STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI REVIEW

sw the last jedi

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!”

good bad ugly

 

THE GOOD

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.

THE BAD

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.

THE UGLY

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.

 

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14 Responses to STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI REVIEW

  1. Bookstooge says:

    The fact that you and I have some different reactions to the new Star Wars stuff makes this review even more depressing to me. Now I want to go burn all my SW books and pretend I was never a fan 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Jordan says:

    Good post. On my blog I brought up (and have heard from others) very similar complaints and this is in the face of fans who say that “every hater has a different reason for why TLJ sucked” uh sorry that is wrong. We’re all noticing the *same* problems. I think that says something.

    I would like to sincerely know why you (or anyone else for that matter) though Rogue One was a good film 😛 It had good elements like TLJ but it suffered from a disjointed plot (and third act) that makes no sense IMO. Just curious! 🙂

    People who love TLJ say that either that SW movies aren’t *supposed* to be good/well-written/taken seriously/whatever, or that they love it because it’s different. Sorry that is no defense at all and we should stop excusing poorly-written films. TLJ was written soooo badly and that isn’t even getting to the change in tone and themes.

    For everyone complaining about TFA being an “Ep4 remix,” I want to say I would rather have Ep4 remixed than have the PT remixed. *bleugh*

    Liked by 1 person

  3. arthurgilbert006 says:

    Yoda was the same puppet from the OT, and acted exactly the same way. I’ll agree with you on the Rose part, though some of it was fine. The leia part was cheesy, but we figured she had force powers it was nice to see, cheesy but it worked for me. the lightsaber fight didn;t matter much to me, but we did have an amazing wide shot that was actually a nice little fight, and the luke astro projection fight was pretty cool. A new Hope had a pretty bad lightsaber fight. i wouldn’t say it’s required in a star wars film. I disagree with most people about how Luke acts in this film. in 30 years a lot can change. I would have been more pissed off if he was the exact same. It;s 100% canon and makes perfect sense for Rey to not be releated to a skywalker, The force doesn;t only pass down from blood relatives, it can be a random mutation. and power has always been based around balence, not necessarly training, for example when Snoke dies, Luke gets a lot of extra power, and is able to astro project, and then he becomes one with the force. so he could create balence. it also makes sense for Snoke to die, Kylo basically did what Luke was asked to do in Return of the Jedi. Palpatine asked him to strike him down to turn him to the dark side. Kylo kills Snoke so he cound finish his training. this process is established in the lore. I wrote this because I constantly see people not understanding the lore of Star Wars. I have some issues with this film, but it’s super consistent with the lore.

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  4. Agreed, garbage movie apart from the space battles. Far too long. The gambling planet sub-plot was utter garbage and no real light sabre fights!!! Seriously, like, WTF?! Such a shame. I dug Rogue One. It was much better than this and The Force Awakes 😖

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Rebecca says:

    I totally agree!! While I enjoyed the nmovie in a casually entertaining way, as a Star Wars fan there was SO MUCH abo it thus that made me mad!
    >I hated Holdo from the moment she appeared on screen
    >Leia’s sudden force usage and the accompanying float back to the ship was garbage. It would have been a perfect and very emotional opportunity for her to exit the series.
    >Snoke’s storyline potential was wasted. No back story, no real build up, nothing. Cheap shot.
    >While I like humor in my movies, this wasn’t subtle or quality for the most part. It was blatant and seemed to be added as a way to compete with things like Guardians of the Galaxy.
    >will end rant here because I’ll give myself carpal tunnel trying to type it all. I loved the ports, the planets, and the moment where I thought Kylo would turn ( which they promptly ruined).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes yes YES. I was horribly disappointed as well! Although I normally do book reviews on my blog I just had to write out my own frustrations so I totally get it. One of my top frustrations was definitely Leia not dying in freaking SPACE and doing a super cheesy slow-mo superman flight back into the ship. Like I’m sorry but WHAT?????? NO. Keep DC/Marvel OUT of this. It really did feel like a massive fuck you to the heart of the series. I get that they wanted to do something new and different and honestly I’m totally all for that but you can’t just reject the essence of Star Wars nor everything that Star Wars is founded on. It was like they took the character names and places then made a super high-budget non-canon film that completely derailed from the series. Idk but it was a massive mess and I was just so surprised and disappointed.
    Great post by the way! You had some really good points!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. The Force Awakens trailers did hint at a mystical awakening of force powers, both dark and light, that defies the logic of rules built for the Star Wars galaxy to date. I guess they needed a way for more characters to have force powers again and we see them springing up at, it seems, random.

    Luke Skywalker’s new personality was on one level a disappointment but perhaps the only rational way a new dark side force using enemy (Kylo) can be created in a way that is more than just evil for the sake of evil… like the mysterious Snoke who exited the story as quickly and unsatisfactorily as the mystery of Rey’s parentage. If Snoke had an origin or backstory we never got to see it. Perhaps that will be the subject of a future backstory movie a la Rogue One.

    They needed a way for Leia to be out of action in the story for a short time so that Poe would feel he needed to take matters into his own hands – queue the gambling planet subplot ending in a disaster which provided the required pre second plot point “it’s all gone horribly wrong moment” just before 75% into the movie.
    I think the new writers have a huge challenge on their hands turning the Star Wars universe in a direction that will allow them to create new and unique stories in it.
    Despite the movie’s flaws, which I seem to notice more in retrospect than I did when I was watching it, I really enjoyed it. I found it unpredictable, unlike The Force Awakens that was so predictable.

    Regarding character growth in the movie –
    Poe started and carried on being the gun ho, do or die, beat the enemy in front of you hotshot we knew from the first film. By the end, he did at least develop the wisdom to call off the final (doomed) assault on the First Order walkers. I think we may see a wiser Poe who will think more about longer-term strategy in the next movies. Poe’s behavior is at least consistent with this movie needing the heroes to be on the back foot and try all their old ways of working and see them fail. If they do it right this will set things up for the next movie where I hope to see the heroes trying something they have never done before to solve the conflict – so we won’t know if they will succeed or not. For me, The Force Awaken’s biggest weakness is watching Han Solo lead a fight to destroy another Death Star and we’ve seen him do it twice before so we know he will succeed.

    Rey began by begging for guidance from Luke Skywalker and ended by taking the fate of the Jedi (or whatever they will be called) into her own hands. Surely a bit of growth there?

    Finn was a bit flat all round and I lost respect for the character as he was running away again. But he did turn that around by the end.

    I think The Last Jedi was a hard story to create. It had such a lot to do. A lot of characters to work with. Had to satisfy movie plot structure. Had to show heroes on the back foot losing to set things up for the next movie. Had to move the story world in a new direction to open up the opportunities for new stories. Had to do this in a way that would not be predictable as The Force Awakens was. It had too much to do I think.

    I take your points and can understand why they frustrated you. I feel lucky these things didn’t grate for me so much.
    Leia doing a superman impression did make me cringe.
    I thought the ship jumping into hyperspace to destroy the First Order capital ship was pretty cool though.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Lulu Mendl says:

    You literally read my mind. Everyone who tries to defend the terrible mess that is The Last Jedi has no idea what they’re talking about. All of their defenses are incredibly weak and just prove that they know nothing about Star Wars. I would say the film was just as bad as the original prequels, if not worse.

    Liked by 1 person

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