparently not. Plus, he had so much chemistry with Rey the first time around. And they barely see each other here.
Poe was also a promising character in TFA. He is a great pilot who cared about the cause. Now, he’s kind of a jerk who gets a bunch of people killed, sort of gets punished and then gets a promotion for creating a mutiny.
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And then there’s Rey. Oh Rey. I really liked you Rey! And I am still holding out hope for better material in Episode IX. However, where is her back story? Where is her training? I accepted her amazing use of the force in The Force Awakens figuring that would somehow be explained in the second film. Nope.
Did I want her to be Luke Skywalker’s daughter? Yes. Absolutely.
Not because I’m a needy fanboy (Not that there’s anything wrong with that). But because that would have made sense. And frankly, that’s exactly how The Force Awakens set it up. After all, this is meant to be a Skywalker trilogy.
I understand others wanting something different or “subverting expectations” (The most overused phrase since this movie came out). Other people can be powerful with the force who are not Skywalkers. I get that. And want that! But save it for another movie or trilogy. Why label this the last Skywalker saga and not have the main character be a Skywalker?
You could argue the Skywalker portion of this trilogy is Kylo Ren a.k.a. Ben Solo. And I can see that point.
However, that story line was also dropped like Rey’s backstory from The Force Awakens. He smashes his Vader-esque mask. He never references his grandfather again like in TFA. And frankly, why doesn’t Ren face off against his own mother? Wouldn’t a mother confront her son who is behaving badly? Han did.
Rey senses conflict in Ren, wouldn’t Leia? That’s the family bond. Not some uncle. Leia is clearly very powerful with the force. We see Leia force pull herself from space back to the ship. If you think about it, that’s way more impressive than anything Luke does in this movie. But then Leia never uses the force again! A scene with Leia teaching her son a lesson would have been pretty amazing in my opinion.
I didn’t love the death of Snoke. However, I get why it was done. Kylo Ren destroys his demon and is free to take over. Much like every other Sith Lord. The way that it was done is what bugs me.
You know what would have been good? A three-way battle between Snoke, Rey and Ren instead of the arguably impressive (though ultimately pointless) fight with the Praetorian guard.
What if Rey got injured by Snoke and Kylo Ren jumps in to save her while taking out Snoke? I would have bought that a lot more than Ren not-so-secretly turning a lightsaber on him. Or what if Ren turned on Snoke and fought him? Then Rey intervened and killed Snoke? Then, Rey and Ren take off together. Maybe she turns to the dark side. Or she could be a secret agent! Don’t know. Find out in Episode IX. Probably would have given Rey and Ren a better story.
I know… I know… subverting…something…something…
Photo Credit: Star Wars: The Last Jedi/Lucasfilm Image Acquired from Vudu PR
REY AND LUKE
The one thing I keep coming back to is Rey and Luke. He died, so it was on this movie to pass the torch to Rey to conclude the Skywalker trilogy. But again, she’s not a Skywalker. So, where does that leave us with this “Skywalker” trilogy?
You can’t set up Rey’s character with flashbacks and the mystery of who she is and just tell your audience later. “Oh, she’s no one.” Forget that she saw scenes from Cloud City. Forget that she heard Yoda’s and Obi-Wan’s voices. Forget that she saw Kylo and the Knights of Ren. Forget the fact that Luke’s lightsaber called to her.
The equivalent of the disconnect I feel between The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi would be this. Star Wars mentions how Darth Vader killed Luke Skywalker’s father. It’s essentially his motivation after meeting up with Obi-Wan. Then in The Empire Strikes Back Darth Vader isn’t Luke’s dad and when they fight, it never gets mentioned.
DARN YOU MYSTERY BOX!
Sure, fans can blame J.J. Abrams for setting up too many mysteries and say Rian Johnson was just trying to right his wrongs. But, wouldn’t it have been better to solve those mysteries instead of just ignoring them?
The Last Jedi will never change. There won’t be a remake. It’s there forever. And the Star Wars fans who like it, that’s fine too. Everyone has their own opinion. It’s not a terrible movie. To me, it just doesn’t feel like a Star Wars movie and even worse, does not follow through nor respect what came before it.
And that means I can’t respect The Last Jedi.
Believe me. I’ve tried my best.
That’s just my perspective? I’d love to hear what you think!