Saw The Last Jedi, let’s talk about it

My wife and I saw the new Star Wars film yesterday. The half mile walk and several hours in a theater seat didn’t do my back any favors, but that isn’t why we’re here today. If you want to avoid spoilers, stop reading here. I won’t be offended. On the other hand, I may do some offending beyond the spoilers.

I liked the film and it has everything I’ve come to expect from a Star Wars movie. That means some good and some bad things. Before I delve too deep, let me qualify this. I saw the very first movie when it was released in the theater. I went to it eleven times that summer, with a variety of dates, because youth.

It was so new and flashy; no ships on wires in front of a black sheet, no claymation characters either, or those reptiles with things glued on them. (Okay maybe one that stormtroopers rode around on.) I also fixated on how poorly it was cast. Harrison Ford was great, Americans knew Alec Guinness because he blew up that bridge etc. Even recognized a few of the old horror actors as various generals and such. Luke and Leia however were not great actors. I defend this by checking their careers beyond Star Wars. As characters, Leia gets a pass because the damsel in distress works. We got some buy in, and the fact that she participated in her own rescue was cool. That fake accent was awful. I wanted to throttle Luke, but maybe that’s just me.

Down the road, Lando was blah. Liam Neeson was awesome. Child Anakin was awesome. The teenage version sucked. There is a theme here. In the Star Wars universe, the actor has a large part of whether the character sells. My thought is that some of this comes down to the writers. These weren’t parts where you couldn’t fail to love the character.

In the modern version, we have the familiar three pronged group. The overbearing pilot, the female is the Jedi wannabe, and the reformed stormtrooper guy. I don’t love them from the first appearance in the other movie. They have the role and I went with it.

And then there is Rose. I love me some Rose and want more of her. This is because the writers gave me something to like. Her sister is prettier, shapelier, and has a more heroic job. I would have liked to know her, but she croaked too soon. However, this is what motivates Rose. Rose is like the parental disappointment. She mourns her sister, and takes action. Rose isn’t deadpan either, she has and shows emotions. Sometimes in unexpected ways. This is a character I can get behind.

I don’t know if Rose croaked or not. We saw her die, in another emotional moment. Then we saw her on the ship under a blanket, and her face was uncovered. She did not move or speak. What does this mean. Either pull the blanket over her face, or have her move so we know. In my mind she is the best character in the film.

Oh, and Del Torro was awesome, even if his appearance was short.

I always thought it was smart to have so many masked characters in the Star Wars universe. It’s tough getting actors to stick with a part, but anyone can dress like Chewbacca or C3P0 and you can continue with them. They were all in the film, but pretty minimal. If fact their presence felt kind of forced, and they didn’t seem to matter to the plot.

We now have a situation where all of the original characters are dead. Two actually, and one because of Carrie Fisher that’s going to have to be. Star Wars is in an unenviable position, because you have to acknowledge what came before. This includes the performers who debuted these roles. Then again, they are holding you back from new things. Every minute dedicated to Luke Skywalker is not dedicated to someone else. I’m curious to see where the story leads from here. That and more Rose.

It also feels like we’re coming full circle in some ways. Now we have a random kid who can use the force. Will he be a hero or the new Sith apprentice? Very last few minutes of the film.

How do you guys feel about the Star Wars films? Do you want to defend the casting choices? Maybe Hayden Christensen is your favorite actor. What would you do to pay homage to what came before? Did you like this movie? Tell me your good and bad. Maybe I need to stop watching as a writer myself and just enjoy all the flash.

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39 Comments

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39 responses to “Saw The Last Jedi, let’s talk about it

  1. Saw it with my daughter on Saturday. Some of the nasty reviews are jumping to conclusions prematurely in my opinion. Kylo Ren reveals that Rey’s parents were nobodies and every Star Wars nerd got upset. Maybe he was lying. Maybe they were nobodies and, like in the Harry Potter series, that’s okay. Great heroes can come from humble roots. I enjoyed it for what it was. I look forward to the next one with J.J. Abrams at the helm once again. I think it was good entertainment and the pocket protector crowd needs to settle down (even though I border in that area).

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I loved it, Craig! But I am an unapologetic Star Wars nerd, so it made me very happy 🙂 I loved Rose, too, I thought she was great. I don’t think these movies are perfect, but I do think they’re fab, ever since I saw the first one at the cinema when I was a kid. The magic has never left me (even through those disgraceful prequels Lucas made in the 90s) and now my daughter is into it too, and thrilled to see some strong female characters in Leia, Jyn and Rey (she also loved Wonder Woman, but that’s another blog post). I like Kylo Ren, too – I think he’s a character with a lot of potential, and I can’t wait for the next one. The ending was just *gasp*, and I loved all the references to the original films. Right, will stop gushing now – I need to go book tickets to see it again 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I loved the original and never looked back.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I saw the movie this weekend too. I’m not really into the Star Wars films, but I went with my husband and sons. I enjoyed it, and my two favorite performances/characters were the two you mentioned: Rose and Del Toro. I really hope Del Toro will be back. Both his and Adam Driver’s acting chops are well above the others. So I enjoyed watching Driver’s performance too, even if he isn’t the most likable character.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Haven’t seen this yet, but have read up and down reviews. The first three films to my mind were the best. Forget Hayden Christianson and Natalie Portman – who were wooden puppets – and Jar Jar Binks. Liam Neeson was a breath of fresh air. Looking forward to this one!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ack! I stopped reading at the top and didn’t read any comments. I haven’t seen it yet…probably won’t until the DVD release. The previews look good.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ah, the summer of ’77… I saw Star Wars and an animated movie called Wizards several times.

    Rose definitely was the one me and my husband came away talking about. We also liked Laura Dern’s character, the war hero who tried to keep Poe from being such an idiot. But, maybe because I’m a teacher and I spend so much time trying to keep kids from being idiots, that resonated with me. I also thought they gave Luke a lot more interesting things to do in this film.

    The latest shows really are better than the middle set, which I refused to even watch after #4 was so disappointing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love the Star Wars films. I didn’t see the first three when they originally came out but I have seen them all now, except the last one which you review here. I agree about the casting for Luke Skywalker but not for Princess Leia and I LOVED Han Solo from the start. Harrison Ford was great in the role. He was the first male action hero with a vulnerable side that I could remember seeing in the movies. Great post, buddy! Wishing you a happy and peaceful holiday season! ❤ xx

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Going next Wednesday. Read to the end though, and already agree with you about some things, but you know, unconditional love and all … 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I haven’t seen the movie yet but I’m kinda sad because I read a spoiler alert just recently. Huhuhu. Anyways, nice post. I hope you’ll pay my blog a visit too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I thought Rose was wonderful – hoping she’s not dead. I agree with you about the teenage Anakin – never bought into the whole relationship with Padme. No chemistry and the acting wasn’t great.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. As per usual with Star Wars, The Mister took the brood and I stayed home to read in the quiet 🙂 I will see the movie when we buy the video and they watch it 45000 times. So, I am not spoiled of it, and will forget most of this.
    I will always agree that Liam Neeson is awesome in everything, because he’s Liam Neeson and I even forgive him for badly plotted action films, because he’s Liam Neeson.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Marycate Cornine

    not true all actors are good and even Luke and leia

    Liked by 1 person

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