Star Wars is something different for everyone. For me personally, it’s more than just a movie. I have spent the vast majority of my life invested in the mythos Star Wars built. I have been a fan through the good times and the bad. As bad as they were, I enjoyed the Ewok movies and cartoons. Despite the internet hate, I actually not only enjoy the Prequels, I love them. I don’t think I can tackle this movie without talking about deeply personal Star Wars is to me. When I was in 2nd grade my after-school project was using an old Apple II computer to program an animated Death Star, line by line, using the Basic computer programming language. I used Star Wars to connect with things I was learning in school.
I saw Star Wars The Last Jedi last night. As with every Star Wars film I have a lot of things I want to contemplate. This is just as grand in scale as any previous Star Wars movie so there is a lot to consider. I will break this list down into things I liked and things I didn’t like. To get this into the flow I want, I will start with the things I didn’t like.
I wasn’t a fan of these things in the trailer and they were just as pointless in the final film. I mean whatever the original trilogy had Ewoks and the prequels had Jar Jar, so some cutesy overly comical crap to sell toys was to be expected. Still, I just didn’t like them. I didn’t hate them as much as I thought I would but my enjoyment of he film was brought down with these fluffy bird critters in the movie. I liked the scene where Chewie was eating what I assume is a roasted Porg, at first. Then it turned. Instead of being a cool scene that put to rest the Porg fascination the internet has had it ended up feeding into the Disney-fication of Star Wars.
I didn’t like this character in The Force Awakens. He felt like he was too comical for the tone of Star Wars. Okay sure as someone who enjoys The Phantom Menace I have to admit the Jar Jar ‘humor’ was one of my biggest issues with that film. I can accept a certain degree of comic relief, I think Poe was too close to a Spaceballs character than a real Star Wars character. By the end of The Last Jedi I was really wishing they had created a totally different character. Mostly what I dislike about him is how he gets too many people killed needlessly. I just didn’t care for this character.
Shut up. I love Yoda, even Prequel Yoda (for the most part) but he was just too out of place here. I mean, in The Empire Strikes Back Yoda had legitimate despair that Luke was going to fail and leave the galaxy shrouded in darkness for all eternity. Even in the context of Revenge of the Sith that shows how genuinely terrified Yoda was of the Emperor. So when you see ghost Yoda summon force lighting from the sky all bad-ass without even trying it defeats the tension surrounding Darth Vader being so evil in the original trilogy. If ghost Yoda is so powerful and old-man Luke can do things the ENTIRE JEDI COUNCIL were not capable of doing, then how the HELL was Snoke able to rise to power in the first place?
Speaking of issues have with the First Order, I mean I can go on an on about how little sense it makes they would not only rise to power following the GALAXY WIDE celebrations seen at the end of Return of the Jedi, it also fly’s in the face of logic to see them rise to become even MORE powerful than the Galactic Empire, while supposedly made up of fewer, less wealthy systems that made up the Empire. Let me back this up to the prequels. Palpatine hide in plain sight right on the capital world of the Old Republic with the Jedi Temple smack dab in the middle of the planet. He had to surround himself with powerful, evil Sith Lords to use the Dark Side to hide in plain sight. Yet once he rose to power he was celebrated as a hero for removing the oppressive religious types from the government. His reign as a ruthlessly cruel leader who unleashed the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Vader upon the galaxy was so devastating to the galaxy that the power vacuum his death created left the galaxy in worse shape than it was during his rule. So, under these conditions how, and where did Snoke even come from?
Even if you dismiss Snoke as Sith Lord, bound by the rule of two, the question remains, as old as he looks and as powerful as he appeared, how was he able to hide from Palpatine, the true master of the Dark Side of the Force so powerful that even Yoda feared him. This plot hole makes no sense and needed to be addressed. Instead he was killed literally out of nowhere.
Snoke’s control over Kylo Ren
The WHOLE POINT of the climax of Return of the Jedi was how Luke was using all of his power to try to free Darth Vader from the powerful grip of Palpatine. Again if Palpatine was so powerful that The Chosen One couldn’t break free from his grip, a fully trained Jedi Knight, elevated to Master status, trained during the height of the Jedi Knighthood, couldn’t break free from the mind control of Sith Lord Darth Sidious until his son’s life was in danger, and even then it was a struggle that built up with so much tension that the sacrifice he makes for his son was seen as a tragic act that restore freedom to the galaxy. So how was a kid who wasn’t even fully trained by a Jedi himself not fully trained, with no previous knowledge of the full history of the Jedi Temple and no clue to the true extent of the power of the Force, able to break free from the power of an evil so powerful the Master of the Darkside wasn’t even aware of his existence? So this is one of those minor nitpicks I can look past, it still bugs me enough it does drag the whole film down.
Now for the things I liked.
Basically, everything else. I loved the final battle, the space battles, the light saber fights, the scenes in the cave, every scene with Rey and or Kylo Ren, the casino chase subplot, the list goes on. Seriously a few minor plot holes and those annoying Disney birds that had no business in a Star Wars film, this movie worked well for me.
I am so glad he was able to kill that extremely over hyped Bob Fett knock off so easily. Finn proved that he wasn’t a true coward like it was hinted at in the previous film. I liked Finn in The Force Awakens. I liked him way more than Poe, a character I still don’t like. The chemistry between Finn and Rey was so perfect in Episode 7. I kind of wish they had kept that sexual tension between the two going, instead of introducing yet another throw away female character. I mean, I didn’t hate Rose, in fact as a character she was great, I just despised how she was turned into his love interest at the last second. I suppose I like that better than the internet theory he would hook up with Poe.
Speaking of Rose I think she brought a unique perspective to the series. Finally there is a character that is fighting for the good guys not because of some ideology or politics but because she believes the bad guys are bad and wants to see them defeated. Simple motivation. I enjoyed that. I was so tired of all these characters going on and on about how important the struggle is and how important the symbols of the old republic are. I liked having a character that just did the right thing because it was the right thing to do.
I loved Rey in this movie, even more than in The Force Awakens. She completely stole the show and for me that’s just fine. I never knew what a Marry Sue even was but whatever it was I don’t care. Rey is the perfect hero for this new phase of Star Wars. If I have to accept that Jedi can be born with no parents I can accept a nobody with no known lineage of Jedi fame could still become a powerful Force user.
I lied earlier. I loved seeing Yoda in this movie. I had a minor nitpick with how powerful he was but then I remembered he’s a ghost now, he’s had time to learn more about the Force now that he is a part of it. Luke was great in this movie. I didn’t care for how he died but I was glad he did.
This movie felt a little uneven but the moment Kylo Ren killed Snoke it really started to feel like a Star Wars movie. From there on out it moved a lot quicker. I liked every scene he was in, even more than The Force Awakens.
The movie felt a little slow going at times and there were a few fake outs that I didn’t care for but in the end it turned out to be a enjoyable experience. I need to see it at least once or twice more before I can completely analyze everything about it. Like all Star Wars movies there was a lot to process. However, there was more to enjoy than not so I am sticking to saying that I thought it was a good movie.