The Last Jedi, was, well, eh…

A Response to The Dark Side of the Last Jedi

Emily, Staff Writer

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Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi hit theaters this past December, and, let’s just say it shook the entire galaxy. That is to say, there are mixed feelings on the film. Fangirls/boys of the franchise tend to lean towards the “the movie was horrendous” as claimed by Peter, my fellow Newspaper Club member. I don’t think the movie was stellar, especially compared to the other Star Wars films, but I certainly wouldn’t say it was horrendous.

In Peter’s complaints, he said it was one of the more comedic entries in the franchise. This is true, but that’s not entirely a bad thing. As Marvel Studios has realized, a little comedy is a nice refresher in the middle of all the chaotic action scenes. Han Solo was the original wise-cracking, sarcastic, amazing character.

If you really think about it, The Force Awakens (Episode VII) is basically a modernized remake of A New Hope (Episode IV) just tweaked up a bit to seem more modern and current. There are similar plot points and characters. Rey, the parent-less, force-sensitive, desert-planet inhabitant, is a clear parallel to Mr. Luke Skywalker. Han Solo is also modernized in Episode IV, in the form of Poe Dameron. Poe is an expert flyer, and he makes plenty of jokes throughout the movie, exactly parallel to Solo. He is the reincarnated spirit of Han Solo, and the only joker in The Last Jedi. “Calling General Hugs,” a parody to General Hux, was one of my favorite lines in the whole film. The problem with the comedy in The Last Jedi was that the jokes themselves weren’t very funny. The delivery was fine, and the timing was fine, but the punchline was stale.

Peter also mentions that Leia’s character was disgraced in the film. Carrie Fisher, the actress who portrays the beloved princess, died, AFTER THE FILMING OF ALL OF HER SCENES. I believe fans would be far more annoyed if the movie was not released because of these circumstances. I think Leia should’ve died in the film, 100%, but, I have no problem with force-driven Leia. She may not have been force-sensitive in the original trilogy, but there is no proof suggesting she wasn’t concealing her true potential.

When we first meet Leia in Episode IV, she is being interrogated by Darth Vader himself, not through aggressive talking, but he literally, uses the force to extract the information from her. If I went through that, I don’t know if I’d be able to use my powers without thinking I was just as bad as Vader. In other words, due to psychological damage, Leia would never use the force again. Then, why did she use it?  you may ask. Good question. Here’s the answer: when you’re under significant pressure (usually life or death situations), your body unconsciously uses all of your force to save yourself, sometimes giving you superhuman powers. Using pure science, I think it’s fair for Leia to use the force to attempt to survive there. Fans may not have liked this because it came out of the blue, but that’s what makes a movie great: plot twists.

From a director’s standpoint, I think it would be vital for Leia to die in this film. Just imagine how angry fans are going to be when Episode IX opens with Leia’s funeral. Leia deserves an on-screen death being one of the most loved character in the entire franchise. I think it should have come when we find out the Rebel leader’s true intentions. Up until this point in the film, we have seen General Holdo as a one-sided, annoying leader. This is a shocking revelation; she wants to sacrifice herself to save the rebellion. Leia goes to stop her, but then basically says, “Eh. You can die.”  It would’ve been so great to see Leia sacrifice herself. Now, fans are happy the way she went, (although we can never be sure if they died for real considering this is a Star Wars movie and surprises are in store everywhere) and we get to learn more about a potentially interesting new-Leia. Something fans would be excited to see in Episode IX.

So far, I have only defended the movie, but you shouldn’t assume I believe it was perfect either.  I also had some major qualms with the movie. To start, almost all of the plot points from Episode VII were completely discarded. Episode VII ends with Rey handing Luke his lightsaber, and then *splat* he just throws it behind him, and it doesn’t have any real significance to the film.

Secondly, a lot of new plot points were either a) unnecessary or b) dragged on for what felt like a million light years. Examples include Rose and Finn’s love-journey to find The Master Decoder. In the end, THEY DIDN’T EVEN FIND HIM. The only point of their subplot was to set up a potential love triangle between Rey, Finn and Rose. Another major problem was when Rose said this: That’s how we’re gonna win, not fighting what we hate, but saving what we love.  Um, no. I’m not saying killing is okay, but that’s not how you are going to win a battle against the First Order. Good try.

Sorry, Peter, I’m not trying to attack you, but the Rey/Kylo Ren scenes were actually very interesting; I loved them. The cinematography was flawless and smooth. While the shirtless Kylo was unnecessary, as a whole, the scene was fine. It introduced a new type of communication that may play into Episode IX or the new trilogy. Alas, there is a major issue with this scene. Later in the film, we find out it was Snoke who set up their connections. The reaction to this is supposed to be, “Oh my god!” or “Snoke is so powerful”, etc… Snoke is this powerful, but he can’t sense a LIGHTSABER RIGHT NEXT TO HIM THAT IS ABOUT TO KILL HIM. Like, you can basically puppeteer two force-sensitive characters, and predict their every move, but you can’t sense a laser sword. Real powerful, ey. Real powerful. NOT! Also, they introduced a new character that could’ve become the new Darth Sidious in The Force Awakens and then kill him in the next movie so that he can’t become a real major villain for us.

In conclusion, I would give the movie a 7.9/10. It was beautifully done, but there were too many inconsistencies. From best to worst, here are the Star Wars movies, in my opinion.

  • Star Wars: Episode VI:  Return of the Jedi (9.5/10)
  • Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens (9.4/10)
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (9.375/10)
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (8.5/10)
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (8.475/10)
  • Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope (8/10)
  • Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (7.9/10)
  • Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace (6/10)
  • Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones (5.5/10)

I think Solo: A Star Wars Story will be the deus ex machina that saves the  Star Wars franchise. It better be, or the internet will have more trolls than Han Solo has enemies (and that’s saying something).

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The Last Jedi, was, well, eh…