Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi


Yes, I’m back.

“This is not going to go the way you think!

I’ll start off this by saying that I thought that this movie was good, but not great. I saw the movie twice and I have discussed it with a few close friends and read a couple of reviews. One thing I will say that I think a lot of fans need to keep in mind is that no one, not J.J. Abrams, nor Rian Johnson, not George Lucas, not me, not you, could make a Star Wars movie that would satisfy everyone. My proof? Some things that some people hated, others loved. Some people’s favorite scenes were someone else’s least favorite. I mean, Star Wars has a huge fan base and a rich, in depth backstory. You can’t please everyone. There, that is the spoiler free version of my opinion.  Now, onto the spoilers.



First I’m going to go list some brief thoughts on some of the main characters, then go into what I liked and what I did not like and some questions.

Rey – A large part of the story was Rey’s journey to self-discovery. I liked Rey’s character. I thought that her story was interesting, and fit believably into the story and what we know of her character from the previous movie.

Poe – Poe’s story was his transition from brash fighter pilot to wise leader. I like Poe, I think he is a great character. I understand the way they went with him, but something felt like it was missing.

Finn- Finn’s story made sense, except his side trip (more on that later). He is still unsure of himself and where he fits and who he wants to be.

Kylo – I liked what they did with Kylo. I love how he turned against Snoke, but not “to the light side”. It plays into the larger theme of the movie.

Leia- I am glad we got to see her use the Force. My only regret is that the character will not get the sendoff she deserves, due to the unfortunate passing of Carrie Fisher. I liked the way she was handled, I just wish we could see more of her.

Luke – Mark Hammill acted the part well, but I think reading the novels and comics of the Expanded Universe ruined me. Movie Luke is far less sure of himself, and not the experienced bad ass of the EU.

Rose- I don’t dislike Rose, but she didn’t really resonate with me.

Snoke – Big build up, no follow through.

Hux – It saddened me to see him demoted to comic relief.

Phasma – They treated her better than they did in Force Awakens, but still fell short of properly utilizing her.

Admiral Holdo – Why didn’t she just tell Poe the plan? I’m getting ahead of myself, but I didn’t care for her much. They gave us little reason to, until her end.

DJ – Benico Del Toro played this part wonderfully. I really hope we see more of him in the future. Han Solo was the smuggler with a heart of gold, Boba Fett was the bounty hunter with no heart. DJ is a great blend of the two. He is kind and helpful, but at the same time, just looking out for himself.

What I liked

Looking back I like most of the characters, but I didn’t love the story. I really realized this as I was typing my comments on the characters. I really like all the characters and broken down I like a lot of what they went through.

I liked the overall themes of the movie. The themes of balance and transition. Take Kylo’s “turning”, for example. Rey thought, “Oh, he rejected Snoke. That means he is good now.” When, in fact, he was just getting rid of Snoke, so he could be in charge of himself. She fell into the trap of thinking that everything is good or bad, or light or dark. In reality and in this movie, most people are a little of both. Look at DJ, he agrees to help Finn and Rose, he even gives Rose back her pendent, but he sells them out to save himself. He didn’t pull a Han Solo and rush back to save the day, or be like Lando and betray them, but then turn around and help them escape. Sometimes people are selfish, even in a galaxy far, far away.

Finn and Poe separately, for the most part, went through some changes in this movie. They had to learn to become someone other than who they were. Poe had to transition from roguish pilot, flying by the seat of his pants, doing as he felt was right, to a leader, responsible for others and the overall mission and cause. Poor Finn, he really hasn’t had time to take a breath and evaluate his life since he broke Poe out of prison and abandoned his former life. Things have been pretty nonstop for him. Obviously, Poe is going to become the head of the new resistance in Episode IX. What role will Finn play? That is left to be seen.

I really enjoyed the return of Yoda. His talk with Luke was a nice and necessary scene for Luke’s character. My favorite part was when he called him Luke, not Skywalker, but Luke. It was like he recognized him as a peer and not a subordinate, master to master.

The caretakers, or frog-nuns (also force-nuns), were funny, in a subtle way, not an over the top laugh out loud way.

BB-8 and Poe. I know a lot of people were hoping for a Finn and Poe romance, but Poe’s heart belongs to BB-8. To paraphrase Luke Skywalker “I’ve seen such devotion for a droid, before.” He was glad to see his friend, but he immediately wanted to see his droid.

What I did not like.

As I said, I like all the characters, but when I look at the overall story arc I am left wanting. It was funny, but almost too funny. Luke milking a sea cow and then messily gulping down the milk, why?

Oh, poor General Hux. I mean the guy wasn’t my favorite character, but they made him a giant joke. He basically became the Imperial Jar Jar. He is (force) slapped around by Snoke and Kylo, he is mocked by Poe, which quickly got old for me. The opening scene where Poe is trolling Hux, I laughed, but it went on for too long. If it had been one “hello? I’m holding for General Hux” I would be fine. However the ongoing “Hello, I can hear you.”  It was the beginning of a long line of Hux being a walking joke.  This guy is supposed to be the top of the First Order military chain of Command, answering directly to the Supreme Leader. No one ever laughed hysterically at General Grievous or Admiral Piett.

Canto, the whole casino scene seemed out of place. It did not fit in the story to me. It’s like they wanted another location and just said “What if Finn and Rose have a side adventure?” apart from introducing DJ I could have done without it.  Honestly, the entire pacing of the film felt off, either disjointed or too slow at parts.

Porgs, I don’t dislike them, but I wanted Chewie to bite down on the one he cooked. I mean he already cut its head off, skinned it and cooked it.  Why stop there? Also the one in the cockpit at the end, I could have done without.

Snoke and Phasma were two characters that seemed like they could have been, great, interesting villains. Apparently, someone felt differently. I will admit that Phasma’s fight with Finn was cool. I think that Abrams had her in Episode VII and thought he would kill her off, but then fans loved her and wanted more. So Johnson brought her in for a scene and then killed her. And Snoke, it felt as if a thousand fans posted their theories and were suddenly silenced. I am not mad that he is dead, or how he died, but it just seemed like a lot of buildup and no delivery.


Why didn’t Holdo tell Poe and others her plan? They were isolated and in full retreat. He is a Captain (formerly Commander) under her command and he seemed to have been in charge of their fighters. True, he approached her in the wrong way. However, the whole mutiny thing could have easily been avoided if she just told him the plan. From a military point of view, it is common and perfectly acceptable to ask your superior officer what the plan is. If your commanding officer (who you have never met before) gives you some line about hope, when you ask for a plan of action, while being actively fired upon by the enemy, yeah, I can see why you would mutiny.

Speaking of plans, what was Poe’s plan against the walkers and giant cannon? They had fewer than a dozen of those skimmer ships that were literally falling apart. None of them even fired a shot (where their weapons even functioning?). And what were the guys in the trenches hoping to do? Aside from a call back to Hoth and giving Poe a way back into the compound, they served no purpose.

Also, why is the resistance, so small and top heavy, rank wise? They had one battlecruiser, three small support ships and let’s say one bomber squadron, and three fighter squadrons. On that one ship they had at least one General, an Admiral and a Vice Admiral. Why so few ships? Is it because the First order had to scrap all the ships in the galaxy to build Snoke’s giant ship? Also, now the Resistance is down to maybe twenty people (including droids) on one ship. They have some work ahead of them.

Speaking of the First Order, why were they chasing the Resistance like they were? Maybe Micro jumps into light speed are difficult, but couldn’t they have had a couple ships jump ahead or around, or call in ships from elsewhere? Also along this idea, couldn’t they have just sent in fighters? I know that Hux said that the capitol ships couldn’t cover the fighters, but Kylo and two other ships took out the cruisers fighter bays and their main bridge. A Resurgent-Class Star Destroyer (used by the First Order) should have a standard complement of two Starfighter wings (72 T.I.E. fighters per wing) and there were at least eight RSDs along with the Supremacy (the 60km wide monstrosity that probably took 3 months to make a u turn). Do the math if you want, but that is almost 600 fighters. According to Wookiepedia the Resistance cruiser had 18 turbolasers, 18 ion cannons, 12 laser cannons and 6 missile launchers.  The fighters could have taken out that cruiser.

The fall of the new Jedi order felt quick and felt like some details were missing. I liked out we saw the same event through Kylo’s and Luke’s eyes and how it actually happened. There are still some questions though. Here is what we know:

Luke had a dozen or so students.

Kylo was at least in his late teens.

Luke felt a darkness in Kylo.

My questions are:

When did Luke start training new Jedi? Were they all children like Ben or adults?

Why did several of Luke’s students up and follow Kylo so quickly and what happened to them?

How long was Luke knocked out? I mean Ben/Kylo had to dig himself out, go to the temple, tell everyone what happened, convince a bunch of them to join him, burn down the temple and leave, ALL before Luke regained consciousness.

Yes, Luke may have over reacted, but seeing Kylo’s reaction, he may have been on to something.

So, I stick to my good, not great rating. Again I like these characters and I want to see more of them, but the story just didn’t hit me.






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