Well, I finally watched Star Wars: The Last Jedi. I am not viciously angry as so many fans have been since I really did not expect much after Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the failures that were the prequels. My first impression was heavy handed. Yes there was a strong push for social issues but that was only a small part of the problem for me. I do not have any particular concern with social issues cropping up in movies, as long as, they fit the story not the story being twisted to highlight the issue. I will say; however, that if I hear “Hope” one more time, I am going to scream.
The plot was plodding and silly because you ended up with what amounted to a slow speed space chase without OJ. In addition, you had some characters running off to a casino and coming back in the middle of the battle. Oh yeah, they almost forgot what they were there for and the immediacy of the task. Adding to the irritation were the constant child written physical humor gags. For some reason, both George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy both feel you have to seriously dumb down the humor for American children. Don’t get me started about the Porg, an alien species created just for the comic scene of Chewie trying to eat a Porg, while sad eyed Porgs guilt trip him. I love how there legs make them look like a wooden statue when they are grilled.
Then let us talk about an Admiral of the resistance command in a sexy evening gown during battle, just like every soldier does. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy seeing Laura Dern in a sexy dress, but it is not appropriate for commanding soldiers. For me, this also goes back to The Force Awakens and a question for me, why are only a few people are resisting a grave threat to the entire Republic? The New Republic is only a few decades old and they are already ignoring dangerous situations. What situation is more important than wiping out the remnants of the Empire. Also, there are a lot of unnecessary conflicts and tensions created between characters in the resistance.
There is more I wish to say at a later date, but I do not have the time for now.
To continue, did I mention the overuse of childish sight gag humor, even awkward teenage prank call comedy. While we are on the subject, how many times does the First Order fall for the obvious delaying tactic. They put the poor-shooting Stormtroopers of the original trilogy to shame. Not much of a fighting force in my eyes. But the Resistance has its crappy battle tactics too. How lame are the new bombers in this movie. Dead eye WWII style bombers to hearken back to G. L.’s ideas for the Millennium Falcon’s escape scenes. Did they not watch the actual first movie and the Tie Bombers in The Empire Strikes Back? Things move faster in the first trilogy, which made sense for the futuristic technology of the universe. Oh, by the way, in WWII, those kind of bombers were not very effective against ships
In addition, Princess Leia can survive a vacuum and fly back to safety while unconscious. No big though. Don’t forget all the brilliant ideas that work and then fall through. Only to lead to other ideas that work and fall through, which is almost a running gag throughout the film. All to lead to an updated rendition of the battle of Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back, almost plagiarized.
I did not address one of my major grievances; however, the early ending of the major villain just like the prequels did with Darth Maul. The first movie built up the Snoke character as the successor to the emperor even though we never get any background on where he came from and how he became such a powerful figure. Now halfway into the movie, when he seems to be in control, he is killed off. That’s it, no deep revelations of his and Ben Solo’s relationship and how Ben outsmarted him. Boom, Snoke out and Ben in. But when cool calculating Ben sees Luke again he turns into a babbling, petulant ten year old again.
I probably could go on, but I feel like wrapping this up. Shocker, I actually saw some things in the movie that could have made it a great picture if the weeds of the gags and heavy handed social agenda could have been pulled to let the good material grow. The force connected push/pull scenes between Kylo and Rey could have been deep comments on their relationships to each other and Luke. If the actions of Luke toward Ben Solo could have been fleshed out more, they would have added greatly to the story, even been the focus of the movie. The three circling around each other as Snoke manipulates things. The movie would have been a character driven piece like Empire. Take those pieces, rework The Force Awakens to feed into them then conclude the arc in the last movie. My thought on Luke trying to kill Ben was that it was rubbish. He learned too much about that in the first trilogy; however, that he failed as Ben’s teacher in some other way still could have been used. Maybe not being able to deal with Kylo’s anger. Oh well, we will never see those movies. Anyway, this is my two cents worth. If you have any thoughts you want to discuss, feel free to comment.