Was the Force really with us?
The time has finally come to dive into the Star Wars universe once more with the highly anticipated release, Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Fans all around the world have been waiting anxiously for the past two years to see our beloved hero Luke Skywalker join forces with the admirable new generation fighters Rey, Finn, and even Poe, to take on Kylo Ren and the mysterious shadowy figure, Supreme Leader Snoke.
Perhaps Luke says it best from the trailers, “This is not going to end the way you think”.
Well that’s for damn sure.
Perhaps the most beautiful and frustrating thing about The Last Jedi is that it completely takes a left turn, destroying almost everything that J.J. Abrams built from The Force Awakens to become something entirely different and stand on its own leaving even more questions and wonder for Episode 9, the finale of what we thought was the Skywalker saga.
So let’s start from the basics: picking up right after the last installment, we are given a great sequence of action and humor with our star fighter Poe Dameron as he tries to save the Rebellion from being destroyed as they make their escape. It’s a very promising sequence that leaves much hope for the rest of the film, however it soon starts mislead the audience when we finally see Luke. We should have known something was up as soon as he threw his lightsaber behind him off a cliff.
Forget the old Luke Skywalker you think you know; we now have a bitter old man who wants to hide away from the galaxy and not have a say of what happens to it. In fact, he wants the past to die, let the Jedi be no more and refuses to train Rey in her hopes to save the Rebellion and even help Kylo convert. As we find out later on, Luke is in fact this way because somehow he thought it was a good idea to murder a student (a young Ben Solo) in his sleep because he sensed the darkness in him. Why would he think this is okay? Given he said he had a split second instinct that made him think that way, it is still hard to wrap our heads around that the hero we grew up with could give into such a thought.
One of the best and most interesting ideas about The Last Jedi however, is that Kylo is in fact conflicted with himself and perhaps wants to become something better. Communicating to Rey through the Force, he seems to have thoughts and questions about what his part in all of this. When it finally comes down to it, he chooses to save Rey and split Snoke right in half, ultimately choosing his own path with the Force. Needless to say, what the hell??
WHY would such a mysterious and powerful figure like Snoke be built up and played out the way he was, just to be chopped down without giving us any information on who he is, what he can do, or what his overall plans are. A brave and bold choice for writer/director Rian Johnson, we shall see if it really pays off with the next episode.
Finally, we have Finn, Poe, and General Leia. To sum it up quickly; Poe is pissed and tries to be a hero the entire movie during the slowest galactic chase in history; Finn and his new friend Rose are off seeking a hacker to help save the Rebellion which ultimately ends up somehow riding these bull-like creatures through a city leaving a path of destruction; and Leia is somehow Superman. Not really, but it was definitely an awkward scene of her flying through space after the bridge of her ship was blown up.
Let’s not entirely bash on The Last Jedi. It has great moments; it is shot beautifully, the acting is spot on, the action and humor is both equally balanced and fun, the Star Wars lore is there and is truly another great Star Wars story. BUT, for the fans who have been questioning all the moments in The Force Awakens and have been waiting patiently to find out who Snoke is, who Rey’s parents are (sorry folks, nothing special there either), and filling the void of Luke again, can and will be disappointed. As of right now, the critic ratings on the film are fantastic; the fan’s ratings, not so much.
Rian Johnson has presented us a new story and took it in a new direction to show that there is much more in the galaxy than what we have been wanting or expecting. There are other people out there with Force abilities, new hope for the Rebellion, and now an even angrier Kylo Ren as the new Supreme Leader of the First Order. Luke vanishes with the Force as his former masters did, and we are left with almost a new slate for the finale of the trilogy. What will it become? Who will be left and guides the galaxy in the right or wrong direction?
Let us know what you thought about The Last Jedi, and if it’s truly the next BEST Star Wars movie, or the next WORST one.