This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Collin Taylor’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
I didn’t re-watch this film. However, I want to use this post to address the complaints about the film. With this, I will be taking all of the fan’s issues and telling you why I defend some of the choices of this film. Let’s do this. Many spoilers are ahead.
1. Snoke’s Death
I think the way Rian Johnson handled this was absolutely terrific. No-one expected to Snoke to die in this film and absolutely no-one was speculating this. Snoke is powerful, so how did he die? Johnson makes it clear that Snoke has physical power over everyone here. However, his death led to his cockiness and over-confidence in himself. When Snoke dies, you realize that Kylo is supposed to be the big baddy of this series. Kylo ends the film taking the job as Supreme Leader. This can take Kylo’s character in an even more interesting direction because his leadership skills could be tested.
2. Luke’s Death
This was the exact way I would want Luke Skywalker to go out. His death was incredibly beautiful, symbolic and peaceful. If Luke was there to fight Kylo Ren and just got stabbed by a lightsaber like Han did, there would’ve been no power to it. The fact that Luke toys with Kylo and doesn’t even fight him shows the power in it all. Luke is merely the distraction as he sacrifices himself to save the rest of the Resistance. Him dying in the front of the suns was a poetic end to Luke’s journey. And yes, I guarantee Luke will be back in Episode IX as a force ghost for sure.
3. The Themes
I’ve seen a lot of people complain about this line from Rose, “It’s not about fighting what you hate, it’s about saving what you love.” To be honest, I was really unsure about this part the first time I saw this. Now, I truly realize the whole purpose behind it. Luke doesn’t fight Kylo, he saves the Resistance. Holdo crashes the ship against the First Order to save the Resistance from total annihilation. Poe thinks fighting is the answer throughout the whole movie. He doesn’t think about the Resistance soldiers at the beginning and instead thinks about taking down the ship. At the end, Poe finally learns not to fight. He decides to find a way for the Resistance to get out of Crait instead of flying out to help Luke. I also believe this film is about failure. The mission with Rose and Finn completely fails. Poe fails to listen to rules. Luke failed Kylo Ren and hope in the Galaxy. Yoda says this in his scene in that failure drives people. The Canto Bight isn’t completely unnecessary because the film is about failure. Getting a different codebreaker and entrusting DJ led to even more failure.
4. The Character of Luke Skywalker
I loved the character of Luke in this film. After 30 years, you just have to take this character in a new direction. Luke being vulnerable and broken is powerful and deserved. The story behind Luke trying to kill Ben is what a lot of people are complaining about. I think this moment was incredibly shocking. Luke saw into Kylo’s mind and saw pure evil. Luke didn’t want another Vader or Sidious, and he didn’t want to feel responsible for Kylo ever gaining power. Luke has this brief moment of instinct only to regret it before it’s too late. This scene makes Luke more human and deep as a character.
5. THERE’S NO ROMANCE
Why are Star Wars fans about a “forced romance?” There is no romance in this film. Finn and Rose wasn’t a romance. Rose’s moment when she kissed Finn isn’t supposed to be romantic. Finn even becomes surprised by the kiss. Rose is incredibly insecure and crushes on Finn. She takes her moment with him to kiss him. We don’t where this will go and it isn’t a romance.
6. NO LIGHTSABER DUELS
Eat a dick to whoever who is complaining about this. REALLY? That’s your complaint. I think you missed the point of the last part with Luke and Kylo. Luke didn’t come there to duel with Kylo. He came to piss him off and stall The First Order, so that the Resistance can get away. Luke deciding to go all out on Kylo and do 465 backflips in the air while swinging his lightsaber would be ridiculous and against the film’s themes. Wasn’t the throne room scene good enough for you?
7. Captain Phasma’s Death
Captain Phasma was never supposed to be an important character. She looks cool, but she’s barely involved in any of the stories. The only character she truly has an arc with was Finn which ends when Finn outbests her in a fight. Stop acting like she was important because she wasn’t.
8. Rey’s Parents
Imagine how boring it would’ve been if Rey was a Skywalker, Kenobi, Palestine, Solo, etc. Why can’t Rey just be someone new? Why must everyone be related to each other? Rey’s parents being junkers and nobodies is unpredictable and right for the character. This reveal has been teased since the beginning. If you watch the last trailer for The Force Awakens, Rey even calls herself a nobody. One of the new things of The Last Jedi is that anyone can be Force-sensitive. It’s almost like the force has become some sort of destiny call which I really like. The people complaining about this wanted her to be related to someone and making 1,000,000 fan theories about it just let themselves down.
9. The Humor
If this movie didn’t have humor, people would complain. When this movie does have humor, people complain. The jokes aren’t revolutionary, but they work for this universe. Are you so blinded by the original films that you don’t even think about the many cheesy jokes they have? Star Wars has always had humor in it. Here’s a quote from a real IMDB review: “The Last Jedi adds too much unnecessary humor that takes away from the seriousness that is Star Wars.” No, this isn’t a joke. Since when has Star Wars ever been serious? It’s a space opera about family and power. But, it also has people waving glowing swords at each other. Villains in Halloween costumes, a magical force that you can lift stuff with, a little green guy that somehow is one of the most powerful things ever. Star Wars isn’t serious. It can have serious elements, but it will always be a fun franchise that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
The Last Jedi is a film that is really polarizing. Rian Johnson took this franchise in a very unexpected way, and I think it shocked lots of people. This film is what this franchise needed. It isn’t perfect, but it’s the perfect Star Wars movie. Your childhood isn’t ruined. Your life isn’t over. In the end, it’s a movie. If you don’t like the direction this film went in, that’s completely understandable. Bitching about this film non-stop without providing substantial critical backup is horrible. We’ll see how it goes down, but this film has gotten quite the amount of hate. Thank you for reading!