07
Jan
18

The Last Jedi – A Few Thoughts

I finally caved and gave Disney another chance to hurt me inside. They did not disappoint.

There’s plenty of complaints regarding the story, and in most instances I agree with them, but I’m not going to cover that, here; for one, I’m trying to be nice with my spoilers and for another, everyone’s already ranted about them at length, typically since about 3 AM on the 15th of December.

But there are some definite problems with the film in terms of its basic structure and concepts, and that’s what I’m going to discuss here.

First, for the sake of all that is holy, stop trying to be funny! I mean it. There are moments in the original trilogy (and even a couple in the prequel trilogy and Rogue One) that were genuinely funny. Typically they were of the dry sort, natural sounding snark (the best example I can think of is K2S0 asking “Did you know that wasn’t me?” after Jyn blasts some random Imperial droid), but flowed naturally from the character’s natures and the situation. The Last Jedi is full of forced attempts at humor, and what’s worse, they don’t even tend to be that funny if you take them as just jokes rather than part of the narrative. There’s exactly one of those moments that made me laugh, and I was angry at it for making me do it because it was so against the grain of the character as presented thus far and the scene in general. (For those wondering, it’s Hux’s “Do you think you got him?” comment.)

Second, there are so many plot holes and gaps in the logic used that you might as well just watch the pretty lights and ignore anything that’s going on. That’s before you get to the issues with the overall story itself, mind. Just the setup and execution is awful if you stop to think about it, let alone what it’s trying to sell you.

Third, much like Revenge of the Sith, it feels like a whole lot of buildup for things that should be bloody awesome, and just fall flat. It’s not quite on the scale of Obi-Wan vs. Sithbot turning into a lame bike race and ending in blaster fire, but despite plenty of opportunities for epic lightsaber duels or awesome displays of Force witchery, we get one battle royale that feels slow, forced and honestly dull (it makes the fight scene in the arena during Attack of the Clones look awesome in comparison), and some more whinging from Emo Ren and that’s about it.

Last, there’s the Leia problem. Now, admittedly, she died after they were done shooting from my understanding, so perhaps they didn’t see a way to patch this one over… but given their insistence that they will not be using any kind of stock footage or CGI wizardry to have Leia appear in Episode IX, I have to wonder what they think they’re going to do about her. Just kill her off-screen, perhaps mentioned in the title crawl? Have her vanish into Force ghostiness without comment? There are at least two points in Last Jedi where they could have done a quick pickup reshoot and give her a proper sendoff that wouldn’t leave the only remaining option to be “Leia fell into a plothole and isn’t coming back.”

I may not be the audience Star Wars is aiming at anymore. I can accept that. But I still had a small sliver of hope. The Force Awakens, while not amazing in my eyes, was still the best thing to come out of Star Wars since Return of the Jedi.

I kind of agree with Luke’s line from the trailer, here. “It’s time for the Jedi to end.”

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