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My Thoughts on The Last Jedi, Part 1

There’s much to love about the new Star Wars chapter – The Last Jedi. But before I post what I liked about it, I need to address the problems I have with the story. The film succeeds on many levels and has more going for it than just about any other SW film to date. However, in my writer’s mind, they botched the middle and the ending.

The middle is too long and the whole journey of Finn and Rose is largely just a political statement about how bad the one percent are. Politics aside, you can accomplish the same character arcs and the same plot points in less than half the time by just having them find the code breaker and leave – quickly. It would also help the time constraint that was created by having the Fleet stay out of range of bad guys. Because I for one started thinking about the Fleet when I was supposed to be feeling sympathy for wonder horses and slave kids. It would be even better if they found JD on another Resistance starship in the Fleet.

But what about the slave kids and the Walt Disney ending with Tinker Bell? Not needed. This is the middle film of a trilogy. It’s supposed to be a downer and you need to save the warm fuzzy hopeful message for Episode IX. This film subverts the audience’s expectations in many ways and I agree with all of them, but it does not need to offer much in the way of a happy ending or hope. It already has a Rey of hope and it botched her journey in the ending.

The second big problem is General Leia and Admiral Holdo. Their roles needed to be reversed. Leia should have been the one to drive the ship into the enemy super star destroyer. This act of bravery would have saved the Resistance and brought Luke back to the fight and his heroic ending. It would have left the Resistance with a new leader in Holdo and it would have been a great send off for both of the remaining original characters. Again, reinforcing the theme and providing an emotional punch that the film lacks in the third act. Also, given the unfortunate passing of Carrie Fisher, I know I would have been weeping if she had actually died in the film.

Now back to Rey. Just like in the film, after she escapes from Kylo, the movie pretty much forgets her. We don’t see her dealing with what Kylo told her about her family – the fact that she’s alone and not related to the Skywalkers. We need to see our heroine come to terms with that and that scene should provide the Rey of hope we need that the Resistance will survive. She needs to team up with Holdo and Poe and they need to pledge to rebuild the Resistance to honor what Luke and Leia died for. That’s your hopeful ending. Not some space kid who nobody cares about. As it plays now, I really don’t care what happens in the next film. I needed that final emotional scene where the Resistance leaders are inspired to make a come-back.

I waited to post this until hearing the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy, because I hoped that they would come to the same conclusion as I did. They did. Go listen to it, well done them.


3 thoughts on “My Thoughts on The Last Jedi, Part 1”

  1. Brilliant idea to have Leia drive the ship into the enemy super star destroyer. That would’ve been best way to bring the end to that character. A major miss on the writers part.

  2. There are many tactical missteps and much military BS in every SW film. One could argue the bombs were magnetic and had to be dropped through the shields that only deflected energy weapons. But this was not explained. The humor at the beginning and throughout that came at Hux’s expense was lame. The naval chase actually works if you consider the difficulty of guessing where the Resistance Fleet would be heading. What makes no sense is the effective range of energy weapons in the vacuum of space.

    I’ve now learned that there was supposedly a deleted scene with Rey waking up before Kylo and catching herself in the same dilemma as Luke had with deciding whether to kill Kylo or leave. That would have completed her character arc and the fact that it’s missing really takes the bite out of this film’s ending. I would have edited out the cliff scaling horses for that scene.

  3. Too much deux ex machina, too many cheap laughs and cameos. Too much invested in the side story, as you mentioned. But the real kicker for me was that the first space battle was a B-17 run (with earth gravity and all) and the second one was more akin to “Master and Commander”; It was a naval battle. When the star destroyers decelerate from light speed in the beginning of the movie, we realize again what in this universe is possible. Ergo the attempt at suspense with the chase scene is contrived. To paraphrase Spock, the thinking is two-dimensional. Did I really have a problem with these elements? Only to the extent that there was a great story trying to move forward while shackled with mediocrity and frivolity.

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