'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'
The new ‘Star Wars’ trilogy has finally found its own voice and identity. After the nostalgia-fueled tears and cheers of J.J. Abrams’ relentlessly crowd-pleasing (and pandering?) ‘The Force Awakens’, oddball genre mashup artist Rian Johnson (‘Brick’, ‘Looper’) cracked the code and found a new direction for those adventures in a galaxy far, far away.
Yes, it’s still fairly similar to the legends that came before it. This is still ‘Star Wars’, after all. But Johnson was lucky enough to find himself in the ‘Empire Strikes Back’ slot of the new trilogy, a place where he gets to complicate, twist and screw with ‘Star Wars’ conventions. ‘The Last Jedi’ is a second act tale that throws wrenches in the formula without being required to clean up the messes. It’s a damn delight of a film, certain to be remembered as one of the strangest and finest entries in this seemingly never-ending franchise.
Since the mandate for this new ‘Star Wars’ trilogy was to create another triplet of films that mirror and rhyme with the original classics (just without the stilted shittiness that spoiled the prequels), ‘The Last Jedi’ feels overtly like ‘The Empire Strikes Back’, and as you might assume, that’s a good thing. Much like how Abrams echoed and emulated all the best pieces of ‘A New Hope’ in his feature-length ‘Star Wars’ pilot, Johnson overtly and subtly pays homage to the darkest and deepest of all ‘Star Wars’ adventures throughout his epic space opera.
Once again, our plucky gang of heroes are separated from each other. Our new hope (Daisy Ridley) is off on a desolate planet convincing an old master (Mark Hamill) to teach her in the ways of the Force. Meanwhile, the rest of the team (John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Carrie Fisher and company) find themselves trapped in a movie-long chase with the big scary triangular ships of the bad guys, with a super evil dude dressed all in black (Adam Driver) making increasingly insane demands. Nothing ever quite works out like it’s supposed to. Old assumptions are cast into doubt. There’s no guarantee that the heroes will win. There’s no need for resolution. Johnson’s film is all about screwing with the ‘Star Wars’ system and he does so beautifully.
If there’s an overall theme to ‘The Last Jedi’, it’s about letting go of the past and leaning into the future. That starts when you finally see Luke Skywalker’s response to the cliffhanger of an ending to ‘The Force Awakens’. Throughout it all, Johnson sets up familiar franchise tropes and twists them slightly without ever losing sight of the traditional triumphs and joys of George Lucas’ massive toy box. The film has delightful new characters like Kelly Marie Tran’s almost obscenely lovable and plucky addition to our gang of heroes, Laura Dern’s purpled-haired rebel warrior, or Benicio Del Toro’s stuttering space thief who walks an unpredictable line between hero and villain.
Both Rey and Kylo Ren’s faith in their respective sides of the Force are tested, with Ridley and Driver’s performances hitting new depths and complications. Andy Serkis’ grand villain Snoke finally gets a chance to reveal a character that isn’t quite what you’d imagine. Oscar Isaac and John Boyega grow into the wiseass heroes everyone has been projecting onto them from the first trailer. Carrie Fisher’s final performance as Leia is beautifully measured and reveals new sides and powers. (It’s truly a tragedy that she won’t be able to finish the trilogy.) Mark Hamill’s grizzled Luke is light years away from where his innocent farm boy started and exactly where he should be in this new adventure. (It’s also likely the finest performance of his career, ‘Star Wars’ or otherwise). Johnson’s movie is one of constant action and narrative momentum, but also a multi-layered and multi-pronged character study that transforms Abrams’ amusing ‘Star Wars’-types into people worth following into the third act of a larger story.
And oh, what glorious action is on display here! J.J. Abrams had a blast getting to play with all the old ‘Star Wars’ toys with a few hundred million and change to make them dance, but Rian Johnson finds ways to show us things that we never imagined these toys could do before. There’s a use of light speed that’s as beautiful as it is horrifying, a planet layered with red dust practically designed for poetically gorgeous action, and an opening X-Wing shoot-’em-up that tops any of the space battle in ‘The Force Awakens’ before the new story even gets going. Johnson adores this world and these characters too much to break them. He knows he’s making a ‘Star Wars’ movie. He knows that requires certain expectations to be satisfied. He also knows that the audience for these movies hungers for surprise as much as familiar thrills, and gleefully piles those into the movie one after another. By the end of ‘The Last Jedi’, the new franchise has been propelled into a fresh direction while still staying right on track. Plenty of pleasant surprises from the past return and new pieces upend what came before.
The movie is probably about twenty minutes too long with a few too many reveals and climaxes. However, it’s nice to see a ‘Star Wars’ movie that swells from over-ambition rather than sagging in memory because it didn’t quite succeed in overcoming nostalgia. Much like ‘The Empire Strikes Back’, the film will likely end up being beloved and divisive all at once, unlikely to find its true reputation and space in the saga until years later when the story is complete and locked into legend. That’s fine. For now, it’s a pleasure to simply find surprise and awe in equal measure in a ‘Star Wars’ movie again. No wonder Rian Johnson has already been tapped to make his own entire ‘Star Wars’ trilogy. He plays with ‘Star Wars’ toys better than anyone since the guy who invented them.
[Ed. Note: The Comments section below is already filling with plot spoilers for the movie. We will run a spoiler post about ‘The Last Jedi’ early next week, after more people have had a chance to see it. It’s perhaps best to hold off on further spoiler discussion until then. General thoughts on the movie are of course welcome. -JZ]
Glad to see the 4.5 stars Phil, I’m stoked. RT is currently sitting at 93%. I look forward to reading this review after I see it this Friday night. Did you happen to see it in 3D? That wasn’t my first choice but it was all that was available at a decent time slot for me this Friday.
Saw this in 3D by mistake (wasn’t advertised clearly on the theater’s website). Not a big fan of 3D, but I would recommend seeing ‘The Last Jedi’ in 3D. The 3D is well implemented and expertly used, and pulls you into the story (however, Johnson’s masterful direction and script, plus the fine fine cast, are the movie’s major selling points).
Awesome to hear man. Thanks for the feedback. I was a huge 3D fan at one point but I’ve cooled down on it of late.
That is pretty high praise since you started the statement out by saying you are not a fan of 3D. I was thinking of seeing it in Dolby Vision, which are 2D, but I may have to budge and see it in 3D. In the end, it will be a little over a week before I see it as I am waiting to see it with my dad and brother at Christmas
I saw it in 3D…very well done, and unlike some efforts, about 10 minutes into the movie, it seemed perfectly “normal” and I forgot I was using the glasses. Of course
there was so much action that by the end of the movie, I was exhausted.
I’m going this Sunday, and I have a ton of stuff to do between now and then, and all I can think about is seeing this movie.
Just came back from my screening. I loved it, I loved it. What a masterpiece. Johnson takes bold risks, isn’t afraid to overthrow conventions, and has created a thrilling, emotional, high-octane thrill ride. What a movie. To me, it’s the best ‘Star Wars’ movie since ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ and thus the third best overall in the franchise. It moved me in ways I did not expect to be moved. The music is better than TFA’s, Fisher and Hamill have never been in better form (Fisher, especially, seems so vibrant and alive after her stiff turn in TFA; it’s truly heartbreaking to see her in such good form, knowing that these were the last months of her life). What a movie. Wow. Did not expect this at all.
Julian, if this is the third best ‘Star Wars’ film, and ‘Empire’ is second, what’s the best ‘Star Wars’ film?
‘Star Wars’, or Episode IV. My personal opinion, of course.
Just curious, has Phil ever given a movie 5 Stars on HDD?
Inherent Vice, if memory serves me well.
Lol, that’s right. I tried to watch that because he gave it such high remarks. Completely forgot. I didn’t make it past 30 minutes. Was pretty boring if I remember, it’s been a while.
Inside Out and Fury Road were both 5 stars if I recall.
Both deserve 5 stars.
You can see all of Phil’s reviews by clicking on his byline. His last 5-star review was Dunkirk.
Yep. I’ve given a few movies five stars. Mad Max: Fury Road as well. I admit that I give out 5 stars sparingly. Mostly just because I can often end up regretting that. Like Inherent Vice for example. A movie I still love, but five stars? What was I smoking? I try to keep that saved for something that truly stands out.
I’m sitting here with a clinched fist and bitter face, biting my tongue until next week.
Dear god not again. Must you dump on every popular blockbuster Luke?
Not EVERY blockbuster. 😉
This one deserves it. Utter garbage.
Yeah, it wasn’t great. It was okay, but so much of it was soooo boring (anything involving Finn and Rose). a Flying Leia? Yoda can call down lightning!? Why don’t all the dead jedi fuck shit up?
Let me guess, there was stuff that happened that couldn’t possibly happen in real life? 🙂
Did Luke make Rey sign an accord to not use the force without prior authorization? Did that create an uncivil rift between the protagonists? Did the the bad guy allow himself to be captured as a part of his master plan? Did the ending involve showing a video of a past event which will forever change allegiances (until the end credits)?
With ‘The Last Jedi’ feeling like Disney hired Joss Whedon to infuse more jokes into it, you’re not that far off. 😉
Does the porg fall into Rey’s cleavage?
TFA was pretty humor-heavy from what I remember. Jokes in a SW movie aren’t really a new thing.
Wait until you see these ones. There’s no way that Lord and Miller had any different humor than this. Sure, TFA was humorous, but what you get here are full-on comedic gags. Some of which fall flat.
Humor was forced and awful. Bad bad bad.
I can’t imagine it’s anything worse than the humour George Lucas added into Star Wars.
WAY WORSE! Makes Lucas look like a genius. Not joking.
Hey Luke! I saw it and have major problems with it to! Let’s dump on it together!
Chris B, I’m glad that you and I can finally team up on an opinion! Stay tuned!
I don’t think the jokes in TLJ are anywhere near as bad as the CG 3PO puns in Attack of the Clones or even the play by play commentary during the pod race in TPM.
Yes, I 100% agree, the humor in the Prequels are so tonally off…I actually laughed out loud at the “mom” joke in TLJ…then immediately thought “is that the joke everyone complained about?”. It wasn’t weird slang that didn’t belong in the universe (like “yo mama!”), it was just referencing his mom…and it worked in the scene because that one word is Poe showing his cards.
I forgot to mention the cringe inducing battle droid humor from the prequels.
I actually liked the battle droid humor from the prequels…because it wasn’t fart humor or racist humor.
Were Younglings killed?
I heard there was sand.
I don’t like sand.
And it gets everywhere.
That’s it, Luke…let the hate flow through you. 😉
Congratulations, Shannon—you’ve won the contest! 🙂
I remember when Attack of the Clones was touted as the best Star Wars film since The Empire Strikes Back. Clones sucked. (It sucked sand, in fact.) Then Revenge of the Sith was supposed to be the best since Empire. Well, it was the best in a trilogy that utterly sucked—I’ll give you that much. Then The Force Awakens was hailed as the Second Coming. Disposable. Then Rogue One was the Second Second Coming. Yecch. Excuse me while I disregard the hype.*
*Your mileage may vary.
To me, at least, this IS the best ‘Star Wars’ film since ‘The Empire Strikes Back’. No hyperbole.
Not even close. Worse SW movie by a long shot.
I completely agree! Whomever thinks this is great really is blind. So much misguided storytelling and plot devices here….and I’m 46 so I knew the world without Star Wars. Disney ruined the franchise.
‘Has a plague of blindness fallen across the land?’ to quote Josh Zyber.
Worse than the prequels? That’s not possible.
Attack of the Clones’ praise came from the excitement that it wasn’t as The Phantom Menace. No matter how good people said it was at the time, nobody ranked it with a place among the original trilogy. It just ended up being “good enough” to give people hope that the overall prequel trilogy was improving in quality and would result in a fantastic Episode III.
*as bad as
I wish had an edit button.
I totally sympathize with editing woes. 😛
However, that sympathy does not stop me from pointing out that your counterclaim is easily refuted (please excuse the URL citation style—I’m trying to defeat the board software’s accusation of spamminess):
• A May 16, 2002 Christian Science Monitor review begins, “‘Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones‘ is the best ‘Star Wars’ installment since ‘The Empire Strikes Back’…” [www dot csmonitor dot com slash 2002 slash 0516 slash p17s01-almo dot html]
• A May 9, 2002 roundup of reviews of Attack of the Clones quotes the UK tabloid The Sun: “It is easily as good as the Empire Strikes Back and better than the original and Return of the Jedi. I don’t even have to mention The Phantom Menace.” [news dot bbc dot co dot uk slash 2 slash hi slash entertainment slash 1976902 dot stm]
• On May 7, 2002, the Digital Bits’ Bill Hunt says of AOTC, “I personally think it’s the best Star Wars film since the release of Empire.” [thedigitalbits dot com slash site_archive slash reviews2 slash starwarsepisode2film dot html]
• On May 16, 2002, Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers follows his mixed review of Episode II with a ranking that places AOTC below the first two Star Wars films and above Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace. [www dot rollingstone dot com slash movies slash reviews slash star-wars-episode-ii-attack-of-the-clones-20020516]
And so on. Of course there were differing views, but the opinion that Attack of the Clones was the best Star Wars film since Empire (and therefore ranked “with a place among the original trilogy”, at least above Return of the Jedi) was most definitely making the rounds.
Attack of clones is by far one of the worst sequels ever made and maybe even one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. It’s basically a high budget B movie with acting so bad it rivals anything with Tommy Wiseau. I could write a book pointing out everything wrong with this film. Anyone comparing this to the TLJ is basically over reacting out of butthurt.
Paid $30 for the fan event at 6pm.
I’m sorry, the story is terrible considering there is another episode. It’s too much mess to clean up.
There were a few nice suspense and surprises. But there were too many borrowed ideas from episode 5 Empire Strikes Back.
The bigger problem I mentioned long ago was that when they decided to have episode 7-9, they have no clue how the story will be about and how it will end. At least George Lucas had pretty idea about episode 4-6 before making episode 4. There were a few deviations but they don’t affect the main idea. For me it feels like different people produced different episodes without any regard what will happen next. JJ Abrams has his work cut out for him.
How would I rank this in terms of the 8 so far? I think it’s no where near Return of the Jedi in my opinion. Better than all the prequels but no better than the first trilogy. I know cnn’s review was too harsh, saying this is about the same level as the attack of the clone. But I do agree it’s a major disappointment.
The entire resistance/republic fleet is destroyed, only Millennium Falcon survived carrying what was left of the resistance/republic numbering in a few dozens. Luke is gone (huge huge mistake killing him off when Carrie Fisher passed away). They called for help, nobody responded. It’s OVER. How is there going to be another episode?
Space battle was nice. But there is a lack of creativity on the ground. Why do we need another Hoth-like planet? Couldn’t they have done something different? Like desert or underwater base?
I still don’t even know how Luke died. My friend thought Kylo Ren killed him. But thru projection??? Confrontation between Kylo Ren and Luke was silly. I don’t know how strong you’re with the force, nobody survives barrages of energy weapons. But I guess the story had to make Kylo really dumb so they can have this confrontation. Shouldn’t they have reconsidered not killing off Luke after Fisher passed away? Unless they have pretty good idea what to do on the next one, I’d think they could have done some emergency change especially when it was on the last few minutes of the movie.
STILL SPOILER WARNING
“I still don’t even know how Luke died”. He didn’t die from the projection, or from any wounds. He poured all his energy into saving the small handful of Resistance members (and his sister), saw the binary suns, considered his life complete and well spent, and became one with the force (just like Obi-Wan, Yoda and Anakin did). As such, Luke will appear in Episode IX.
I suppose you could explain it that way. But was it convincing? Certainly not to me. That little shadowboxing surely was energy draining and fatal. And his life is complete knowing the Resistance is absolutely and totally decimated, down to a Millennium Falcon plus one X-Wing fighter lying on the bottom of the ocean? How is his joining with the force going to help the Resistance? You already have Yoda, Obi-Wan, and Anakin.
It was nice to see Yoda again, and I don’t consider that part garbage. I also believe Luke will be in IX. But he could have played a bigger role if he wasn’t killed off, now that Carrie Fisher is gone. I guess they weren’t joking when they said “let the past die”.
Maybe I should put it this way. It’s a great movie if you’ve never watched 1-6. But as continuation to the trilogy (4-6), it’s just terrible. I can back this up because I read many of those books and graphic novels that took place after episode VI (now considered non-canon). There were some very nice stories there.
SPOILER ALERT (DO NOT READ FURTHER):
I agree with many things Robert Stokes said. A lot of garbage was in the movie. The general rule to anything is not to follow up a bad idea and make it even worse. Why do you want to go to the planet and call out for help, knowing that help isn’t going to arrive in time, and now you just create bigger problem with the story when nobody even answered to suggest that there isn’t allies left out there. A simple retreat to an old base would suffice, all the other junk added only made everything more messy. Another lengthy garbage was the search for hacker who betrayed Finn and Rose. This was a direct copy of Empire Strikes back with Lando and the Cloud City. It did provide a little bit of depth for Rose character. But I’d throw all that way because in the end the tracker was not disabled and it didn’t alter outcome of anything. I’d trade garbage time by filling more gaps and sacrifice a little bit of suspense.
There are a lot of things Rian Johnson did right, which I feel made this even bigger disappointment for me. I also don’t think he put any thoughts about the next episode when he created this. Story is king. It’s what made LOTR and Harry Potter great even though people knew what was going to happen. This whole thing is starting to feel like money grab with mediocre story. To be fair there is still one shot and JJ Abrams is capable of fixing this.
Worse than Attack. Worse than Ishtar.
Boy, it’s almost like you’re supposed to be a little confused and off balanced until the next movie answers the questions and cleans up the mess, huh?
Stop Phil, that was sloppy storytelling 101. You’re too young to remember the power of the originals since you only saw the special editions/VHS versions. Sorry, but yes, Star Wars means more to me than it does to you. You will NEVER know what it was like when Star Wars didn’t even exist.
I recall, like this film, that Empire was the 2nd of of a trilogy that was perfectly written and settled plot points and created others without using the lazy guise of “mystery” because they really don’t know where to go. I actually don’t care about any of it now. Finn, Poe and now Rose…do we care about these characters? Nope. Hell, most of us OG fans cared about side characters, even Wedge was awesome!
The Last Jedi was horribly paced with huge logic gaps. Give me a break, the praise on this is unwarranted and given through Rose-colored glasses. It’s not brave or taking steps in a new direction, it’s ADHD filmaking at it’s finest with no sense of direction or purpose.
Luke FaceTimed instead of showing up to fight Kylo was so dumb. I was half expecting Stacy Keach to appear and have the female cop scream “He’s not even here! He’s just a hologram!” Awful…they reduced Luke to a duck decoy.
Sorry, I didn’t realize that I had to be older that the original Star Wars to have an opinion on the franchise. I’ll never speak of them again.
This movie was awful. So bad. Complete shit. I am a life long Star Wars fan and even apologize for the prequels. I can find something I like in every one of them. Not this. It is not good at all. The plot has about 15 minutes worth of story stretched for 2.5 hours. Almost every part of the movie is completely useless to the story. This movie will be the undoing of Star Wars. There is no point to watching EP IX. The attempt at humor was bad, over the top and unfunny. A “yo momma” joke in Star Wars?! Really?! This movie is an epic failure. Not only as a SW movie, but as a movie in general. A complete team of hacks cobbled this crap together and should be banned from every making another movie.
I didn’t love it either but I don’t think it’s completely worthless. I thought the Yo Mama joke was bad and out of place though.
I agree with you though I think it’s better than all the prequel. I think it’s better than Force Awakens. If you’re talking about “complete team of hacks cobbled this crap together” then Force Awakens fits that description better. Have you seen or read the non-canon Star Wars stuff (books, graphic novels)? They were actually quite good. I don’t mind if they borrowed some ideas from those. Instead they went on to blow up more death stars, more battles on icy planet, and lots of similar ideas found in the first trilogy. As bad as prequels were, at least you know Anakin was turning dark and there was a duel, everything that happened culminated to that conclusion. The problem is that I don’t think the team (if there is such) had any clue what they wanted to do with Star Wars 7-9.
I don’t mind the humor. I thought it was ok. But like you said, there were so much disposable storyline that you could cut one hour and not miss the beat. Instead of having so much junk, why not spend a couple of minutes explaining where Snoke came from or how remnants of the empire managed to destroy the new republic. Wouldn’t you agree that wouldn’t be considered garbage?
I don’t know why most people don’t consider Return of the Jedi to be good. I thought it was very good and certainly better than Last Jedi. Oh yeah, if anyone said the Last Jedi is anything close to Empire Strikes Back, I don’t know what they’re smoking.
Yes, I’ve read about 30 Star Wars novels. Disney had a wonderful outline presented to them and they decided to make this junk.
I will go into more of my frustration once we can put spoilers.
I can find redeeming parts of every prequel and FA. There was nothing redeeming about this. Complete waste of time and money.
Robert, I agree. There were some great stories in those novels. What’s wrong with using them? I’ll go further than that. Why use a couple of the novels as the basis for the movie? Oh, I get it. Some people want to be paid instead of paying others for loyalty. Didn’t Lord of the Ring based the movie on books? Didn’t Harry Potter? Both became some of the greatest movies ever made. Story is king. How pathetic was that when Last Jedi writers did a crappy job compared with the writers for the novels.
Now that you mention about redeeming quality with the prequel, I believe I was too harsh with the prequel. The problem with the prequel was there was a very bad actor there. But the story’s progression was logical in general, save plot holes but the foundation was still there.
This was nothing but cash grab. I don’t know why Disney started toying the fans with secrecy. With the prequel, we all knew the showdown between Obi-Wan and Anakin. We were curious on how Anakin turned to the dark side. Disney certainly went thru a lot of trouble guarding the secret that turned out to be garbage.
I fucking love ROTJ. It’s incredibly satisfying. My favoritw SW film hands down. I don’t get why people consider a lesser entry either. Because of the ewoks? Fuck right off.
I grew up watching RotJ far more often than the Episode III & IV, perhaps due to being born in 1980 and being the perfect age for it. Anyway, saw the Special Edition maybe once before prior, so I new to expect the terribly altered ending sequence…but I didn’t realize the “noooo”s were added in for Vader. I was like “I don’t recall hearing this before…” and I had to look it up.
While there were bigger, uglier, and more intrusive changes to A New Hope, I’m more bothered by the alterations to RotJ.
I mean Episode IV and V (and VI)…ugh.
That was added in the 2011 Blu-ray release. I didn’t like it either. But why would it bother you more than Greedo shot first? I’m hoping that one day Disney couldn’t figure out a way to milk out more money from this franchise, they’d release the Blu-ray version of the DVD that sells for $100 on eBay.
Chapz – I guess the reason why that bothers me more than Greedo shooting first is…well…because there is so much damage that was done beyond just that one scene. The extra animals in the backgrounds, the weird Jabba scene added in, the extra rocks around R2 (!?!?!), it’s like every other scene has something changed…it is a constant reminded, and every time the CGI looks worse than the original practical effects. It has those weird, soft Phantom Menace effects. With RotJ, they didn’t mess up nearly as much stuff, and it is ALMOST what it should have remained….SO close…but the tiny things they did change were huge (and not just background animals).
Preach it Robert! I’m 46, so unlike most here, I actually saw the originals in the theater opening weekend. So I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, this was a useless movie that took 20 minutes of good stuff and stretched it too long. It’s a hot mess of a movie, Disney must’ve paid the critics well.
It’s always funny to read this sort of thing. As if any studio would give enough of a shit to pay off critics. If you saw how broke all of us critics are as a species, you’d realize how insane this is.
I’m really trying to avoid spoilers, but I have noticed on the side bar of Bonus View people commenting with the expected backlash of “this is the worst SW movie ever!”. I had to come in and reply to your comment…there are so many movies that have earned $300+ million internationally that have rotten tomato scores below 30%, that investing in paying off reviewers doesn’t seem like a sound investment in ensuring your movie will be a hit. Also, how many movies above 90% on RT were total bombs? (That reminds me, how did that Blade Runner movie do?)
Anything you say, old timer. Sorry you didn’t find the droids you were looking for. Clearly this is my fault. (Is this sarcasm? Too young to understand.)
I think you need to go back and look at the attempts for humor in the original movies. Do you have problems with the banter between Han & Leia as they’re trying to escape the Death Star in ANH, feeling that the middle of a gunfight is no time to be nagging each other? Do you bemoan when we first meet Yoda in ESB and he ransacks Luke’s gear and gets into a tug-of-war match with R2-D2? How about pretty much all of Han in ROTJ? I get the feeling that anyone that’s complaining about the humor in this movie has been so used to seeing it in the originals that it’s glossed over at this point. I say, after all of the wooden acting at terrible dialogue of the prequels, bring on the actual humor. It gives the characters life and makes them likeable. And that’s a win in my book.
I understand complaints about the plot, but I think they took it as being secondary to character arcs, that again, I think that aspect of the movie is a success.
And I agree with Phil’s comment that maybe your question of “where do they go from here” is kind of the point of the next movie.
Having yet to see The Last Jedi, I can acknowledge that some more recent attempts at humor had fallen flat, but that is because it doesn’t keep the proper tone for the characters we know.
For example, Vader’s Rouge One line about choking on aspirations was terrible. It may have been funny as a reference to the choking scene in A New Hope, but it did not feel like Vader/Anakin dialog from ANY time in his life.
Then you have the organic humor of the original trilogy that contributed to our understanding of the character’s personalities. When Luke goes to rescues Leia, she comments about him being a little short to be a storm trooper. This isn’t just a joke about Luke being short, but reflective of the defiant attitude Leia had in dealing with Vader and his Storm Troopers.
Again, having not see The Last Jedi yet, I can’t say where the humor falls.
Well, I will say that Vader had a funny line in Empire when he first met Han at dinner and said: “How wonderful for you to join us” or something to that effect.
“We would be honored if you would join us.”
An FYI to everyone: We will run a spoiler post for this movie early next week, after more people have had a chance to see it. It’s perhaps best to hold off on further spoiler discussion until then. General thoughts on the movie are of course OK.
Sorry about my numerous posts. I didn’t catch your message before posting mine.
Generally the reviews have been positive. I did read a few bad reviews, one from cnn, the other from major media outlet I forgot which. I guess the few diehard fans tend to be very critical and less forgiving.
I bought some discount coupons on eBay so I went back to watch it on IMAX 3D. It sucked that I paid $30 for the fan event that was not in 3D. The 3D effect was above average.
Yes, I’ve read about 30 Star Wars novels. Disney had a wonderful outline presented to them and they decided to make this junk.
I will go into more of my frustration once we can put spoilers.
I can find redeeming parts of every prequel and FA. There was nothing redeeming about this. Complete waste of time and money.
And a general rule of thumb is if you have to create tons of plot holes just to make the story go your way, then it’s a bad story to begin with.
Just talked to another diehard fan. Why the hell wouldn’t they send away some x-wings down to the planet to broadcast the distress call? Like they said the Tie fighters doesn’t have the range and the imperial destroyer’s cannon cannot aim something that tiny. Also, when it was apparent Millennium Falcon was in the area destroying Tie Fighters, couldn’t the Star Destroyers in orbit have blocked their escape route? Oh, that’s right, then everybody would get wiped out in the end. And instead of nobody answered Leia’s call for help, why not have something like Imperial forces jamming their transmission?Now that the entire surviving Resistance is down to 30 people and we established that nobody answered, how in the world can they mount a comeback in the final episode? And if they whip up a fleet of cruisers and x-wings, what are those people going to say? “Hey, we got your message, It went to our voicemail machine and we had trouble recalling our soldiers from their R&R.” The X-wings and A-wings we saw were everything they had because they had to protect the bombers. So in a way the movie established repeatedly that the Resistance was all-in, confirmed by the fact that Leia said it was the end.
And to the contradictions. Luke said he couldn’t take on the First Order. Then Leia said to Rey that they had all they needed, even though at that point they’re probably outnumbered 10,000 to 1. I guess when you’re on the brink of total annihilation, a little pep talk couldn’t hurt. If Rey had stolen the Jedi books, that could open up some possibilities in the next episode. But then Yoda was playing with lightening to deceive Luke for nothing? Couldn’t he have used his power on something more useful? If Jedi training was so safe and can be done as “self-study”, why the Jedi council and strict sets of rules were in place for centuries?
One way JJ Abrams could fix this mess is by leaving many things unanswered and fast forward 15-20 years. They can have Resistance miraculously rebuilt back to full strength with secret factories that First Order doesn’t know about whipping up more cruisers and fighters. The younglings would have grown up and trained into jedi knights (by Luke or Yoda’s ghost) to help Resistance’s cause. The only thing that can help is if fans stop making sense of anything they saw. How great was Last Jedi now?
Boy, I even said at the end of the review that I knew this movie would be divisive, but yeesh! It’s going to be a tough few years, but I look forward to when the third movie provides the answers everyone is so angry they didn’t get and this movie gets re-evaluated. It’s funny how everyone suddenly forgets that Empire Strikes Back got the weakest reviews and made the least money of the original trilogy when it came out. It was only later when people could look at the trilogy as a whole that people finally recognized how great it was.
“This ‘Empire’ movie is too bleak and dark!”
*fast forward a few years*
“These Ewoks are too childish!”
Time does afford perspective.
No, Phil, actually many of us recognized it as great from the start.
Obviously. I didn’t mean to insinuate that everyone hated it. Poor wording on my part.
Empire was and is my favorite of all the Star Wars movies, and I was insane for it when it came out. THAT’S a good movie. One that doesn’t need the one before it or after it in order to stand on its own. Empire does that, The Last Jedi does not. Saying “Wait till all three are out” is a weak excuse.
I didn’t even care about Jedi…and this was 1980…before you were even alive son. You have no idea what your’e talking about.
Yeah, I’m pretty sure that it helps for Star Wars to exist to appreciate Empire because that’s how continuing stories work? Anyhoo, sorry to have so personally offended you Paul. It’s sad to hear that The Last Jedi appears to have made you so furious.
Yeah, even before I saw Empire, I knew it was great based upon the look (cinematography), advancement of the characters, the introduction of new ones AND it not looking like the previous film! You can’t deny that the Bespin still has such a nice look that it alone made the film. Of course, there was Luke actually using the lightsaber to do battle worked as well.
Jedi was good before they met up with the Ewoks, then it was not bad to great after. If the deleted scenes were reinserted, then Jedi would be right there with Empire. People say the Ewoks brought down the empire, but they did not, all they did was help the rebels knock down the shield. Luke was basically the one who brought down the empire. Disney failed to follow up those films with anything decent. They messed it all up.
You looked too young to remember the reviews from ESB. Suppose you were right. I think ROTJ did smooth out the shock from ESB’s explosive revelation about Luke and Vader in ESB.
But Last Jedi was such a mess that I think JJ Abrams will have to pull all the tricks he has to get this one right. I don’t like what Abrams did with Star Trek or Force Awakens. But for this big mess, he’s the right person to salvage this trilogy.
Man, at this point, I cannot even understand how someone would want or should expect for Disney to get it right – they messed up with 7! I did not even waste my time, money and getting stressed out looking at the nonsense they put into it.
I still think the IMAX 3D was pretty impressive. The story just stunk. Someone on eBay was selling movie passes so I bought one of those $8 ones for a couple of bucks. I think I paid about $7 for IMAX ticket counting the cost of the $8 ticket. I felt the $30 I spent on Fan event was a total waste, I wish I could have those money back especially when it wasn’t 3D or IMAX for a $30 ticket.
The way Disney treated this entire project was like having 3 different subcontractors build a house at different stage of construction and without a blueprint. So JJ Abrams finished Force Awaken and says “My job is done. I don’t give a $hit what happens next. It’s all yours now. Good luck”. Rian took over, did his own thing. Now it’s such a mess that Disney had no choice but to bring back JJ to clean up the mess.
As bad as Force Awaken was, as Phil pointed out anything familiar was paying homage. And I get the point some people were saying about bridging the generation gap. So the movie was a rehash of old ideas we saw before in previous Star Wars. Instead of learning from the mistakes, they chose to double down. They copied lots of ideas from ESB. Not only that, the story is in such stage that it doesn’t make any sense because of all the contradictions. The core of jedi was shaken a bit with Phantom Menance, but I’d say it has been totally scrapped in Last Jedi. They also put the story into a point of no return.
I wrote too much. In short I think this whole new trilogy was a cash grab. Disney knows even if they produced the most inferior Star Wars, people will pay to see it. They were right. Most people are just too happy to see new Star Wars. Only the diehard fan care about the legacy of what they grew up to love. So far the bad reviews came from New York Times and CNN because they don’t give a $hit about what others think. Too many people were caught in the hype.
Man, nothing brings the trolls out of the woodwork like a new Star Wars movie. Can’t wait til May and all the vitriol the Han Solo movie receives.
Can we call Star Wars specific trolls Ewoks?
You’re onto something there!
I was thinking Jar Jars, but I suppose Ewoks works too.
Paul, why are you constantly calling Phil ‘too young’ and saying he has only seen the Special Editions? I’m 33, and I have seen all original cuts of ‘Star Wars’/Empire/Jedi on both LaserDisc and VHS. Age has nothing to do with it. As fans, we understand the difference between theatrical and special edition. Age has nothing to do with this. We can all be Beatles fans without having been born in the 40’s.
Careful Julian. Now that he knows how old you are, you are going to get an earful.
I do agree that when it comes to discussing the vibe and reception during a film’s release, it’s hard to compete with someone who was around for the film’s release.
I’ve been told many times that there was no blockbuster on the level of ‘Star Wars’ prior…that it was a huge hit without the bombardment of advertising we are used to…I would have loved to have been around to experience this (but I wasn’t).
Similarly, I recall the excitement leading up to the premier of The Phantom Menace…and I recall the level of disappointment by being blindsided with trade negotiations and senate hearings. Rottentomato scores, or watching the film even just weeks after it’s release, doesn’t convey the disappointment to the same degree.
Don’t trust anyone under 40! 😛
No one is too young to be a fan, but people are too young to know about the originals and it’s effects on pop culture and American culture. Once guy claimed to have seen Jedi when it first came out – and he was born in 1980! We know that’s a lie. If you were a child in the late 70’s and 80’s (Star Wars officially go played out in 1985-86 once people knew nothing more was coming), then we know how our lives revolved around Star Wars.
Some things in life, people just had to be there to fully understand. I am not from the 60’s and I love the Beatles, but I can only take people’s word for it about the hysteria surrounding them during the early 60’s, and you guys largely have to take our word for it about SW. Until Terminator 2 came, there were no films as technologically advanced as SW – none. T2 is what finally started making it look dated, which is part of the reason I think Lucas came with the Special Editions, in addition to using the proceeds to finance the prequels.
Do you guys agree with me that Last Jedi is a very cheap and failed replica of Empire Strikes Back? I can draw direct comparison here.
ESB: Hoth battle
LJ: Crait battle
ESB wins hands down.
ESB: Luke’s training
LJ: Rey’s training
ESB wins once again, more depth with ESB.
ESB: Lando’s betrayal
LJ: DJ’s betrayal
ESB wins without a question. DJ’s storyline was a complete garbage. It had zero impact on the story. Whereas you see how Lando regrets his decision and switch side again to help Leia and Luke, and eventually joining the rebels.
ESB: Cloud City
This is tied to the previous. But aside from few bright spots for Rose’s storyline, LJ’s counterpart was just complete garbage. They went there to find DJ to disable tracker. They could just cut all that crap out and save at least 45 minutes.
ESB: Luke facing Vader in forest
LJ: Rey’s mirror scene
I don’t even know WTF Rey’s scene was about. It was sloppy and incoherent. With Luke in ESB, it set the tone for confrontation with Vader.
ESB: Evacuation of Hoth
LJ: Evacuation of ???
I’m going to be generous here and give LJ upper hand because of the space battle, The LJ did well in the evacuation sequence and the following space battle. But LJ unnecessarily dragged on the movie and created holes. If the cruiser was to be sacrificed, why not do the suicide run immediately? I wasn’t counting but judging 5 or 5 transport survived, they lost around 80% of transports before the suicide run. Couldn’t some people have taken out the X-Wing to salvage the fleet? My point is it served very little purpose to drag out meaningless storyline.
ESB: Vader vs Luke
LJ: various fights
You can see how beautifully ESB did this by tying storytelling along with it. Luke rushed to meet Vader and got schooled, and was spared because it was revealed that he was Vader’s son. LJ had interesting surprise with cutting down of Snoke. But you saw how skilled Kylo Ren was in opening of Force Awakens stopping the laser. Here he had trouble hacking down the emperor’s red guards. You see all sorts of sloppiness in LJ.
There are probably more comparisons you can make between the two, but in the end ESB is simply superior. LJ is just a cheap imitation.
There’s a differ nice between copy and homage. Especially in a series that’s all about fate and repetition over time.
Fair enough. But Force Awaken is also homage with the desert scene, blowing up star killer with x-wing, …etc. How much homage do we need as if the entire Trilogy needs to be homage to the first trilogy? At this point, it feels like buying a cheap knockoff as opposed to homage. I don’t see Lord of the Ring/Hobbit paying homage to earlier films or Harry Potter doing the same. Yeah they were based on novels. Story is king. Fans have been waiting a long time for this. They deserve to have something better than a knockoff of the films they grew up to love.
I believe someone mentioned that Force Awakens brought up familiar ideas to connect the old fans with new fans. As much as I really hated so much to see another “death star” blown up by x-wing, I managed to accept that. But we’re past the dealing with generation gap here.
You probably haven’t read any of the novels. I think the problem here is that some people think they can create a story for these movies when they should just stick with directing. But they weren’t even consider writing a novel because they know it would suck. Some of these non-canon Star Wars novels were so good that decades ago I wish someone would consider making a movie with them. There were a lot of tragic storyline with Han/Leia’s children in non-canon novels and those would have been great ideas for movies. But the best they can do here is killing Han to pay homage for death of Obi-Wan.
Initially I was concerned that JJ Abrams might wreck the entire franchise like he did with some ridiculous garbage in Star Trek into Darkness which was hated by a lot of diehard Star Trek fans. But seeing what a mess 7 and 8 have become, I don’t know who else has the ability to clean up this mess.
People should really stop saying The Empire Strikes Back was a SW film. It wasn’t. Leigh Brackett gets no credit for her original script. Then Lawrence Kasdan did a rewrite and fleshed out the story. Irvin Kirshner, Gary Kurtz, and Lawrence Kasdan all fought Lucas all the way not to add his stupid ideas and massacre the film. That is why you get the monstrosity of Return of the Jedi. Lucas fired Kurtz on that movie and he single handedly ruined that movie. Gary Kurtz gets most of the credit for A New Hope and as we all know Marcia Lucas single handedly created A New Hope with her Oscar winning editing of that movie though she gets zero credit. Without The Empire Strikes Back, the original six movies were really just glorified shit. So if people wonder why Episode 7 and 8 are mostly terrible, it is because the original six were terrible. I repeat The Empire Strikes Back was not a Lucas or SW film. Others were responsible for its success and coherency.
Ok…. I still loved ROTJ as is. I can’t really name a major flaw with the film. The only thing most people complained about was the way it was cut. You have things happening in Endor, you have the space battle, and you have Luke/Vader/Emperor. It jumped quite a bit but I don’t see how one can improve upon it.
I have no doubt George Lucas is capable of massacring his own franchise. The prequels were barely holding on with all the plot holes. But at least the story still made sense overall. That’s more than what I can say with Last Jedi. It had lots of serious problems that are too difficult to be explained away or dealt with in the next episode.
I’ll agree with you that they really need to hire the right people to write the story, because 7 and 8 both stink so much it jeopardize the relevancy of the previous films. Too many stupid ideas and I can tell you they could cut at least one hour in Last Jedi without changing the dynamics and outcome of the movie.
There appears to be a rather siginificant divide of opinion between critics and audience/public:
Personally I was quite disappointed with The Last Jedi. The style of cutting, comedy and acting was more Guardians of the Galaxy and Marvel in general than Star Wars. The narrative structure was disorganized; nothing felt more important than the other, and there was no build-up. Just scene after scene and battle after battle.
Fredrik: New York TImes gave a very bad review, as with cnn. A lot of people who liked the film are bunch of sheep or they aren’t really a fan and would just love anything that was thrown at them.
I don’t mind the humor or the style of cutting. The story was just horrible. Phil said it’s homage to previous Star Wars. Seriously? You’re on the 2nd movie and 66% of the entire project and they are still giving homage??? If the writers can’t be creative, they should just step aside and forfeit the money, let people who knows how to write story, or even just pay loyalty fee to writers who wrote good non-canon Star Wars novels decades ago.
I’m not a sheep, and I’m really a fan, AND I liked ‘The Last Jedi’.
Yes. I’m sure there is nothing you’ll dislike if it’s a Star Wars. Unfortunately I read too many of Star Wars novels and I really enjoyed the high quality storyline in those now non-canon Star Wars. I also understand why people think Last Jedi is good. As a standalone and to those who hasn’t watched any Star Wars, it’s a great movie. But if you waited for decades like I have, you’d expected something more than a rehash of old ideas from previous Star Wars. Story-wise, this one feels like a very cheap knockoff of ESB, as I’ve listed the direct comparison between the two in specific details.
I don’t believe anyone working for this trilogy have read any of the existing novels out there. JJ Abrams already wreck Star Trek with into Darkness garbage. They probably think highly of themselves and can write better than those people whom they’ve viewed as nobody. For one thing, there is actually a new republic in the alternate Star Wars universe. But here in Last Jedi, the republic’s most powerful ship Mon Calimari got destroyed. The entire surviving fleet consists of one Millennium Falcon and one x-wing belonging to Luke lying on the bottom of the ocean, with personnel numbering in 20-30. From a military standpoint, it’s over. If they wanted to pass the torch to the new, there isn’t much to go on. You’re not going to be able to whip up several heavy cruisers and a dozen squadrons of x-wing a-wing b-bombers, and pilots that have already been trained. Just to illustrated how bad the story was, why would you want to say that nobody answered Leia’s urgent and desperate call for help, and to confirm that they fought to the end? You have very little room to work with in the final episode. I guess Rian Johnson doesn’t care because that’s not his problem, it’s JJ Abrams.
What they should have done in the very beginning was to have a general outline of what each episode is about. And fxxx the secrecy. Lord of the Ring is one of the greatest film ever made, and it was based on great novel. Did the fact that people knew the story before watching the movie diminish its greatness? No. Instead they have different people taking over at different movie, and they improvise as things move along, pulling $hit right out of their arse. That’s why the storyline feels like garbage.
Well, I have watched all previous Star Wars movies, have read the Zahn trilogy and some other EU books over the years, watched a few episodes of both ‘Clone Wars’ and ‘The Clone Wars’, read around 15 comics from the 70’s and a few more from the 90’s/2000’s, collected 75+ action figures and starships. I’d say I’m relatively well-versed in the Star Wars universe (even though I have never seen ‘The Holiday Special’, I did see the Boba Fett introduction short on the official Blu-ray). Still, after all that, and not treating ‘The Last Jedi’ as a standalone movie, I still really like it. I don’t like ‘Attack of the Clones’ or ‘Revenge of the Sith’, but I do like ‘The Last Jedi’.
Please do not post spoilers without announcing that you’re going to do so.
If the Star Wars novels were so great, you’d think a few people might remember them other than old fans lost in nostalgia. All Star Wars movies echo and repeat themes, characters, plot points, and images. That’s part of what makes this whole modern myth work. Just because something isn’t exactly what you expected doesn’t mean it’s automatically bad. The rules of the fictional franchise can change over time. They were always made up. It’s not as if Lucas didn’t make up the force and lightsabers in the first place.
Now to respond to your spoilery complaints with a SPOILER ALERT: The resisstance’s fleet was significantly depleted after the massive losses destroying Death Star 3 in the Force Awakens and the opening battle in Last Jedi. Then there was a specific scene where the remaining x-wings and a-wings were destroyed (where Poe gone blown back after his x-wing blew up). No one responded to the distress calls at the end because no one believed in the cause anymore. BUT after the finale of this movie, a new legend has been created. One that will cause a new rise of rebels and create a new army of support. that’s what the whole ending was about. Plus, there’s the suggestion through ray and others that a new generation is discovering the force in new ways. The old Jedi ways are gone. The universe is evolving. It’s a very intelligent and surprising way to keep this franchise going. The trouble is that when you make a Star Wars movie about the value of change and letting go of the past, you’re probably going to end up alienating a bunch of obsessive Star Wars fans who cling to the original trilogy like a religious text and refuse to accept any change in the franchise that they’ve memorized and treated like religion. Ironic, huh? It’s almost like Luke’s bitterness and fear/fury to how a new generation of force attuned future jedi feel the force and the dark side was a deliberate choice by Rian Johnson and co. Of course , they are all idiots compared to you. I could be wrong (sigh…)
Sorry that change in Star Wars is so tough for you. Here’s the weird thing though: those old movies aren’t disappearing from existence because new ones exist and maybe it’s not a bad thing for a new generation to get a Star Wars to call their own? I mean the pre-Star Wars generation had Buck Rogers n stuff. I’ll bet they whined about Star Wars being different from the space adventures of their youth too. There was just no internet around to document all the bitching from fans who can’t handle change and new directions and will nitpick at something new until they’re convinced it’s crap.
Hmmmmm that’s a pretty damn good defence of the movie right there.
If you didn’t see the Holiday Special, you don’t know Star Wars disappointment. Five year old me was a crushed watching it live.
Haha, this comment wins the internet today.
As a mahoosive Star Wars fan, I love the original trilogy, and I’ve even come to love the prequels, warts and all. Sure, they’re not perfect, but they’re great fun, with good stories and characters (even if sometimes let down by mediocre acting *cough*Portman*cough*).
I am by no means averse to new Star Wars. I loved He Clone Wars, and I was pleasantly surprised by Rogue One, and will happily watch it along with the others. Perfect? No, but like the prequels, the positives far outweighed the negatives.
The Force Awakens, however, was awful. It made the worst of the prequels feel like Shakespeare. Forget it’s Star Wars, it was downright terrible from a character and story execution perspective and even plain old logic. Then if you do include Star Wars, it ruined the original characters so much, and rendered the efforts of the orignal films pointless by resetting everything (and that’s before we even get nto it being a shameless rehash nostalgia trip).
So I’m probably one of the few fans who hasn’t even watched the trailer for Last Jedi yet. I may watch it when it comes to Netflix. Why am I not giving it a chance? Because even if a genius had taken over, the story and characters were already screwed. And from reading the spoilers above, this sounds just as bad as TFA… Such a trahic waste! Lucas at his worst was still head and shoulders over this mess.
(Apologies for the typos, I was using a touch screen keyboard) 😉
I come from the camp of any Star Wars is better than no Star Wars. Being someone who was lucky enough to experience The original Star Wars in multiple locations it feels great to revisit these memories everytime a new Star Wars movie is released. I actually miss the long lines where we were able to share our excitement about the film we were about to see with others who were just as excited as us. But times change and I’ll take what I can get. Before Disney bought Lucasfilm the only new material we would get would be animated Clone War episodes and now we are getting feature length movies yearly. I’ll take what I can get and be all the happier for whatever I get.
Are the long lines a thing of the past? I remember the hilarious Triumph interviews around ‘Attack of the Clones’ time. No more lines nowadays in America?
I can’t speak for everybody across the U.S., but around here (home market to a couple of the HDD guys if I remember correctly) lines aren’t a thing anymore. There are dozens of theaters across the valley and a vast majority of them also have assigned seating now. Fire up any internet connected device, check out the current seats available at a couple showtimes, choose your seats, and you’re good to go.
It was too long. They made the mistake of introducing too many characters and not knowing what to do with them, then introduce more characters.
Also, unlike Luke above, I felt the movie needed more humor. It was too serious for its own good.
I normally stay out of these debates, but I decided to comment becauase l can’t recall the last time I’ve been so puzzled by the intensely negative reaction to a movie. I’m not stating that everyone who hates The Last Jedi is wrong. For example, I can understand people not appreciating the movie’s attempts at comedy However, a lot of the complaints I’ve been reading online just comes across as whiny fanboys and fangirls butthurt because Rian Johnson didn’t stick to THEIR vision of Star Wars and/or treat the numerous books as canon.
I guess that’s fine if you feel that strongly about it. However, to quote from a blog post I read earlier today:
“I kinda miss the days when people could just watch a movie. Seems to me, we used to know how to do that without all the handwringing and chest-puffery and whatnot. This is Star Wars, after all… not the Allied plans for the invasion of Normandy.
Personally, I don’t go to a new Star Wars movie each year expecting to have my world rocked the same way it was when I was ten, like seemingly every other film geek of my generation, because that simply isn’t possible. I’d be disappointed every time if that was my expectation.”
Anyway, that’s my two cents on this. I liked The Last Jedi. Didn’t think it was perfect, but certainly not deserving of all the hate being sent it’s way.
Rogue One was outstanding. The story was flawless. It was powerful and moving. I remember some people in the theater shedding tears. I’ve read some people said it’s the best Star Wars movie ever made, even surpassing ESB. I wouldn’t go that far but I don’t have a problem with that assessment.
If you think Rogue One is great, then you can’t possibly think Last Jedi is too. There is too much mismatch in quality. I can trim Last Jedi an hour and it wouldn’t make much difference because there was too much garbage time. They have to resort to plot holes in order to make ridiculous and illogical things happen. There are also serious contradictions. I haven’t even mention about Leia because it was so bad I just have to let a few things go. This movie is going to be very divisive just like another thing in real life. I got a buddy who loves every movies he’s watched. After hearing my criticism, he said to me “Come on, it’s only a movie”. I said if you have to say that, then it’s a very bad movie and bad story.
What made Lord of the Ring and Harry Potter movies great were the quality of the story. Even the Star Wars prequels were good enough for passing grades. I guess I cared too much to accept this kind of junk, unlike a lot of people who would take anything they can when it comes to Star Wars.
Unfortunately Disney knows it can get away with it. As you probably don’t know, for the first time Disney demanded extra money from all theaters, 65% of revenue instead of the standard 55%, and require them to put the movie on premium format for at least 4 weeks. No theater can pull down Last Jedi without Disney’s written permission. Those were to terms every theater must accept in order to show the Last Jedi. Rival studios are pissed because they can’t earn extra money on IMAX or Dolby format for their movies.
Rogue One was flawless? You mean the movie with all the boring characters with next to no personality and the worst one liner ever spat out if Darth Vader’s mouth? Good nostalgia though. Great action. Perfect storytelling? Please. Simple and satisfying storytelling sure. But hardly perfect.
First of all…I’m not a purist. A movie like this is basically a popcorn movie. Yes, there are lots of plot holes, events that do far more than simply ask us to suspend belief, and a few scenes (one involving a key character having an existential outer space experience) that are so silly that I laughed, though they were meant to be taken more seriously. Yes, the movie really didn’t do much to advance the overall Star Wars story telling, though it did an good job of updating us on individual characters and served as a pretty darned good transition from the older characters to the new generation.
Lots of issues for the purists…but…this movie was a totally enjoyable blast with eye popping special effects, surprise twists and turns, superb acting from Ridley, Driver and the late Carrie Fisher, and (FINALLY) it didn’t even involve a death star. Phew!
Excellent overall movie that gives me renewed hope for future entries
Just out of curiosity, I checked Fandango’s fan review on this movie. Average is 4 stars with over 15,000 reviews. I went thru the first 20 pages of the review, they are mostly 1’s and 2’s. It’s sorted with most recent on top. There must be a lot of 5’s in the first few days of the movie release. One guy even said it’s better than Empire Strikes Back. Another said it’s Empire Strikes Back of our generation. I think whatever they were smoking, I’d like to get some next time I watch terrible movie.
I’m off to see The Last Jedi, and I have positive expectations.
Hell, I rewatched The Phantom Menace two days ago, so I think I’ll be okay.
But, these negative comments I’m noticing, it reminds me of The Dark Knight. When I saw it, I haaaaated it. I had so many issues with it, I would pick it apart. A few years later I rewatched on Blu-Ray, and I loved it suddenly. I’ve watched it a few times since, enjoying it more each time.
I enjoyed TLJ. There were some silly parts but overall I felt like it was pretty good and was entertaining enough. What I’d like to see, is a movie in the style of The Old Republic Trailers. I don’t know if it would ever happen with Disney in charge but I’d love to see a serious Star Wars movie set in The Old Republic with some badass Jedis and Siths going at each other. Make the movie with a more serious tone and drop some of the silly humor, maybe even try to make it PG-13. Hell, I’d love to see an R-rated Star Wars but you know that will never happen.
I think many fans were offended that the story line betrayed their expectations. I had a few of my own theories, but I came into the film with an open slate of expectations and found it very enjoyable. It wasn’t a perfect movie by far and nowhere near the masterpiece of the Empire Strikes Back. I still thought it was a Top Tier Star Wars film, but it will take my awhile before I can rank it up with the rest of the Saga. So far I found it better than Rogue and the Return of the Jedi, and miles ahead of any of the prequels.
Yeah, people that are saying the prequels are better are insane. The quality of these new Star Wars films far exceeds anything in the prequels.
So I actually enjoyed the movie very much, I also enjoyed TFA except for the death star repeat, I just have to get over that when I watch it since there are other things to enjoy in that movie. I was really impressed with Adam Drivers performance. When he took his helmet off in TFA he was kinda silly looking- and SPOLIERS!!!!! After he destroyed his helmet at the beginning I thought it would be the same but he did really well without it this time around.
I liked the twist with Snoke but now I’m even more curious about him!!! Also one thing I did not quite understand, what was the whole point of the dark side area on the island and Rey going into it? The only thing the movie didn’t completely win me over with was Lukes death, I thought his character arc was great and he certainly died for something, but it kinda seemed a bit lazy cause they didn’t know what else to do with him, hopefully he appears as a force ghost in 9 for more support.
I appreciated that the film resisted pandering to fan expectations, while staking out original territory which ultimately seems healthy for the franchise.
It appears the fans are all over the map on this film. While few people loathe the Last Jedi as much as the prequels, its seems many fans are frustrated while others are really blown away by the film. It’s clear the honeymoon period from the Force Awakens is now over.
Phil: “No wonder Rian Johnson has already been tapped to make his own entire ‘Star Wars’ trilogy. He plays with ‘Star Wars’ toys better than anyone since the guy who invented them.”
That’s only true if Rian never got a Luke action figure. Or if he did, Rian enjoyed positioning all the other action figures taking a sh*t on Luke.
Phil: “Nothing ever quite works out like it’s supposed to. Old assumptions are cast into doubt. There’s no guarantee that the heroes will win. There’s no need for resolution. Johnson’s film is all about screwing with the ‘Star Wars’ system and he does so beautifully.”
Let me correct this part for you (in ALL CAPS)…
Nothing ever quite works out like it’s supposed to. Old assumptions are cast into doubt. There’s no guarantee that the heroes will EARN THEIR winS. There’s no need for resolution OR BACKSTORY. Johnson’s film is all about screwing with the ‘Star Wars’ CHARACTER TRAITS AND ESTABLISHED MYTHOS, and he does so beautifully.”
You’re right, Phil. Rian screws so beautifully.