Ok so I watched The Last Jedi today. I do love Star Wars so I was damn hyped, especially with all the rave reviews comparing this film to Empire Strikes Back and throwing 5 Stars all around. And when even Arthouse lovers like Mark Kermode and Little White Lies give the latest sequel the stamp of approval it feels warranted to get excited.
I must say I really, REALLY enjoyed The Force Awakens. I watched it four times in the cinema and it always held up. I didn’t mind that it was basically a rehash of A New Hope, I just enjoyed the fact that JJ managed to recapture the magic of Star Wars and wash away the bitter taste of the shitty prequels.
Yet I left the cinema today underwhelmed, and the longer I think about it the more I’m actually getting pissed off. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for giving new directors a shot at Star Wars and I am actually happy JJ didn’t do The Last Jedi. He is great with relaunching franchises, but not so great at continuing them. For example I really loved his Star Trek reboot, but hated the sequel Star Trek Into Darkness as it showcased that JJ is unable to craft anything new himself without clinging to the past.
“Let the past die. Kill it if you have to. It’s the only way to become who you meant to be.”
These wise words uttered by evil space emo Kylo Ren feels like the mantra director Ryan Johnson applied to directing this movie: The way he chopped off story threads and ended characters could be seen as daring, but for me it just felt like bad storytelling and a big fuck you to the audience.
Don’t get me wrong, the movie was kinda ok. But exactly like Bladerunner2049 there was no new epicness and weight added to the already existing lore. Just a couple of jokes and cool effects.
Without getting too sophisticated here , let me just unleash my inner Dark Side and slice through this thing! Maybe we have to let the past die. Maybe we need to grow up and acknowledge that nothing will ever be as iconic as the original trilogy. Maybe we should just stop trying to chase that first high A New Hope gave us back in the days!
Let’s be honest: THE PREQUELS ALL SUCKED! They were a heap of smelly CGI turd. ALL OF THEM! They stained and damaged the glory of the original trilogy even more than the horrible meddling of George Lucas with the original films that came after! So actually I don’t care about Lucas anymore and his opinions about Star Wars.
The other thing that I need to get off my chest is the practice of trying to fix weak storylines and plot holes with a slew of accompanying books… FUCK THIS ALSO! Either you make the story work in the movies or GTFO! I am not excusing sloppy writing with “Duuude you should have read the Prequel Book… they totally explained it there!” BOLLOX TO THAT!
After getting this off my chest let’s jump straight to the new movie and my grievances…
WARNING, *SPOILERS AHEAD*…
Ok so where do I start. Maybe with what I liked: I liked grumpy Luke, I LOVED the Yoda puppet. I love Kylo Ren and Rey. I love how they use practical effects and retro visuals to give us the Star Wars feeling back. And the Hyperspace Kamikaze attack from Vice Admiral Holdo had everyone in the cinema gasping. I loved how they explained why the always overacting doucebag General Hux was still kept around. So yeah, some nice touches there.
Unceremoniously killing off Snoke without giving any insight into his backstory or deal SUCKED.
Having Leia doing some Superman stuff by surviving in space and casually floating back to the starship SUCKED. Especially as there no intrigue. There was no build up and no explanation.
Having Luke basically not train Rey but a bit but not really but a bit again was so underwhelming and SUCKED.
Rey pointless decent into the “Evil Zone” to find… nothing? SUCKED
Finn SUCKED, Rose SUCKED and their whole adventure on that Prequel Casino Planet SUUUCKED and pulled me straight back into the nightmare that is the prequel trilogy. Oh and Phasma? SUCKED!
I’m tired of Poe doing his “hot headed pilot” thing in every scene he is in. I’m tired of Finn as he is basically the Jar Jar of this new trilogy: Completely pointless. And all this added on crap about animal cruelty, Roses family story and that totally forced romance… SUCK SUCK SUCK!
I’m tired of the whole “Oh they got weapon X, we need to blow it up!” “Damn, now they got weapon Y, we need to blow it up also!” Really dudes? Let me guess… does it have a weakness? Is there an exhaust pipe? DO WE NEED TO BLOW UP THE REACTOR CORE? Seriously: First it was the Dreadnaught ship, then it was the tracking device and ultimately it was that gun on the fake Hoth planet. YES! HOTH! Just because you mix some red in there it doesn’t distract from the fact that you ripped off Empire!
Reys “Put a shirt on” joke in the middle of an intriguing scene SUCKED
The wannabe funny alien nuns on Lukes Planet SUCKED.
All the new ship designs SUCKED too. Seriously… no iconic shapes, everything blocky and whatever.
AND CHEWIE SHOULD HAVE CONTINUED EATING THAT ROASTED PORG!
Damn that looked tasty…
So what would I have liked better? What was my expectation?
I would have liked to know more about Snoke and the goal of The First Order apart from just being evil. At least the Emperor had the Sith thing going. But Snoke? Who was this guy? What was his connection to the Force? Wasted…
Same for Rey. I would have enjoyed some Jedi training, some insight into the Jedi culture. Some cool Luke monologues. Same goes for Kylo Ren. So how come he turned? Why was he in contact with Snoke although he trained with Luke? How did he grow up during the time after the Emperor was defeated. How did the First Order form? And where are the Sith in all of this?
I fear there is really nothing deeper here then some cheap story beats and killing off the legendary characters of our childhood. I fear that the next sequel will make it painfully obvious that there hasn’t been a strong vision for a story arch that’s unfolding in a satisfying manner over the time of a trilogy.
Talking about a satisfying trilogy: Each part of the original movies added new and exciting characters and story beats. So much iconic material! Maybe certain films just have their time. Trying to recreating the magic will ultimately fail.
If The Force Awakens felt like rekindling a love affair with a past lover, The Last Jedi feels like the week after where you realize you are clinging onto some old emotions of the past and it’s time to move on.
So maybe we Nerds need to let the past die. Accept that what has been will never come back.
I do want the new movies to be good, I want them to succeed. But the Last Jedi didn’t feel like it opened the mythology up, it felt like it shut it down in the most nihilistic way possible.
Anyway… let’s see how they wrap it all up in two years.
May the Force be with us until then!