– Darcy Selke
Yes it’s true, The Last Jedi is not a video game but really if a video game blog can’t talk about the biggest movie of 2017 what’s the point of having a blog at all?
I need to get this all out because for the life of me I don’t see what people like about The Last Jedi. It seems I’m not alone as Rotten Tomatoes hasn’t been kind to The Last Jedi but I need to just purge this from my system. I wanted to like The Last Jedi, I really did but this movie just was too bizarre and unfocused for me to get on board.
I can’t decide if it’s the worst Star Wars movie or if it’s just so difference it looks bad in comparison. So let me explain specifically what I didn’t like about the movie and I’ll give a shout out to things I did like, so with that being said…
My once favourite character Poe Dameron makes a joke about sleeping with the evil General’s mother. It just doesn’t fit Star Wars to have a “yo momma” joke and I don’t see how anyone can say that it does, it was such a reminder that I’m watching a movie, total fourth wall breaking moment.
Every scene between Kylo Ren and Rey had weird moments where a “joke” was insterted. Kylo Ren has like a “Seinfeld” moment where he tries to understand if Rey can see him and he starts talking really fast like george Costanza and Jerry.
Later Rey asks Kylo to put a shirt on during there talk because his rippling chest is too distracting. It made the movie really hard to take seriously because none of the characters seemed to take themselves seriously.
There’s plenty of moments like this which leads to my next gripe
The Red Letter Media review of Star Wars Episode 3 makes this point perfectly so if you haven’t watched that review before I can’t recommend it enough. Basically Episode 3’s opening scene is a mess of tones between like a buddy cop film, slapstick comedy and action. The opening scene of Last Jedi has the same problem.
Poe Dameron has his weird comedic dialogue with General Huxton about doing his mom which then leads into a super dramatic and desperate space battle where the viewer is supposed to feel the emotional weight of these pilots sacrifice.
This goes double for the Luke Skywalker scenes, the movie wants Luke to be this grizzled, depressed hermit who’s done with everything but constantly punctuates these scenes with weird fish nuns having there homes broken, and Luke drinking some weird blue milk straight from some space monster’s boob. I can safely say I never thought I would see something so weird in a Star Wars movie.
Weird Character Arcs
I’m just going to lay these out as easily as I can.
- Finn and Rose’s entire “romance” came out of nowhere. When Rose kisses him I literally had felt 0 romance between these two before. Compare this to Han and Leia in the Milennium Falcon when Leia is struggling to resist Han’s charm.
- The Rebel General doesn’t tell her troops their plan and just hopes that they blindly follow her, despite the fact they’ve lost almost everyone in the rebellion and are all losing hope. It’s never explained why she kept this a secret other than to create a reason for Finn and Rose to have to leave.
- Snoak just sort of crumpled as a big bad guy with 0 explanation as to who he was, how he found Kylo or how the First order ever got this powerful in the first place.
So yeah to some it all up this movie just sorta seems like a mess tonally and I’m not trying to compare it to other Star Wars movies, I think the movie was just weird as a movie and I couldn’t take it seriously because it kept undercutting itself.
So my number 1 gripe with The Force Awakens was that it was just a remake of Episode 4. I was really worried that Episode 8 would be a remake of 5 and I would basically just have been tricked into watching the same trilogy twice. So I give Rian Johnson credit, The Last Jedi is like no Star Wars movie I’ve seen before. No Lightsaber ever hits another Lightsaber.
Most of the Characters
So despite the fact the attempts at “humour” didn’t really work I still think as a character Poe still works really well. He works as a Han Solo lite except there’s at least another character who is trying to teach him something. He emerges as a true leader without them stamping out the “independent” aspect of his character. It works really well.
Rey and Ren have a cool sort of story and there is the moment where you really are guessing who is going to flip and join the other one. I didn’t mind Rey’s back story with her parents being no one and Daisy Ridley once again brings a lot of charisma to her performance and I think Ren is a good villian. I say “good” because just too often I couldn’t take him seriously, he’s a child which I think is the point but I don’t know it just doesn’t strike the right chord with me.
Luke’s character had a lot of really good moments. I loved the scene where he talks about how the Jedi really are a bunch of fuck ups, and the Empire arose because of their hubris. My only issue is I don’t think they got the payoff right, Luke sort of stumbles onto his final sacrifice and I still don’t really understand why he had to die. I get thematically why they did it, but I think it would’ve been a lot better to see Luke kick some ass as an old man and sacrifice himself physically vs that weird projection thing…
Usually when I watch a movie and I have this reaction I try to think of constructive criticism, things I would change.
It was tough to watch what Luke Skywalker became in this movie. I get that it was something new, BUT you are talking about the hero of the original movies. Yes no one stays a hero forever in real life but I don’t know even after Luke’s sacrifice I was left sitting there thinking…that was it? Luke was on my Mount Rushmore of Childhood heroes with Spider-man and Samwise Gamgee. People who did the right thing because it was the right thing. This movie dragged him through the mud a little bit and while I respect the decision, I didn’t like it.
No more jokes
I can’t stress this enough. The movie just needs to take itself seriously. Way too many times it seemed lie this movie actively did not like Star Wars. It was a parody of Star Wars or was making a point about how you shouldn’t like the original Star Wars.
The very first scene starts with Luke throwing the lightsaber over the cliff, I get the point of what that symbolises. This movie is different, Star Wars needs to change etc.. except jeez that lightsaber should represent everything to Luke, throwing it away for a cheao laugh just felt bizarre.
So if you liked The Last Jedi i’m curious as to why. I saw a little of criticism about how it “ruined” established Star Wars canon and I guess it challenges some of it, but a lot of that canon was built up over 30 years of books, video games and more.
For myself I guess the point of this article was for me to reflect on it because I’ve never left a Star Wars movie and thought..that’s it I officially don’t care anymore and I did this time. I felt like the 3 hours was just a giant stop gap where nothing was accomplished, I was confused, bored at times and I guess I really no longer care about these characters and I’m not sure why. It’s a very weird thought to end on but hey, this movie was really weird.