Or, throwing the lightsaber out with the bathwater. In short, I’m really glad JJ Abrams will be back for the episode 9 after my initial reservation.
This Review will contain massive spoilers and rants.
Spoiler Rant list:
I remember walking out of ‘The Force Awakens’ with a ton of questions. The point that the film had ended on was such a cock tease of a moment but it set up an epic journey of heroes and villains.
So instead of giving us what the last film set us up for, the themes and plots are thrown away, literally! Luke takes his Father’s lightsaber, the one passed down to him by Obi Wan Kenobi and throws it over his shoulder. This is basically the symbolic moment of what this film does.
Rey’s parents: Nobodies. So much for making such a big deal about it in the last movie.
Snoke: Who is he? What happened to his face? What does he represent? What’s his deal? He’s killed without a single hint as to who, why or where he came from.
The Knights of Ren: As above.
Luke’s light saber gets snapped in half. – The lightsaber that was given the mythical quality of excalibur in ‘The Force Awakens’ is broken here. The destruction of legends or as Kevin Smith put it in his review of ‘The Last Jedi’ a “Fuck you JJ” moment. (at least Rey has the two parts at the end)
Fin: His first question is “where’s Rey?”. The girl he cared so much about in the previous movie. He doesn’t even speak to her in this film.
Fin: The movie actually doesn’t seem to know what to do with his character. After such a strong arc his story is overshadowed by developing a new and frankly unneeded character, Rose.
Kylo Ren’s Mask: Smash it, that stuff is for kids. You don’t want someone intimidating like Vader do you?
Luke: The frickin hero of the original Trilogy actually ignited his light saber over the head of his Nephew, the son of one of his closest friends and his sister. After facing down his father and taking the higher road he would actually have a moment where he would do that? The man who wouldn’t give up on Anakin Skywalker after all the shit he did?
Luke & Yoda: Yoda actually has to tell Luke that the jedi books aren’t important, that after 40 years the last jedi master who defeated Vader and the Emperor has to be told what is really important and what really matters?
I mean, take a look at Season 3 of ‘Star Wars Rebels’ where we actually get to meet Obi Wan in the desert between episodes 3 & 4. A man who taught Vader everything he knows. But when we see him in Rebels he is the wise, calm, Jedi from years of meditation and thinking time in the desert. Luke was the son of Vader, a potential adept of the Dark side, a bomb waiting to go off. Obi Wan didn’t ignite a lightsaber over Luke’s head. He never gave up believing in the one to really bring balance to the force. I don’t believe Luke would have done the same thing either, I don’t believe Luke would have closed himself to the force, not after everything.
Lightsabers battles: The first movie without a lightsaber battle.
Captain Phasma: So much for seeing more of your character developed…
Benicio Del Toro: Why were you in this movie?
No final shot of the main characters in the movie. This is a bit of a no no. Breaks tradition and again, this isn’t just any movie.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I liked the movie. I enjoyed it. There were emotional parts, beautiful scenes and it’s still interesting enough to make me write about it. But it has it’s problems. As real people, like us I can certainly accept these flaws but….
This is Star Wars. These are the archetypal heroes of a generation and more. They are elevated above us as heroes, they aren’t the kind of characters we see on Star Trek, or other SF movies. They are larger and greater in life. That is what JJ Abrams got, that is where he lead us to by the end of ‘The Force Awakens’. Here is Luke, the hero we need. Not the person that we meet in a bar on a sunny afternoon. We need someone above that, he won’t do that. Our childhood hero, who makes the right choice that people can’t always do. Clearly this is where JJ Abrams and Rian Johnson differ. JJ Abrams dresses Luke in white. Johnson has him change out of white robes and into dark ones.
What I liked, the open battle with the bombers. The ship going to light speed and crashing into other ships looked beautiful. Leia was just perfect in all the scenes she was in. A wonderful and sadly final performance by the wonderful Carrie Fisher. I loved R2 showing Leia’s video again. Luke and Leia’s moment together.
So Rey isn’t a Skywalker, nor was she the daughter of Han and Leia who had their minds force wiped by Luke to protect their daughter. I feel in a way that many people might. That a lot of time was spent thinking over nothing.
Favorite Quote: “No one’s ever really gone.” – Leia