‘The Last Jedi’ was good, but could have been so much more.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is finally out, and boy are fans opinionated. If you venture to the nearest message board or just look at social media you’ll see just as many positive shouts of glee over the film as angry vehement rage. I for one enjoyed the movie, although it does require you turn your brain off in order to not get frustrated and confused. Which brings us to our list of everything wrong with Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
1. Why does nobody just tell Poe what is going on?
The entire B-plot of the film revolves around Poe Dameron concocting a plan for Finn and new character Rose Tico to run off and find a codebreaker so as to infiltrate the First Order ship that’s chasing them down. Sadly, this entire plot is rendered pointless by the end as we learn Leia was retreating to an old Rebel base on the planet Crait. She doesn’t tell Poe this plan presumably because he’s been way too fired up and disobeying orders, but is there any harm in someone telling him the plan? It’s not like there are spies on board. So everything Finn and Rose go through is for nothing. Well, it wasn’t all for nothing — their actions actually help the bad guys, as it notifies the First Order of where the Rebels are going! This entire B-plot ends up getting more Rebels killed and continues to show how Poe is better at putting innocent lives in danger than anything else. On top of all this, this entire portion of the film is why the entire movie is too long and slows the film to a crawl at times.
2. It erases a lot of what The Force Awakens built up.
Snoke, Kylo Ren and his cool mask, Captain Phasma and the romantic relationship between Finn and Rey all get blown away. It appears writer and director Rian Johnson decided to keep some things but completely blow away a bunch more. This does mean we get some interesting surprises, but it also makes the two films feel less cohesive. If you’re going to spend an entire movie hinting at a giant hologram Sith Lord and make us want more why would you…
3. It kills off one of the new and more fascinating characters.
I’m all for a good surprise twist, especially if it means heroes getting the upper hand and allowing the audience to hoot and holler for them to win. But dammit, just as we were raring to get more info on Snoke, this mysterious figure who also shows off some impressive powers, dies like a chump. Bah to that!
4. Captain Phasma turns out to be completely pointless.
Once again the trailers promised a badass scene with this character and once again she looks cool on screen but doesn’t do much else. It’s a case where the producers are basically selling a cool looking character similar to Boba Fett, but have nothing to do with her. Sadly this character is killed (this is Star Wars so it’s possible she’s still alive, but probably not) by a janitor, further reducing her standing. In The Force Awakens she gives up the codes rather quickly showing how she’s not a very upstanding soldier and now she dies by way of surprise bonk on the head. Ugh. At least Boba Fett tracked down Han Solo and did some work. This character is bad as a common Stormtrooper.
5. The timing of things is way off.
So Rey goes to Luke at the end of The Force Awakens, about three days after the first film starts. Then we see her interact with Luke for three or so more days (give or take). Meanwhile, the Rebellion is being chased down for roughly 24 hours. It’s perfectly fine these things aren’t timed to coincide, but it’s confusing, especially when you stop to think about it.
6. So…Leia is a Force witch?
In a moment where we all thought Disney would put Leia’s character down, they pull her back from the brink of death. She’s floating in outer space without any protection and freezing her skin off. She looks dead, but then she reaches her hand out and Force pulls herself to safety. More than once this film shows us Leia has some power over the Force, but in this moment it’s done in a cringeworthy sort of way that’s obnoxious and very strange. It’s like she’s Superman with these powers!
7. The casino sequence is way too long.
Really the entire B-plot of finding a codebreaker could have been replaced with something more meaningful, but the casino scene lingers on too long on top of it all. I’m all for Johnson revealing more of the universe and the point made in these scenes about the 1% seems well timed (if way too on the nose), but did we have to see a prison escape and a chase through the streets? If they showed up at the casino Johnson could have still made the point about the rich selling weapons to both sides and then simply found the codebreaker. All that filler action was unnecessary!
8. Porgs and caretakers.
Yes, the porgs are good for a laugh or two, but when they start popping up later in the film it was way too much. They also made me feel mad at Chewie, which is a crime in itself!
Then we have the “Caretakers” who tend to the island Luke has been chilling on. Points for them taking care of the island because of its Jedi roots, but they end up being another comedy relief element. We get to see them twice and both times it’s simply to show Rey’s rage has consequences. And since we’re talking about aliens on planet Ahch-To, what the hell was up with that thing Luke milked?
9. Rose tells Finn “I love you.”
Get outta here with that shit. That’s some Disney rom-com bologna right there. They’ve known each other for 12 hours max and now they’re in love? Unbelievable schlock!
It’s easy to leave this film with rose colored glasses, especially if you’re a fan of the series, but if you’re like me little things tugged at you to the point where writing a list like this helped cleanse yourself of your frustrations. It’s far from all bad: the overall theme of the movie of failure being a part of learning and growth is a good one. Luke failed Kylo Ren, Poe failed by thinking he can go his own way, and Finn and Rose’s plan failed too. There are no easy routes or answers for the characters. Even Rey learns it’s all too easy to succumb to the Dark Side, and from her adventures here we know she may be on a path of becoming a true Jedi.