I saw The Last Jedi on Friday last week and, like a lot of Star Wars fans, I came out stunned and confused. I liked it but it did not quite feel like a Star Wars film, more a film with some Star Wars elements in it. It has taken me a few days to assimilate what happened and to help me do that I have read a few fan comments. The more I think about the film and the more I have read comments about how it ‘sucked’ the more I like it. What gets me most is the amount of questions fans that hate the film are asking, most of which are clearly explained in the film or by looking at previous films. This has got me frustrated, so to get things off my chest I am going to answer some of the questions with what I see the answer as. Before we go ahead, here is the old spoiler banner…
Anyway, on with the questions…
Why does Leia use the force to float into a spaceship?
I know other people hated this but it actually gave me tingles. She is a force user and strong with force, although not trained. Why can’t she survive in space and fly herself back into a ship? I thought it was cool. I was more distressed by them killing Admiral Ackbar!
How can they make Luke such a moaning hobo?
He thinks he is single-handedly responsible for Ben’s defection to the dark side, that he has somehow created Kylo Ren. Some people say he would not act like that, that he is a Jedi and would do the right thing, that somehow they are destroying his character by making him exile himself. I for one think it adds to the character, Luke is great and what makes him so likable, apart from the fact that Mark Hammill is cool, is that he is not perfect. Remember in Return of the Jedi that he needs to strike down the Emperor in cold blood to turn to the dark side. He did try to do that and was only stopped by Vader. Remember also when Vader says that if Luke won’t turn he will go after Leia, well Luke aint happy and really goes for Vader. He sometimes looses control, remember he does have a large part of his father in him. I think Luke considering killing Ben for a split second then changing his mind is exactly the sort of thing that his character would do.
I do feel sorry for Luke though as there are some horrible scenes he is in, particularly that one where he milks the four teeted water alien for green milk. I was saddened when I saw the scene, it was so silly. I get why it was included, to show how far Luke had fallen. And to be fair we do milk cows so it is not all that strange. I just personally thought it was a bit too far.
The next argument about Luke is this idea of him wanting to end the Jedi, that he now thinks the Jedi are just dreamers who think the force is for them. If you listen carefully to what he says it is clear that he feels that by having the light side in the Jedi, a dark side will always come up to meet it. Luke has not only exiled himself through guilt but to make sure the Jedi do not continue and as such, when the light side dies so does the dark side. Remember that every major incident involving the dark side rising to power has been, in part, affected by the Jedi. The Jedi supported Palpatine at first, they trained Anakin and gave in to Palpatine’s request, now Luke has trained Ben and been the cause of him turning to the darkside. I think it is Rey that makes him realise that even without the Jedi there will be light and dark, even with him in exile a warrior of light has risen to meet the darkness.
So all in all Luke is not so much running away as doing what he thinks is right to save the galaxy. I don’t get why people are so upset by that, the hero becoming a legend then disappearing and when needed is an unwilling skeptic is a pretty common storyline in films these days and as far as I see it, added to the character of Luke.
Why doesn’t the First Order just use other ships to cut off the Resistance ships?
That is a good question which I think is best described by a line Hux says then Snoke laughs about, “we have them at the end of a string.” That is exactly what this chase is, it is the First Order toying with the Resistance, watching them slowly collapse, like a cat playing with a mouse. And as we know with all cocky people, they get their comeuppance in the end, in this case some of the Resistance escape.
Why kill Snoke, we don’t even know who he really is?
Now I agree they could have done more with Snoke, his character had such intrigue and there were many theories about him. Even I had an idea about Snoke. It seems I was wrong, oh well! In fact I could still be right. But even though I don’t think he should have been killed, I can see that it was to move Kylo Ren’s character on and make him the main evil in the galaxy. He has been swinging between dark and light but killing Snoke was his final choice, and he chose the darkness.
Since seeing the movie I have also heard of a theory that came from a Star Wars comic. In the comic Palpatine can move his consciousness from his own body into a cloned version of his body. These clones decay quickly but allow him to stay alive. Could this be true of Snoke and in fact he is Palpatine, maybe he wanted Ren to kill him so he could move to a younger body? The same comic contains dreadnought class starships and Luke astrally projecting himself using the force, both of these are in The Last Jedi. It is now starting to feel like Disney have made some expanded universe stuff non-cannon so they can use the ideas in future films!
Is that it? Rey has no connections to other characters
I really hope it is, it was a breath of fresh air to say that she was a nobody, that she was not connected to any other character. Not everyone has to be connected, no-one asks about Poe or Hux’s parents, they do not have to be connected to any previous characters so why does Rey? It does not matter if her parents were not force sensitive, it could be an ability from earlier on in her bloodline or some new mutation. This stuff happens in the real world, well not with the force but some children are really tall compared to their parents or are athletic where their parents were much more academic. I really don’t think this is something to get hung up about, also Ren could have been lying to make Rey feel more alone so she stayed with him out of feelings of being wanted by someone, then they could rule the galaxy together.
What was the point with the Canto Bight mission?
I don’t have a problem with Canto Bight, it is clearly a metaphor for how the rich make their money and a dig at Hollywood, but in Star Wars terms it is a cantina scene. Most Star Wars films have them. Yeah some of the aliens are a little weird, but there were some strange ones in A New Hope. I also like that it is a pointless mission, not every mission the good guys take on has to be a success. It was a little bit of fun in the middle of the film that brough Finn and Rose closer together.
Why didn’t Luke just get off the island?
Firstly he does not need to and secondly it would be more dangerous if he does. That shed load of fire the astral projection takes would have wiped the real Luke out. I see the whole point of Luke appearing at the end to allow the Resistance to escape. Also what would happen if Ren had actually killed Luke? I think Luke feels this would cement Ren’s path to the dark side, by Luke dying peacefully Ren will not feel the guilt of killing him and thus there is still a chink of light inside him. Yeah that sounds a little farfetched but would work. I was really hoping that Luke was going to be seen raising his X-Wing in a link to The Empire Strikes Back then flying in and blowing up the cannon at the last minute. But hey, that didn’t happen. Still it was cool seeing him coming in at the end to save the day even if it is not the way I would have done it.
Where is the character development?
I am actually struggling to understand this question, look at the path Luke takes. How Rey is pulled toward the dark side but resists it in the end. The way Ren is deciding if he should convert to the light only to choose darkness in the end. How Poe is a cocky so and so that gets a lot of people killed but realises in the end that this is not the correct path. And Hux when, no actually Hux is just very shouty, he is a pantomime villain, I should hate that but I really like it. I actually love the bit where Poe is trolling him at the start. So yeah, there is a lot of character development.
Why is there so much silly humour?
There is a lot, too much in my opinion, but I have to say that most of it is pretty funny. Watching Chewie going to eat a porg whilst other porgs squeal and cry, seeing Finn get tazered and watching Rey annoy the caretakers as she destroys buildings and parts of the landscape give a bit of a comic relief. I understand that the film works without it and that much of the humour is hit and miss but I would not say it ruins the film. Although I would like less humour in Episode IX.
How can they move forward from here? This is the end of a trilogy not the middle part
Did you not see the end of the movie. The phrase, “we are the spark, that will light the fire that will burn the First Order down,” is said so many times and this pretty much sums up the end of the movie. The Resistance are calling in favours from anyone who is loyal to them, they are inspiring younger people who are oppressed, they are basically rebuilding. In fact I would say that Episode IX will be set some years later with the First Order in charge of the universe and the Resistance ready to strike out again. Maybe we will have a new Jedi Order trained by Rey and force ghosts, I am still holding out for their being a spirit council with the force ghosts of Luke, Yoda, Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, Mace Windu and Anakin that guide Rey through her training and the setting up of a new Jedi Order. Rian Johnson even stated that it would be interesting to see a dark side force ghost, could we be getting Supreme Leader Kylo Ren being haunted by Snoke’s ghost, sending him more and more mad? There are plenty of paths to take and plenty of questions to still explore. I am most excited to see who Ren’s apprentice will be, remember, “always two there are, no more, no less, a master and an apprentice.”
The questions I really want answered!
After watching the film and considering if for a few days they are still a few questions I would like answered, maybe this well be done in Episode IX, maybe it is me being stupid and they are answered already…
- What are the Knights of Ren? We have heard a lot about them but never seen them, or are they the praetorian guards? I hope not, but where are they in both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi?
- What happened to the Jedi trainees that escaped? Are they still with the resistance, are they scattered across the galaxy? I had a theory that Rey was one of them and that others needed to be awakened but, again, I guess I’m wrong. Or could it be that they were working with Ren and are actually the Knights of Ren? I am sure Episode IX will explain this.
- When Hux reaches into his coat to kill Ren, what is he reaching for? I take it that this is a gun but it looked to me to be a lightsabre. I really need to watch the film again and take a closer look. I read somewhere that Snoke has trained more than one apprentice, could Hux be that other apprentice? Could his over the top dastardly villain actually be a rouse? Is he a Sith hiding within the First Order? Or is it just a blaster he reaches for? Who knows, not me.
So finally, I will say this about The Last Jedi, it was definitely flawed but I am happy with the film overall. It did not go the way I expected but that does not make it bad. I can understand the frustrations of some fans but I agree with the sentiment that Star Wars fans are hard to please. Some say The Force Awakens was too much like old Star Wars and the The Last Jedi not enough like old Star Wars, basically people need to make up their mind what they want. I for one like to be shocked and when they killed Snoke I was definitely surprised. My only real gripe is how much they wasted the character of Phasma, but then again she could have somehow survived, I just don’t know how!