Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi ★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Oh boy I have a lot of thoughts...where do I start? 

I’ll start by saying that I don’t hate this film, and the stuff I dislike about it isn’t anything to do with what is Star Wars and what isn’t. I have a knack for re-writing films’ scenarios and I’ve done this here, again, but let me start with what I like and what changed after the second watch. 

Leia’s faux-death; when I was in the theatre, I was near-tears when she flew out of the bridge. With the death of Carrie Fisher, the fate of Leia hung heavy over my head, and my teary-eyes were result of me having accepted that eventually, they’d need to sort out the character she had left behind. I thought, “This is it, this is where it needs to happen.” So, when she she came back, it was jarring. After hearing defenses for it, and seeing it again, I adored the scene. Starting from that shot where Kylo is contemplating doing it himself, right to where Leia’s eyes open, it’s a marvelous thing. 

I also really liked what they did with Luke. I’ve heard the objections, even those of Mark Hamill himself, but I really, really liked his arc, and the ending he gets. I thought upon my first viewing, “What’s the point of him dying on the island, why not have it not be a projection and have him die by Kylo’s hand?” I was foolish, to say the least. I love that ending Luke gets, I really do. The only thing I don’t like about Luke in this film is his first reaction to the lightsaber Rey hands him. Other than that, it’s gold. 

Now for the main quartet, or at least, the two duos: Rey and Kylo, and Finn and Poe (feat. Rose). 

I really like what they do with Rey and Kylo in this film, I like how Snoke set them up, and how they think they have this connection, but it’s all Snoke’s plan. I made a big post about it on Tumblr so I’ll copy and paste that here (italics are from the post, non-italicized or words from the present): For one thing it didn’t cross the line that I thought it would, aka having them be buds by the end. Something I don’t want to happen is for Kylo to turn, and The Last Jedi kind of cemented that it would never happen, because even when Kylo did something nice for Rey (killing Snoke) it was actually just for him.

I like how Kylo’s betrayal to Snoke was a red herring, and that he was really only acting out of anger and selfishness. He only wanted to kill Snoke so that he could rule the First Order as the Supreme Leader, and make Rey the new Kylo, aka his apprentice in the Sith arts (or his partner). He probably wanted to kill Snoke for a long time and finding out that Snoke was manipulating his weakness as a way to bait Rey to finally coming probably pissed him off and made him snap. I liked it because it seems like he is getting this redemption with killing Snoke but it’s actually because he’s so evil and powerhungry that he’d risk betraying the ruler of the First Order to get what he wants.

Along with that there’s this subtle thing where I feel like Kylo wanted to turn Rey to the dark side because he has this big crush on her, and he thinks Rey is reciprocating those feelings by coming after him, which is why he has the balls to ask her to join him, which throws Rey off because the only reason she gave him any thought as to saving was cuz she knew he could stop the First Order with his commands. So when Kylo is like “Yeah I killed Snoke but I still hate the Resistance lol” Rey is all like “wtf I came out all this way and fought by your side just for you to be a dick? Lol then bye bitch” and I bet Kylo’s determination in the end was all this straight boy “i just got rejected by a girl” anger and all that.

And it all culminated into this boiling point where his anger led him to letting the Resistance get away, and him failing right in front of Luke’s eyes, and it showed that not only did he fail in destroying the Jedi, but he failed at commanding the First Order to finally finish off the Resistance.

So, Kylo failed at everything, and all of his actions were done out of selfishness and a hunger for power, and he never really cared about Rey, even if it seemed at one point that he did. 

It must be in another post, but I also believe that Rey doesn’t care about Kylo, she just cares about Han and Leia. She wants to turn Kylo to the light in order for the original trilogy gang to be redeemed. Between the three of then, Ben is all of their biggest mistakes (for slightly different reasons), and Rey wants to help them get some closure. It fits with the theme of “let the old things die,” which Rey is against. But as Han, Luke, and surely Leia will pass on, the past will go with them, and by the end of this film Rey knows the only way to save Kylo is to kill him, and for her to be the future, instead of being hung up on the past. 

Now, with Finn and Rose, I really don’t like what they did. Not character wise, but what the characters do and the scenario of their B-story. I wish Poe was more with Finn and Rose was the third wheel. really on the side of Finn and Poe ending up together, but, my biggest pet peeve of this film is that Finn doesn’t get to sacrifice himself. Because not only would it have really, really helped the Resistance, but I feel like it completes his arc in a really fantastical way. His character is begging for a big sacrifice to end his arc. So, well, here’s where I be annoying and try and rewrite their plot so they don’t have to visit Canto Bight and it develops a romance between Finn and Poe and ends with Finn’s sacrifice. 

Another thing I hate is the trip to Canto Bight. It is a big part of the themes in this film but I feel like it also makes it really heavy-handed, and I think you can still get Finn and Rose on Snoke’s ship without the extra hoop to jump through. 

The plan is they need to crack the code to Snoke’s ships’ security so they can get on board and get into the tracker and disable, right? Finn knows how to get the code, so we have Rose be the expert hacker and stuff. Rose hacks some system, and with a little guidance from Finn, they extact the code needed to get in, and they need to crack it within the hour it takes to reset. It’s up to Finn and Poe to get anything Rose needs to crack the code, so they do. I feel as if it’s a bit convenient that they find DJ and he knows everything they need to get on board Snoke’s ship and hack and all that, so why not skip a step and have Rose be that character? Especially if all of that stuff ends with them not even getting the chance to disable the tracker! The only missing piece I need is how Hux finds out about the transports if DJ doesn’t tell them. 

She was a thief, a hacker, did some dirty-work, but she joined the Resistance by her older sister’s guidance, and she felt she had a greater purpose with the rebels, and always remarked her sister for helping her like that, so she hates that Paige died instead of her, since Paige was the one passionate about the Resistance in the first place. Finn relates to this being part of the Resistance having joined more to help others who are actually passionate about it, so he says something like, “You have a purpose, you’re the only one who can do this, you are here instead of your sister for a reason.” 

Before this: Finn still tries to run away to protect himself and Rey, and Rose thinks that’s selfish as hell, “My sister just died for this fleet,” blah blah blah, she still feels that, so she still stuns them and afterwards they have the conversation that leads them to thinking up a plan. Then, Finn and Rose tell Poe, they start formulating a plan and Finn and Poe are bouncing ideas off of each other, the chemistry’s popping, there can be a joke where they’re having so much fun and they get a little close, Rose is in the back with an eyebrow raised, “What are you two gonna kiss?” Rose mentions about her past and how she might be able to hack and decipher a code with the right guidance, Finn knows how to guide her. They break in, they got all they need, so Finn and Rose sneak onto Snoke’s ship and go to disable the tracker, they’re still caught, so the transports get found so the final showdown is on the salt planet. When Finn and Poe see each other they hug, Finn thought he would never see Poe, “I thought you’d died on one of the fallen transport ships,” “I thought you’d have been killed when you were caught,” they just hug real tight right now, I’m getting to a kiss, don’t worry!

They see the cannon land, they find out they have to hold them off with the speeders and the turrets, etc., so they go on out. Finn and Poe are about to jump into speeders, Poe says “be careful out there.” “You too.” “Oh, and one more thing,” Poe kisses Finn. Finn is stunned, blushing, Poe jumps in a speeder, winks, and and gets the engines started (I feel like this is a very Poe thing to do, yeah?). 

They’re in speeders, the cannon starts charging, so they realize they can’t stop it, “it’s a suicide mission!” Poe turns back, but Finn doesn’t, and Poe doesn’t notice until he’s back in the trenches closer to the mine, “Finn, what the hell are you doing?”

“I have to stop it, I can’t let them get inside the mine, you need more time to escape.” 
“Finn, please, we’ve lost so much today, we...I can’t lose you, too. This is just the beginning.”
“I finish it for me then,” and under his breath he says, “I’m sorry, Rey...”

Oh FUCK. Ah, shit, I just realized this ruins the whole faceoff between Kylo Ren and Luke...because Luke only needs to stall for time because there’s a hole in the door...that was my favorite part of the movie...and I don’t want Finn’s death to be useless so that Luke still needs to stall.

Shoot...oh well, I almost had something there. 

I like Star Wars, too much. Anyway, there’s a lot I dislike about The Last Jedi, but a lot of it is just personal preference. It’s still a gorgeous as hell film, even if the story is messy in the middle.

EDIT: I’m making a promise to myself to never write something this long again unless it’s for an actual website/magazine and I’m getting paid Jesus...

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