MINOR SPOILERS – READ AT YOUR OWN RISK
I remember standing in line for five hours to see Star Wars: A New Hope with my family. Like a dedicated fan, I returned to the theater to watch The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. So, suffice to say, the characters and I have a history. It was with great anticipation I watched The Force Awakens. Many fans said it was A New Hope remake and disliked what J.J. Abrams did with the iconic trilogy. I like it. Unfortunately, The Last Jedi didn’t stir similar feelings. I left the theater wondering what went wrong. The production was strong but the characters were weak. This is no reflection on the superb cast. They were brilliant in their roles. For me, the script lacked continuity. It left me wondering what’s next for Star Wars episode nine?
The visual effects are amazing. I particularly love the battle scenes, but that’s where my appreciation ends. Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) was a disappointment. I expected more from this character. Perhaps my expectations were too high. In my opinion, Snoke’s appearance was poorly executed. It didn’t live up to the hype. He should have remained a hologram. He was more sinister in the shadows. They could have done so much more with this character.
The crystal foxes are visually appealing. Still, they could have left them out because they didn’t add anything to the story. The space horses had a Chronicles of Narnia feel. However, they did add value to the story. Further, the Canto Bite casino scene may be a prelude to the new Star Wars trilogy. Who knows? There was an underlying theme that should be explored.
With that said, I expected more from the characters. I expected to see growth, expansion, and continuation. Only a few characters offered that. Rey (Daisey Ridley) met my expectations. The character’s development is where it should be. The same goes for Kylo (Adam Driver). Like Darth Vader, Kylo has a dream to rule the galaxy. His insecurities are festering, while hints of insanity peep through his scar, riddled face. This man is hanging by a thread. Question is will Rey be the one to push him over the edge? If their battle is any indication, Rey could be his redemption. I did sense an unnerving attraction between them. If someone tells you to clothe yourself, it means they’re disturbed by the emotion you evoked.
As for Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), I was saddened to see her because I know she will not appear in episode nine. Filming had completed before Carrie Fisher’s demise. They didn’t rework her storyline. Leia finally gets to execute force powers. It was bittersweet. Leia was supposed to be critical to the last film. Perhaps she would have been the one to stop Kylo.
Luke (Mark Hamill), what can I say? Besides, reducing him to a cantankerous, old man, who seems to have lost his way. You only see him use his power at the end of the movie. I wanted more! Seriously? I thought he would get an opportunity to force drag Kylo! The battle they have is a wet tease! I hope he’s in episode nine because Rey needs additional training. Still, I loved the backstory and how his actions may have resulted in the spawn of Vader II (Kylo). I also love the mention of The Knights of Ren. Well done!
Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) is a nice addition to the Star Wars family. I enjoyed her spunk. I didn’t like how she suddenly fell in love with Finn. The intimate scene left a female moviegoer beside me exclaiming, “Ewww.”
Finn (John Boyega) fell flat. His character didn’t evolve. We get a brief closure scene between him and Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie). Maz Kanata gave Finn Luke’s lightsaber. Fans speculated whether he has force powers. They should have explored that storyline. Instead, we get Finn pining for Rey and fighting a character who was assumed perished. Did laser blasts bounce off her armor, or was I seeing things?
Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) became a stereotypical, hot-head pilot that disregards orders and takes unnecessary risks at the expense of others. I still can’t believe how they ruined this character. It was a complete personality change. His saving grace would be his evolution to a strong leader. I’m certain the writers were attempting to set this up, but the subplot could have been stronger. I read a comment that suggested Poe and Rey may get together. I hope not. She has too many unresolved issues with Kylo and Finn. Did you see that look she had cast Finn’s way when she watched him tuck Rose in?
Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern) served no purpose. Admittedly, I thought she was a First Order spy. That would have explained her lack of ingenuity. Isn’t she a vice admiral? I say this because, at a critical moment, the lightbulb switched on too late. General Ackbar deserved that screen time. His sacrifice would have been heartfelt. Holdo wasn’t on screen long enough to make me blink. Yes, I know she’s from the Claudia Gray’s novel Leia: Princess of Alderaan, but she’s brand new to those who haven’t read the novel. Read about her backstory on Star Wars Wookieepedia. Still, how she decimated the Dreadnaught was cool.
DJ (Benicio Del Toro) has promise. I hope to see this character in episode nine. There’s definitely a story arc between Finn, Rose, and DJ that needs to be addressed in episode nine.
BB-8 is the real hero of this movie! You get to see the droid do some pretty amazing things! BB-9A, not so much! Perhaps that droid will in the next episode.
General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) was made the comic relief. In the beginning, it was funny. It continued too long to be believable. Meaning, I found it difficult to accept that such a cunning character could be that stupid.
Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) survives the trash compactor. Her suit could explain why she cheated death. The fight scene between her and Finn was good but her death was hollow. I wouldn’t be surprised to see her in episode nine. She would be the villian that never dies joke.
It was good to see Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong’o) and Yoda (Frank Oz). I hope they do these characters justice in episode nine! Maz can obviously hold her own in a fight. Yoda’s display of force power was intriguing. I hope they explore this in the next film.
The porgs are comic relief. The scenes with Chewbacca are hilarious. Chewbacca had a small but meaningful role in the movie. I would like to see him interact more with Rey along with RDD2 in the next film.
The slave children, at the end of the movie, have an important role. Watch closely as one needs to use a broom. That’s all I will say.
I guess I saw the vision of what J.J. Abrams wanted to achieve with The Force Awakens. I expected The Last Jedi to be a continuation of it. The story lacks cohesion. To be fair, Abrams and Rian Johnson didn’t write the script together. If they did, I suspect it would have been better. There is a lot of foreshadowing, but the average moviegoer will not pick this up during the first viewing. I agree with making people speculate, wonder, and search for the truth, but this method must be used with caution. Star Wars fans derive from various levels of knowledge. You have fans who read the comics, novels and play the video games, and then you have the “only film” lovers, not to mention those who are new to the Star Wars universe. Foreshadowing is awesome for long-time, dedicated fans, but can be frustrating to those with little knowledge.
Overall, I did enjoy the film. I give it four stars for production value and acting. I will even purchase the film when it comes BluRay. Could it have been better? Yes. There is room for improvement. I did sense a struggle between wrapping up this trilogy and starting a new one. I do recommend you see the film. After all, this analysis is just my opinion. I really believe you will enjoy The Last Jedi. If you do, feel free to stop by an leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you.
If you’re new to Star Wars, or you haven’t watched all of the films, you can rent them via DVD Netflix. I recommend you do a Star Wars marathon before watching The Last Jedi. Rent yours here: http://bit.ly/starwarscentral. I also recommend that you read the comics. #DVDNation #ad
Movie Rating: 4 stars.
Movie Ratings Guide
1 Star = Unwatchable
2 Stars = Cannot Recommend
3 Stars = Great for the Fans
4 Stars = A Solid Movie
5 Stars = Must Own (DVD/Stream Download)
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Just a nerd girl living a geek lifestyle of writing, filmmaking, photographing, and designing. Managing Editor of Your Film Review™. Believer in God/Jesus. 안녕 I'm also a Director under @DVDNetflix, where I write reviews, talk film, and more. Follow me on Twitter.