This is something that needs to be said. Not just something to say because I want to jump on the bandwagon of people hating on the film, no. This is something that I have attempted to put off for many weeks now.
The Last Jedi, is not a good film.
As the lights in the cinema turned on and the credits rolled, my girlfriend of ten years turned to me with a smile on her face and asked me what I thought. My body was numb and my mouth dry from popcorn.
“I didn’t like it.” I said stunned from the words coming from my mouth. Had I actually said those four words? Was it even me speaking? “I didn’t like it. I mean, it was really bad.”
My girlfriend’s expression dropped and she admitted her feelings mirrored mine. “That was boring.”
Thoughts raced back and forth in my head. What didn’t I like about this film? Was it the characters, the music, the acting, the effects, the script? WHAT?!
“The music was really good” I added while tweeting that exact line.
As we walked back to the car, I kept on complaining about The Last Jedi. I had issues with the film, major plot points from The Force Awakens were gone, characters were destroyed and I was just angry. If the Force was real, I would’ve gone directly toward the dark side with all my internal rage building up, I was close to breaking something, but I drove home discussing my problems with the film instead.
While jumping in bed, I decided to do the smartest thing ever. I pulled out my phone, opened notes and began to list each and every problem with the film. My intention was to capture my thoughts as raw as they were, then watch the film again after a week and see if I still had the same issues. After all, I was expecting a fair bit considering The Force Awakens left plenty of mysteries to be solved.
After two weeks away from the series, I doused myself in positive reviews in the hopes that any negative thoughts would be washed clean. However I walked out of the cinema once again disappointed and massively let down by this once beloved franchise. I wasn’t happy and the latest viewing only helped solidify my thoughts.
I now hated, The Last Jedi.
Listed below are the notes I wrote while laying in bed only hours after my first viewing of The Last Jedi. I attempted to get all my thoughts written down so that I would be able to sleep. They are random and won’t make sense if you haven’t yet seen the film. It is best to save the link, watch the film and return once you have done so. I may at some point elaborate on my points here with longer, more detailed thoughts…but only if the interest is there.
- The Last Jedi is just a chase film from beginning to end. I know The Empire Strikes Back is a chase film, but its broken up in interesting ways. We see Luke train and Han and Leia escape to cloud city. We have asteroid chases and hiding in creatures…here, it’s just a chase. A snail pace chase through space waiting for the Resistance to run out of fuel. But until then, the First Order will just keep firing at their shields until they actually do some damage. “How about sending Tie Fighters after them?” Nope, they can’t be protected apparently. Because now the First Order really cares about the Health and Safety of their troopers.
- Canto Bight is pointless. Is it here for a reason or do we have to increase the new planets in Star Wars and this is the only logical way to do that? Don’t even for a second attempt to convince me that Canto Bight is fun, because it isn’t. We go there to find a code breaker, but Rose, a new character, who could’ve easily been written so that she technologically inclined enough to break the hyperdrive tracker. Instead we get space horse racing and gambling and weapon moguls. We also get heavy political messages and social justice rubbish thrown into a Star Wars film.
- Finally the secret of Rey’s parentage is revealed. The moment we have been waiting for is over when Kylo Ren tells her that she already knows who they are. Rey then conforms she does and says they were nobodies. Kylo Ren then proceeds to elaborate, ‘they were junk traders who sold her for credits.’…ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, what? What about in The Force Awakens when Kylo Ren reacts to the officer telling him BB-8 escaped Jakku with a girl? Kylo Ren instantly uses the Force to grab the guy from across the room, drag him over and demand to know, “what girl?” of course implying Kylo Ren knows something about her. At least that is how it comes across to us. Then Maz Kanata speaks with Han and as Rey leaves the table, the alien learns closer to Han and asks “Who’s the girl?” again implying to the audience she is someone special. Moments later Rey is called to the basement and opens a box to find Luke’s lightsaber and touches it. Rey sees Cloud City where Luke fights Vader. She sees Luke touching R2D2 on the head (The Last Jedi flashback moment). She sees an area covered with bodies and Kylo Ren in front of the Knights of Ren killing somebody. She then sees her younger self on Jakku screaming for a ship to come back. And finally the snow-covered forest of StarKiller base with Kylo Ren igniting his lightsaber. We get all these scenes implying that her parentage is somehow connected to the Luke’s Jedi Training camp crashing down. All of the events we see can easily be shown in order of timeline. It all means something, even when Kylo Ren reads her mind. He says that Rey is lonely desperate to sleep at night. All things up to this point we probably figure is true considering where she is at this point in the Force Awakens. Except he goes one further. “You imagine an ocean. I see it. I see the island.” This implies that Rey has somehow already seen, or been to, Ahch-To where Luke now resides. There is something deep and mysterious about this girl and that left audiences to wonder, “who is she?” But we get none of that in The Last Jedi. We get crap.
- Now we have to move onto Supreme Leader Snoke. The big bad that was quite literally ‘big’ in the first. Here, he just sits in a throne chair in gold. Another mystery of “who is Snoke”, and why does he have so much power? Guess what happens to him? Oh, he just dies by a sneaky lightsaber attack from Kylo Ren.
- Luke was painful, boring and completely out of character. First of all, Luke throwing the lightsaber away was out of character. Luke refusing to train Rey, also out of character. Luke refusing to return to help Leia, out of character. Luke igniting his lightsaber after sensing darkness in young Ben, OUT OF CHARACTER. Luke using force projection for his final moment against Kylo Ren was a terrible moment, and also a terrible addition to the lore of what is now possible by Jedi. Speaking of Force use, Leia using the force to fly her way back from space…well I guess now the Jedi are just unstoppable.
- Finn is just ruined in this film. He was never the best character, being a coward in the previous film, he at least cared enough about Rey to stop fearing the First Order. But the subplot Finn is given just doesn’t work. The only moment in the film where I actually believed he was about to be redeemed, and he is ‘saved’ by Rose who proceeds to kiss him and pronounce her love for him after only 10 hours of knowing him. Brilliant work.
- Captain Phasma returned and was quickly killed off for a second time. Why was she once again pushed in the marketing for The Last Jedi, yet gets nothing but five minutes of screen time? I don’t care if she’s a male or female, this character is simply pointless. Is she here because people think Boba Fett was liked? Was Boba Fett even good? No, he was wasted talent who was fleshed out in the expanded universe. Phasma will probably get the same treatment, but currently she’s nothing but a waste of time.
- Kylo Ren, I actually enjoyed, but I don’t know where they can take his character from here on. Effectively they have rushed his character arc, and it just ruins the newly established trilogy. Does he turn good, or stay evil? I don’t really care.
- The humour in The Last Jedi doesn’t work at all. It is not a Marvel movie and Star Wars doesn’t have this type of humour. I agree with some people, Star Wars has had comedy in past films, but it has always been dry and sarcastic in nature. Not flat-out jokes as evident from the Poe/Hux telephone conversation at the beginning. Marvel has been criticised for its humour coming after serious moments, and Star Wars doesn’t need that.
- Speaking of Hux, since when did he become a joke? In the previous film, Hux was a leader commanding his men like a Nazi general. However, with The Last Jedi, Hux is nothing but comic relief. He is used to break up the more serious moments and tossed around by both bad guys.
- General Holdo is the worst character to be introduced into a Star Wars film…tied with Rose. Holdo takes over command of the Raddus when Leia goes Magneto in space. She then proceeds to be purposefully shady on-screen to make the audience, and Poe, believe she can’t be trusted. Then when Poe demands to know what is going on, fearing the Resistance will die soon, Holdo just brushes him off because he has no authority. Well, that is true, but Poe was also trusted by Leia for many years and has the interest of everyone onboard. So because of Holdo’s distrusting attitude, we get the awful Canto Bight subplot, Poe causes a mutiny and then eventually she redeems herself by using the hyperdrive to rip apart the First Order fleet. So she can be a martyr, but Finn can’t? Yeah that’s right, only women can be right in this series now.
- Which now brings me to the hyperdrive destruction and how a large enough ship can be used as a weapon. While an admittedly amazing moment in the film, it does nothing but cause problems for earlier movies in the series. Why wouldn’t the Rebels have built a purpose made hyperdrive ship to destroy the Death Star? This entire point is enough to frustrate me.
- Keep politics and social justice rubbish out of Star Wars. It doesn’t belong here. The Prequel Trilogy used politics to show the growing ‘need’ for an Empire and the reason the Rebels arose. But it never pushed an agenda down the audience’s throat. The Last Jedi just puts it front and centre. Keep it out.
- The timeline of The Last Jedi is all over the place. It begins with Rey meeting Luke. She is on Ahch-To for about two days at which point the events of the film play out. At one point it is mentioned the Raddius will run out of fuel in less than 12 hours. So the entire movie spans just under a full day? But Rey trains herself up to be able to take on the Supreme Leader’s guards? She even defeats Luke! She moves all those rocks! She doesn’t give into the dark side! Both this film and The Force Awakens covered the events of less than a week. In which time, Rey used the Jedi mind trick, telekinesis and gained skills in a lightsaber enough to best Kylo Ren and guards and LUKE! Mind you, her parents were nobodies so forgot the theory she has powerful force user parents. THEY ARE NOBODIES!
- Luke is a coward. He created a map to find him if help was ever needed in The Force Awakens. Yet in this film Luke reveals he came to Ahch-To to die. So is the map a lie, or is Luke telling a lie? Or is Rian Johnson unaware of what happened in The Force Awakens? Or are we ‘fanboys’ just idiots who don’t understand the story? In a flashback, we see why Kylo Ren turned to the dark side…very piss poor reasoning considering Luke is out of character. Luke then appears at the close of the film to confront Kylo Ren. But don’t worry, Luke is just Force Projecting himself. Oh yeah, new power alert. The end has Luke dying and passing into the Force, yet he could’ve just actually shown up at the battle, confronted Kylo Ren and died anyway similar to Obi-Wan on the Death Star. The end result would’ve been the same. Luke still dies, and his sacrifice used to give the Resistance (now called the Rebels) time to escape. Do you understand why I am so frustrated by this film?
I just don’t know how I feel anymore about Star Wars as a whole. While I like the Original Trilogy and love the Prequel Trilogy, I cant help but admit my faith in Disney, Lucasfilm and now the series as a whole has been shaken to the core.
The Last Jedi, while visually marvellous, did little more than divide the fan base, I would say even more than the inclusion of the Prequel Trilogy. While people may not have enjoyed them, I for one can’t pick anywhere near the amount of faults as I can with this single film. It has destroyed mythology, characters and retroactively ruined the previous films.
when it came to the Prequel Trilogy, George Lucas had a rough outline as to where the story would begin and end. People may not have liked the films, but they were original and introduced so much good to the series.
From what we can postulate, Episode VII hadn’t even finished filming when Rian Johnson was writing the script for Episode VIII. Mark Hamill has come out and said the ending of The Force Awakens had Rey meeting up with Luke, who was using the Force to levitate rocks around him. Obviously showing his growth in The Force. However Rian Johnson didn’t know this and had Like cutting himself off from the Force. Something minor, but a massive insight into the way this series is progressing.
Clearly not enough time was left between Episode VII and VIII for the writer/director to see the previous film, speak with JJ Abrams and work out a plan of where to go next. And this mainly falls on Kathleen Kennedy, who as head of Lucasfilm, should’ve had strict rules as to where the series was going before even moving the series into production.
We have to remember the series banished all expanded universe content before The Force Awakens went into production. This allowed the writers group freedom to create new stories and not be tied down to previous threads. I’ve said before that I agree with this choice on a level, but when Lucasfilm can’t even stick to this themselves and allows directors to just come up with a story that is so outlandish and bad, then I have to begin to wonder what the hell is going on at Lucasfilm and Disney.
The big question is, will I watch Star Wars Episode IX?
If I answer that question here, will it really make a difference what I do when the film comes out? You see, I’m at breaking point with the Star Wars franchise, and right now, I just can’t answer that question. Episode IX will come out in December of 2019, so that leaves plenty of time for Disney and Lucasfilm to win me back. Actually, they will be doing a lot of work to win back all the fans they screwed over, because The Last Jedi is NOT a good film.