[SPOILER ALERT] 10 Things I Liked (And 10 Things I Didn’t) About “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

I didn’t get a chance to see “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” on opening day like I have for many of the other recent releases in the series including “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”.

But after seeing enough quasi-spoilers on social media over the weekend (including one picture which showed Luke Skywalker and evil Lord Snoke standing together!), I decided to take in a Sunday midnight (well, 10pm) showing at the local Imax theatre (which is apparently the only one in all of Canada and one of only 15 Imax theatres worldwide showing the film that way.)

You can’t win – where many people found “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, the first new Star Wars movie in ten years, to be too much of a copy of the original “Star Wars: A New Hope”, this one is now being accused of throwing away a lot of the usual Star Wars conventions, for good or bad. (For example, there is literally is no one-on-one light saber duel in the entire new movie.)

It didn’t blow me away but I enjoyed it greatly as I would pretty much any new Star Wars movie (well, except Episode One – that one sucked.) 😉

10 Things I Liked About “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
1. The scene where R2 shows Luke the same “You’re our only hope” hologram of Leia that the droid had showed Luke in the original movie made me tear up in the theatre.  (Not enough people are commenting on a more subtle theme of these newest movies – the changes we go through from reckless youth to wisened elders.)

2.  The battle scene in Snoke’s chambers between Rey/Ren and the Red Guards was awesome.

3. The scene where the rebel ship goes into the First Order destroyer at light speed.  A blast and then total silence.  Many have called it the single best scene in *any* Star Wars movie and I’d be inclined to agree.  Breathtaking, especially on an Imax-sized screen.

4. The movie having a female lead plus a lot more diversity than any previous Star Wars movie is pretty awesome (though the fact that the female lead is basically a Jedi Master who can go toe-to-toe with Kylo Ren in the first movie and do various other Jedi tricks with little to no training – abilities that it took Luke years to learn – at least begs for some explanation.  Ironically, Star Trek provided the slang for this type of idealized, overly perfect character – a Mary Sue.)

5. Yoda!  He had a number of great lines – one about failure being the best teacher, one about the hardest part of being a master is watching your proteges move beyond you, and even a librarian-approved joke about the sacred Jedi texts stored on Luke’s island – “Pageturners, they were not!” 🙂

6.  Benicio Del Toro’s character, DJ, as a “Brad Pitt in Seven Monkeys” update on the shifty Lando Calrissian type character who will help you then turn on you, depending on circumstances.

7. Some have criticized the humour but Star Wars has always had its share of goofy throwaway lines.  I think the issue here is that more of the quips fall flat than in previous episodes?

8. Not everyone liked this but, depending on your politics, the story of activists, women and outcasts fighting back against a powerful fascistic Empire (with a top leader who even resembles a young Donald Trump!) might appeal.  And, no matter your politics, it’s a timely theme.

9.  Every Star Wars movie has creatures targeted at kids (and specifically, selling merchandise to kids), some more successful (Ewoks!) than others (Jar-Jar!!).  Personally, I loved the porgs.

10.  Did I mention – it’s revealed that the Jedi have a library! 🙂

10 Things I Didn’t Like About “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
1.  No Grand Reveals/Major Surprises along the line of “Luke, I am your father” (I know) or the death of Han Solo.  Who is Snoke?  Are Rey’s parents really just trash merchants when everyone thought she’d have some connection to another known character?  (Though that could be cool too if its meant to show anyone can use the force, not just “chosen ones”.)

2. Leia’s Death/Survival wasted an opportunity to give her a heroic send-off.  For example, what if she’d piloted the rebel ship into the First Order ship at light speed instead of Admiral Holdo?

3. Luke’s death was a bit underwhelming too.  You expect a hero to die heroically and arguably he did but at a great distance instead of being right in the midst of battle.

4. The whole sub-plot with Finn and Rose Tico wasn’t very interesting and, echoing what I said about the political themes of the movie, I even found the sub-plot on Casino Planet which is full of rich war profiteers a bit too explicit, on the nose, and even boring. I mean, Finn and Rose are supposed to track down a master codebreaker – the best in the entire universe – but then they don’t and some random thief they bump into offers to provide the exact same service?

5. Most characters in the new trilogy have counterparts in the old – Rey is like Luke, Poe is like Han, etc.  As the heir apparent to the popular Boba Fett, Captain Phasma was also terribly underutilized in this film.

6.  The length.  I mean, normally I’d say that “more Star Wars = good Star Wars” but this movie is the longest of any Star Wars film and could’ve probably been improved by tightening it up to a 2 hour movie instead of 2hr33min.

7. I mentioned his death but I’m ambivalent about how Luke was used throughout the entire movie (and I’m not the only one who feels that way.)

8. Super fans have spotted all kinds of plot holes, with some minor and some major, that almost feel inevitable in a sprawling space opera like Star Wars.

9.  Nothing to do with the film directly but there are a lot of butthurt ultra-fanboys who are brigading ratings on popular aggregator sites to falsely make the film appear to be worse than it is (to be fair, there’s an equally credible argument that the professional critics, invited to sneak peek previews, were overly generous.)

10. I have to wait two more years for Episode IX. 🙁

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  1. From Head Tale - 2017 End of Year Memes: Blog Blows Up, Libraries Live, Seasonal Summer, Tropical Travels on 31 Dec 2017 at 9:41 am

    […] parents’.  Also went to “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” a couple weeks ago and it had good and bad elements but overall, I really enjoyed it.  (I’ll just leave the same photo I posted for this […]

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