Here’s my 2 cts in the heated debate concerning the merits of ‘The Last Jedi’. First, a disclaimer. I like the Star Wars franchise, but I’m not in love with it. In fact, the first Star Wars movie that I did love was Rogue One – which broke a lot of franchise rules and can be seen as an outlier.
Is okay ever good enough?
So here are my general feelings and thoughts on The Last Jedi. Executive summary: I really enjoyed watching the thing. Yep, that’s right: I thought it was really okay. The high notes were the slaying of Snope, and the Skywalker duel. Lowlights were all the weirdness with Leia using the divine – finger – force to fly through space, and the mysterious bad tactics of the Empire in not simply destroying the Alliance fleet when they had the opportunity.
So, okay. But is that good enough? Here, I would usually segue into musings on character arcs, wants and needs, plot and structure. The younger characters all have pretty clear wants and needs and are all in continuous effort to make them come about. The older, more heavily historied, characters are more wishy washy. And, as I have passed 40 myself, I would say that’s pretty realistic. But, I don’t think that the controversy is really about that.
Because, to the haters, all this is irrelevant. All I can say is that I pity the fools who launch into diatribes about how the internal ‘rules’ and mythology of Star Wars have been broken. Just a hint: the fact that Ben Shapiro is on your team doesn’t bode well. In short: it has always been a franchise with very loosely defined ‘rules’ and there is little in the movie which breaks those rules.
Much of the anger of fanboys and girls has been directed at the portrayal of Star Wars’ Jesus character: Luke Skywalker. People seem heartbroken that Luke is no longer the bubbly go-getter he once was. Now, let’s get real for a second. If you don’t like the current Luke Skywalker, you should realise that you disagree with a dramatic decision, not become enraged that some natural order of things has been disrupted. In fact, even if it’s true that Luke was earlier portrayed as an eternal optimist, this doesn’t clash with his having become a grumpy, reclusive, old man. Even if Mark Hamill says it does. Ever wondered why Mark Hamill never had much of a career outside of Star Wars?
Bring on the next one
Having said all that, I for one am looking forward to the next installment. Bucket of popcorn, a cold beer and low expectations in hand, I’ll be there, wearing a big smile, whilst the faithful gnash their teeth.
And rest assured, ye worried and troubled, there’s never going to be a ‘Last Jedi’.