I understand that when watching scifi, like superhero movies, you need to suspend disbelief. Just enjoy the story. Star Wars is a story about space wizards. But is it really to much to ask for there to be some internal logic? I swear, the Force in this movie works like Superman’s powers. His powers can do whatever the writers need it to do. As always I’ll warn you before I get to spoilers.
Episode 8 carries on the story following The Force Awakens, which I really enjoyed. Sure, I thought Rogue One was a clusterfuck, but I had high hopes for The Last Jedi, which would have Luke Skywalker in a larger role than his cameo in Episode 7. While Luke does play a larger role in this movie, the real story is with the new cast. Where does Rey fit in? Who does Kylo Ren want to be? Can Poe be a leader? Can the writers force Finn and Rose to love each other without any chemistry? That’s what this movie was about.
So in that sense, Luke takes a somewhat Yodaish role. Don’t get me wrong. It is amazing to see an older wiser, burned out Luke. I’m just saying, I would have loved to see more of Luke and less of anything relating to Rose’s story. Likewise, Leia is out of the movie for a huge chunk. While this enables the *clears throat* Next Generation, to take the spotlight, I liked how the older cast carries so much weight over everyone else. You know they are special.
Also, can we all admit how exciting the Star Wars music makes you? I don’t know what it is, but as soon as the movie started, “A Long Time Ago… In a Galaxy Far Far Away… STAR WARS… Dun dun…” Instant smile. Maybe it’s nostalgia. Maybe it’s just the atmosphere of a bunch of nerds enjoying their nerdy thing. Whatever it is, I love it. Throughout the movie, I heard hints of Vader’s theme, or bits of music from throughout the movies. Each time it just made me excited.
Excited as I was, there were some huge flaws in this movie. To discuss them, I have to get into spoilers, so here we go.
Rey is the new hope. Well, the newer new hope. She’s trying to help the Resistance, but at the same time, she’s somewhat new to these powers, and she wants to learn how to use them. Luke doesn’t want to help because he failed training someone with lots of powers before, Kylo Ren. She is persistent and I liked everything about her story. Also, she has an adorable smile.
Kylo Ren went to the Anakin school of Whiny Shoutiness. He just comes off as an angry teenager. He’s trying to be evil, but still has some good in him, even though everyone around him says he’s super duper evil.
Finn and Rose have to go find the person to do the thing, and in order to do that, they have to go to the place, but when they are there… yeah. I hated everything about that story arc, so I’m going to skip it. You should too. Except you can’t, because it’s like 45 minutes of the goddamned movie. Such a waste of time and CGI.
Speaking of CGI, how much do you think was spent trying to make the animals look and act like people? Sure the Porgs are adorable, and that scene with Chewie was great. But it seemed like all of the animals were trying to telepathically tell the audience exactly how they were feeling. Also, the Porgs have no natural predators, because they are too cute to eat. There’s a scene where they’ve already built a nest in the Millennium Falcon. So they reproduce as quickly as Tribbles. They are an invasive species. That scene where the Porg flies against the glass. That was funny the first time, when it was Baby Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy 2.
Ok. Everyone got it? So here are the problems I had with this movie. First, the flashbacks. I don’t think any other Star Wars movie has had flashbacks before, let alone multiple flashbacks. That annoyed me. Though it was kind of interesting to see the same event told from both Luke and Kylo’s different perspectives.
Snoke was wasted. He was built up to be this super duper big baddie, and was taken out like a shish kabob. That fight with Rey and Ren? That was awesome. I really hoped that Kylo could have turned to the Light side of the force. Maybe that’s how Episode 9 will end. It would be a nice way to close out the trilogy of trilogies. Anyway Snoke wants to eradicate all of the good guys, blah blah blah, lightsaber cuts him in half.
My main complaint is the Force itself. All of the sudden the Force allows you to Skype with other Force users? Like not just hearing voices, I mean seeing the other person. And you can survive in space. And once you become a Force ghost, you can control lightning. And you can project yourself to a planet far far away. And…
It’s all a deus ex machina. “Oh we need to find a way for Rey and Kylo to bond? Force Skype.” If Yoda and the other Force ghosts can interact with this galaxy, why the fuck aren’t they? Hasn’t the Jedi been around for thousands of years? Couldn’t all of the Jedi who have become Force ghosts gotten together, appeared in Snoke’s ship, and killed him? Oh. That doesn’t fit the plot, so nevermind. It made me angry, and I’m not even that much of a Star Wars fan. It was like the writers had written themselves into some corners, and they needed a way out, so boom. The Force can do it.
Speaking of which, Luke projects himself near Leia. He gives her those trinkets, presumably from Han Solo. They are so important to her, that she drops them when she’s leaving. Then as soon as Kylo Ren grabs them, they disappear? Yet another scene where something that seems like it should matter, doesn’t.
One other thing that annoyed me, was Poe’s… I don’t know… temporary punishment. He’s demoted for disobeying orders. Ok. That makes sense. Then Leia is in a coma, so purple haired chick is in command. Ok. With you so far. But then she decides to not tell Poe her plan, which results in him staging a mutiny, which ends when Leia FORCEs herself out of bed to stop him. Yet another large chunk of the movie without any payoff. All of this could have been avoided if purple haired chick told Poe her plan. But in typical FORCEd drama, she had to do that “keep the audience guessing by keeping a main character guessing” bullshit.
Finn and Rose. I hated this entire story arc. I really did. Finn wants to escape, so that Rey will use her tracking system thing to track him, so she won’t die, too. In my The Force Awakens review, I made a joke about Finn wanting a white woman. I really think they listened to me. To be fair, I haven’t seen The Force Awakens in a while, but I don’t remember feeling like Finn and Rey were that close. Finn and Poe, sure. Poe and BB8, absolutely, but not Finn and Rey. Yet in this movie, he is obsessed with her. Up until Rose says she loves him. Then all of the sudden he’s super into Asian chicks. The writers FORCEd Rose and Finn to go on this adventure that doesn’t help in the end AT ALL, just in the hopes that they spend enough time together for feelings to grow. But doesn’t their mission take like 8 hours? Shitty lazy FORCEd hack writing. Fuck that entire section of the movie.
And that’s not to say anything negative about those characters. I’m glad Finn wasn’t the racial stereotype he was in The Force Awakens. I’m even fine they gave him a love interest. It just didn’t fit. It didn’t make sense. It would have been fine, if they had met at some point between the movies, and had built a relationship off camera. But nope. She fangirls hard, and he just goes with it.
Look, in the end, this movie wasn’t nearly as bad as Rogue One, but it had a huge amount of flaws. I haven’t even begun to cover them all. I left the theater feeling angry and frustrated and confused. On our way to the theater, we overheard people mocking parts of the movie. When we left, there were multiple other people in the theater lobby mocking some parts of the movie. When we went outside, people were mocking parts about the movie. It’s one thing to get your audience invested enough to have them thinking about the movie long after it ends, but this isn’t the type of conversation that the movie producers wanted us to have. I’ll give this 3 out of 5 stars.