Monday, December 18, 2017

THE LAST JEDI -Why Bother? (Spoiler-Free Review)

Hey guys! Here's my SPOILER-FREE basic review; I'm also working on my total SW-nerd analysis expounding on my likes/dislikes and that will post within the week! Enjoy!

Check out 5 Book Recommendations to Ease Your LAST JEDI Disappointments
The Last Jedi only serves to finalize the dreaded fear of the Rehash. While itself was a mess of plot points stolen from previous films (primarily Empire and Return), it fully realizes the unsavory certainty that this new trilogy as a whole is nothing more than a rehashing of the original. It's not clever about it, either, which leads me to wonder -outside of the obvious money to be made- why they bothered making a new trilogy at all.

A big stink was made over how closely The Force Awakens plot points followed Star Wars (aka, A New Hope) and it won't escape people's notice that The Last Jedi does the same thing with a mesh of Empire and Return. But it's much, much worse than that. This isn't two individual films simply duplicating pacing and story structure of they're predecessors. (If the story's had been original, we would have forgiven that.) This is Disney, attempting to duplicate the original trilogy -and it's success- as a whole and putting in no real effort or ingenuity into come up with a new story. At all. Don't believe me?

  • Good guys: Ragtag group of humans and aliens fighting for freedom and a republic, feautring potential Jedi alliances.
  • Bad guys: Tyrannical, power-obsessed, Sith-run government.
  • Goal: Defeat the Sith empire, free the galaxy, while the Jedi-potential character attempts to return the Jedi and its light side ideals.

With the huge expanse of the Extensive Universe's former canon at its disposal -still unfamiliar to most Star Wars fans- Disney had a huge advantage, of hundreds of stories that would have been new and refreshing to most minds, and appreciated on screen by those already familiar, but they instead insisted on borrowing almost solely from the films that everyone who's even borderline into Star Wars has already seen.

Despite many claims I've heard that The Last Jedi is 'new', 'fresh', 'original', or 'far better than Force Awakens', there is nothing new here. Even the arguably original additions -like Finn's entire subplot or Poe's, shall we say, 'disagreement' with Admiral Holdor- are either (painfully) unnecessary or mediocre storytelling, at best. Even the poignant moments the film offers up -there are a lot, delivered in the midst of so much drama its downright cheesy- are marred by the preceding acts of pointlessness or by the fact they're obvious and tired echoes of the original trilogy, trying to piggyback on its incredible resonance.

The film is gorgeous, I admit; a beautiful piece of cinematic eye-candy. It's high on action, it's an enjoyable thrill ride of a film that's fun to watch, so I'm not surprised many people loved it at first viewing. But it's also flat on characters, squandering any potential the empty shells of Finn, Poe, or Rey might have grown into and, by the way, completely reducing Luke to nothing more than a plot device, whose every choice and action in the past 30 years was completely out of character. (I'm a fanfiction writer, guys; if you're going to continue a universe and include original characters, you've got to use them right.) Kylo Ren is, in my opinion, the only character who has gotten any substantial and satisfactory depth or development at all, and the only truly decent thing The Last Jedi had to offer. And I hate this character!

Like the characters, The Last Jedi is only interesting on the surface. Once you break down the pieces of the film, you realize there is no substance underneath. What isn't pointless filler scenes, or uncharacteristic if brilliantly acted Luke bits, or vital plot details withheld solely for dramatic reveals, you're left with a slew of fantastic fight scenes, regurgitated plot, and details that don't even mesh with The Force Awakens. (As an acquaintance pointed out, if Luke really went to that island to die, why did he leave behind a map?)

I predict The Last Jedi -and the new trilogy as a whole- will not endure. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a fad. Once the novelty of new Star Wars films starts to wear off, it's going to fade. There is no staying power, no emotional resonance, and no deep connection being made with its audiences, past the nostalgia factor and the adrenaline of its constant stream of actions scenes. Plenty of people will love it for its high-action, cool effects, and cinematography. And you know what? That's fine. I've got no problem with that. But for myself, The Last Jedi has made me realize that the only true continuation lies in the Classic Canon (now dubbed 'Legends') and that's where I'm going to satisfy my Star Wars cravings for now on.

I don't plan to pursue Disney's new franchise any farther. That is to say, not actively or ardently. I'm still currently enjoying Star Wars: Rebels, I've got quite a few of the newer books I still haven't read, and I'll have no qualms about picking up any story or some of the solo movies that might pique my interest. But the new stuff is not canon to me; this is the weird alternative universe version of events that always get spin-offs in the comic book industry and nothing more.

2 out of 5 stars

PSSST! If you were a little disappointed in The Last Jedi -or completely disillusioned by it- I made a list of books to help restore your faith in galaxies near and far, far away! Check out 5 Book Recommendations to Ease Your LAST JEDI Disappointments

2 comments:

  1. I couldn't agree more. So disappointing! What they did with Luke is a travesty- the hopeful, optimistic young Jedi at the end of RotJ is now jaded and bitter because of some failures? Sure there would be setbacks over the course of 30 years, but for Luke to hide and give up- while his sister and best friend are suffering in a war- I just don't buy it. And the new characters are so flat. I like Rey, she's got potential, but Finn is awful and Poe is so one note. I've sen the movie Ex Machina, so I know the actos playing Poe and Hux can ACT, but they're wasted here.

    Anyway yeah I had huge problems with this movie too. I don't even know where they go with IX now- Rey has already beat Kylo at least once and rejected his dark side offer- what's left? Well it's JJ abrams who will be doing it so who cares lol. I don't consider this canon either- I have my own headcanon of what Luke/ Leia/ Han would be like 30 years later, and this ain't it. :)

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    1. Huzzah to head canons and the Classic Canon!

      I agree about the actors being wasted, too. All of these characters are interesting *ideas* of people, but they aren't fully developed into people, and that's such a rip off. Gah!
      Well, I can laugh at it more now that I've decided to junk it. XD

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