Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a Massive Disappointment

Totee Setthachuea, Staff Writer

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It is undeniable that Disney’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, directed by Rian Johnson, was a smashing success, with ticket sales in the United States being $200 million on opening weekend.  The movie’s sales was only beaten by its prequel, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with its opening weekend earnings at $247.9 million. Critics, such as Peter Debruge from Variety, enjoyed the film saying, “it’s as if Johnson’s assignment was to extend the franchise without changing anything fundamental, which is closer to the way classic television and vintage James Bond movies operate.” New York Times critic, Manohla Dargis, even stated that the film is “satisfying, at times transporting entertainment with visual wit and a distinctly human touch.” However, despite the love from critics, when you ask basic questions about the plotline, the whole movie starts to fall apart.

 

The Last Jedi follows three adventures split between the newbie Jedi Rey (Daisy Ridley), ex-stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega), and the remaining rebels trying to flee from the Empire. Rey seeks training from master Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Finn tries to find a master hacker to disengage the Empire’s tracking device, and the remaining rebels argue about the next course of action. Their paths converge in the end when the rebels land on a planet with an abandoned base. While their journeys are playing out, many of the franchise’s theme are intertwined in their journeys, such as the battle between evil and good.

 

On paper, the plot appears amazing, but as Audrey Cummings, a senior at Clairemont High School, comments, “The plot is a little disappointing, but the visuals and sound effects were good.” It is littered with plot holes which causes the progression of the narrative to lack any impact upon the viewers.

 

The deepest plot hole in the story was Rey’s character development. From the beginning of the signature Star Wars opening to its ending credits, Rey has been portrayed as a powerful character despite having little to no training. The progression of this flaw becomes blatant when Rey and Kylo Ren were fighting Snoke’s elite guards.  These guards are supposed to be the upper echelon of fighters in the universe, yet how was Rey on par with these soldiers without having any proper lightsaber training? The Last Jedi has ditched the trials and tribulations that are essential in a hero’s tale; a hero needs to struggle or fail to earn the victory in order to have any emotional impact in the end.  By giving Rey immense, unearned power, the dramatic payoff that the film was trying to produce is abolished.

 

Another simple question you can ask yourself is why didn’t Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern) just tell Poe (Oscar Isaac) that the escape pods had cloaking devices on them?  By her not telling him that, it caused a mutiny on the ship, which added one more problem onto the rebel’s plate.

 

For fans expecting a traditional Star Wars experience, do not look further.  The Last Jedi signifies a deviation in the formula with its huge tone shift.  There was significantly more comedy in the movie compared to its previous installment, which made it feel like viewers were watching a Marvel superhero movie. The change in tone could be contributed to the different directors between The Force Awakens, directed by J.J. Abrams, and The Last Jedi because Rian Johnson was hired at the same time Abrams was when he started to shoot The Force Awakens. Johnson did not carry on the legacy that Abrams left behind and changed the franchise into a new comedic light.

 

The presentation of the film was the one saving grace. With great cinematography and music composed by John Williams, the scenes came to life and immersed the viewers into the world of Star Wars. This was especially true when Vice Admiral Holdo lightspeed through the Empire’s spacecraft. The dichotomy between the darkness of space and the light bursting through the ship accompanied the long silence of the scene bolstered the impact of Holdo’s sacrifice.

 

On the surface, The Last Jedi is an enjoying film to watch, with its pretty visuals and intense lightsaber fights. However, the fancy bells and whistles can not cover the jumbled mess the plotline is.

 

If you are wondering whether to go see the movie, go see it.  The movie is still enjoyable, but just make sure to turn off your brain while doing so.

 

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