This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Brett Schutt’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
In defense of the Last Jedi, a conquest riddled with spoilers---
I will be looking at 8 specific points people are angry about from this website and be defending why its good (or even why I'm indifferent to it).
Oh oh oh Snoke. A lot of people had so many theories about emperor Snoke, who he could be, what power he could possess, what ways his character could e developed. Then, in one of last years best sequences of film, he's cut in two by a betrayal from Kylo Ren itself, and its oh so satisfying. I'm going to say it right here, Snoke shouldn't be more then a chaotic evil. We see in the world daily so many awful people who just want to concur to find self worth and belonging. There's nothing else to it. I believe if we got a full character arc on Snoke, it would actually take away some of the mystery surrounding his character which would result in the emperor not being nearly as terrifying as it is. Some things are better unsaid, and I would much rather have development on Kylo, my personal favorite Star Wars villain of all time, then Snoke. Kylo is actually interesting, misguided and pained but lashes out in evil to hide the fact he's a scared little kid. I would much rather see his development and him grow then some stupid theory on Snoke, a character you are just supposed to hate and that's it. What Rian Johnston has done so wonderfully is actually twist our expectations and give easy answers that are hard to accept, especially if you had your own vision for what it was going to be. Rian Johnston focused on making a good film before satisfying the needs of sweaty Star Wars fans and I have so much respect for that.
2. Floating Leia
Not gonna lie- if I have one problem with this movie, it's floating Leia. I think it's a little hammy, I'm not gonna lie. That being said, I remember first seeing the movie and thinking they had killed her right there and I was almost sobbing, and when the force caries her back on ship being so relieved, then later thinking, "wait, what?" So ehh, Rian still did a good job keeping me invested, and some of the more mystical sides of the force that will never fully be explained (or should be I'm looking at you metachlorians) and I'm fine with that. That moment is honestly a minor nitpick in one of the most refreshing and inventive blockbusters I've seen in a long time, I'm fine.
3. Rey's Parents
YES YES YES. L O V E I T! J.J. sure knows his way around a mystery box, proposing the question of who's Rey's parents actually were. Here's the thing, no matter freaking what people would have been let down by the revelation because it was discussed so much. If it was Luke's child, that would have been wayyy too easy. Like with Snoke, Johnston is able to give us an easy answer that also doesn't give us a simple solution. Early on in the film, Luke goes, "Rey, from nowhere." Rey is nobody important, she doesn't have any blood, there's no reason she should have the force but the force chose her. That's way more powerful then her being connected by the force because of a blood line, I think that would take away from her growth as a character and make it harder for an audience to latch onto. We as an audience love an underdog because we are the underdogs in everyday life.
4. Luke Skywalker dies
Yup, the beloved character Luke is killed off, in a poetic and beautiful way? Why are people upset about this. Now he can chill with Yoda as a Force ghost and he went down in the most glorious fashion of all time, starting the spark of the new Rebel alliance and facing the enemy he was involved in creating, showing that his mistakes will not define his legacy. So powerful and beautiful and so well told, someone deserves a pat on the back on how this entire conflict was handled.
5. Too Much Humor
Oh yeah, because I would much rather have everything be serious all the time, I don't like fun! Are you kidding me? Scruffy looking nerf herder? Power converters? Star Wars has always been silly and campy, since its inception. It's a look on science fiction romps yet is able to have actual heart, themes, good characters and amazing worldbuilding. That's why its the phenomenon it is now. If Star Wars wasn't funny or giddy, all the life and joy felt watching the films would evaporate. Look at the self serious Attack of the Clones for proof of that. Heck, more recently, Rogue One. I liked that movie but like, it's not as good as the original or new series is it? I don't think so. The humor fit and people need to actually- like have fun while watching movies sometimes. People complained about Guardians 2 being more an Improv show then a movie and now The Last Jedi gets critiqued for too much humor. What the actual heck- guys, movies can still be fun and funny and actually well told, epic and dramatic. If you want joyless movies watch something forgettable like Sicario and leave people who want to have fun alone. Okay, that's not fair, if you like Sicario that's fine- I'm just so sick of this being used as a flaw, a movie being funny, oh gosh oh no a movie has wit! If the humor didn't land or it took me out of the movie maybe it would be more of an issue but it really didn't.
6. Canto Bight
Okay, lets get into it. I've been defending this movie a lot, and I'm sure a lot of you are going to sit in anticipation to see how I defend this section of the movie. I won't lie, it's my least favorite section of the film, but, I still really enjoy it actually. I like that this film kinda does what Empire does and separates our characters and make them learn new things and take their own journeys. The stuff with Finn and Rose pays off at the end because of this entire section. Also, the stuff in this section really was visually really creative. People compared it to the prequels and I don't see it at all. I love the practical (and some CG) creatures running around hanging out at this Casino and kinda what the place means to Rose. I love how they are able to kinda connect an important theme in Star Wars in that section, to spark a new hope in the rebellion, to save the galaxy in more then one way. To inspire them and let them be free. Sure, it was a side plot but I do think it overall helps the theme come across later when Luke is talking to Kylo, so it helps propel the overall message across, which I appreciate. It also expands the universe in a cool way and is able to effectively get Poe and Rose in the final battle. It also shows that some of the plans these characters make to track someone or protect themselves will not always work. Heck, for Poe he somewhat sacrificed the plan and Laura Dern had to sacrifice himself because of it. This film so subverts expectations from what it sets up. Not everything works out so perfectly and you aren't always right if you are the hero. I think that's kinda fantastic and the entire point of Rose and Poe's Canta Bight mission being a failure actually helps me keep on edge wondering if everything will turned out as planned in the next one.
7. It didn't build off from Force Awakens
This is actually just an incorrect statement. It totally did. Sure, maybe not all the characters in the last film make much of an impact this time around, but, that's called a movie. Does Seamus in Harry Potter always have a moment where his character grows and he continues the plot? Of course not. As Star Wars fans, we have continued to but everything in so much dissection that we forget to realize that not everyone will have an arc because if that was so this movie would be a cluttered, unfocused mess.
8. It Wasn't Star Wars
Honestly, please please stop being this dumb if you believe this. Okay that's mean. Lets be real here- this Star Wars movie didn't exactly feel like one of the original trilogies and decided to do new things so now all of a sudden it isn't Star Wars. Did you see the Prequels, those weren't Star Wars at all.... We complain that The Force Awakens is too much like Star Wars and this isn't enough like it? Honestly make up your mind you stupid pathetic Star Wars fans. You can't have it both ways. Look, this is 40 years ahead of the original trilogy, of course its gonna feel a bit different. That being said, it directly connects back with the original trilogy (better then anything in the horrid prequel trilogy) has the same iconic music, some lore, same characters and even personality of those characters so much later, visuals, sounds- everything is there for Star Wars. If you don't think this feels like Star Wars, are you really watching Star Wars movies for the right reasons or just watching them as a pleasant distraction for lifes problems and wanting everything to stay the same?
Overall, round 2, this movie is still incredible and I truly think its the Empire Strikes Back of the new Star Wars universe and once the stupid backlash from people who don't know how to actually make movies goes away I think people will realize what this truly is- an epic masterpiece that deserves all the praise it will eventually get.
In a Galaxy Far Far Away.....