A Gospel Geeks Review of The Last Jedi

***This post contains spoilers–serious ones.***

I really wanted to like The Last Jedi. I really did.

The Good: First, it’s a Star Wars movie. It’s like eating prime rib. A prime rib not cooked exactly the way you want is still prime rib–meaning, it’s awesome. Watching Imperial Walkers, force-pushes, and Luke wield a light saber filled me with more nostalgia than my meager medichlorian count. I loved the audible gasp that emanated from the audience when Yoda showed up to give Luke another schooling.

Nostalgia aside, the writers took great efforts to keep the audience on its toes. The plot was full of chaos and viewers were hard-pressed to guess as to which way the story was going to go. In this way, the film succeeded.

The Bad: A pet-peeve of mine is the inconsistent use of power in order to add tension to the plot. In Episode 7, Kylo Ren was able to stop laser bolts with the force, mind control his helpless victims, and even force-drag his enemies into his own angry grip. For some reason, though, he was unable to dispatch quickly an ex-storm trooper with no force powers (Finn) or a neophyte Jedi (Rey).

In the same way, two powerful Jedi’s had a difficult time defeating Supreme Leader Snoke’s imperial guard. Sure, they had their own sort of light sabers; but still, Rey can lift two tons of boulders. Could she not lift a small company of men, slam them against the wall, and be done with them?

The Ugly: The worst thing about the film was its constant use (and misuse) of Red-herrings. Fox hunting aside, as a literary device, a red-herring is a tactic used to direct the viewer away from actual consummation of the plot. In essence, the writers trick you into thinking the film will go one way, but then take it in another. As mentioned before, the writers kept the audience on their toes, never really letting on as to where it would land. But it was taken too far: story lines were abandoned, questions were unanswered, and precious time was spent on unnecessary subplots.

For example, a big emphasis was placed on Rey’s heritage. It turned out to be nothing. There was endless speculation about Snoke. Who was he, where did he come from, and what was he doing during the reign of Vader and Palptatine? Nope, he was killed off quickly without a word.

During Rey’s adventure on the mysterious Jedi island, the camera quickly pans to an inlet which showed an x-wing fighter submerged under water. Of course! At a certain point, Luke would gather his fury and charge off into battle. It never happened. He never left the island. And what about the pointless sub-plot of chasing down a code-breaker only to have him betray Finn and Rose. That whole plot was a chaotic, convoluted mess.

Finally, and this is where it hurt the most: We have not seen Luke Skywalker, the hero the rebellion, pull his light saber, charge into battle, and save the day in 34 years! Would it be too much to ask to have our childhood hero fight one last real battle before he, too, joins Han Solo in the afterlife?

Gospel Geeks Score: 7/10

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Comments

  1. It’s great that you are getting thoughts from this post as well as from our dialogue made
    here.

  2. Brian Hays says:

    You made some really great points here! I just walked away thinking whaaaa? I like your use of red herring… That’s a term I haven’t heard since high school logic class, thanks for that. I like your blog and as long as the mob doesn’t vote me off the island for my comment in the whole nails in the hand or palm thing, I look forward to reading more.

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