Continuing on from my previous entry, let us take a look at The Last Jedi in detail, as the central theme of the film is that “failure is the greatest teacher”. Thus, we should learn a great deal from the failures of this film. Just to be clear, I do not think this is the worst film of all time. The film was in itself very entertaining. It also had great aspirations, but fell short both due to bad execution and lazy writing. My main argument for why this film fails to deliver is the following. It gives us artistically beautiful scenes, that simply do not make any logical sense when put together to form the film. In addition, it did not deliver on the hype that was generated around it by Disney’s marketing division. Perhaps, there is another lesson to be learned from this for the big mouse. Although I will not argue with their profit margins. I expect they will only rethink their strategy, should ticket and merchandise sales decrease with the next installment in the franchise.
The film begins with the opening crawl. Here we find its first mistake. It speaks of Leia’s RESISTANCE fighters and in that same short text refers to their rebel base. Which are they, Resistance or Rebel Alliance? Is there a difference? If not, why even call yourself The Resistance at all? This adds unnecessary confusion where none needs to be. This problem persists throughout the film, as the First Order keeps refering to its enemies as the Resistance, while the Resistance members keep calling themselves rebels. They may shift back to being rebels after the Empire is reinstated, but it needs to stay consistent.
The next problem arises because there is no time jump. So the crawl only explains to us what happened in the previous film and the approximately two minutes that have passed since (even though for us it has been two years). This creative decision was a tad strange to begin with. The title crawl serves as an expository tool. It allows the writer to tell the audience something about the film, so that he can instantly drop them right in the middle of the action, usually a big battle. But in this film, we really didn’t need it and it did not offer us anything more than the beautiful Star Wars theme that is already seared into our brains forever. Rogue One, on the other hand, could have used a title crawl to let us know the state of the galaxy.
In retrospect, a time jump of even just a few weeks might have been a better choice. It would have allowed for many things to be resolved more quickly, such as the training sessions of both Rey and Kylo Ren and the escape of the Resistance from the First Order. In fact that is probably why The Empire Strikes Back skipped on that part and immediately led with the Battle of Hoth. It seems that Rian Johnson tried his very best to avoid repeating the same plot points as Episode V, and so ended up putting the Battle of Crait at the very end of the film instead. But of course, it is still there, as is the reclusively Jedi Master and the betrayal of a shady character etc. etc. We just didn’t get an asteroid belt chase, which is too bad, as it was one of my favourite scenes from the Empire Strikes Back.
The first scene (post-crawl) we get is of the Resistance (rebel) base on D’qar, as the First Order arrives to retaliate against our brave heroes. Legendary pilot, Poe Dameron and his cute sidekick BB-8 take on a First Order dreadnaught all by themselves. The dreadnaught, of course, is far larger than a mere star destroyer that would normally scare the living hell out of our Original Trilogy characters and send them running, but Poe is no ordinary main character. He knows no fear, no matter how big the enemy guns are.
Poe and BB-8 achieve this by employing some unexplained new engine modification, that allows them to close the distance to their target at rapid velocity (you know, they could have just hyperspaced for a fraction of a second, but okay, there’s enough to nit-pick, without going to these lengths). The scene and tactical idea itself is very clever, but the dialogue is ridiculous. In order for their new mystery engine to fully charge before the First Order shoots them out of the sky (space), Poe Dameron hails General Hux’ star destroyer with an urgent message from General Organa. The other First Order ships just sit there and wait, while Poe chats to Hux, or rather at Hux. Because he makes a joke about being on hold and waiting to be put through to Hux. While Hux is trying far too long to make out if Poe really cannot hear him and if they have a bad connection (apparently, there is a lot of interference in the vastness of empty space…), despite starting the conversation by gloating there will be no surrender for the Resistance. Finally, the engines are charged and Poe makes a Yo Mama joke, before he heads off to shoot down every turbo laser turret on the dreadnaught, which are apparently unprotected by its shields. The baffled First Order officers only realise too late that maybe at some point, they should have launched their TIE Fighters. Or you know, at any point in time they might have realised that building bigger ships with even bigger cannons, is not the answer to a guerrilla resistance force that has been successfully fighting them with small snub fighters that are too small to be targeted by large weapons for over 30 years.
We get introduced to a new character, Tallie Lintra, the squadron leader of the Resistance A-wing squadron. Said character apparently was lifted straight from an old piece of erotic fan fiction. Which is not to say she could not be an interesting addition to the film if only she would get more screen time. She tears through the approaching TIEs and allows the Resistance bombers to get in close to the dreadnaught. Although most of this is just insinuated, as we barely see her or anyone else on the screen, while everything just cuts from one scene to another with an amount of lasers and exlposions reminiscent of a Michael Bay movie. I expect there are some cut scenes missing here, as things progress far too fast and it is hard to follow anything.
The bombers are not Y-Wings. Because those had been around in the Clone Wars, now dating back almost 60 years. Instead, we get bulky new bombers with a hundred times the firepower of a Y-wing… And probably the worst engines of any spacecraft thus far in Star Wars. They move so slowly, out of the 30 bombers, only one makes it to the dreadnaught, before it gets blown up by TIEs. The others get torn to shreds by TIE laser fire and debris from other bombers that got blown up next to them. In one scene, one exploding bomber took two more with it. If the payload they are carrying is that volatile, why would you fly in such a tight formation? It makes it easier to build a perimeter around it, but at the same time creates a much bigger target zone for any stray fire to accidentally blow up the entire bomber fleet. The properties of space make it ideal for three-dimensional attack patterns, rather than keeping to airplane formations.
If we want to talk military strategy, the First Order’s tactics don’t make any sense. Maybe they are more brutal and less tactical than the Empire, but I don’t buy it. Why would their dreadnaught target the base first and not the Raddus, the ship preparing to jump to hyperspace? You always target the fleeing ships first and if possible you want to capture your enemy’s base intact, so you can extract valuable intel from it, e.g. Resistance contacts across the galaxy, their weapon’s suppliers, where other Resistance cells could be located or where they might want to flee to (like Crait!).
We get a prolonged scene of one resistance fighter aboard the doomed last bomber desperately trying to make the bombs fall down onto the dreadnaught, in an artistic recreation of a World War II battle scene. Except there is no gravity in space. So bombs cannot fall down as there is no down. They could be propelled towards the dreadnaught, (according to the art book of the Last Jedi they used magnets…), but the film just showed us a simple release mechanism. In fact, the pilots literally state that the bombs are released and need to fall down. Now, it is possible that they are close enough to the planet to experience its gravitational pull. It would explain why the burning fighters were also being pulled down, once hit. The only reason why our space shuttles or the ISS stay in orbit, is because they are circling around the planet in orbit at a faster sideways velocity, but the Star Wars ships are floating still in space, as far as we know, and are using some anti-gravitational device to keep the ships from falling into the planet and even if not, they still use some form of inertial dampening and generate the artificial gravity inside the ships, as ships moving in orbit to counteract the planet’s gravitational pull would make everyone in the cockpit float. Ergo, there must be no gravity inside the ships. Once propelled outside, gravity could do the rest, but that is simply not what we saw.
Another problem with this scene is that there doesn’t appear to be any atmospheric depressurisation in the bomber, when the large doors open to allow the bombs to fall down. The brave resistance fighter Page Tico, who sacrifices herself, should have long been sucked out into space, or at the very least suffocated or frozen to death. She did wear a breathing mask in the scene before, which she took off to get her face on screen. Poe was also asking her why the doors were closed. But when she fell prematurely, the doors were suddenly already open and yet she was still able to breathe. This is the perfect example of lazy writing. The writer comes up with an idea that is inspired by something else and the writer feels so strongly about it that he or she does not feel like implementing it correctly, because that might change the artistic interpretation or somehow take away from it. So instead, the writer proceeds with their artistic vision and sacrifices logic and consistency. In order for viewers/readers not to notice this, a distraction is employed. This distraction needs to consume the audience and make them unable to think rationally, so it has to be a strong emotional moment, like say, a sister sacrificing herself, falling, seemingly failing and desperately using her last strength to get the job done, while clinging on to her necklace, telling the audience she is leaving someone behind. It is well done, but it is still horse manure.
More so, because there is no consistency. In a later scene we have atmospheric depressurisation. Therefore, it has to be featured in all places. If Rian Johnson decided that Star Wars had air in space, everything would be fine. It might be silly, but so is the Force. At least it would explain why we hear sound in space. But no matter what kind of laws of physics you abide by, you have to actually hold true to them, once you have established them. Everything else is just taking your audience for fools.
With the dreadnaught destroyed, the fleet jumps to hyperspace, leaving General Hux to be scolded by Supreme Leader Snoke via hologram, calling him a failure and force choking and dragging him across the floor.
We cut to Finn lying in a medical capsule of sorts, hooked up to Bacta infusions. He panics and gets out, cutting the connection of his infusions. As Poe gets out of his X-Wing he notices Finn, who is disoriented and just slowly wandering the hallway, essentially naked, just covered by his transparent bacta suit and leaking bacta fluids all over the place. His first scene and all the character does is serve as comic relief and ask where Rey is, so that we can finally cut to the scene everyone has been waiting for: The island on Anch-To.
We see Rey handing Luke the lightsaber, except something is off. In The Force Awakens, Daisy Ridley was sick while shooting that last scene and looked like she was about to cry or vomit or both…
Whereas Luke looked pained, shocked and perhaps a little remorseful. In this version of the scene, Rey is fine and Luke has a menacing look on his face. Without a word, she goes over to him and hands him the lightsaber. He slowly and carefully takes the sabre from her and she steps back. The camera zooms out and he throws the lightsaber over his shoulder like a piece of garbage and walks away without a word. This scene is meant to be funny, just like every other scene in the film. But the humour falls flat, because the humour is based on catching people off guard by an action that is completely out of character. So instead of giving the audience an intense emotional moment, as with the newly introduced Page Tico sacrifice two minutes before, it sacrifices the emotional build-up of the entire previous film and two years of audience members waiting for its resolution, for a cheap joke that doesn’t work. Humour is a good thing. But it has to come naturally. Making a character funny or goofy when the character has never been funny before makes it feel out of place. With Finn, the goofiness works to some extent, because he was already reduced to comic relief in the previous film. So we expect him to do more of the same in this film. But Luke Skywalker’s reaction is completely out of character. And yes, it has been thirty years off-screen, but people do not develop a sense of humour out of thin air. Something profound would have had to happen for Luke to suddenly become funny. In this instance, it is the destruction of the new Jedi order that seems to have sent him over the edge. However, if he was using humour as a defence mechanism, he might be sarcastic, but not act like a clown. This again, goes to show that the writer in this instance tried to force the humour, rather than allowing for it to flow through the story naturally (like the Force).
Rey is just as baffled as the audience and follows Luke, who proceeds to go inside his hut and shut the door in front of Rey. When she continues to knock and call out to him, he stays silent. Rey goes to fetch the lightsaber, which is when we are introduced to the cute new species of porgs, which are playing with the lightsaber and may very well have killed one another if Rey had not picked it up. At this point, she looks down into the ocean and discovers Luke’s X-wing fighter, which he had parked beneath the sea in a callback to The Empire Strikes Back. This scene also sets up audience expectations of seeing Luke back in the cockpit and flying into the next space battle.
We cut back to the hut and see Luke folding clothes, as someone knocks at his door again. Frustrated he simply shouts “Go away!” when Chewbacca out of nowhere rips out his door and startles him. Luke is trying to make out what is going on and to explain that he doesn’t want to be found. Rey translates what Chewbacca is saying (this guy has known him for thirty years, but doesn’t understand him, yet she has never met a Wookie, but understands him as well as Han Solo?) and at the mention of the Millenium Falcon, Luke asks where Han Solo is. Instead of giving us another strong emotional pay-off and potentially an oscar-worthy reaction from Mark Hamill, the film cuts away once more to show us Kylo Ren, the son and killer of Han Solo, as he walks into Snoke’s throne room, where Snoke talks to Hux in person and commends him for his great work in destroying the Resistance fleet. He did this likely just to anger Ren, but how this is supposed to work, considering he just scolded and nearly killed him for the exact same reason in the previous scene, I don’t know.
Snoke feigns interest in Ren and tells him of the greatness he once saw in him, only to tell him he had lost all faith in him, because he was beaten by a girl who had never held a lightsaber in her hands before (which is a fair point). Ren mutters “I gave everything I have to you… To the dark side…” Snoke ridicules Ren’s helmet and taunts him that he is more Solo than Vader. Ren stomps off, destroys his helmet in the elevator, as he once again loses control (although the situation seems far more fitting to do so this time) and tells some random officers to prepare his ship. Apart from the very beginning, this scene is very well done. It addresses the issue of the last film, in which Ren really does get beaten by Rey far too easily (despite having a glaring kidney wound that weakened him). It also sets up the inner turmoil within Kylo Ren. He is unbalanced. He is clearly committed to the dark side, as he has murdered his own father, but at the same time, this action has weakened him. Now he is fueled by anger at Snoke, who has used him and is ready to cast him aside, after everything Ren sacrificed for him. So now he intends to do something bold and has his ship prepared. What will he do? Will he switch sides? Or will he go after the Resistance himself? The spoiler was in the trailers, but in itself this scene keeps us guessing and on the edge of our seats.
We cut back to the island and Luke Skywalker slowly taking in everything that Rey has just explained to him off-screen. I have a particular problem with this scene, because the dialogue explains the state of the galaxy and things to come, yet the film contradicts itself not soon after.
“There is no light left in Kylo Ren,” Rey determines. A statement that shows she is set on killing and not saving him, unlike Luke who tried and succeeded to save Vader from the Dark Side. The First Order is now in control of the galaxy and they need the Jedi Order and Luke Skywalker back. Luke refuses. “You think what? I’m gonna walk out with a laser sword and face down the whole First Order? What did you think was going to happen here? You think I came to the most unfindable place in the galaxy for no reason at all? Go away…”
The sentence about facing down the entire empire with a lightsaber is very good. Not only is this exactly what Luke more or less does in the final act, but it also explains that he has a different purpose than just being another Jedi Knight, who goes to war. This goes well with his later elaborations on the failures of the previous Jedi Order that allowed itself to be engulfed by the Clone Wars. On a larger scale, it also explains why Obi-Wan and Yoda did not join the Rebellion and went into exile instead. By fighting a war, the Jedi have already lost. But there are alternatives to fighting, as Obi-Wan would say. Luke’s next sentence is also significant, Because it foreshadows a greater reason for his being on Anch-To. A reason that justifies why he wanted to isolate himself, but still left behind a map to his location.
Luke walks off to wander the island on a daily routine of providing food for himself and Rey follows him. In a ridiculous callback to Episode IV, Luke milks some sort of sea cow that looks eerily similar to the Tatooinian camel like creatures, and drinks some blue milk, while grinning at Rey. The sea cow turns to Rey and gives her a strange look, at which point Rey blushes and looks away. Luke then uses a staff of sorts to cross from one mountain on the island to another in one quick swing, worrying Rey and giving her a mischievous look. This makes the audience wonder if he isn’t toying with her to test her, much like Yoda did in Episode V. The staff turns out to be a 30-something metre long harpoon that Luke uses to kill a big fish. The next day, Luke brushes her off again, but as she begins to follow him, she gets called by Force voices to a place surrounded by mist. Luke feels it too and turns around to see if she will go to the Jedi tree. The only problem is, we later find out he has cut himself off from the Force, so that last bit doesn’t make much sense. It is a very minor issue, but yet another instance of a lack of consistency.
Rey goes inside the tree and finds the old Jedi texts. Luke appears behind her. “Who are you?” he asks, finally putting to rest any fan theories that she might be a Solo or a Skywalker. Luke only disappeared five years ago, if she was the daughter of anyone he knew, he would recognise her. But of course fans will continue to speculate on whether or not it is true…
Personally, I just want her to finally get her own surname (much like Finn needs one, though he is excused for not having one), as it seems unlikely she would go just by her first name all her life. I guess she doesn’t have a lot of forms to fill out on Jakku, but at this point, the only reason I see for her not having a last name, is to fuel fan speculation about her heritage. Some defenders of this film claim people who want her to be related to someone famous are glorifying aristocracy, but it has nothing to do with that. The only reason anyone thinks she may be related to someone, is because she has no last name, her background is mysterious and she happens to be the main character in a family story. It is set up for her to be part of that family, even though she clearly is not. But speculation that she might be, or disappointment that she is not, is a natural reaction of some viewers to the revelation that she comes from nowhere. Kylo Ren confirms as much in a later scene, when he tells her he has seen her parents and knows they were junkers, who sold her for drinking money and were now residing in an unmarked grave on Jakku. But Kylo wasn’t even the one to say it, he had Rey tell him herself what she had known all along. Of course, originally we were told by J. J. Abrams that her true heritage would only be revealed in Episode IX, and since he is back at its helm, he may very well pull a 180° turn on this, but if we already expected as much, it would be a very weak reveal and only further detract from this film.
Rey awkwardly explains that she is force-sensitive and Luke tells her she needs a teacher, but also that he cannot teach her. Why not? Well, he just won’t train another generation of Jedi. The Jedi need to end and he wants to die, so he came to that island to do so. So much about this statement is wrong… If Luke knows Rey needs a teacher to become a Jedi, but he doesn’t want there to be anymore Jedi, why is he suggesting she needs a teacher in the first place? Try to talk her out of it, but don’t tell her to look somewhere else. Then there is his death wish. If he truly wanted to die so badly, why not find the temple, burn the books and kill yourself five years ago? Instead Luke is just sitting on his island, drinking blue milk, eating fish, playing with the porg and waiting for someone to piece together his map, come find him, so he can tell said person to leave him be. None of this makes sense. And when Rey confronts him with the fact that his sister is counting on him and he is her last hope, so he should at least explain himself, he just walks away without a word. And this last part is done only so we can have yet another perfect transition to Leia’s quarters aboard her ship, face palming, as she wonders why all this crap is happening to her of all people and what she could have possibly done wrong to deserve this treatment from her brother, at a time no less, when her husband is dead, murdered by her own son, who is also hunting her and trying to kill her and everyone else she knows and cares for. Luke’s inaction can be excused, by saying he was isolated and had no idea what was going on, it could also be excused if he had some greater purpose on Anch-To, but having just been informed of everything that is happening, he should pick up his things and get out into the world, much like Ben Kenobi did when the time was right. But that would be similar to Episode IV and any semblance of that must be avoided at all costs now, goes Disney’s logic (except for that part where they sneak upon the Death Star, I mean the Supremacy, wearing disguises. Because that happens in almost every film now. Seriously, people disguise themselves in Episodes I, II, IV, VI, Rogue One, The Last Jedi and rumours have it, the new Han Solo film as well).
Here is where it gets tricky. Leia slaps Poe Dameron, for his actions in the last battle, which resulted in heavy loss of life, due to him ignoring orders. He is demoted from Commander to Captain for this. Captain normally outranks Commander in the real world, but in Star Wars it is the other way around and has been this way for a long time, so this is no unconscious mistake.
Poe tries to justify that they took down a dreadnaught and the fallen were all heroes. Leia explains to Poe that dead heroes are not leaders and if he wants to be a leader of the Resistance, he needs to learn to appreciate the lives of his comrades more. Poe sucks it up and gets back to work.
The fleet returns to regular space and Finn asks how Rey is going to find them if they are somewhere in wild space. Leia reveals a tracking device that allows Rey to find them. When Finn asks what they should do while they wait for her to bring back Luke, Leia and her assistant explain that they need to find a new base, from which they can contact their allies across the galaxy to replenish their numbers. Their explanation of the plan is interrupted by the First Order and in particular Snoke’s ship, the supremacy, which jumps out of hyperspace, accompanied by several star destroyers. Poe (who, as Captain, is still one of the highest ranking officers in the fleet) orders the fleet to jump back into hyperspace. Leia delays that order, because she realises they tracked them in hyperspace; something thought impossible. Running would be useless. So Poe cheekily asks Leia for permission to do what he does best, and she grants it. On her orders, Admiral Ackbar turns the fleet around, as they prepare for battle.
This time the First Order was faster in launching their fighters, three of them that is, led by Kylo Ren, much like Vader’s squadron in Episode IV (Oops, they did it again!). The shields are up, as evidenced by the star destroyer fire that bounces off of it. Somehow, Ren gets past the main cruiser’s shields, or has more powerful cannons on his starfighter than the entire First Order fleet, as he just starts to tear through the hull of the cruiser and flies directly into their hangar, where he launches two missiles (not sure how he turned around in those tight corridors at his speed, but whatever). We get one last look at Tallie, who exchanges a salute and smile with an unknown pilot, before Poe walks in the hangar to see everything blow up. Poe and BB-8 get caught in the explosion and thrown several metres through the air, along with debris from the hangar and its ships. BB-8 momentarily loses its head, but escapes with only a bent antenna. Poe gets up right away, with no burns or any visible damage. Unless one counts sweat. Finn picks up Poe, who tells him that they need to get out of range from the Star Destroyers. Back on the bridge Leia is repeating the same to Admiral Ackbar, who turns the fleet around again. Here is where it gets tricky again. They just saw what Kylo Ren did to their hangar and their entire array of starfighters. We can see them swinging around again on their monitros. Ackbar’s strategy is to give full power to the rear shields, protecting them from the star destroyers, but leaving the front of the ship vulnerable to attack. There are no fighters to intercept Ren. Why the hell would you leave your front completely exposed? Leia claims the fighters will fall back after they have started their escape run, because the destroyers won’t be able to cover them anymore. Which is true, but they haven’t started their escape yet.
Leia sits down and a Force sound effect tells us she can feel the presence of her son, as his fighter rushes past her bridge. He can sense her too. He targets the bridge, but he is conflicted. Leia just sits there and waits for it to happen. It makes for a more emotional cinematic experience, but why the hell wouldn’t she or anyone else order the shields to be reinforced on the bridge at that point? They had plenty of time to do so, while the TiEs swung around. Anyways, Ren chooses not to kill his mother, signalling his internal conflict and contradicting Rey’s earlier judgement that there is no more light in him. But his wingmen fire their torpedoes and we see Leia just sit there and wait for it to happen. Boom. The bridge gets blown up and its inhabitants are all sucked into space (depressurisation!). The TIES fly through the debris and Hux tells Ren to fall back, as he can’t cover him at this distance anymore (as predicted by Leia).
The next scene is curious. Hux asks the very legitimate question of what the point of all this (The First Order death arsenal) is, if they can’t even blow up three little ships. “Well, they are faster and lighter, sir. They can’t lose us, but they can keep at a range where our cannons are ineffective against their shields. “Well, keep up the barrage. Let’s at least remind them that we’re still there.” Aw. Lonely Hux just wants to be acknowledged by the other kids. Much like the scene in the Jedi tree, there are many contradictions and problems here. If the cruisers are faster and lighter than the destroyers, why exactly can’t they outrun the First Order? Faster means faster. How does distance change the effectiveness of the First Order weapons? There is no air resistance, or gravity that would pull their fire to the ground. This is space. You fire a bolt of laser fire and it will travel on to infinity at the same strength, until it hits its target. Range has absolutely no impact on anything, except for things like seeing a planet blow up from another planet, because light travels at lightspeed, which takes years if not longer for it to reach other planets, even if they are relatively closeby (I am referencing that bogus scene from The Force Awakens, in case you were wondering). Finally, if they really are out of range, just jump to lightspeed ahead of them and cut them off. The First Order supposedly has hundreds of Star Destroyers. There are at least 5 flanking the Supremacy. Just have one or two of them come at the Resistance from another side. Yes, the Resistance could try and evade them at that point, because space, but going at them from multiple attack vectors is far more reasonable than a slow chase through space. Not to mention the First Order could this way dictate where the Resistance was heading.
The next scene shows Leia in space. She is frozen, but unscathed and has her eyes closed. We can see a blurry Ackbar floating beside her in the background. Her fingers twitch, she moves them as if she was weaving something. Suddenly, she opens her eyes, stretches out her hands like Superman and flies through the debris and right back onto the remains of the bridge, to the airlock, while Finn, Poe and her daughter Billie Lourd’s character watch her in awe. They open the door for her and she collapses inside. As she is moved to the medbay, she drops the hyperspace beacon and Finn picks it up.
Here’s my problem with this scene. A lot of people complain that she flies like Superman or Mary Poppings. I don’t mind that at all. I thought it was a lovely scene with a lovely new take on her original musical theme playing in the background. It was also very unexpected, as Carrie Fisher’s death made it more plausible for her character to die in this film as well. So that was a very welcome surprise. I can even forgive the amount of time that seems to have passed since her being blown into space. It can feel like a lot due to the editing of the film. A person can theoretically survive in space without protection for a few minutes. So it is possible for her to survive this. However, it creates a whole set of other questions for me that make the entire film even more implausible for me.
First lets look at the most basic space related questions. I have already addressed the issue of depressurisation being there one moment, then gone again the next. The scene of her rescue happens so fast, that it is not really shown, merely implied that there was an airlock between her and the crew in the corridor. Otherwise, she would have blown everyone else out into space with her, as soon as she opened the door. The question is, why the ship would have an airlock between the bridge and the corridor outside the bridge in the first place. Is every door connected to an airlock? I didn’t see any other airlocks anywhere. Not even on the new bridge later on (yes, the bridge is fully in-tact again in a later scene). Another bizzare thing to me is the fact that Leia could just get back into the ship at all. Normally, the shields would go up around any areas that lost hull integrity as a safety measure. We saw something similar with the windows on Grievous’ ship in Episode III. Why didn’t that happen here and block Leia’s way in? Was it because the shields were angled at the back of the ship and so couldn’t build up in the front? Wouldn’t that be a huge safety risk and also defeat the purpose of shields protecting areas that have opened up to space? We shall never know.
Also, how come Leia was floating still in space if she had been sucked out? She should just keep moving. As should the Raddus. The ship was burining all of its fuel to keep accelerating away from the First Order. That was the whole plot of the film. So how can Leia, who was moving away from the ship at relatively low velocity, suddenly change her flight path and match the velocity of the fastest ship in the Resistance fleet? If anything, she should have actually flown in somewhere at the back of the ship. Then again, she shouldn’t have been conscious at all. Even though unprotected survival in space is possible for a short duration of time (provided one exhaled before depressurisation), actual human accidents have shown that people lose conscuousness around 12 seconds in and even if they wake up again due to partial repressurisation of their space suit, they would likely be blind and paralyzed. Please have a look at this very good article on the subject matter.
Now on to the story related questions. If Leia saw this coming, why not warn anyone else? Why not help them? Ackbar was floating right next to her. If everyone else was blown to bits, so be it, but save your long-term friend and brother in arms, for heaven’s sake! That wouldn’t have been as aesthetically pleasing to see though, now would it?
Also, if Leia just displayed Force powers for the first time ever to her colleagues in the Resistance, as suggested by their awed expressions, why the hell does no one ever talk about this? It is never mentioned again, neither right after, nor when she eventually wakes up again. Were her Force powers common knowledge? And was she this powerful in the light all along? What else can she do? Was she trained by Luke? Then why couldn’t she train Ben instead of him? Why didn’t she offer to train or at least explain some things to Rey, right when she found her? Or even afterwards, when Luke passed away? If she did not train as a Jedi, why not and how did she still manage to get so good at it? In the Expanded Universe, Leia also put politics before Jedi training and ended up not becoming a Jedi, but this also meant she couldn’t properly use the Force, just feel it, and feel Luke mostly. How does this all fit into the new narrative of the Force always balancing itself out? I’ll get more into that problem later on.
In the next scene, we see Rey sleeping on Anch-To. Meanwhile, Chewie is grilling a Porg and trying to eat it, while other Porgs look on. It is silly, but done well enough. In the background, a hooded figure sneaks aborad the Millenium Falcon. It is Luke Skywalker. He goes into the cockpit and turns on the ship, experiencing a reminiscing moment, much like Han did in The Force Awakens. What is Luke going to do? He turned on the computers. Is he going to take the Falcon and fly away on his own? Is he so scared of what Rey may become even without his help that he is trying to strand her on the planet? No, he grabs Han’s dice and sits down on the couch, presumably to mourn his best friend’s passing. To his surprise, R2-D2 is there. Luke somehow hadn’t noticed him, but at some point, R2 powers up and gives him an earful of beeps about disappearing. Luke tries to calm him down and explain that he cannot explain why he must remain in exile. “Nothing can change my mind”, he says. R2 cleverly plays the old holo message from Leia to Obi-Wan Kenobi, to remind him and us as the audience, of the similarity between his position and that of Obi-Wan in Episode IV.
Luke is convinced. He wakes up Rey to tell her that at dawn he will teach her the ways of the Jedi in three lessons (really, that’s all it takes?) and why they have to end.
Back at the Resistance/Rebel Fleet, Admiral Ackbar’s off-screen death is mentioned briefly and it is explained Leia is unconscious but recovering. So now, the chain of command demands Vice-Admiral Holdo takes over. She was apparently in command of one of the other three remaining ships and now flew over to take charge. Holdo immediately struck me as very odd. Not only does she wear a dress without any rank insignia, instead of a uniform, but also has strange purple hair. Then she gives a very short motivational speech, which really falls flat, as she doesn’t inspire hope, but just says they will totally survive and succeed, without giving any reason as to why anyone should have any confidence in this or her for that matter. Poe seems surprised by Holdo, perhaps even impressed. He goes to talk with her and tells her they are running low on fuel.
Her reaction is just mind-baffling. She fails to make eye-contact with him and just responds with sarcasm. “Very kind of you to remind me.”
When he makes it clear that he is just wondering what their next move would be, she reminds him that his rank is now Captain, not Commander, because his plan was foolish and cost them their entire bombing fleet. While Holdo gives him a self-righteous smile, Poe tries to explain that he doesn’t care about his rank and only wants to know what is going on. She gives him another arrogant smile insults him and explains that he has a useless personality and should just stick to his post and follow her orders.
Now, I have to say, I might expect something like this from the Imperial Navy, but the Rebel Alliance? Since when are insults and intimidation the leadership style of the Rebels? And since when is blind obedience a virtue for them? Not to mention that Poe Dameron is a Commander in the fleet. Even if he was demoted to Captain, he would still be one of the highest ranking people in the fleet at this time. All the admiralty is gone. Vice-Admiral Holdo is the highest ranking officer. At best there are a few more Commanders left that outrank Poe. So Holdo’s idea of leadership is to sideline one of the best and most experienced officers in the entire fleet, simply because she personally dislikes him and the way he operates? And all this, even though she has never met the guy. Which, by the way, is also quite unlikely, given how highly ranked they both are and how close they both are to Leia. It’s yet another one of those things that just doesn’t add up in terms of character actions and motivations.
The next scene is actually quite interesting if also very difuse. Finn tries to leave in an escape pod, thinking the Resistance is doomed. He stumbles upon Rose Tico, who is crying and mourning the death of her sister (the one from the space battle, who saved the day), but she is suddenly all better, because Finn is a hero to her. She apparently only works as a mechanic and so never gets to talk to all those mighty A-Team heroes with blasters upstairs (you’d think the Resistance would treat their own people a little better, considering they are all about Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité.
Anyways, Rose is in awe of Finn and he finds her fan-girling super awkward, until she realises he is trying to escape and stuns him with her extremely potent stun rod, sending him flying into the camera, and making her look like a bad-ass.
Rose is trying to turn Finn in for desertion (he never actually enlisted, how can he be a deserter? Does he even have a rank?), when he explains that he is trying to protect Rey, by getting the hyperspace beacon away from the doomed fleet, so that she won’t light speed right into the hands of the First Order. That makes him a selfish traitor, according to Rose, who has no idea the First Order is about to kill them all, due to their ability to track them through hyperspace. So Finn explains and before you know it, they are best friends and ready to go on a mission together to save the Resistance. They go to Poe and convince him their plan is solid. C-3PO objects that Holdo would never agree to the plan, which is why Poe decides to keep it on a need-to-know basis; just as Holdo did with him. Except, Poe is actually justified in his action, by the fact that Holdo is unwilling to work with him and seems to be doing little to nothing to avert their grim fate.
There is only one problem. They can’t get past the First Order’s shields undetected (I had no idea one could actually pass through shields of capital class ships. Didn’t they used to have to be lowered for fighters to be launched?). So they need some kind of code-breaker wizard, who can math their way past the shields. Who you gonna call? Apparently, Maz Kanata is the go-to smuggler/pirate/force-user for all things illegal. So they holo her up and she chats to them about this really great code-breaker guy (who apparently is very good in bed), while playing some kind of real life video game filled with jet-packs, rolls and unending waves of mindless enemies to slaughter. She doesn’t give them a name or even a description, just a city name and a clue. He wears a red flower on his jacket and will likely be at a high-stakes table in the casino.
So first they have to find the planet with the city on it, assuming this is a very well known place, we can forego this and just head straight to the city. The whole damn city seems to be the casino though. How many people live in that city? How big is it and how many high-stakes tables are there? Imagine trying to find someone you don’t know by name or appearance, in a place like London, or even a smaller town like Prague or Salzburg. There are so many places to look. You would never be able to find them even if you were standing in the same place for days waving a sign around. The only way this could happen would possibly be if the Force guided your actions, but this opens up a whole other can of worms, like, can we all just trust in the Force to guide us at the right time? And how come so many people die horribly if the Force is always making sure it all works out? Who do you have to be to get the Force’s favour? What is the point of all this anyways?
Lastly, Finn gives the hyperspace beacon to Poe before departing. I thought it was his greatest wish to get it as far away from the fleet as possible, so Rey would be safe. Now he is ensuring it stays there only two minutes later? The only reason he does so, by the way, is because the entire film is shot in a way that each scene leads seamlessly into the next using audio and visual cues. There is no other reason for giving Poe the beacon, other than giving the camera guy the ability to zoom in on it, before we cut away again to Anch-To.
Rey wakes up. We cut to Kylo Ren’s face being repaired by a droid. Back to Rey. Back to Kylo. The music suddenly drops away and the two of them get strange looks on their faces. This is one scene I was slightly confused by on my first viewing. I now understand that they started seeing each other through the Force, but we did not get any visual clues to this. Rey grabs her blaster and shoots and Kylo appears to be hit, but was just imagining it. Rey realises she shot the wall of her little stone hut. Now we are back to Kylo, who runs out into the corridor. Back to Rey and she is leaving her hut as well. Now they are talking to one another, but neither of them appears in the other’s shot visually. They just talk to themselves in their respective scenes. This is a little confusing, but can be understood by the viewer easily enough if it wasn’t for the ridiculously fast cutting between the scenes. Personally, I very much dislike extremely fast action-scenes and combined with expository dialogue, it makes me nauseous. I only really got what was going on, when Kylo Ren says “Can you see my surroundings? I cannot see yours. Just you.” Yet, a second later, he can apparently see or at least sense the presence of Luke Skywalker, who walks out of his hut and asks why the hell Rey is shooting up the place. Ren also assumes at first that Rey is using astral projection, but then dismisses it, as he knows the effort would kill her (so, he actually knew about this technique and even thought Rey was capable of using it without training?). The link is severed and we see the island’s care-takers, a species of small reptilians, dressed like Catholic nuns. It is established they dislike Rey. Interestingly, Rey lies about her link to Ren to Luke. Why would she hide this from him?
Rey begins her training with Luke. This entire scene is incredibly complex and happens entirely too quickly for my taste. I would have prefered for it to be given far more time, compared to many other side plots we had to endure.
Rey says Luke needs to return to fight for the Resistance, because Kylo Ren is strong in the dark side of the Force. Luke is like: what do you actually know about the Force?
Rey gives a very honest and dumb answer: “It lets Jedi control people and make things float.”
Luke tries to explain the nature of the Force to her and she continues to show no understanding. When he asks her to meditate on the Force and reach out, she literally reaches out her hand. I enjoy very much that they show her ignorance of the Force, what I dislike about this scene, is the way Luke reacts to it. He tickles her with a plant and she actually belives it is the Force she feels and he sarcastically tells her she is oh so strong with the Force. “I’ve never felt anything like that before” she says, before he slaps her wrist and makes her realise she was being punk’d. Not only does this whole scene feel very much unlike Star Wars, it is very unbelievable. I want to see Rey ignorant of the spiritual components of the Force, a flaw that makes it likely for her to fall to the dark side, especially because of her natural affinity for the Force. But I don’t believe for a second she would fall for this. We already know her to be a very smart person, this is just ridiculous and it feels like even Daisy Ridley is trying not to laugh through her teeth as she delivers those lines. It’s another instance of disbelief that took me out of the film. When Rey tries again, it all goes too quickly. She sees the balance of the Force through multiple shots of the island that last half a second each and suddenly she understands the Force. In the middle of all this, Luke tries to explain that the light can never die, even if the Jedi die, because they don’t own the Force. An important philosophical observation that should be explored further. Sadly, Luke gets cut off again, because Rey is being pulled to the Dark Side of the Force. He tries to stop her, but she just goes straight to the Dark and in the process cracks the rock around them. She sees a vision of a hole in the ground with black vines protruding from it, much like the Saarlac Pit from Episode VI and then a geyser comes up. Rey is on the ground and suddenly wet in reality. Luke is already backing away in terror, as he cannot believe how quickly she fell to the dark side. But Rey deflects, by noting she cannot feel him in the Force. He has closed himself off from it. This is a concept lifted straight from the video game Knight of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, which is a great nod to the Expanded Universe. But all of these things happen far too quickly and are not explored fully enough for them to matter.
We quickly jump from one scene to the next. The Resistance fleet is still being bombarded, but somehow a small shuttle is able to depart the fleet and jump to hyperspace, without being chased down by the First Order. Holdo notices something on the monitors, but Lieutenant Connix (Billie Lourd) assures her it was just some debris falling off from one of the ships. Meanwhile, Rey and Chewie cannot get in contact with the fleet and Rey leaves Chewie to deal with the Porg infestation aboard.
Outside, Rey is overjoyed by the feeling of rain, but quickly turns grim, when she sees Kylo Ren again, who until then was lost deep in thought. He turns to her and asks why the Force was connecting the two of them. Rey doesn’t care. She calls him a murderous snake (why are snakes evil in the Star Wars universe, do they have the bible there too?) and taunts him that she has already won, because she found Skywalker. He remains calm and asks her if she had asked Luke about the night when Kylo destroyed his temple. She deflects that she already knows everything she needs to about him. “You have that look in your eyes, from the forest. When you called me a monster…” “You are a monster!” she shouts. “Yes, I am…” This admission takes Rey by surprise. He feels guilty all of a sudden? The connection is broken and Kylo feels the water on his face. The connection is more physical than they had first realised. Though how exactly this works, I am not quite sure. What if someone were to interfere with their conversation and say attack them? Would a giant laser bolt on one side of the connection hit both? What if they are on a hot and a cold planet respectively? Are they then both hot or cold? At this point it is probably best not to question these things.
We are back with Finn and Rose, who have just left hyperspace and are now approaching Canto Bight. Rose makes sure to remind Finn that they need to be fast, get in and get out. Very ironic, considering this is one of the longest most pointless sequences in the entire film. Finn asks if Rose knows anything about Canto Bight. She responds that she only knows it from stories and that it is essentially the most wretched hive of scum and villainy and they ought to be cautious, before we get a shot of a bunch of rich people on a yacht. So apparently, rich people are the worst people in the galaxy. I was unaware. I thought human rights violators were the worst, but then again, in Star Wars, apparently, the only way to get ridiculously rich is to sell weapons (kind of makes sense, actually…), so I guess in that context being rich may actually be bad? In any case, I will skip all of the details of the Canto Bight story arc, because there are more important overall themes to address here.
First of all, I actually enjoyed the story arc the first time I saw it, because it seemed slightly different from what we had seen before, even though it was still a racing scene and a cantina scene, as well as another jail scene. But we have not really seen many police chases or just police forces in genereal in Star Wars before and I liked the design of the fathier lama-horse-rabbids. Their eventual escape felt a bit like a scene out of a Steven Spielberg film and did not quite fit, but I enjoyed its originality. However, my enjoyment of it all quickly disappeared, as I realised it was all a big distraction and did not really further the plot at all, while other more important story elements, such as Rey’s training and Luke’s struggle with his destiny got sidelined. The half hour spent on the Canto Bight scenes, could have been better spent, focusing on Luke and Rey, or even Poe and Holdo’s conflict, which may at least have made the whole mutiny more believeable…
In any case, the Canto Bight side-quest was interspersed in between the Rey and Luke scenes, making the film feel significantly longer than it actually is.
One final point I would like to address is the preachy element of this entire segment of the film. Star Wars has always been open to anyone and everyone (so long as you are not a fascist, I guess), but the character of Rose tries to make us believe that all rich people are war profiteers, who hold child slaves and are cruel to animals for their own amusement. Then DJ shows us that those same arms dealers profit from supplying both the First Order and the Resistance. This may be quite realistic, but what exactly is the message behind this? Are we supposed to question the legitimacy of both sides now? Maybe this was what Rogue One was building up to as well, by showing us the Rebels are just as horrible as the Empire.
What else? Arms dealing is bad? War profiteering is bad? Animal cruelty and slavery are bad? We know. Why are you shoving this down our throats? Are you trying to discredit our own free market economy, by pointing out that these practices still exist today? Why are you taking us out of an escapist adventure in a galaxy far far away to point at real world problems? And what exactly is the solution you are offering anyways? Because all we got at the end of Rose and Finn’s adventure is this particular exchange between Finn and DJ:
DJ: “They blow you up today. You blow them up tomorrow. It’s just business”
Finn: “You’re wrong.”
That is it. We never see DJ again. We assume he makes it off the ship, but we have no confirmation and no one has learned anything from this entire affair. All that has happened is that Poe’s plan and mutiny have failed and due to DJ’s quite unsurprising betrayal, the Resistance shuttles got almost completely wiped out by the First Order and the latter also knows where to find the rest. I guess if we had all just stopped thinking for ourselves and just blindly obeyed our Empress Holdo, she would have saved the Resistance. Instead, she had to sacrifice herself like the truly selfless autocrat she truly was. By the way if Holdo really was such a good selfless person at heart, then she was just a really bad leader. Acting like the toughest meanest woman in the galaxy in order to instill fear into your troops, to make them listen to you, is the stupidest thing a leader could do and something normally attributed to the stereotypically macho military men. What makes me quite upset with this, is the fact that the film (and Leia!) agree with her lack of leadership skills and Poe actually comes around to accept he was wrong in the end. He wasn’t! Anyways, more on this later. We return to Luke and Rey “training” on the island.
Rey has a moment to herself on the island and trains with her staff. Then she realises she has a lightsaber and probably should be training to use that instead. She begins with a few simple strikes, as Luke appears in the distance to observe her and is incredibly impressed with her prowess. Having completed two simple strikes in slow motion, Rey grins in self-satisfaction and immediately switches to an advanced backhand lightsaber form (first employed by Starikiller in the EU, then Asokha Tano in the Clone Wars) and performs each strike with ease and at great speed, until she notices Luke behind her and loses her focus, cutting the stone in front of her and sending it hurtling down on two unwitting caretakers. The stone destroys their cart and they look up in disbelief, to see the culprit looking down at them from above. This conclusion is incredibly funny, but why is Rey so good at wielding a lightsaber? Didn’t it take Jedi decades to master a lightsaber form? Not to mention it has been maybe a week since her fight with Kylo Ren on Starkiller Base. While she defeated him, her strikes were very raw and unrefined then. Pretending like she was always such a great fighter (with a lightsaber, it’s completely different from a staff!) is completely unbelievable and so is her learning to do it on her own in a matter of seconds.
Rey follows Luke up to the mountains, where he explains his second lesson for her. The Jedi are mystified and deified, because they are extinct, but they were actually really crap. “The legacy of the Jedi is failure, hypocricy, hubris. At the height of their power they allowed Darth Sidious to rise, create the Empire and wipe them out. It was a Jedi Master, who was responsible for the training and creation of Darth Vader.” So Luke Skywalker watched the prequel trilogy and was not amused. He seems to also have some beef with Obiwan specifically, for allowing his father to fall to the Dark Side. Perhaps this is why Obiwan did not appear to him later on?
“And a Jedi who saved him; yes, the most hated man in the galaxy. But you saw there was conflict inside of him. You believed that he wasn’t gone, that he could be turned.”
“And I became a legend,” Luke responds.
I find it incredibly interesting that Rey seems to have absolutely no knowledge of the Force, yet she seems to know everything about the Jedi and Luke’s life, as if she watched the original trilogy on VHS. This is even more confusing, because Rey admitted to Finn in The Force Awakens that she had thought Luke Skywalker was only a myth. Yet now she is an expert on him and his life? What exactly does the galaxy know about what transpired on the second Death Star? I assumed thus far, that nobody knows about any of the Sith vs Jedi business, because nobody except Luke was alive to tell the tales and that is why he became a myth and legend to the galaxy. Some people met him and told wonderous tales about him, much like the bible, but the history books would not cite Luke Skywalker as the man who turned Darth Vader. The history books were free of mystical religions about some energy field that surrounds us and binds us. Except this scene says otherwise. It is more like the Original Trilogy was the historical record that everyone saw, but few people actually believed in it’s authenticity.
“For many years there was balance and then I saw him… Ben; with that mighty Skywalker blood…”
So, the Force was balanced, because Luke was strong in the light and Snoke was strong in the dark, but because Luke decided to train Ben, the balance shifted and so the Force chose Rey to balance things out again? Is the Force just Math now? Should we have Jedi and Sith quota or just make sure there will be no more Force users? This is not a criticism, just some thoughts that came to my head, while I was watching this.
We see our first ever flash back in Star Wars, as Luke explains that Ben turned on him, when he confronted him about the darkness inside him, then convinced a few of his students to join him and slaughtered the rest.
Leia blamed Snoke for it. Luke blamed himself. But Rey blames Kylo, because Luke is still a heroic legend to her and she promises that she will not fail the way Kylo did; despite having just shown her affinity for the dark side.
Back at the fleet chase, the Resistance’ medical frigate runs out of fuel, causing it to fall behind and get destroyed by the First Order. The pilot of the medical frigate shouts “Godspeed, rebels!” before he gets blown up, yet again begging the question, whether we are dealing with the Resistance or the Rebel Alliance. More importantly, why is the frigate slowing down? In the vacuum of space there is no aether; no air resistance. So, when they power up their engines, they could just turn them off again and they would continue to move forward at the same speed as before. Now, thanks to relativity, if the Resistance ships were continuously accelerating and burning fuel at the same time, it would make sense for us to think they were slowing down if they stopped accelerating, while the First Order continued to accelerate. But because there is no air resistance, the frigate should still continue onward in a straight line, not suddenly veer off, as if it was struggling to maintain course and altitude in atmospheric flight. Yet another example of the filmmakers’ complete and utter disregard for the properties of space.
There is also the question of the Holdo manouvre. Why didn’t the captain of the medical frigate perform said manouvre at that point in time? He could have ended the chase then and there by destroying the main ship, thereby also robbing the First Order of their ability to track the rest of the Resistance fleet through hyperspace.
The scene ends with Lieutenant Connix informing Vice-Admiral Holdo that they only had six hours worth of fuel reserves left. As everyone on the bridge exchanges worried looks, Holdo doesn’t even acknowledge their dire situation, but orders to “maintain course; steady forward.”, while Poe keeps a lookout for Finn and Rose to return and save them.
We return to Canto Bight at this point, where Rose and Finn just so happen to be imprisoned in the same cell as DJ, but loudly discuss the details of their mission, without checking if anyone else was in there with them. DJ just so happens to also be able to break the code and of course he is only in prison, because he wants to be there and is able to escape whenever he chooses to, which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Nor does it make any sense to free the fathiers and rampage through town, or believing that this would make things better in any way. The fathiers will be recaptured or killed and the damage can be repaired. All Finn and Rose did was make themselves feel good by vandalising a city; kind of like a lot of left-extremist protesters tend to do.
We are back on Anch-To, where Luke chooses to reconnect himself with the Force, after Rey gave him her pepp talk. He reaches out to Leia through the Force and she wakes up. Then Rey walks around somewhere below and we get a well placed sound cue to inform us that she is connected to Kylo again. “I’d rather not do this right now,” she says. “Yeah, me too,” Kylo responds. As Rey turns to face him she asks him why he hated his father, but quickly looked away, blushing. I half expected him to be sitting on the toilet at that point in the film, but we find Kylo in his quarters, shirtless.
Rey still looks away. “Do you have something, a cowl or something you could put on?”
Really? Do we really need to please the fangirls here by showing Adam Driver topless? And then of course the scene implies that Rey fancies Kylo against her better judgement. You’d expect something like this from a Twilight movie, but not from Star Wars…
Finally, Rey manages to pull herself together and ask him the question again. “You had a father who loved you; he gave a damn about you.”
“I didn’t hate him.”
Kylo explains that Rey’s biggest weakness was that her parents through her away “like garbage” and that she still couldn’t stop needing them. So she has daddy issues and is constantly looking for a new father figure in Han Solo and Luke Skywalker.
We get another flash back, as Kylo reveals that Luke was actually evil and tried to murder him in his sleep, as he swung his lightsaber at him with a hatred filled face.
I remember seeing this scene for the first time and thinking: This is either the best or the worst thing I have ever seen, because either Luke Skywalker really did succumb to the dark side and tried to murder Ben Solo, bringing about all of the terrible things we have seen in the First Order thus far, or this is just Kylo’s perspective and his ultimate reason for joining up with Snoke and turning on his friends and family.
Shaken in her trust and belief in Luke and more eager to know her parents than ever before, Rey completes her journey to the dark side, by seeking out the black hole on the island to get answers. She gets sucked in and falls into the water, which causes her hair to get loose and become her new look for the rest of the film.
As she exits the water, she notices a strange mirror ahead of her. This is where the film get’s very bizzare. As Rey touches the mirror, she finds herself in some weird kind of prism, where there are endless copies of her, mimicking her movements, both behind and in front of her. Suddenly she is narrating as if it all happened in the past, telling us “I should have felt trapped or panicked, but I didn’t. This didn’t go on forever, I knew it was leading somewhere; that at the end it would show me what I came to see.” She takes one step forward and so do her copies and somehow one of them touches the mirror at the end. She asks to see her parents and two shadows start walking towards her in the mirror, before they merge into one person, who then also touches the mirror from the other side and becomes Rey herself.
The scene obviously mirrors that in Empire Strikes Back, but its point isn’t quite clear to me. In ESB Luke confronted his greatest fear, Darth Vader and he lashed out in anger, killing him, only to reveal that he killed himself. Not Vader was his greatest enemy, but he himself and his anger. If he was not careful, he too would end up like Vader. Here we get a strange sequence that is not really explained and does not hold any answers for the viewers or the character involved. If anything it only teases something, but it is not even clear what and is rendered even more meaningless by the later reveal of Rey’s parentage.
“I thought I would find answers here. I was wrong,” Rey says. “I never felt so alone.”
“You’re not alone,” Kylo responds. Her narration was meant for him, not us.
“Neither are you,” she responds as their eyes meet across the stars.
Suddenly, Luke appears, very distraught, looking for Rey and sees the fire burning in her hut.
“It isn’t too late…” Rey says as she extends her shaking hand in the slowest possible way. Kylo removes his glove and also moves his fingers forward at the same sluggish pace, while they look at each other without blinking.
In an electrifying moment, their fingers touch and they both apparently have an orgasm. Rey starts crying, rejoycing at the loss of her virginity, but Luke appears and can now see them both, as they conduct their naughty finger sex business. Seriously, is this still Star Wars? I cringed so hard during that scene.
“STOP!” he shouts and uses the Force to pull away the hut around them. That somehow made Kylo disappear and Rey’s attempts at getting dry have been rendered useless, as Luke exposed her to the rain.
In her anger, she confronts him about his attempt on Kylo’s life.
Luke bellows at her in the Joker’s voice to leave his island immediately, before turning around.
Rey shouts at him to stop walking away. How dare he not answer her question? He must be punished for his impudence! So Rey grabs her staff from somewhere and hits Luke on the back of his head, so that he answers her. Luke gets back up and uses the Force to rip a lightning rod from the top of one of the huts and defend himself against Rey’s next attack. He evades her next few angry blows with ease and then hits her on the lower back (or maybe even her ass?) with his lightning rod. Matching her next few hits as if he was playing with a child, he eventually disarms her, hoping to end the fight, but Rey force pulls his old lightsaber to her and Luke trips out of sheer shock, only stopping his fall with the Force at the last second. Rey lowers her lightsaber, as she towers over him, victorious. “Tell me the truth!”
I was hoping for Rey to become a more relatable character in this film, but she just fulfilled the same old Mary Sue trope, she already displayed in the last film. She impressed the hell out of Luke Skywalker and then went on to defeat him in combat with little to no training. If she was defeated at a later stage in the film, we could see past that, but unfortunately she never met a challenge she couldn’t handle. Snoke doesn’t count, but I will get to that later.
Luke narrates the final flash back. He saw darkness in Ben Solo and went into his hut at night to read his mind. This somehow allowed Luke to see Ben’s future as Kylo Ren and perhaps even the death of Han, although that doesn’t make much sense either. As he realised what kind of monster he had created, Luke grabbed his lightsaber and ignited it, hoping to avoid this terrible future. He felt ashamed a moment later and looked down at his own metal hand around the lightsaber. But by then it was too late. He looked up to see a frightened Ben Solo staring at his own master, standing over him with an ignited lightsaber, ready to murder him. Ben grabs his lightsaber and uses the Force to bring down the hut around them both. Somehow he got out of there then and proceeded to recruit and or murder the rest of Luke’s students off screen.
In her eternal wisdom and superiority, Rey explains Luke’s folly to him: “You failed him by thinking his choice was made, but it wasn’t. There is still conflict in him. If he could turn from the dark side that would shift the tide. This could be how we win.”
“This is not going to go the way you think.”
“It is. Just now, when we touched hands, I saw his future, as solid as I see you. If I go to him, Ben Solo will turn.”
“Rey, don’t do this…”
With a smug face, Rey offers Luke his lightsaber back yet again. He shuts his eyes in disbelief.
“Then he is our last hope.”
Rey takes her staff and departs on the Millenium Falcon as Luke watches on.
I have very many problems with this scene. The film doesn’t take it to either extreme. Luke did not turn to the dark side, but he also isn’t light. He made a really stupid mistake. He let himself be filled by anger and almost killed his own nephew. I honestly don’t believe his at the time cheerful and hopeful character that chooses to always see the good in everyone would do that, even if he was scared. He saw the best in Darth Vader, but his nephew doesn’t get the same deal, despite at that point, not having done anything remotely bad yet? And even if I was to believe that he was capable of a momentary lapse in judgement in affect; how does this explain him sneeking into Ben’s hut in the middle of the night to probe his mind? That is a solid decision and he had to know that if his suspicions were right, he would have to act, one way or another. Not only does it immensley detract from the character of Luke Skywalker to have him make such a horrible mistake and have to be lectured by Rey of all people, but I also don’t like the self-fulfilling prophecy aspect of this scene. We had this already in Revenge of the Sith and it was okay. I didn’t love it back then, but it was sort of poetic, just like losing the will to live. But it made sense to use that trope, because we already knew he would fall to the dark side, so might as well have it as tragic as possible. With Luke, however, this was not set in stone and it is really just sad and pathetic, not tragic, because it seems there was nothing he could have done. Ben was already turning to the dark side. His actions just sent him over the edge. If he had waited and done nothing, Ben probably would still have turned on him eventually. The scene is also widely inconsistent with the rest of the entire film. Luke was getting better. He reconnected with the Force. He was ready to take on the mantle of Jedi Master and teach Rey the way he was supposed to have taught Ben. And Rey hated Kylo Ren for what he had done. Remember back to the beginning of the film. “There is no light left in him.” Now suddenly, Rey saw Kylo shirtless and touched his fingers and she is hell bent on turning him back to the light, so she can justify swooning all over him, while Luke is back to feeling sorry for himself. Come on!
And then Luke goes off to try and burn the Jedi tree, because the Jedi must end… Yoda’s ghost shows up to say hi and cheer him on. But Luke is a pussy and hypocrit, who can’t do it. So Yoda summons a lightning bolt to hit the tree and set it on fire, while he cackles maniacally and tells him “Ah, Skywalker. Missed you have I.” So, he’s no longer Luke. He is now Skywalker to him. What exactly happened between them before Luke cut himself off from the Force? And if Yoda can just materialise himself in the real world, knock on Luke’s forehead or summon freaking lightning bolts out of thin air, why couldn’t Yoda just mainfest himself to him, even when Luke was not connected to the Force?
Luke is horrified and tries to go inside the burning tree to save “the sacred Jedi texts!”, but get’s blown back outside. “Time it is, for you to look past a pile of old books.” “Oh, read them have you? Page turners they were not.” That line kind of took me out of the film, as it felt not only uncharacteristic for Yoda, but also like the word page turner is too modern to belong in the otherwise poetic and clunky dialogue of Star Wars. But I have this problem with most of the new dialogue, so let’s move on.
Yoda tells Luke that the library did not contain anything that Rey didn’t already possess and as we learn later in the film, Rey actually stole the books from Luke before leaving (probably, because he wasn’t worthy of them…), so that was a cheap trick, Master Yoda. He concludes his lesson by scolding Luke for not teaching Rey how to be more of a failure, like him, because failure is the greatest teacher (or maybe just because failure would make Rey a more interesting character).
After some more Finn and Rose stuff, we return to the fleet, where Captain Dameron is warned not to ’cause a scene’, as he was banned from the bridge by Holdo. He ignores this and storms in to demand an explanation, as the last support ship has just been destroyed by the First Order and there is no hope in sight.Holdo looks at him with contempt and calls him ‘flyboy’. He tells her to zip it and practically begs to hear that there is a plan to save them and that they won’t all die within the next hours. Holdo counters with a quote from Leia about hope only being real when one can hold onto it, even when it is not visible. The entire quote is utterly ridiculous. What does that even mean? Hope is an emotion, it’s not something you can literally see. Yes, you can have hope without knowing if you have good odds, but how is this relevant at all? Somehow, that stupid quote calms Poe down enough to realise what Holdo’s plan is: to fuel up the unshielded transport ships one by one with the last of the reserves and escape the First Order, by abandoning the flagship.
Poe loses it and starts throwing things around on the bridge. He calls Holdo a coward, but she holds back the troopers that are trying to intervene. Finally, Poe explains that she is also a traitor, as she is exposing the surviving Resistance figthers to the wrath of the First Order. At that point, Holdo orders the troopers to get ‘that man’ of ‘her’ bridge. Moments later, Poe calls Rose and Finn and Finn convinces him that they can shut down the hyperspace tracker.
Next we see Rey and Chewie preparing for her surrender to the First Order. In one of the more endearing moments, Rey asks Chewie to tell Finn something if he sees him before her (although she should not know he is up and running about). As we don’t speak Wookiee, we don’t know what she wants him to say, but it could be either romantic or friendly in nature. It is a fun little teaser to include in the film. Then the Millenium Falcon jumps right into the First Order’s fleet (how did they even know where exactly they would be?) and delivers Rey in an escape pod, then leaves, without the First Order ever getting a shot off. Rey’s pod is flanked by TIE Fighters, and easily lands in Snoke’s hangar bay. Why every ship can just enter every other ship’s hangar without any issues is an issue for me, but one could assume that Kylo Ren was expecting her and told them to lower the shields for her. After all, he is standing above her pod, as soon as she lands. With his stormtroopers, who immediately go on to handcuffing her.
DJ & Co. jump back out of hyperspace above the First Order fleet. He narrates that their cloaking mechanism shields them from the First Order’s scanners (do they not have windows on any of those ships???) and that they can slice through the shields now, using one of his many codes. A First Order officer notices the shield flickering, but assumes it is just a glitch. They pass through without a hitch.
Back in the Resistance hangar bay, Poe is telling a disbelieving Holdo his plan. “A stormtrooper and a who-now are doing what?” Well, at least Holdo is being disrespectful and condescending to everyone under her command.
Poe pleads with her to give Finn and Rose more time. She says that his plan has bad odds and has put them all at risk and she doesn’t have time for his plan. That is the point at which Poe and his fellow officers grab their blasters and arrest Holdo for treason to ensure their survival.
Now we have the arguably funniest and most well-placed scenes in the film. Something that looks like a landing ship, expelling steam descends, only to be revealed as an actual steam iron, ironing First Order uniforms. Finn, Rose and DJ have donned said uniforms and are leaving the room. We have never before seen this in a Star Wars film and it is a great and quick way to explain to the viewer that the characters have disguised themselves. Chapeau for this one, Mr. Johnson. Too bad about the rest of the film…
Immediately after, Finn empties a trash can (really?) and puts it onto BB-8, so as to not reveal that it is a Resistance model. BB-8 pretends to be a very bulky mouse droid and runs into several stormtroopers, who just disregard it. But the very heavily marketed BB-Hate (all black BB-model) spots it and reports it within seconds. The camera pans up to reveal hyperlifts, reminiscent of the Death Star in Episode IV. One of them contains a captured Rey, and Kylo.
She pleads with him that he can be turned back to the Light. She’s seen him joining her in a vision, when they touched. He also has seen her joining him in his own vision. And he saw who her parents are. Before he can reveal anything, they arrive in Snoke’s throne room. Snoke is ecstatic. He laudes Kylo Ren and claims his faith in him has been restored.
Finn & Co. are almost ready on their end and we get some more pointless subtext from all characters. Poe takes over the bridge and turns of all the lights in the hangar, which Holdo uses to kick a pipe so hard it bursts (seriously?), creating a diversion and an ensuing stun blast match between the two sides. Connix locks the bridge. C-3PO wants to abandon Poe, but then reconsiders when the other side tries to lasercut through the door.
Finn & Co. make it inside the tracker room, only to realise it was a trap laid by BB-Hate and Captain Phasma, who, surprisingly, survived her trip to the trash compactor on Starkiller, which blew up less than an hour after she got stuck in there. Well, you have to read a comic, if you want to know how that happened. Great… More things we cannot explain simply within the actual movie.
Poe is shocked to hear Rose and Finn got captured. At that moment the door is blasted open. Leia walks in on a cane. Poe is happy to see her. She stuns him.
Holdo looks concerned as she looks at the unconscious Poe, who is being loaded onto a shuttle. “That one is a troublemaker. I like him,” she says. What? Her posture, memes and attitude just did a 180° turn. Who is this person and where is the Holdo we have come to know and hate?
Leia tells her to get on a shuttle, but Holdo smiles and tells her she is staying behind to pilot the cruiser and maximise their chances of escape.
We’re back with Snoke. He undoes Rey’s handcuffs and asks her to step closer, mirroring the exact same scene from Return of the Jedi. He explains he always knew Kylo would meet his match on the Light side, as there was balance and each champion would gain strength in parallel with the other. He had assumed it would be Luke, but was mistaken. She was the new true paragon of the Light.
Okay, first of all, you are once more detracting from Luke Skywalker, but beyond that, is he saying the balance in the Force has been restored and thus, from now on there would always be equality in strength between the Dark and the Light? If so, is the only reason why Rey beat Kylo before, because she was the only Light side user and Kylo and Snoke are two? Does that mean Kylo is stronger, when Snoke is no more? Or did this already apply during the prequels and Sidious was only so strong in the Dark Side, because there were only two Sith and thousands of Jedi? How come no one knew about this? And why would Yoda go on and on about a strengthening Dark Side that is diminishing the power of the Light? And how exactly does any of this work in practice? Wouldn’t that make the entire conflict between dark and light utterly pointless? Why even bother to train a bunch of Force users to begin with? It’s another one of those throw-away sentences that messes up the entire narrative of the franchise.
Snoke first gets Rey’s lightsaber and puts it on his arm rest, like Palpatine did with Luke’s, then he levitates Rey closer to him as she defiantly declares that he is underestimating Luke and Ben and her (but he just told her he thinks she is the one true champion of the Light? How is he underestimating her?). She really just says this, so it mirors Luke’s “your overconfidence is your weakness.” line from Return of the Jedi. After all, this scene is designed specifically to be a carbon-copy of that scene with a slight twist that is supposed to subvert our expectations (but really didn’t).
Snoke mocks Rey in Palpatineesque fashion, as he reveals that “It was I who” created the Force bond between them, because he knew Kylo Ren was really weak (he again contradicts himself from just a few seconds ago, but because the scenes are splintered so madly, we are supposed to have already forgotten about that). Snoke gets Rey very close to him and strokes her cheek like the old perverted creep he is supposed to represent and then tells her she will die as soon as she reveals Skywalker’s location to her. Why does he even insist on finding Skywalker, now that he knows Rey is the real threat? Anyway, he pushes her away with the Force and levitates her in place, bending her and assaulting her with some kind of invisible Force power, likely a mental attack, as she screams out in pain.
Poe wakes up and is despaired that he is on a transporter flying away from the main cruiser (even though his plan had already failed…). Leia calls him over to explain Holdo’s master plan. Crait, is an uncharted planet that houses an abandoned Rebel base. There they can seek shelter. The First Order would not be monitoring for smaller ships, trying to escape (why though? That seems like the most logical thing to do…). So they can slip away undetected. “Holdo was more interested in saving the light than in seeming like a hero.” Yeah, but withholding information on purpose, is not a noble act and a plan that is just as risky as Poe’s, is not a great alternative…
Finn and Rose are being brought into a big hangar on the First Order command ship, so that every other stormtrooper can see what happens to traitors. At this point, I am happy that a very goofy scene was cut, where Rose bit Hux in his finger. Instead, Hux just slaps Finn in the face and congratulates Phasma on a job well done. She turns to DJ and tells him he gets a ship and his payment, as agreed and the whole ordeal ends with him getting off silently with no emotional payoff, as I described in the exchange between him and Finn earlier on. But at least he listened to Poe when he revealed Holdo’s plan to Finn earlier, because he told the First Order about it, in exchange for his ship and payment. So really, maybe Holdo was trying to avoid the plan leaking to the First Order like this, by not telling anyone, but at the end of the day, her not telling her own crew caused exactly that, because Poe would have never sent Finn and Rose on that mission if he had known about her plan in the first place. What a bloody mess this whole film is…
The First Order starts blowing ships up and Snoke releases Rey, as he laughs maniacally. He got what he wanted. He knows everything Rey knows about Luke and rejoices as he realises Luke really just wants to die. He is happy to oblige him after he has killed all the “rebels” (make up your mind, damn it! Holdo also says “Godspeed rebels” again).
Rey tries to get her lightsaber back and Snoke hits her on the back of her head with it, before returning it to his side. Then he levitates her before a magnifying glass (oh my God… really?), which allows her to see her friend’s ships, as they are being blown up by the First Order. How does he even know this is happening? They didn’t have time to inform him! Or does he have a secret ear piece in? It’s just in there to mirror Return of the Jedi again, but it makes absolutely no sense…
Rey mucks about, trying to strike down Snoke in anger and failing miserably at it. Snoke laughs and sends her flying back to Kylo, but telling her she has the spirit of a “true Jedi” (she seems to be going to the Dark side though… How is that a true Jedi trait?). Snoke praises Kylo, while also reminding him of his weakness and tells him he now senses his newfound resolve. Now in a twist, he asks Kylo to kill Rey and complete his training (rather than Luke killing Vader). Kylo looks at Rey and tells her he knows what he has to do now. She calls him Ben and Snoke laughs and mocks her belief in his redemption. “I cannot be betrayed, I cannot be beaten. I see his mind, I see his every intent.” Snoke closes his eyes to look into Kylo’s mind (really?). “I see him turning the lightsaber to strike true and now, foolish child, he ignites it and strikes his true enemy.” Kylo does turn his own lightsaber in his hand, but also simultaneously turns Rey’s on Snoke’s side and kills him with the flick of his fingers. So much for the new big bad guy… Killed by the most pathetic Force user out there, with barely any effort. Kylo calls the lightsaber back to him, cutting Snoke in half and Rey catches it, as the Pretorain guards iginte their weapons without any shock and casually approach the two to fight them.
Rey and Kylo look into each other’s eyes, then turn their backs on each other to face the guards in one of the weirdest coreographies I have seen in recent years. If you slow down the scene and watch it a few times, you will start noticing things that are not right. For example, some guards stand in the background and just swing their weapons for no reason, while the others attack the two. In one case, one of the guards just swings away from the fight. At another time, a guard clearly has the advantage but doesn’t use it, for the sake of the coreography. You can clearly tell during the group shots, that it is a fake fight and the guards are not trying to harm Kylo or Rey. The only supposed danger can be perceived during the close-ups, but even then one would assume one or both of them would just use the Force on the guards at some point. One of the guards was also just sitting there, while Rey was being overwhelmed by another. Only once she dispatched the first, did he get up to face her. In Kylo’s close-up, one of the guards approaches him and then drops his weapon to raise his hands against the approaching lightsaber and get killed instantly. What a joke… One also wonders why the guards bother to fight the two most powerful Force users in the galaxy, when their master is already dead. Why not retreat? Or swear allegiance to Kylo?
The fight is done and Rey asks Kylo to stop the attack on the Resistance fleet. Kylo takes a moment to look at Snoke’s corpse. Then he declares it is time to let old things die. Let Snoke, Skywalker, the Sith and Jedi (so Snoke was a Sith?) and the Rebels die. He asks her to join her and rule together side-by-side to create a new order for the galaxy. This is exactly what Anakin asked of Padmé in Episode III, but in this case, it was actually an interesting proposition for me. We’ve had the same old recycled content in this trilogy so far, if we are going to lose all these characters anyway, why not break out of these old boxes and start fresh with an interesting new take on the franchise? Light and Dark united, creating a new and lasting peace for the galaxy? You can still bring back Palpatine or whoever in the last installment and have them face off against him to complete the saga and establish this new order.
Kylo gets mad. “You are still holding on. Let go!” Listen to Elsa, Rey. It’s time to let the past die. Start fresh, give us some interesting content, for heaven’s sake.
Kylo asks her about her parents. She finally admits she knows the truth. “They were nobody.” “They were filthy junk traders,” he continues, “who sold you off for drinking money […] You have no place in this story. You come from nothing, but not to me.” Now here is the problem with this. The whole idea of heritage being so important, is not true in Star Wars. Luke was a nobody and only later found out that he was related to Vader. But the story of the Original Trilogy was about nobodys being able to save the galaxy. Only with the prequels, did Anakin suddenly become a Jesus-like Mary Sue character and now the sequels are trying to make Luke out to be the same, because he is Anakin’s son, but his heritage was hidden and did not play into his life at all, apart for his confrontation with Vader, of course. But Luke did not grow up with privilege, unlike Leia. Making this whole thing about how heritage gives you privilege, but really, a nobody should be able to be just as great, feels incredibly tacked on and forced. It reveals that people at Lucasfilm really dislike the Skywalkers and Luke in particular and that Kylo is essentially an entitled brat, because he knows he is descended from Anakin and that gives him delusions of grandeur that he actually cannot hope to fulfill.
Kylo begs Rey to join him, but Holdo has other plans. She prepares the jump to lightspeed with the cruiser. Hux ignores it, because he knows the Resistance is actually on the transport ships. Rey stretches out her hand, feigning that she will take Kylo’s hand, then calls her lightsaber back to her, but he also stretches out his hand and the lightsaber hovers between them. But the pointy end is looking towards Kylo. Why doesn’t she just activate it and cut off his arm? We’re back with Phasma, who is executing Rose and Finn all of a sudden. The scenes keep cutting uncontrollably, to try and build up tension. Kylo and Rey exert themselves and finally break apart the lightsaber in a flash of light, somehow knocking out both of them. Poe realises what Holdo is doing and so is the First Order, but too late. She launches into hyperspace and blows up their entire fleet in a hauntingly beautiful scene that is completely illogical and shakes Star Wars physics to the core.
Here’s the problem with the Holdo maneouvre. If flying through hyperspace means you can still crash into real world objects, then droid piloted ships would just crash into each other from hyperspace without end. Heck, you could blow up planets like that. No need for a Death Star. Han Solo said something like that in Episode IV. “Without precise calculations we could fly into a star or bounce too close to a supernova and that would end the trip real quick, now wouldn’t it?” What he meant was that you could crash into a planet or star, once you come out of hyperspace, but not that you would hit it on the way there. Hyperspace is a subspace that does not connect to real space, because it is a pocket dimension. Incidentally, Han used that same logic in The Force Awakens, where he bypassed Starkiller Base’s shields, by flying through them in hyperspace and coming back out in real space. So by the sequel trilogy’s own logic, the Holdo manouevre cannot possibly work. Even the out-of-movie material doesn’t have a decent answer for it. They claim the Raddus had “experimental shields”, which allowed the ship to withstand the damage that would otherwise pulverise it instantly on contact and instead allowed it to carve through the fleet, before breaking apart. What? How? How does that make any sense? The only way it could possibly work would be if Holdo’s ship did not actually enter hyperspace yet, but accelerated to lightspeed (the maximum velocity in real space) and hit the enemy command ship at that precise moment, before it vanished into hyperspace. But once more, this would make it a tactical manouevre that would have been done before and don’t give me that experimental shields nonsense. If it was such a novel thing, then why did everyone know what she was about to do and that it was such a clear and present threat for the First Order? Let’s face it, there is no explanation for it. This scene does exactly what the rest of the film has done, but on a much grander scale, dismantle all logic and nuance of the Star Wars franchise. It is irredeemable and for me this scene was the point in the film at which the entire sequel trilogy became undoubtedly nothing more than a very bad fan flick.[More scenes to be added later…]
Rian Johnson claims that his “creative decisions” and the great division between fans were both necessary for the franchise to evolve. My only and final question for him is this: How can a franchise evolve if the end of your film catapults the franchise back to the status quo we had in 1976? The film itself had no purpose. It was nihilistic in its nature. Everything that was done in this film and by extension, every previous Star Wars film, eventually failed or had no consequences, leading us back to the very beginning of a rebellion rising against an evil empire. “The war is only just beginning”, Luke Skywalker tells Kylo Ren. This war has been raging on for thirty years (not counting the prequels, which technically would make it sixty years). How long can that same stupid conflict go on, before people have enough? And by people, I mean both the inhabitants of a galaxy far far away and the audience. Perhaps more and more remakes and reboots will enamour new generations over time, but can you really hold on to a never ending cyclical story without meaning that just replaces old actors with younger versions of them? That is the fundamental flaw in this film, for me at least. It is not bold in its scope. Having the Jedi actually end, or being replaced by a new religion would have been bold and interesting. Seeing a new order ruled by Ren and Rey would have been interesting. Bloody non-Force sensitive machine-hating plant-loving invaders from another galaxy would have been interesting. The same old tired formula with a few rushed plot twists on familiar scenes that actually catapultes us back to the very beginning? Boring. The Last Jedi fails to deliver a fresh evolution to the established Star Wars mythos and only borrows old elements, which it turns on its head in an attempt to sell it as creativity and worst of all, leaves audience members wondering, why they should look forward to the next installment at all, as there seem to be no more questions left that need answering. What will happen next? Finn and Rose will get together, Poe and Rey will get together and while Poe blows up Starkiller Base II, Rey will defeat Kylo Ren, because she has already proven she can in the first film. The galaxy will finally be at peace (until the next trilogy that is) and Rey will train the next generation of Jedi, while Poe & Co. build yet another (fourth?) Galactic Republic. The End.