The greatest teacher, failure is. – Yoda
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is taking the world by storm with a near record-breaking opening weekend. But whether you loved the film or not, there are a few points where the film doesn’t come together as it should be. Though it’s hard for a film, in a series this long, to come up with new material, I still believe that any of the Star Wars films should meet the audience’s criteria of a good movie.
So for anyone who is a fan of the Star Wars movies, I’m sure you will all agree that the films should be fast paced, lots of great action, and most importantly, a great storyline. Though The Last Jedi checked some of those boxes off, the story very much lacked compared to other films in the series, not including the prequels. First and foremost, the whole storyline of Finn and Rose was a complete waste of time and nothing but filler. In my opinion, screenwriter and director, Rian Johnson, is spending too much time setting
the story up for his rumored Star Wars Trilogy set to come out in the near future. But before we break into that topic, Finn and Rose’s story didn’t naturally blend well to the overall film. Canton Bight, for example. The whole sequence of Canton Bight should have been removed. But see as how if this were to be removed, Finn’s character development would be nonexistent. This side narrative just slowed down the pace of the film. Along with this huge misstep, we find that Finn and Rose eventually make it back to General Leia and the other rebels. Finn, wanting to stop the First Order so the others, begins to head straight towards this huge gun that will eventually break down the door and leave the rebels exposed to an attack. As Finn travels to the center of the gun, we, as the audience, make room in our hearts for his inevitable, and very heroic sacrifice. Oh, but wait! Rose is not having any of this, for she hits Finn’s aircraft with hers, and they both go tumbling off into the salty ground. If I may ask a question, why did she do that? Besides the dumb line of, forgive me if I paraphrase, “we need heroes like you to stick around.” Look, I don’t know which way this is going for both Finn and Rose. If this storyline is headed in a romantic way, I don’t know if it will set well with audience members. We’ll keep watching this story, but hopefully this will not have all been for nothing in the coming films.
The Last Jedi left me a little confused after my initial watch. With various main character deaths, and the real life death of actress Carrie Fisher, I cannot help but really wonder what the future films will bring. But nonetheless, I know that Snoke will not be included in any future films. Maybe as an evil spirit? I don’t know. But it leaves behind the conclusion that Snoke was nothing more than a placeholder until Kylo Ren to gain power of The First Order. But as far as these characters go, no character is more lackluster than Captain Phasma. The trailers were conveniently filled with a small clip of Phasma fighting Finn, but she was nothing more than a blip on the radar. After The Force Awakens, Phasma’s cool warrior like presence was immedietly forgotten after Han Solo and Finn put her in the trash compactor. But here she comes again, reprising her role in The Last Jedi. Will she redeem herself? No. It’s time to retire her, or make her increasingly better. She deserves more than to burn in a fiery pit of despair.
As I previously stated, Johnson looks to be making references or putting in characters that will appear in his rumored upcoming trilogy. Johnson’s other works, such as Looper and Brick, are incredibly intriguing. But in putting Johnson into the Star Wars Universe, he was either going to sink or swim. My problem with Johnson’s screenplay is not so much the lack of character development and pacing issues, rather that it all leads back to what he is putting into his future scripts. Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker debated Johnson on sever storylines in the film. He went on to say that “it’s not my Luke Skywalker” that is being portrayed in the Last Jedi. Now it is of my opinion that Johnson’s main focus was not on the current plot of The Rebellion’s fight against the First Order. This mindset makes me uncomfortable because I don’t want The Last Jedi to become that movie in a trilogy that remains the abstract movie where the first movie could just get to the third movie.
The Last Jedi occasionally ties itself to the previous films. Yoda is back with some sarcastic one-liners that puts Luke in an awkward position. Looks like Yoda will always be the best Jedi Master! But I was hoping that this film would be like this new trilogy’s Empire Strikes Back. Not verbatim like the classic film, but rather a similar type of way to represent the ongoing war between The First Order and The Rebellion.
I can talk about the greatness that is The Last Jedi and rather come to its defense. Though I might have more than a few issues with this film, I did really enjoy it.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Written and Directed by: Rian Johnson
Starring: Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher