Yesterday I began a list, ranking the ten Star Wars (live action/theatrically released in the U.S.) and four Indiana Jones movies, starting at the bottom with my least favorite #14.
Today we talk about my second-to-least-favorite, #13.
THE LAST JEDI (2017).
Though it’s low on the list, there’s still a lot that I enjoy from it. I saw it twice in the theater and bought the Target exclusive Blu-ray with the booklet.
Positive comments first.
Mark Hamill back as Luke!
Though I wish his story had been different (more on that later), it’s still fantastic to see more Luke.
There are some pretty great space battle sequences, and you gotta love Kylo’s new tie-fighter which is reminiscent of the Tie Interceptor from RETURN OF THE JEDI.
I love seeing more of Hux and Phasma. And I know it was a sore spot for some, but I like all the comedy with General Hux.
And speaking of comedy, there were quite a few fun gags throughout the film.
Rey is an outstanding protagonist (and I’m okay with her parents not being people we know).
The Force connection scenes between Rey and Kylo were suspenseful.
It’s great to see Yoda again!
I loved Kylo Ren turning on Snoke. And I don’t really care that we didn’t get a back story on Snoke. Kylo Ren is a much more interesting villain.
And that dueling sequence with Snoke’s guards – wow!
Some good action and visuals on the salt planet Crait.
And Luke’s Force-projection trick was pretty cool.
So with all this Star Wars goodness, why am I ranking THE LAST JEDI so low?
Because Luke dies in an anticlimactic way before we get to see him in any super great Force-wielding, lightsaber-slashing action sequences. It’s impossible to watch this movie without getting that hollow feeling of regret, thinking about what could have been.
Also, the casino/master code-breaker/free-those-dumb-creatures side plot was very boring and took up a good chunk of the movie.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Finn – he was such a great character in THE FORCE AWAKENS. But the script didn’t give him anything worthwhile to do this time around. And I like Rose too, but again, the script didn’t give her anything meaningful to do. This entire subplot was not just boring – it also had zero impact on the outcome of the story.
Then there’s Vice Admiral Holdo.
“Yes Poe, I do have a plan.”
That’s all she had to say to avoid this:
So the Poe mutiny subplot was also pretty pointless. Why didn’t she tell Poe she had a plan? Nobody knows.
I also don’t like the idea of a Force ghost being able to call down lightning strikes. That contradicts Obi-Wan’s statement in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK about not being able to interfere with Luke and Vader’s upcoming conflict. What’s stopping Force ghosts from showing up in any situation and striking the bad guys down with lightning then?
Perhaps the lightning and fire was just a Force vision that Yoda put into Luke’s mind for a teaching moment?
Destroying the classic Skywalker lightsaber?
And I’m still not sure what to think about this moment:
On the one hand, I’m totally good with Leia having a hidden Force ability that instinctively springs into action to save her. On the other hand, surviving in, and propelling through outer space seems pretty far out even for the Force. The Force is an energy shield created by all living things. Is there enough life in this setting for the Force to be there in enough abundance to use it like that? (Wow, that was a really nerdy question.)
So THE LAST JEDI is a mixed bag for me. A lot to complain about, but a lot to enjoy as well.
What are your thoughts on THE LAST JEDI? Was I too harsh? Not harsh enough?
#13 The Last Jedi
#14 Attack of the Clones
We will return on Monday with my choice for #12