10 Thoughts On Star Wars: The Last Jedi (A Rey of Hope)

Potential spoi –wait, who are we kidding…

MAJOR SPOILERS!!!!

Here are our 10 Thoughts on the new Star Wars film.

1. The music was great. It carried scenes that could have otherwise faltered.

2. Luke Island’s deep dark evil place didn’t really pay off. Not too evil. Mothers everywhere cringe at the thought of their tantrum-throwing children receiving the evil gift of infinite echoes and immense dissatisfaction.

3. Hotheaded pilot definitely could have been brought into the “bigger plan” loop (like he was begging for!) earlier without any dire consequences. Plans to save the Rebel Forces should be discussed before the lack of conversation leads to well-intended coups. The very existence of their army and potentially the fate of the galaxy rested on the plans of a tightlipped, purple-haired Laura Dern. We trust you with a sick Triceratops, but come on– give a grounded Poe and the rest of the troops some “hope.” We get the whole “traditional heroes aren’t what we need” angle, but logistically this seemed purposefully obtuse.

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So lets not tell anybody anything? Cool cool cool

4. Luke was pretty worthless up until the end, and at that point couldn’t he have played out the fight a bit longer? It would have been helpful if he’d told the hiding remnants of the Rebel Forces “Hey guys, I’ll distract the baddies so you can escape” so they didn’t waste 5 minutes watching the showdown before they drew their own conclusions. Like: “Luke wouldn’t just do this, he totes has a plan! Maybe it is for us to watch him kick ass and cheer? Great, let’s make popcorn.”
*Death, no third movie

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Or

“Aw Snap! Luke is just an astro-projection a la Dr. Strange (and you can see the two of them in Disney’s Star Wars: Avengers of the Galaxy). This is totally just a distraction. Let’s go out the back. Oh crap, heavy rocks. Phew, Rey is here to save the day! This must have been coordinated by Rey and Luke so we could escape on the Millennium Falcon! Wait– it wasn’t? Luke distracted the New Order forces just to mess with Kylo Ren without first establishing a clear exit strategy? That is some hardcore kamikaze-style troll work!”

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5. I liked Rey better in this movie. And Adam Driver. When they went back to back I flipped out. Like, HOLY CRAP IT IS JUST LIKE ARMY OF TWO!

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Lots of tension between these two. Kylo Ren with the emotionally manipulative pick up line during office hours. Very unprofessional with a 0% chance of working. You know, the Matt Lauer way.

“So your parents are trash people that cared nothing for a trash baby like you. In fact nobody in the entire universe cares for a trash person like you. But I do…

…so will you join me… ?

…so thats like a hard “no?”

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, and women still got deal with this “the only real value you have is that which I bestow upon you” sh*t. And during a JOB INTERVIEW no less.

6. Rey’s role and origin story (or lack thereof) signals a key change in the Star Wars dynamic and mythos. In many ways, Star Wars is a Skywalker tale. But as the movie goes through great lengths to demonstrate, light and dark exist in everything. In this way, it is balance and harmony that the Jedi bring that is “good,” and the corruption and chaos the New Order brings that is “evil.” This is a pretty common superhero trope.

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The chosen hero(es) are usually there to restore the status quo, to save the planet/galaxy from imminent threat or danger. Their role is not to improve the world, but to keep it safe and balanced so that the rest of us non-heroes can improve it. In this way, The Last Jedi strays a bit from the Star Wars “chosen one” narrative and introduces a world of less flashy heroes. Enter:

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Rose, is a different type of hero. Her arc followed a traditional hero’s path, but she ultimately didn’t get to use her superpower/skillset. When she saves Finn from a needless suicide mission, she reminds him that the purpose of the resistance was “not to kill those we hate, but to save those we love.” Losing sight of this feeds that same hatred that corrupted the hearts of Anakin and Ben Solo. The heroines of this tale –both Rey and Rose– decide to go a different direction. These aren’t the chosen ones. They don’t have special parents (though we wonder if Ren’s nastiness was just some scared BS to get Rey to stay with him and it’ll turn out that she DOES have some sort of premium lineage). They come from forgotten “junk planets” and slave-powered casino planets.

Furthermore, Rian Johnson’s Star Wars tears down many of the archetypes we have come to expect in the franchise, like the Emperor stand-in with a badass commander (Maul, Vader, Ren). Supreme Leader Snoke made it about halfway through this trilogy before he had to “split” HAHA. They had their Boba Fett (in Phasma) struck down. #RIPBRIENEOFDARTH

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The setup for the finale is different than what came before. The Skywalker family has come full circle. Like Harvey Dent once said “you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” Kylo Ren, as emo and conflicted as ever, has seemingly crossed the point of a potential redemption story. His foil will not come in the form of a legendary hero who prophesy foretold, but rather will be with the likes of no-names like Rey and broom-wielding slave children. They’re a rejection of the past that consumes Ren and envelopes him in hate and angst. Hatred is the champion of the past, Hope is the hero of the future, and they get battle it out for the present in the next Star Wars.

Also that broom boy ensures the franchise is good for another set of Star Wars films…

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7. Definitely kept waiting for one of the 20000x opportunities that Leia had to die to pan out. WTF will they do in the next movie? Abrams has already stated that they want to minimize bringing back Leia a la Grand Moff Tarkin in third film…which makes you wonder, if they’re doing it “out of respect” for Fisher, what gives with their feelings for Cushing? It really felt like Rian Johnson was keen on tearing down all of the holdovers that The Force Awakens brought over, but but perhaps it is fitting for General Organa to make it to the finish line… In this way I wonder if die-hard Star Wars fans might have enjoyed that movie more compared to “it felt pretty long; oh look another battle” The Last Jedi.

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Don’t get it twisted, it was still epic!

8. So Rey stole the Jedi books after going into the not-really-evil-heart-of-darkness hole, and then Yoda showed up and prevented Luke from figuring that out. What? Also, “secret Jedi books” seems like a pretty lame plot device. Luke had to go find Yoda in Dagobah to get trained. But now we don’t need someone to pass along stuff like that? We expect certain things in our movies. We go to a Rocky movie, we expect a training montage. We go to a Star Wars movie, we expect a poignant mentor/mentee learning sequence. Instead, we get “totally will tap into my first instinct with the Force” Rey, and a “socially awkward because he only interacts with nun-like native creatures” Luke, arguing (a lot).

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“You interrupted my mountain pose, Rey!” *Takes lightsaber and tosses it over the cliff.*

No one really looks forward to “diligently studying books” montages…

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Or do they? *Coming 2019, maybe.

9. BDT’s character was great as a morally-grey thief known simply as DJ. He doesn’t care about sides, he cares about profit, and Benicio Del Toro was perfect playing the ruggedly handsome con artist. His actions did directly result in like 75% of the Rebel Forces dying, so probably more villain than lovable antihero.

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10. Why does someone have to be there to guide the rebel main ship? Autopilot doesn’t exist on the high-tech space craft? Set a course through the baddies right off the bat and GTFO. Also, if we buy the whole “one must stay behind to sacrifice for the greater good” spiel, than shouldn’t that one person do everything necessary to ensure the greater good survives?? Why wasn’t the main cruiser turned into a giant light speed bomb when, you know, 90% of the Rebel transport ships were still alive? People died, Bro!!! How can you live with yourse–

…nevermind. Still, it does seem rather strange for the imminent threat to have to have such destructive success before anything was done about it.

I enjoyed the movie a lot, so if these sound super critical they shouldn’t.

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Solid 8/10 Brofist (much love to the Porgs, the true heroes)

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