This is a post I did not wish to write, but felt I needed to. Mainly, for a personal catharsis.
For those who haven’t already guessed, I was horribly disappointed with Episode VIII. It was a boring film and a terrible Star Wars movie. In fact, I tend to fall into the group who believes that while The Force Awakens was a fan fiction love letter from J.J. Abrams to George Lucas The Last Jedi is Rian Johnson’s Fuck You to George and SW fandom in general. But as much as I want to say this movie was just a cringe-fest and leave it at that, I can acknowledge there were some good things about the movie, so this review is going to try to sum about all my feelings.
Before going further, please be forewarned that this will be filled with spoiler and isn’t an epic rants, a loving endorsement or an unbiased review of a non-Star Wars fan. Nope, it is simply a short post I like to think of as “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly of Episode VIII!”
1) The visuals were beautiful. The CGI was very well done, and the look and feel of everything was Star Wars beyond a doubt. Beautiful film.
2) The music was classic Star Wars. Nothing can ever compare to the original scores, but this film at least equaled the past in this regard, which was a point in its favor.
3) The new planets were all interesting, visually different from one another, and just looked damn good on film.
4) The new creatures and races were cool to look at and turned fairly generic scenes into interesting ones by the fact there was new eye candy to survey.
5) The space battles were realistic, had great CGI, and were entertaining.
6) Mark Hamill’s performance. Seeing the actor portray an older Luke Skywalker was really fun.
1) The overall story was a horrid, disjointed mess with pointless sub-plots.
2) The story violated the accepted internal structure of the Star Wars universe in many, many ways. Examples of this abound including Rey’s unexplained and non-trained Force powers, the new concept of hyperspace jumps destroying other ships, and many more head scratching moments.
3) The returning characters like Finn, Rey, Kylo, and Poe experienced no development. Every single returning face ended this film as exactly the same person they were before. Even Kylo — whom some people argue underwent an evolution — is the same Darth Emo character he was in the last movie including temper tantrums.
4) The new characters fell flat. Whether you think of Rose, Holdo, or anyone else, there is nothing memorable about these people. They show up in the story, tag along with the other guys, then they are gone.
5) The epic struggle between the Light and Dark sides of the Force was jettisoned in exchange for a nihilistic narrative filled with moral relativism.
6) No heroes journey here. Sure, Rey and Kylo are the stars in this saga, but neither has experienced any real trials or tribulations that they must overcome. Certainly, Kylo has been wounded and scarred, but other than that he is whole. Rey . . . well, she has gotten better and better with no setbacks at all.
1) Snoke’s story line. After two years of wondering who the Supreme Leader is, where did he come from, and what is his plans, his story ends in a whimper. It really seemed like Rian Johnson didn’t know where to go with the character, so he basically just killed him off for shock value.
2) Rey’s storline. First, her parentage ended in a huge nothing, which might have been fine except for the fact it removed the only rational excuse for her use of Jedi powers. Second, now, since there is no shadowy past with training to explain her continued use of the Force, her Ma”Rey” Sue-ness is absolute. And please don’t say the Force gifted ehr all this knowledge to counteract Kylo because that goes against everything ever shown about the way the Force works.
3) Luke’s evolution from persistently optimistic hero of the original trilogy to creepy, bitter hermit in The Last Jedi. Like Mark Hamill, I too fundamentally disagreed with everything about Rian Johnson’s vision of Luke Skywalker.
4) No lightsaber fights. Yeah, there is a fight in the Supreme Leader’s throne room, but it isn’t between Jedi and doesn’t count. I mean, no Star Wars movie is complete without a rousing lightsaber fight, which I would have thought Rian Johnson would have known.
5) Leia’s Superman impression outside her command ship. I honestly heard people laughing when they saw this scene in the movie theater. It was just awful.
6) Rose preventing Finn from sacrificing himself to save the remnant of the Resistance hiding in the old Rebellion base. This was a ridiculous scene; Rose’s dialogue with Finn afterwards was equal to any of Anakin’s drivel in the Prequels; and the fact they somehow survived was beyond insulting with troopers, walkers and other First Order combatants surrounding them.
7) Yoda. He looked strange, talked strange, and acted out of character.
To close, I was intensely disappointed by this movie. The only positive I left The Last Jedi with was the fact that Rogue One was even better than I originally thought, so maybe there is hope that Disney can accidentally make a good Star Wars movie after all.