It’s finally here! And I’ve been to see it, I’m going to do a spoilered review in a bit, but first.
I remember in May 2005, a friend and myself got tickets to the Star Wars Celebration, where they were showing all 6 episodes (4, 5, 6, 1, 2 and then the premier of 3, ROTS) back to back. Before ROTS started, in the cinema, Anakin, Palpatine, Rick McCallum and, the Grand Master Jedi himself, George Lucas came out in introduce the movie!
As GL was talking, everyone started chanting ‘7, 8, 9!’, but he said no, he told us that, for him, the story was about Anakin. At the time, I remember sitting there, waiting for the movie to start, and saying ‘This is the last time we’ll see a new Star Wars movie!’ 😦 But then, Disney bought SW of GL and here we are, with a movies!!!
Here’s me, at my local cinema in Plymouth, being interviewed about ROTS (52 seconds in) and I have covered my face, coz I’m ugly.
OK, I’m now going to review The Last Jedi.
WARNING : SPOILERS AHEAD
Seriously, if you haven’t see the movie yet…stop reading until you do!
In a nut shell, it’s very, very good. There are amazing moments, some not so great. There are a lot of questions answered and now asked. I cannot wait for Episode IX!
Now, my two main concerns were, 1, if Fynn had the Force, it would have been stupid and 2, it wasn’t going to be too much like ESB.
On 1, he doesn’t, this was good. On 2, it IS like ESB, but, this is a good thing. There had to be some parallels to ESB, Rey has gone for training, Luke is the wise old ‘Yoda’ etc, and yes, this takes place, but…I love what they did with Luke. In the eyes of the Rebellion, Luke is a legend, it was him (as well as Han, Leia etc) who defeated the Emperor and restored peace to the galaxy,but in this movie, they have completely torn down Luke and he had lost everything! He wasn’t good enough to defeat Snoke and it seemed his only option was to kill Ben, which he didn’t do, but he damn well thought about! It was him who made Kylo, so he felt he failed, so he hid, but…he hid in a place where the last of the Jedi, a dying religion was, so there was hope, but not much. The tone of the movie, with the humour, is on the same level as ESB. I know that Irwin Kershner tried to keep the darkest of the trilogy light with humour and this was the same…so we come on to Rian’s direction.
Not a fan of what he did in places. The opening sequence, with the Dreddnought (which was lovely to see, since they are from the Thrawn trilogy of books) was good, but, there was a moment when Paige (Rose’s sister) kicks the remote, it goes to slow motion…I hated this, since slow mo takes you out of the story (GL only ever once used slow, on Dagoba, when Luke was ‘facing himself’, which was more of a dream sequence), when slow mo is employed outside of that, it reminds you you’re watching a movie. Then there’s a shot of her laying on the floor, looking at the camera, this was too ‘arty’ a shot for the entire tone of all the SW movies…but I let it go. I think the rest of his direction was spot on, as was his writing, although…
In that opening bit, we deal with Leia’s death. At first, I liked it, she died with dignity and it brought a tear to my eye. But then, she’s not dead and this bit just didn’t sit with me all that well, not sure why, but I thought it was just out of place. The whole thing though then puts Haldo (Laura Dern) in charge…from the outset, you’re supposed not to like her, but then, at the end, she saves the day…a little cliché in my book, saw it coming. Although I did love how far Poe would go to win the fight, yes he’s gung ho, yes he likes to blow things up, but he also likes to win! I’m loving him! #mancrush
And so we meet Snoke in the flesh. Fantastic CG and even better performance by Andy, a real bad guy you can get your stinky, rotten teeth into. I loved how Kylo and Hux always seem to be a loggerheads (like Poe and Leia and then Poe and Haldo).
So, to the main crutch of the story, the Rebels are fleeing, but the First Order can catch them, there is a plan, hidden from Poe, Fynn, Rose and BB8, but it’s OK, coz they are doing their own thing. This part of the movie didn’t really work for me. OK, I get how it’s good to see that (to some) war is profitable and how supplying ships to the First Order makes someone money and how that makes others suffer (which is obviously a commentary on the social climate (as many movies do)), but it just felt like ‘There’s trouble here, we’ll fix…while still doing our plan…and make everything better! YAY!. :unknown:
Although, it introduced DJ…I do love Del Toro, in what ever he does, but he’s good in this! OK, you think ‘He’s just another Lando’, which he is, but he doesn’t have a moral compass (which Lando got back), he was just there for the money.
All in the mean time, Rey is trying to convince Luke that the Jedi are a good thing and they need them back. Luke knows the truth there, there is always balance in the Force, for the good of Rey, Kylo will be just as bad…he’s hoping that killing the Jedi will kill the Sith. I think he’s just hoping for a quiet life and to die in peace, far away from any more conflict, until Rey turns up and spoils it all. I love how both Chewwie and R2 try to help, I loved R2’s ‘cheap shot’ to get him back, it was beautiful. 😀
Then we have the connection between Rey and Kylo. We know Force users can communicate this way, but never this powerfully. Now, in the past, the Force ‘phone line’ was between people who were related, Vader and Luke, Luke and Leia…does this mean that Kylo and Rey are some how related? Throughout the movie, there’s still no talk of who’s Rey’s parents were…unless you believe that Kylo was telling the truth and they were just junkers, but surely they would have had the Force? Maybe they were hiding as junkers, since the Jedi were still being hunted? Maybe Kylo is a bullshit artist? How would he know who her parents were, he’d only just met her (and not even Snoke could read her thoughts)? Annoying questions which bloody well be answered in the next one!!!
So, now the movie turns into ROTJ. Rey gives up on Luke and leaves, trying to find Kylo and turn him back to the good side. The scene of them in the elevator was pretty much the same shot as Luke and Vader in an elevator. Rey thinks there is still good in Kylo, much like Luke did in Vader. Then we come to ‘that moment’…OMG! I did not see that coming at all! It was brilliant!!! I loved it, since it showed the true meaning of a Sith, Sith are always after more power, Kylo saw the opportunity and took it, so he can become the more powerful, which was kind of Snoke’s own fault. In ROTJ, the Emperor always wanted Luke as his new apprentice, he got Luke and Vader in front of him, so he could watch Luke kill Vader, turn to the dark side and Bingo, he’s got a new (and better) apprentice. Snoke was in the same boat, Kylo was a spoilt child, with some good in him from his father and mother, but if Rey could be turned, there was nothing to stop him. But now…who’s the ‘Emperor’ we all have to face and destroy? Kylo still seems like the spoilt child and would just ruin everything, but Hux isn’t much better. :unknown: But, in the books, the Emperor’s spirit possesses the body of one of Han and Leia’s kids, so, maybe he’ll come back?
This then lands us at the old Rebel Base…much like The Two Towers, there’s one last stand, a distress call has been sent and the enemy is upon them. All hope is lost. But then Luke turns up…and he is one BAD ASS MOFO!!!! Shit this was the best moment ever! Just him, walking out on that army. When that smoke settles, there was a cheer in the audience! And rightly fucking so! But I noticed that Luke was holding the lightsaber that Rey/Kylo has just ripped apart…this confused me a little, until you find out why Luke is there. But then, it made no sense for Luke to die! If using the remote power took enough energy to kill him, why not just turn up and die. In fact, if he had of turned up, he could have killed Kylo. I don’t see how him dying means anything in the story line…I hope this is explained.
The movie is about 2.5 hours long, but never stops. The cast are amazing, the writing is great, the humour is well placed. I LOVED the music, but then, it is John Williams, the man could whack a triangle for 2 hours and I would still love it. 😀 The direction had a couple of moments I didn’t like. The scene where Rey and Kylo take on the ‘Imperial Guards’, again, had slow mo, which took you out of the movie for a second, ruining (for me) an amazingly good moment.
I’ve only seen this once, so I need to see it again (several times), so I can really soak it up, but for me, at the moment, it’s better than TFA, but not sure where it’s placed in the others. I loved every minute of it!