The Last Jedi: Thoughts

I don’t have the energy to write a full review of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. I mean, I literally don’t have any energy. I’m exhausted from not sleeping well the night before and I’m literally trying to write this before I fall asleep again.

If I get a chance to see the film again, I might write more about some things that stood out to me, but that’s probably not happening until January so… yeah. Instead of a couple thousand words of relatively insightful criticism, y’all get a bullet-point list full of MAJOR spoilers and complaining.

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  • Straight up, I’d give this movie a six or seven out of ten. Maybe. If I rewatch it the way I want to with my notebook in hand, it’ll probably drop down to a solid five. Let’s get that right out in the open. I left the theater overwhelmed with emotion and I had lots of laughs/tears throughout, but it’s not a movie I see myself rewatching until I’ve memorized the dialogue the way I’ve done The Force Awakens. (Also, it kind of feels like the second of like four movies and not the central piece in a trilogy…)

  • Ask me how angry I am about Paige Tico. Ask me. ASK ME.  (Okay, so Rose and Paige Tico were put forward as two new diverse characters coming to the Star Wars universe. I figured that the sisters would be together in the resistance and while I didn’t start out confident that they’d both make it to the end of the film, I didn’t think Paige would die so damn early. Like… I am just so disappointed.)

 

  • That being said, Paige’s death absolutely explains a lot of Rose’s behavior towards Finn. She’s in shock. Her sister died maybe a few hours before she sees Finn for the first time in person and she’s handling it badly. So she latches on to the heroic ideals and figures of the resistance and Finn is kind of like her: a tool the First Order used and she’s in shock from just losing her only family member. Rose has this built up image of Finn (the way other Resistance members probably do for Poe and Leia) that he appears to crush those hopes by running away (except he’s NOT).

 

  • That being said:  Like I’m not a fan of how Rose treats Finn (like he’s supposedly one of her heroes but she treats him like a mere deserter and stuns him without hearing him out). I get that she’s not in a good place but again, still doesn’t excuse what she does OR how it’s played for laughs.

 

  • Another thing I’m angry about: while I totally feel that Finn and Rose got some majorly meaty moments in the film and that their character arcs were decent, I’m annoyed that Finn in particular is the butt of the joke several times. He’s not being funny, embarrassing or humiliating things are happening to him and we’re supposed to think it’s funny. It’s not.

 

  • This movie has too much Kylo and WAY too much Hux.

 

  • I think the only thing I enjoyed about Hux’s scenes are that he’s usually  being hurt or humiliated in them. (Highlights include: Poe disrespecting him on his initial approach to the big ass ship, Snoke dragging him across the deck, and Kylo smacking him into the wall of the ship.)

 

  • Hux still should’ve died though. Like… just for daring to lay hands on my boy Finn (and of course, for being an unrepentant fascist asshole).

 

  • I’ve already thought up six unbelievably horrifying/humiliating deaths for Hux and if JJ Abrams is reading this, he should hit me up so we can just ruin Hux entirely. (More than he already has been I mean… can you imagine having to explain to anyone else that your bosses are the embodiment of toxic masculinity and a ginger who NO ONE respects? Like if I was in the Star Wars universe and somehow wasn’t absolutely against working for a fascist organization, I’d have to dip just from how unworthy either Kylo or Hux are to give me any orders.)

 

  • I understand that these are movies set during periods of war, but like… some of the deaths really messed me up. Paige’s death of course, but like… so many others. Admiral Ackbar? My favorite fishy dude?

 

  • You know what death didn’t mess me up? Snoke’s. I’m mad that we didn’t get to learn anything more about him as a character and why, in like 20-something years, he’s managed to become SUPREME Leader Snoke and people know who he is, but like his actual death was satisfying as hell.

 

  • As was… the fight with Rey, Kylo, and the Praetorian Guards. I’ll admit it: that was a pretty fantastic fight scene that was only ruined by how, afterwards, the writers had Rey place any hope in Kylo after Snoke admitted to manipulating him and her to get them into the situation.

 

  • I’m assuming that there are going to be a ton of shitty people crowing about how “antis got told” and how “Reylo is canon” because Rey and Kylo absolutely do share some interesting and intimate scenes and I’m prepared, but I also can’t bring myself to care about Reylo as fandom pushes it or anyone else’s responses to the Rey/Kylo scenes beyond “man, I don’t want to see gushy commentary about this ship”.

 

  • (But seriously, their fight scene was kind of amazing.)

 

  • Part of why I’m annoyed by the supposed reveal of Rey’s parents is that… I don’t want Kylo to be the last Skywalker (in name or genetics). It’s absolutely selfish of me, but man… Shmi Skywalker deserves to have her Skywalker-ness live on in someone other than ManChild Toxic Masculinity Grandpa-Cosplayer.

 

  • Canto Bight is… a lot. I’ve got the audiobook anthology about the casino and like… it’s such a messed up place. Beautiful outside hiding serious systemic problems (caused largely by the wealthy abusing their power over the poor, whut).

 

  • While this may seem a bit hypocritical since my fantasy is to launch Hux out of a toilet into space: I still love looking at Captain Phasma. She’s so huge and shiny. I do want her to die because no one talks to my Finn the way she did, but she’s also over six feet tall and shiny…

 

  • I had emotional whiplash at several points in the movie. One minute, you’re prepared for certain death and the next you’re laughing because BB-8 is ridiculous and kind of terrifying. It’s hard to know what to feel because so much happens. It got exhausting.

 

  • I have no idea how the force works but that’s fine because neither do the people who worked on this film!

 

  • Seriously, the build up to the Rey parental reveal was great except… it went NOWHERE.

 

  • When Finn went to sacrifice himself near the film’s climax, I swear to god I was prepared to say some mean things to Lucasfilm execs and it would have been fiery. If they kill Finn (or Poe or Rose), I’m going to mcfricking LOSE IT.

 

  • BB Hate should’ve gotten more screentime.

 

  • My smallest niece is a HUGE Luke Skywalker fan. She’s going to be very unhappy about this movie when she finally sees it.

 

  • I’m so mad about Benicio del Toro’s character. Like… I’m uncomfortably attracted to him (I feel like… it’s something I can’t help), but I also would be okay with reenacting a certain scene from Fargo with his character. BUT I have a feeling about the character that I’ll just hold close to my chest until Episode 9 comes closer.

 

  • I’ve seen a bunch of people be like “FinnRose is heteronormative” and like… Star Wars is heteronormative. Look, I’m never going to shut down a chance for characters of color to potentially find love and even if it starts from a place of hero worship on her end (and… I don’t know how he feels, but I doubt he does either considering that he doesn’t know her and she tazed him), writing it off because it’s not the white character is a bit… much. As in: [snipped for future article] talk about the fact that these movies are mad heteronormative WITHOUT dismissing the potential positives of Finn maybe ending up with Rose in the future if Abrams fixes things about/addresses their first meeting.

 

  • The voltron fandom has made me leery of folks calling ships heteronormative but like… I get why folks use it as a term.

 

  • I’m gonna be honest: I think Rian Johnson knows less about the current extended universe than I do and that he didn’t do more than the bare minimum of research in order to keep the continuity in check. There were several moments where there were mentions to things that were addressed in TFA or the novels as if they hadn’t existed before The Last Jedi. (Like Phasma refers to Finn as always being scum as if he wasn’t the highest ranking trainee and someone she saw great promise in. This is in the canon novels. Instead of having Phasma condescend at him for being a disappointment, she goes with “you were always scum” and like… that’s not how that’d play out, imo.)

 

  • Best characters: BB-8, Finn, Poe, Rose, Leia, Chewbacca, and… the porg Chewbacca adopted.

 

  • Do any Black women (that are also playing Black women) speak in The Last Jedi?

 

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About Zina

Zina writes about comics, nerd history, and ridiculous romance novels when not working frantically on her first collection of short stories and complaining about stuff. One day, she'll settle down and write that novel.
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One Response to The Last Jedi: Thoughts

  1. Imani says:

    I selfishly hope you put yourself through watching it again. I’m into it a lot more than you are but your takes are always thoughtful. I’m not a big SW fan at all–didn’t care about the franchise until TFA–so I don’t have that additional knowledge that informs your commentary on characters like Finn.

    I hope they choose the Miyazaki route with “Reylo” (yuck). Men and women can be intimate in other contexts besides romance so let’s go with that Abrams! It is not necessary. Hallelujah for tag filtering in the Tumblr mobile app.

    Since I’m not a big SW fan I have zero investment in the Skywalkers. I loved that Rey’s lineage ended up being perfectly ordinary. As a Tolkien fan where lineage is *everything* in those stories, it was refreshing. I look forward to how the third film will approach Rey’s reconciliation with her past and how she progresses in her relationships in contrast to Kylo.

    I’m not a Kylo fan but I appreciate how he’s characterised as a disastrous man child. I find him immune to inspiring the kind of mystical deification or reverence a Darth Vader can command. He is so transparent–every inner struggle is visible on his face.

    My bf also has a list of Hux deaths to submit.

    My biggest complaint is how Finn was sidelined and shortchanged. I expect Abrams to fix it (please).

    I have a growing discomfort with the glorification of sacrificial death in this and more recent SW films like Rogue One. I’ve yet to pinpoint exactly what my issues are but TLJ made me think of kamikaze pilots and suicide bombers even though I *know* the Resistance Fighters go into battle with completely different intentions. Perhaps it’s the inevitable result of what’s essentially a war film series in which the enemies are Nazis. What are you gonna do? (There’s no Pepsi). I don’t find Princess Leia’s “dead heroes” line, Poe’s character arc, or Rose “Save What We Love” crash into Finn enough of a counterweight to balance the crazy death tolls and stunning visualisation of a suicide mission. (A whole planet was obliterated in TFA yet the film dealt with it as just another notch on the First Order’s belt.) Maybe it’s the relentless optimism in the face of such massacre that’s disconcerting? I don’t know lol *pulls hair*. I need a character like Eowyn (and, in moments, Theoden), whose persistence came from a grim fatalism and hopelessness because of all the loss they had experienced.

    I patiently wait for your January review (-:.

    Like

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