To say Star Wars: The Last Jedi had a bit of rocky start with fans of the series is an understatement. Whilst being one of the highest rated films according to critics, fans scored the film at only 49% compared with the critics’ 90%. But it’s exactly what the franchise needed, so here are my ten reasons why The Last Jedi is not only a good film but also one that took the series in the right direction.
1. Letting the past die
It was evident in The Force Awakens that this new trilogy wants to pay homage to the original films, but also take the franchise in a new direction. Kylo Ren killing his father in Episode VII was just the start, and within the first ten minutes of the film there are two major signs of this theme of moving on are shown. Firstly, Kylo Ren has his usual expected hissy fit and destroys his Darth Vader-inspired mask – moving away from the edgy teen persona and trying to become his own person.
Secondly, Luke throws his old lightsaber over his shoulder and off a cliff, which some fans consider disrespectful. However, not only does it fit in with the theme of the film of moving on from the past, but it also makes perfect sense to Luke’s character. The last time he saw his lightsaber, everything had gone horribly wrong, so no wonder he didn’t want it. The film is trying to move the audience away from the original cast, and while their presence is important, we as an audience must accept the new direction of the franchise.
2. More screen time for characters that deserve it
Poe Dameron was woefully underused in the introductory episode to this new trilogy. This film gives him some much-needed screen time and allows for some truly awe-inspiring space fight-scenes. On top of this, we get to see Supreme Leader Snoke’s beautiful face up close and in person. Finally, there’s Hux, the weeny of the First Order’s bad guys, but an interesting character and a surprising injection of humor on the darker side of the spectrum.
3. Luke doesn’t steal the show
Luke is given the screen time he deserves, but doesn’t run the whole show. His relevance to the plot furthers this theme of letting the past die and moving forward. Luke is allowed his moment to shine, and allows us another brilliant cameo that brings the theme full circle. Luke may have been the original trilogy’s golden child, but this episode reminds us times have changed and his time at the forefront has passed.
4. The force is actually important to the plot
AND THERE IS NO MENTION OF MIDICHLORIANS! The whole force-centered aspect of the film is truly something I feel was lacking from the last film, and the acknowledgment in this of force-sensitive characters is important also. The force plays a much more important role in this film, as you would expect during Ray’s training, but it gives more insight into the balance between light and dark. Also seeing Luke training a Jedi is just pretty badass in general, although he has a much more hippy-dippy approach than I was expecting.
I pretty much went into this film blind. I avoided all the fan theory discussion (which I will get onto later), and avoided all but the original trailer when the name was announced. I could not have predicted the plot of this film or the importance of multiple characters. The additions of a few new characters and the return of the fan favorites were balanced beautifully.
The film doesn’t pull any punches and I was thrown off completely by some truly M. Night Shyamalan level of plot twists here and there. A lot of fans were angry that they didn’t get what they were expecting, but really is that what we needed? No, we needed to be thrown off our usual Star Wars formula and make a new one. It may not be formulaic, but that doesn’t make it a bad film, and it has blown the doors wide open for the possibilities of the final episode in the trilogy.
6. Fan theories can suck it
Not a single fan theory was confirmed in this film, which isn’t a bad thing. I love how passionate the Star Wars fan base is, but there’s a reason they aren’t the one’s writing directing and starring in the films.
7. Characters are fallible
Every single character in this film is flawed. They are human and they make mistakes. The bad guys do it, the good guys do it, the side characters who aren’t that important do it. But each mistake is something they learn from, which ultimately develops their character. There’s no foreshadowing, just character development on all accounts. Even Kylo Ren develops in some ways, I mean he’s still an angry little edge lord, but he at least seems slightly more human.
8. There’s no Death Star
This speaks for itself, if I have to see another Star Wars film about the destruction of, creation or recreation of another death star or death star clone I will explode (much like a death star). It’s a plot completely away from death stars.
9. Way more space stuff
The space battles are just out of this world (pun intended, I’m not sorry). They are insane, with all the classic ships out in full force for some good old-fashioned space-fights. I love the use of different planets and explorations of these universes, but a film where the major setting is essentially space is something I think this film took a gamble with and it paid off.
They’re small, they’re cute and they are based off a ginger cat with a flat face. No seriously, I’m not kidding, I can confirm factually that Porgs were designed based on the concept artist’s nephew’s now deceased cat Dave. Also, they aren’t overused and they are so gosh darn cute.
So, there you have it, my ten reasons why Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a good film regardless of what fans think (even if number 10 is a bit of a cop out). Feel free to shout at me and tell me I’m wrong or do you think I missed a point, let me know.