(Do not mistake the title as my feelings on the new installments, for I love them and what they have done for Star Wars)
There has been quite a bit of outrage against the recent installment in the Star Wars Saga, and I’ll admit that as soon as I was done watching the film I was a little torn. The film was a two-and-a-half hour roller coaster ride. It is a film that you need time to process and an extra viewing or more before you can get all your thoughts and feelings organized.
Star Wars series is very precious to me because, like most young filmmakers today, it was one major reasons for me getting into filmmaking. We have the original trilogy, which so many hold as the perfect trilogy, then the prequel trilogy (again there are lovers and haters), and now the sequel trilogy that I feel a large number of fans do not comprehend the purpose of both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. The bottom line is: We got another Star Wars!! Secondly, they were great films! Not perfect, but great!
Where do I place The Force Awakens? I put it up there with A New Hope. Why? That’s pretty easy to point out. What did Star Wars do in 1977? It began movement. What did The Force Awakens do? It reinvigorated that movement. I have heard all the complaints that Disney ruined Star Wars, and it’s a copy of A New Hope, yada, yada, yada. What many people don’t realize is that is how George Lucas stated this Space Opera works. It is supposed to rhyme. Now, all that being said I think Starkiller Base was a little too on the nose. On top of that, I think it would have been better had the base survived until Episode IX because that was what Lucas wanted to do originally with the Death Star, but was afraid he would never get to make any sequels. Thus, he brings back the Death Star in ROTJ.
Rey growing up on the desert planet of Jakku is better than being on Tatooine for the fifth time, and I think it would’ve been better had the planet once been lush with greens and blues, but because of that final battle, of which we see remnants, turned Jakku into a wasteland planet. In any case, our new heroine needed to come from a hard-to-live place to give them humility and aspirations for something better, but there also needed to be something that keeps them chained to their residence. For Luke, it was his Aunt and Uncle, and they needed to die in order for him to leave. For Rey, it was the hope that her parents would come back for her, and if she didn’t stay put, they would never find her. That is the hero’s journey. It was either a desert planet or and ice planet, so either way fans would complain that it was ripping off Star Wars in some fashion.
Let’s cut to the whole Mary Sue issue. Was Luke any different? And let’s not forget that Kylo was also injured; he was just shot by Chewbacca’s bowcaster, which was purposefully shown several times prior to be am extremely powerful weapon. That’s it, I’m talking about this issue.
Let’s jump to The Last Jedi. I put it on the same level as The Empire Strides Back. It mirrors TESB in so many ways. The most obvious, yet somehow overlooked, is how it pushes the story into new territory. How many of us wanted Finn and Rey to hook up? I know I did. How many of us wanted Luke and Leia to hook up after seeing A New Hope (before seeing the others)? I really did! How did you feel when we saw that she fell for Han? If you can’t remember how that felt, The Last Jedi ceratinly gave you that emotion when we see Finn with Rose, and Rey’s look when she sees him caring for Rose. (I’m still hoping Finn and Rey get together)
Anyway, contiuing on! We have Snoke’s Dreadnaught and Vader’s Super Star Destroyer, Ach-To’s Darkside Cave and Dagobah’s Darkside Cave, Poe’s failed plan to save the Resistance and Luke’s failed plan to save his friends, Rey’s parentage and Luke’s parentage, DJ and Lando, Canto Byte (or however you spell it) and Cloud City (albeit Cloud City played out better), Force powers expanded on, Crait and Hoth, and last but not least, an ending that left us wondering, “What the hell, man?!”
The Last Jedi is the sequel we didn’t know we wanted because it mirrors Empire in the way it flipped the whole story on us and gave us a ride we’ll never forget.
Did I miss anything, or did you want to hear my thoughts on other parts of the film? Leave yout thoughts and ideas in the comments and I’ll address them in another blog or I’ll join the discussion!