My Star Wars: The Last Jedi Review (Spoilers)

Spoilers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Still here? Well I know this is a technical blog so no PowerShell or technical jargon today, instead STAR WARS! If by chance you don’t want this content well…

Similar to “The Force Awakens,  “The Last Jedi” has been a polarizing movie for Star Wars fans all over the world. I will save my final thoughts for the end of this article, but I will begin by saying I absolutely love Star Wars. I actually did not really get into Star Wars until my 20’s, but once I did, I was hooked for life. I saw all three prequels in the theater as well as episodes 7 and 8 (multiple times). I even had my wife buy me a Kylo Ren light saber two years ago for Christmas. Yes, I am a 36 year old with a lightsaber. This year, I went out on Christmas Eve to buy my one-year-old a BB-8 droid. She kisses it goodnight 🙂

The Good

Hey it’s Luke and he talks

Finally, we get to see the most famous beloved Jedi of them all actually speak in the latest series. Mark Hamill gives a phenomenal performance of Luke Skywalker. His acting was great, and it was thrilling to see him reprise this role now in his sixties. The first half of the movie is Rey trying to convince Luke to come back to no avail, then Luke decides to train her and realizes she has midi-chlorions coming out of everywhere and is insanely strong with the force. Unfortunately, she is also willing to go straight to the dark side whenever it wants her. Not good. All and all the on-screen chemistry was good between the two and was a joy to watch.

Rey and Kylo

Similar to Luke and Vader, Rey and Kylo begin to have a complicated (perhaps romantic) relationship in The Last Jedi. Snoke “force connects” them regardless of where they are so that they can communicate, which leads to some interesting dialogue and scenes.

Rey

Once again Daisy Ridley steps up to the plate and hits a grand slam. She is a deserving actor to be the lead for this Star Wars series and gives another great performance. She is the heart and soul of these new installments.

Throne room scene/Snoke’s demise

My favorite scene in the movie is when Rey is taken to Snoke by Kylo to his throne room. You got to see the dark side power of Snoke, which is considerable as he throws Rey around and basically does whatever he wants to her. As he tells Kylo to execute her, a surprise happens. Kylo instead, turns the lightsaber and cuts Snoke in half with the old blue Skywalker lightsaber, ending the reign of a now useless leader of the dark side. As this happened the entire theater gasped and said “Oh sh*t!” and cheered. It was pretty awesome. Then, we have one of the top fight scenes of all-time as Ben and Rey take on the Snoke’s guards (which are pretty badass I have to say), ultimately killing them all. Just when you think Ben has gone to the light, he does what all Sith’s do, ask someone else to join them to take over the world. Welp.

Yoda

Yes! I was really hoping a force ghost would show up in this movie, and fans got to see Yoda show up for a few minutes when Luke needed him. As Luke goes to burn down the Jedi tree, Yoda says “No, I will do it” and blasts lightning from the sky which ignites the tree. The character performance was right on and felt like the Yoda we last saw in “Return of the Jedi”. Old, weird, cooky but wise as hell still. It was one of my favorite scenes. It likely would have been fitting to see Obi-Wan show up, but obviously without CGI that would have felt forced.

The Bad

Luke never gets off that damn island

One of the coolest scenes it at the end where Luke force projects his ass to Crait and pretends to fight Kylo Ren in order to save the Resistance. Only, during that scene you think Luke is actually there and the fight is real. After I realized he was actually on Ahch-to the entire time, I felt cheated. So our last experience with Luke Skywalker is a hermit who refuses to come back and help and instead decides to lazily work remotely? WTF. I just don’t like it. I have to agree with Mark Hamill that it is not the Luke Skywalker I knew. He just would not have done this. Sorry, but it is a fail for me. The force projection apparently is too much for Luke as he dies ala Obi-Wan disappearing into nothing. His death was poetic and beautiful, but the situation surrounding it, I did not care for.

The First Order has The Resistance on a leash story

So as The Resistance gets away via light speed, Hux and his crew are actually tracking them and catch up and have them cornered. This leads Finn and Rose going Canto Bight looking for a code hacker. This part of the plot I just didn’t really care for to be honest. It was just not that interesting to me. I am not sure what else to say.

Where the hell are the Knights of Ren?

They are referenced in TFA and shown in Rey’s force flashback (or future) but don’t show up in TLJ. They seemed to be an important part of this puzzle for they are nowhere to be found. This is an example of some parts of TLJ that feel disjointed and not like a continuation of TFA which is really is considering it starts right where TFA left off.

Finn is still a coward

Come on man, I thought Finn had turned the corner. I did not like the character once again trying to get our of dodge when the Resistance is about to be destroyed. It did not seem to fit with the character to me. Going from “F this I am leaving” to “OK yeah lets go chill in a Casino world and look for a hacker” is just too much of a leap. It was a bad idea to make his cowardliness part of this movie. It was unnecessary.

Humor

There were a few funny moments in the movie, like when Rey blasts the lightsaber in her hut and sends rock crashing down on the aliens who inhabit Ahch-to, but there were others I did not care for. For instance, when Luke winks at Kylo at the end of their fight and says “See you around” and especially Luke flipping his old lightsaber behind him in the beginning of the movie. The humor was not funny enough to be used in the movie and overall took away from some of the scenes. I get that some humor can be a good addition to a dark movie, but it was just not well done in certain spots.

Han’s dice

The reference to Han by using a pair of dice that really no fan’s were even aware of, felt forced. Luke takes the dice from the millennium falcon, places them in Leia’s hand during their last conversation and then are finally picked up by Kylo. It just did not really work as something that should have evoked some emotion from people, to the audience, the dice are not really important. It was a missed opportunity.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, I liked “The Last Jedi” but I did not love it. It had several iconic scenes that fans will cherish forever like Luke looking at the sunset before his death. I had really high hopes for the movie but I was disappointed in certain key areas, such as the portrayal and story involving Luke. To me, a few changes and this movie would have been infinitely better, but I will take it. It was by far the most creative of Star Wars installments I felt and to that Rian Johnson deserves credit. At the end of the day we lead into the final film of the series setting up Rey vs. Kylo-Ben which we all knew would be the case. Snoke is gone. Luke is gone (but you know damn well will return as a force ghost). JJ Abrams has the opportunity to end a fantastic saga for good with one final movie, I am optimistic he can do the job well.

 

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