STAR WARS Episode 8 The Last Jedi (2017) movie review

From one life-long Star Wars fan to another, it may be time to retire the badge. Beware, rants & spoilers ahead.

 Call it too many cooks in the kitchen. Blame an inexperienced writer/ director. But nothing can redeem the plot holes, the lack of character development, the incessant punny one-liner attempts at comic relief that skewed the tone of this film meant for the Star Wars Universe but playing out like a poor spin-off.No one can debate the absolute tragedy that was Princess Leia’s resurrection. No one should support love triangle vibes or the chemistry-less friend-game from the positively pointless side narrative that took Finn and friend to little Vegas to find the stuttering codebreaker who betrays them and disappears. Pointless.The ridiculous certainly outweighed the powerful, the silly over the strong. Laura Dern’s character keeps the plan from her one best ally, Poe Dameron. She plays a stubborn, hateful leader dressed for the governor’s ball who sacrifices herself to save some.The screen should be at least somewhat sacred – screentime under a trusted name should be valuable. Your time and money is worth more than this poorly produced film. Certainly, stunning shots made a few moments worthwhile, but the details betrayed the beauty breaking what faith I had left after a torturous Rogue One. I had a bad feeling about this, but I still had hope for the franchise.
The little “porg” birds and crystal foxes may have added cutsie touches, but  they played no role in the plot. Nice pitch for new Disney dolls, but why not go ahead and make the alien cow that Luke milks. That’ll be a coveted toy beneath the Christmas tree. And why were frog people living on the island with Luke selling elephant tusks out of  wheelbarrows. These are questions I’d like to know the answers to. Here are a few more odd details I’d love to know more about.

The ancient unread Jedi texts look like $12 journals from Barnes and Noble. Finn and his flibbertigibbet new gal pal are the only 2 standing when the doc is hit. Lucky.Poe is locked up on a transport waiting for Leia to wake up only to slap him – an out of character move. Kylo Ren, however, is still a pent-up child throwing tantrums. BB8 saves the day multiple times. Bot’s got more gumption and wherewithal than any of the fighters. Rey, still unfortunately flawless and therefore unrelatable, somehow trains herself after a few short days on JJ’s next big LOST island. Then, Luke ditches and dismisses the one promised moment that had carried us all into this film. For two years, Rey has been holding his lightsaber out to him waiting for the hero to emerge. And, in two seconds, our hopes were dashed and Han died for no reason.This film was disappointing on every level that matters. Sure, you can blindly watch and appreciate the Star Wars fan-isms. You can call it beautiful in scenes. You can say that you believe in the rebellion and it’s potential to take back the galaxy by pushing the Empire out and bringing balance to the force. But, sorry fans, you cannot say that this was a good film just because it’s Star Wars.

 

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5 Comments

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  1. Hi! I loved this movie and I just had a couple of rebuttals I wanted to share.

    I thought Laura Dern’s character was great. It makes sense that she would keep stuff from the hot-headed Poe because she watches Poe’s foolishly reckless maneuvers in the beginning of the movie – she keeps secrets from Poe because she doesn’t trust him to do the right thing. And to say that she “sacrifices herself to save some” kind of undersells the fact that “some” was, at that point, everything left of the Resistance.

    And to say that Leia slapping Poe was “out of character” ignores how she was in the original trilogy: a strong female heroine who mocked Luke and Han for not having much of a plan – she probably would have slapped them if they actually knew each other at this point.

    You mention the “lack of character development,” which is true for a character like Finn, but characters like Poe, Luke, Kylo Ren, and Rey have more clearly defined arcs to the point where saying that the film lacks character development overlooks these characters.

    It’s weird to say that Han died for no reason. Han didn’t die so Rey could get to Luke, he died because he was trying to save his son from the dark side.

    But, you definitely make some good points that I hadn’t thought about how the love-triangle dynamic between Finn/Rose/Rey just doesn’t have quite enough chemistry. I’m definitely torn on the Casino planet. I really liked it and it seemed fun, but at the same time it tends to seem like filler and full of contrived obstacles.

    Haha sorry I got carried away. I hadn’t planned on writing that much. I just loved this movie and have been feeling pretty defensive about it.

    • Hello back! Thank you for the honest and well thought out rebuttals. I’ll admit that I was being a little too curt and harsh in my response. I guess my expectations were higher than I thought going in. I appreciate it when people can disagree with intelligence and kindness. Thank you! I was too quick in my “Han died for no reason” statement. You’re right. It just felt like the thrust and point of that film was to find Luke so he could help them against the First Order, and once found he flippantly tossed all of our anticipation aside. Han was helping them find Luke, but his heart was to save his son. Agreed. Thank you again. Happy Christmas & merry movie watching!

  2. The casino was so weird 🙄

  3. The Last Jedi is an epic and original Star Wars movie, with gorgeous cinematography and incredible music from the wonderful John Williams again. There are some risks that Rain Johnson takes, that will upset some fans, but some of those decisions have made me ponder the force in a new way. Johnson has managed to expand the force mythology, inject some good humor back into the saga, and throw in some wonderful surprises, that I believe, we all needed..

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