So, it's been long enough. Too long actually that I doubt anyone gives a %$#@ about my opinion. With that in mind, I'll keep it short, more of a rant, given that you've already read dozens if not hundreds of these things.
Overall, the quick and easy rating system:
7-8 out of 10* (mostly for some big moments and nostalgia)
6-7 out of 10* (those moments removed)
5-6 out of 10* (when you really dig into the plot as presented)
And I kinda bounce somewhere along all three depending upon who I'm talking to about it.
So while I'm not conflicted about whether I liked it, I'm conflicted about how good it actually was.
As in, which is more important: How a movie makes you feel or How well the story actually unfolds.
Going off memory, let's begin with the characters—
In the Last Jedi, we learn he's also a dick and the fact he's a dick leads to everything falling apart and going to shit. And like a child, it's only once everything is good and broken, he learns that the real leaders running things knew best all along.
And no, don't give me "Well, if only they'd told him...."
No, Poe is a PILOT. Let me say that again. He's. A. P-I-L-O-T.
Much like this guy:
Maverick didn't cause a whole fleet to be destroyed.
Maverick didn't totally disregard military protocols in actual combat.
Maverick didn't stage a CUE when he'd already screwed up and gotten alot of people killed.
*Also, Maverick would've been hung for his actions.
*Also, despite being a jerk, Maverick did fear and respect his superiors.Finally, though Maverick's actions didn't cost the life of his best friend, it didn't take a WHOLE MOVIE FOR HIM TO GROW UP!!!!!!!!
This is Poe's arc: Poe is awesome, Poe is a dick, Poe ruins everything, but in the end, in the final moment, he's the one who then becomes the only leader left and so, yeah, what else should we do but follow him.
Vice Admiral Holdo
*Even me, as you'll read. Though I would say it would've been for the benefit of her character and Poe's (if that even mattered) had she been more Alpa about it and less Beta.
So, I'm very much down with her character. However, what I HATE. I HATE. Is how she acted towards Poe. She talked OVER HIM, not DOWN TO HIM, and not in a meaningful way. It was setup for the plot. We all knew what was going to happen after their "UH OH" conversation.
And it's NOT that it couldn't have be taken in a meaningful way, but Poe is a dick—such subtle logic and passive-aggressive language does nothing but piss him off: A-Typical Male bs is what drives his character.
AND SO we realize though Holdo (and what comes later) that if you don't counter said jerks with similar strength and direct confrontation...A.K.A "Pull his Man Card" they only dig deeper into their assholness—kinda like a tick.
And I just hated this, not for the voice, themes or even sub-themes the Last Jedi wanted to tackle via this character, but it kinda made the outcome too much of a gimmick and it made the Vice Admiral unaware of the most likely results.
Her character isn't a school teacher and Poe isn't the class bully.
Her character isn't a police commander and Poe the hot-shot cop who might, at worse, cause the death of a friend before learning his lesson and then being the great future leader everyone wants him to be...that was Maverick's plot.
This new trilogy is built upon a large, large, large, large scale Resistance/Rebellion/Military organization that's kinda on it's last legs: funding, resources, people willing to even commit to the cause.The stakes were too high for her to act as she did with Poe's insubordination, twice. And, she doesn't confront Leia about how she coddles him. Which again, is crap.
She should've know the type of person Poe is and should've pulled his card and verbally crushed him and it should've been dealing with HER that he learned his lesson. Also, after the fact of his failed CUE, she should've had him arrested. Up until the very end, Poe should've been looking at a potential execution for his actions/crimes. *That's what happens in real rebellions/resistances and no I don't care how "popular" Poe was or thought he was—popularity isn't how such organizations are run in the field, life and death.
So of course, that wasn't the play, the play was for the plot to go on because Poe is a dick and again like a child, must keep fucking things up.
*Odd how both Holdo and even Leia contribute to the same male ego bullshit, even just the breathing room of it, while attempting to NOT in their own way because their and Rey's characters are all about Female Empowerment.
General Leia Organa
As with Force Awakens, this character was really wakened for me—despite her cool solo/force moment and later seeing her talk with Luke.
1) Why wasn't the Resistance really the military of the New Republic?
2) Why did no one seem to really respect the General, come to her aid, listen to her, fear her?
3) Why was the Resistance so weakened?
I could go on and on, but those answers weren't really covered in the Force Awakens or the Last Jedi. For that, you'll have to seek further information which makes me mad when plot points or character backgrounds are spread out. But we know why they do that: $$$$$$$$$
Anyway, in the Last Jedi Leia pretty much fails to do her duty and command the Resistance. She's not really viewed or revered he way a male character of such background and pedigree would be honored. I me, seriously, she's been fighting the Empire/First Order her whole life. She got the whole thing going by reaching out to Old Ben. Shen then joined the New Republic and then forged the Resistance to fight the First Order despite the New Republic not really considering it much of a threat—despite what they did in Force Awakens.
So why does she exist?
A) to show Kylo Ren/Ben Solo isn't really all that bad. Why? Because he doesn't blow up his mom.
B) to get a "force moment" for fans of the books.
C) to eventually pass the torch to the very ungrateful and unqualified Poe.
D) to chat with Luke at the very end, cause he's the savoir—in the end she still needed saving.
Too bad we'll never get to know her role in the final Star Wars movie...
She basically leveled up: new clothes, new weapon, new powers/skills and that's about it.
She finds Luke, but he doesn't care about her or anything so he doesn't train her. She kinda trains herself, but that means all of nothing to me. Eventually Luke tells her a "tiny" bit about the Force and then before we know it she leaves Luke behind.
We really should've gotten a Star Wars type scene/relationship between Swank and Eastwood in Million Dollar Baby
So why did Rey find Luke?
1) Cause that's what she thought she needed, but didn't—as evident by not really learning anything from him and going ahead just fine.
2) So we could learn about Luke and Kylo's history (one of the great scenes in the movie)
3) So we could learn that the past no longer matters.
So, after thinking about murdering his student Ben, Luke runs away and hides.
He's later found, but doesn't care.
Eventually he tells Rey a little bit about the force.
However, Luke then finds Rey and Ben have been Foce-Video Talking and this pisses him off and scares him at the same time. And after a short argument with Luke, where Rey learns about his POV about how things went down with Ben, Rey leaves.
Luke later shows up to save the day at the end and faces off against Ben, but not really, though it's kinda cool and weird at the same time. This is around the time when he talks to Leia one last time.
Luke then dies.
Oh, and Yoda shows up—shortly before Luke comes to the rescue of the failed Resistance—and drops a force lightning bolt and destroys all this sacred stuff that doesn't mean anything.
*****Yeah, Hamill didn't really like/agree with aspects of this interpretation/portrayal of his character and I agree, but I'll accept it. I'm kinda just glad it's coming to an end.
Ben Solo/Kylo Ren
This character is really the only one who has an arc.
However, again, without A TON of info not included in the movies, you fail to fully go along with the story of HOW and WHY Ben became Kylo. You're just made to "get" it and move along. However, at least now with this movie we learn about the rift between Ben and Luke.....and at least that is enough for me to jump on board with a troubled character who lashed out and gave into something always inside of him, despite their also being good.
And now the character who didn't even really matter—
Phasma and Finn
Sorry, they don't matter.
Phasma is yet another Fett/Maul: She looked unique and ended up being a dud, but, there's a book or comic or w/e that's all about her backstory.....who cares?
Finn: Yeah, he goes on some long drawn out useless mission based on a bad plot, and yeah he fights Phasma in the end, but really, who cares? *The best thing that should've happened to Finn, didn't, because a new character saved him.
Yep, like this blurry images, he doesn't matter because clarity and reason mean all of nothing.
Who are the Twizzler Knights, are they the Knights of Ren? Doesn't matter.
Why? Because like Snoke, they all die so who cares.
But wait, remember, there'll be a book coming out soon to let you in on all the juicy details about WHO SNOKE IS......yet it didn't matter for the movie.
Ok, enough of harping on the characters, let's dig into what was good before we close by talking about the shitty plot/script. And how the movie was really like three movies in one that relied on a few really cool scenes and alot of nostalgia, all to day "Fuck the past"—which while ballzy, and a dash of newness, is kinda a hard pill to swallow after decades of fan theory and baiting. Specifically by the forces behind Star Wars, simply to keep the whole thing going.....kinda like the whole fuel sequence :)
Ok. Great moments.
I was so pissed when I first thought she'd been killed, but then I also was into her just being killed off in such a brutal way. Felt very GoT in how they just clip popular characters. I respected the choice, but then I was SOOOOO happy when she got to use the Force.
*Although, they should've maybe thought about a better way for her to move through space, the Marry Poppins memes are hilarious.
Ben had only begun training with Luke after he already had some notion of his powers, and he only trained with him for a little while, before learning that Vader was his grandfather (which is also alot of the reason behind why Leia is as she is in this new trilogy) and then THIS happened, which gave him reason to join with Snoke. And he was only a Knight of Ren for a few years more before the Force Awakens...so all in all, he wasn't trained very long as a Jedi and only a little more as Knight of Ren before Rey showed up. They're only ten years apart in age. So in this scene, Ben is still very very much a boy and not a man.
*IF you hack a computer, the user of said computer can't HIDE what they're doing on it from you—likewise, if SNOKE is truly all in Ben's mind and knowing his every action, BEN can't hide his true thoughts from Snoke.
No, instead we're just now to assume that Ben picked the right time to use this new power or that Snoke's ego is so much he dropped the ball—AND YES, the hubris argument is lame and weak writing and terrible justification for a powerful foe to just suddenly die in a stupid way,
We need a MOMENT where Snoke realizes he's missed something. Or we need a moment where Rey and Ben join to kill Snoke together....or any number of situations to get the same results.
Also, they then fight the Twizzler Knights and though it looks cool, they do come pretty close to dying, both of them, vs just these Force Sensitive baddie bodyguards.....
So again, you killed the main boss only to struggle against the henchmen? Nah.
It looked really pretty though. :)
I loved Luke being fired upon and Kylo's rage, though I didn't like the shoulder-dusting.
I enjoyed Luke and Kylo's fight, though some of the choreography bothered me.
I enjoyed Luke's final words to Kylo the most.
Ok, so all of those were great scenes and visuals and moments to be remembered. But we're not done cause we're going to quickly go over the plot.
The plot is basically a run-away train scene, with a chase involved.
And it's got multiple climaxes and side missions, cause no one could choose a Middle and End point to settle on so they found a way to throw it all in...
So, despite Rey's side adventure to find Luke while the train is running, they threw in a SECOND side adventure for Finn and Rose to go off on (instead of somehow including the person they need being ON THE TRAIN WITH THEM???? But then they don't really need that ONE GUY, really any guy will do and it has nothing to do with the Will of the Foce: Shit Just Happens) and that adventure leads to a second part, where they've got to board the enemy ship. And of course they're betrayed (subtle messages there) and this allows Finn to fight and kill Phasma, but nothing is solved or fixed about the run-away train/chase so then we Crash the Train...
Climax Number One.
Awesome, but that isn't enough So we jump back to Rey and Kylo and Snoke.
Snoke is killed and Kylo becomes the new big baddie.
Climax Number Two....
But that isn't enough, because the First Order follows the ships down to the planet where the second plot of the movie comes in.
It's now a castle under siege plot (reminded me of Helms Deep from LOTR) and then we need someone to come save the heroes because there's magically a weapon specific for this circumstance and ships that look pretty when they ride the sand but none of this matters or really needs to make sense because no one comes to save the leader of the Resistance, who was a main leader of the Rebellion—which without knowing Leia/Ben's background related to Vader, this is really confusing and depressing when you think how the whole Republic is basically giving a blind eye to the First Order despite how they blew up like five or more planets in the first movie and had created the ultra mega death star and killed a prominent hero of the Rebellion.
But then we get the Third Climax because Luke shows up and fights Kylo and we're all good and the Resistance goes on and the First Order is reborn as well. Good.
So, yeah....that's The Last Jedi.
Because it's STAR WARS it gets alot of room to make shitty choices and yet still be loved.
That's the best I can do.