Alright, so like my previous review regarding Star Wars: The Force Awakens this post is going to be spoilery. I'm not going to detail the whole plot, just the parts that I loved and hated, and other interesting tidbits. If you want a blow-for-blow breakdown of the plot, just go to Wikipedia or see the movie. I'm going to be writing assuming you have already seen the movie so instead of a review this is more like my opinion of the movie. So if you haven't seen it yet, don't be surprised if nothing in this post makes sense to you.
And before I begin, let me just say:
IT WASN'T GAY!!!!!!
Alright. So yes, because of fan speculation, and the downward spiral of planet earth, and the uncomfortable compliment that Poe paid to Finn upon wearing his jacket, I was really starting to think that the Last Jedi would be the Last Straw, with Finn and Poe becoming a couple. Thus breaching my values and ruling out my seeing this movie. But thankfully, there was none of that in the movie.
When I watched the trailers for TLJ I wasn't extremely impressed. Nothing looked very new. Same characters, same outfits, same planets and ships, nothing looked very new or interesting.
The result of all these factors was very, very good. Because thus my expectations were set so low that I became very impressed with this film despite all of its flaws that I will detail throughout this post.
The story basically revolves around two big plot points, the Rebels getting chased by the Imperials (forget the First Order nonsense, there's no difference).
And the drama with Rey, Luke, and Kylo Ren.
The plot with Rey, Luke, and Kylo? Different story. I loved the parts where we got to see how Luke lives on his Island, milking the weird sea-cows, and catching an awesome-looking fish, (even though his methods seemed extremely inefficient). I like how they chose to explain some of these little details, and the Greek/Italian frog-nuns, as weird as they were, were pretty funny.
The brown furry penguins were also adorable. But when they started showing up in every other scene the joke was starting to get old.
Now for my favorite part. Kylo and Rey. I don't usually ship people, but when I do.... I really ship it.
|I know a lot of people hate me now|
Kylo and Rey were the best things about this movie. My favorite scene was the throne room battle when Kylo killed Snoke (still don't know who he is, though I strongly suspect that he is Palpatine in some sort of way) and the ensuing battle with the awesome Samurai-style royal guards, which are my second favorite design piece. I love the creativity of their weapons, and how their armor consists of jointed plates that almost looked like glass or aluminum.
So everything was going along all nice and pleasant and my ship was sailing on stormy, but stable seas.
And then Kylo had to ruin it all by pushing the relationship and asking Rey to take over the galaxy with him.
CAN WE JUST DROP THAT STUPID STAR WARS CLICHE? All the positive things that were happening went down the drain, and now we don't know where Rey and Kylo are headed. He tried to kill Luke, and that isn't a great sign. But what is with the power obsession? What are you going to do with the whole galaxy?
But then again, this is called "Star Wars" so I guess we can't expect much variety from a franchise that has existed for over 30 years being kept alive on a plot driven entirely by intergalactic conflict.
I feel like the plot was going along so nicely and that we were accomplishing a lot of good things, but it was like the writers were getting scared with their own boldness and they pressed "Ctrl Z" several times towards the end of their story.
Also the egregious amount of fake deaths was annoying as well. Leia's return from outer space was particularly ridiculous. At first I was a bit surprised at the violence of her death, as the ship's bridge exploded and she was sucked out into a vacuum. I figured (correctly as I soon found out) that it was a pretty indelicate way to kill off such an important character. It turns out she didn't die, that's why.
At first when we saw Leia's body floating through space, I honestly thought she was going to be reunited with Han Solo in some sort of Star Wars heaven. It might have been less cheesy than what actually happened.
Anyways. Finn's daring move, flying straight into the battering ram gun was a cheap trick as well. And then Rose came in just in time, and when she kissed Finn and passed out, I honestly thought she had kicked the bucket. So I actually got fooled once. Upon seeing it a second time, I remarked to a friend that she probably faked a faint because she was embarrassed that she just kissed Finn.
And I also thought for a second that Luke died when he got hit by all the AT-ATs. But I wasn't extremely surprised when he came back. This was the least annoying fake death, because it was actually a good plot twist and a good scene altogether.
Now for Luke's real "death". That was very well done. I love how we get to see the Jedi actually do cool things with the force (besides moving rocks, LOL) and how Luke was just so exhausted from pulling off that incredible stunt that he had to die. His death was extremely well done, and the last scene were he vanishes just like Obi-Wan, his cloak blowing off into the wind, was just simply beautiful.
I am also glad that they killed him off, because frankly, the old characters need to be booted out of the story. Han Solo was great in TFA, but he served his purpose, and was killed off. Luke served his purpose, and was also killed off in a tidy way, that had good finality and brought Luke's personal story full-circle. Leia? I just don't know. I think she should have died off in this one, and now that Carrie Fisher is dead, I don't know what they have in mind with the next movie in the trilogy. Her character doesn't seem to have the same drive and purpose now that Han is gone; she's just a relic and a quiet war hero from the days of the rebellion. The story's not about her anymore, or Han, and I think Luke is the only one who was able to contribute in a meaningful way.
And don't get me started on Chewie, C-3PO, and R2-D2. R2 was hardly in the movie at all, and besides the nostalgic conversation he had with Luke, he did nothing. It seems that he spends more time in sleep mode and standby and projecting maps than doing anything interesting. By virtue of having him in this trilogy, his character is cheapened, because he doesn't do anything. He's like an abandoned dog or a broken toy because his owners have all died or grown up.
C-3PO has a little more interaction because Poe can yell at him every once and awhile, but again, he doesn't contribute. Droids live for ever, but they can't be the same if the humans that they were associated with aren't around anymore.
And then there's Chewie. He lost his best friend. Han Solo. Can you imagine how long they been together and how much they've been through? And yet Chewie keeps flying the Falcon, feeds his fat face with furry penguins and basically acts as Rey's taxi driver. NO! NO! NO!
I don't think Chewie had enough reflection on Han's death and it seems like he moved on all too easy. In TFA, after Han dies and Chewie goes beserker shooting stormtroopers and stuff, I was thinking that maybe he was going to blow off the bombs, killing himself in the explosion of Starkiller base.
I don't want Chewie to commit suicide, but I think it would have been better if Chewie had died in some sort of blaze of glory, trying to avenge Han, and venting the agony at having lost his best friend. One way or another, the point is that Chewie should be dead. For him to continue is inconsistent to his character, because he was Han's sidekick. What is Robin without Batman? Rocket Raccoon without Groot? They must live together or die together, YOU CAN'T SPLIT 'EM UP!
Rose and Finn? Personally I don't care a whole lot. Their entire subplot was weak because it was connected with the nonsense with the Rebels flying away from the Empire. The codebreaker jerk was pretty annoying, and the scenes on the Casino planet were generally pointless. I think it was interesting that they introduced a new and fairly unique planet to Star Wars, but otherwise it just felt like wasted time.
And I'm not a ragamuffin or Pippy Longstocking fan either, so you already know how I feel about the grubby slave children.
GET OUT OF THE WAY OF THE STORY!
And now for the worst character in the whole movie. Admiral (excuse me, Vice Admiral) Holdo. I'm pretty sexist by the world's standard, but I can appreciate a good kick-butt female character when she deserves it. But this lady wasn't even close.
|Why is she so airbrushed in this photo?|
The reason I didn't like her was because she didn't fit Star Wars at all and was just a walking billboard for the feminist war machine.
If she wore a uniform, had her hair in a bun, minimal jewelry and makeup, then she'd be tolerable. Probably still annoying, but at least tolerable. This same argument can also be used against Leia, because she didn't dress like a military leader either.
But she looks like she should be going to a garden party or something. What on earth? She wears a fancy dress, and all this jewelry, and she has her hair done up elaborately. Seems an awful lot like a leader who leads by charisma.
Is this the Rebellion that fought against the empire or some sort of weird emergent church that floats in space with a female pastor?
When Poe instigated his mutiny I was pleasantly surprised. I was astonished that such a "diverse" and "politically correct" Star Wars movie would make A WOMAN the bad guy who gets bested by A MALE!!!
So the whole plot twist then where it turned out that Poe was being a impertinent jerk and this lady was actually a hero because she was actually trying to be humble (by being a jerk) was very frustrating. I'm not going to get super political in this post, but its hard not to, when Star Wars is bending head over heels trying to be so politically correct.
Not to mention she was a bad leader because she was being such a snot and withholding so much information from her crew that she ended up bringing down a mutiny on herself (it was her own fault).
Why can't the Rebels be led by a man for once? Mon Mothma was fine. She actually had the air of a leader. But can we stop shoving the whole feminist agenda down everybody's throats? Especially with such an annoying character?
The things I liked about her:
1. She died at the end.
2. Her death resulted in one of the most awe-inspiring sequences in the movie where she lightspeed-rams the entire Imperial fleet.
3. Her lightspeed-ramming the Imperial fleet was actually a sweet move. Like that's an actual compliment.
|Even Chuck approved of that|
Anyways, enough ranting about her.
So what is there left to talk about? Covered all of the important characters.
Now for last minute compliments and critiques.
The new updated Imperial vehicle designs were generally bad. Red windows? For real? I feel like the new designs have become more junior-ized and colorful, and realism and plausibility has suffered as a result. The original vehicles in Star Wars borrowed design from real life. The Imperial vehicles had bland colors and stark geometry that reflected utilitarian military hardware.
And can anyone explain why snowtroopers are deployed on a planet composed of salt and dirt? It can't be cold because the rebels were doing fine in their open-cockpit skim speeders. I liked how they remind me of old warplanes, and how they were basically falling apart as they were flying them, but I felt like they were shaking and jiggling way too much to be realistic (I know, its Star Wars, but still) and I think they would need to close the cockpits at the speeds they were going, because they didn't have goggles.
And Rey and Kylo tearing Luke's lightsaber apart? I don't know, its just not the same anymore. Won't kill off Leia, won't kill off Chewie, won't kill off 3PO or R2, but they split Luke's saber in half.
Not to mention I would have really have liked to have seen the inside of Luke's Jedi temple before it got torched.
And Yoda. Yoda was okay. But something about him was still... subpar.
So overall this movie is shaky. It has a weak plot, a draggy ending, dead-end character development, and the ruination of classic characters that have been around for decades. Yet for all these flaws, I loved this movie when I saw it, and I still love it. The bad parts were awful, but I still love it overall and it had a lot of great scenes.
Overall? I'd give it a 7/10, and I like it worlds better than TFA. It doesn't beat Rogue One, but Rogue One is so good and unique that I consider it to be occupying its own category separate from the rest of the SW movies. The Last Jedi? Might be one of my new favorites.
Happy New Year!