Movie Review: Star Wars: the Last Jedi

The most recent movie I’ve seen in theaters was the Christmas Eve showing of Star Wars Episode VIII: the Last Jedi. This is another one of those movies that I will not be able to review without a number of spoilers. If you have not yet seen the movie and you want to be surprised by anything that happens, I suggest you save reading this review until you have also seen this movie.

“Rey develops her newly discovered abilities with the guidance of Luke Skywalker, who is unsettled by the strength of her powers. Meanwhile, the Resistance prepares for battle with the First Order.”

I think for this movie review I want to start with the part that really bothered me the most. I’m going to start with Poe’s actions in regards to the resistance fleet and his attempts at doing the right thing. The movie starts with the resistance fleet and the First Order fleet going head-to-head in an epic space battle and the resistance fighters don’t come out of this fight in very good shape. General Leia Organa orders the fleet to withdraw and to flee, but Poe takes it upon himself to order the fleet to attack in order to destroy a dreadnought. While destroying one of the First Order’s extremely heavy ships is a very tempting target, the cost to the resistance fleet is entirely too expensive. They lose all of their bombers in the attack run and while the attack is successful, the cost is far too high.

Then, while the fleet continues to flee, Poe, Finn, and Rose, under Poe’s guidance, set up a plan to remove the First Order’s ability to track the resistance fleet. Poe specifically goes against the orders of absolutely everyone who outranks him because he has zero faith in the abilities of command, or in the experience, of the generals appointed over him. He doesn’t know about the plan to get the remainder of the resistance fleet to someplace more defensible because he doesn’t care to think about how any plan other than his might be in motion. All he sees is the apparent inaction of those appointed over him. As he was just demoted, those over him have specifically left him, and the other junior leaders, out of the full planning process. The resistance leaders know that somehow, the First Order fleet is able to track them and they don’t know if it’s a technology thing or a spy/mole thing, which means the upper level leadership doesn’t want to risk their plan being discovered by the First Order. So when Poe’s plan results in the uncovering of the resistance plan and fleet, even more of the resistance personnel are killed. They’re like ducks in a barrel – being shot one by one while they try to make a break for the safety of an older base. All because of Poe’s lack of faith.

Did Finn and Rose do some good in the universe by tackling the casino? Absolutely. Will it be enough to balance out the harm Poe did by exposing the resistance fleet and personnel to the First Order? That, I don’t know because the resistance is now down to so few people that they all fit on the Millennium Falcon.

Which brings me to the next topic: Rey and Ben. While Ben did tell Rey about her parents being absolute nobodies and that’s exactly what so many fans are hoping for, I’m a little bit skeptical about whether or not he had any sort of motivation at that time to be honest with her at all. I am of the opinion that he told her what he did in order to provide her with information that would motivate her to take the actions she did. I don’t think he told her the truth. I’m still of the opinion that Ben and Rey are siblings at the very least, and I’m actually hoping that’s the case so that the shipping of Rey and Ben is reduced greatly. I was happy to see Rey not pairing off by the end of this movie and I hope that she stays unpaired, but if she is not related to Ben, then the chances of her remaining unpaired drastically reduces.

I am so unbelievably exhausted of every single story having to have a romantic or sexual subplot in some way, shape, or form. While I am happy that Finn might have a new romantic interest other than Rey, I was desperately hoping that romantic interest would be Poe and not Rose, who is also the only living woman in his age bracket. I have ranted so many times about how women always seem to have to be the romantic love interest for some guy in every form of media that I’m exhausted of typing about it. In The Force Awakens, the only people who had any sort of romantic or sexual chemistry was Poe and Finn and it would have been SO easy for the movie to add them as a couple, but instead, they introduced a new woman specifically to give one of the male leads another romantic interest? I like Rose as a character, don’t get me wrong, but I felt cheated when she kissed Finn after rescuing him and then going unconscious. If she had just saved him and not kissed him, I would have been happy. “Yay, new friend!” But she kissed him. And now because another woman was nice to him, he is ignoring his other friends in order to stay at her side. I don’t disagree with him staying at Rose’s side, but he barely gave Rey or Poe a second word, which was inconsistent with Finn’s character, especially after everything the three of them have gone through.

Meanwhile, Luke did what all of the Jedi have done before him when something goes wrong – he went and hid from the universe. When Emperor Palpatine destroyed the senate and defeated Yoda, Yoda went and hid in a swamp. Obi Wan became a hermit and hid in a desert. So it was actually fairly predictable and natural for Luke to feel like he failed and therefore go become a hermit at some remote, inaccessible location and pretend to be crazy. Rey definitely used a lot of patience when dealing with Luke and it amused me how much better their time on the island could have been if Luke had just tried teaching her instead of automatically seeing the worst in her, just as he saw the worst in Ben. Luke was very quick to give up on both Ben and Rey, as he sees the same power in them both. I think the interesting part for me was when Rey is psychically exploring all of the aspects of the island. She is a completely neutral party and Luke absolutely freaks out when she says there was a darkness under the island. Luke has good reason to be upset because he learned about the force when there were clear-cut guidelines of good versus evil, but Rey is learning that everything has to be balanced, which means neither the good nor the evil should have too much sway. Look at what happened when the Jedi had a lot of people and were a huge force in the galaxy in the first three movies – they believed so much in their own superiority that ALL emotions were forbidden, including things like love and personal attachments. That’s not very balanced at all.

Overall, I’d say this movie is a solid three on my rating scale. I’m interested to see where the rest of the series goes and I hope the movies end with Rey still single and Poe and Finn in a tight relationship. I realize that’s completely unlikely, as Disney would have to green-light main characters in their franchise as gay and why on earth would they do that when they now have TWO women with names who are young and “available” to the male main characters? {sigh} Representation matters but I have this horrible feeling that Rey will wind up with one of the male leads, as will Rose, and the series will call that happily ever after. I may or may not invest in this movie when it comes out on video but I will definitely see the final episode when that hits theaters.

About C.A. Jacobs

Just another crazy person, masquerading as a writer.
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1 Response to Movie Review: Star Wars: the Last Jedi

  1. kingdylbag13 says:

    Great movie, I watched it semi-recently

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