By: Kenny Doyle
The Last Jedi isn’t a bad movie, but it is too long, has scenes with Finn and Rose that bog down the movie, and repeatedly teases you with big moments that almost happened. Snoke almost turns Rey to the dark side, Kylo Ren almost kills Rey, Rey almost teams up with Kylo Ren, Kylo Ren almost kills Luke Skywalker, Kylo Ren almost kills Leia, Leia almost dies, Luke Skywalker is almost the last jedi. The problem is that a lot of things almost happen, but ultimately after two and a half hours you leave feeling like not a lot actually happened.
It’s hard to figure out what the purpose of the movie was. If the entire point of the movie was Rey’s progression as a Jedi, that’s kind of a dissapointment. No matter what happened in the movie Rey still would have progressed as a Jedi. It would have been almost impossible for her not to, so it’s surprising that they decided to spend so much time and care on that aspect of the story. Other than that, the movie appears to really have no point other than to move the story forward and build up to Episode IX. However, none of this ruined the movie. Star Wars was still a good to very good middle movie, but falls short of being great and may have been able to get there if not for one key scene being misplaced.
The Last Jedi’s biggest problem was that the scene the movie should have ended with was in the middle. The scene where Rey meets Snoke. That scene, arguably the best scene in the movie, is buried in the middle. On top of that, they have to continuously cut way from this scene which is just insane. Rey, Snoke, and Kylo Ren are all in the same room and they keep cutting away for more Finn and Rose and for the rebels rebelling against the rebellion. This scene was great and they botched it. It would be like if they cut away from the scene in The Force Awakens where Kylo Ren kills Han Solo.
This scene would have been great at the end, but in the middle there’s too much movie left for the audience to really believe there’s anything at stake. If it’s at the end, the audience would think maybe there’s a chance that Rey gets turned to the dark side for the final movie, maybe there’s a chance that Kylo Ren kills Rey (like a .000001% chance). The anticipation would have been built up to have the audience on the edge of their seats, but ultimately what would have made the scene great at the end is what actually happened in the scene.
The movie doesn’t end on any sort of big moment, which there’s no excuse for. If they had ended with Kylo Ren killing Luke Skywalker, which it seemed like they were for a few seconds, that would have been an equally fitting ending. If they had just shown Luke Skywalker’s death, which they apparently couldn’t fit into the tight two and a half hour time frame they were given, that would have been enough, but instead we apparently just have to figure out how Luke dies ourselves. Not showing the scene where Luke presumably killing himself before they show the Kylo Ren fight scene makes sense because it would’ve taken a lot of the excitement away from the battle between Luke and Kylo Ren, but not showing it as a flashback after the fight is kind of a disappointment. Luke Skywalker, one of the most iconic characters in the history of film, shouldn’t die off screen. That is just inexcusable.
Even so, ending with the Rey-Snoke scene gives you the big climactic death that the movie should have ended with. Kylo Ren killing Snoke and then Rey almost looking like she was going to team up with Kylo Ren at the end would have been fantastic and hiding that scene in the middle was a tragic mistake. The supreme leader was just killed and it felt like the movie treated it as an afterthought. Instead of ending with a bang, the movie ends with a whimper.
Regardless of the mistakes that were made, the Last Jedi wasn’t a failure. Episode VIII will leave you wanting more and less after two and a half hours and ultimately leaving feeling unfulfilled, but the good news is that if you want to like The Last Jedi, you can. There are plenty of great moments in the movie and exciting battle scenes to carry it through it’s mistakes and despite the problems with the ending, Luke Skywalker battling Kylo Ren was a very exciting scene even if in retrospect there were no real stakes to the fight because Luke was already dead. Nevertheless, the movie comes up short of being what everyone expected and now puts a lot of pressure on Lucas Films to deliver in Episode IX. The movie is good, but when you earn high expectations like Star Wars has, more is always expected.
Movie Score: B (83%)
Photo: (Screen Rant)