What’s Wrong with Star Wars: The Last Jedi – With SPOILERS

Star Wars The Last Jedi

We saw the latest Star Wars movie last weekend. I was so excited to see it that we paid extra to reserve seats online.

I reserved our tickets around 1:30 pm and the only good seats left were for showings at 10:40 pm and later. And before that, for the few days before I was able to see the movie, I avoided parts of the internet where I could accidentally see spoilers (ahem, Twitter, 9gag). That just goes to show how many people made it a point to watch the movie on opening weekend.

This movie has become a divisive issue for fans. I would say most fans would be upset with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but regular movie watchers will find the movie really entertaining. So after watching the movie and mulling things over, here’s my take.

I consider myself a casual fan, in the sense that I read up on fan theories and I know the names of most of the characters and places. And while I did not read the Star Wars Expanded Universe books, I did read the wiki summary, but I’m not that much of a fan to memorize X-Wing specs and lightsaber designs.

Fair warning. SPOILERS AHEAD! Read the rest only after you have seen the movie.

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I HAVE A BAD FEELING ABOUT SPOILERS

So we finally see Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and at first, I was like, at the edge of my seat at the space battle near the start of the film. It was an adrenaline rush.

The sacrifice that the girl made there to blow up that Dreadnaught – the feels! I willingly ignored the issues with the slow and clunky bomber ships that dropped bombs on the Dreadnaught (uhm, there’s no gravity in space so those bombs shouldn’t have fallen).

The Last Jedi was off to a good start!

THESE ARE THE SPOILERS YOU ARE LOOKING FOR

As the film progressed, I was like, yeah, okay. Okay.

Leia can use the force to get herself back to her ship. Okay, I can get behind that. She’s still a Skywalker, after all.

Finn and Rose go to Canto Bight, and we get a commentary on the rich exploiting the poor. It annoyed me a little because I’m there to watch Star Wars, not be lectured on social issues. Real subtle there /sarc. The way it was done was kind of bad, too. The resistance buys weapons from those weapons dealers, too, and how do you think the rebels get the money to buy all those space ships. While I agree that people who foment war to make more money out of others’ pain and misery are scum, this is not the place for that lecture, okay? But I moved on, because I was still into the movie.

They had this whole running with animals scene, which was okay. Kinda Phantom Menace, but at least the animals were cute and reminded me of my kitten.

And then we find out that Luke tried to kill Ben Solo? WTF, Luke? We are talking about the guy who turned Darth Vader back to the light. Who the heck is Ben Solo compared to Darth Vader, who had already been with the dark side for a long, long time? Whereas Ben was still conflicted about going dark side. That whole thing is such a disservice to the Luke Skywalker character. That issue nagged me, but I was still going with the movie, buoyed by the adrenaline rush of the first space battle.

What’s all this “It’s time for the Jedi to end” crap, Luke? I know Disney wants to break free from being reliant on the original characters, but why do they want to wipe the slate totally clean?

Porgs: I don’t mind them. I think they are cute. However, that scene where Chewie was about to eat one made me feel like I was watching a Disney or Pixar movie instead of Star Wars.

Then Rey goes into the dark hole in the ground. What’s that endless mirror scene about? Ugh. Is it supposed to be some metaphor? I expected that dark hole to be more sinister, and it turns out to be just a mirror thingy. I see the callback to The Empire Strikes Back when Luke was on Dagobah, but I still don’t feel that anything relevant happened there.

And then Snoke is dead?! Seriously? It was that easy to kill him? I was still hoping that he wasn’t really dead. Maybe he has a horcrux-thing stashed somewhere else in the galaxy.

Killing Snoke like that leaves a lot of unanswered questions. Who is Snoke, really? After all the build-up, that’s it? He’s dead just like that? As a fan, I feel kind of shortchanged. But still going along with the movie. The movie was still fun and entertaining.

And then finally, Rey’s parents! Yes! They’re finally going to tell us who Rey’s parents are! And they’re freaking nobodies?! C’mon! That totally sucks. For the past two years, we have been entertaining fan theories about who Rey’s parents are. Some people think that she could secretly be a Skywalker. Some people think she’s a Kenobi (Obi-Wan’s granddaughter). I’d even accept that she was related to Palpatine. Heck, all that Reylo Force Connecting they had going on had me thinking they were twins, like Luke and Leia. And then to find out that her parents are freaking nobodies?

Probably half of the reason people went to watch The Last Jedi was to find out who Rey’s parents were. At least it was for me. I went in to the movie fully expecting to get a clue, if not an outright reveal, that Rey is either a secret Skywalker, Kenobi, or even a descendant of Palpatine. They can’t freaking tease fans about Rey’s parentage for the last 2 years and not expect people to be upset when they reveal that her parents are freakin’ nobodies.

But while watching the movie, I was still hoping that Kylo Ren was lying and that there would be better info by the end of the movie. It took some reading and watching interviews before it dawned on me that they were really serious about Rey’s parents being irrelevant.

Do you have any idea how many fan theory videos and debates Rey’s parentage generated in the last 2 years? The reveal that Rey’s parents are nobodies feels like a slap in the face to fans.

Even if Rey wasn’t a secret Skywalker, Kenobi or Palpatine relative, I would still be okay with it if the writers had come up with something better and more mind-blowing than “her parents don’t matter”. Anything would be better than “Rey just popped up like a mushroom, appeared out of thin air, with no relation to anyone, and now shes’s supposed to be the hero in this new saga.”

The rest of the movie was actually pretty good for me. I liked the battle scenes. I was emotionally connected to the movie, so that aspect worked. Vice Admiral Holdo was revealed to be a badass. That was awesome. Although, I did wonder if they didn’t have some autopilot or remote control thing for that big spaceship. I mean, why’d she have to stay behind if she just stood there and didn’t have to manually pilot the ship at first?

And if crashing into something while jumping into hyperspace is an effective method of destroying things, why didn’t they think of doing this sooner? Uhm, like with the Death Star?

Speaking of Vice Admiral Holdo, what’s up with keeping the evacuation plan secret from Poe Dameron? There’s no point in doing that. It’s just a contrived plot device to push Finn and Rose to do their side trip.

And how does Finn end up defeating Captain Phasma??? In the movie, he’s just some lowly Stormtrooper who did janitorial duties. But he’s able to go toe to toe in a fight with Captain Phasma?!

Was I the only one hoping that Finn died? I totally don’t get his character and don’t like him. I feel like his purpose is just to do things to move the plot along and be annoying. Way to go there letting DJ know all about the escape plans, buddy. Not even any apology for getting so many people killed? I was so bummed when he was saved at the last minute. That would have been a redeeming death, at least. Better than Admiral Ackbar’s.

And then Luke died. That was so unexpected. Totally got me that he was a Force Phantom, although I did wonder where he got a new lightsaber. 🙂

I fully expected Leia to die towards the end of the movie, not Luke. This is totally because Carrie Fisher sadly passed away so I really expected them to address that in the movie somehow, that she won’t be coming back for the next movie.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE LAST JEDI

Overall, I really enjoyed the movie, except for those things that nagged at me. It was an emotional ride, and it was entertaining. However, after a few hours of mulling over the movie, those things that bugged me really started to bug me more. So much so that while I initially enjoyed the movie, those issues have made me look at The Last Jedi in a more critical light.

After the glow fades, common sense kicks in and I start realizing this movie didn’t really move the story much at all, and that it was actually kind of bad, plot and story-wise.

I get it. Disney is trying to move the Star Wars franchise away from the Skywalker family so they can make more Star Wars movies that don’t revolve around the Skywalkers. I see it, and I don’t like it. For me, Star Wars = Skywalkers. You can make Star Wars spin-offs about other characters, like Rogue One, but the main Star Wars for me should still = Skywalker.

This is why the reveal that Rey is a nobody feels like such an insult. It’s like they want a clean slate for Star Wars, starring these nobodies we don’t care about. Probably the only person I care about from the new guys is Poe Dameron. And now that Rey is a nobody, then why the heck should I care about her, either. I didn’t like her before, but I didn’t not like her, either. But there was a possibility that she was a long lost Skywalker or Kenobi, you know? Since we’ve been through a lot with Skywalkers and Kenobi, movie-wise, it just feels like she could be a long lost relative, part of the family. Now if she’s a nobody, it’s like, who u? Why should I care about her now that she’s a nobody. She’s not particularly likable, either. I feel like I’m just forced to like her because she’s the main character now, but I don’t really feel that she’s done anything else other than be “strong in the force”, and I don’t know anything else about her, either.

And what’s wrong with following the Skywalker family? Yeah yeah, Kylo Ren is a Skywalker. But he doesn’t feel like the protagonist of the trilogy, so I feel like he doesn’t count. Is he supposed to be the Big Bad now that Snoke’s dead? He’s kinda like the dark sheep of the family people will never consider making the guest of honor at a family event. Surely there should be a good Skywalker in that young generation to hold the torch? Hence the popularity of the “Rey is a secret Skywalker” theory. Also, in the books, Han & Leia actually have 3 children. I was sad that they deviated that much from the books.

Of course, there are things wrong with that theory. First of all, Han and Leia would never willingly leave their child on Jakku and be okay with it, and Luke should be able to sense Rey if she were related to him somehow (if she was his daughter). But I was hoping that some awesome scriptwriter could find a way to explain those problems away convincingly.

I really don’t see why they have to move away from the Skywalker family. I’ve read books that followed a family for several generations: Dragonlance, Shannara, Forgotten Realms. Heck, even Judith McNaught historical romance novels did, too. The Star Wars books do actually follow the Skywalker family and have stories about the Solo children (as adults already).

The Last Jedi really went out of their way to quash the old Star Wars. They dis Luke’s character. And then this whole “anybody can be a Force user” thing they keep pushing. Yes, anybody can be a Force user. We know that already after seeing all the different Jedi in the prequels, but I only care about the Skywalker family and related people, okay? At this point, I don’t care about other strangers in the Star Wars galaxy unless they’re likable and/or particularly heroic, like the people from Rogue One.

And poor Admiral Ackbar. Boom. Dead. They couldn’t give him a better death? He could have been the one to do the Holdo manuever instead, then we wouldn’t even need the Holdo character in the first place. What a waste.

Back to Kylo Ren. It’s like he suddenly wanted to be the master of the galaxy. Huh? Where did that come from? He just doesn’t have the gravitas of Darth Vader. Sorry. It feels like he’s playing at being Darth Vader, a really really watered-down version of Darth Vader. He’s just not that menacing.

Also, I heard that Disney ignored George Lucas’ insights for this movie. I mean, what? That’s like Game of Thrones ignoring George R.R. Martin. Yes, Phantom Menace was bad, but the whole Star Wars thing is the man’s vision. He has the story in his head. Stop making stuff up and follow the man’s story. This is probably why The Last Jedi is f*d up story-wise, because Disney just made stuff up and totally did not follow the correct story. If they were afraid that the movie was going to end up like another Phantom Menace, all they had to do was listen to George’s big picture, but do the implementation themselves.

But anyway, all my ranting about the movie is not going to change anything. So I’m slowly coming to grips with the fact that Rey is indeed a nobody. I’m just rationalizing to myself that just as Anakin was born of the force and was a nobody, Rey is also a nobody. I’m thinking she’s Anakin’s parallel in this generation. Anakin was male. Rey is female. Balance. They are the ones who will bring balance to the force. I’m guessing Rey will walk the opposite of Anakin’s path? That makes better sense to me than her being just a random nobody pushed into the center of the Star Wars movies. But seriously, who the effin hell is she and what is she doing in these movies?! It’s very annoying that we just finished the second movie in the trilogy and we still don’t know her role in all this. Is she the one who is supposed to turn Kylo Ren? Be Kylo Ren’s arch nemesis? Defeat Kylo Ren? Are they going to end up allies? Are they going to get together? Are they going to kill each other? Is she the one who will bring balance to the force? What is her story, dammit! What big boss battle is all this building up to for Episode 9? Two movies in and I still can’t tell. See, this is why I don’t care about her. Two movies in and we still don’t know her story. We don’t know anything about her except that she can use the force and she is connected to Kylo Ren somehow, but she’s not his sister. The mystery of her parentage was all she had going for her to keep me interested in her, and now that’s gone.

I still don’t bloody hell know why Kylo Ren and Rey are equal in their strength in the Force, and how Rey can do all she’s doing without much training. I’d guess they’re twins, but that theory has been debunked, so no, sadly.

At this point, I’m not really looking forward to Episode 9 because I don’t really know what it is that I should look forward to. Rey’s backstory in Episode 8 was a dud. Are we expecting a Kylo Ren vs. Rey showdown in the next movie? Eh, that feels like a miniboss battle and not a Big Boss battle to end the new trilogy.

All the hints and emphasis in the movie about killing the past and letting it go feels bad. They’re burning the past down with that Jedi tree. With the OG characters gone, there’s no one in the new characters I feel emotionally invested in and this makes me really ambivalent about the future of Star Wars, even slightly negative if all who’s left is miraculously-magic Rey and forced-down-our-throat Finn. Poe is alright. Since we’re being totally honest, Rose was just there to appeal to the Chinese market.

Also, we celebrated the rebels’ successes in the original trilogy with them, and they were winning. How did the rebels get to this point that they’re almost wiped out? Why do they have to be such losers now? Do I really want to cheer for these galactically incompetent rebels I barely know?

At least J.J. Abrams is back to direct Episode 9, and here’s hoping he somehow turns around the fuck-ups The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson did with the story. Let’s hope he gets to answer the mysteries he teased in The Force Awakens.



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xoxo,

Karen

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