Right alongside the release of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (from now on I will call it TLJ to help shorten the article) in theaters Dec. 14, 2017, the dark side of the force welled up until an unbridled fury was discharged after seeing what been done to my Star Wars. The movie was used to force political points, a crappy plot, subplots and, overall, hardly any character development for the people we are supposed to be rooting for. (At this point I am hoping the First Order wins.) I now present to you my list of what went wrong a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away after watching TLJ twice.
Heavy spoilers ahead. Now is the time to turn back.
My first grievance is aimed at General Leia not dying in TLJ. That sounds awful to say (God bless you, Carrie Fisher, may the force be with you), but it is one of the scenes near the beginning of the movie that kick-started my disappointment.
Leia, like many others, is thrown into space after a small squad of TIE fighters bombs the command bridge of the Mon Calamari cruiser Raddus. Leia looked so beautiful in space. She was slowly being surrounded by ice, and I could feel a nonverbal, collective sigh from the audience as they accepted Leia’s death. Beautiful. Then she f***ing moved.
Leia suddenly learned a new force power that Jedi masters could not do after years of formal training. Suddenly, Leia’s perfect beautiful death turns into a comedic Mary Poppins/ Superman moment. Whoever thought that it would be a good idea for Leia to float her way back to the Raddus with hardly an explanation or reason to do so should be thrown into a Sarlacc pit to be slowly digested over 1,000 years. Probably Rian Johnson or Kathleen Kennedy.
I do want it known that filming was done for the movie to work around the untimely passing of Carrie Fisher, and I feel that they kept the parts with her character as a tribute, but from purely a plot standpoint, General Leia should have died when she was jettisoned into space. Now the only way Leia dies in the next movie will be off-screen. That does not seem right to me.
Any sane person who watched TLJ would say that most scenes containing Rose talking or doing much of anything were mostly garbage, and they would be correct.
One scene that comes to mind is the casino scene where Rose and Finn must go find a hacker dude to get aboard the Supremacy star destroyer. Rose complains about how everyone in the casino is either a war profiteer, slaver or animal abuser. I don’t mind Rose identifying this as a problem except nothing happens to solidify this point or follow it up.
After Rose and Finn let the horse-dogs free, one of the cringiest lines from the movie escapes Rose’s lips: “No, now it’s worth it,” as she gets the saddle off one of the horse-dog’s back. It then goes to the pasture where the other horse-dogs are. Great, they will be free for all of a day at most and then put back into the kennels. Way to go Rose.
Another scene with Rose in it that makes me angry is the kiss scene on the planet Crait. She stops Finn from trying to destroy the battering ram cannon the First Order are using to break down the Crait rebel bases’ shield door.
First, she almost killed herself (sigh, almost).
Second, she almost killed Finn who I thought was going to die, and again I would have felt something because I like Finn. Although it would have been a pointless sacrifice, Finn had the good intentions of destroying the First Order’s way of breaking into the Resistance occupied base.
Third, when Rose forces herself onto Finn for a kiss you can clearly see a First Order All Terrain Armored Transport (AT-AT) looking at them. It does not fire a single shot. Why AT-AT, why?
There are many words that come to mind when I think of “Vice Admiral” Holdo played by Laura Dern. However, none of them are positive and many I cannot say without getting into trouble. What I can say is “Vice Admiral” Holdo is one of the most incompetent commanders and leaders in the Star Wars universe that I have ever seen. This is clearly shown throughout her existence in the movie.
After her appearance, she belittles Poe Dameron after he destroys the First Order dreadnought that would have destroyed the fleet after they were tracked through hyperspace. She speaks to him using emotion to belittle him instead of logic like a good leader. She also refuses to give Poe an answer after he asks her what her plan is, twice (which is why we got the casino scene in the first place. Thanks, Holdo).
Lastly, “Vice Admiral” Holdo is held with much dislike amongst the crew, and this is ever apparent when Poe attempts a mutiny. A large portion of the Resistance forces hold their weapons against Holdo and her staff. That moment alone shows how much little faith the crew placed on “Vice Admiral” Holdo. This is not all I have to say about Holdo, but my other reasons for disliking her, what Rian Johnson and Kathleen Kennedy are doing to Star Wars, are political and do not belong on this list.
The last reason in this article for me disliking TLJ is that they killed one of, if not, my favorite character in all of Star Wars, that I and many other people watched with awe in the original trilogy.
They killed off Admiral Ackbar and replaced him with Laura Dern’s character “Vice Admiral” Holdo. Now I would not be mad about the good admiral’s death whatsoever if they had done it with some ceremony.
An example of the perfect Admiral Ackbar death would have Admiral Ackbar hyperspace the Raddus at the approaching First Order Fleet instead of “Vice Admiral” Holdo. After the bridge is bombed by First Order fighters some lady says, “Admiral Ackbar is dead.” That’s it. That is all he gets and is then quickly swept under the rug.
I am particularly mad at Admiral Ackbar’s treatment in the movie. An online news site called The Verge said in an article, “The sad truth about Ackbar is that he isn’t actually a significant character in the Star Wars franchise. At all.” Screw you, The Verge. Admiral Ackbar plays a huge part in the Galactic Civil War by helping supply the rebels with Mon Calamari ships, which were desperately needed by the rebels because of their firepower. He was also a founding member of the New Republic.
All of what I just said about him is canonical and true. You can find it in books and comics from the Star Wars universe. Most of what I have listed are some big things that take away from the movie, but as you have read, some of them are nit-picky and don’t really ruin the cinematic spectacle that my deep-seated opinions are preventing me from enjoying.
I love Star Wars and I will not allow this article to end on a bad note. One portion of the movie I immensely enjoyed watching was when Kylo Ren and Rey faced off against Supreme Leader Snoke’s Praetorian guards. That was epic.
I enjoyed the overall movie, but there are many parts of it that felt cheap and wasted. I have not finished my dissection of TLJ just yet, so there will be a second portion of this coming in the future. May the force be with you.