Wow The Last Jedi really ruffled some feathers out there!!! It seems I am not the only one who thought the sequel sucked…
I think a big part of the disappointment is that it seemed that Rian Johnson wasn’t really interested in any of the set ups JJ Abrahams established in The Force Awakens (TFA). This made me think of the “Yes, and…” rule I was taught during Improv Theatre lessons: In order to keep a scene between two actors flowing you never interrupt the flow of a story by cutting it off.
One should always acknowledge what came before and then add any new twists and turns by saying “Yes, and…”. I feel Rian Johnson was more like “Yes, and… FUCK THIS!”, trying to shake off the long shadow cast by JJ and Star Wars itself. This, if I am honest, could have been excused if the story he was telling was more kick ass and exciting. But I am still amazed why he chose to give the blandest characters a big side story, whilst throwing all exciting story beats from TFA out of the window.
So that kept me thinking about how I would have amended the story to make it work better…
So let’s get out the lightsabers and Porg cuddly toys and revisit this mess!
First, let’s start with the set up:
There is a mystery around Reys parents and her Force abilities, there is the promise of seeing Snoke finish training Kylo, there is the massive cliffhanger with grizzled Jedi master Luke. We still have Chewie hanging around after the death of Han Solo and we need to deal with the tragic passing of Princess Leia herself. Finn is in coma with his back sliced open by Kylo, the Galactic Senate has been blown up and The First Order just lost their Deathst… ehhh Starkiller Base. There are whispers about the Knights of Ren and ancient Jedi lore.
Even writing down this list makes me pissed off that Johnson didn’t really deal with any of that!
Ok so let’s see what MY GENIUS BRAIN would have cooked up…
Let’s start easy.
First of all I would have addressed that Captain Phasma lowered the shields and allowed the rebels to blow up the most powerful weapon in TFA. She is a throwaway character anyway, so instead of having a lame fight with Finn we use her to show how badass Snoke is. I quite liked how Snoke kicked Hux around like a rag doll, so why not do a big ROTJ landing bay scene with Snoke infront of the First Order armies addressing the failure to protect Starkiller Base and making an example of Captain Phasma by killing her with some gruesome Darkside powers in front of everybody!
That would establish Snoke as a badass with powers never seen before and raise the intrigue what his deal is. I really enjoyed the fact that Darth Vader became this hero figure for Kylo, so why not get a bit of Darth Vader hero worship in there too with Snoke praising days of old, with the Empire in full swing.
We can then continue with the attack on the Rebel Base. That fight against the Dreadnaught ship was awesome and I wouldn’t change a thing apart from making that female bomber pilot a nobody. She can still display mild Force powers to get the switch, establishing that the Force is with many different people, not just the Jedi. But no amulet rubbing, setting up the connection with Rose. BECAUSE THERE WON’T BE A ROSE!
Poe gets dressed down by Leia for wasting too many ships like in the movie, just with the difference that he get’s arrested for not following orders and thrown in lock down. YEP! Poe is out for the moment as his hot-headedness cost too many Rebel troops their lives.
Switch to Rey and Luke
I liked how he threw the lightsaber away so I am happy to roll with the whole “this dojo is closed” vibe. But as we know from similar situations in movies like Fight Club and Dr. Strange what needs to happen next: Rey needs to show some determination and commitment so swing Luke around. I like how she followed him around and how we see Lukes day by day. But: No funny alien nuns and no ugly alien with milk tits. Just kills the whole gravitas of the situation. I mean we are dealing with broken Luke Skywalker here!
So we have some back and forth and ultimately Luke tells Rey about the night Kylo fucked up his Jedi temple and bailed on him. Great opportunity to do a flashback scene, to go back to the time just after ROTJ: The death of his father aka Vader, the unrest after the fall of the Emperor, the birth of Kylo, Han bailing on Leia and Luke trying to re-establish the Jedi Order.
Luke tells Rey how Snoke crept into Kylos mind and corrupted him. This could be done similar to Sarumans corruption in LOTR… somehow Kylo finds a book or artefact that talks about the Dark Side and gets obsessed with it, hiding it from Luke. Maybe Luke himself was dabbling in the Dark Side and Kylo found a forbidden book or Sith artifact? As Kylo is still not over Han leaving him behind Snoke connects with his seeking spirit and whispers into his ear that he is not worth being loved and will get betrayed not only his father but his master also! This would explain why Kylo seeked Snoke after Luke tried to kill him.
We see the night of Kylo’s betrayal from Lukes view and Rey seems vindicated thinking that Kylo is a piece of shit!
Now we get some damn Jedi training, ok? Because Rey needs to be able to kick ass, and without at least some training this won’t fly. Luke can still be reluctant, yet fascinated. It can still end with Rey blowing some shit up and Luke getting a massive freak out like in the movie.
No mind talking between Rey and Kylo. We do that chatting later. At some point Rey leaves Luke disappointed and returns to the resistance.
Now if my memory serves me well we go back to the Rebels and that slow ass chase scene. Ok, so that whole set up was kinda stupid. So we skip all that.
After the jump the First Order attacks.
Kylo still leads the assault and he still doesn’t pull the trigger. The command bridge is still getting blown up. But the scene is played out way slower, with Admiral Ackbar trying to sort shit out but dying a heros death. Just before the command bridge implodes, Luke and Leia connect their minds and Luke tells Leia the famous lines from ROTJ that he always knew she had the Force as well. And that now in her last minutes she needs to let go and embrace it.
We get a damn tear jerking moment of Leia closing her eyes, feeling the Force, smiling and then getting sucked into space. That’s it! She’s gone.
We get see Luke meditating on Ahch-Cho, opening his eyes crying. YES IT’S A TEAR JERKER! The mental goodbye between Leia and Luke!
Rey arrives with the resistance, sees shit is fucked up. The attack left the last ships of the resistance floating in space, so Hux get’s a massive boner just toying with them. Kylo and Snoke have a moment and Snoke instructs Kylo to turn Rey to the Dark side. Kylo contacts the Rebels and tells them that Rey needs to meet him if she wants to save her friends on the remaining rebel spaceships.
NOW we have a waiting game as The First Order can only attack after Rey got turned. We get all the Kylo and Rey dialogues onboard Snokes spaceship. Kylo tells Rey his side of Lukes story and we get the info that Luke tried to kill him. SHOCK HORROR!
Cut back to the Rebels…
Finn wakes up and gets some badass cybernetic spine because his body was so mauled by Kylos lightsaber. Let’s not forget he was a Stormtrooper once and the fact they always play him for comic relief sucks. He can be funny, but he can’t be plain useless.
So whilst the Rebels await their doom, Finn breaks out Poe and they go on a BRO mission to get support from other fractions of the rebellio
n. So yeah… no Laura Dern and no Rose! They take the Millennium Falcon and manage to leave the Rebel fleet undetected with Chewie who is happy to go on an adventure just like in the good old days with Han!
Back to the bad guys…
Now we jump back to Kylo and Rey. It get’s revealed her parents didn’t matter, she breaks down and accepts to talk to Snoke as she feels she is lost with nowhere to go.
Snoke offers to show Rey her place in all of this and all three board a shuttle and fly down to a close planet. Oh what’s that weird citadel they land close to? Oh shit, it’s ancient Sith temple! BOOM!!!
In the meantime Hux is getting instructed to only attack the Rebels once Snoke returns.
On the planet, we get an insight into Sith lore and Sith training. With Kylo training Rey under the watchful eyes of Snoke. It get’s revealed that Snoke is an ancient being that neither believes in the Dark nor the Light, but tries to fuse both sides to gain ultimate power. He used to be a Sith apprentice that saw the weakness in the Dark side as much as in the Light side. A great moment to bitch about the lame Jedi and the weak Sith in the Prequels: “All they did was talking about trading agreements” Hahahaha, take THAT George!!!
Swipe back to Poe and Finn on their mission. No damn casino planet, no kids with broom handles, no cute CGI aliens! We are in a Jabbas Palace / Cantina situation: Dirt, danger and freaky aliens. Ultimately they start talking to some Mon Calamari. Poe tells them that Ackbar died and the Resistance is fucked. The Mon Calamari take Poe and Finn to a secret rebel base that has been dormant for years. Oh shit… it’s the water planet of Kamino! They build the Calamari resistance in the derelict Clone Trooper facility! Ok I know, we all don’t want to think about the Prequels, but they are canon and won’t go away! So we might as well try to make them retroactively cool! So if you rather wanna pick Geonosis or a destroyed Naboo… be my guest!
After some motivational speech they dust off all the abandoned rebel tech and we have a strong rebel strike team going back to save the rebellion! Queue to some amazing Rebel ships from the Prequels and OG trilogy appearing out of the water ( they are supposed to be vintage anyway ) and heading towards the last rebel ships.
Switch to Snoke, Kylo and Rey on the Sith planet.
Kylo pretends to turn to the light and we get the epic Rey / Kylo team up, battling Snoke. Through fusing their powers they defeat him and we get a nice grisely death scene.
We cut back to Luke who feels Snokes death. We get a connection between Luke and Kylo as well where Luke feels Kylos burning rage. Luke sits meditating, not sure what to do. Now we get Force ghost Yoda, and they have a moment. Yoda calls out his pussy-ness and Luke sees that he has to wrap things up with Kylo himself.
We walks to the cliff and Force lifts his vintage X Wing fighter out of the damn sea!
Back to the Sith planet. They fly back to the First Order fleet and Rey thinks all is good. But Kylo just smirkes and tells her that with Snoke gone he can finally step into the footsteps of Vader and destroy the Rebellion!
We get some more dialogue between them where Kylo calls Rey weak and all the other insults a Dark Force user would hurl at a Jedi.
He walks onto the bridge and opens a channel to the Rebels, about to deliver an epic last dialogue. But guess who is on the bridge answering the call? FUCKING LUKE SKYWALKER!!!
Luke apologizes for being weak and failing him, for letting fear rule him. He urges Kylo to fulfill his destiny on the light side and talks about how he saved Vader. We get an epic flashback of the the scene in ROTJ where Luke lifts Vader helmet ( now that sounds wrong ).
Kylo gets super emotional and basically screams “destroy the Rebels once and for all”! Lasers fire, Tie Fighters attack… and Luke fucks them all up with some EPIC Force powers. Basically some crazy next level shit like in that Star Wars game where we see the Force push two Star Destroyers into each other. It needs to be completely a HOLY SHEEEET moment. This is where we could use that great Hyperjump Kamikaze effect… or something.
Just when Luke is at the end of his powers we get the Mon Calamari rebel fleet arriving and an epic space battle commences. Kylo chokes Rey and taunts Luke to come over if he wants to save his apprentice. Luke, visibly shaky, agrees.
Whilst the battle rages in space we get a showdown between Luke and Kylo, with Luke rocking his GREEN lightsaber. But as he used up all his powers he is no match for Kylo. We get the “If you strike me down” line and Luke does an Obi Wan Kenobi disappearing act with Kylo slicing right through him.
Back to the space battle…
The rebels are successful fighting off the First Order. Hux comes running to Kylo, telling him that a retreat is necessary.
We pan to Rey who is full of anger and rage, holding the smoldering cowl of Luke. When Kylo turns around we see her picking up Lukes lightsaber, attacking Kylo full blast. During the fight we see Rey totally giving into the Dark side, hammering down Kylo. After he lies on the floor begging for his life, we see Rey lifting her head and we get a close up of her Sith eyes. BOOOOOOOOOOMMMMM!!!!!!
Cut to the Rebellion celebrating their victory, with the First Order disappearing into Hyperspace. Whilst everyone is cheering on the bridge, Finn looks to where the First Order disappeared and yells out: Rey!
THE END, ROLL CREDITS!!!
Now tell me that would not be a better movie than what we have…