Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi ★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Oh boy.. I have so much to say... so much to unpack... 

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a crushing disappointment, not because it is a far worse film than The Force Awakens, but because as audience members we have become accustomed to and accepted inconsistent characters, lack of character development, and unfocused storytelling. Why is this something that is never discussed? 

There is so much wrong in this film that is just being completely glossed over. That being said, it is not a complete failure. On a technical aspect, this film is jaw-dropping. The visual effects married with the practical effects are a sight to behold. The score by John Williams is a marked improvement over the somewhat lazy The Force Awakens score.  The production and sound design is superb and deserves all the recognition it receives. The Snoke throne room scene is perfectly directed and stands as one of the best Star Wars actions sequences. Furthermore, Luke's scene with Yoda was extremely touching and I loved seeing their interactions.

Also, the acting is the best ever in the series, in particular that of Mark Hamill and Adam Driver. Luke Skywalker's scenes with Rey are some of the film's strongest moments and he imbues Luke with newfound wisdom, depth, and nuance that sometimes was missing in the original trilogy. Adam Driver's Kylo Ren has been the new trilogy's strongest character and he proves once again why he is so damn good. 

Ok... now that I have talked about all the good... I must talk about the flaws as well: the character and story inconsistencies for starters. While I don't mind suspending my disbelief in a world where people wield lightsabers and control energy using the force, there has to be some semblance of logic. Why does Luke who is willing to die to preserve the good within him and someone who was able to turn Vader to the good side, suddenly find himself in a "moment of weakeness" and want to kill Kylo? That could have been further explained with flashback that showed Luke seeing the darkness within him and then after struggling with himself, make the rash decision to kill Kylo. Luke's greatest flaw in the original trilogy was that he was impulsive and rash when it came to defending his family and friends. He abandons his training to save his friends on Cloud City. He doesn't fight Vader until after Vader threatens to turn Leia to the dark side. There was always character motivation and it was logical, but Luke's character makes little sense.

 Why does Poe, someone who in The Force Awakens was extremely caring and loyal to his comrades, suddenly lead his friends on a suicide mission? Why did General Hux, the second in command of the First Order, become reduced to comic relief? Why are we introduced to "light speed collision" in this film when the Rebels could have used this method before? Why did General Holda not mention the fuel transport mission to her crew, resulting in an unnecessary mutiny? Also, why did Leia not mention the salt mining planet before, rendering the Finn/Rose storyline useless? Oh right... because she was in a coma from using the force to breathe in space... wtf... Why did Kylo Ren and an entire army follow Snoke when he was so easily duped and killed? The build-up, the anticipation was all pointless. Although, I do really like that now Kylo Ren is the bad guy. 

Finally, we come to Finn and Rose. Why does this sequence even exist? I was perfectly content with the Star Destroyer consistently tracking the Rebel ships allowing for continuous intensity. The casino scene is so poorly done, right from the introduction of Rose to their escape of Benicio Del Toro's ship. There is even a small subplot of animal cruelty thrown in there for some odd reason. Every time we cut back to this storyline, the film halted. 

There is far more that I have not discussed, such as Luke's final appearance being a sort of whimper, the copious amount of suicide missions, and the sometimes unnecessary comedy relief. Regardless, this isn't a terrible film, by any means. There is much to like, and as a massive fan of the Original Trilogy it's a shame to see what has become of Star Wars, but the funniest thing is this will never stop my love for Star Wars. I will no matter what be excited for the next entry and always hope that we can truly get a great entry, but for now, I'll be settling with this unfocused mess. 

P.S While I do give this film a higher rating than you might insinuate from this review, it's because when a property I love as much as Star Wars disappoints me, I tend to talk more in depth of the film's flaws. When I see properties that I have followed for so long to then have their potential squandered, saddens me and i could easily see myself in the future disliking it even more.

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