The Last Jedi (review)

Released: 2017
Grade: D

 Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi
(2017) on IMDb

This is a difficult review for me to write. On the one hand, I am a huge Star Wars fan. I’ve probably spent thousands of hours watching the films, debating their merits and shortcomings, speculating what might happen next, and perhaps even daydreaming about what might happen if I lived in the universe that George Lucas created.

I saw this movie 5 times in the theater. Maybe that sounds like a lot, but not when you realize I saw the Force Awakens and Rogue One 12 times each. So something just didn’t click with me on this film, I guess. I find myself saying the same things about Last Jedi that I said about the prequels: “I really wanted to love this movie,” “it’s not as bad as some people say,” “just because it wasn’t what we expected doesn’t mean it was bad,” etc. Hearing myself say these things, I’m starting to be convinced that there is probably more that I don’t like about this movie than what I did like.

Is this a Reboot?
In general, it seems like Rian Johnson seems to be saying, “we’re starting over – everything from the first movie is destroyed and we aren’t continuing anything that was established in the Force Awakens”.

Just look at everything that was destroyed in this movie – Rey’s parentage, Luke’s lightsaber, Luke himself, the Resistance, the Rebellion, the ancient Jedi tree (though thankfully not the Jedi texts), etc. And putting Yoda into this film it seems like Rian is saying, “see, even Yoda wants this thing to end.”

The more I thought about it, the more disappointed I was. It really does seem like Rian Johnson created a movie that erased all of the Star Wars Saga. In one scene near the end of the film, Kylo Ren said, “I’ll destroy you (Luke), and her (Rey), and all of it.” Hmm.

The Title
OK, so what about the fact that this is called The Last Jedi. What does that mean? If you’ve seen the Originals, you know that Luke has often been called “the Last Jedi”. So I didn’t expect the title to be referring to Rey or to the last time we would ever see a Jedi on the screen or anything like that. So yeah, I thought this title referred to Luke, not Rey.