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Star Wars: The Last Jedi Review

Published on December 15, 2017

Spoilers! Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

A couple of years ago after the announcement that Disney would be taking over Lucasfilm and the Star Wars franchise, in contrary to many other fans, I got quite excited about the revival of the saga. I was very much looking forward to more movies and to find out about so many untold stories. Although I was a bit sad that they discontinued the Expanded Universe, I could live with the idea that they now had a carte blanche to create a whole new universe.

When The Force Awakens came out I was happy to see that they kept true to the original movies. Besides some minor plot details I wasn’t happy about (another Death Star, really?) I felt that it was a great start to a new trilogy and a new story. It left me craving to know more about the characters. Who’s Rey? Who’s Snoke? What’s the story between Luke and Kylo Ren? What’ll happen with Rey and Kylo Ren? Needless to say I was looking very forward to the next movie.

I also want to add that I thoroughly enjoyed Rogue One. It was really well done story-wise. It featured great actors and had a sort of more “serious” vibe just like the original trilogy. Come to think of it, I enjoyed Rogue One even more than TFA. It had a more darker vibe around the whole movie. Seeing almost the entire cast die at the end was a very plausible and good ending to the movie that left me behind being a little bit sentimental about their loss. It was also a great way to the tell the story about how A New Hope started. There’s one particularly scene I didn’t like but that’s for another blog post perhaps.

Let’s talk about The Last Jedi. In this review I’ll try to explain what I liked about the movie but also, and mostly, what I disliked. There’s so much things to cover so let’s get started.

Final warning: Spoilers!

General

Overal, story-wise, I think this movie went with the least favorable path. I’ll go into the specifics later but I think that the way the trilogy is going right now is probably the most boring plot choice they could have picked. It’s so predictable and they even took decisions that made the whole story even more boring. I can’t even imagine what they’re going to do to make episode IX interesting and I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing. I feel like, in contrary to the end of TFA, that there aren’t any questions left that are still worth answering.

Secondly, the movie is riddled with ridiculous and utterly illogical plot twists and happenings. I can’t even believe how many times I said to myself: “no way that this is happening.” There’s just so many choices that are made by the characters that are just either too dumb or too far-fetched. Besides that there are some things (like Rose’s love for Finn) that are just too forced. But more on that later.

There’s good stuff though! I still like the acting of most of the characters. Daisy Ridley is still amazing as Rey and Mark Hamill still hasn’t lost his touch when he portrays Luke. When Mark steps into a Star Wars movie he simply becomes Luke instead of doing any acting. Oscar Isaac does a great job at portraying Poe but the story doesn’t do his character any credit. I have to say that John Boyega does a great job at playing Finn but I dislike the over-the-top acting at some points. I guess this is where you really see how these new movies differ from the old ones. Kelly Marie Tran is a perfect Rose but I really dislike the way her story line plays out. I actually though Adam Driver was a better Kylo Ren than in TFA, a real good improvement.

I also liked almost all of the humor and the jokes. They made me chuckle and plain out laugh aloud at some points. This is also a key difference from the original trilogy but bothers me less than other things in the movie.

One last thing that kind of bothers me is that again, they’re just copying from the original trilogy. TFA was basically A New Hope and TLJ basically is The Empire Strikes Back. Just too many similarities to make it really “original”. Escaping the Resistance base, a dark Force cave, visiting a remote city, the space “hunt”, walker assault… you get what I mean.

First Act

Let’s start with the first part of the movie. The movie starts off with the Resistance making their escape from their base as Imperial forces are closing in. Please make note that the Resistance’s fleet, which consists of just a handful of cruisers, is basically the entire Resistance (as they note further down the movie). So whatever’s left of the Resistance can be seen throughout the rest of the movie.

So while they’re still evacuating the planet a Dreadnought appears and they send in Poe to buy some time and take out the ship’s guns so the bombers can later swoop in. Seriously? One fighter? Against an entire Dreadnought? I kind of thought the whole “Poe kills 10 Tie fighters in 16 seconds” thing was already a little exaggerated but hey, they managed to outdo even that. Ok, Luke basically takes out the Death Star by himself but he wasn’t alone. So as the Captain already notes his X-Wing is too small to confront with the ship’s turrets. But why, on earth, don’t they send in the fighters sooner? They basically wait until all guns are destroyed before they reach the conclusion that they’ll need their fighters to kill him. Major facepalm.

Anyway, Poe kills of the guns and while the last transport is evacuated the Dreadnought destroys the Resistance base. Why the Dreadnought doesn’t immediately targets the main Resistance Cruiser (which contains basically the entire Resistance) is beyond me but hey, I’ll take it. After the evacuation is complete, Leia who doesn’t want to risk any more lives orders Poe to return to the fleet so they can make their escape. Instead Poe decides to take measures in his own hands and take on the Dreadnought to destroy the last gun so the bombers can make their run. This lead me to the following conclusion.

Poe is a frigging idiot.

There is zero logic in destroying the Dreadnought. It does not, at all, give them any advantage. Look at the Resistance fleet. It’s basically handful of ships. What difference does one Dreadnought make? Snoke’s ship, which we see later, alone is like 5 times as big. And they have like dozens and dozens of Battlecruisers. What happens is that they loose their entire bomber group, dozens of fighters and a lot of pilots. And it’s entirely on Poe. Later he basically shrugs off the loss. The slap in the face by Leia was more than deserved.

Further we see Rey on Luke’s island and the scene picks off right where TFA ends. I think the island scenes and conversations between Rey and Luke were a few of the things in the movie which were played out very well. The conversations make sense. Luke not wanting to train her at first makes sense. Everything just fits well.

There’s still one thing that was kind of… weird. At one point we see Luke walking towards an animal that’s sitting upright, milks it and gulps the milk while looking at Rey with a particularly look. Rey is looking at him in awe like “wth is he doing?” This, for me, was a “please, don’t do something like this ever again in a Star Wars movie”-moment. The whole thing was just plain bizar.

Later on we see an old familiar face, Yoda! I’m really glad that they went with the original prop and not the digitalized version. Even though the conversation was kind of brief and didn’t really give me the feeling that Yoda had to really “convince” Luke to stop acting like a baby and start getting back at it again, I can live with this particularly scene. It was a real fan-pleaser and felt kind of forced but the scene, even though not very well played out, kind of made sense and definitely had its place in the movie.

The Porgs were funny, the island natives definitely were doing their best to be annoyed as hell at everything Rey did and overall I really liked most of the Island scenes. Even though again they were copying from Episode V. Another dark Force cave?

Second Act

So this is where it get plainly illogical. After the Resistance fleet escapes the Resistance base the First Order fleet catches up with them. It turns out the First Order was tracking them and they get their asses kicked. Because it’s pointless to jump to hyperspace they decide to run. Like… just speed up, increase the shields at their backs and speed up as fast as they can. And the First Order fleet pursues them.

For. The. Entire. Frigging. Movie.

Seriously? Like… are you kidding me? This is probably the one thing that bothered me the most about the entire movie. The entire First Order fleet cannot gain in on a handful of cruisers? They could have easily let a few Battlecruisers jump to hyperspace fort and back, cornered them and the whole thing would have lasted only a couple of minutes.

Then there’s the scene where the Resistance leadership on the bridge is killed. Why the hell was the entire leadership in one single spot? And don’t get me started about the way they’re killed. Just when they decide to lower their front shields and increase them at their backs a couple of Tie fighters (including Kylo Ren) are flying around at their front. Of course the bridge gets blown away as soon as they lower their shield. I mean, come on! That’s like space combat 101. No shields, you die.

And I hate the way they killed off Ackbar. He gets a brief notice that he died along with the rest but that’s it. No mention besides that. Way to let go such an iconic character. It also didn’t escape my notice that he died after walking into… a trap. Well, sort of.

Then there’s the second thing I thought was totally unbelievable. Leia survives the blast and uses the Force to pull herself back into the cruiser. Say what? Ok so we don’t know the backstory here. Obviously she’s also gifted with the Force, we know that from previous movies. But how did she get so good at wielding it? Perhaps she got training by Luke? She’s naturally gifted? Still, that’s some serious Force usage right there, for someone who’s not a Jedi, to survive such an explosion and get herself back into the cruiser. The whole scene felt a little over-the-top. And it definitely wasn’t the last “hey look at what cool stuff we can do with the Force”-moment of the movie.

A bit later we can see Poe plotting with Rose and Finn on how to get onboard of Snoke’s ship. Rose and Finn leave while Poe stays behind to pilot the cruiser as soon as they signal him. In the meantime it dawns upon him that the new Resistance Leader, Holdo, is fueling up the transports. He suspects that she’s going to use the transports to attempt an escape. As Poe thinks they’ll be easy pickings if they do that he stages a coup along with some other pilots to make sure they can stick to the plan he has with Finn and Rose. Why on earth, Holdo doesn’t simply explains the actual plan she has to him is beyond me. Poe would totally have understood that it would be a solid plan. In fact, as soon as he realizes what her plan was all along later in the movie he immediately understands that it’s a good plan. True, perhaps Holdo just doesn’t trusts him enough but still. Since his coup almost caused him to be the end of the entire Resistance if Leia didn’t stop him, I once again come to the conclusion:

Poe is a frigging idiot.

That’s (almost) two times not that he’s cost lives instead of saving them.

Then there’s the whole “timing” thing. So the First Order keeps following the Resistance fleet (again, major sigh) and Finn and Rose need to rush to get to Canto Bight to find a hacker, get back in time, break into Snoke’s ship and turn of the tracker in a matter of a few hours? Besides the fact that they need to travel all the way to Canto Bight and back in an escape pod (do escape pods even have light speed capability?) how the heck did they do that so fast? Sure, they got back in a different ship which might have light speed capability but still. At one point they note on the Resistance cruiser that they only have 6 hours left. 6 Hours seems like seriously few for all the traveling back, boarding and disabling the tracker.

After that we get to see the scene where most viewers were probably waiting for. Rey is lead to Snoke by Kylo Ren and Snoke starts interrogating her. And then, when the moment comes that Kylo needs to kill Rey he instead manages to kill Snoke. Why??? Why did he have to die so easily and so early? He barely got any screen time. We still haven’t found out who he is. In fact, none of that doesn’t even matter now. Who cares who he was? He’s gone! He just went out too simple. I would have thought that Rey and Kylo might run off together after trying to take him on and with that set up Episode IX. This was an unbelievable boring and too easy way for him to go out if you ask me.

After that we see Rey and Kylo battle the guards together which is actually a really cool scene. Probably one of my favorite ones from the movie.

Then the moment comes where Kylo and Rey try to convince each other to join their side. Instead of any of them choosing the other side which would have been total badass (especially is Rey turned dark), no, they pick the most boring option and stay on their own side, Kylo effectively becoming the new leader of the First Order. This probably couldn’t have turned out more boring. So predictable.

And then, the most boring thing yet happens. We find out who Rey is. It turns out she’s nobody! For heavens sake, they could have really gone either way with this but this was something I hadn’t even considered. I was so anxious to find out who she was and now we’re lead to believe she’s no one? To be honest, I believe we haven’t heard the last of this and Episode IX might shed some new light on it but if this is final then I really have no questions left for Episode IX.

Third Act

Then comes the assault on Crait. There’s just a couple of things I’d like to get over. I thought most of this part was done pretty well even though it looked so similar to the opening happenings of Episode V.

When they bring out the big gun to blast open the door, why don’t they fire it twice? If they fire it twice then it’s game over for the Resistance. No way that they could have survived a second blast that would have hit inside the base. I guess it’s a one-shot kind of thing?

At some point Finn tries to fly into the gun in an attempt to destroy it and thus saving his buddies. But at the last moment Rose knocks him away and saves him. How did Rose get there sooner then he did? She was behind him and she had to loop a little bit in order to knock him away. I guess the power of the beam slowed Finn a little down? But that’s the only explanation I can think of.

After Rose saves him, Finn races towards her to see if he’s ok. Rose explains to him that she doesn’t wants to lose anymore people she loves and kisses him. They don’t even know each other for more than 24 hours (judging from all the timing they constantly reminded us) and now they’re in love? Sorry, but this felt really forced and totally unrealistic. Also, where are all the snow troopers who were running around? A few minutes before we could clearly see quite a few of them running around the walkers and the cannon but they’re all gone when Finn and Rose are lying there.

Then we get to the part where Luke and Kylo Ren face off. Luke uses all of his life power into projecting him onto Crait to buy time for the Resistance to escape. Eventually it means the end of him. To be honest, I was really disappointed that this was the way he died. They could have let him die after fighting like Obi-Wan did and it would have been a good death but this seemed like a pretty lousy way to go for such an iconic character as Luke. Obviously they really didn’t want him in the next movie (or as a Force character, who knows).

In the meantime, somehow Finn managed to drag Rose all the way back to the base which is like ridiculous far. If you see how long the speeders are traveling towards the walkers at top speed then this is some seriously fast moving from Finn while dragging Rose along. Also none of the walkers seem to have noticed that he was doing so.

Eventually the Resistance makes their way out of the base and are saved by Rey, Chewie and the Millennium Falcon. Then on the ship, Poe and Rey greet as if it’s the very first time they’ve met. This is totally unbelievable as they’ve clearly met on previous occasions. In TFA there are at least two occasions where’s they’re basically standing next to each other at the end of the movie. It seems impossible that they never met or spoke to each other.

Conclusion

This basically concludes the movie. As you’ve probably guessed this wasn’t my favorite Star Wars movie. In fact, in my opinion, this was the least Star Wars movie until now. Yes, I’m one of those that liked the prequels (non of that Jar Jar stuff though, no worries).

I get that the new movies contain lots of humor and aren’t that “serious” as the original trilogy. In fact, it’s part of the identity of this new trilogy and I think it’s fine, really. What I don’t like is boring story-lines, illogical character decisions, unbelievable plot twists and just plain out ridiculous events.

The movie definitely wasn’t all that bad. It has some great actors, good humor and some fun and exciting scenes. It’s the story line and specific occurrences that bother me the most. As I said, I have almost nothing to look forward to for Episode IX. I wonder how they’re going to wrap this trilogy up but I cannot image that there’s going to be any serious plot twists anymore. This movie could have offered some serious plot twists and totally turned things upside down. But instead they chose the most boring way to continue.

This review really was a big brain dump after I saw the movie two days ago and could not talk to anyone yet because I was one of the first to see it. I hope you liked it and sorry if it came across a little negative. I’m still a big Star Wars fan and one bad movie isn’t going to change that.

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