The mixed reviews from critics and the media on “The Last Jedi” made me hesitant on running out to see the film right away. I finally made some time a couple of weeks ago to sit down and watch the film in a mostly empty theater, and took some time to gather my thoughts on the film. After plenty of time to reflect and think about everything the film had to offer, here’s the verdict…
I liked it. I really, really liked it.
Overall, the movie was well done in terms of pacing, action, plot and characters. But of course, you’re not here to hear what I liked about it. So let’s cut to the chase and go into the things that irked me.
The Force Awakens had setup Captain Phasma as a total BAMF and the promotional material for The Last Jedi made it seem like her character would have a much bigger role in this film. I felt so let down and betrayed at the fact that she wasn’t a thorn in the side of the Rebellion and her demise was basically being tossed down a trash compactor. Don’t get me wrong, this was a nice throwback to the trash compactor scene from “A New Hope” but outside of a few chuckles from the audience, her character was a dead end story wise.
It feels like wasted potential. She survived the destruction of Star Killer Base without any explanation as to how she survived the base blowing up. And after all of that she gets less than 10 minutes of screen time just to be killed like a punk?
Seriously, she got her ass handed to her by Finn in a fight that took maybe like 2-3 minutes max. A swing here, a swing there.. Finn cracks her in the face and breaks her helmet which reveals a small glimpse of the face behind the mask. But moments later she falls to presumed death when the floor collapses around her. The only enjoyment I had from that scene was when she called Finn scum, to which he responded with “Rebel Scum”. I definitely got giddy and had a bit of a fanboy moment audibly enough for most of the theater to hear me.
But overall, it felt like they gave Rose’s sister more airtime before killing her off than they did with Phasma, and we didn’t even know who Rose’s sister was until 30 minutes into the film.
SUPREME LEADER SNOKE
Another villain that just turned out to be a dead end when he was killed off prematurely and without major conflict. He is shown to be someone of power that can basically put anyone he wants in their place, yet he goes down without a fight and without us finding out any additional information as to what his background is or what his link is to the dark side. Is he even a Sith or is he just an asshole with Force powers? Supposedly, he is able to see into people’s minds.. But wouldn’t he have seen that lightsaber coming?
Director Rian Johnson states that when the original trilogy happened, fans didn’t mind the fact they knew very little about Palpatine. He states, “We knew nothing about the character until he was eventually expanded in the prequels. And that didn’t seem to bother fans the slightest.” My rebuttal to that is when the original Triology came out the Internet wasn’t a thing yet, so people weren’t able to be as vocal about their displeasure as they are able to now. I would have loved to know a bit more about Snoke or at least get to see his power in action. I mean, come on, he was able to force choke someone through a phone call! He literally grabs Hux through the holo-call and forces him down to the ground. It felt like Snoke was really being setup to be the big baddie or final boss of this arch in the series, and his sudden death at the hands of Kylo (who can barely manage to take away a lightsaber from the still in training Rey) felt lackluster and deceitful. It felt like The Force Awakens set us up for greatness, while The Last Jedi worked hard to undo most of that work.
I will say though that the fight scene that followed the death of Snoke was one of the best scenes in the entire movie.
ROSE AND FINN BEING SHIPPED
I am not one to get in the way of what the heart wants, but I do have an issue with the circumstances of how the Rose and Finn “shipping” unfolded. Based on the timeline of The Last Jedi, they seemed to have known each other for less than 24 hours. And somehow within those 24 hours Rose is suddenly like “You fight to protect the ones you love” followed by a classically cheesy Hollywood kiss. Come on! I like Finn and Rose as characters but you’re going to tell me that somehow, in the span of 24 hours, Rose is in love with Finn and even though it seems obvious that Finn at least had somewhat of a thing for Rey in The Force Awakens. This isn’t a high school rom com, but it’s certainly played out like one. And I understand that Rose and the rest have all gone through traumatic experiences and band together.. Because tomorrow is never promised. But this is Star Wars! Don’t water it down with a forced love arc.
LEIA’S FORCE.. FIELD.. THING?
For the entire Star Wars franchise up until this point, we knew Leia was force sensitive but we never saw it in action. Surprisingly, I didn’t have that big of an issue with her being able to surround herself with the force in a time of crisis during the explosion. The stress of the explosion and possibly dying in the vacuum of space would definitely be enough for me to use whatever means necessary to stay alive.
What I did have an issue with was in the prequels when Order 66 was given, a lot of Jedi died from being shot, blown up, etc. So if this sort of “Force Field” was possible, you would assume that other Jedi in the past could have used this to protect themselves from blaster fire during battle. We can almost be certain that Luke may have taught Leia a few things in the 30 years between Episode 6 and 7, but it seems like this skill was a bit “forced” and surreal to existing known skills in the universe.
Overall, The Last Jedi is a must see for any Star Wars fans. It’s filled with intense action, quirky comedy, and a decent amount of throwbacks to the original trilogy that fans of all ages will enjoy. Did you love it, or hate it? Let us know in the comments below.