By: Henry Hanks, Contributor @hankstv / firstname.lastname@example.org
*** Massive Spoilers & Discussion Below, proceed with caution!
I actually am in camp 1 (see below), the camp that loved the most recent Star Wars installment, I didn't think it was the best ever, but I enjoyed it. But I'll admit that it was a blind love, a love that was willing to overlook the valid concerns that Henry lists below, so please don't take this as a takedown piece of what was a really cool movie, it's more of a ... "I've got some questions" kind of thing... enjoy!
It seems like these past few weeks, you’re in one of two camps on the internet: either you think “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is the best film (or at least top two) of the entire saga, or you think it’s the worst abomination ever put on film.
That doesn’t leave much room for those of us in the middle, who think it’s better than the prequels (due to some key scenes, such as the appearance of Yoda and the battle in the red room), but still has a lot of problems.
You’ve got people online attacking those who love it as “not true fans,” while you’ve got others theorizing that those who hated the movie are stuck in the past, disappointed their theories didn’t pan out. Surprisingly, I don’t think these attacks between the two camps actually get to the heart of what’s right or wrong with the movie.
The movie left yours truly with a lot of questions…
1. There’s been no indication that Leia had any formal Jedi training, yet how did she pull off the most powerful Jedi move we’ve seen thus far in the “Star Wars” saga, cheating death and moving a ship towards her in space? Well, at least it’s now firmly established that there is no gravity in space.... which leads us to question # 2...
2. How were a payload of bombs dropped on the First Order (moments before Leia’s “resurrection”) when there is no gravity in space?
3. Finn is a favorite character and Rose is a promising new one so why did Rian Johnson saddle them with the task of going to a casino planet, on a mission that goes nowhere?
4. Finn and Rose are not trained rebel spies, but still, how were they so inept to get caught for a parking violation? Seriously? Kind of a weird way to go there.
5. Finn and Rose find the master codebreaker but escape with some random dude who rescues them anyway. I get the situation, but again, seriously? What are the odds?
6. Just as it appears DJ will serve some purpose, he betrays Finn and Rose, meaning a large portion of this movie was a wild goose chase, so what was the point?
7. If the only purpose for that entire affair was to establish that there are corrupt people making money off the First Order/Empire, then why did Rian Johnson assume we haven’t seen “Empire Strikes Back,” where that is established by Lando?
8. OH Yea....WHERE IS LANDO?
9. In one of the best scenes of the film, Yoda assists Luke in symbolically destroying the Jedi order, agreeing with Luke that the Jedi must die. So why in his final scene does Luke say the Jedi will live on?
10. Finn attempts to sacrifice himself which would really give his arc some meaning, so why does Rose stop him at the last minute? For love? None of this has been even hinted at until now.
11. What was the point of bringing in Holdo if Leia was just going to wake up towards the end? To sacrifice herself? Aren’t we told later that that’s a bad thing?
12. Why isn’t Poe told the plan? Is the lesson to blindly follow authority (because that’s what “Star Wars” has always been about)?
13. If Poe is being punished for mutiny and must learn a lesson from all this, why is he almost immediately made the leader of the Resistance?
14. BB-8 takes command of an AT-ST. Seriously?
15. Why doesn’t this movie ever end? Why does it keep reaching great cliffhanger points, only to keep going on and then only ends when there’s barely any story left to tell, and there’s a whole other movie coming?
16. After so many JJ Abrams plot points were thrown out, what’s to stop Abrams from undoing everything in this movie?
17. What's up with Luke stealing green milk from some weird star wars sea creature... we're all just going to pretend that wasn't weird... and maybe kind of hilarious.
18. SNOKE? What happened there?
19. We're supposed to believe Rey's parents are no-bodies... despite the fact that...
20. Rey and Kylo are "Force Skype-ing" all movie... again, kind of odd on both points.
21. What's the point of Chewbacca now that Han is gone... give him something to do please. He's such a huge historical character, and it was like he was Rey's Uber driver that she just asked to "hang out here for a minute while I go do something real quick".
Again, there were many great moments in the film and it was very well-directed by Johnson. The scenes with Rey and Luke (and Rey and Kylo) were the strongest by far. But another rewrite or two might have fixed a lot of the issues or at least brought some more clarity instead of confusion.