Ever drank some milk that looked fresh but was in fact sour? Sour milk = The Last Jedi. Everything looked great on the surface, but after you spent 2 1/2 hours of your life watching it, you’re left with something that just is not right.
Let’s start off with what The Force Awakens left us with. How did Maz get Luke’s lightsaber? Who are Rey’s parents? Why is Rey so instinctively good with the force? How is Phasma alive? Who is Snoke? Why did Ben Solo go bad? Where are the Knights Of Ren? Well, I shall refer you to my original statement/ reaction to the overall film and you can figure it out from there:
I have been accused of being a Star Wars fanboy because of the fact that I “like” The Force Awakens. I think it is “very good” and did what it needed to do. In the best way it could have? No. You cannot accuse me of being a fanboy now! The closest thing I can refer to to how I felt about this film is Season 7 of Game Of Thrones, as in…
It is now just pure fan fiction, doing things because they would be cool and not because they would make sense/ are the right things to do. Characterisation that sacrifices the great but predictable for the unpredictable and underwhelming. Notice the use of the “but” and “and”, makes a big difference in the balancing of positives and negatives.
There is a lot of fan service to be had with The Last Jedi. But, the definition of fan service is “material in a work of fiction which is intentionally added to please the audience.” The key word in this is “added.” Adding to a film doesn’t always make the film better. Moments need to build on the story, not add to it. You ever heard the phrase, “Too many eggs in the basket”? Well, The Last Jedi has too many eggs in the basket. It’s fan service that became fan disservice.
I am paraphrasing Mark Hamill himself here when I say, “I fundamentally disagree with all the choices you have made.” Where Mark was talking specifically about Luke, I’m talking about the film itself. There is light in this film, I know it! But, it’s too late. Rey had potential! Kylo had potential! Snoke and Luke had potential! Everything had so much potential!
The thing is, George Lucas wrote every instalment in the original trilogy which allowed him to create a fluent arc through the trilogy with what was going to happen to the characters set in motion before the penultimate entry in the series is released. The fact that we have the two wildly different imaginations of J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson battling over what’s to come of these characters means that there is no fluidity!
Now, I did say, “underwhelming in almost every way.” “Almost.” Porgs are great! It’s the old Batfleck situation where the thing we were most worried about with the film ended up being maybe the best part of the film. There is a moment with Luke on the Falcon with another character that used fan service excellently. Poe is great. But, no other side characters get a decent story apart from Laura Dern, and even then it’s dumb when you think about it. Lightspeed is beautiful though (you’ll know it when you see it). Rey and Kylo have a great storyline which doesn’t really have much pay off but is great before the end. Yeah, Luke is good, but doesn’t fulfil the potential.
So, yeah. Some stuff happened but I really don’t give a damn about any of it. Just read the Variety review, they put it best…
Star Wars: The Last Jedi – 2.75/5