Some Thoughts On Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Today, Star Wars: The Last Jedi came out on Digital HD and I thought I would share some thoughts on the film since I didn't get to blog about it in its original release.
I will be spoiling things, so if you haven't seen the film yet (and why haven't you?), this is your SPOILER WARNING.
I've heard so many people say that older Star Wars fans tensed to hate the film. But, I can attest as somebody who watched A New Hope in the theater over 100 times back in the 70s and all the Star Wars FILMS and animated series countless times since then, I thoroughly enjoyed the film.
Admittedly, the first time I watched it, I was so tense because I knew, with Carrie Fisher's death, that they would have to address is somewhere during the film. So, around every corner, I wondered if she would be reaching her demise. I remember the destruction of the bridge when most of the Resistance leadership was killed. You could hear a pin drop in our theater as everybody thought that was it. So, I breathed a sigh of relief to see Leia tap into the Force and save herself.
I have heard people complain about the new trilogy not using the Force properly. I find it utterly ridiculous that people seem to know exactly how it works. When I first watched Star Wars, we had no idea what the Force was and what it could do. All we knew was that "...it's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together."
So, who says Leia couldn't float.
In fact, The Last Jedi reinforces the fact that the Force is not defined by one particular thing and that it was the hubris of the Jedi Council to think that they could do so. I like the fact they broke the Force back down to its fantastic mystical roots of the original trilogy rather than the science technical one of the prequel trilogy.
I was actually glad that Leia didn't die in the film, yet the film had several moments, whether serendipitous or not, to say goodbye to our favorite Princess/General.
A lot of people complained about Luke not acting the way Luke did. That he would never give up. But, again, he addresses this. He got swept up into the story of Luke the Legend in the way that the Jedi became dependent on their own Legend. This causes blind spots. Luke is human with an ability to tap into a mystical energy and not a flawless god. For me, this was a natural part of his evolution and, in the end, he redeemed himself.
The other thing that I hear people getting upset about was that there was no back story for Snoke. Again, for me, in the original trilogy, we saw or knew very little of the Emperor. We didn't really learn about who the Emperor was and what his motivations were until later. And the reason it didn't matter was because he wasn't really the big bad. It was Darth Vader all the time. Just like with the new trilogy, Kylo Ren is the big bad, not Snoke.
Is the film perfect? No. There is always things you could improve. I would have loved to have seen more of Phasma and less of Canto Bight, but I thought there was a lot that was great. I think people can agree that the lightsaber battle in Snoke's throne room was amazing. I really enjoyed the way they developed the relationship between Rey and Kylo Ren. And I was at the edge of my seat when Luke "arrived" on Crait where he was briefly reunited with his sister and gave the remaining Resistance a chance to survive.
I definitely didn't think the film deserved to have a stupid petition created to remove it from continuity nor did I think director Rian Johnson needed to go on an explanation tour.
We also have to remember that this is the middle of a trilogy and not the end. I think that with all the movies, books, comic books, animated series and an incredibly campy Christmas special that we get mired in the mythology of what has come before. I find it refreshing that this new trilogy is trying to go down paths untread.
I, for one, am excited for the ninth chapter and to see what trilogy Rian Johnson will be developing next. In the meantime, I'm going to watch The Last Jedi on Movies Anywhere.