I finally made it to see The Last Jedi in the theater today.  First off, thanks to those of you who provided the spoiler-free reviews.  It was much appreciated.  I’ll be dropping spoilers here though, so don’t hold back in the comments  Getting that out of the way, why is this movie getting so much hate?  I thought it was amazing.

Maybe this is unfair of me to do, but I have to compare it to Rogue One.  The reason I’m doing this is because I notice that many of the same reviewers who liked Rogue One are also ripping on The Last Jedi.  I’ll probably piss people off by saying this, but Rogue One isn’t even a real movie.  I mean that in the sense that the story is weak, the characters are unsympathetic and forgettable, and it was totally dependent on the goodwill brought about by nostalgia for the classic characters.  The whole thing sort of drags for a couple of hours just so we can get to watch Darth Vader go all Jason Voorhees on a bunch of guys.  The movie had a great finale but in terms of story, it was nothing but fan-fiction.

The Last Jedi was as different as it could be and it was fantastic.  Where Rogue One was a story that really didn’t need to be told, The Last Jedi is a continuation of the original trilogy and there’s new shit that happens.  The new characters have depth, learn things, fall in love, and do a bunch of other stuff that the Rogue One characters didn’t and it wouldn’t matter if they did on account of them all being dead.  The classic characters don’t carry the movie.  One of the themes is that they’re moving on.  Going away.  We’re breaking with the past.  Where the classic characters appear and do things, it serves the plot, not the “OMG! LUKE SKYWALKER GOTS HIS GREEN LIGHTSABER!  SQUUUUUUUUEEEEEE!” factor.

What about The Force Awakens?  Is anyone questioning that this was better than that?  I liked The Force Awakens and I was perfectly willing to accept that it was effectively a remake of A New Hope (or Star Wars for the old people among us).  A reboot-of-sorts was exactly what the Star Wars universe needed.  Anyone who doesn’t get that is still clinging to the idea that the prequels weren’t terrible and hadn’t crippled Star Wars by demystifying the Force and turning Darth Vader into a crybaby jerkass.  If Rogue One accomplished anything worthwhile, it was making Darth Vader scary again.

The Force Awakens reintroduced that world and set the basis for a new story with characters who, quite frankly, I like and find interesting (mostly Kylo Ren and Finn).  The Last Jedi put them into a situation where everything has been turned upside down, the old tropes don’t work anymore, and the stakes are arguably higher than they’ve been since the final act of Return of the Jedi.

Yet somehow, it’s still hopeful.  This is the biggest contrast with Rogue One.  It went all “dark” and that’s fine, I suppose, but it was also joyless and depressing.  The Last Jedi is more similar to my favorite movie (favorite movie, period, not just favorite Star Wars movie), Empire Strikes Back.  Yeah, that movie was dark too but the difference is that there was humor (beyond one autistic robot), romance (beyond the two main characters who can barely stand each other for most of the movie holding hands on the beach before dying), and there were some legitimate surprises and plot twists (Rogue One had neither, except I guess I was surprised that everybody got killed).  Empire and Last Jedi have all of this in common.

The Last Jedi was exciting and suspenseful for the most part.  Admittedly, it ran on too long, but I remember watching Rogue One a year ago and being horrified to realize about 25 minutes into it that I wasn’t enjoying it at all.  There was never a moment like that in this one.

So what’s the problem here, guys?  Why does The Last Jedi have such a bad audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes?  Was it that everybody sucked at their jobs?  Couldn’t be that, because everybody sucks at their jobs in Game of Thrones and that’s popular.  Besides, “failure” is the primary theme of the movie.  Everybody fails. Then they learn from it.

Maybe you’re peeved because the character of Luke Skywalker was badly handled to the point that even Mark Hamill is mad about it?  First, I’ll just say that I don’t agree with his politics, so I’m not obliged to agree with his opinion on the character he plays.  Yes, Luke almost kills a young Ben Solo in a moment that his worst instincts almost took over.  Unlike his father, he decided not to kill any kids.  Yes, it was hard to see him as a jaded old man so different from the idealistic young man we remember.  But I find it believable that someone like that could become more cynical over time, particularly in the face of (again) failure.  He had forgotten what he was supposed to be, but he found it again and made it count.  Was it the way he died?  I thought it was every bit as dignified as Ben Kenobi’s or Yoda’s, honestly.

What did you really want to happen?  Did you want to see Luke Skywalker show up and start Force-throwing First Order stormtroopers onto the ceiling in an extravagant and needless sequence that completely missed the point of the story?

Maybe it’s the feminism?  I have seen a few complaints about this on the Web.  Were the females too overpowered?  I’d be happy to have that debate.  I think the women all sucked at their jobs as much as the men did.  By the end, Poe was commanding everyone and Leia was telling everyone to go along with him.  Rose got rekt saving Finn because that’s what chicks do when they love you.  Rey most definitely did not kick Kylo Ren’s ass this time.  Men weren’t denigrated in this movie at all.

Set me straight here.  What was wrong with The Last Jedi?  It greatly exceeded my expectations.  It was as beautiful cinematically as Rogue One was.  The characters were strong and interesting.  It was an exciting and engaging story.  I’m an old school Star Wars fan and I legitimately rank it my #3 favorite of the movies, only behind ESB and ANH.

Why do some people hate it?  I don’t get it.

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Hoo boy, I was waiting for this post. Personally I loved the movie because of and despite the risks it takes. Some of the comedy was great, some of it didn’t land for me. I think the Casino plot veered a little into prequel trilogy areas for me. But it injected the Star Wars universe with some ambiguity, which makes me excited for the franchise again. The haters are saying that Ryan Johnson ruined Star Wars. I don’t think they’re right. I think the haters are mad because Ryan Johnson ruined the prequels. The prequels did 2 things to the… Read more »

The main thing that bothers me is seeing dead Carrie Fisher’s face in the film. It just seems creepy for some reason.

Aside from that, the characters were true to themselves, and Luke’s cynicism made sense, he was sort of like the anti-Kenobi, or maybe even what his father might have been.

Kylo is sort of clueless, and Snokes is just sort of there. They need a real heavy, like Thrawn.

Zurvan

Thrill…love ya. But you’re an idiot.

I’ll break it down for you to two things.

1) The entire plot is the worlds slowest police chase, where the police forgot that they had turbochargers on every single car and could jump up to or past the rebels and blow them up inside of 30 seconds.

2) Luke fricking Skywalker milking an alien sea cow.

Judge Dredd, Pro Se

I really enjoyed the movie and thought it was one of the most spectacular and creative use of the film medium in the Star Wars franchise. I think the people that criticize the film focus almost entirely on the beginning of the movie. I think it’s apt to point out that originally the movie had a washed up old baby boomer director trying to be relevant. It shows. I can’t be 100 percent sure that the shitty parts are all Howard but , let’s say I’m about 99 percent certain of which parts rian Johnson got told to suck it… Read more »

I think Luke and his family were like sharecroppers. They grew crops, not livestock. Why did they send TIE fighters into the asteroid field? Cannon fodder? Once they got the laser working, why didn’t the Death Star immediately target Care Bear world itself? For that matter, assuming the Rebellion was winning, why didn’t they find the unfinished Death Star II earlier? It’s pretty big, after all… Also dumb: Boba Fett being able to hide behind an asteroid and follow them without being detected in open space. Why didn’t the rebels have their own body armor? As for the Empire, they… Read more »

Judge Dredd, Pro Se

Idk about the Poe thing at the end, maybe you should explain it. I was on a rush by the end and missed it. However, one thing I noticed and wondered if someone else saw it the way I did…. was leia also an astral projection when she miraculously revived from her coma? We know Luke was an astral projection from the movie and the tell with the salt on the ground, however in the scene at the end when Luke and leia share a moment, Luke puts a memento in her hand. You remember the little charm, right? Kylo… Read more »

I was disappointing…. One issues, between my frigging terrible hearing and the fact that the theaters speaker were turned down, i could barely hear what was said though the movie.. Luke, putting him on the precipice of wanting to kill Ben, because he fears his strength and what he could be. Then turning him into a bitter old asshole that milks sea cows and hides from the universe. letting his failure go out and rampage across the galaxy. The Chase.. oh god, this was bad, STAR WARS was never big on correct military strategy ,but even my 12 year old… Read more »

ok off topic. Any one watch Bright yet?

pretty enjoyable…

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