The Last Jedi (Review)

Spoilers abound and possibly some unpopular opinions as well.

I want to say straight up that I love Star Wars. I mean who doesn’t right? The jedi, the sith, the republic, the empire – the droids!!! It’s just all so cool. I go in for merch if I can get it so I have a lot of Star Wars related stuff – I am a fan, so if I complain about anything it’s like I’m doing it with love 🙂

Also if I’ve given the wrong impression thus far I DID like the movie. I went in the movie theater with trepidation and low expectations, and the movie was much better than I thought it was going to be.

Right anyway, now I’ve sufficiently covered myself heh onwards with the review!

Forced march plotting
I know technically all stories are the authors creation. If they say something happens – then that’s what happens. It’s just I’ve always believed in justification, I like things to make sense basically. The Force Awakens plot surrounded the ‘map to find Luke Skywalker’ and that never made sense to me unless Luke had vanished for a reason (and for some reason didn’t trust Leia with his location) and so he’d split the map and given the key to the guy on Jakku to give to the resistance when the time was right.

Instead Luke didn’t want to be found, so how did the map come into existence in the first place? Plus I’m with Mark Hamill on this one, who goes to a remote island for 10 years and trashes the only way home? I mean maybe he did it in a fit of rage/guilt/madness but I would have thought he’d be desperate by the time Rey turned up to leave. Although I didn’t like how they split Han and Leia either, or that Han lost the Millennium Falcon. What is with everyone running away from one another?

Oh and while I’m moaning about the writing – what was up with using the force in this movie? First Leia survived getting blasted into space and magically flew back into the ship. Then there was Force Ghost Yoda frying the tree. The ‘mind-bridging’ which I’ll talk about in more detail later but seeing each other? getting splashed with water? Seriously? Oh and the big finale – Luke projecting himself halfway across the galaxy, creating objects from nothing, making himself seem solid. I know the effort basically killed him but seriously? The force was never shown to be able to do that kind of thing until now.

The Jedi did holo-calls, they died just as easily as anyone when caught by surprise. A lot less jedi would have died during Order 66 if they could save themselves like Leia did. Oh and Admiral Holdo I realise she might have been in shock but it would have been a good idea to have done that lightspeed/suicide blow-up trick earlier rather than staring in sadness as most of the transports were destroyed. I mean when she did that thing I was thinking that was her initial plan otherwise why stay onboard the cruiser at all?

So much “this is true because it’ll be cool” and very little justification.

Enough ranting – what was good?
Oh the dialogue was so snappy! Man I can’t wait for the DVD as I want to quote half the movie. So many good lines!

BB-8 was the hero of the movie! Seriously I loved that droid before but my love is now cranked to eleven. The way he took down and tied up those guards. Oh and driving the AT-AT and saving Rose and Finn! I love BB-8!!

Rose was awesome! I love her belief in the resistance, she didn’t question it once. Her hero worship of Finn was sweet but then just like Neville Longbottom in Harry Potter she stood up to him. She stunned him when she thought he was doing something wrong. I love her empathy, her compassion and how caring she is and how smart. It was Rose that figured out how the First Order were tracking them through hyperspace and if they hadn’t been betrayed I bet she would have disabled it too!

Finn was my favorite from The Force Awakens. He was taken from his family very young, brainwashed to serve and yet his inbuilt sense of right and wrong was so strong he abandoned everything he knew to do the right thing. He saved Poe, he then cared so much about Rey that he risked everything to save her.

The first question out of his mouth this movie was “where’s Rey?” and I just love that Rey asked after him as well 🙂 His compassion, his caring, is just amazing as is his willingness to stand up to the First Order even though he’s terrified of them. Even at the end when it was hopeless he wanted to stand with Luke, to help him. He’s always trying to help people.

That feeling of sheer relief
From the trailer I was really worried. This is why I had such low expectations when I went to see the movie. I thought that they were going to redeem the monster of Kylo Ren and I was disgusted by the very thought. He was a boy who had every advantage, he had a loving family and he threw it all away.

Sure seeing that your uncle is prepared to kill you is awful but he slaughtered his fellow students rather than calling home to Leia to say Luke had gone mad. Kylo killed his father and for what? Because he wants to follow in Darth Vaders footsteps? He doesn’t know the first thing about Darth Vader.

Now it was another example of forced march plotting in a way. I always felt that it wasn’t necessary for Anakin to turn. I felt that it was as much because of the hypocrisy of the jedi than anything else. Anakin’s problem wasn’t that he lusted for power, it was that he was afraid and that he cared too much.

Anakin’s early years had been in slavery – of course he would be afraid. At any moment he could be killed, or his mother killed, or they could be beaten, or not fed, or had everything taken away. They could be sold and have their lives uprooted. It would be natural to live in fear. He was bold with what he could do – the mechanics, the pod-racing because that’s where he found the power to keep himself and his mother safe. They were safe so long as he was useful.

The jedi encouraged bonding between master and padawan but no other bonds were allowed? I never thought that made sense but then I’ve always thought that love is strength, that surely if the fight can be personalized then people will fight harder and dig deeper because they understand what they are fighting for.

I also think the Jedi council should have used some common sense with Anakin. Not everyone in the world fits in the boxes, they were afraid of him but they didn’t do anything to help him. If they had listened things would have been so different. They were always saying “search your feelings” and the force gives premonitions but then didn’t do anything about it when Anakin tried to tell them.

Anyway this isn’t supposed to be about Anakin Skywalker I’m just trying to point out how Kylo Ren isn’t anything like him really. Anakin was driven out of fear and love. Kylo just wants power. You can see why I was scared from the trailer? Well they didn’t redeem Kylo, Rey believed for half a minute that Ben Solo had returned but then Kylo showed his true colors.

Also Rey didn’t turn dark so thumbs up to the writers there for not following through on the trailers threat. I was worried! I mean I was seriously worried they were going to pair them and I think that ship is very wrong, I can’t stand it.

The themes!
Oh man the themes were awesome! The thing with the Star Wars universe is that it’s very cyclical. The way the plot echoed Empire Strikes Back helped the feeling and also Kylo’s “join me and we’ll rule the galaxy” was straight from Anakin in Revenge of the Sith.

I did skim-read someone else’s review before I went (the title was very clickbait like and I couldn’t resist, even though I was trying to avoid spoilers). Basically what I got from it (no spoilers yay) was that Finn and Rose’s mission was pointless. I don’t think it was because nobody but Admiral Holdo (and whomever she told) knew about the plan, or that there was a nearby base. That lack of communication is what led to Poe, Finn and Rose feeling like they had to do something.

What they were doing wasn’t pointless because they believed it vital – they were willing to die if necessary to see it through because they thought they were saving the Resistance. I know there was the whole spiel about “believing in hope without proof” but the thing was they did believe! They believed so much in the Rebellion that is why they were willing to risk everything for it. If that’s not hope then I don’t know what is.

I liked how the torch was passed. I don’t know how they will explain Leia’s absence because giving her an off-screen death just seems so anti-climactic. I wish they’d somehow shown her sacrifice herself for everyone at the end instead. Leia deserves her hero moment. Anyway Poe will be the leader of the Rebellion in the next movie, with Finn being the heart and Rey the power and Rose the brains I guess.

I just want to reiterate one last time my extreme love for BB-8 and Finn. I also love Poe and Rose. Rey is my least favorite out of the new crowd I have to admit but I still like her a lot. The end scene contained a message of hope, that the rebellion had been seeded and that more potential jedi were out there.

I don’t know when the 9th movie will pick up the story, it probably won’t be with the entire rebel force onboard the Millennium Falcon. I just hope there isn’t a Death Star Mark 4 for them to destroy as that really would echo the plots for the original trilogy. I’m sure they could come up with something else like maybe attacking the infrastructure?

The whole reason The First Order gained power so easily is that the Empire was pretty much still in place. The rebellion needs to play politics and gain some allies otherwise there will be no peace.