By Samuel (Vancouver, WA, Clark)

 

(Spoilers)

The Last Jedi is by no means, a terrible movie. I wouldn’t categorize it as bad, but maybe average. It’s just not a Star Wars movie the fan base had expected. For us die hard Star Wars fans that have followed the franchise faithfully since the original trilogy, I understand why this movie is a complete disappointment for us, but for a newer generation, this movie was phenomenal. My biggest disappointment in this movie was that it didn’t live up to the hype, nor was any of the two years worth of speculation on characters or theories on the plot have come to fruition, and were just tossed aside.

Of all my gripes, the plot is the biggest concern for me, for canon reasons. For example:

Snoke was, to me, the most interesting character that The Force Awakens had introduced. He was a powerful practitioner of the Dark Side, commanding the equivalent of The Empire at its height, and basically emulated Darth Sidious. Completely on another level, clearly, when introduced to both Kylo and Rey for the first time.

Who exactly was Snoke though? Where did he come from? How did he rise to power after Darth Sidious demise? A lot of questions were thrown around after The Force Awakens, and even more theories such as Snoke is really Darth Plagueis, but the major let down and wasted opportunity was quite literally cut in half when Kylo Ren abruptly ended his life. We now may never learn who exactly Snoke is or was, not unless Disney/Lucas introduces some new comic material to address this, in my opinion, major plot hole. Darth Sidious left a very large vacuum of power, a little back story would go a long ways to explain exactly what had happened.

Luke Skywalker and his complete personality change. I’ve loved the original trilogy, and I was excited to see Mark Hamill take on the mantle of Luke once again. A kid figuring out his lot in life, embracing his destiny, and becoming a Jedi. He matured quite well throughout the trilogy and was thoroughly fleshed out. Fast forward to The Last Jedi, he has now become a cliché hopeless hermit, whom believes the Jedi are at fault for all the problems in the galaxy such as the creation of Dark Side users like his father, Darth Vader. None of that honestly makes sense. When he was training his nephew, Ben Solo/Kylo Ren, he abruptly decided to end his life because he “saw something dark” in the boys future, but changes his mind at the last minute, but a “oops, too late” moment happens, and Kylo goes berserk.

Luke, a man that risked practically everything to bring his father back to the light, whom he’s had almost no interaction with aside from a couple of duels resulting a hand being lost, tortured and nearly killed by lightning, fails his nephew immediately when he chose to enter his hut with the intention of murder. He is presented with a boy, who has every chance given to him to make his own path, and then it’s quite literally forced on him by Luke’s inability to judge a character. I cannot emphasize this enough and this was to me, the movies biggest mistake, Luke was definitely not the Luke that George Lucas had created, and this version was a slap in the face to us die-hard fans.

I won’t even go into the details of his “redemption”, because it too, mimicked his mentors passing by becoming one with the force after he astral projected himself to save the rebellion. It was awesome to see him confront Kylo, but completely lame to see one of the most powerful Jedi to ever exist to have such a minor impact in the overall grand scheme of things. Luke did deserve better. Much better.

Rey’s parents was something I was intrigued with the moment we find out she is a force user. Who exactly are her parents, and what bloodline does she come from? Well, as it turns out, she comes from nothing, and her parents were nobodies, whom abandon her. I have some issues with this because of what the prequels had established. Take Anakin Skywalker as a perfect example. He was the culmination of Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious pursuit of immortality and manipulation of midichlorians. Through their machinations, they inadvertently created Anakin from a “nobody” bloodline.

So does Rey fall into this same category? Did someone manipulate midichlorians to create Rey? Or did the midichlorians act on their own because of Kylo Ren? If that were the case, then why was there no creation for Snoke’s opposite? Was Luke the opposite? Was Snoke created after Luke had defeated The Empire? There’s so many unanswered questions. I completely understand that the Force is meant to be a spiritual sort of energy, but if we’re going to say the prequels are canon, then so to must be midichlorians, which is basically a scientific explanation of the Force. Rey still needs to have her heritage addressed, and exactly how she became a force user.

Rose/Finn/Po are characters that will honestly not be fleshed out any further than they are now. We’ve established that Finn is somewhat of a coward but is capable of great deeds when pushed. Same thing has been applied to this movie. Po has always been a hot head, and brought nothing more to the table other than some witty dialogue in the beginning and attempting to take the reins when he clearly is not capable to lead at the moment. So where does Rose fit into all this? Rose is your typical last minute love interest for Finn that’s introduced to counterbalance his cowardice. And that’s it. These characters will never advance beyond what they are right now, they’re as fleshed out as they can get. We should focus our attention to the above mentioned rather than these three “minor” characters. I’m hoping the last installment, the creators focus less on these three because they will offer nothing more in the future.

Some other minor events that had happened that don’t nearly bother me as much:

Marry Poppins as Leia. I understand that Leia is also from the Skywalker bloodline, and it would not be far-fetched to think that she has some latent powers. But no one batted an eye when the bridge gets blown to pieces, and she suddenly just floats on back from the vacuum of space. I think this was just terribly written and not much thought put into it.

Captain Phasma is Boba Fett. Hardly any dialogue, and very few scenes containing her. She’s not crucial to the plot either. I don’t understand why everyone is completely infatuated with this character, therefore, I consider her a clone of Boba Fett. She looks cool, but that’s about it. Why does this bother me though? Because people want to cling to her as a complaint, and I don’t feel it to be justified. Shame on the fans for clinging on to a character that is basically a castaway villain.

Perhaps I shouldn’t criticize too harshly for someone with a different creative direction, however, I do like consistency and having some rational explanation rather than just have something thrown into my face, break on the floor, and I’m left to pick up the pieces. Another example would be that an A-10 Thunderbird is introduced into a WWII movie, but there’s no explanation as to why. It’s a breath of fresh air to see, but it’s not exactly the best fit thematically. It’s a science fiction movie, I understand that as well, but with so much lore already established, do we really need more new material, or do we need more consistency with what George Lucas had already established for the past 40 years?

Did I hate this movie? No, I actually enjoyed it. I laughed, even at the cheap humor, and I enjoyed the action. The music was amazing, the atmosphere was amazing, it was an all-around fun, but dark adventure. If I had to compare the prequels to the sequels, the prequels gave you too much story, the sequels give you too much action. That should tell you a lot about the current audience, but I too appreciate a lot of action scenes, I just like my action to have more sense behind it. What made me realize, though, that this was a good movie, was because my girlfriend, whom abhors these types of movies and franchises, sat through this with me and had fun with it. I can safely say that Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi is meant for a casual audience given both her experience and mine.

I would not recommend die-hard fans to see this movie unless they watch it with an open mind.

Die-Hard rating – 3
Casual rating – 4.5

Rating: 4/5

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