I feel like I always have to start reviews like this off by letting everyone know beforehand that I’m not the biggest fan of a particular fandom. I’m not the biggest fan of Star Trek, yet I really enjoyed the three new films and the new tv series Discovery. Because of that I’ve also started watching Enterprise, a series fanboys of Star Trek seem to really hate, I’m now on season 2 and so far I’m really enjoying it. But besides all that, I wouldn’t call myself a Star Trek fan. The same way I wouldn’t call myself a Star Wars fan either.
Like just about everyone, I grew up with Star Wars, but I was never a fan. I never even owned a Star Wars toy. There was no room for that stuff mixed in with my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Ghostbusters toys. I think at one point I was really into BraveStarr.
Anyone remember that show?
But never Star Wars.
I was always more into The Last Starfighter or Enemy Mine, or Flight of the Navigator. Let’s not forget Explorers. Hell, I was more into Spaceballs than the film it was spoofing.
But having said all that, I have seen all the films, even the damn Christmas special, a claim most diehard Star Wars fans can’t say. The original films are pretty good, the prequels are garbage however. The new installments I’ve all enjoyed immensely. I enjoyed Force Awakens, even though I had some issues with it. I thought Rogue One was pretty cool as well. I reviewed that one already, so if you want to check that out to get a refresher on what I thought, check it out.
So I was pretty excited to see The Last Jedi. Even though no one else seemed hyped to see it. Everyone just about shit themselves when the first trailer for Force Awakens came out. But for Last Jedi, the hype seemed less enthusiastic.
Was it Rogue One’s fault? Was it that the fans of Force Awakens have now soured on it? Maybe it was the trailers. The trailers I thought kind of sucked for this film. It told you nothing about what kind of movie this was going to be, or what the plot was. Usually that can be a positive, like for Blade Runner 2049. Maybe not that big of a positive seeing as no one saw it in theaters.
But here for Last Jedi the trailers just left me feeling kind of underwhelmed.
Now this kind of goes without saying, but spoilers ahead, folks. If you haven’t seen the film and you don’t wish things to be spoiled for you. Stop reading now. This film actually has a few twists and turns in it. Some twists I think might actually piss some fans off. They really delve more into the mythology of what “the force” is and what it can do. It isn’t midichlorians awful, but I can see fans getting slightly pissed off. Hey, the force can’t do that!
But if you’re wondering what I thought of the film but still don’t want spoilers, I’m giving this film a SEE IT rating. I honestly think that it’s amazing. It’s better than Force Awakens by a mile, so much so I really don’t want JJ Abrams to return for the third movie. I kind of feel he might fuck up what was put in place by Rian Johnson.
When did the Force Awakens come out? 2015? Since then people have been endlessly speculating about two things. Who is Snoke and who are Rey’s parents? And you get both of those answers in this film. But they aren’t answers you’re going to like. Who are Rey’s parents? Is she the spawn of Luke and some mystery lady? Is she born of the force like Anikan Skywalker? Nope. Her parents where nobodies, junk traders that sold her off for drinking money. Hell, I think her dad is dead in some ditch somewhere.
How about Snoke? He’s our big bad for this new series, I bet he has a really cool backstory that… and he’s dead. Never mind.
Years of fanboys speculating, so many dumb fan theories instantly go out the window. Who is Rey? A nobody. Who is Snoke? Doesn’t matter, because he dies instantly.
I applaud that, but I know fans are going to be so damn pissed. It was like the film was personally trolling them.
I am positive though that if George Lucas had written this, it would be so idiotic that at first the fanboys would love it like they did with Phantom Menace. But then get so pissed off about it, they’d disown the series. But since these are Star Wars fans after all, you’d only have to wait a few years until an idiotic fan theory pops up like how Jar Jar was really a Sith lord, pulling the strings behind the scenes. Making that character essential to the plot.
But we aren’t here to talk about the shitty prequels or Lucas. He got his billions and no longer has anything to do with the franchise, thank god.
The first thing we are treated to in The Last Jedi is a giant space battle. It is called Star Wars after all. Now this also goes into some parts of the film that didn’t always work for me and that’s the tone. Mostly the times when the jokes get in the way of atmosphere. Take for example, the beginning of the film. The Empire has the rebels surrounded, their base has been destroyed and there are only about 400 of those rebel scum left.
It should be pretty intense really. But that is slightly cut down by the fact Poe is pulling a prank call on one of the Empire ships. It felt so off given the severity of the situation. And this isn’t the only time it happens either. Right off the bat we get an intense moment, interrupted by an out of place joke.
It honestly felt as bad as Justice League. How it seemed almost out of place in that film for Batman to start cracking one liners.
The Last Jedi is a much darker film than Force Awakens, maybe not as dark as Rogue One, but still pretty dark. Darker themes at least.
Actually, it just hit me what this film reminded me of. It’s outer space Fury Road. The majority of this film is just the Empire chasing after the rebel ships. It is just one long chase sequence. I mean, there’s other shit going on like with Rey and Luke, but for the most part it’s Fury Road. I’m okay with that, seeing as that film is a masterpiece.
The rebel ships can’t jump to warp speed because the Empire has a new way of tracking ships when they jump. So mostly they have no other option but to just keep going until they run out of fuel and come up with a plan to get away.
Let’s talk about Poe.
Poe really should have been in Force Awakens more. There was no reason to have him vanish from the film once they land on Rey’s planet. You needed that rogue type, but instead he vanishes from the film and just pops back up again later. Thankfully, you get more Poe Dameron this time around. He’s a flyboy hotshot, someone who always thinks his way is right.
He leads the attack on the Empire ships, giving the rebels time to escape. But instead of pulling out like Leia ordered him to, he stays behind getting a majority of the rebel fleet’s attack ships destroyed.
Now surrounded, the ship Princess Leia is on gets attacked, she would have died if not for her ability to use the force to zip her back from outer space, into a nearby ship. One thing I really loved was seeing Leia using the force. She does it again when she rips a door down.
I have no idea what the next film will do about her character. The only other option I see open to them is making her a CGI monstrosity.
He has shut himself off from the force, refusing to train Rey or even come back with her to help fight the Empire. Though didn’t he leave this big complicated map in case they needed him? I’m guessing he changed his mind.
Also going on, the force for some reason is connecting Kylo Ren with Rey.
They keep having mind meetings, he coaxes her to the darkside while she tries bringing him back to the light. It has the ever so sprinkling of a romance starting. A most likely doomed one, but there’s something there. Romance seems to be lacking from these new films. You forget Leia, Luke and Han had a small love triangle going on. Sure, Leia was Luke’s sister, but in space it’s all a dark hole. No judgements here.
I really don’t feel anything between Finn and Rey like most do. But I like the idea of an ex Stormtrooper falling for a Jedi. While I’m on Finn, why the hell did they make him a janitor? He was there with Kylo Ren at the beginning of Force Awakens, when they attack that small village, looking for Poe. Why try to water him down by saying he’s only a janitor? Make him just as bad as the other Stormtroopers but develops a conscience. That’s way more interesting.
It also seemed like Finn had no real purpose in this film. So this gets into the half of the film I really didn’t care for. The rebel ships are on the run and Finn wants to jump ship, only getting caught by Rose, the ship’s engineer.
To do that, they need a master thief. Enter Benicio Del Toro. This whole section of the film felt like filler, like it could have been cut and you would have missed nothing. The only thing it really does is try to set up this relationship with Finn and Rose. It also hammers in the message that there is no good or bad side, just this endless machine, one where people have found a way to profit from.
This theme plays a pretty big role in the film, especially when it comes to Kylo Ren who is tired of everything. The rebels, the Jedi, the Sith, the Empire. Just let it all die and start anew. I mean, how long has the Empire and the Rebels been fighting now? At least 30 years, right? The Jedi and Sith even longer. It’s this endless machine with no real end in sight. One thing that DJ, Benicio Del Toro’s character says after he betrays Finn and Rose is they blow you up today, you blow them up tomorrow. He’s right, it’s an endless cycle. So when Kylo Ren kills Snoke and teams up with Rey, presenting the idea of making a change together it makes perfect sense. The darkside and the light working together to start something new, which is a fantastic idea. The only reason the Empire is evil is because it is being run by evil people. Maybe Kylo Ren should have made a concession by letting the rebels go, that might have helped getting Rey on his side, but the idea of good and evil banding together to try something new is too good of an idea to let pass. Which is why it is so disappointing that they do. It just became the same old thing again. Bad guy vs good guy, good guys win by blowing something up and killing the bad guy. It’s so boring and we’ve seen this at least 7 other times from this franchise. It’s gotten stale. Let’s see something new from this series, and the film presented that option, only to quickly take it away. That might be my biggest gripe about the film. It takes small chances here and there, but when it really comes down to it, it shies away from anything too major. Too safe.
So let’s talk about the porgs for a second. They served their purpose, seeing as it got every girl in the audience awing and laughing whenever they showed up on screen. Thankfully, they are barely in this. I thought they were going to be new characters the way they were getting hyped. But they’re just these birds that live on Luke’s island. They had some funny moments like when Chewie is roasting one and they’re giving him sad eyes. They should have been left at that. On the island, a couple of funny scenes here and there but for some reason they thought it would be important to include them on the millennium falcon during the ending fight scene.
They’re exactly what you think they are, inserted to help sell toys. But this is Star Wars, the whole reason the prequels were even made was to get new toys to sell.
While George Lucas’ wife was trying to salvage the first film in editing, Lucas was off playing with his toys, sparking the idea to sell kids empty boxes with the hope that one day maybe an action figure will come out to fill it. Actual thing that happened by the way. He sold you a box showcasing the action figures that didn’t exist yet. Lucas might not have been a very good filmmaker but he was one hell of an ideas man.
While on the island, Rey is having some one on one time with Kylo Ren. He tries to show her it isn’t all black and white. He isn’t all evil and she isn’t all good. A message like I said that gets lost by the end.
Luke has exiled himself because he is the reason Ben became Kylo Ren. Snoke had been influencing him, slowly turning him to the darkside and Luke sensed it, wanting to kill him now to stop any future problems. The result was Kylo Ren killing all the other students and fleeing to Snoke.
Since Luke refuses to train her, Rey goes to find Kylo Ren, hoping to make him good again. That of course doesn’t go well either.
Back on the rebel ships, Poe isn’t satisfied with the new leadership, a purple haired Laura Dern.
Secretly for some reason she has a plan but doesn’t bother to let anyone else in on that plan. So thinking she’ll get everyone killed, Poe stages a coup. He’s still relying on Finn and Rose to shut down the tracking system. When they fail, Leia shows up, knocking him out and getting the rest of the ship’s crew on escape pods.
There’s a planet nearby with an old rebel base. The plan is to get to that base and hold up there until someone comes to rescue them.
The thing is though, no one comes. They send out their distress call and no one shows up to help them. Another example as to why it might be better to let the rebellion die along with the Jedi.
Luke shows up however by astral projecting himself through space after having a heart to heart with puppet Yoda. Maybe I’m remembering this wrong, but weren’t there reports of Hayden Christensen being in The Last Jedi? I could have sworn I read he was going to be back as young Anikan. Unless his scenes got cut along with the princes.
Using this ability I guess is too much for Luke, because he dies shortly after. He was there to give the rebels time to escape. So they got all 400 rebels onto the Millennium Falcon? I guess by this time the attack got their numbers down to much less, but still… That seems like a ton of people to cram into one small ship. Unless the ship is bigger than it seems.
I do think there are things I might have missed. Either because I was annoyed at the popcorn munchers next to me or the annoying kids that couldn’t stop awing at the sight of porgs.
I thought I saw the Jedi ancient texts in a compartment when Finn reaches for a blanket to cover an injured Rose. Yoda burns down the ancient tree safeguarding the Jedi text. But maybe Luke put them in there… or Rey stole them.
I think they also mentioned Admiral Ackbar died on the attack that blew Leia out into space. I also missed at the end where the kid uses the force to grab his broom. Did they ever mention how C-3PO got his arm back? They actually explain how he got that red robot arm in the Lego Star Wars videogame. Also, did they mention the Empire or the First Order as they are called now, it mentioned they had taken back most of the universe again? How? I mean, they blew up their death planet, most likely killing a ton of their numbers. And now they’ve taken control of things again?
How ineffective were the rebels anyway? It’s looking more and more like Kylo Ren’s way of thinking is right. It still kind of pisses me off it didn’t go that path. The film just kind of ends, it did nothing to really hook you to see more. There was no cliffhanger or giant reveal, just the same old same old. You can guess pretty much how the next film will conclude. There’s nothing exciting to anticipate. They need to think bigger or more long term. I know this isn’t Marvel, but if you want to make a long lasting franchise, they need to come up with more than the small universe George Lucas started. You can’t keep giving us the same damn thing over and over again. And it’s mostly the fans to blame.
Again, I still really loved this film. I thought the casino scene and the humor were misses, but as a whole I really enjoyed it. I really wanted the film to take more risks, it gave us some, but it needed to go a step further. There needed to be a reason to tune in again, even though they know fans will no matter what.
Cinematically, the film is gorgeous. Maybe even more so than Rogue One. The action is the best this series has ever had. The lightsaber battles are also amazing… actually, now that I think about it, not a single lightsaber was used to fight another lightsaber. If this was Lucas, they’d have like 30 lightsaber battles of all different idiotic colors slapping around like a bunch of cosplayers at the park.
Captain Phasma, why is she even in this? She shows up to capture Finn and Rose, only to have her die once again about a second later. Pointless.
I thought Mark Hamill was fantastic, I would have loved more scenes with him and Rey. Or just him on this island milking big monster titties. They weren’t even utters, they were actual tits.
I enjoyed the budding relationship with Rey and Kylo Ren way more than the budding relationship with Rose and Finn. There was a small hint at a romance between Rey and Poe as this is the first time they meet.
I do think this film is worth checking out, I loved it. Though when I watch it again I most likely will skip over the Finn and Rose casino stuff. Even if I thought it was funny a drunk patron thought BB-8 was a slot machine, who he kept putting coins in.
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