Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Last Jedi... Meh.

My thoughts on the latest Star Wars film are going to be brief because going into too much detail might be dipping deep into spoiler territory and I'd like to give people who have seen the movie a chance to go in with a clean slate rather than be, well, spoiled.

With that having been said, the only thing that I can say about The Last Jedi is that nothing of note happens and it's back to business as usual. And even that might be a bit too spoiler-y without being too spoiler-y, but for what is supposed to be the big, major Star Wars entry - the big middle chapter in the trilogy - it just felt like a filler episode of a television series rather than anything of great significance.

Don't get me wrong; I liked the movie enough that there were brief bits to enjoy. The space battle at the beginning of the movie was pretty good, the battle on the salt planet wasn't too bad, I enjoyed the brief character interactions between Rey and Luke, the cast in general does the best they could with the material given and almost makes me believe in it, and then there was seeing Luke Skywalker in action for the briefest of moments.

But for the most part, I was largely underwhelmed. Questions that have been set up in the previous episode are either brushed aside or given rather underwhelming resolutions, there are plenty of uninteresting characters that I absolutely don't care about, some of the character motivations are pretty goddamn stupid, the humor (with some exceptions) was overbearing to the point of obnoxiousness and almost makes me wonder if Episode IX is going to feature a crossover with the Guardians of the Galaxy, and as far as the direction of one Master Skywalker... well, I can see why Mark Hamill would fundamentally disagree with that sort of thing.

All of this would've been forgiven if the story was worth a damn and unfortunately, that isn't the case here. Say what you will about The Force Awakens, but that had a sense of scope and opened the door to many new possibilities and interesting takes. It's a pity that The Last Jedi chooses to ignore or even discard these new things and just bring things back to business as usual. I daresay that the movie is more interested giving us random characters who only exist to check items off the diversity checklist that the media likes so much, rather than give audiences a story that's worth a damn.

Contrary to the supposed rallying cry that a lot of people are going for - at least if you were to follow the plethora of user reviews on the IMDB, this didn't kill Star Wars for me. But I can safely say with absolute certainty that this is the first time since Attack of the Clones where I came out of a Star Wars movie completely underwhelmed and just disappointed by the lack of vision.

For what it's worth, it's an alright movie... but the best since Empire Strikes Back? Not a chance.

That would be last year's Rogue One.

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