There is a disturbance in the force, and it is called The Last Jedi. Many Star Wars fans, like myself, grew up with this galactic saga. So, naturally, I was excited to journey out to the theater to see Episode VIII on the big screen. I have read many reviews and social comments about The Last Jedi, with many of them either far to the left or far to the right as far as “how much they liked or disliked” the film. I prefer to maintain a fair analysis in my review, but be warned, spoilers will be plentiful.
There are 11 major reasons why this film ultimately failed its fans, and the overarching Star Wars series itself, but the movie wasn’t all bad. It certainly lived up to expectations when it comes to the CGI and special effects. Those were spot on. The costumes and makeup were well done. The actors did a good job acting with what they were given. And the porg – you can’t not like the porg. Now, let’s look at why this movie ultimately did not live up to the hype.
11 Reasons Why Star Wars, The Last Jedi Failed
1). They took the smoke outta Snoke: The Snoke character was a little too Marvel-esque during his realization on screen. Additionally, for such a formidable villain, he was literally overthrown in 0.3 seconds with a single thought from Kylo Ren. I desperately wanted a remote so I could rewind and play the scene a few times, because I could not believe my eyes. It was so quick, effortless and unremarkable I barely realized it happened. In fact, one guy sitting behind me actually said, “Wait, what just happened.” As far as bad guys go, he was totally forgettable.
2). The Finn and Rose romance that wasn’t: The first thing that comes to my mind is – WHY? It is completely irrelevant to the story. And more importantly, no one cares (sorry John and Kelly!). Not even the little pre-teen girls the writer undoubtedly thought he was catering to. It is possible to interest girls and women without needlessly turning things into a love story. Frankly, the entire part of the movie where Finn and Rose are gallivanting around at the casino was a huge waste of time and money. Time would have been better spent on developing Rey’s character even further. What’s worse, there is absolutely zero chemistry between the two actors on screen.
3). It’s Star Wars, not Iron Man: I like Marvel movies. And sometimes the comedy in these films serves them well, sometimes it doesn’t. One thing is absolutely certain however, it does NOT work for Star Wars. The only truly funny scene in the movie happened on the island. Chewbacca was roasting himself some porg by the fire. Looked nice and roasty – queue the cute and fluffy porg with sad little faces, staring at him as he tried to eat. Of course he succumbed to their innocent glare and started adopting them as ship mates. That was a good scene.
4). Luke Skywalker’s character was butchered: The story’s continuation of the Skywalker plot point was completely off-character. If you are someone new to the series, you won’t know any better — but to those of us who followed Star Wars throughout the entire series — it’s blasphemy. It seems as if Rian Johnson just threw some ideas up on a wall and randomly picked one whilst creating this lame back story for the legendary Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). Scarcely anything written was true to what this character would say or do. It’s sad. It was as if Johnson had never seen the previous films and instead created an entirely new, unlikable character because he couldn’t figure out how to put pen to paper properly. Luke deserved better.
5). Rey’s enlightening past, or not: Something from nothing – that is how the universe came about after all, but it doesn’t work so well in a story. Rey’s parents were drunken scoundrels … really? How boring and uninventive. Her character needed some sprucing up in this episode since it was very muted during her introduction in the Force Awakens. Instead of growing her character, Johnson diminished it. After seeing this lack of character development, I care about her even less. She is of no importance in her past for certain.
6). Rey’s growth and training with the force, or not: Again, Rian lacked the ability to give Rey’s character any tangible substance. She had no real teachings from Luke. She made no real discoveries when diving deep into the whisperings of the force … she showed no true ability to be especially talented at fighting, flying or “using the force”. The only time she was able to use the force was largely either by accident – or when the “force” itself apparently wanted her to. I tried SO very hard to find something to latch on to, but Johnson sadly does not provide enough meat on this skeletal character’s bones. Daisy Ridley did as much as she could with the hand she was dealt. She is a talented actress. It’s a shame her talent was wasted on such an undeserving character.
7). Kylo Ren, the whiny, spoiled Ben: While Adam Driver does a good enough job portraying the character given to him, Johnson yet again proves he lacks the ability to build substantial characters. When we weren’t watching one of Kylo Ren’s many childish temper tantrums, we were subjected to his unwitty, petulant quibbles to Luke or other characters. He isn’t a formidable bad guy. He’s not even scary. He’s a sad, angry little boy who gets to play with big toys. That is the character Rian Johnson has created. It’s a disservice to Driver’s abilities as an actor. This character is supposed to be the strongest in the force that Luke had ever felt (prior to meeting Rey), but not once did Kylo Ren show any truly amazing abilities as his predecessors had (Anakin / Darth Vader, Luke himself, Yoda, Obi-Wan to name a few) in other Stars Wars films.
8). The Casino planet – I can never get that time back: Filler much? That is what this is. Rather than do what should have been done (build up his new characters and create an interesting storyline), Johnson decided it would be a good idea to throw in an excruciatingly long side track to the entire film’s core plot for … self gratification? I have no idea. But it should have all been on the cutting room floor. If you go see the movie after reading this, definitely use this part of the movie for your bathroom break, trust me, you won’t miss anything.
9). Poe needs to go: In the Force Awakens he had his place, but he was little more than a nuisance in the Last Jedi. I so wanted him to die (no offense Oscar). He serves no purpose other than to advertise how stupid men can be when they are impatient and have access to ships and guns. It’s obvious Johnson “made room” for him in the script without any real consideration to his character’s purpose in the overall story arch.
10). Princess Leia’s flying fail: I almost got up and walked out when this scene played out in front of my eyes. For a brief moment I thought maybe I was having a mild seizure. First of all, Leia has NEVER had any “abilities” when it comes to the force. She was able hear or feel Luke when he called out to her, but that was about it. There had been no indication that she had suddenly “grown” abilities from one movie to another … no lead in … nothing. It was weird and uncomfortable. And completely and totally NOT in her character. FAIL. Utter FAIL. I cannot stress that enough. In the world almanac for most cheesy or retarded movie scenes in history – that one is #1.
11). The most epic battle in Star Wars history – or not: Luke Skywalker is a legend. Kylo Ren is supposed to be a bad ass. In the history of Star Wars — even (especially?) in the prequels — the saber fights were always awesome. And the stronger a Jedi was with the force, the more of it they used in their battles. So. It was time. We all sat in the theater, thinking to ourselves … okay — THIS SCENE will make up for all the terrible things we had already witnessed. This scene will be the battle to end all battles in the universe of Star Wars. This battle will make all other saber + force fights look like child’s play … this battle will ………………………………………….. SUCK BIG *****. Lamest battle in the history of Stars Wars. That is basically what it was. Like, my 80-year-old-grandmother-could-kick-both-of-their-asses lame. There was complete silence in the theater, and people started getting up and walking out at the end of it, before the movie even ended. It’s tragic. The Last Jedi‘s journey toward the sucky-side was complete.
And there you have it. Those are the main 11 reasons why Star Wars, The Last Jedi was an epic fail. I could break things down even more … but I think this gets the point across. My recommendation if you have not yet seen the film – wait. Rent it. Don’t buy. Don’t waste your money at the theater. If you saw it then you are on one of two sides – the Empire (Disney / newbies) or the Rebels (Stars Wars veteran fans / people who like good stories and characters with their CGI and things that go boom).
I did not hate the entire film. The Last Jedi had some good moments mixed in thanks to the cleverness of its cast, which was its one saving grace, aside from the amazing CGI. But those moments were few and far between.