The Skywalker Saga: The Last Jedi

The Last Jedi is the Disney sequel to A Force Awakens and was directed by Rian Johnson compared to the last movie which was directed by JJ Abrams.

Right off the bat, I want to say I enjoyed this movie a lot more than I thought I would. There were some scenes that felt unnecessary or out of place and characters that felt off, but overall, I enjoyed this movie.

At the time of release in 2017, the sequel faced a lot of criticism from fans all over the world. My voice wasn’t as loud as others, but I remember only seeing this film once and joining the crowd of haters. But after a rewatch, I definitely don’t feel the same way.

The introduction to the film wasn’t my favourite, I felt like they did a far better job in the Force Awakens. But I do like that they know the audience wants to see Luke, so why not show him at the very beginning.

Now Luke is a whole other story, his portrayal in this movie isn’t my favourite; he had better character in the holiday special than in this movie.

It’s the one big downside to this film, if they had nailed Luke, it could’ve been a really good Star Wars movie, but they completely butcher his character to the point that he’s unrecognisable.

Even the actor, Mark Hamill, has publicly stated his disappointment with the development of his character.

They really just miss the mark on what made the character good and why people like him, instead we get this washed-up hermit that hates people and the force.

His backstory is interesting, opening a Jedi school and training kids is a cool idea and very much a Luke thing to do. However, his part in the creation of Kylo Ren feels so far gone from the actual character.

Luke Skywalker, the Luke Skywalker, is deciding to kill a child because he fears the kid’s power. You’re telling me this is the same guy who wanted to go to Tosche Station to pick up some power converters?

Even if they had gotten every other character wrong, their priority should have been to nail Luke, he’s the face of the franchise, the one character everyone knows.

Though I did notice a call back to the Return of The Jedi, throughout this movie Luke is seen in dark clothing, black cloaks, etc. During the end battle with Kylo Ren, Luke throws away his cloak and we see the white of his shirt underneath.

It’s a nice touch.

Rey has improved greatly with this movie; she doesn’t appear in every scene but still plays a big part. I didn’t find her as annoying this time around and actually saw her as stubborn and enjoyable. Her chemistry with Luke is entertaining and I wish we could’ve scene more of it, some scenes of Luke training her with the lightsaber or telling her stories of the old days, that would have really solidified their friendship.

Her connection to Kylo Ren is still a sore point of the movie, which is a shame as a lot of the plot revolves around them. They have this weird love that’s very different from Han Solo and Leia and closer to Anakin’s and Padme’s.

I’d prefer it if they just stayed friends or if Kylo went on to train Rey when he was done destroying the galaxy, because as it is, the romantic angle doesn’t work.

Besides that, I feel that some of the characters who perhaps didn’t get a spotlight in the last movie do shine here. We finally get to see Fin do something, yet I still don’t like his obsession with Rey, give it a rest, she’s not feeling the same!

His friendship with Rose is charming, though I think he should’ve died at the end of the movie. The whole scene was set up that way and it would’ve worked really well, especially for the character. His final sacrifice is allowing the rebels to escape while he destroys the very thing he worked for.

It would’ve been a good send off, but alas, he was saved at the last minute.

Poe Dameron is another character I really didn’t touch on in my Force Awakens review, simply because there wasn’t much to say about the guy.

But after his larger role in this movie, it’s clear he’s the Han Solo of the new generation. He’s cool, he’s attractive, he has a loveable and charming companion, and he flies.

I love the story around the rebels escaping the first order, the seize of the rebel leaders and the amazing visuals that I’ll touch on later.

For me, the plot twist that Amilyn Hold was doing the right thing all along felt like it came from nowhere. At no point during any scene, she was in did it indicate that this was the original plan.

Not only does it leave the characters in the dark, but it also leaves the audience clueless as well.

Sometimes a good plot twist has to have a little context, you cannot introduce a character minutes before doing said plot twist.

But I will say the only thing I liked about the plot twist...plot, was the stunning visuals of the rebel’s ship going into hyperspace and slashing through the First Order’s cruiser.

The silence really added weight, it made you feel like although this was a noble sacrifice, the actual damage was more impactful.

Sound design is such an important part of the media business, if your movies sound is all over the place it can ruin a movie. Films such as A Quiet Place or Jaws do this really well.

A Quiet Place uses its sound as the enemy of the movie, that’s why when you hear it you know something bad is going to happen, likewise, it adds more tension to the scene.

Compared to a movie like Jaws, who uses music as a way to declare the enemy. Once you hear the iconic music of Jaws approaching, you’re on edge for the rest of the movie, because once you hear the song, you know he’s going to appear.

The Last Jedi has some great sound design moments, the way the music fades out when Rey and Kylo talk through the force, the deletion of sound during the hyperspace slice scene or even the slow fade of Luke’s theme as he passes.

It’s really well done and definitely something I noticed during my time watching.

Planets like Casino Bight are a step up from the previous movie, though it did stand out to me how little we see of aliens. Almost everyone who is a part of the Rebellion is human, I think I saw one alien during the final fight and that’s it.

They also ruin a lot of scenes with unnecessary comedy, it can be a serious scene with built up tension then they ruin it with a poorly placed joke or slapstick comedy; it doesn't work and really sticks out.

This is a problem throughout the movie.

Overall, The Last Jedi definitely didn’t deserve the hate it got. Yes, some scenes need a little work or total deletion. Yes, Luke Skywalker needs a total rehaul, but the movies are fun and full of action-packed adventure.

It’s got some beautiful imagery and sound and though the script isn’t entirely there and the whole movie went through development hell; it’s still pretty good.

The Last Jedi gets 4 out of 5 Porgs from me.

The Last Jedi is streaming on Disney+.

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