Star Wars: The Last Jedi

ridley-hamill-last-jedi-trailer-ht-jef-171121_12x5_992It is a good thing that Disney did not try to stick a Frozen short in front of Episode XIII, which weighs in at a hefty 2 hour and 33 minutes not including ads and previews. It doesn’t help that much of that time is spent watching Poe Dameron try really, really hard to learn a fairly simple lesson. Poe got it on what by my count was the fourth try, during a battle that took me by surprise because I expected the movie to have ended before that fight even started!

So this was not the ideal movie to have dragged Jay to, with it being an unusually long entry in a nerdy franchise she has less than no interest in. At least trying to spot the rumoured William & Harry cameo kept her busy for a while. I hope.

For those of us invested in this behemoth franchise, this is a solid Star Wars film that changes things up a bit more than did The Force Awakens, though this one sometimes feels like it’s spinning in place. Still, being the Star Wars fanboy I am, I was more than willing to forgive a few extra scenes and a few too many contrivances because what this movie gets right, it REALLY gets right.

At the top of the “gets right” list are the Last Jedi. And  since Jedi is plural, that makes for multiple entries on the list.

First, Luke is actually in this movie for more than one scene and it’s the Luke we know from all three original films, for worse and then for better, and then for so much better. Bear with Luke as in the course of this movie he manages to transition (again) from whiny back-planet farmboy to ass-kicking robed avenger. It’s truly fantastic.

Second, Daisy Ridley’s Rey is really, really great for the second movie in a row. She is the heart of this third trilogy and for my money she’s the best Jedi we’ve ever had (because unlike Luke, Anakin and Ben Kenobi, Rey never had a whiny phase).

Third, we get a Jedi ghost appearance that was an unexpected bit of closure I didn’t even know I needed, as it’s one last advice-giving opportunity from master to student.  It will make you wish that Han Solo was a Jedi so he had a chance to pop up in ghost form during Episode IX to rehash the good old days.

Speaking of the good old days, it is bittersweet to see Carrie Fisher get a prominent role here. Great as it is to have Leia be the true leader of the resistance, her importance means Fisher’s death will leave a massive hole in Episode IX that can’t (/shouldn’t) be filled (CG stand-ins creep me out and should creep you out too). RIP Carrie.

It occurs to me that a two hour version of this movie might have been my favourite Star Wars of all, if they had cut out much of the Poe and Finn stuff (which are the scenes that inspired my earlier reference to spinning in place).  As it stands, this is still a good film that did not disappoint, and it might edge out Return of the Jedi for third place on my list, which is pretty damn respectable.

 

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48 thoughts on “Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    1. Sean Post author

      It sets up an interesting finale and it’s really wide open as to how they will conclude this trilogy. I have a feeling we’ll get even more greatness from Rey. I’m looking forward to the next one and it sounds like you are too!

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    1. Sean Post author

      Those are the parts that really shone for me. I failed to mention Kylo in my review but he’s a much more interesting character here than in The Force Awakens, and a nice counter to Rey.

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    1. Sean Post author

      If you liked the originals then you should give these ones a chance, as they really feel like a continuation of the first trilogy. I did not like the prequels at all but have enjoyed both parts of the new trilogy (and Rogue One as well).

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  2. Sarah Ferguson and Choppy

    We saw it last night. I have to say, I loved Episode VII and Rogue One, but was underwhelmed by this entry in the series. To me, it had a very prequel feel to it, especially in the first half. There were moments I thought were great, but there were parts I thought were not only extraneous but annoying. One scene in particular I absolutely HATED (involving Leia), and it was near the beginning and I think colored my view of the rest of the movie.

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    1. Sean Post author

      There were definitely some extraneous parts and the humour was a bit more jokey than I expected, but for me the good stuff far outweighed the mediocre parts. I can see where you’re coming from though.

      I’m curious which scene you hated involving Leia- was it the exchange with Poe after the first battle?

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      1. Sarah Ferguson and Choppy

        It was the floating in space scene. Just awful.

        I’m actually sitting here and thinking of more reasons to dislike the movie. Like those cow-things on Ahch-To. Those were awful. The porgs didn’t bother me (I was worried about them), though. Now I need to stop myself before I get too down the Star Wars hole (probably too late for that).

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      2. Sean Post author

        It wasn’t something I expected. Being Luke’s twin, Leia should be capable of something like that (survival instinct) but we’ve never seen it from her so it was a little convenient. I didn’t have a negative take on it but it could/should have been set up better.

        Also kind of surprising that scene stayed in, since after Carrie Fisher’s death that would seem to have been a really good opportunity to write Leia out of Episode IX.

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  3. tubularsock

    Sean, thank the Gods that Han Solo wasn’t a Jedi!
    He was the only free (for a price) spirit in the entire movies.
    Tubularsock’s favorite fellow. A down-home, “don’t show me no stinking badges” kind of a guy.

    Tubularsock heard “Hans” ask for way too much to be in this movie”. Not sure that was true but sometime a star and their character aren’t far apart in reality.

    The force is you, Sean. Keep your light-saber from getting wet!
    Cheers.

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    1. Sean Post author

      Han is a great character and still has the best moment in the series – “You’re all clear, kid!” It definitely would not have been the same wirhout him being a bit of a scoundrel.

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  4. Roman R. Sanchez

    I disagree, Luke is not back better than ever. Why would he do what he did in the film, when in the first three films he spend so much time trying to save Darth Vader from the dark side?

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    1. Sean Post author

      I’m not sure there is any good in Ben Solo. That might be why Luke’s instinct was to kill him in the first place. I think him making peace with that was really well done.

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      1. Roman R. Sanchez

        Have you seen Return of the Jedi? Or any of the original movies these films are supposed to follow? Your argument makes no sense, and it is one dimension thinking. Vader was a proven murderer, and Luke knew it, yet he was reluctant to kill him because he saw a faint hope of light inside of him. Ben wasn’t a murderer then Luke decided to pull his lightsaber on him. He was just a teenager “tempted” by the dark side. Ben struggles show that he wasn’t fully leaning on the dark side when Luke decided to betray him. And of course, there is no good in Ben at this point in the saga, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t any in the beginning. Luke is not back better than ever. His legacy has been destroyed by people who never understood his character.

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      2. paulliverstravels

        Between the discussion between Luke and Rey and the discussion between Luke and Yoda, I am putting together a theory that when Luke looked at Vader, he was fully in the present and sensing the potential for good in his father despite the past, but when Luke looked at Rey, he only saw a future potential for evil. So Yoda scolds Luke for still not fully living in the present as a Jedi was supposed to, and Luke only reaches his full potential as a Jedi when living in the present.

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  5. Jason

    Good review. I actually liked this movie. It was better than The Force Awakens, with some fun new narrative twists. My only complaint were a few WTF moments like that one Leia scene and the last scene with Snoke in this movie.

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  6. Henry Chamberlain

    The subplot involving Rose, Poe, and Finn was nice but basically retread x 10. I am sort of interested in spotting the William & Harry cameo. Where is it?? Anyway, I did have a fairly good time with this one. Too bad it takes forever to advance the main story.

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  7. Lloyd Marken

    Sean so much to discuss. I’m about to head off and watch it for a second time. What I will say is this, it was hard for me to watch Luke in this a bit. I can’t agree with all the motivations and I think that’s on the filmmakers. I agree the Finn and Rose subplot in particular had strong themes but just didn’t engage me. There were some great action scenes and some really poor ones. Some of us are going to struggle with this because the way it changes things but I think that’s not the issue, its whether we feel sold on it. I do think it surprises in ways good and bad, it has great moments and other times feel poorly paced and underwhelming. But the ambition of doing something a bit different and drastic I admire.

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  8. Pingback: On Second Thought – Star Wars: The Last Jedi | ASSHOLES WATCHING MOVIES

  9. Yoko Oso

    Honestly, I dont know if i like this movie. I feel like they took the high points of what everyone was talking about and just kind of….threw them to the side. It was fun in a lot of parts but there was so much…disappointment. I really wish i could get into it more but no spoilers for the ppl who havennt seen it. For me though, it was kind of a hit and miss.

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  10. badblokebob

    It’s nice to read someone say Luke was behaving in character! So many of the criticisms by rabid fanboys seem to revolve around the idea the film “ruins” Luke, and I don’t think that’s the case at all.

    I mostly loved the film and it’s ambition to try to go in new directions. I agree that Finn and Poe’s stuff is the biggest problem — a lot of it just goes on too long and throws the pace off. I won’t be surprised if the 30+ minutes they cut is all from early in the film, because that might explain why the version we got felt suitably paced to Rian Johnson & co.

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  11. seton7

    Good review man! Unfortunately I don’t share your view on the movie but can appreciate your points.

    Crazily, the length was one of the things I enjoyed as although I felt it could have ended at various different points, I did always feel I wanted it to continue, but still left the cinema disappointed. Poe was one of my favourite characters, having entered the gaping whole left by Han’s death and I feel this movie furthered his character showing the rogue side that was much-needed from somewhere.

    I think almost everyone I know has left the movie with an entirely different take on it, which I find quite incredible to have so many different points of view on one movie.

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  12. Ryan

    This film was very good in my opinion. Finn wasn’t the issue in my opinion but the girl he was with the entire time. I don’t see the reason to bring her character in at all. But a good movie still

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  13. hoplite39

    The many good things in this movie were overshadowed by pointless scenes and lack of blaster battles. I give this movie 3 out of 5. A decent movie with lots to like, but gives me no motivation to see again. This is in contrast to RO and TFA which I don’t mind seeing again.

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  14. danielwalldammit

    I agree, it was nice to see the ghost return, but in general I was not a fan of this film. It should have been half a dozen different films, and there was way too much exposition in all of them. It did have it’s moments, but overall, I found it quite irritating.

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