It’s finally here. Episode 8. The Last Jedi. The movie we’ve been waiting for forever. And with forever, I mean the last two years. I went into the cinema with very high expectations. Critics said it was the best Star Wars film since The Empire Strikes Back. It got raving reviews. I loved The Force Awakens, so if The Last Jedi was even better than Episode 7, this would be the cinematic event of the year. And… I got out with mixed feelings. Let me tell you why, with ALL OF THE SPOILERS. So don’t read on if you haven’t seen it yet and want to avoid spoilers.
Epic Space Battles
Don’t get me wrong: The Last Jedi is a good film. It’s highly entertaining from the start. That first space battle is awesome and certainly sets the tone. The Rebels are outnumbered but will never stop fighting. And Poe Dameron is the best pilot in the galaxy. Where did those bombers come from though? Why haven’t we seen these before? Are they brand new? Either way, they’re a nice add-on to the already excisting spaceships in Star Wars. It’s sad that the Rebels didn’t have any more, since this half-assed mission destroyed all of them. But we’re still going to count this as a victory for the Rebels because BOOM, that was some cool shit there.
And Oh. My. God. That last space battle. Sorry to jump right to the final bit of the film here, but WOW. I personally didn’t really care for Vice Admiral Holdo, but her action was one of the best in the entire Star Wars universe. Gearing her ship into hyperspace and thus destroying The Supremacy: holy shitballs. (And talking about The Supremacy: please get me the Lego edition now. That ship is so cool) That entire scene was goosebumps inducing. The lack of sound after the destruction, the looks on everyone’s face: it was perfect. And critics who say ‘well OK but why wasn’t this done before?’ can suck it, because:
A. It’s probably been done before, hence the look of sheer terror on the faces of Hux & Co.
B. It’s a very hard move to do, as most ships will probably be blown to bits by the other party before jumping; the Supremecy just was focusing on other ships and was too late with it’s canons.
C. It takes a very large ship to destroy a Star Destroyer (or in case of the Supremacy, a Mega-class Star Dreadnought), and there aren’t very many large enough ships
D. It’s a last resort as it will kill off all aboard and destroys your own ship as well
This was the huge piece of crap that gave me mixed feelings about The Last Jedi the most. In my opinion, everything is wrong with Canto Bight. For starters, this feels like a forced storyline to give Finn something to do. If he had stayed on board with Leia, nothing much would have happened to him, as Finn lacks most skills to make a difference (he’s not the best pilot, he’s not the best fighter, he’s not high ranking, etc.). And as one of the main characters, Finn should have an arc right? Well, yes, but not something like Canto Bight.
Canto Bight felt like something out of the prequel trilogy, or out of an eighties children’s film. As soon as I saw that racing track I went ‘oh nooooo‘ in my head. Give me a podrace anytime over racing with… whatever those (admittedly sweet) creatures were called. The casino was full of Episode 1-like beings, in a setting that was just too goofy, too stupid and too distracting. While the rest of the film was much darker in tone, Canto Bight was out of place. Dear people of Star Wars: there’s nothing in your contract that forces you to have a cantina-like scene. If it’s not neccessary for the plot, don’t do it.
I would have been happy without everything Canto Bight in The Last Jedi. It could have been skipped and we would basically still have the same movie, except for the way too forced ‘romance’ between Rose and Finn. There could have been another way to put Finn (and Rose, and BB-8) on board the Supremacy, because as soon as they were there, things started looking better. I didn’t care much for Benicio Del Toro’s character either, although his betrayal did come as a surprise, which was a nice touch. It proofs his story that money can indeed buy you anything, whichever side you are on.
The Jedi Island
Two things bothered me most on Luke’s supergreen island: the fish nuns and the Dark Side hole-thing. Luckily, the fishnuns didn’t have a too large part (this was all too much forced slapstick) so we’ll skip those. That hole then. I expected some huge Dark Side sequence, with Rey being tempted to Kylo’s side of things. That, or a big revelation. And it almost seemed as if we would get that, with all of the Rey’s in front of that mirror-like wall. Would we finally learn about Rey’s parents? Um, no. Her fall into that hole was pretty much nothing. Another scene that could have been skipped, or written better.
I disliked that a great character like Rey was basically waiting on a grumpy old dude for half of the film. She hardly learns anything there and her potential is left alone most of the time. I was glad she decided to go after Kylo, although that obviously was a stupid decision on her part. More could have been done on/with the island in my opinion. And more could have/should have been done with Rey.
Rey & Kylo vs. Snoke & the Elite Praetorian Guard
H-h-hooooooly crap this shit was A-MA-ZING. This is what Star Wars is about. This was perfect. Well, almost perfect… Because for one, I just can’t understand why a very powerful Sith like Snoke can’t feel that the lightsaber that’s right beside him is moving, but let’s go with that it’s because Kylo is maybe (in potential) even more powerful. What made me grumpy the most about Snoke’s death was that we never got to learn his backstory. Who was Snoke? Was he Darth Plagueis, as some theories claim? Episode 9 had better give us some explanation on Snoke or I (and a lot of other fans) will be greatly disappointed.
But other than Snoke’s demise, this scene was soooooo great. I loved every second of it. The power Kylo has. Rey’s new found power. The lightsabers. And that kickass Elite Praetorian Guard. At first they felt like statues in the background of Snoke’s weird thronechamber. I can imagine a lot of people cosplaying as those guards next comic cons, and a lot of cool merchandise about these eight guys.
There’s not a bad word to say about that fightsequence, it was perfection. The chemistry between Kylo and Rey is off the charts and I almost hoped Rey would go over to the Dark Side just so that they could be Force buddies for the rest of eternity. I desperately need more of these two in the final installment of this trilogy. It could me all about them and I wouldn’t care. More of these two, please J.J. Abrams!
My childhood hero is dead and I can’t cope with that. I wasn’t OK with Han dying, but I’m much more sad with Luke being gone. Although, when even Yoda can return, so can Luke. My fingers are crossed for Luke’s Forceghost to make an appearance.
Luke on his green island was a grumpy, old, sad man who was ready to die. Along came Rey, who gave him new purpose. And with Rey gone, Yoda came around to kick Luke’s butt. And what emerged on Crait was the Old Luke. It was Empire’s Luke. It was the Luke Skywalker from stories. I can’t even decide what fight was better; Kylo & Rey vs. the Praetorian Guards or Luke vs. Kylo. Again, this was such an epic scene. You could feel Kylo’s pure rage in his every move. I could watch both fight scenes over and over and over and over. And over. And that shoulderbrush was epic.
Still, Luke Skywalker is dead. And while I’m still very sad about losing him, it made sense how he died. He saved the people he loved. And more importantly, he saved hope. Hope was the most important factor for the Rebels. Luke died looking at two suns, which reflected his famous scene from A New Hope. He died much like Obi-Wan Kenobi. One can only hope that he too will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.
These Last Jedi bits also made me feel ‘meh’
- Leia’s sudden burst of the Force. Don’t get me wrong, I love Leia (and the late Carrie Fisher) to bits, but General Organa was dead in space. Sorry…
- Rey’s parents. I refuse to believe they were nobodies. She should be a Rey Kenobi. So fingers crossed for Episode 9 to make the true reveal about Rey’s parentage
- The plot is basically ‘rebels do a cool thing & flee; they get caught; rebels do a cool thing & flee; they get caught; rebels-‘
- Some of the slapstick-like jokes, and jokes like the steaming iron ‘spaceship’
- Phasma barely having any screentime
- Same goes for Maz Kanata
- And Chewbacca
- Finn being saved by Rose last minute. I was rooting for him to make it and sacrifice himself. Now that would have been something!
But these Last Jedi bits made up for it and made me go ‘woohoo’
- Poe Dameron. He’s my new Star Wars hero now that Luke is dead. He is so awesome (and ok, kinda a mutineer who should be locked up in prison but still. He’s cool as ice)
- BB-8. BB-8 is my homeboy. All the love for BB-8
- The visual stunning planet of Crait, wow
- Chewbacca being Chewbacca in the few scenes that he has
- The Millennium Falcon saving the day
- This Luke quote: “No one’s ever really gone”
- The Last Jedi being the set-up for Episode 9, which better be EPIC. Looking at you here, J.J.
Wait, but what about the Porgs?
I think we can all agree that the Porgs were only created to make money on merchandise. But damn, those critters are cute. I want a Porg stuffed animal. And a Porg Funko Pop. And a Porg… damnit Disney. Job well done.