First, I want to say that I liked The Last Jedi, but I didn’t love it. I definitely had a few WTF moments throughout the film, but they didn’t really have anything to do with what I felt was an overly simple story, made unintentionally long by all-too-frequent cuts to subplot scenes. The editing is what was most distracting to me, often jumping from one tense moment into a very brief & unrelated scene, then back to that tense moment. It comes across as an attempt to artificially create micro-cliffhangers from completed scenes, and it does the movie no favors. It’s drifting into Michael Bay-style editing, and I know Rian Johnson is capable of doing better. Then again, he’s also using the same Editor (Bob Ducsay) who worked on Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla, which was an (intentionally) excruciating exercise in cinematic cockteasing.
There’s a (non-spoiler) scene that ends with Finn walking across a room, as the camera pans over to an elevator car as it rises. When that elevator reaches its destination, Rey steps out, and the scene has now shifted to her story. That’s smart transitioning, and The Last Jedi certainly could’ve used more of it instead of the “needlessly-jerk-the-audience’s-attention-back-and-forth” method that Lucas & Abrams did far better in their installments.
I will now use my ubiquitous ranking of the films as a buffer before the Spoiler section, huzzah!
- The Empire Strikes Back
- A New Hope
- The Force Awakens
- Return of the Jedi
- The Last Jedi
- Revenge of the Sith
- The Phantom Menace
- Attack of the Clones
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Side note: I don’t consider The Clone Wars to be a “real” movie, as it was more of an afterthought release from what was already planned to be a TV series. Plus, it kinda sucked & the series got way, way, WAY better as it progressed.
Side note, the sequel: Yes, Attack of the Clones was really that bad, accept it. Yoda, Jango Fett, and the Clone assault are the only things keeping it from being rock bottom on my list.
Okay, here are the [SPOILERSPOILERSPOILER] things that stood out to me the most while watching The Last Jedi, both good and bad:
Hardware Wars! I remember seeing this around the time A New Hope was making it’s debut on HBO in the early 80s. Rian Johnson’s about my age, and I know he’s a huge Star Wars fan, so I kind of have to assume he intentionally inserted this shot as a tribute.
Phasma got to actually do something! But… her involvement was very brief, and then she died. It’s cool that we got to see her left eye peering out from her damaged helmet, but I was kinda hoping to see a full reveal, with her looking very little like Brienne. Maybe jet-black hair, I dunno. It also doesn’t help that I experienced a major reignited interest in her two days earlier when she was added as a free character in Star Wars: Battlefront II. And, it also didn’t help that I’d tracked down her full-diecast action figure at a Disney Store the day prior. Ah well, Hail & Farewell, Captain.
I was relieved to see Kylo Ren was unable to pull the trigger on his Mother, then genuinely surprised to see his wingmen take the shot. I was fully expecting Leia to be killed off in this movie (the trailers certainly went out of their way to set it up,) so when it actually happened, the impact was lessened. To be fair, there’s really nothing the movie could have done to avoid that.
When Leia’s body was shown floating in space, I initially thought it was getting a bit morbid to linger on her for so long, then was relieved & excited to see that “my sister has it“. I kind of balk at all the Mary Poppins jokes that have popped up since, but I’ve gotta admit that I’m now waiting for the inevitable “Last Jedi starring Yondu Udonta” fan video.
My eyes are still sore from rolling so hard when Finn woke up & immediately fell out of bed. Then he walks down the hallway in that ridiculous water bag suit, springing leaks everywhere? C’mon, the guy nearly gave his life defending Rey in the last movie and this is how he’s treated by Johnson?
I’m probably reading more into it (like most fans seem to do,) but I do hope that was a hint of jealousy I saw from Rey as she watched Finn caring for Rose.
Happy to see that Poe was far more excited about seeing BB-8 than he was about seeing Finn. Suck it, shippers.
Yes, I KNOW I just told shippers to suck it, right after I shipped. Shut up. Write your own damn review.
Holy SHIT, Snoke’s ship is HUUUUUUUGE! I’m really appreciating the First Order’s ability to one-up themselves in the hardware category. I thought the Dreadnought was impressive, but THIS ship gave me the chills that I got from A New Hope‘s opening shot.
I was really hoping the green milk was actually blue, making Ahch-To the original source. Alas…
Wow… Luke actually said “laser sword”. Loved that early throwaway moment, though some fans seem to be reading more meta into it than is warranted.
The reveal regarding Rey’s parents was a big letdown. After all the “mystery” surrounding her origins (admittedly most of it fan-speculation,) it seemed like a very callous throwaway.
I was worried that this would be an Empire Strikes Back remake, but was surprised to see how much of Return of the Jedi was in here. I didn’t expect Snoke to exit this early, but I like the idea of seeing where Kylo goes from here as Supreme Leader.
I was VERY glad to see that the Praetorian Guards weren’t just wall decor like the Royal Guards in RotJ. I would’ve liked to have seen the fight go on longer, but at least some of them proved to be a legitimate challenge to Kylo & Rey.
I LOVED Holdo’s hyperjump attack! I also liked how she was just vague enough to make me never quite sure if she was a protagonist or antagonist while Leia was unconscious. One of the few instances where characters not being open with each other wasn’t an infuriating way to artificially create drama.
Waiting for the Resistance to run out of fuel seemed like an awfully simple strategy, and repeatedly cutting back to it made the movie seem much longer than it already was. The Editor Strikes Back, I guess.
I know that Rian Johnson & Gareth Edwards are doing this thing were they have a cameo in each other’s movie, but Edwards just doesn’t deserve a cameo after Rogue One. I hope there’s a Special Edition of this movie where he’s immediately shot in the face, or just digitally replaced by a young Lucas.
I was not expecting to see Yoda! I liked how he appeared to be a puppet, loved his maniacally giggling callback to how he first appeared to Luke in Empire.
I liked Benicio Del Toro in his role as DJ, but in hindsight his character’s whole existence only served to underline the failure of Finn & Rose’s mission to enlist Maz’s slicer contact. What kind of idiot goes on a vital (secret, even) mission and parks their vehicle in plain sight, leaving it there after being confronted about it?
As much as I wanted to see Billy Dee Williams again, I don’t think that Canto Bight would have been the ideal place for Lando to return. Sure, Lando at a casino is totally in-character, but it really could only have been a cameo role. He couldn’t have filled the role that Del Toro’s DJ did, because he never would have sold out the Resistance to the First Order, and they could only have gotten the information about the transport ships from an insider. At least Lando’s awesome in Battlefront II.
I loved Maz’s appearance via hololink, and I need a jetpack for her Black Series figure. I can’t wait to play as her in Battlefront II.
Force Facetime was a significant “new” development, but I feel the audience should expect new developments after a title like “The Force Awakens”. Besides, Luke & Leia already had a much more basic form of that in Empire.
Although Finn spends much of the movie still playing the comic relief role, I was glad to see that he got to have a couple of genuinely heroic moments. After defeating Phasma, he was absolutely going to sacrifice himself to save the Resistance (something Harrison Ford’s wanted Han Solo to do for decades,) and he seemed to be treated more seriously from that point.
I was sad to see Luke go, but it was for a good cause & done on his terms. I immediately noticed his younger appearance on Crait, but didn’t realize why he looked that way until the reveal. I thought Luke had simply focused & somehow rejuvenated himself before facing Kylo.
I liked the Porgs going in to my 1st viewing & was completely annoyed with them by the end of the movie. The 2nd viewing wasn’t so bad, but they clearly were included solely to be a cute, sellable creature. Let the wookiee eat!
I want a 6″ Black Series figure of Force Projection Luke. And one of Bandaged Blaster Leia. Shut UP. You jackasses lobbied for Ice Cream Maker Guy.
So, yeah… I liked The Last Jedi. I do like a lot of what’s in here, and some of it’s pretty damned awesome. I do think the story was weak overall and somewhat mishandled, though. I’ve seen it twice, I’ll see it at least once more in while it’s in theaters, and I’ll certainly watch it several more times when it’s on Blu-ray. It’s a Star Wars movie, and that pretty much sums it up, for better or for worse.
I’d like to think that “40 unforgivable The Force Awakens plot holes” guy learned his lesson after being smacked down point-by-point, but he’s probably gonna have a field day with this one. It’s the internet, and fans can be such a pain in the ass sometimes. Lulzomgwaffles.