I can’t remember a time when Star Wars wasn’t a part of my life. My first memory was watching The Empire Strikes Back at my preschool friend Adam’s house. We had a movie day of Superman 3 and The Empire Strikes Back. Obviously one film was better than the other. This childhood friend was also my “first kiss”, which I don’t remember because we were still in diapers. My mom still has the photo to prove it. I digress. I think I feel a Force connection to these films because we were both born 40 years ago. As a matter of fact I’m writing this blog post on my 40th birthday. Because the movies are released on or around my birthday every year, I feel like the films are my presents. I can’t help but feel disappointed in my gift this year.
I was invited to the Star Wars Global Press Junket earlier in December, and was excited to see the cast, especially Luke Skywalker aka Mark Hamill (or is it the other way around??). After hearing the cast and director, Rian Johnson, speaking about the film (what they could anyway) my inner geek started counting down the minutes until the Thursday, December 14th. I was actually looking forward to this film! After being slightly disappointed in The Force Awakens, I was happy that they were finally doing the films justice, so I thought.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those who hated the prequels. I actually liked them. At it’s core this story is about good vs. evil, a sentiment expressed by Gwendoline Christie during The Last Jedi press panel. It just so happens that the story is also centered around one family, whom fans love. Anakin Skywalker’s journey to the dark side was important and while yes, at times, Ani could be a bit whiny, I still knew that through him we would get Luke and Leia and I wanted to see that story. I miss George Lucas, I’m sorry so many fans hated on your films. I liked them. I had heard of his treatments and story ideas for Episodes I, II, III and VII, VIII, IX way back in the early 90’s. They were in the books which are now called “Legends” but I still call “Canon”. The Last Jedi missed the mark on so many levels, here’s why….
What a waste of a character Luke was in this film. After the look he gave Rey at the end of The Force Awakens, we get a shell of the former hero in The Last Jedi. We’ve been waiting 34 years for this moment. Was this movie supposed to be funny? It was’t. Harrison Ford is funny, he has a dry sense of humor that works well with Han Solo. Luke’s attempts at being funny were just campy. “I want to see Luke drink breast milk from an alien,” said no one ever!!! Then to kill him off the way they did. I hear that he’s rumored to be coming back for IX? Obviously as a force ghost like Yoda and Obi-Wan in the originals. I was expecting more from him.
|I expected more from you Luke|
The Originals were campy, I get it, but they were made in the 70’s and 80’s. The prequels were more serious and I appreciated that. Kylo Ren is the worst character on so many levels. Anakin was whiny, but Kylo is just a spoiled adult brat. I can’t believe that he is the only Skywalker link we have left. What a terrible way to represent. Anakin was so upset because he couldn’t save his mother, someone he loved so much, he killed a bunch of Tusken Raiders. Kylo just killed his dad. The end. Kylo, you’re a horrible human. At least Vader had redeeming qualities, you have none, you killed Han (let’s just pretend Harrison Ford didn’t want Han Solo to die).
The way Kylo killed Snoke and that fight scene, Kylo and Rey vs. Snoke’s guards, was amazing. This is the ONLY reason for me to watch this movie in theaters for a second time. Now on Snoke’s death, what was that? Seriously, why introduce a villain, just to kill him off and not give him a backstory. I hope that they explain Snoke, who he is (was) and how he got a hold on Ben Skywalker. I was so disappointed in his lack of character development. The same can be said with Captain Phasma. How disappointing it was to see her die so quickly.
One of the worst things about this movie is the reveal of Rey’s parents as drunken nobodies, who just sold her as a slave. She’s a nobody? Really? I hope this was just a ploy made by Kylo to get her to turn to the dark side. If not, if they really are saying that Rey isn’t connected to the Skywalkers in some way, then I think I’m done with this series. Some will argue that Anakin was a nobody, but at least he was a part of the prophecy to bring balance to the Force. He had meaning. I’m still hoping that Kylo Ren only lied, similar to how he threw Rey under the bus when General Hux questioned him about Snoke’s demise. We know he’s a man child who lies.
Another idiotic move, Yoda’s Force ghost burning the Ancient Jedi Texts, which we see again in the Millennium Falcon, because Rey has stolen them. Yoda was not the wise Yoda of old (old as in prequels). This was another example of pure velveeta cheesiness. He acted like he did at the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back, when he first met Luke and he acted like a silly little green alien on the Dagobah System. His Force ghost CGI wasn’t even up to par with the prequels, why? Because he’s a puppet again. It was more of a mockery than anything else.
The absolute worst things that Rian Johnson did to this film was have Jedi Leia fly through space. COME ON!!!! Even Obi-Wan couldn’t do that. Even with being Force sensitive, the rising of Leia should not have happened, it doesn’t make sense. Another character wasted!! While yes, it wasn’t the films fault that Carrie Fisher passed away, it was the way they sent her off that was horrible. My entire life I wanted to be a Jedi Princess. Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia was a Force (ha ha) for young girls to look up to. While at the press event, all of the ladies on the panel seemed to agree that Carrie was a role model. I love watching films with strong females, who can kick a little but like their male counterparts, Buffy, Black Widow, Wonder Woman, Padame (in Episodes I and II) and her daughter Leia. To see her end the way it did, which was in no way at all, seemed a little disrespectful to “Our Princess”.
While this review leans more towards the dark side of the Force, and by that I mean negative, there were a few scenes that I loved. The fight scene, mentioned earlier, with Rey and Kylo against Snoke’s guards, was spectacular. I love the scenes with Finn and Rose. Although Rose can be a bit annoying at times. The best thing about these new films are Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac. Laura Dern sacrificing herself for the Resistance was a great scene too. Anything with Poe is amazing!! Could he be the next Admiral? Could there also be a spark between Poe and Rey? I love Oscar Isaac!
I feel sad that that I couldn’t like this movie more. I had super high hopes and was disappointed at the way the story was handled. My hope is that J.J. Abrams can fix what was so horribly done. Didn’t Rian Johnson say this was his baby?? Is there a way to have a redo? The more I think about this movie the angrier I get.
I wish that I could give it more Gerber Daisies, but alas, to this I give only 2.
On a side note, please Star Wars “Powers That Be”, give Ewan McGregor his own Obi-Wan film. Oh, and George Lucas, please come back!!!