Escape Velocity

A curated Collection of Fantasy and Science Fiction Media

Fighting a losing war against the First Order, the Resistance is forced to flee with their last fleet, while far away Rey starts her training with Luke Skywalker.

The Last Jedi

The controversial one! I’m going to rate it two stars, but I’m flip-flopping a lot on this one. 

Let’s start with the good: Like any Star Wars movie, it looks amazing. The visual language of the Star Wars universe is yet to be beaten in science fiction film in my opinion, and The Last Jedi is no exception. I love Daisy Ridley’s performance, and I think that Kylo Ren has a better showing in this film. Though their force-based Zoom calls make very little sense in-universe, their conversations make for great character development and their action sequences are visually popping. 

However, ‘that makes very little sense in-universe’ could have been the tag line of this movie. I am not a purist, and as I explained in my review of The Force Awakens, not the world’s biggest Star Wars nerd. But this film is filled with moments that make you raise eyebrows – character choices, technological possibilities, etc. – that are in direct conflict with what the story required in earlier installments. Along the lines of the same criticism, there is a mediocre subplot about two of the characters going hunting for a technological McGuffin that ends up being useless, whilst being presented with an absolutely ludicrous ‘both sides’ argument. But most importantly, this movie takes a lot of the set-up of the previous part and tosses it right in the bin. 

When I walked out of the cinema, I was actively angry with this movie. It just made no sense to me why they would make the weird plot choices that they made. Looking back now, on the one hand, we can lay much of the blame for the complete and utter dumpster fire that is Episode IX squarely at the feet of some of the plot choices of The Last Jedi. On the other hand, seeing the absolutely miserable character development in that movie, I realise that there is a certain grown-upness to The Last Jedi that is only otherwise present in the original trilogy. Overall, I think that much of The Last Jedi would have been a far better movie had it not been a Star Wars movie (oh, and also, if they had removed the Canto Bight sub-plot). Unfortunately, it is a Star Wars movie and it just smashes down too much of what we know and expect of the universe to function well as one. So while I see some merit, at the end of the day, I am with the crowd that was disappointed.

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