It’s that time of the year again. Yes Star Wars Episode VIII, “The Last Jedi” is out and judging from the fact that it broke Episode VII’s record for the best opening weekend of all time, it’s clear anticipation for the film will not be dying down anytime soon. Fans of the juggernaut franchise may be bringing their lightsabers in anticipation however, of ending Disney’s planned all new Star Wars Trilogy.
TLJ is still a good movie, it’s not bad but to avoid seeming too predictable, Johnson risked drawing the ire from longtime followers and it didn’t pay off.
For starters, the start of the movie. At the beginning, we see Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) leading the resistance starfighter corps. Again. aginst…yes the first order. The lack of suspense is glaring. Surely there has to be another angle this franchise could take. Now Johnson isn’t to be blamed for this. It seems as though the now Disney-owned franchise, has long drafted a structure in which this trilogy would start and end with. But honestly, this is one aspect of the franchise’s past that is in desperate need of death. It’s tiresome and boring plus every war comes to an end. Hopefully in two years time this would be the case.
There was a joke at the beginning between Poe and General Hux (Domhall Gleeson) – who for me was the best part of the movie – that went on for too long. Now Poe, at this time you either show us what makes him really special other than one of “Leia’s most trusted operatives”. If he were a sidekick or one of the vast aliens in the galaxy it would make sense. He just goes off on his own, desperate to lead the rebel forces and then in the process gets stunned by his own leader.
Speaking of weak characters, Captain Phasma doesn’t do anything in this again except for veil threats towards Finn after he and “Rose Tico” – a new character added to the franchise, get captured or rather sold out by “Dj” another new character played by Benicio Del Toro. TLJ yet again didn’t make smart use of Game of Throne’s Gwendoline Christie as the shining knight in armor. Johnson promised a more prominent role for Phasma but you would be left disappointed with what you get.
Del Toro was great. Probably the best of the supporting characters after Hux. He has no motive, he’s just a bad person trying to survive in this oppressive world. In typical fashion I expected him to turn good after he turned in Finn and Rose to the first order. But no, he just took his payments and went off. Brutal.
As for Finn and Rose? Well let’s just say TLJ had no clue what to do with these characters. Rose’s sister apparently died dropping of bombs in space alongside Poe and the other resistant flight force. Finn and Rose go on a side mission that if completely removed from the film’s 2hour 35minutes run down it would make no difference at all.
Meanwhile, the end of The Force Awakens promised us an interesting plot between the Legendary Jedi, Luke Skywalker and a promising new one – Rey. For the most part it paid off due to great performances from both Hamill and Ridley. The rest didn’t just feel right. Firstly, that’s not Luke. Yeah okay his aged up and probably thinks differently but he’s not the one to abandon hope especially when “hope” literally falls at his doorstep.
The force allows Rey and Kylo Ren – or “Ben” as Ridley’s character painfully keeps reminding us was the intended name for him throughout the entirety of any conversation they have – to see/talk to each other without them seeing. Ren then tells Rey that Luke tried to kill him and through the altercation he buries luke underground the debris of his room which leads to him burning down Luke’s Jedi temple, killing all of Luke’s students in the process. It’s for this reason Luke refuses to train Rey to become a Jedi for fear of losing another student to the dark side and also because of her “raw strength”.
Supreme Leader Snoke (Leader of the First Order) played of course by Andy Serkis, was supposed to be this badass villain. Teased in parts in TFA, it wasn’t long before he was killed off. And though his death was a visual spectacle, it was too abrupt for that level of a charcater. It couldn’t be more obvious the animosity between Abrams and Johnson at this point.
Other things that plagued the movie :
- Leia using the force is just a no. I get Johnson’s idea of anybody being able to use it but just drop it.
- The porgs are not cute. Well except for one scene with Chewie.
- Have I already mentioned Finn & Rose’s trip?
- Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) kisses Finn. Made no sense at all.
- Rey besting a master Jedi (Luke) in a fight despite no prior training at all just continued the disservice this movie made towards Mark Hamill.
- Ghost Yoda.
- Any scene with Poe
- Way too long.
- No follow-up to the “Knights of Ren” plot.
There were wonderful things about this film. For example visually, not many, if any film was better this year. It was beyond beautiful. Great performances from the majority of the cast. Domhall Gleeson the best of them. If anything this film properly sends Carrie Fisher off in what would be her last appearance in the franchise after her she passed earlier this year. Hopefully her daughter, who was also in the movie, can take over her role in future installments seeing as Laura Dern’s character sacrificed herself for the rebel cause.
In all Star Wars: The Last Jedi is not a bad movie, just disappointing. It doesn’t work as a sequel and certainly not as a stand alone movie but it’s still a delightful experience and really fun but it’s best that the next one, directed by J.J. Abrams would bring an end to the trilogy and maybe close up a few plot holes because if there’s one thing this franchise needs right now is clarity not just to the fans and the story but to the characters as well. Because safe for a few petitions going around (which the owner has put down as of now), people aren’t really hiding their disdain for the legendary blockbuster.
Rating “the spark that lights the fire” – 7.2/10
* Star Wars: The Last Jedi is in theatres now having raked in $745million, less than two weeks after it’s release despite a staggering drop in-between.