last jedi

Was Star Wars: The Last Jedi really that disappointing?

One of the best franchises of all time, Star Wars released yet another adventure in the saga. This week Star Wars: The Last Jedi opened up to many expectations. One of the biggest questions upon acquiring Lucasfilms was whether or not Disney would ruin the franchise. Now 3 movies since their purchase and the jury is still out.

After The Force Awakens, fans and critics alike panned the franchise for being a ripoff of the original release. Now, fans are still pointing to similarities but a few less in this film. So the real question is, is Star Wars: The Last Jedi as bad as fans claim? Audiences have Episode VIII at a low 56% on Rotten Tomatoes and have given it some tough reviews, but in no way should the latest iteration be ripped this bad.

The main problem with The Last Jedi is it closes off some of their most intriguing stories too soon. In order for the latest trilogy to be a success they needed to further develop the balance between light and dark with Rey and Kylo Ren, which they did. However, unlike they first 6 films, The Last Jedi does little to make us feel drawn in and connected to our heroes and villains. While Rey, Finn and Poe lead the new class of heroes, they don’t come close to our love for the Skywalkers and Han Solo. There wasn’t even a need for Chewbacca in this film.

Disney has had the task of passing the torch to a new branch of heroes and villains. So far they’ve botched the hand off. Two of their most intriguing theories turned out to be throw away parts and did little to advance the story at all. That’s the truly disappointing part of the newest trilogy. With one film left to go with these characters, nothing has made you connect with them even with the help of Luke and Leia. Even taking the upbeat fun formula that they used for Rogue One and applying it to this film sucked the life out of it. While it works for a stand alone movie, Star Wars has always been a space drama. It’s supposed to have its funny moments but the connections are what made the films. Star Wars: The Last Jedi, at no fault to the actors or their ability, does little to make you want more of these characters. By the end of Ep. VIII there was enough explained that if they never release Episode IX you wouldn’t feel you missed much.

One of the most important parts coming out of the film was how well Rian Johnson did. Even though the movie wasn’t perfect, it seems it was more to the direction the studio wanted to go rather than the actors or directors ability. Johnson does a great job with The Last Jedi and fans should leave with faith in his stand alone trilogy. The film had great moments, but felt like it was played a little too safe. It’ll be interesting to see how JJ Abrams wraps up the trilogy after the way this one ends. Mark your calendars, December 2019 seems so far away.


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