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The Last Jedi Is A Big Disappointment – (Spoilers) Review

Star Wars The Last Jedi Is A Big Disappointment (Spoilers) Review

If you’re a casual viewer or someone who loves all things Star Wars without question, then The Last Jedi is a decent experience. But for me and many others who have followed the build-up, it’s a painfully safe film that misses every opportunity to really shake things up. This is a Disney brand after all. Critics have rewarded it with a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, thereby encouraging this approach. I’ve read The Last Jedi described in other reviews as the best Star Wars film, as having twists bigger than Empire – What were they watching?

[Full spoilers ahead. Don’t read beyond this point if you haven’t seen the movie. Have your own journey with it.]

The main bulk of the story has the inexplicably small rebel force slowly running out of petrol as Rey gets nowhere with Luke and then decides to face down Snoke, hoping that she can turn Kylo Ren.

On the plus side, Carrie Fisher is much better here than in Force Awakens, it’s an emotional tribute to her, while the Rey character is more likeable now she’s not brilliant at everything for no real reason (why was she a better pilot than Han Solo again?). Poe Dameron is more appealing for a time but his presence wears thin, especially when his endless escape plan conversations keep more interesting characters off screen. Skywalker has his moments, such as the conversation with Yoda, but the tone of his segments is all over the place.

Indeed the portrayal of the old Luke Skywalker is the first big disappointment. Mark Hamill hinted continuously over the last year that he was unhappy with what they did to the character (“I fundamentally disagree with virtually everything [written for Luke]”) before getting on-message for the press tour. Biggest problem: They are desperate for Luke not to overshadow the young cast. After promising it wouldn’t be an Empire-copycat he is portrayed as the same quirky and reluctant teacher Yoda was, also haunted by past failure. Ultimately he never really trains Rey but just gives her a couple of counselling sessions. Rumours were this film would break new ground by exploring the grey side of the Force, which would include an Anakin appearance and a fuller explanation of force ghosts. How wonderful and interesting that would have been – but nope.

Surely though we get to see what a fully-trained Jedi Master looks like kicking ass? Either at the temple, facing off against the Knights of Ren (who have vanished from the story) or in the finale. Nope. Luke draws a lightsaber, has a hut fall on him, and in the finale does a spin and a limbo before spouting some rehashed Obi Wan dialogue. And then dies because… no real reason. What a missed opportunity.

Star Wars The Last Jedi Is A Big Disappointment Review

Rey’s journey turns out to be bland. It was hinted that big twists were in store, with pointers that she and Kylo Ren would effectively swap places. It lays good groundwork for making that switch: He explains how killing his father has some justification. Her parents, it is hinted, were from the Dark Side, how interesting would it have been if she was a Palpatine? But no, turns out, her parents were nobodies who sold junk.

The most gripping section of the film has her going into Snoke’s throne room. But Snoke’s death is not some great twist, it’s just the Emperor death from Return of the Jedi brought forward a movie. The side by side fight with Kylo Ren against the imperial guard is nice, but when Kylo offers his hand at the end, a bold film would have had her accept. Instead the dust settles with everyone in their predictable places. The film bottles it.

The fact that Snoke was only seen as a hologram in Force Awakens promised something interesting behind the curtain. But, ta-da, he’s just a tallish old man. He doesn’t feed off/consume the Force as the rumours were, just wants power as usual. Incredibly The Last Jedi never explains where he came from or how he got horribly scarred before killing him off. Wouldn’t knowing this have been more interesting than seeing a plucky girl freeing cgi horses from a stable – there was lots of time for that.

Indeed there are some highly cgi-ed sequences and characters, the types of which George Lucas got ripped for ten years ago. Not least of which is watching Maz doing God-knows-what on a floating monitor, as if the cast are taking a break to watch a PS3 cutscene.

John Boyega said in interviews that Finn would be faced with a dilemma whether to rejoin the First Order troopers. The concept of him rejoining the ranks, taking orders from Captain Phasma and seeing that way of life, would have been terrific, but in fact none of that happens, and Phasma is wasted with a bog standard fight and death.

The portrayal of the rebels seems off, in an overzealous effort to keep them as the underdogs. The whole galaxy celebrated the fall of the Empire, yet somehow they are reduced here to a few dozen people. When they send out a distress signal to the planets, nobody can be arsed to respond. Doesn’t ring true.

The film is big on suicide, it’s the way out of most problems. It starts off with a (very) Japanese character committing kamikaze, I’m not sure what the message of that is meant to be. My favourite suicide in the film is the hyperspace into the star destroyer, that was cool, nicely shot and it answered an age old what-if. The one where Luke decides to just disappear like an old fart on the breeze, not so much.

Star Wars The Last Jedi Is A Big Disappointment Review

Ultimately the script plays it way too safe, and leaves us in a less interesting place than where we started, with no intriguing questions for the next film. It doesn’t seem like the middle film of a trilogy, rather a director parachuted in for one film with no sense yet of how it will tie up.

As someone who’s old enough to have caught Return of the Jedi in the cinema, the ageist closing sentiment of the film made me feel that I’m not welcome any more.

Next year is the Han Solo solo movie. And many others are planned. I wrote beforehand that I wanted to see Luke Skywalker kick ass one more time before Star Wars fatigue set in. He didn’t kick ass, but fatigue has now set in.

Grade: B

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15 Comments »

  • Hansoloisthebest said

    I saw today the movie and The Last Jedi is bad, stupid, and the last jedi is a big re-re-re-remake of all star wars movies. Production design is awful, ships are like cucumbers with big wings, there are a lot things, like self-parodies of Star Wars, and a lot of action, but I did not feel anything, because there is not emotion at all. All is a rehash of all star wars movies but even worse. I did not like Mark Hamill, I didn’t like Boyega (one of the best actors in the world and the only good thing of disastrous and goofy Detroit, probabbly Detroit will win the Oscars, despite is bad film-makin), well I did not like Daisy Ridley and I did not like the ugly boy at all. The last jedi is a betrayal act to the original Star Wars trilogy. It destroys Return of the Jedi. So, for me, Disney-Lucasfilm and Abrams have totally destroyed Star Wars. The last Jedi: A big Remake of all Star Wars movies, unoriginal score and bad production design, so it will obtain academy awards nomination for those categories.

    The last Jedi is bad, boring (only a lot of action+action+action=A boring movie) and is a BIG disappointment: 2/10

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  • Oldwell said

    Finn was wasted.

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    • Sheridan Passell said
      Sheridan Passell

      Finn had no arc in the movie. He should have gone back to the stormtroopers, either as a result of his back injury or at least undercover.

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  • Coffee Sweet said

    I can’t wait to see this movie with a special pair of 3d glasses.

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  • gd smith said

    These films are not being made because there’s a story to be told or because someone has some kind of vision. They’re there because it’s a big property with a big built in audience. This is why Disney keep demanding reshoots and firing directors. They’re aiming for passable entertainment that goes heavy on fan service to reassure loyal viewers that big bad George Lucas is not going to mess with their childhood, anymore. After all the fans understand the creation better than its creator? And there in lies the crux of the problem. Because for all George Lucas’s faults his prequels were actually about something, had character arcs and were aiming a bit higher than people’s wallets, although obviously he still wanted to make money.
    I’ve been saying this right from the start.

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    • Sheridan Passell said
      Sheridan Passell

      Spot on. The Prequels are full of flaws but I’ve always enjoyed most of ‘Clones’ and ‘Revenge’ regardless. I’ve said George Lucas should have been allowed to keep making Star Wars until he died, since that can’t be more than 10 years off and there will be plenty of time for other peoples’ visions after that. I would have loved to have seen what he would do with Old Luke. Rian Johnson has said he was given a blank page by JJ Abrams, that JJ himself didn’t know the answer to the questions he posed in Force Awakens. When you’re making a trilogy, not knowing the through-line is unforgivable.

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  • Patrick said

    TBH I actually enjoyed the Phantom Menace more… there it is I’ve said it!

    To be fair there was some nice stuff in here which made watching this bloated indulgence even more frustrating.

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    • Sheridan Passell said
      Sheridan Passell

      There were things to enjoy (I’m looking forward to watching the imperial guards fight again and some of Luke’s scenes) and actually some decent performances but the actors could only do so much with what they were given. If it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage.

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  • Ladiess said

    Best movie ever and i’m a very very big fan !

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  • Hansoloisthebest said

    Well, a lot of not-star wans fans are saying that the movie is bad, and it ‘s a big disappointment. I’m not an alt-right member, and I hate alt-right ideology with all my soul, so I don’t understand why a famous magazine is saying that Alt-right members are trying to destroy The Last Jedi because it’s a proof of women power.

    So, it seems that this magazine is saying that persons who didn’t like The Last Jedi and have said it on Internet are all alt-right members when in fact they are saying that because the movie is really bad, boring, inept, and has a lot of runniness or unnecessary scenes like the casino scene?
    What the f*ck?

    My cousin is a woman and she didn’t like The last Jedi, specially the “Leia is Superman in space” scene, and she is not an alt-right member!!!!! It’s because that scene is bad, ridiculous and 100% improbable.

    The Last Jedi: A boring, inept, massive disappointment.

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    • gd smith said

      The alt-right ruin everything. They make it embarrassing not to like things. The problem is not SJWs or liberal Hollywood. The actors are fine, the characters are pretty good. There are some decent scenes. It’s just sort of thin and like they are rerunning the same basic story line with new characters. The truth is the rebels won because they killed the emperor and destroyed the empire in the original trilogy and now they’re having to ignore that to keep things the same but different. There’s also the knowledge that this “trilogy” will simply be followed by another trilogy and then another, quite possibly for the next century. I dunno, it’s the soap opera thing and there comes a point where following it is more effort than it’s really worth.

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  • Gerald Moniz said

    I spent an hour composing an intricate commentary responding to this review and just deleted it entirely.
    I’m give to you the hard, cold, and brutal truth straight up instead.

    The Last Jedi does not suffer from the flaws you see.

    You suffer a rudimentary understanding of film that impairs your comprehension.

    The reason the critics are 93% positive and the audience only 53% is half the audience are significantly under educated on the art form. One semester of Film or Screenwriting 100 would make evidently clear to you how incorrect your current evaluation is entirely.

    Its perfectly normal. I dont “get” what’s so amazing about a lot of most acclaimed musicians of the world. I understand, however, that my perception of music is very narrow. Increased music education would deepen my comprehension and I’d become aware of elements im currently oblivious too.

    So when I read an article espousing the artistry and ability of Prince I understand the attributes identified exist despite my inability to perceive them.

    The professional critics are at 93% because they all share a relative understanding of film equal to one another. Every PROFESSION has a minimum level of knowledge required to operate within. The audience is not often this polarized however.
    TFA was unanimously enjoyed across the board. What’s causing the issue here?

    Imagine the first 7 movies were newspaper comic strips. Its a simple format, the humor is straightforward, we all easily “get” the joke.
    Then they decided to do the film as a Picasso painting.
    Half the people wont be aware theres still a joke there. A Peanuts strip is much simpler than comprehending Picasso.
    I took screenwriting courses and have a film education comparable to many professional critics knowledge, we can all see snoopy is in the cartoon. You have no art education whatsoever so you think snoopy is gone and its not even a comic strip anymore, because you dont “see” it.

    Basically, its over your head. If people such as yourself could check your ego and understand this, it would be real simple to dramatically increase your understanding of film explaining how your wrong here. Your enjoyment of movies would forever be grander as well.

    Ego has retarded Human Evolution. If people could know that they DONT KNOW something, the world would be a vastly different place!

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    • Sheridan Passell said
      Sheridan Passell

      A long explanation of what a genius you are, none which analysed the film, and then claiming I have an ego problem for being disappointed. Whaaat?

      How would you know what art education I have? I studied film at a good university, worked in television for 10 years, including as a script analyst, and have written screenplays that have been at the top of the industry and won awards.

      I’m also old enough to remember when The Phantom Menace came out and how swept up critics were then in the hype and pressure to tell readers what they wanted to hear, only to backtrack later.

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      • gd smith said

        I guess us heathens just cannot understand the deep vision that is the Disney Corporations New Star Wars Product line. After all is this artistic pinnacle not soon to be realized as a theme park attraction and is the world already not enlightened by the aesthetic renaissance gifted to us via bargain bin clogging toys?

        No we should not question these gods of the creative arts. We mere plebs should simply stand in awe, and in line, with our wallets open to pay tribute to this mighty work bestowed upon us by the House of Mouse.

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