Disclaimer: Before anyone complains, this review is BIASED fan review and contains PLENTY OF SPOILERS. So, if you have not yet seen Star Wars: The Last Jedi, please, save this article for when you have. If you have seen it, this article is definitely going to be a conversation starter. Point to mention, I say that I am biased, because I am a hard core Star Wars franchise fanatic, and even found enjoyment in the prequels (no thanks to Jar Jar). With that said, I do not argue when people say the prequels were horrible. But, we’re not here to get nostalgic about the prequels. Here is my biased spoiler review of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Let’s start with the only two WTF moments I felt this movie had. Rose kissing Finn, and Rey explaining Luke’s death.
When Rose (played by Kelly Marie Tran) kisses Finn (played by John Boyega), the line is right – “We fight to protect what we love” – but the timing is all wrong. There was no build up of chemistry, romance, or signs that either of them were interested in each other. Therefore, when she kissed him, it took viewers out of the magic of the movie and left fans saying “WTF.” It felt like it came out of nowhere. Tran, who claims to have never seen any Star Wars movie before landing the role of Rose, played a part all her own. Throughout the movie, she made us laugh and truly feel something… and then she threw us all off – including Finn – with a kiss. Why must we perpetuate this heteronormative idea that people have to fall for each other in hero driven movies, instead of just being friends. This is what fans appreciated about Episode VII. Rey and Finn were just friends, and we didn’t feel the need to “ship” them. However, with that said, thank you, Rose, for saving Finn’s vigilante tail in that scene! We all held our breath, and stifled our tears until that moment.
Soon after this moment, Luke (played by Mark Hamill) appeared to appear. He was successful in distracting Kylo Ren and his army, allowing for the passage of the rebellion to safety. Shout out to those adorable crystal critters, for lighting the way! Let’s be honest, he got spanked by Yoda, and finally stopped being a whiny little brat. It was in this moment that Luke ceased being my least favorite Star Wars character. C-3PO now holds that title for me. When it comes to Luke in this movie, I really went deep and paralleled my sentiments to who I am as an empath and lightworker. As such, I had to remember that everyone has their journey. It just so happened that my years of finding Luke’s character so annoying (albeit merited), were not fair to his journey and development as a character. I didn’t realize his journey was not complete. In my defense, had Luke been a real human being that I knew, I of course would have patience for his journey, but I did not have any for this character.
It was a lovely sense of satisfaction when he transitioned into the force. Not because the most annoying character died, but because he finally stopped being an annoying, whiny, little brat, and fulfilled his purpose. He became unified in his oneness with the force, and finally completed his training and his mission. There was such a satisfaction in seeing that Leia (played by Carrie Fisher) and Rey were both so connected to the force, that they knew exactly when he transitioned, and it was exceptionally portrayed on screen without dialogue.
Why did Rey (played by Daisy Ridley) have to explain Luke’s death? Did we not get it? Are fans not smart enough to gather this information? Was this explained for the children in the audience? If it was a choice to do so because of the latter, then I understand and can forgive this decision. Had it been me, however, I would not have chosen for Rey to explain his death; but it was not my decision to make. The way he passed on was so artfully done, however, that the explanation seemed cheap in comparison to the stunning visuals and inspired music.
Let’s talk about how I cried, correction, SOBBED everytime Carrie Fisher was on screen, even until her dedication in the credits. Who knew the feels would attack me like that? When Luke said to Leia “No one is ever really gone,” I lost all control of my bodily functions and audibly cried my eyeballs out, seeing how closely referential that statement was to Carrie Fisher’s own passing, and realizing how in that moment of recording that scene, no one would have ever guessed that Carrie Fisher would pass away soon after. How do I handle all these feels, y’all!!?? Acting alongside her daughter, Billie Lourd, Carrie took our breath away with every scene, and will always be our princess.
Oh, hi, Lupita Nyon…g’o…oh, okay bye, Lupita Nyong’o. Seriously, she was in and out of this movie faster than Anakin in a speeder race. I’m still processing this.
In other news, Chewbacca is now a vegetarian dad of Porgs…? Those Porgs were the comedic relief, Jar Jar Binks wishes he was. Similarly, Luke drinking green milk produced by female Thala-sirens from Ahch-To, was also comic relief; a humorous nod to the blue Bantha milk from his childhood on Tatooine.
Twitter is currently on a rampage about Kylo Ren (played by Adam Driver), and his 8-pack. Was I the only woman in the audience who felt hilariously awkward about it? When Rey asked for him to put a shirt on, I vehemently agreed with her. C’mon dude, if you’re gonna be in my head movies, at least put a shirt on! No one shows up to your house without clothes. In all fairness, this was another funny moment that I loved.
Thank you, Yoda! Thank you for having the patience and energy to teach Luke his last lesson, making me finally love his character. After Luke hesitates to do so himself, Yoda sets flame to all of the Jedi sacred texts. Luke yells, “But, those are sacred texts,” to which Yoda wryly replies “Oh, read them, you have?” Relatable. Let’s be honest with ourselves, how much of our religious text have we actually read? Even growing up Catholic, no one actually reads the book of Numbers. Luke finally learned that the force is within, and all around us. He learns astral-projection, and unselfishly helps to save the day; and thusly, redeems himself for being the catalyst that cause Kylo Ren to become who he became. As a grown woman, I am now finally a Luke Skywalker fan.
All in all, this movie exceeded my expectations. It encompassed incredible diversity, strong women in lead roles, and overall great timing as a social commentary (which may be elaborated in a future article). As I no longer watch trailers, read non-spoiler reviews, or predictions/theories, this may be part of the reason why this movie exceeded my expectations. Yet, I think another reason was because I had no idea I would cry or laugh as much as it did. The refusal to compare it to any other Star Wars movie, also gives it a chance to shine on its own. It holds its own as an instant classic of our generation. This movie felt like an old friend with new wit; it really knew its audience. It touched our hearts and made us laugh at the same time. Stellar performances and execution, overall.
(Thank you Ingrid Romero, who helped edit this article.)