THE LAST JEDI
Well, the good news is yes, I enjoyed it.
Would I go see it again? Probably not.
Unlike the original series, which I can still happily rewatch even now, years later, having seen them countless times, this newer batch just don’t grip me.
The set piece, special effects-heavy battle scenes, both machine and one-on-one, are true spectacles, and for me, they are what carried me through the film. The characters, well, they have their moments, but they don’t grip my soul like the old crew. Perhaps its partly because the old favourites are, well, old. Like me. And I’d rather remember them the way they were, as dynamic, wise-cracking heroes, and not as the tired, disillusioned, beaten down relics they’ve become.
The revelation (spoiler alert) that it was Luke’s misjudgement that caused, or at least fostered, Kylo Ren’s turn to the dark side, was a huge disappointment. Princess Leia was still as stubborn and as inspiring a leader as she used to be (Carrie Fisher, I still can’t believe you’ve left us), but she spent quite a bit of the film unconscious in a med-bay after (spoiler alert) a truly miraculous flight through space without the benefits of a space suit, or a propulsion or guidance system, so she missed a lot of the action. This was, of course, necessary to the plot.
So then we come onto, oh dear, the plot.
It seemed to me that for much of the film the characters were as puzzled by the unclear plot as I was. Plot structure is something I take a lot of interest in, and believe me, I had to think very hard about this one to pick out the requisite plot points. I can see them, now I’ve had time to think, but it was a struggle. There’s no question, the film barrels along with 3 main plot lines underway, but I really didn’t find any of them that convincing.
Luke’s frequent questions to Rey about what, exactly, the rebellion thought a single man could do for them, echoed mine. Even when he was the hero in the original films, he didn’t do it alone.
Finn and Rose end up searching a huge casino town, looking like a bigger and more classy version of the Moss Eisley cantina, for a code breaker, and land in jail with someone who can do the job. Coincidence, anyone?
And as for the rebels themselves, they spend most of the film doing nothing by fleeing pretty ineffectively from the First Order, who are ruled by several egotistical dunderheads with anger-management issues.
No, it just didn’t do the job for me.
Looking at reviews out there already, they seem to be a split between those, like me, who grew up on the original films and aren’t too impressed with this new generation, and those who are (probably) several decades younger, who think these are the best thing since the invention of the internet.
All I can suggest, is you go along and see what you think. When you do, let me know…