Review of Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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Mark Hamill turned up at my hometown the other day to open the “Sky Walk” bridge (just like me, the locals love a good pun). I decided to commemorate the event by watching Star Wars: The Last Jedi. As someone who enjoyed The Force Awakens and Rogue One, I have to say that this film is the weakest of Disney’s post Lucas efforts. Hopefully Solo will put the franchise back on track, although I am pessimistic on that prediction due to the film’s well-publicised production troubles. Replacing directors, partway through filming, sounds like a recipe for disaster. It certainly didn’t save Justice League from being a disappointment.

OVERVIEW

Following on from The Force Awakens’ conclusion, Rey has located Luke Skywalker on an isolated alien world. She hopes that the legendary Jedi will teach her the ways of the Force. Unfortunately for her, Luke has become a reclusive hermit who is opposed to mentoring new apprentices. Skywalker would rather spend his retirement alone drinking green milk, which he harvests by pinching a hideous extra terrestrial’s nipples. Believe me, the image is even more grotesque than my written description. Meanwhile the Resistance is on the run and begin the film pursued by a First Order fleet.

X-Wing ace Poe Dameron earns the good guys a reprieve by leading an attack that fells a First Order dreadnaught. The assault however comes at the cost of many casualties. In the battle’s aftermath, the surviving Resistance craft find themselves low on fuel and still hounded by their enemy’s armada. Perhaps they can flee if someone infiltrates the First Order flagship and hacks their computers, with the aplomb of a Cambridge Analytica Facebook App. Ex-Storm Trooper Finn volunteers to find a code breaker who is up to the task. He begins his search on a casino world, ably assisted by his new yandere girlfriend Rose.

VERDICT

I am awarding Star Wars: The Last Jedi a two and a half out of five. Despite the lengthy 152 minute running time I can’t say that the movie ever bored me. I was however underwhelmed by how the script squandered the potential set up by its predecessor. Director Rian Johnson inherited a story packed with juicy mysteries, but chose not to explore any of them. The question of Rey’s parentage was answered in a most anticlimactic manner. Meanwhile audiences hoping to learn of Snoke’s backstory will find nothing here. Just like Darth Maul, this villain looks sinister but doesn’t have much substance. I suppose the character’s origins will be left for novels and spin-offs to expand.

Just like The Force Awakens, this movie recycles material from the original trilogy. AT-AT Walkers on a snowy battlefield, a protagonist training under an eccentric master and heroes ending the movie on the ropes all harken back to Empire. One thing that really bugged me was Luke’s portrayal. I understand that people get grouchier with age, but Skywalker’s personality shift was too much. He’s completely apathetic to the plight of his friends and family, just because he discovered that his nephew is a bit emo. Let’s hope that J.J. Abrams can salvage this mess in Episode IX. Otherwise, I too may join the despondent ranks of Kylo Ren by moping about, dressing in black and listening to Simple Plan tunes.

49 thoughts on “Review of Star Wars: The Last Jedi

  1. The Last Jedi is one of those love-it-or-hate-it deals so even though I personally enjoyed it, I wouldn’t be quick to defend it at all. I can, at the very least, agree with detractors that it and The Force Awakens don’t reach the same level as the original trilogy.

    • The movie is certainly polarizing. I have just looked at Metacritic and noticed that the Metascore is 85 whilst the User Score is 4.5. Nothing will top the original trilogy imho. Those films have a special place in many people’s hearts.

  2. I’m a star wars fan but still haven’t watched this one yet. I feel like all these new Star Wars are kind of another way to make a lot of money from the audience. They aren’t taking their time to write a really good script.

    • Disney paid big bucks to acquire the Star Wars rights so I can understand why they want to make money. Churning out a new film every year can lead to a dip in quality, but then again its a strategy that works for Marvel.

      • They make billions from the merchandise regardless of making a
        quality product. Which is a shame since Star Wars is so close to so
        many peoples hearts. Star Wars Rebels just finished, and I found
        that to be an extremely enjoyable experience that captured the
        true heart and soul of the Star Wars franchise.

  3. I wrote a review about The Last Jedi about a week ago. I wasn’t pleased with the movie and quite disappointed with certain aspects. Hope the next one will be better…

  4. Oddly, Luke’s portrayal is one of the things that didn’t bother me about this movie. It kept me more than engaged the first time I saw it and there were things about it I enjoyed, but also lots of annoying little things that I put a pin in for later. Second viewing, visiting these annoying pins made it a lot less enjoyable. To me the Rey/Luke thing was the A-Plot and not too bad. The Fleet Chase was the B-Plot and was a terrible idea, and the Canto Bight was the C-Plot and should have been left on the cutting room floor.

    Great assessment, though. Personally I would rate it about a 2, mainly because I enjoyed Force Awakens so much, and this one just squandered everything for the sake of what, challenging expectations?

    • Yeah. They could have cut that Canto Bight stuff and used that time to add scenes of Luke grieving, which I hear were removed from the movie. Rather than look for a code breaker maybe Finn could just sneak into the ship with the aims of destroying that tracking device? I read somewhere that Canto Bight might feature in the Solo movie, so perhaps they wanted to use this film to reveal that location.

  5. So I’m hearing, not a terrible film, not a great film, just kind of okay with a couple of cool action scenes. I never got around to this one due to life stuff coming up during the theatrical run. But it sounds like I would have been let down after enjoying TFA.

    • I have read glowing reviews and watched YouTube clips of people ranting about how poor the movie is. Having finally watched the film I can certainly reasons for both opinions, depending on one’s taste. Let’s see how the trilogy ends. If the story ends well I think the critics will be less harsh.

      • I suspect that I’d enjoy it in a similar way to The Force Awakens. I like Star Wars but I’m not a huge fan, so I tend to have less expectations for it to live up to. Still, I haven’t seen Rogue One yet either, so I’m way behind.

  6. So heres a thing, whenever someone asks me if ive seen any star wars movie, i always say “maybe, im not interested” , they freak out because i said “maybe” . If youre a star wars fan then thats great , im a lord of rings and hobbit fan. After getting a lot of “not-so-good” comments on my “maybe” , i say them this thing instead of “maybe” :
    “may the FORCE be with you ”
    so they just leave and think im awkward 🙂 which is better than my previous “maybe” reply 🙂
    i have a pun on star wars :
    “may the MASS*ACCELERATION be with you “(funny right…..no?….ok )
    have a nice day 🙂

    • Star Wars is such a huge franchise that I guess some folks cannot accept that some people have not watched the films. For the record I have only watched the first LOTR movie. Maybe one day I will watch the rest, or perhaps that day “will not pass.”

  7. Mark Hamill himself seemed to hate the film’s portrayal of Luke if the compilation clips of Last Jedi interviews are any indication. I haven’t seen this yet, but I guess I’ll check it out on Amazon or Redbox or something.

    • Luke Skywalker is the role Hamill is best known for, so I can understand why he would be unhappy. The movie turned him from a hero to a crotchety old man. In my opinion, Han Solo was treated with more respect in the last movie.

  8. Agreed. I still haven’t seen any other Star Wars beside The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, but while I enjoyed TFA, I found TLJ lackluster. There were a few fun or cool moments, but it ends up being a disappointment.

  9. Not you as well…. 😦

    I picked this as my top film for 2017 because it was such an emotional ride for me. I was there right at the beginning in 1977 (showing my age there) so the events of this film really hit home. There are some flaws, (long run time, extraneous material, etc) but sometimes when a film moves you on such a personal and emotional level, you can forgive them.

    I still don’t think it is as bad as the extreme haters say, and I’m looking forward to seeing where they go next with Episode IX.

    • I like Star Wars, but I watched the movies later in life so I am less emotionally invested in them. Although I was disappointed with how this one turned out, I can’t agree with the people who passionately hate it either. Once the trilogy is complete, if the last movie ends well, I think people will soften their negative views on The Last Jedi.

  10. The tradition continues of Star Wars trilogies having a polarizing second installment. It’s once again time for the last entry to do what it can to appease depressed fans…or at least as many of them as it can.

  11. I’m with you on most of these points. I was sorely disappointed. Most defenders of the movie shrug off the criticisms by saying people didn’t like that they tried “new things” but that wasn’t my issue at all. I actually found the Luke/Rey/Kylo very interesting. I just hated that really lame wheelspinning of the other plots. A slow speed space chase was the best they could come up with? Finn’s search for a code breaker was a complete waste of time. TFA set up interesting characters and story and Johnson just chucked it out the window.

    I have heard that Hamill was really unhappy with Luke in TLJ but ultimately decided to be a professional and do the part. He basically said this wasn’t HIS Luke but someone else’s version. And honestly if it’s not his Luke, it’s probably not right. He’s backpedaled a bit on those statements but probably as a smart PR move than a real change of heart.

    • From what I hear J.J drew up a draft of what should happen in the next two films, but Johnson discarded it and did his own thing. That’s pretty shocking. A trilogy should be planned out and not written from film to film.

      Sounds like Hamill was being initially honest and then had to backpedal on his views due to studio pressure. I’m pretty sure that actors sign contracts saying they have to be positive when promoting a movie.

      • Honestly, JJ’s strength has never been finishing out a story, but more setup and creating mysteries. Still, totally agree that a writer/director shouldn’t be able to just come in and toss everything out. At least with George, there was a singular vision. Star Wars needs someone who drives the overall direction, like Kevin Feige for the MCU.

        Haha, yeah. We don’t want a Sad Affleck moment in this galaxy!

  12. Yeah, The parent reveal was a let down. I’m hoping that he was just lying. And I know this has nothing to do with plot but Kylo’s granny panty outfit was just… distracting. This may be one of the first times I hoped a muscular man would put on a shirt.

    • I do hope the parent thing was a swerve and they reveal something special in the next movie. With respect to outfits I’m sad to see that Kylo ditched the mask. I thought it looked cool. Snoke has a great wardrobe with his gold “Hugh Hefner” gown.

      • The mask ditching really felt like Johnson giving Abrams the middle finger. Snoke making fun of the mask and then Kylo beating the crap out of it… not very subtle! Did JJ steal his lunch money or something???

  13. I’ve not seen this movie yet, but I’ve heard a lot of people say the parent thing was very anticlimactic 🙂
    Luke’s personality change does sounds a bit strange. I can see why it annoyed you. Messing around with much loved characters is never a good idea 🙂

    • The identity of Rey’s parents was pretty much the least interesting thing they could have done with that subplot. I read many cool theories, during the wait for this film, and it feels like the director chose to surprise everyone by doing something else (even if it happens to be really lame.)

      Star Wars is known for its passionate fans. I’m not surprised that there was a fierce backlash to how Luke was handled.

  14. Personally, I enjoyed it immensely. There were plenty of ways it could have been improved, but it did a pretty good job, I thought. I especially liked how it toyed around with the cliches, like the daring hero with the bold, crazy plan that FAILS, and how Rey’s ancestry is ultimately irrelevant, her parents were nothing special, and other things like that.

    • I expected the heroes to fail in some way, otherwise there wouldn’t be any threat to face in the next episode. Rey’s ancestry was a surprise, but if you ask me I would have gone for a more predictable theory. If she was the daughter of someone famous that would add so much to the lore and future stories. The movie wasn’t all bad for me though. I thought the Porgs were cute and Rey accidentally wrecking the ruins made me laugh.

  15. Having seen all the movies at original release in the cinema ( now who is talking about old?) I must admit I haven’t seen this one yet.

    I should, if only to see the green nipples being milked. You my friend are a gifted storyteller!

    • I have never seen Star Wars on the big screen. Being there when the franchise was so popular must have been quite the experience. For the record, the alien’s mamaries are grey but they milk it produces is green. Um… yummy?

  16. Luke milking that animal was definitely a random scene that was pretty bad and as a whole this film did it’s best to utterly wreck the character. I don’t really think he will be able to come back from this which is a true shame. I thought it was fairly good but definitely had quite a lot of weak points to it

  17. I was really disappointed in the Force Awakens. Been wondering whether I should give this one another try or not, but eh, I think I’ll give it a pass.

  18. I finally got to see it on Netflix BR last week. I give it ONE out of five stars.
    I like Star Wars, so it is worth seeing I guess.
    What the shit is there to watch from Hollywood? … so seeing it is worth it because what the fuck else is there to watch.
    I’m willing to put up with a little social justice cringe, but the movie borders on pandering to sophomore political science majors.

    Why they turned Luke Skywalker into an insufferable cuck is most unforgivable. It now ruins everything he had accomplished in the middle trilogy. Why? If they would have provided a better story, then I might have went along with it.

    Fuck. Shit. Cock-Suckers.

    • I did not like how Luke was handled in this movie either. By all means promote the new characters, for the next generation of viewers, but please treat the old guard with some respect. In terms of the new trilogy it looks like Han got a better deal than Skywalker.

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