An Incoherent Fan-Fic Mess
Kathleen Kennedy cooks the Golden Goose that is the Star Wars franchise, eats it, and then excretes it in the latest entry of the Social Justice Trilogy; The Last Jedi.
There are some cool things here. The crystal foxes. The Yoda puppet was mostly well done, though it seemed they had a little problem with the eyes. The Jedi Island caretakers were pretty cool. But that’s really about it.
As I wrote in my review for TFA, the Micro story in Star Wars is about the characters; the Skywalker family’s journey into and out of darkness. The Macro story is about the political state of the galaxy; the rise and fall of Republics and Empires. The relationship between the First Order and the Resistance in TFA is poorly defined. Who controls the galaxy? Well, here it seems to be defined that the First Order controls the galaxy. Which means that the climax in Episode VI where we see galaxy wide celebrations toppling statues of the Emperor and hoisting Stormtroopers overhead is now meaningless.
Poe’s primary function in the film is to argue with bossy women, and not to do much of anything else other than whoop in a cockpit here and there.
Remember the casino planet from the original 1978 Battlestar Galactica that everyone slammed? Well, Finn and this new character Rose go on a diversion to a dimly lit murky casino planet, where we’re treated to moronic social justice lectures about evil rich people engaging in slave labor, illicit arms deals, and animal abuse. After which they free one of the horses and ride around on it in lighting too dark to really see what’s going on. They’re in search of…something…which Benecio Del Toro turns them in for, so that the First Order can bring Finn and Rose back with Poe and Rey near the end in as contrived a fashion as possible. The entire pointless Canto Bight casino sequence could have been replaced with more interesting material, and I write about that here.
Rey and Kylo argue with each other via The Force. Rey’s all tough and gritty and hard as nails having been a scrapper on Jakku. Remember? But here she somehow can’t stand to see a man with his shirt off. Not kidding.
Princess Leia flies through empty airless space like Superman after being blown out of the hull of her ship without incurring a single blemish. Absolutely not kidding here.
Rey asks Luke for Jedi training, but what for? Mary Sue Rey clearly already knows it all. She lectures him about the things he’s done and why he really did it and what he’s really thinking. Apparently Luke is still the student. Lightsaber training? She bests Luke on the island with a lightsaber. What training is necessary? The Bechdel Galaxy won’t allow for any mansplaining from a white male like Luke. Chewbacca came along for the ride here but spends most of the time taking a nap off camera with the Star Wars version of a pikachu.
How they found Luke’s lightsaber was a story for another time, remember? Well, not this time. Maybe next time.
Captain Phasma pops up in time for Finn to have a climactic lightsaber-esque battle too. Equal equality equitably equalized. And then Phasma dies just as quickly, not from a winning blow by Finn, but by falling through a collapsing floor into a fireball. I guess it wouldn’t be prudent to have a man assaulting a woman in the shadow of Hollywood’s Pervnado.
Hux spouts over the top villainous hyperbole. That is all.
BB8 shows up to drive an AT-ST. R2D2 and C3PO make their brief appearances but have little to no function.
We then end with an AT-AT battle a la TESB. Luke makes an appearance to standoff with the AT-ATs but is utterly wasted here. Does he go to town on the AT-AT legs with his lightsaber? Does he lift the AT-ATs into the air telekinetically and bash them into one another? Maybe some other show of the power that he’s developed while in exile over the decades? Nope. Instead Luke’s merely a mental projection here, and it exhausts him to the point of dying back on his exile planet. He’s rusty now, having closed himself off to the Force after all; a necessary contrivance that allowed Rey to best him earlier with a lightsaber I’m guessing. At least we get to see Luke milk an alien nipple; that’s what you’ve been waiting for to see all these years, right?
The rebels – I mean resistance – attack the AT-ATs with a squadron of ground-based cable cars, which drag an armature on the ground so we can see nifty red sand fly into the air. If the writers had done a brief Google search on aircraft physics they would have found the effects of jet spray from low flying craft. The armature was unnecessary and served only to keep the craft bound to the planet’s surface. Since the cable cars were restricted to the ground, all TIE fighters would have to do is circle above and fire away.
Finn drives one of these cable cars towards a kind of battering ram weapon that was firing on blast doors which protected the rebel base. He intended to take it out to protect the rebels within. In what could have been a poignant tragic hero moment with Finn dive-bombing into the weapon thus saving the rebels with his sacrifice, Rose shows up out of nowhere in another cable car and deliberately crashes into Finn to “save him” from his dive bombing. So now they’re both on the battlefield exposed in their wrecked cable cars, and the battering ram weapon is still operational, bringing down the resistance’s protective blast doors. And it was all for Rose’s selfish hours old infatuation with Finn. Gee thanks.
Then Kylo and Rey team up to fight Snoke. Hoping some mysteries about Snoke are revealed here? Or maybe a spectacular display of Snoke’s power with the Force? Well, Rey deftly kills Snoke by telekinetically switching on a resting lightsaber while he’s sitting in his throne pontificating. No answers for you. Kylo and Rey then proceed to fight Snoke’s guards, even though they no longer have anything to guard with Snoke’s death. Whatever training Daisy Ridley had for this film shows a marked improvement in regards to her stance and motion when fighting from what we saw in TFA, but it still can’t erase the silliness of watching a 95-pound girl best adversaries that outweigh her by 150 pounds.
Looks like I forgot about Holdo’s ridiculous maneuver in this review which I write about here.
What’s clear to me is that the writers here have no knowledge whatsoever of the deeper layers of the onion that have always provided the foundation for Star Wars. No knowledge of war or military history. No knowledge of mythology or mysticism. No knowledge of the history of civilization. No knowledge of dogfights or sword fighting. No knowledge of basic physics or anatomy. The only things they seem to have knowledge of is previous Star Wars films (or at least the trailers for them), social justice nonsense, and the Bechdel Test. So we’re left with a shallow unnuanced exercise in social justice lecturing and feminist posturing couched in cosplay costumes and 40-year-old Ralph McQuarrie designs which were rejected from The Original Trilogy production.
And all of this drek was dragged out over 2.5 hours.
I could be wrong, but I can’t imagine the bulk of the audience returning for Episode IX after being subjected to this drek. It’s clear that fans weren’t returning for multiple viewings of this one.
Help us, George Lucas. You’re our only hope.