The highly anticipated Star Wars: The Last Jedi movie opened tonight which continues the story from J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but with new writer and director Rian Johnson (Abrams is returning for Episode IX).
Below are some of my thoughts and feelings on the flick. Lawrence will have our more formal review posted later this week.
Upon exiting the movie - similar to Kylo Ren - I felt torn as I questioned myself and what I had just witnessed as Star Wars: The Last Jedi felt unlike any other Star Wars movie to date. I found myself trying to grasp what I had just watched and quickly realized Disney had just sold us all out and completely ripped us off.
Warning: Spoilers follow.
The opening of the movie was awful. My honest impression of the opening is that it felt like I was watching a skit on SNL or even the Spaceballs movie (more on that later). The camera work, the actors, the terrible joke about Hux -- all came off as feeling like a parody.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi seemed less of a Star Wars movie and more of an attempt by Disney in making it like their goofy Marvel movies with forced jokes and goofball characters (Porgs and the Pokemon Galion rip off, the Crystal Fox, which my 13-year-old son pointed out).
Most of the movie was filler: I wanted to see more from Kylo, Rey, Luke and Snoke, but while only 60 minutes or so focused on that, it was like Disney needed to come up with something, so they threw in a pointless plot featuring Rose, Finn, DJ, Poe Cameron, Holdo, etc.
Did you notice that when they first introduced Rose, the immediate next scene of the First Order focused on another Asian actor? Yes, Disney we get it.
While we are on the topic of PC, did you notice that ALL the male characters were buffoons or bad guys (including Luke)?
Finn fails at everything he does.
Speaking of Finn, Rose stops him from destroying the battering ram gun and trying to save the Rebels? Okay. Let's save one dude, so all of them can die. Yeah, right.
Here is a thought: Why not have Ackbar sacrifice himself instead of Holdo?
Regarding Phasma, at least we got to see Gwendoline Christie's one eye.
What happened to the Knights of Ren?
The setting seemed small as all the locations seemed to be right around one another (not galaxy spanning).
This movie sh-t on everything from The Force Awakens and the previous trilogies by killing off characters and/or not going into backstory: Luke, Ackbar, Snoke, Phasma, also Leia's last movie (though perhaps unintentionally), and Rey's heritage.
Regarding Snoke, what a complete waste of a character. The dude is this uber powerful Dark Side Force user and gets sliced in half sitting on his own throne (lol). The tie-in books and interviews with Andy Serkis revealed more about Snoke than the movie. I would have much preferred learning and seeing more from Snoke than watching Chewy go vegan (what happened to the scene with Porg feathers in Chewy's mouth??) So we don't learn anything about Snoke, where he comes from, his powers, etc?
Nothing to see here. Move along. Move along...
Luke's character was atrocious (I believe even Mark Hamill stated he didn't like the direction they were taking the character in the movie). Raise your hand if you wanted to see a bad ass Jedi Master Luke Skywalker! What's Luke do? In Spaceballs fashion, Luke throws the lightsaber over his shoulder. I knew it was further downhill from there.
Luke also had a moment of thought where he was going to kill his nephew, Ben (Kylo)? Unforgivable for Disney to do.
Luke also never leaves the island. I wished he had left with Rey, and that they went on some grand adventure to stop Snoke and Kylo and save the galaxy, instead of Luke being this miserable old worthless hermit.
At least they gave us a Luke and Leia reunion scene this time around (we didn't get to see the gang all back together in The Force Awakens, and now it will never happen).
Regarding Luke's death, he stairs into the horizon and sees the sun coming up (remember, he is the sky walker!) and off he goes to join Yoda, Anakin and Obi-Wan, presumably to return as a Force Ghost in Episode IX.
And what was up with Master Yoda? It seemed a mix of CGI and puppetry for some odd reason. Also, why was Yoda acting like his goofy self from when Luke first met him on Dagobah? And so now Force Ghosts can physically interact with and effect the real world (Yoda called down lightning to destroy the tree)?
On to Rey, who is once again shown as this uber uber Force user without any training, and now we are told she is just some joe schmo character? While the previous trilogies showed the Jedi having to study, practice and concentrate, Rey doesn't need to do anything of that, and she is even more powerful than all of them?
Let me guess, now that she has (stole) the ancient Jedi texts (shown in the Falcon), she can use them to create a new Jedi order? Again, without any teaching or experience? Laughable at best, guys!
Regarding Rey's heritage, which has been teased and theorized, we learn she is a nobody. We get it! Disney is telling us we can all be heroes! Cue the corny ending with the young Force user and the Millennium Falcon! I can't believe they didn't include something similar in Empire!
So Rey is supposed to be Disney's answer to Luke (for today's audience)? Ha!
So why didn't Leia clear the rubble? Leia who performed a Superman (or a Star-Lord) earlier in the movie by coming back from the dead and saving herself from the vacuum of space?
Did anybody else think they were building to some sort of epic Force moment with Leia? I figured since they showed her to be so OP that she would do something later in the movie as well. Nope.
The battle that followed Snoke's death with Rey and Kylo versus Snoke's Praetorian Guard was pretty awesome, and I am glad they didn't dumb the scene up with goofy Hollywood martial art flips and such (see episodes 1-3).
The outer space VFX was truly stellar.
Adam Driver's Kylo Ren was wicked. His character progressed a lot from The Force Awakens, and he was no longer this whiny b----. The dude is like (in my best Kevin Smith impression), "F' all the old and new sh-t. I'm taking over now." How awesome would it have been if Rey accepted Kylo's offer and grabbed his hand? Now that would have thrown us for a big loop (a la Empire Strikes Back)!
I'm wondering what Episode IX is going to be about as this actually felt like an end to the trilogy. There's the theory that Episode IX might do a bit of a time jump, which would explain the death of Leia (due to Carrie Fisher's passing), but it seems so obvious where they are going, which is Rey vs Kylo (Daisy Ridley said she is not doing any more after IX - smart girl).
Now I would love to have seen what George Lucas would have done with these movies. Disney is 0 for 3 in my book.
Disney makes it pretty clear with this movie that it's out with the old and in with the new (does that mean the fans, too??). They just didn't do a very good job of passing the baton (did they even care?).