What did I think of The Last Jedi? I saw the movie the Monday after opening weekend and it definitely was not what I expected. Some parts of it were really satisfying while others were stretching the limits of my belief for what a Star Wars movie should be. That is not to say that those moments make it a bad movie, but they challenged my idea of what the movie should be. It is definitely not the Stars Wars of old, but does that mean it has ruined the franchise? Let’s have a spoiler filled discussion below.
I think that first and foremost, every Star Wars fan wants new movies that bring back the feeling of watching the first trilogy. The trick is to write fresh, interesting stories while staying true to the canon at the same time. Too much of either and you are going to have a lot of unhappy fans. You want to have the feeling of the source material… just don’t get too close.
The Force Awakens was widely praised for bringing back the nostalgic feeling of the original trilogy, but it was also widely bashed for being too similar to A New Hope. I am in the group that thoroughly enjoyed The Force Awakens. Yes, it had a search for a droid holding a secret file just like A New Hope, but it wasn’t the same movie and it brought us new and interesting characters.
Fast forward to The Last Jedi and you will find that it is being bashed by many supposed die-hard fans for ruining Star Wars because its too different. They say Luke would never run and hide, but what did Obi-Wan and Yoda do after they failed? They ran and hid. You might think, “Yes, but Obi-Wan came out of hiding when he was needed and Luke should have done the same.” I can appreciate that thought, but Luke has also lived a different path than Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan failed his apprentice too, but Anakin wasn’t his family. Luke felt ashamed that he had let down Han and Leia, and that makes his internal struggle different than Obi-Wan’s.
The thing about The Last Jedi that felt out of place for me was the corny jokes. The first joke with Poe pretending he cannot hear Hux was forgivable. It felt out of place right from the start, but at least there was a point to it. It was serving as a diversion to distract from an attack. When it was becoming clear that Kylo Ren and Hux were going to be maintaining a sort of comic relationship throughout the movie, it brought me out of the universe. It felt like The Last Jedi was trying to be a Marvel movie, and there is a big difference between a Star Wars movie and a Marvel movie. The original trilogy had a jokes, but they didn’t ever feel like a gimmick. The Last Jedi had a few too many of these corny joke moments for me but I don’t hate the movie for it, and no these jokes did not ruin Star Wars.
The Last Jedi also gave us several awesome things. The lightsaber battle where Rey and Kylo Ren teamed up was probably one of the best fights in the series. Seeing Luke pick up a lightsaber again made the hair on my arm stand up (even though he wasn’t really there). The porgs and the crystal foxes where both amazing new creatures. And the suicide mission sequence that destroyed the First Order cruiser was outstanding.
So what does everyone want? Do you want it to be similar to the original trilogy or do you want the writers to explore new themes and ideas? I have been a Star Wars fan all of my life, and the way I see it, there are two choices. I can either keep hoping that each new film will bring back the magic of the original exactly the way I picture it in my mind only to be disappointed each and every time. Or… I can be open minded and enjoy the galaxy that I have visited so many times throughout my life understanding that I might not agree with every story direction.
I have a read a lot of user reviews stating that Disney has ruined Star Wars with one even going so far as to say it is “the biggest disappointment in cinematic history.” These types of comments don’t bring anything constructive to the conversation. All they do is spew hate to make the user feel like they really showed Disney how bad their movie was, but what they really do is just make commenter look small and whiny. I prefer to enjoy the new movies and not be bitter. The original trilogy will always be there waiting for me, and nothing the new movies do will change that.
Let us know your thoughts on The Last Jedi in the comments below…
Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of StarWars.com