The 8th episode of Star Wars is out, and it has a lot to live up to. While the force awakens was good, I felt the story was a bit safe and not as defining as it could be. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it, but I felt it could have been so much more. So does that Last Jedi live up to the Star Wars legend, or will it go down in history as another Clone wars?
** Spoilers ahead**
I’ll get right into it, I loved the Last Jedi. As a big sci-fi fan, I am a sucker for a good space battle, and I am happy to report that the Last Jedi has some of the best space battles I have seen. Now I do admit that Rogue One’s final space battle may be the best in Star Wars history, the CGI was so good it felt like actual ships, these space battle are definitely a very close second. From the maneuvers performed by Poe when he banks a sharp left to get behind the tie fights chasing him, to the resistance ship sacrificing itself by ripping the First Orders vessel using a Hyperspace Jump. These things were fresh and very welcome.
The characters were also great in this movie. The stand out of course is Luke Skywalker. Controversially I never understood his significance in the original trilogy. This movie helps flesh out who he was and his place within the Star Wars Universe. It shows a deeper side to him, a man who has lived a life he didn’t expect, or even wanted. He is burdened by the actions of his past, by trying to kill Kylo Ren in a moment of weakness, he feels responsible for the current state of the galaxy. His final fight with Kylo Ren of the salt planet was great. I had noticed he had his return of the Jedi hair and clothes and felt that this was Luke that people remembered. When Kylo orders the First order to fire everything at him, you felt the angry and betrayal he had towards to Luke, and it was great to see Luke playing off that. When it was revealed that Luke had actually only projected himself to the planet and not actually left the Jedi temple, I was a bit taken aback. It was a twist I did not see coming and, for me anyway, it was nice to see the force used in a different way that just moving things across a room. I accepted because the idea of force ghosts has existed in the Star Wars universe since a new hope, so Force projection is something I can get behind. Speaking of Force Ghosts, YODA!! Whenever Yoda showed up to help Luke deal with his issues, I totally fanboyed. It was the Yoda from the original trilogy, whacky and helpful. That was a twist I was not expecting. The other twist I did not expect was Luke’s death, the power required to project himself was obviously too much for him and he died on the island after saving everyone from the first order. It was a fitting goodbye to the character, as I’ve said, force ghosts could allow for his return.
The other characters were great in the movie, Ray was developed even further after force awakens. I felt she kind of tread water in the force awakens until the final fight so it was nice seeing her arc throughout the whole movie. While I never expected her to join the dark side as the trailers having us believe, I felt during the movie that it was at least a possibility. Her force connections with Kylo felt personal to both of them and added a depth to each character that I also really enjoyed. The conversation between them when they are talking about Rays nothing junky parents felt intimate and personal. I also really enjoyed Adam Driver as Kylo Ren. He feels like a troubled soul and the conflict he faces every day is shown to great affect and it makes you feel for the character. He is not just a bad guy, he is conflicted by his family lines, by who he wants to be and who people think he should be. Carrie fisher was also very good in this, it will be interesting to see how they deal with her passing after this movie because she is still alive at the end of it. Poe, Finn and the other characters were good as well, nothing stand out but definitely not bad
Now while there was a lot to love in this movie, there were some things that I did have problems with, the sub-story of Finn and new comer rose trying to find the code breaker felt completely out of place. We had Ray and Luke discussing the Jedi order and if he needed to exist, and we had Poe and Leia taking about the fate of the resistance, and then we had Finn and rose in a flashy casino world riding big horse dog creature. I know that they were there to try and save the resistance, but to me it just didn’t fit.
Another problem I had was with was Snoke. He was portrayed as this all knowing, all powerful force user. Yet we didn’t didn’t really see this, other than his ability to connect Ray and Kylo using the force. We also didn’t learn much about him before he was ultimately killed by Kylo. I did like how is death was done, but I felt it was a bit of plot point more than a deserved death. If he was all knowing and all powerful surely he would have known that Kylo was using the force on the Light saber beside him and not just the One Kylo was holding.
The first Order definitely did not feel as threatening as they should have in this movie either. General Hux felt more of a joke than a leader, and Phasma was again under used. The showed off new First orders weapons like the Dreadnought ship and the battering ram gun but these all felt 1 dimensional and just there to move the story on. Other than a couple of moments the only thing the First order did was follow a ship for 2 hours and shoot at it.
VERDICT: INPATIENT CARE
There were definitely some iffy moments in the Last Jedi; I didn’t really need to see Luke milk a weird creature udder for blue milk, but overall I think it was a great addition to the Star Wars Universe. It moved the Star Wars Lore along nicely while introducing aspects of existing canon that I felt had turned a bit stale. The characters felt real and their stories felt earned. I am very much looking forward to how this trilogy is brought to an end in the final chapter.