Oh no baby! What is you doing?
People hate it. People love it. But what has caused such a divide in fans? One thing seems certain at the moment, there is no universal agreement on whether The Last Jedi was a good Star Wars film or even a good film at all.
The movie starts off with a small comedy routine between Poe Damaran (Oscar Isaac) and General Hux (Domnhall Gleeson). This attempt at humor didn’t bother me, but there is an influx of unnecessary humor slapped into the movie. The porgs, which serve no purpose other than to be a Disney toy they can sell to kids, are inserted into scenes where they have no business being (millennium falcon). The island caretakers have no reason to exist except to setup slapstick jokes. Deus-ex BB8 flying comically through the air as a bunch of fighters and pilots are annihilated in an explosion is about as jarring attempt at a laugh as you can get. When moments were supposed to be thrilling, they threw in a joke. When things were supposed to be dark and somber, they threw in a joke. Whether you found the jokes funny is up to subjective opinion of course, but the main problem with them is they didn’t feel organic enough. Cut-aways like it was an episode of Family Guy doesn’t work in a movie like Star Wars. Attempts at humor don’t make or break what is supposed to be a Sci-fi/fantasy epic. It’s only a small mark against the film’s overall quality.
Rather than using the usual structure of film with a beginning, middle, and end, The Last Jedi makes more sense being broken down into four different parts. The First Order’s chase after the Rebellion ships, Rey and Luke on an island, Finn and Rose on planet Prequel, and the climatic finish on salt Hoth. While they are all loosely connected storylines, they mostly work independently of one another until the very end when they’re all brought back together.
Mad Max: Fury Poe
This is the main story arc of The Last Jedi, and it treats every single one of its characters poorly. For some reason, the last of the Resistance consists only of a large cruiser and a couple of other smaller vessels. The First Order’s fleet is right on their tails and has them outgunned. Despite this, Poe decides to take out a massive First Order battleship called the Dreadnaught. This ship has no shields apparently, and only needs one load of bombs dropped on it for it to blow up the hell up.
Even though Poe and the resistance succeed in blowing the Dreadnaught up, they lose a lot of their pilots and ships. Leia (Carrie Fisher) is pissed at him for disobeying orders and trying to play the hero and demotes him. They escape into lightspeed, but the First Order follows them, which should be conceptually impossible according to everyone on board. Luckily, the Resistance ships are 1mph faster than the First Order’s, so they can’t die until they run out of fuel. Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and two other tie fighters go to attack the Resistance, and for some reason, shields don’t work on the Resistance’s vessels when being attacked by small ships. So Kylo and his escorts blow up the pilot’s bay and the captain’s bridge before booking it back to the Star Destroyer. Leia and all the commanders get flung out into space, where she transforms into Mary Poppins and hilariously flies back into the ship, and passes out (RIP Admiral Ackbar).
Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern) is now in charge, and Poe asks her what the plan is. She tells him to mind his own business, and of course, he gets pissed. Finn (John Boyega) runs into Rose (Kelli Marie Tran), a random engineer on the ship, and after a brief introduction, they devise an amazingly stupid plan with Poe. They assume that the First Order has some new technology that allows them to track them through lightspeed, and that they need to sneak onto the Star Destroyer and disable it. They also need to recruit the “Master Codebreaker” from some scummy rich people planet first.
Finn and Rose fly down to the planet, and Poe creates a mutiny against Holdo because he believes she is setting them all up to die. It turns out that Poe had no idea the transports had a cloaking feature, and that they could just escape to a nearby planet that has an unoccupied rebel base. Instead, he hatches a plan himself that causes hundreds of people to die pointlessly, all because Holdo never told him what was going on even when they pulled a gun on her. The whole plot is supposed to progress Poe’s character development into less of a hothead and more of a leader. But it’s borderline idiotic writing, that requires characters to make a number of unintelligent decisions that all amounts to absolutely nothing of importance in regards to progressing the story in a significant way. All Holdo has to do is inform the crew of the plan at any moment in time, and Finn and Rose never leave the ship. Even when they’re getting on the transports Poe doesn’t know what the plan is! How does that make any sense? Not to mention that this “chase” sequence lasts for more than half the movie and is so dreadfully boring I began looking at my watch, only to remember that I don’t wear one.
Holdo has to pilot the ship herself after everyone evacuated for no logical reason unless Rian Johnson wrote out autopilot as a thing in this universe, but really it’s so she could turn it around and lightspeed into the Star Destroyer. It looked cool, and the silence was amazing, but that moment just opens up a can of worms. Why not just taking any mid-size ship and lightspeed it into a Star Destroyer or Death Star if it works so well?
Finn and Rose in Prequel City
This subplot should be retconned from the Star Wars universe. It is atrocious, and a complete waste of everyone’s time. Rose is supposed to be this extremely moralistic person that causes Finn to want to fight for the rebellion and all that’s good in the world. Except not once did I feel any kind of emotion or attachment to this character in any way. Their journey takes them to a city that is straight out of Attack of the Clones. A bunch of ridiculous CGI aliens doing zany things, a political message about the rich bourgeoisie (from Disney), and so many nonsensical hijinks that I swore I was on a bad acid trip, and not watching Star Wars.
So they go there to find the “Master of Codebreaking” (which is a terrible title), but instead, get tased and wind up in jail with DJ (Benicio del Toro), who is a Master of Thieving, or something. They break out and escape into a kid and animal slave dungeon pit, where they befriend the children and free all the weird giraffe-horses into the wild. They ride these animals through a racetrack, into a casino, where there are no people to get trampled now, and onto the beach where their ship is conveniently waiting. It blows up, so they ride the animals up a cliff and into a forest before almost falling to their deaths. But it was totally worth it just to mess up those evil weapons dealer’s good time. Okay, I highly doubt that every rich person in multiple galaxies is a weapons dealer. That is such elementary grade way to look at the Star Wars universe, but whatever.
BB8 comes and saves them along with DJ, and they fly away on a stolen ship. After some negotiation on payment and whether DJ is a bad person or not, he agrees to help them disable the tracker on the Star Destroyer. They sneak on board, and are about to disable it but get caught. DJ then rats them out and tells the First Order that the Resistance is planning to use cloaked transports to escape, creating the reveal that DJ has no loyalty and is only in anything for money. If this was the case, then why’d he help Finn and Rose in the first place? He had just stolen a rich man’s ship filled with loot and didn’t even take Rose’s medallion as payment. If he had no soft heart at all, then why go on a suicide mission with a couple of strangers you don’t even know?
Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) shows up to watch Finn and Rose’s execution, but when Holdo rams the ship, everyone but them vanishes into smoke. Then it shows Phasma and a team of Storm Troopers walking out of a door 100 yards away as if they weren’t literally right next to them a second ago. BB8 pilots an AT-ST to help save them (yes he does this a lot), and Finn battles Phasma, killing her by sheer luck.
I fully expect Captain Phasma to make another appearance in the next film and be just as useless.
Rey and Luke
So at the end of The Force Awakens, J.J. Abrams sets up an epic cliffhanger with Rey (Daisey Ridley) holding out a lightsaber to Luke (Mark Hamill) on an isolated island. Rian Johnson says, “Bitch you thought!” and has Luke tossing the lightsaber over his shoulder and walking away. There is a constant theme here of taking things that were set up in TFA and tossing them in the garbage, and that is irksome.
Turns out Luke has isolated himself here because he’s running away from his problems. He goes about his day fishing and drinking giant alien cow milk straight from the udder in what can only be described as another bizarre attempt at humor. Rey wants him to train her, but Luke isn’t about that life anymore so of course, he refuses and she follows him around until he finally agrees.
She chats with Kylo Ren on and off, trying to maintain their long-distance relationship while they’re off at college. Rey has one session with Luke about feeling the Force before she looks down a dark hole in the ground and he freaks out on her and leaves. They discover the sorta truth to how Luke almost went insane and tried to kill his nephew (which is out of character), and then Kylo went and killed everybody as a self-fulfilling prophecy. For that reason, Luke has become a bitter old man who hates Jedis, the Force, and anything else related to the original trilogy.
Rey goes into the dark hole in the ground and is about to drop the sickest beats in the galaxy when a mysterious mirror shows her…herself. I mean, the whole scene doesn’t make much sense besides as a dumb metaphor for saying, “You’re a nobody, and your parents aren’t important enough to hire actors for.”
She leaves the island to go to Kylo in an attempt to turn him to the Light side. Ren arrives and Kylo says he thinks he can turn her to the Dark. They meet Snoke, and Kylo kills him almost immediately by, “tricking” him with his thoughts. So if you ever were curious about who Snoke was, what he wanted, the extent of his powers, too bad, Kylo Ren is your main antagonist now.
They fight some guards, who keep changing their weapons into something different every five seconds, and kill them. Kylo and Rey don’t use force powers on the guards because that would be too easy, obviously. This is maybe the best scene in the film because it is fun, exciting, and allows some reprieve from the bad writing.
Kylo and Rey have another mind battle, and surprise, the girl with no training wins for the second time in a row! She escapes, and now Kylo is in command of the First Order. The big baddie for Episode IX has been beaten twice, by the main protagonist now. Oh boy, can’t wait for the next one!
I’m not going to even bother with the Jedi text stuff and Yoda’s ghost.
What’s left of the Resistance has made it down to a salt planet that is totally not Hoth, and is hunkered down in an old bunker with no apparent escape. They wait until they can physically see enemy ships flying at them to close the door, and what do you know? Finn and Rose are in the only ship that makes it in just in time! The Resistance didn’t even know it was them. Wow, what a lucky break for the good guys.
The First Order traps them, and are using some, “Death-Star tech” cannon to blast the door open. So the Resistance makes a plan to use old land speeders in an effort to fly them into the cannon and blow it up, right? That’s the plan they were going with? Because as they are doing it, Poe tells them to fall back, since he’s learned to not be a hero hothead as part of his character arc. Unfortunately for Poe, this makes no sense at all since they’re all going to die anyway if they let the cannon go off and break the door. So why tell everyone to fall back? What?!
Finn, being a rational human being with a functioning brain, knows that’s a bad idea so he charges ahead to fly into it, sacrificing himself. We get a clear overhead shot showing that he is the only speeder still going forward, and somehow Rose still manages to get ahead of him and crash his speeder out of the way of the cannon. This action is borderline psychotic. They are now stranded in front of enemy lines, miles away from the base, and all their friends are going to die because the cannon blast penetrates the door.
She then says to Finn, “We’re going to win this war not by fighting what we hate, but saving what we love!” and kisses him.
At this point, I was borderline suicidal.
She doesn’t know that Lukes going to show up, or that there is a secret escape in the back of the base. She just doomed everyone to die, and she says that?
Rey, Chewie, and a product placement porg come to save the day in the Falcon, and rescue everyone. Luke shows up and fights Kylo, only to reveal he’s not really there, but still dies anyways cause, whatever. Rey picks up a bunch of rocks, because remember when Luke said, “The force isn’t just about lifting rocks.”
Finn drags Rose’s unconscious ass three miles across a battlefield, and all the rebels left alive can conveniently fit in the Falcon. Everyone is happy even though almost all of their friends just died in the last 24 hours. Leia is still alive for no reason.
Can you tell I didn’t like this movie?
The film looked good, the special effects were mostly great, the score was fine, the acting of Luke, Kylo, and Rey was great. But when they got to the salt planet I was legitimately annoyed that the movie wasn’t over yet.
You know how sad that is to say for a Star Wars film? Poor writing, awful pacing, and terrible character decisions made this movie not even enjoyable.
Don’t even get me started on that kid with the broom.
Overall Score 1.5/5 Stars
Let me know if you loved it, hated it, or maybe just thought it was okay. Like and share with your friends if you have those.
This is a very long rant and not quite a normal review, so if you took the time to read the whole thing I am so proud of you.