After the dreadfully clichéd ‘The Force Awakens’ which was over hyped to say the least, my hopes for ‘The Last Jedi’ weren’t particularly high. I decided to read a couple of reviews and spoilers because let’s be honest, we know there are goodies and baddies and that they use light sabers to fight. Some die, others escape and that’s the general theme of Star Wars; battles in space. However, one must give it a chance and you can’t criticize anything unless you have seen it.
It’s the last film Carrie Fisher is in, so that made up my mind to watch it, plus the island that Luke Skywalker was living on looked rather interesting and I like a bit of natural scenery. Before I continue, I grew up with Star Wars (the original ones) as a small child and never thought that in adulthood it would still feature in my life. Once you see the original films it’s very hard to beat them, and thus the prequels and the current sequel trilogy were always going to be harshly criticized. I watched this film with an open mind, but none of the new characters in the previous film were particular interesting, so my expectations weren’t high, I mean it couldn’t get any worse could it?
First of all I dislike Rey, I’ve not seen Daisy Ridley in anything else, but after seeing her in this I’m not rushing to see anything she’s in. Her character is so flawed, full of contradictions, arrogance, stupidity, and bravery. She pesters Luke with not much of a message from Leia; here’s the thing, they use the Force so Luke already knows what Leia wants without Rey having to disturb his self-imposed peaceful exile. She’s like one of those annoying little dogs that tugs at your trousers and won’t go away in their shared scenes. Then finally Chewie shows up and Luke welcomes him in.
Rey is annoying, and her conversations with Kylo Ren are the silliest thing I have seen since Bobby Ewing woke up from a dream after a whole season of Dallas. The fact that Luke didn’t sense it obviously meant that it was dark, and shows that Rey was playing with fire and put people in danger. I’m not sure why they showed her trying to save Kylo Ren, I mean she can barely save herself and it’s just not plausible and is laughable. I kept hoping she would get killed in battle, yet I was not that lucky. Some of her lines towards the end were either poorly delivered, or so badly written (perhaps both?) I cringed in my seat. She also has a Kiera Knightly pout which like a Paddington Bear stare is not a good thing, and we are left wondering if she is love with Finn and jealous of Rose?
Talking of Rose, she is a new character who sweet as she seems is a bit wet behind the ears and hooks up with Finn to go on a mission to find a code breaker. The whole plot here is a waste of time because the plan Poe and Finn came up with doesn’t work anyhow. They seem like a bunch of amateurs that have no idea what to do, and that goes for Leia and Vice Admiral Holdo playing by Laura Dern. I have never disliked a character as quickly as Derns, even more so than Rey and I disliked her within minutes. If anything the characters Fisher and Dern played are an insult to women who showed them to be inadequate leaders that made poor tactical decisions. Another rather silly moment was when Kylo Ren is about to blow up his mother and she knows it, but because the Force is strong with her she manages to float to the nearest hatch then spends most of the film in an infirmary.
It makes you wonder just how good Leia and Luke were as Jedi Knights? I think they were good ones, but for the sake of a sequel trilogy they needed to resurrect the dark side again, and just when did Leia lose her courage and bravery? The Leia we saw in these recent films is nothing like the Leia we knew. Yawn… I know Luke was better than that and Yoda would have popped up and counseled him or Ben to prevent Kylo Ren from going dark.
Suddenly Yoda appears and I think the film has been saved, but what we see is a senile version of Yoda and to be frank it would have been better if hadn’t made an appearance so we can remember him as a kick ass Jedi Grand Master and not a crazed arsonist. By now I am so disappointed, I’m not surprised the no one answers the call of the Rebellion because it means they messed up again. How could they not suspect there was a tracking device, why wasn’t there a back up plan for a rebel base, and the bombing plan was a bit simple but they still didn’t manage to carry that out?
Poe plays a diluted version of Luke Skywalker but without the charm, and creates more of a mess even if his intentions are good. Then we come to the unnecessarily drawn out budding hero romance of Finn and Rose. It’s kind of blink and miss because their mission (which was slap dash at best) had little chance of working, and surprise—it didn’t and they got double crossed and made things worse.
Snoke, why did they even bother with him? Kylo Ren isn’t so much conflicted but is a schizophrenic who doesn’t take after either parent. It makes it very hard to believe he is the offspring of Leia and Han. The best moment is when Snoke tells him to take off the silly mask, because it is silly unlike Vader who needed it to breathe. This film is making some of the prequels look better already which I never imagined possible.
Can Luke Skywalker save the film? Not really because they kill him off, but at least he can come back in spirit we hope? The Luke we see here is alone, conflicted, confused, and when he does see Chewie and R2D2 there is a brief glimmer of the hero we all grew to love. I can see why he was in exile, but he was too hard on himself. In the end he came to the aid of the Rebellion and sacrificed himself, but who did he do it for? Leia, or himself?
The best parts of the film were the theme theme music and the beautiful Irish scenery. If anything, this film makes you appreciate the originals even with the archaic special effects. The humor was too blasé, millennial, and colloquial, where some people just wouldn’t get it, therefore the film won’t stand the test of time. It wasn’t even funny I’m afraid. Like the prequels, I’d like to forget they exist, and it’s easier to try to imagine the saga ended with ‘The Return of the Jedi’ because the originals you can watch over and over again unlike this film where you struggle to stay awake.