Movie Review: Star Wars – Episode VIII – The Last Jedi

“The First Order reigns. Having decimated the peaceful Republic, Supreme Leader Snoke now deploys his merciless legions to seize military control of the galaxy.

Only General Leia Organa’s band of Resistance fighters stand against the rising tyranny, certain that Jedi Master Luke Skywalker will return and restore a spark of hope to the fight.

But the Resistance has been exposed. As the First Order speeds toward the rebel base, the brave heroes mount a desperate escape…”

This review is NOT spoiler-free! Read at your own risk!

Meant to post this in December, shortly after seeing the movie… but I hemmed and hawed, unsure of how best to convey my thoughts. Plus, The Last Jedi has definitely proved to be a controversial movie! I’d been waiting for it since freshman year, which seems SO long ago, and now that it’s finally been released the review proved tricky to write!

The tl;dr version of my review is this: I enjoyed The Last Jedi, but didn’t like it as much as some of the other films in the franchise. I’m not necessarily a prequel-hater, but this was better than any of them… yet didn’t inspire the same feelings of utter adoration that the original trilogy did and still does. There were a few missteps, but ultimately I’m still excited for Episode IX and really curious to see where the story will go from here!

If you’re looking for something more in-depth, read on.

I’m still figuring out where I stand on the “was Luke Skywalker written in or out of character here?” issue. On the one hand, I can’t see him ever killing someone – and not just anyone, but HIS TEENAGE NEPHEW – without having a valid reason. Suspecting that someone may turn to the Dark Side and may do evil isn’t a valid reason.

But everyone makes mistakes. And I can totally see him exiling himself in repentance.

I suspect that part of the issue is that I honestly don’t have strong feelings one way or the other; I’m just happy to see Luke again since he was barely in The Force Awakens. I have a soft spot where he’s concerned because he’s always reminded me of myself. Idealistic, fiercely protective of his loved ones, always dreaming of adventure. I WAS SO DAMN EMOTIONAL DURING THAT BINARY SUNSET SCENE. YOU KNOW THE ONE I’M TALKING ABOUT.

-~-

Rey’s parents were revealed to be… nobodies. Who sold her for drinking money and were buried in a pauper’s grave on Jakku. I don’t believe that explanation for a second, though. I mean, FIRST OF ALL, we heard it from Kylo Ren… not the most trustworthy of characters, right?

Plus, what about that scene from The Force Awakens? It didn’t seem as though she were being sold. It seemed as though she were being left behind IN ORDER TO PROTECT HER.

I still maintain she’s Han and Leia’s long-lost/presumed-dead daughter. Or at least the child of one of them. J.J. Abrams could retcon Rian Johnson’s story, too, don’t forget. I mean, when have Star Wars writers + directors ever NOT flown by the seat of their pants, scrambling to figure out things as they go and rewriting whenever/however it’s convenient?

-~-

I don’t think Snoke and his ending were as anticlimactic as others seem to feel. I wouldn’t have minded learning more about him, but then audiences had no idea how Palpatine had risen to power for years until the prequels were released. Again, Star Wars has a long history of rewriting and retconning willy-nilly, so while Snoke may have been disappointing you can’t say what happened with him was anything out of the ordinary.

-~-

I like Rose, but I wish we’d gotten to see more of her! Looking forward to finding out what role she’s gonna play in Episode IX.

The Porgs were cute. Chubby and anxious, like me. And apparently look like puffins because they were literally CGIed over the birds that live where Luke’s island scenes were filmed after they kept popping up in every frame. I’M SCREAMING.

Canto Bight was cool, but those scenes were over far too quickly for my liking.

I would’ve liked to see more of Poe and Finn’s interactions. I love my gay space son and his handsome pilot bf! When is the wedding?

-~-

My favorite pieces from the soundtrack include:

(What are yours? I’d love to know and talk film scores with you!)

-~-

Just as VII was Han’s movie and VIII was Luke’s, IX was supposed to be Leia’s. I’m really curious to see what will happen next, since the creative team behind this trilogy is evidently determined not to CGI in Carrie Fisher.

Luckily, filming wrapped before she died, so this movie doesn’t appear to have been majorly affected by her passing.

I LOVE that we finally got to see Leia use the Force! We’ve known she was Force-sensitive since Return of the Jedi in 1983, a fact I enjoy rubbing in whenever fanboy dudebros whine that her powers in this movie came out of nowhere.

Personally, I thought part of the scene was corny. She zoooooomed back to the spaceship so fast it kinda ruined the seriousness + elegance of the preceding moments. Up until then, though, it was a beautiful scene. Those ice crystals! I totally thought that’s how Leia would be killed off, hearkening back to Carrie Fisher’s famous words from her self-obituary: “She drowned in moonlight…”

-~-

SPEAKING OF BEAUTIFUL CINEMATOGRAPHY… besides the Leia scene I just mentioned and Luke’s binary sunset goodbye, this movie was a visual feast. The scenes with Rey and Luke in the cave were incredible and spooky.

And how could I forget the scene with Holdo’s ship? Or the red and white surface of the planet Crait? While there were certainly moments when, in my view, the plot or characterization didn’t quite hold up, the cinematography certainly made up for it, echoing the gorgeous shots found in the OT.

I highly recommend this article from The A.V. Club that outlines how classic Japanese cinema, one of Lucas’ inspirations for the original trilogy, influenced the look and feel of The Last Jedi!

-~-

That ending? Was incredible. Not only was it beautifully shot, but I loved the implication that a new generation of Force-sensitives is out there, just waiting to be discovered. While they may not necessarily become Jedi – since it seems that way of life has been rejected for being unreasonable in oh so many ways – the Force lives on. That moment when the little slave boy uses the Force without knowing what it is… aaah!

-~-

Episode IX and December 20, 2019 can’t come fast enough.

What did you think of The Last Jedi?

Rating: 3/5

About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
This entry was posted in Nevillegirl's Adventures!, Non-Neville Posts, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

What do you think? Share the musings from your navel!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.