Sunday, December 24, 2017

Here’s What I Thought of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" [SPOILERS]

Last weekend, Jim and I went to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi. As I’ve discussed before, I wasn’t looking forward to it. I don’t think Jim was terribly excited about it, either; he enjoyed neither The Force Awakens nor Rogue One. I hear they’re making a new one about Han Solo, which promises to be another waste of more than two hours of my only life.

Speaking of which, and not to get too far off topic here, but what’s with making every movie two-and-a-half or three hours long these days? Very few movies are improved by making them more than two hours long. Star Wars: The Last Jedi was certainly not one of them. It, like Blade Runner and Logan, was too damn long. Movies are getting too damn long. If movies get any longer, they’re going to have to bring back the intermission. In fact, I think they already need to bring back the intermission. My favorite thing about seeing Star Wars: The Last Jedi was that I timed my bathroom break so that I missed “nothing much,” according to Jim, and my second favorite thing was that I decided to take a bathroom break at all because, unbeknownst to me at that time, there was still like two weeks of space-ninja movie left.

Like, okay, I don’t have anything against space ninjas in and of themselves. And I have to admit, I was kind of getting into the movie to begin with. The first three hours of it were great. I really enjoyed it right up to the part where Kylo Ren killed his master, and you think he’s going to join Rey and turn to the light side of the force, because that’s clearly the source of conflict for his character, but actually he just wants to seize power for himself. I mentioned this to my friend Mark, who liked the movie, and he explained that that’s just what Siths do. I guess I would have known that if I had watched the second and third prequels, but I didn’t so it pissed me off.

But, that wasn’t the biggest disappointment of the movie for me. Neither was finding out that Rey’s parents were just a couple of drunks. I mean, sh*t, lots of people’s parents were drunks. One of my parents is a drunk. That doesn’t mean I can’t become a bitchin’ space ninja. It’s called garbage can, not garbage cannot. That said, the franchise could have gotten a lot more mileage out of that plot point. I think it’s going to need it, and here’s why.

Carrie Fisher is dead, may she rest in peace, but unfortunately, this film put all of the franchise’s magic-space-animism eggs in Carrie’s basket. Jim and I were both looking forward to seeing a spectacular light saber battle between Luke Skywalker and, well, anyone, really, and we even thought we were going to get one, but no, it was just Luke force-projecting himself from his island in the interstellar Hebrides.

When I complained about this to Mark, he countered with, “It takes a tremendous amount of strength to force-project a perfect image of yourself across the galaxy.”

Yeah, maybe, but the people wanted a f&ckin’ light saber battle dammit, and by “the people,” I mean me and Jim.

What makes it even worse is that, after force-projecting himself across the galaxy, Luke just disappears. Like, he’s dead, presumably, but instead of dying the traditional way, he “becomes one with the Force” or some sh*t, and I mean, yeah, I know he’s the most famous space ninja who ever lived and the default head of the religion and all, but, wtf? It was unclear to me (and Jim) why Luke had to die in that situation. Mark thinks that the effort of force-projecting himself was so taxing that it left him unable to even keep the molecules of his body together, or something, and that makes sense I guess, but it was still a baffling and dissatisfactory conclusion. Besides, and I realize the filmmakers couldn’t have foreseen Carrie Fisher’s passing, but I feel like they’re going to need to write Luke back in, because Carrie Fisher’s dead, Han is dead, and Rey’s chucking boulders around with no clue what she’s doing. Who’s going to teach Rey to use the Force? She can’t exactly go to school online for that sh*t.

Or can she? Coming in 2018: The trailer for Star Wars: