In the 70’s, Star Wars changed sci-fi and cinema as a whole. It turned the table, becoming one of the most popular films of all time. It wasn’t just a film franchise but a universe of excitement, brilliant cinema and one of the deepest lores of any fantasy film. Admittedly, Star Wars took a dip in the early 2000’s with the fan-hated prequels, which have become a cult classic for internet jokes, but the films were revived by director J.J. Abrams in 2016 with The Force Awakens. The movie was praised and gave all a new and exciting world to dream up more fan theories. Star Wars was finally taking a turn in the right direction and was backed by a highly-praised prequel story, Rouge One.
This year’s installment to the ever-growing franchise of Star Wars was a disappointment. Many fans left theaters feeling betrayed, saddened and disappointed by the cheesy one liners that ruined sentimental moments, bad acting from starts who could have been something special in years to come and an inclusion of a poorly written character. From the get-go, this film looked like it would be a glorified, money making, advertisement from Disney. And it truly was. Here are 8 reasons why The Last Jedi was terrible for a few Star Wars fans…
1. Cheesy Jokes
The laughs are definitely “aplenty” as mentioned by a Cultjer reviewer, but certainly not as “fun” or “effortless” as described. In fact the cheesy jokes felt unnecessary and inappropriate. Take for example, General Hux and Poe’s discussion at the start of the film which was simply filled with bad, cheap dialogue and an awful “your mom joke”. In what could have been a heart-warming moment where Luke teaches Rey about the Force, the scene was ruined by a poorly written joke about Rey physically reaching out rather than mentally, as Luke had intended. Likewise in the scene where Rey and Kylo discuss the light and dark side of the Force. We could have been treated to a beautiful, deep scene between two enemies, but it was side-tracked and let down by an unfunny comment by Rey about Kylo being topless.
These sort of moments take away from what Star Wars should be – full of magical moments which build upon new characters and make for good cinema. Rather, they’re set up to be comedians in a Disney or Marvel movie. These one-liners could have been cut from the final edit or simply not scripted at all. That way, fans of the franchise wouldn’t have left theaters feeling like they’d been slapped in the face by Disney and Rian Johnson.
2. No Respect for Leia
Another Star Wars 8 disappointment was its treatment of the late Carrie Fisher. Princess Leia has been a fan-favorite, role model and an overall icon to the world. But in this film, she was treated in a poor way. One of the most emotional moments for me was when Kylo sensed his mother just before destroying her ship. Deciding not to release the bombs, he ended up being cut-off by one of his troops who proceeded with blowing the ship up and “killing off” Leia. This would have been a respectful way to kill off the character as it came down to her sticking to her Rebellion. But then we see her alive, floating though space. Leia didn’t only survive her ship being blown up, she then proceeded to use the Force to float back to the ship. This very- Mary Poppins-like moment ruined the entire sentimental scene and simply came across and ridiculous and downright childish.
To keep Leia alive after that entire emotional and powerful ordeal seemed unrealistic and senseless, even for a sci-fi film like Star Wars. Carrie Fisher sadly died in real life so here’s to hoping they don’t kill Leia off-screen in the next movie. Now that would be disrespectful. This Star Wars icon deserves all the justice in the world.
3. Snoke Quickly Killed Off
We’ve been wondering who the mysterious Snoke was ever since The Force Awakens. As mentioned in our Force Awakens Easter Egg post, we even thought he was Darth Plagueis. Turns out, he’s nobody too important because he was killed off in a hurry.
I was looking forward to finding out what massive part he’ll play in the trilogy and how he might try and corrupt Rey into joining the Dark Side. Instead, this is all let down by having him die before any of these questions were even answered. If they’d focused on Snoke’s story more than the casino, we might have had a much more interesting film.
4. Pointless Rose
Similarly to the constant jokes, another catalyst of disaster was the character of Rose, the ship engineer who suddenly becomes an ex-machine hero who knows how to destroy Snoke’s ship. Not only is she very “convenient”, but she tears apart the character of fan-favorite, Finn. Their story-line should have been replaced with a more compelling relationship between Poe and Finn – a character bond which fans have been waiting to see. Adding a new (and pointless) character to the mix was a mistake. We would have bonded more with the characters, had there been less of them.
I hate to say it but Kelly Marie Tran’s acting also seemed very wooden so that didn’t help her character at all. It’s as though Star Wars was almost forcing us to like a character who’d only been around for 2 hours of the entire franchise. She saves Finn from his suicidal sacrifice at the end of the film which I felt would have made a massive heart-breaking, but important part to the movie. Seeing a loved character sacrifice himself for the good of the Rebellion could have been powerful, but Rose saving him took away any tension or emotion from the scene.
5. Those Unnecessary Porgs
That brings me onto the Porgs – the “strong female characters” who had a lack of continuity. The penguin-looking-birds with big eyes and a ‘cute’ screech were the main advertising point for The Last Jedi. Many fans seemed to be taken away by this, including myself, but when it came to the movie, they seemed to play a non-important role, popping up for the odd joke or comic relief. Unsurprisingly, Disney jumped right on the merchandise for these little furry creatures and have released a huge range of toys, including a life-sized Porg for £60, yes £60. It’s a repeat of the Ewoks but these money-making characters didn’t even contribute to the plot or play a role in any way. In fact, it wouldn’t have made a difference if they were excluded from the movie altogether. Talk about a marketing gimmick. Not worth the hype at all.
6. No Screentime for BB8
Another disappointing aspect of The Last Jedi was its minimal inclusion of yet another fan-favorite character, BB-8. In The Force Awakens, he was the likable bouncy (quite literally) droid who played quite an important role. In Episode VIII however, he was useless and overall, absent. He probably only stood out when he mentioned the famous words “I have a bad feeling about this”, as spotted in our Last Jedi Easter Egg article.
Furthermore, BB-8’s characteristics were also ignored. In The Force Awakens, he reacted to falling like a beach ball and would bounce a couple of times after hitting the ground but now, he seems rigid and falls to the ground like a rock. This lack of continuity shows Rian simply ignored JJ’s thought and inventions.
7. Casino Garbage
Was the infamous casino scene simply inserted as a sub-story to bring Finn and Rose together? Probably. However, the main reason I didn’t like this huge chunk of the movie was its attempt at representing reality. Its message about the rich selling weapons to the armies, child labor in gambling and the treatment of race animals, was totally needless. To have this blatant social message about modern America and the world we live in removes the fantasy and innocent aspect of Star Wars. It took away what everyone loves about the movies, failing to keep the classic theme of a sci-fi world.
8. Rian’s Treatment of JJ’s Story
My final and biggest problem was Rian Johnson’s treatment of JJ Abram’s story. J.J. had set up the end of The Force Awakens to be a powerful film about training the Jedi and anticipated us for the return of a legendary character. But it’s as though Rian threw away all of JJ’s notes and disrespect for what could have been a massively brilliant new trilogy. The contrast between TFA and TLJ is so huge, it seemed to be made from two different timelines. TFA was a dark, gritty Star Wars movie which reminded fans of the emotion and triumph of Empire Strikes Back, but The Last Jedi came across as a comedy, full of cheap lines and a sloppy plot like those dreaded prequels.
What’s your review of The Last Jedi? Did it disappoint you? Let us know in the comments below…