Why I Didnt Like The Last Jedi

star-wars-the-last-jedi-luke-skywalker-poster.jpg

Fair Warning: SPOILERS

If you're expecting a full on nerd-rage meltdown, you might get it before the post is complete.  But to preface a possible meltdown I'll just say Ive seen and read most everything in the Star Wars canon, whether it be tv shows/books/comics/other and have been a big fan for a long time.  So my hype for The Last Jedi was legit.  If you're looking to just retort with "well its a kids movie" you may proceed to lick unwashed parts of my hairy anatomy.  Ive been perusing the interwebs for others opinions since opening night and it is wildly polarizing.  I figured I'd drop my two cents seeing as how no one has quite approached it with my thoughts.  So with that Ill get to it.

Id say the biggest metaphor I found in the movie was when Luke was first handed his old lightsaber. That lightsaber was Anakin’s before being passed down by Obi-wan, and brought Luke to his confrontation with Vader in Empire. This was when his hand was cut off, making it a relic of deep personal importance.  Then he lets the serious foreboding look slide off his face and throws it over his shoulder like its trash.  I think it parallels what the writer/director/producers did with Star Wars.  Oh, you hold that to be sacred and of interest?  Im gonna shit on it, cause thats a twist!  That joke came off cheap and not very true to the Luke Skywalker character, no matter what he’s been through.

star-wars-the-last-jedi.jpg

After The Force Awakens and a solid effort by JJ Abrams I had all kinds of expectations for this movie.  Could those expectations have added to my disappointment?  Possibly.  My expectations were abstract and dealt heavily with the story and Star Wars lore.  I wanted a solid continuation of my beloved franchise and everything JJ Abrams setup in the first of the new trilogy.  Does that mean one of a thousand fan theories had to be true?  No, absolutely not.  Subvert expectations, play with story tropes, thats all fine and well, but here are some expectations that were flat out shit on.

Expectations:
1. Some insight on Snoke
- How he became Supreme Leader
- What was he/Who was he
- Where did he come from
- Why did Kylo Ren join him, how did he join him
Bonus expectations
- Showcase of some badass evil powers
- Possible showdown with Luke and all out super power battle
- He is a character we've already known, and one of a million nerd theories was played with

2. Grandmaster Jedi Luke (Even if distraught and bitter)
- What kind of super abilities has Luke cultivated?
- What new mysteries does Luke know about the Force?
- How have Luke and Snoke interacted
Bonus expectations
- What kind of crazy things does he put Rey through to train
- Has Luke played with the dark side, has he been pushed to do ugly things
- Showdown with Snoke or Kylo Ren or ANYONE with epic lightsaber duel

3. Cool/interesting subplots
- Captain Phasma showing off why shes so badass
- Finn doing anything of import
- Interesting new characters
- Knights of Ren
Bonus expectations
- Tv show tie ins to Rebels, or Clone Wars lore
- Finn and Phasma beef?  Wheres the beef? Why so much hate?

All expectations shit on.  Not subverted or played with... flat out shit on.  Oh, you think thats important and we should explore?  NOPE, youre getting 40 minutes of Finn and a shit new character named Rose rescuing cat-horses on a Fifth Element casino planet.  Then the most powerful and evil character in this new saga murdered by a little finger of force telekinesis.  Captain Phasma gets 2 sentences and 3 minutes of screen time just to fall into a pit of fire.  An amazing actress with zero utilization, and no story to her at all.  40 years of Luke Skywalkers journey and he goes out from exhaustion a million miles away from a real fight, like a complete bitch.  Oh, he was at peace? He was glad to go out that way? Awesome writing and closure. 

Oh man, the awkward humor!?  Theres plenty of room for humor but good god the ham fisted humor in this movie!  Why couldnt you let Finn die by sacrificing himself for the greater good?  Would have been a powerful, meaningful moment in this otherwise slap in the face of a movie.

This movie bothered me more than it should have... its just a movie.  Yet its a story near and dear to my heart.  The very first Star Wars captured my imagination and never let go from the time I was a kid.  The incredible sights, sounds, characters, and story have kept me hooked for decades. I can appreciate taking things in a new direction, changing the focus, and/or subverting expectations.  This did not feel like that.  It felt like a personal decision to throw that meaningful relic that has been through so much with you over a shoulder like trash.

Mitch StocktonComment