The Last Jedi released in December 2017 with much hype and anticipation. The trailers definitely did their part to peak the interest of fans and moviegoers everywhere. It had a huge opening weekend in terms of box office collections and critiques rated the movie very favorably, with a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes for example. I went to this movie with a lot of hype and excitement and I was really let down as a Star Wars fan. But I'm not the only one. I've read many people rant about the movie and how it was the worst Star Wars movie of all time. I'm not sure I'll go that far but it was far from what I hoped to see. Here are some of the main reasons why I didn't like the film. SPOILERS AHEAD!!
Snoke Was Pointless
Lets start with Snoke (Andy Serkis). Snoke was introduced in The Force Awakens as this extremely powerful force wielder who built the first order and brought it to the heights where we see it in this trilogy. He was the one who tempted Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) to the dark side. We saw his incredible mastery of the force in many instances like when he choked General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) through a hologram, linking Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo using the force, and just tossing Rey around later in the movie. Kylo kills him which stunned me. We don't receive any information about who Snoke was, how he became that powerful, and how he built the First Order. Now Kylo is leading the First Order, which doesn't mean anything to me because he just loses all the time. At least with Snoke we could have take him seriously because, though his time in the trilogy was short lived, he was intimidating and we knew he was not to be messed with. Just utterly pointless and a complete waste of a character.
Rey Is A Mary Sue
Rey just baffles me. Here is someone who never had any training and as snoke puts it, never touched a lightsaber before and she beat Kylo back in Episode VII. In The Last Jedi, its more of the same. Luke offers her 2 lessons at best if you could even call those lessons. Its just crazy because we've been led to believe to be a jedi means to train since childhood with years of studying the force and lightsaber combat. But now because the dark side is too powerful the force just chooses to bestow people with more power for balance? If that is the case then there should be more potential but wouldn't they still have to train to learn how to use the force or fight? Luke struggled with his own training and he was beaten by Vader. We saw him get over these obstacles and go on which really made him a hero and an icon. But for Rey it is all too easy. From the beginning of The Force Awakens to the end of The Last Jedi 5 days would have passed at best, because the first scene between Rey and Luke picks up right where they left off at the end of The Force Awakens. So in 5 days, Rey goes from someone who thought Luke Skywalker was a myth, to someone who can fly the Falcon, beat Kylo in lightsaber combat, and lift boulders? I really want to like Rey, I mean she is the main character of this trilogy. But its just hard to get behind her at this point.
The Luke Skywalker We Didn't Deserve
What they did to Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) is the most disappointing part of the movie. Picking up where Episode VII left off, when Rey finds Luke on Ahch-To and hands him his lightsaber, he just throws it over his shoulder. The same lightsaber that belonged to his father just treated like garbage. All of the suspense and anticipation from the end of the last movie and in this scene gone. The weight of that moment just sacrificed for a comedic moment. I'm sure I wasn't the only one who just stared open mouthed incredulously at that point.
We learn later that when he was training Ben Solo, Luke saw darkness in the boy and in a moment of weakness, he thought he could end all the suffering that would potentially happen at the hands of Ben by killing him. He ignites his lightsaber but then that thought goes away. It was too late though as Ben sees him. Ben left the temple in ruin and eventually became Kylo Ren.
In his shame and failure as a teacher, he gives up, closes himself from the force, and has decided to wait death on that island. The only problem with all of that is the fact this is the same guy who sought out the good in Darth Vader, who had committed countless horrific deeds. Still Luke went to his father, refused to fight him, and eventually turned him back to the light. So this same Luke saw flashes of darkness in his nephew and still thought of killing him? I get that they're trying to say that it isn't the same Luke but I just can't believe that he would think of ending his nephew before anything even happened. Putting that aside, he says he chose to come to Ahch-To to die and doesn't want to be left alone. Then why did he leave a map in R2 to find him if he was needed? His sister Leia (Carrie Fischer) needs him, Snoke and Kylo are still out there, the first order are winning but he wasn't going to do anything. It was sad to see Luke as an shell of himself, not caring about anything.
Thankfully, with some guidance from Yoda, he confronts Kylo and dies in peace bringing hope to the resistance and the galaxy which was more like the old Luke. At least we got to see him go out as himself.
Leia's Force Moment
The First Order tracked the Resistance through hyperspace and attacked their fleet. The bridge where most of the leaders gets blown up. I remember thinking this is it. This is how they were going to kill Leia, since Carrie Fischer had passed away. Nope. This turned out to be Leia's big force moment. The first time we actually see Leia use the force. She somehow creates like a force bubble around herself and kinda flies through space to end up back on the ship in a very awkward looking shot. I knew it was supposed to be a big moment but I just cringed and many people in the theater laughed. It was just ridiculous to see her "Mary Poppins", if you will, herself back to the bridge.
After Leia made it back onto the ship, she was too weak and went into a coma of sorts. So the next in the chain of command was Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern). They were just ahead of the First Order fleet where they wouldn't get shot down but they were burning through fuel. And with the hyperspace tracking there seemed to be no way out. Her plan was to get close to the planet Crait where there was an old rebel base. There transport ships could sneak to the planet while the First Order still kept an eye on the main cruiser. Sounds like a good plan considering the circumstances right? But she just wouldn't tell Poe or anyone the plan. This was just ridiculous because Poe seeing no hope he approved of Finn and Rose's mission which we'll get too. Then later, with the help of a few supporters, he revolts and "relieves Holdo of her duty". Leia wakes up from her coma and knocks him out. All of the trouble Finn, Rose, and Poe went through in almost an hour or more of runtime was just pointless and a waste. If Holdo just told Poe the plan the moment he asked her, Finn and Rose wouldn't have had to leave at all.
Finn and Rose
When the resistance find out that the first order can track them through hyperspace, Finn, Rose, and Poe come up with a plan to get aboard the ship which houses the tracker and disable it allowing the resistance fleet to escape. But they need the help of a master code breaker. Poe sends Finn and Rose to the planet Canto Bight where he could be found. We get some dialogue about how the people on that planet benefit from war and suffering and some scenes showing animal cruelty and child labor. Anyway Finn and Rose get arrested and conveniently run into another code breaker named DJ (Benecio del Toro) who has a way to open the cell door but never did until that moment? OK. Then while rendezvousing with DJ, Finn and Rose lead a bunch of creatures called fathiers through the town and toward freedom. Finn says it was worth it because they tore the town up and freed those creatures. It was like those 45 minutes were just to bring up those issues. And all the time they were on this planet it was infuriating to know that none of this had to even happen if Holdo just told Poe!
With DJ's help they sneak onto the tracker ship. But they get caught so DJ betrays them. We get an appearance from Captain Phasma again only for her to die in 5 minutes. What a waste of a character. After meeting up with the other members of the Resistance on Crait, they and other pilots including Poe try to take out the First Order's cannon. Here was a great moment for Poe and Finn. When he realizes it was a losing battle, Poe orders the pilots to fall back. We see him go from a reckless "trigger happy" pilot into a leader. Finn though he is so close to the cannon he could take it out but he would get killed in the process and he is prepared to sacrifice himself for the Resistance. I was genuinely happy because it would have been good for his character to complete his arc that way. But then Rose comes out of nowhere, crashes into his ship and says she saved him because she loved him. Where did that come from?? The cannon was unharmed and blasts through the bases defenses.
It should have been Finn and Poe who go on this side mission to find the Master Code Breaker. That way we could have built on those characters and maybe got some development. Instead Poe is made to look like some reckless idiot, and Finn gets robbed of a moment where we would have gotten behind him as a character. Rose was just poorly written. In the beginning she stops Finn from "deserting" because her sister gave her life for the Resistance. By the end of the movie she stops him from doing the same.
There was a lot of comedy in this movie. I think they tried to follow a Marvel-like style, but this movie was too dark for the amount of comedy and the placement of it to work. It compromised the seriousness and the gravity of scenes. For example, in the beginning we open on what looks like it could be an epic space battle, only to have Poe crack a "yo mama" type joke on Hux, making Hux and the First Order look like complete buffoons. Next, on the island when Rey hands Luke his lightsaber. Again all the anticipation carried over for two years just thrown away for some cheap laughs. After Poe gets back from destroying the Dreadnought, Leia is grieving at the number of people she lost, Hux gets chewed out by Snoke, and the tone of that moment just thrown away when the next shot is of Finn bumbling about half naked with water just spilling out of some med suit. It pissed me off and kept getting annoying as the movie went on.
Things That Don't Belong
Star Wars is not the platform for issues like feminism or diversity and SJW stuff. It is fine to have strong female leads, and actors of minorities playing characters in the universe. After all, we would expect the galaxy far, far, away to be a big galaxy. But creating such characters and forcing the spotlight on them at the expense of making the male characters look incompetent is not okay. Poe followed orders in The Force Awakens and was a hero for destroying Starkiller Base. But in this movie, he is a trigger happy, cocky, reckless pilot allowing Leia and Holdo to chide him and almost put him in his place? Luke being a cranky old hippie and Rey, who hasn't earned a single thing and has everything just handed to her, gets to show him up? A mission to find the master code breaker takes a detour and forces issues of slavery and animal cruelty down our throat? No... just no. The focus should be on developing the characters to support the story and trying to build upon Rey, Finn, and Poe introduced in Episode VII and writing a story that makes sense and doesn't seem like a complete waste of time.
These were just the biggest reasons that ruined this movie for me. I know a lot of people hated that the porgs were everywhere, but that didn't bother me that much.
JJ Abrams set things up in The Force Awakens and it just felt like they were totally ignored like the fact that the knights or Ren weren't in the movie, or even that Rey's parents turned out to be nobody. I thought the actors did well with what they were given, in particular Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley. I still can't believe how they portrayed Luke. Mark Hamill has said in interviews that he told director Rian Johnson that he disagreed with how Johnson wrote Luke's character in the movie. He tried to tell us.
AnxoMatRo on September 12, 2019:
It's "piqued," not "peaked." And, in the context you used it, it's "critic" not "critique." Keep up the good work and next time, look for an editor who'll go through it! It was a painful read.