This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Simon’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the most controversial film since mother!. When I sat in my seat the 13th of December, I would never have guessed that. Never in a lifetime.
It posseses what every decent Star Wars film has. Unpredictable plotline, decent writing except for some moments, exceptional treatment of the characters, and the trilogy's plot moved forward etc. It also has it's bad things.
Some cinematography is bad, there was a dolly shot I hated during the first battle where it switched between characters where they all said something horribly written. Talking about the writing, 10-15% of it was bad. There was so many jokes there should not have been there, but there was some really funny ones too, like Leia telling C3PO to wipe out that smile of his and he stands there not knowing what to do. I have a wellness for R2D2, BB-8 (a "character" I'm grateful for we have been given in TFA and TLJ) and C3PO honestly, but most of the dialogue is great. On my first watch, I thought some of Finn, Rose, Hux and DJ's lines were poor, but not anymore. I wasn't a fan of Finn and Rose's story first on, but this time I liked that there was many different stories to follow, and the many jumpcuts didn't annoy me, maybe because I this time around didn't have any expectations (it so many). Plus I really felt and admired how ambitious The Last Jedi was.
I'll get more into the good stuff later.
Now to something that makes me angry. I literally went to twitter and youtube the other night and read some negative tweets threating to kill Rian Johnson and read comments on some Youtube videoes.
I punched my hand into my bed a couple of times in anger. People misunderstands this film. That sounded pretentious, and even though some dialogue was bad and other aspects of filmmaking wasn't top notch, what The Last Jedi tells us has just been gone over many people's heads.
It's tough to be the second film in a trilogy. The first one created the hype, created questions and created mysteries. So of course with a trilogy like Star Wars, people wants answers to the questions. Answers to the mysteries. And many of them weren't answered, and that's a reason some are pissed.
I'll try to make it clear here and answer some common complaints and why I disagree. I will not act like my opinion is right, but his is what I believe in, and this is my perspective on this film.
It pisses on everything The Force Awakens build up:
This is something I personally liked. It was it's own, it was unexpected and it was rule breaking, something a Star Wars film never have been. Before seeing The Last Jedi, did you think Snoke was going to be killed off? No! There was created a certain hype amount his character for the worse I believe. Why would Kylo Ren have somebody over him anyways? Palpatine was in ANH, ESB and ROTJ just so Darth Vader and Luke could have an emotional ending together, otherwise there was no reason for him to be there. Many also critized Snoke for being too much as The Emperoer, and now everybody hates that The Last Jedi and the new trilogy tries to be it's own with not having an emperoer type.
It was too long:
I simply do not get this. Star Wars fans calls a Star Wars film too long. Maybe it was protracted, but think about this. We follow the stories of Rey and Luke, Finn and Rose, Poe and everybody on the base and a little about Kylo Ren. So every story had about 50 minutes each, plus and minus. I think that is fair.
So people have been calling Rose, DJ, Admiral Holdo and other new characters forgetable. I personally cannot do anything but shake my head on that one. If you want it to be or not, Admiral Holdo shaped TLJ. Rose and DJ shaped it too, and I'm sure DJ will have a big influence on IX. They may be forgetable but you'll remember the story, a story which was shaped by "the forgetable characters".
So this one I can feel the complainers, but you must have had a bad day to let that ruin it for you. It fills in so little of the story and half of them were kinda funny, or should I say over average for blockbuster films.
Luke's treatment was maybe the best part of the film. He was filled with sorrow, things he'd do different if he could, sad and to top it all, he lost faith in mankind because of wrong decisions. I had never expected to see this side of such a single layered character before. His death was beautiful. If you didn't like it, what would you have prefered, the same death as Han Solo, in a battle? A character that iconic dying in such peaceful sunrise was beautiful and I couldn't be happier about how that turned out.
Your expectations and theories were wrong:
I have had the idea that many people hate it because it doesn't answer all of your questions, and proved your theories wrong. Too bad about Snoke being killed off and you had been guessing who he was since the day you watched The Force Awakens. And Rey's parents. For the first time in Star Wars' history, the main character ain't the son or daughter of the greatest Jedi ever. And I'll promise you, IX will answer everything. Be glad how rule breaking (yes) and unexpecting it was!
Plot holes like
Leia could fly
Rey passing training too easy
Luke, who before saw the light in Darth Vader, wanting to kill Ben Solo:
Okay Leia using the force was beautiful. We have always known she had the force, so why don't people appreciate that sequence?
Personally, I didn't find Rey's skills any different from The Force Awakens so that's a stupid complain too, blame TFA there
And Luke seeing the dark in Ben and then wanting to kill him was great, and that's why Luke hid on that island and was so emotional messed up.
The Last Jedi is the most ambitious Star Wars film ever, and one of the darkest, and it's such a shame that because some things didn't go after people's heads and expectations, they'll have to hate it. The Force Awakens was too similar, and The Last Jedi was too different. What does everybody even want these days?