Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Starring: Daisy Ridley, Oscar Issac, john Boyega, Adam Driver, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Domnhall Gleeson, Gwendolyn Christie, Lupita nyong’o, Anthony Daniels, Kelly Marie Tran, Andy Serkis, Laura Dern, Justin Theroux, Benecio Del Toro, and Frank Oz.

Directed By: Rian Johnson

Where I Watched It: Disney Plus

English Audio Description Available?: Yes

Description provided By: Deluxe

Narrated By: Martin Bellamy

The Plot: A continuation from The Force Awakens, with Rey (Ridley) looking to train and learn from Luke (Hamill), Finn (Boyega) being sent with a newcomer named Rose (Tran) to find the Codebreaker (Theroux), Leia (Fisher) using the force, Kylo Ren (Driver) trying really hard not to cry, and Poe Dameron (Issac) being the only person who seems to have a clue about anything going on in life. Why didn’t that dude get to be a jedi?

So, I’m not all in on the haters for The Last Jedi. This is my second time through, and I’ll admit, it has problems. But it’s not awful, and it’s certainly not the worst in the series. In this film, Rey and Poe continue to have excellent character development, and push even further into the top tier of Star Wars characters, with Poe pretty much stealing the damn film at times.

Meanwhile, the film has no idea what to do with Finn, so it creates a hero out of nowhere, and sends the two of them off to find what feels a lot like a MacGuffin, but really ends up being something to occupy Finn’s time. It’s not that Rose couldn’t have been an interesting character, it’s that she’s not given anything interesting for a backstory, then suddenly gets a massive amount of screen time in a film that is loaded with too many characters as is. This could have just as easily been a mission for Finn and C-3PO, actually giving him something to do, but we got Rose instead.

Laura Dern joins the film in an equally thankless and pointless role. It’s not that she’s bad, she’s just unnecessary. Most of this film feels like time filler, with a little bit of actual dots that have to happen to get us from Episode 7 to 9.

Like, Kylo makes a really big move that had to happen in this film. Snoke needed to go in the second film in this trilogy for the final film’s plot to make sense. So i can’t say the entire thing is pointless. But parts of it feel like it, and some parts are even pushed more into irrelevance by the finale (Rise Of Skywalker).

Like, if you take this film at face value, whatever Luke does at the end is dumb. If he had the power to commit Jedi suicide this whole time, there was never a need for him to stay on that planet catching fish for years. And, why is everyone always slaughtering an entire class full of jedi? It’s like if every time a new dark Lord arose in Harry Potter, they just nuked Hogwarts. It was shocking when Anakin did it, it’s repetitive to see Kylo do it.

So, while I don’t jump on the “It’s Rian Johnson’s fault”, because I’ve seen his other films and i know he’s a solid director, I think the film was limited in scope out of lack of imagination. JJ Abrams had a story in mind, and it had a cool beginning and end, but in the middle, he just needed to move characters around to get them ready for the final chapter. It’s like the second Jurassic World film that is awful because it’s not really a film. It exists only to get the dinosaurs off the island, so they can make the film they’ve always wanted to make.

The Blind Perspective: I think we didn’t get character description for Rose. She just kinda happens. I think her sister got more character description. And at least with Dern’s character we learned of the purple hair. Otherwise, we have really well done action sequences still, and alien race descriptions. This is a Star Wars film I’ve never seen visually, so I have no comparisons. But I was able to follow it very well.

Final Thoughts: The last Jedi isn’t Attack of the Clones, but it falls really short of the expectations set by The Force Awwakens, and when a filler movie is as long as this one is, you notice the dragging out of pointless storylines. I would have cut some time, moved it along quicker, and then the less important moments wouldn’t feel so time consuming. Rose isn’t a bad character because of anything Kelly Marie Tran did, she’s just not written well for the amount of screen time she gets.

And also, I think I lowered this an entire grade point just for the “beep bop boop” moment with Luke. What the hell was that? Did he forget his lines? Was that in the script? Was he ad-libbing? It felt like an outtake left in the film.

Final Grade: C+

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