Star Wars: The Last Jedi is Overrated

the last jedi poster2star“We are the spark, that will light the fire that’ll burn the First Order down.”

In a galaxy not far, far away … where sequels, prequels and reboots are more prevalent than original movies, I had reservations two years ago regarding Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But, with the brilliant direction of JJ Abrams, both the franchise and the force were back…until writer/director Rian Johnson felt the need to fanboy his way through crafting The Last Jedi.

Let me quote Luke, “This is not going to go the way you think…” The force may be back and bigger than ever, but it’s not necessarily better than ever.

(spoiler-ish)

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Throughout the entire press tour for TLJ, it’s clear that Mark Hamill’s not entirely on-board with the massive facelift the franchise has undergone at the hands of Disney.

“I don’t want to be an old stick in the mud. There were the originals. There’s the prequels. But that’s all George. And now we have the next generation. And as far as I can see they are more popular than ever.” via Metro

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Popular doesn’t necessarily mean better, but you can’t argue the numbers when it comes to Star Wars as Star Wars: The Force Awakens grossed $2.068 billion back in 2015 and then Rogue One took in $1.056 billion last year.

Already a blockbuster triumph, Kaela Napier predicts The Last Jedi, is expected to rake in about $555 million on opening weekend alone and easily exceed $1 billion when it’s all said and done.”

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But before I dive into why I found this installment to be duller than dull, I think it’s important to remember that when it comes to the Star Wars franchise, the positives and the negatives don’t necessarily matter. Audiences that love it are going to praise it while the fanboys may find it as a misstep. Then there’s the group of people, like myself, who go to appreciate a good movie. I saw this movie as a critic and not a fan. And from a critic’s perspective, it’s just not that great.

This episode follows Rey as she receives Jedi training from Luke Skywalker in hopes of turning the tide for the Resistance in the continued fight against Kylo Ren and the First Order.

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Clocking in at an arduous 152 minutes, I didn’t know whether to give up on the fight of the Resistance or put my hands up in the air for the possible redemption of Ben Solo. I was so bored waiting for something victorious or damning to happen that by the time it finally did, I just didn’t care.

One of my biggest qualms with this epic is all the subplot juggling that I found myself keeping up with, and it became tedious. It’s not that I can’t mentally equip myself for a layered story, but it became flat out pointless and failed to uphold an ounce of my interest.

One of the worst is the Finn/Rose packaged subplot. Finn and Rose travel to Canto Bight and acquire the help of the hacker DJ, who says he is able to help them disable the tracking device on Snoke’s ship. You could have easily cut that from the movie, and it would have made no difference. And were those two supposed to have chemistry, because I didn’t feel it.

And, what about Snoke? I may not be a superfan, but isn’t he supposed to be stronger than Vader and the Emperor? His entire character was completely wasted in a lame battle leaving his fate all to predictible. Where did he come from, what were his motives? Who the hell knows, because his character was clumsily executed from the plot.

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“The film doesn’t move the story one inch. Kylo is still emo. Rey is still the good protagonist. Rebels are still fighting. 150 minutes of this and all they accomplished was giving girls on tumblr cringe-worthy scenes to base their fan fiction on.” via Lady Sati

TLJ also introduces us to what seems like an endless amount of new characters leaving little room to further develop the old characters that we actually care about. “Even the extraordinary cast members have less room here than in The Force Awakens to let their personalities show; the movie’s cinematic fabric is cut too tight, the frame is too constraining, the story lines hold them stiff and still like so many guy wires.” via New Yorker

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And, let’s not forget the gag-worthy forced comedic moments pouring throughout the entire movie (thanks, Disney). What the hell happened to that script? I found myself awkwardly laughing at scenes that didn’t need to be funny; this is a very dark universe, and it’s not supposed to be comedic.

“While The Force Awakens exploited nostalgia to get over with the audience, one expected TLJ to be a statement film, following in the tradition of history. As an audience, we desire a fuller experience — the familiar and unique warmth of a Star Wars film with a sense of progression. As with adaption, this new generation of filmmakers are struggling with capturing the spiritual essence while expanding an interpreting the world in a new and interesting, even transformative ways.” via PopMatters

Whatever I needed or wanted to get out of this didn’t happen. Maybe the force wasn’t strong with me for this installment, but all I can hope is that the next chapter packs more of a punch than this deflated mess.

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27 thoughts on “Star Wars: The Last Jedi is Overrated”

  1. yep Yep YEP. “Duller than dull” pretty much sums it up for me too. For me it was just a big chaotic mess that was ultimately disappointing (not to mention the comedy which was…cringe-worthy) but I’m HOPING that the next movie will be better or at least make sense. I love Star Wars (and there were some good bits in this movie I admit) but just because I’m a fan doesn’t mean I’m going to give anything and everything Star Wars a golden seal of approval, ya know? I’m all about people having their own opinions but I do bite my tongue around my friends who are insisting this is the best Star Wars film to date (nothing tops the original trilogy for me lol). Anyway I ranted on my own blog so I’ll spare your comment space haha but yeah, I enjoyed reading your thoughts.

  2. I have been upset the entire week. I saw the film last saturday and I absolutely hated it. And this is coming from a diehard fan who has loved this franchise for over 25 years. There were a couple of fun things in it, but overall this movie was just seriously bad. It had so many plotholes and just seemed to ignore 40 years of Star Wars lore. It also doesn’t help when Mark Hamill himself says he disagreed with every decision that the director made for his character. I have written the absolute worst review in the history of my blog for it (it’s basically just a rant lol 😂), but it’s only because as a fan I felt cheated, angry and very sad all at the same time 😢
    I respect people that say they enjoyed it, everyone is ofcourse entitled to their own opinion. But I actually saw someone give this film a 10/10 score and that’s where I started wondering if I might have seen a different movie.
    I totally agree with everything you wrote here. Great post! 😊

    1. It’s interesting to hear the perspective of a super fan like yourself. I’m glad we’re in agreement, because I honestly felt like I was the only one who felt this way after seeing it.

      1. Trust me on this, you are not the only one. If you want even more encouragement: I recommend taking a look at IMDB or YouTube. It features an enormous amount of negative reviews, as much as it pains me being such a fan of the franchise. There are an enormous amount of fans that really hated it 😢

  3. Agree with your review. I love Star Wars and am a big fan of the ‘universe’ but was really let down by this movie not as Star Wars fan, but just a a moviegoer. It was a long, boring mess.
    There were parts I loved – the intro scene, the Kylo/Rey fight scene – but in general it just went on and on and on. I also don’t like movies that have multiple endings. Just end the thing already!

  4. It’s just so terrible how they wasted this talent involved. So much potential, so much talented, so many possibilities. I really hope Abrams can somehow salvage this trilogy and these characters that had almost no development here and if they did it was something that made them either dull or unlikable

  5. I haven’t seen it yet but the review was a delight to read. I have heard same things from other bloggers too. Will wait for a DVD release now…

    Still, it seems you liked it more than the 1-3 prequels, didn’t you?

  6. I have a lot of feelings about it Courtney. Some things surprised me which I liked. Some things surprised me but I wasn’t sold on the motivation of the characters. To me its a statement film that will only grow in prestige over time but that’s not necessarily a good thing. The pacing is off, certain characters have no outcomes to their storylines and while some subplots have great themes they failed to engage my interest. Quite a mixed bag for me but there is stuff here that I think is good.

  7. In a galaxy not far, far away … where sequels, prequels and reboots are more prevalent than original movies, I had reservations two years ago regarding Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But, with the brilliant direction of JJ Abrams, both the franchise and the force were back…until writer/director Rian Johnson felt the need to fanboy his way through crafting The Last Jedi.

    You thought “THE FORCE AWAKENS” was brilliant? I thought it was mediocre and unoriginal. As for “THE LAST JEDI”, I believe it is a disturbing (in a negative way) and unoriginal film. Disney’s handling of the Star Wars franchise has not been impressive to me. Well . . . I did like “ROGUE ONE”. But I feel that none of the Disney/Lucasfilm movies can hold a candle to the six films produced by George Lucas. Not by a long shot.

  8. You make some very good points. I agree regarding Canto Bight that you could cut it and it would make no difference to the plot. But I did enjoy some of the character interactions in that part of the film and John Boyega is excellent so it has its pluses for me. That said, it has its weaknesses in terms of what it brings to the narrative and when you’ve got a film clocking over 2 and a half hours, you can argue that cuts could have been made. At least they managed, in my opinion, some good gags and a decent action sequence. I liked Del Toro too.

    That’s me trying to defend it because I did like the film overall. In fact, the opening battle was one of the best things I’ve seen in a Star Wars movie! Indeed, the film never dragged despite its running time which I think says a lot about my enjoyment of it. Rian Johnson even managed some unpredictability in Kylo Ren’s character and the enigmatic relationship between him and Rey resonates well, ramping up the tension and intrigue. It was nice to see an extended role of Carrie Fisher and the moment she used her “Jedi powers” gave me goosebumps (I know others thought it strange or even stupid). Hamill was good too although he doesn’t get a handle on the humour as well as Boyega and some of the other actors.

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