Final Thoughts on Star Wars: The Last Jedi
By now I think mostly everyone who wanted to avoid spoilers for the latest Star Wars movie has seen the film, but if not, this is a fair SPOILER WARNING for anyone meaning to watch the film and still hasn’t been able to as of yet.
So after seeing Star Wars: The Last Jedi four times in theaters, (I’m passionate about Star Wars) I can say without a doubt that many of the opinions I had about the movie have changed. At first, some of the unexpected twists caught me off guard, and while I thought some were very clever and well done, I wasn’t so sure how I felt about others. The major scene that I didn’t know how I felt about was Leia’s use of the Force to escape the vacuum of space. The first time I saw the movie, I was so shocked by this scene that it stood out like a sore thumb. The next three times I saw the film, however, that was no longer a problem I had. This was especially because of the buildup to the scene, where Kylo Ren refuses to kill his mother, but his TIE Fighter escorts go through with the shot anyways. This scene was really well done, but after watching the movie more times, it made me think of new a question: Does Kylo Ren even know that Leia is still alive?
One thing that I mentioned in my first review of the movie were how some of the jokes were out of place. I still agree with this opinion, as I wish they had gone with the more subtle humor seen in previous Star Wars films, where the joke didn’t demand the entire scene, but could be placed in a scene that had a higher purpose than just making the viewer laugh. One scene that I thought was out of place was the scene where a small alien tries to put coins in BB-8 at the Canto Bight Casino, thinking the droid was a slot machine. Another joke that was completely out of place was in the middle of a great chase scene where the Millennium Falcon was evading TIE Fighter fire, and a porg, the birds from Luke’s island, slams into the window of the cockpit. By the time I saw scenes like these for a third and fourth time, I was just trying to ignore them.
A problem I constantly heard that people had with the movie was Luke’s characterization in the story, where he had given up and had isolated himself after failing Ben Solo and indirectly causing the rise of the First Order. When he saw Ben’s thoughts in flashback scene, he sensed that Kylo Ren would destroy everything Luke held dear. I thought that this aspect of the movie was great, as Luke had realized how the Jedi had failed more often than not, and he had lost hope in the Jedi until he ultimately returned to save the Resistance from the First Order. Although it is sad to see our former hero go down this darker path, sacrificing himself for the greater good in the end fulfilled his redemption. Not only did he redeem himself, but he also, although unwillingly, helped Rey become a wiser and stronger character. Kylo Ren on the other hand, almost redeemed himself, but ultimately gave in to the dark side by the end of the movie.
Kylo Ren’s arc is probably one of the things I enjoy most when I rewatch the film, as it’s revealed that he joined the dark side because of a misunderstanding, at least that’s how I saw it. In Kylo Ren’s point of view, Luke, his master and representative of the Jedi, failed when he “attempted” to kill him, so Kylo Ren had no choice but to defend himself. Because of this, he accepted the dark side in order to destroy Luke. This makes rewatching The Force Awakens really interesting, because you can now see why he was so desperate to find Luke, so that he could exact his revenge on the teacher who failed him.
Overall, the film wasn’t perfect, but there were some things that I grew to enjoy more with each viewing. I thought some of the characters were used much more effectively in the previous installment, where I feel basically every character’s role was essential to the plot and to the viewer’s enjoyment. This wasn’t the case in The Last Jedi, where I was less interested in some of the side-plots of the movie. Locations such as Canto Bight, while I do enjoy them, fall flat in comparison with some of the other arcs of the movie. To sum it up, the movie is great in many aspects, but I had some minor problems that kept it from being one of Star Wars’ best films.