Because it’s 2018 and I did go see the Last Jedi the first night it came out, just like I have all the movies since Empire Strikes Back, I’m going to write a few paragraphs about it for posterity. This is mostly I can look back at this post when we are hit with even WORSE cascades of space-piss than this one (the Han Solo movie for example). There’s a ton on the internet about the film and more and more daily. Mostly, it’s that this “Star Wars” film has a ruthless misanthropist message, but not in a Sword of Doom type of way, but in an angry, resentful sort of way– the sort of film that would come out after Trump beat a clearly more qualified female candidate for president of the united states.
The space battles looked great, but lacked much of the emotional intensity that Return of the Jedi or a New Hope had. I get that the ‘bombers’ in the first scene couldn’t ‘drop’ their bombs and that was all stupid. It was forgivable except that it was a harbinger for things to be stupid later. That said, the film was not as “war-y” as Rogue One, and that was sad. Rogue One the conflict felt a lot more intense and real, where in the Last Jedi, it felt like a Star Wars animated series episode at times.
The final surprise attack by hyperdriving into the big ship pretty much made it so the Death Star could not have existed for long since the rebels could have constantly sent (unmanned) ships warping inside it. Of course, the Imperials could have done the same thing to any of the planets that opposed them as well. There needed to be some technical reason for that to be able to happen– like the means by which the ship was TRACKED in hyperspace (which they made a big deal about but never closed the loop on?!) allowed that ship and that ship alone to teleport inside the other ship. Nothing like this was presented of course and to me that’s a plot hole.
While it may have been inevitable, they handled the legacy characters poorly. Luke was not portrayed in a way that made sense at all based on the original films. Leia was force sensitive right? But all she did was save herself? So Yoda’s statement of “there is another” meant nothing (and yet they will be making an entire movie about the kessel run in contrast). I don’t care about the new characters EXCEPT in relation to the old.
To echo red letter media: what happened between Return of the Jedi and Force Awakens was that our beloved characters were made out to be miserable the entire time between films, and not just because of the Star Wars Xmas special (which I sat through over the Xmas break unbelievably).
Of the new characters that are worth talking about, Adam Driver was quite good, and frankly his character is the only one I care about at all in these new films on his own. His scene where he asks the Mary Sue to give up on all the cyclical destruction was the only poignant scene. Finn was underutilized and pretty much comic relief, though what he ended up doing in the film was not funny at all.
So I’ve used the term a few times already, but certainly, Rei will go down in history as the poster child Mary Sue forever. In fact, the term Mary Sue may become Rei (like, “rewrite that chapter man, that character is a REI”) or even “Daisy”. I REALLY thought she would die in this film or get messed up on the level of Luke in the Empire Strikes Back. The scene where she goes into that hole in the island and just saw herself infinitely in every direction was when the film hit rock bottom for me. That was the spot for a Lynchian or Tarkovsky-esque coming of age TRIPOUT scene. Instead, it was fucking meaningless pysse.
My own thoughts on the film is that it essentially projects a message of nihilism: people are ground to dust in a cyclical, unending conflict based on the misery of dualism which reflects in all ways that this is the beginning of unending films based on the same conflict grinding to dust infinite dollars spent by fans, and this fact was obviously felt excruciatingly by the writer.
Based on this film, there is no hope or happiness for people that are force sensitive AND trained in the ways of the force in Disney’s version of Star Wars. Just the crushing knowledge that with the power comes unending misery, conflict and death. For a film about a pure warrior caste like 13 Assassins, great. For an order of enlightened space monks? uhhh? The capitalistic focus and the misanthropic messages, with no overall controlling story arc for what’s going to happen, would drive any writer to a nihilistic state, and that certainly came out in the film.