This was a very highly anticipated film. I distinctly remember the 23rd of January last year as the title was announced. For months and months on end I was excited to see this movie. And I finally got to watch it. This flick really divided the entire fan-base. Everybody either loves it or hates. So, which camp do I fall into? Stay tuned to find out!
-!MAJOR SPOILERS FOR STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI!-
Star Wars Episode Eight: The Last Jedi is the second installment in the sequel trilogy of Star Wars movies. Heh, sequel trilogy. I find it kind of funny that even now in 2018, everything to do with Star Wars is built around those original three movies. I might make a seperate post about that whole idea in the future, but I’m bringing it up in this review, because I think that Disney is doing something extremely risky.
A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and The Return of the Jedi are often considered to be the three movies that comprise the best trilogy in the history of cinema. Star Wars is still a thriving franchise, but everything still seems to lean on those three films that started it all. I’m sure that most of you are familiar with the famous clip of George Lucas comparing the Star Wars movies to a poem with each trilogy being a stanza and each one having to rhyme with the previous one. If not, you can watch it here:
George Lucas said this back when he was working on the prequel trilogy. But now that he isn’t involved in jack shit with making Star Wars movies, Disney is still doing the same thing. They’re trying to make this new trilogy rhyme with the original. However, this means that they walk along a very thin line. On one side of the line, they’re respectfully paying homage, while putting their own spin on things. But on the other side, they’re not trying anything new and instead ripping-off the OGs.
Personally, there were several moment as I watched The Last Jedi when I thought that they had crossed the line; that they were just copying. Since this is the second movie in this new trilogy, ‘it’s supposed to rhyme with the second movie in the original trilogy’. And this movie sure borrowed a ton from The Empire Strikes Back. The fact that the main character goes of to train with a Jedi for the majority of the movie. The fact that the other two characters are in the meantime doing something that is less about winning the battle and more about just surviving themselves. Heck, both movies have a big battle on Hoth involving AT-ATs! And, of course, it also ‘borrows’ some elements from other original trilogy films, like the fact that the villain kills his master.
I might as well talk about Kylo Ren for a bit then. For me, he was a massive highlight of the movie. In the original trilogy, Darth Vader was barely a character. He was just evil because those movies needed an antagonist. He didn’t even have a personality until Return of the Jedi. But in this film, they really humanised Kylo. I was able to understand why he made every decision that he made. We even got to see that events that led up to him killing everybody and Luke’s academy from his perspective.
I also love how the scene with him, Rey and Snoke was pretty much entirely from his point of view. We got to see him struggling to decide what he should do when Snoke told him to kill Rey and it was very satisfying when he turned the tables and stabbed the Supreme Leader. However, we later see that this didn’t necesarily mean Kylo decided to turn to the Light Side. Instead, he used the fact that Snoke is now dead to gain full control over the First Order. I think that Kylo Ren’s arc was done amazingly.
Unfortunately, Rey, who is supposed to be the main character, has a lot less interesting arc. I feel like her character didn’t really change in any real way. Misleadingly presented footage in the trailer implied that she would be tempted to join he Dark Side, but that never happened. Ultimately, though, I guess that with the cynical Luke Skywalker that we got, we needed a character that would convince him to come out of hiding.
Talking about Luke Skywalker, I think that Ryan Johnson had a great idea for where to take that character and Mark Hamill executed it really well, even if he didn’t agree with it. The obvious direction to take Luke in this movie would be to make him this peregrine character that would train Rey. But instead, we got to see a grizzled Luke Skywalker who has gone through a lot. You could argue that they were just cashing in on a current trend in cinema, where you make a seemingly joful character in a PG-13 movie act like that, but I think it worked. And his cynicism made Rey seem really naive at times, especially when he was teaching her about the Force. And this was a very interesting dynamic, because Rey was rhyming with Luke from the… God, damn it!
In all seriousness, though, I liked the idea that Luke saw himself in Rey, but, because of that, he refused to train her. And then Rey started communicating with Kylo Ren, learns his side of the story and we got the awesome scene when she confronted Luke. And, that’s pretty much the A plot of the movie. Oh yeah, and Chewbacca was there. He ate a porg, which was very unexpected. And the other porgs wanted some of the meat… God. Anyway, my main criticism about this whole part of he movie, was that it was unnecesarily streched out. And that can be said as a criticism of the whole movie in general. Of course, they had to really bring home the point that Luke doesn’t want to leave the island, in order to make the scene towards the end of the movie work, but I think that there could have been a better way that could have been done.
And, talking of the big, climactic scene at the end, I wasn’t a huge fan of it. Sure, it was one hell of a spectacle to watch, but I don’t think that the right conclusion for Luke’s character was to make him have a rapid change of character in the final act and be a ‘deus ex machina’ for the Resistance. But, I’m jumping a head a bit here. I still haven’t talked about the incredibly controversial sub-plot with Fin and Rose. Personally, I really enjoyed it. However, I hated how little of an impact it actually had on the overall plot. It was cool when they got captured by the First Order, although I feel like the twist with the codebreaker betraying them was pathetic.
Personally, my favourite element of the movie was Poe Dameron. I loved how he briefly took control of the Resistance. However, as with every plot in this movie, there was just something about it that didn’t exactly click for me. I absolutely hated how when we thought that Poe failed and the Resistance was doomed, they just said that the chick with the pink hair had a plan all along.
Overall, I liked the movie, sure. But I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t a bit disappointed. I’m definiely not one of the extremists saying that it should be removed forever from the Star Wars Canon, but I do think that they should have given us more from the second installment in this new trilogy. And for shits and giggles, here’s the Last Jedi HISHE:
Thank you very much for reading this review. I know that by the time I posted it, The Last Jedi is no longer relevant. I’ve strongly debated not posting it, but I’ve worked on it for so long that I decided I might as well. Anyway, I hope that you all enjoyed this post. Please, let me know what you think of it in the comments and tell wether or not you liked The Last Jedi! Share this post on your social media if you feel like you want other people to know about it. Talking about social media, I would really appreciate it if you decided to like me on Facebook, follow me on Instagram, follow me on Twitter and/or subscribe to me on YouTube. Thanks for reading and consider checking out some of my other stuff.