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[Review - Contains Spoilers] Star Wars: The Last Jedi



By: Mulholland Art

Star Wars has been on my mind pretty heavily the past few days. Part of the reason why I'm so invested in the series is because as a child, when my parents weren't there, Star Wars was. So to see it mishandled bothers me greatly. Here's a run down of a lot of the movies weaknesses and a handful of redeeming points.

1. The movie has a lot of comedic moments, often at times when comic relief is inappropriate.

2. Snoke's story, origin, powers, and significance are not expanded on. It's still reasonable to speculate that he is Darth Plagueis, teacher of Darth Sidious, murdered by Darth Sidious, and mentioned in Episode III as having incredible powers to create life and stave off death. It's probable that Plagueis created Anakin using his powers, as you'll recall he was spontaneously conceived by his mother. That's a rich backstory that, though it wouldn't have surprised everyone, it sure as hell would have surprised the casual viewer.

3. Kylo Ren has apparently not gained in power at all since the previous movie. He may even be weaker. Not only is he matched by Rey in a non-light saber force duel, but he is also manipulated thoroughly by Snoke.

4. Kylo is also set up throughout the movie as pathetic and at times cowardly. Despite being weak and pathetic, Kylo still manages to hide his intent to kill Snoke and manages to with relative ease.

5. Kylo and Rey both have trouble dispatching Snoke's guards. Much more trouble than Kylo himself had with the massively powerful Snoke.

6. Rey learns how to move rocks. Spectacular.

7. Lightsabers clash exactly once in the movie. Not one battle, one contact.

8. Luke, while playing a significant role in the movie, never shows his cool Jedi Master powers. He never faces off against Snoke, Kylo, or Rey (well Rey a little). And then he “dies” by just vanishing like Obi Wan.

9. General Hodor is everyone's guidance counselor. I think the over emphasis of female generals and leads had been well managed until her character's appearance. Then it seemed all the sudden hammy and dumb. General Hodor could have been some cool alien species, and a female one at that, in stead she was everyone's high school counselor, with blue hair.

10. Too many humans. This movie had the least variety of species of any SW movie, and none, save for Snoke, were main characters. Not even Chewie, who played a diminished furniture-esque role. The movie was also startlingly lacking in practical effects, despite the successes of Rogue One and TFA.

11. General Hux is made out to be a bumbling, impotent, imbecile. And so are all of the other commanders in the first order.

12. Captain Phasma is back, to be as minor a character as she was in TFA. And just as dumb. A tremendous waste of an opportunity to have a genuinely scary, off-main, baddy.

13. Nobody in the damn movie has any concept of battle tactics. When the resistance escapes to a small armored base on a planet within sight of the FO fleet, in stead of just blowing it away from space, they send down a big laser cannon and land it far enough from the base that the resistance has time to escape from it. Smart.

14. Benicio del Toro's character is yet another uninteresting, human, that just fills a minor role.

15. One of the biggest issues with TFA is that the shoe-horned in the destruction of Starkiller Base, which would have been great to have in this movie as TLJ has the feeling of just cruddy little space skirmishes. There is no centralized battle.

16. The little Jar Jar Binks things. I don't even give a fuck what they are called or how cute they are. They do exactly nothing but just scream.

Pros

1. Leia has the force y'all. And Fisher does a better job acting after a stiff TFA appearance.

2. The imperial guards are pretty op and cool.

3. Mark Hamill also turns in a pretty good performance, and has a few new tricks.

4. Yoda, chillin'

5. Outlandish, likely to fail plans, finally do. That's the most refreshing part of the movie and a welcome change from the others, which were getting silly.

Summary

It's a below average Star Wars movie that smacks of casting a wide net. It's not deep, doesn't leave much of a visual impression, and suffers from a pervasive blandness from the dialogue, to the aliens, to the sets, to the plot. The acting is generally better than TFA in my opinion, but it's essentially built to spill. The movie hums along and lacks a tense rise to a climax like most of the other movies have. The absence of saber/force battles is really unfortunate, and the under utilization of Luke, combined with his anticlimactic departure will definitely leave a lot of people unsatisfied. The main villain in TFA being written off as inconsequential in TLJ is the biggest flaw of the movie. It's Star Wars. It's better than most movies. But not better than any Star Wars movie, except the Christmas Ewok Special.

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