The Last Jedi: My Thoughts

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Tanner Hoyal, Journalist

Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been in theatres for a while now, and chances are you’ve already seen it. However, if you haven’t found the time to make it to the theatre, please note this article contains spoilers.

My initial reactions after seeing this movie for the very first time were feelings of confusion and disappointment. Similar to Kylo Ren, I was internally torn apart. While the movie has stunning visuals and amazing soundtracks, the overall plot is poorly executed.

The film focuses on Rey and Luke Skywalker’s story arc. At the end of The Force Awakens (directed by JJ Abrams) Rey approaches Luke and offers him a lightsaber. After two years, we finally see how Luke will react to Rey’s visit. With dramatic build up and anticipation, Luke takes the lightsaber . . . and throws it off a cliff. This seems strange, considering Luke Skywalker’s actions in the original trilogy.

Then, for the first time since 1983, we hear Mark Hamill speak in a Star Wars film. His words are “Go away!” Instead of the Jedi Master we expect, we see someone similar to the whiny Luke of A New Hope. Additionally, we see Luke Skywalker milk an alien sea cow, but let’s not get into that. Star Wars fans are disappointed by this portrayal of Luke Skywalker.

However, after watching The Last Jedi in theatres three times now (I know, seems like a lot) I think Luke’s story in The Last Jedi makes sense from a certain point of view. Consistently, Luke’s story was that of losing faith and having to find a way back to what is right. Although this movie could have been crafted with more sense, it’s not as bad as some Star Wars fans would say. (Well, except for that milking scene. That was just weird.)

The second act of this movie involves a car chase in space. While the concept is awesome, the actual execution seems a little weird. This act also introduces many scenes and concepts that contradict previous Star Wars canon – such as the one where Princess Leia flies through space like Mary Poppins.

Moving on, let’s visit the adventures of Finn and a new character named Rose. In order to save the Resistance fleet, they end up looking for a master codebreaker on Canto Bight, a city styled like Las Vegas. The music accompanying this storyline is amazing, thanks to John Williams, but other than this, the subplot is pointless. Finn and Rose find the wrong codebreaker and get sold out in the end. It amounts to nothing.

Was the middle of this story any better? If space horses, not-so-subtle real world political propaganda, and Oliver Twist extras wasting screen time did not excite you, then yes, it was better.

The final act of this movie was the best part. Kylo Ren, conflicted over killing his father, brings Rey into the presence of Snoke. The Supreme Leader demonstrates his seemingly unlimited power and orders Kylo Ren to kill Rey. Then, Snoke dies. Kylo Ren, instead of stabbing Rey with his weapon, uses the Force to ignite Rey’s lightsaber, which Snoke had so conveniently placed directly to the left of himself. The lightsaber burns Snoke, and the most epic fight of the entire movie breaks out. Just as fans of Star Wars were hoping, Rey and Kylo Ren team up.

This scene, unlike many in this movie, actually worked. It wasn’t cringe worthy. Instead of trashy jokes, it contained intense action that felt right inside the Star Wars’ universe. Unfortunately, Reylo (the cheesy couple name of fans) didn’t last long. But it was definitely fun while it lasted.

In the final event of the movie, after all hope seems lost, Luke Skywalker comes to the rescue. Luke is no longer the creepy dinosaur-milker he was at the beginning of the film. After a brief visit from Yoda, Luke decides to once again join the fight. Luke prepares to battle his student and nephew, Kylo Ren, for the last time. The battle is epic, even though no lightsabers actually clash. There is emotion and even a tad of humor, but, unlike the previous jokes, these add to the drama. Luke sacrifices himself in an unexpected way to save the Resistance. The remaining members of this now tiny faction escape in the Millennium Falcon. The movie ends.

This film was a surprising edition to the Star Wars’ canon. Unexpected events happened and expected reveals were thrown away. While the first and second act didn’t deliver, the third act was where the magic happened. Although I don’t believe this was the best episode in the franchise, it’s hard to say it was the worst. It’s up to you to decide whether the Force was with this film or not.

Whether for better or worse, one thing is for sure: this film pointed Disney’s Star Wars’ trilogy in a new direction.