I’ve been a fan of Star Wars for many a year, and while I am not the most radical fan of the original trilogy, I did grow up around the prequel trilogy. After the Force Awakens, which was a good film for restarting the interest in Star Wars for a new generation and Rogue One which I think is one of the best Star Wars films to date, The Last Jedi, did not solve many of the complaints that some fans had with the Force Awakens.
I found that the film took some of the bits of the Force Awakens, and pushed it too far. For example, the humour of the Force Awakens was perfect when Kylo Ren was having a rage at the machinery, and the two stormtroopers came around the corner, saw the sparks, and then walked away. It was great and well-placed humour. On the other hand, in The Last Jedi, the fun is put in all the wrong places and sometimes doesn’t even fit the characters! For example, (MASSIVE SPOILERS) when Snoke is killed, within a minute or two they cut back to his corpse where his tongue is sticking out humorously. Its ridiculous, and ruins the moment.
Again, another complaint of the Force Awakens is that it relies too much on the original trilogy, and that is understandable. It was told to us that the Last Jedi would move on from the original trilogy, and yet, it seems to be another rehash of the Empire Strikes Back. They’ve moved the Hoth battle to the end of the film, the connection through the force was also in Empire between Luke and Vader at the end, there was a Jedi training sequence in both, and they were looking for a new base to put the rebellion.
Most importantly, they also desperately tried to put a big plot twist into the film in the death of Snoke. While I was surprised, I’m not going to deny it, I almost instantly thought, ‘oh, so… wheres the threat coming from now…’ Now Snoke is dead, who is the main bad guy? Where is the main threat? Kylo Ren has been beaten by Rey 2 out of 2 times now which leaves Hux as the only real villain that poses any threat. So far, if I don’t watch the trailers for episode 9 in 2 years time, then I will be expecting to walk into a 30-minute film, of the rebellion thrashing the First Order. It would’ve been better if Rey had joined Kylo Ren to form the bad guys for the last film. That would’ve been an exciting twist that I couldn’t wait for.
Finally, I would like to discuss the sub-plot with Finn, Poe and Rose. I felt that this part of the film was too forced, the casino part felt, as my friend put it, ‘part of the prequel era’ (which was not meant nicely). The invasion of Snoke’s ship felt very brief and not at all threatening, and then we find out that it was all for nothing. There was a point in the film where I was willing to overlook the sub-plot which was when Finn was going to crash into the ‘battering cannon’ which felt like it would’ve meant something. However, Rose then crashed into his ship to stop him, and then a forced kiss was made while in the background the battering cannon shot through the door. It felt totally out of place and like we should’ve been focussing on the cannon more.
This is not to say that overall it was a bad film! I know I have been discussing a lot of the bad stuff and that is sadly what I felt like I had to say. However, there were parts of the film that were amazing. I know I said the humour was too forced, but there was a point at the very beginning between Hux and Poe which I found to be hilarious! It ended up fitting with Poes character and also humanised Hux somewhat. Likewise, the effects were astonishing throughout the film again. I enjoyed seeing puppet Yoda back and his more cheeky personality where he used the force to set alight to the tree. That was a very pleasing moment for me.
In any event, the pieces are in play for the final instalment and it will be interesting to see what direction it takes.