Because there are an uncountable amount of Star Wars and geek-based pop culture websites on the internet, you’ve probably read a few reviews of The Last Jedi already but I’ll bet you they’ve all said the same things. Because we at Another Star Wars Page like to give alternative views on popular Star Wars news, this review will contain things you haven’t heard elsewhere. Click the jump for more!
I’ll come right out of the gate and say it: this entry into the new Star Wars trilogy is about letting go of the past and moving on, both thematically within the film and as a message to Star Wars fans across the world.
We’ve all heard Kylo Ren’s monologue from the trailer (“Let the past die. Kill it if you have to. That’s the only way to become what you were meant to be”) and I believe it’s referring to the Star Wars saga. The only way the saga will continue to go forward is to eventually lose all of the “legacy characters” we are all so fond of. Now that Han Solo is dead, Luke is dead (but one with the Force) and Carrie Fisher is gone in real life, we don’t have anyone left to continue the story. Now what Lucasfilm is going to do with Carrie Fisher’s Leia in Episode XI is still unknown, but many, including myself are guessing she will die off screen and we will be told about it in the opening crawl.
In the new trilogy, Han, Luke and Leia were set up to pass the baton onto Rey, Finn and Poe so eventually their characters had to perish or be removed from the story one way or another. The Last Jedi is the spark of the beginning of the end for our “Big Three”. Also, the very last scene of The Last Jedi show a group of children with one in particular being Force sensitive, showing us that Star Wars will push forward with new characters to become attached to and keep the legacy of Star Wars alive forever. Personally, that ending felt like the ending of a third entry in a trilogy, it was suggestive that there are new Jedi out there to be trained, and who better to train them than Rey.
The film’s biggest strengths lied in its ability to break new ground. It didn’t follow The Empire Strikes Back and I’m grateful it didn’t. It did new things with the Force and while many fanboys have cried out in terror over Kylo Ren and Rey’s talk across the galaxy, I feel it was justified by Snoke, telling them he tethered the two together with the Force. Most, if not all of the other reviews about The Last Jedi point out that the Canto Bight scenes were not needed, bogged down by CGI and simply dragged the film down. I think that’s one thing every Star Wars fan can agree on.
There’s also the issue of Luke’s Force apparition appearing at the end battle of Crait, which I did take offense to on my first viewing. I felt that the whole meeting between him and Leia was cheapened after the fact, knowing that he wasn’t really there…and neither were the dice he gave her. After thinking about it more between viewings, it made sense to me that Luke used all of his power projecting himself to Kylo, allowing his friends to make it to safety. It also made sense that while Luke may not have physically been there to talk to Leia, it was symbolic and the best she was going to get in that situation in the film.
It was also in Luke’s character to sacrifice himself to allow the Resistance to escape Kylo Ren mentions earlier in the film that the act of Rey speaking to Kylo across the galaxy would kill her so it would make sense that what Luke did would and could kill him.
When it comes to Rey’s parents, I believe that Kylo Ren is telling her a lie to get her angry and to turn to the Dark Side. I remember James Earl Jones talking about the pivotal Vader/Luke scene on Bespin and saying that even he didn’t believe Vader when he read the lines for the ADR. Vader was later confirmed to be Luke’s father in Return of the Jedi, three years later in 1983. I have a feeling that what Kylo told Rey were misdirection to her and to the fans.
Now onto another controversy among fans – Leia. While I would have been accepting of our Princess being sucked into the vacuum of space and dying there, it was a little hard to believe that she could have survived being out there as long as she was, but it’s Star Wars and not everything can please everyone, not to mention that it’s a space fantasy film. It’s not grounded in reality and on my second viewing, I remembered that and shook off my negativity towards the scene. Other than that, I am fine with the decision to make her “fly” back to the ship, using the Force, of course. When the film cut to the close up of her while playing Leia’s Theme, it was a very sobering reminder that Carrie is gone but as Luke says to her near the end of the film, “No one’s every really gone”.
Overall, I’m glad this newest entry took risks and gave fans new things to
fight over discuss while giving us more things to question – like is Kylo Ren telling the truth about Rey’s parents, what will happen to the First Order now that Snoke is dead?
One thing is for sure: The Porgs didn’t disappoint!