I fall for the romance of Star Wars every time, but in this case, the fall fell short: A Review of The Last Jedi

Today I finally share my review of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. I’ve been dragging my feet sharing this one. First, my mind won’t make herself up! Do any of you have that problem? Trust me, you probably don’t want to go out to dinner with me. I’m the can-I-please-just-have-one-more-minute kind of gal. Second, I’ve been holding off on my review until I felt the vast majority of people who were going to see it will have seen it and any “spoilers” I may have to include really won’t be spoilers at all.

OVERALL RATING:

If I had to give The Last Jedi a numbered rating, I’d have to give it 3.5/5 stars. It seems I may be in the minority here as I read other reviews, but it just didn’t work for me on a few rather important levels. It may be because I had high expectations. Shakespeare once wrote: “Expectation is the root of all heartache” and this is no exception.​

WHERE IT FELL SHORT:

Here’s why it didn’t live up to my expectations in a nutshell. Disney spent too much time on action, explosions, and cinema-filler when they should have focused more on what we all came to see: Relationships and character development, especially that of Rey and Kylo. Isn’t it why we couldn’t wait for it to come out? To have questions answered? To learn of Rey’s beginnings? To see more of Kylo’s background? Isn’t that what made the trailer so appealing? Would Kylo and Rey somehow come together as one?

Instead, we have a floating Leia, silly banter at times, an overdone Luke, and a new relationship between Rose and Fin blossoming, when more time should have been spent on the relationship between Kylo and Rey. Kylo Ren steals the show. Every. Time. Love him or hate him, he is this generation’s Darth Vader. Is he the same? Absolutely not. And that is part of his beauty. He is a completely different character. He ISN’T Darth Vader, and I wondered how they were going to accomplish making us care, making us want to know his story and him and NOT compare him to Darth Vader. We don’t, because he is supremely unique and different.

WHY I KEEP COMING BACK: (Beyond the great music of John Williams)

Kylo’s story is finally being uncovered as Luke showed us. And it keeps a certain lure. A certain mystery. When The Force Awakens revealed his face too quickly (I think it should have been revealed on the bridge at that critical moment), I was upset. I still compared him to Darth Vader then. I thought it was premature. Not “explosive” enough. But I have since changed my mind on that as well. He is just a person. Flawed. Confused. Dark. He wants to be his grandfather, but he isn’t. He is Kylo Ren. But for all his darkness, he has light that cannot be denied, even if dim at present. SPOILER ALERT: He chose not to press the button on his mother. It is a critical piece to understanding his story. And it is the proof that it’s there inside him.​As a writer of dark, alpha men, this appeals to me and many of us. We want to see the darkness. It excites us. It stimulates us. But we want the light, the redemption. We want that moment of “there is still good in him.”

​And we want it to shine because of love. At the heart of it all, it’s about finding love. Romance. We absolutely do. Deny it all you want, but it IS the story — the story of light and dark. Not “vs.” Note that. “And.” Because we all possess elements of both. Star Wars, then, is much more about the “star-crossed lovers” twinkling “in their spheres” than it is about actual wars. It speaks to the light and dark in us all, hiding, buried even. It speaks to our romanticism. And it’s what truly sustains the story. And Disney, in their quest for greed, want to milk it, make movies, like Rogue One, to fill in gaps, drag it out. Don’t even get me started on Snoke. My. God. What a missed opportunity. Mark my words. If a filler movie is made to expand his character, I’m boycotting.

I left the theatre on opening night disappointed and a bit deflated. I wanted answers. SPOILER: I wanted to know Rey’s parents. I wanted to understand the connection she and Kylo had and why. But it did leave me wanting more. And I will get my answers, damn you, Disney, because I’m hooked, and for that, I cannot fault them. A movie that you continue to think about, question, and find yourself hypothesizing scenarios for means it succeeded, at least on some level, and I want to put into writing my 2 possible theories, to have a record of it.

THEORIES:

  • Obi Wan Kenobie is Rey’s father. It is not out of the realm of possibility as Obi had a love in the Clones Wars. As a Jedi it is forbidden, just as Anakin should not have fallen in love with Padme. Obi was not above romantic love, but he may have felt the need to hide it. Or perhaps he lover hid it from him. It would explain her special connection to the Force.
  • Perhaps, like Anakin, she has no father. Perhaps she was formed by the Force itself, as Anakin was, which begs the question: Who then is her mother. Well — Leia of course. But that would rule out further romantic connections between Rey and Kylo, and I want that more than anything. 😊 So I don’t like that theory.

If Kylo is not lying, that she is an “everyman” type character, I’m done. Rey’s connection with the Force seems too strong for that to be the case, and it would fall beyond flat for me. So perhaps, with the next installment, I will change my mind yet again. It is a girl’s prerogative after all, isn’t it? But for now, the 3.5 rating stands.


Originally published at rbobrien.weebly.com.