The Last Jedi: Matt’s review

Thoughts on Star Wars:  The Last Jedi

Please remember these are just my opinions. I am allowed to have them. You are allowed to have yours. We don’t need to agree. I enjoy discussing and hearing other opinions, which can and do sometimes influence mine moving forward. 

Here we go.  (SPOILERS ALERT!!)

I didn’t like it much.  Didn’t like it much while I was watching it.  Don’t like it much after “sleeping on it,” either. 

Usually I go into movies wanting to like them.  It doesn’t take much to please me.  So, I’m offended by all of the negativity toward anyone that doesn’t like it.  As if our opinions aren’t valid because we’re longtime fans of the series and we have unrealistic expectations.  It is possible to just think it was not a great movie.  I did like The Force Awakens.  I liked the blending of new characters with the nostalgia of the old ones.  I thought that one maybe played it a bit too close to the original Star Wars, as if they were going by an outline.  This time, it seemed that they were driven to divert from all of the traditions and do everything differently and unexpectedly.  But that’s not why I didn’t like it much.  I just had some problems with the plot and the flow, and the way they did some things. 

I realize I’m getting old, and this is the new generation (Disney) of Star Wars.  But I really didn’t have a problem with the Porgs. They were relatively harmless. 

Characters killed (old AND new), with relatively meaningless scenes and deaths, without explanation/answers to questions posed in the last movie that drove conversation and speculation.  So who was Snoke again?  Never mind, I guess.  Where did this new rebel commander come from who’s all of a sudden in charge of everyone?  Why didn’t Leia make the sacrifice?  Wouldn’t that have been a more poignant send-off for her?  Why introduce Laura Dern’s character when you have others we care about that can save the fleet?  She could’ve carried on in future movies as the leader.  As my good friend Steve Moody said, it would’ve been emotional even for Admiral Ackbar to do it, rather then just a passing mention that he had been killed.  For that matter, most of the time-she was just standing there on the bridge, so why did anyone need to stay?  Couldn’t a droid have done it?  Step up to the plate, Threepio.

Benicio Del Toro.  Why was he stuttering?  What was the point?  That character could’ve been done a lot better.  

Chewbacca and R2 were basically MIA when Chewie, at least, had some great moments in TFA…and seemed actually in position to be a major character.  His best moment was busting Luke’s door open.

Remember Boba Fett?  They did it again.  The coolest looking character is (seemingly) gone.

In one review I even saw it compared to Spaceballs as there may have actually been too much humor. I think the communication part with Poe & Hux at the beginning was what they were referring to. A bit funny for a second but it carried on a bit too long and got awkward as a parody of itself in another opportunity for a tense confrontation between to relatively big characters. 

A meandering plot with numerous pretty sequences that thrilled the eyes, but still had me asking “when is this going to end?”  Not a good question to be asking in any movie experience.  And I’m a fan of long movies.  Yet I was this close to walking out to pee right at the climax. 

The Las Vegas sequence (i.e. the requisite “cantina” scene) and the ensuing chase on the backs of whatever animals those things were was a snooze fest, where it could’ve been cool, like a Rogue One vibe or like Bespin.  

Luke Skywalker is actually kind of annoying to me in this movie (until the end). Again, one of movie history’s greatest heroes getting in your nerves for 2 hours…not good. 

I guess I could’ve asked this during Empire, but why land your equipment miles from the base, only to have to walk slowly (or in this case, walk AND drag your cannon slowly), giving the rebels time to come outside, scramble ships, etc. when you could simply land near the base and fire your weapon…I think they call it a surprise attack. 

Typically the Star Wars movies have a feel…they are building to something. A confrontation.  A battle.  Maybe both.  Here, it just wandered. We got the confrontation. We got the battle. Then it was on to another, and another, and another.  Kind of like my mind here, finding issues with this movie.  I’m not the only one…right now it has a 57% fan approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics seem to like it but fans not so much. The exact opposite of my last “can’t wait to see” movie, Justice League (which I actually liked better than this).  Why was the media so eager to tell everyone critics HATED JL but all the news on TLJ has been about the critics loving it rather than the fans not liking it?

I’ve been sooo negative….  What did I like, you ask?

Captain Phasma’s confrontation with Finn.  The battle with Kylo & Rey in Snoke’s “red room”.  The end w. Luke/Kylo wasn’t too bad.  I’m even open to the new self projection thing Luke was doing.  It had its moments.  Even the Leia thing…okayyyy a bit odd but not a deal-breaker.  I think for me it was the poor/wandering flow, the lack of treatment of prior storylines, and the misuse of characters old and new…that have me ranking this installment as follows: 

My quick, not really thought out but on instinct off the top of my head Star Wars movie rankings:

Tier 1(Love them):

1-Empire E5 (last 45 minutes-on Bespin from the betrayal on: Best section of series)

2-Revenge of the Sith E3 (Surprise, surprise!)

3-A New Hope E4

Tier 2 (Really like them; the order on these I could easily interchange…basically a tie):

4-Return of the Jedi E6

5-Rogue One (Side story)

6-The Force Awakens E7 (low rank but remember these are ALL movies I cherish)

Tier 2a (Like it)

7-Phantom Menace E1 (getting fonder w age; everything involving Maul is great)

Tier 3 (‘Luke’-warm feelings at best)

8-Last Jedi E8 (could move up or down as time  goes by)

9-Attack of the Clones E2 (droid factory=worst section of series-redeemed slightly by Jedi battle at end)

Thank You to everyone that reads this for letting me get this off my chest.  I would love to hear what you think!  You can get in touch with me on Facebook or email me at mspence@forevermediainc.com.

Finally, please remember, this is just a movie, so don’t wallow too long.  Cherish your loved ones and enjoy the holidays!  Merry Christmas to you all!  -Matt