‘The Last Jedi’ rivals the prequels for worst Star Wars film


This file image released by Lucasfilm shows Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” After two consecutive record-breaking years at the domestic box office, 2017 was the year the momentum slowed, even with the late adrenaline boost of a new “Star Wars” film. (John Wilson/Lucasfilm via AP, File)

One of the most highly anticipated films of the year was Disney’s latest installment in the “Star Wars” franchise, “The Last Jedi.” As one of the many movie-lovers eagerly anticipating the Rian Johnson film, “The Last Jedi” was at the top of my winter watch-list. Despite this, it is safe to say that this movie was one of the biggest cinematic disappointments of 2017. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, this is your official spoiler alert.  

When the First Order finds a way to track the Resistance through hyperspace, our heroes are forced to try and stay just out of reach of the enemy weapons. Finn and Poe concoct a plan with Rose, a new character and member of the Resistance, to disable the tracking mechanism that allows the First Order to track them through hyperspace. Finn and Rose travel to a city called Canto Bight to find a code breaker in order to disable the tracker.

Meanwhile, Rey receives three whole lessons from Luke Skywalker himself, who is at first  reluctant to help. It is discovered in this film that Luke tried to assassinate Kylo Ren as a child, and he carried the guilt with him into exile. Rey still thinks there is good in Kylo Ren, and travels to his ship in order to convince him to turn to the light. Kylo Ren kills Snoke and asks Rey to join him on the dark side, but she refuses and returns to the Rebels who have taken refuge in an abandoned base. They managed to escape through a tunnel to freedom, the Resistance greatly depleted.

If the summary wasn’t enough to showcase the many problems with “The Last Jedi,” the plot was absolutely absurd. “The Last Jedi” is riddled with useless and confusing side plots. Finn and Rose’s adventure on Canto Bight was completely unnecessary. It felt shoe-horned in and irrelevant. Finn and Rose ended up causing more problems- problems which never reached any sort of resolution.

One of the most frustrating things about this film was that many of the problems could have been solved if any of the characters had decided to actually talk with one another. If Resistance leader Vice Admiral Holdo had told Poe about her plan to sneak the Resistance out on escape ships, the whole Canto Bight side-plot would not have needed to happen and no one would have died.

Another significant issue with “The Last Jedi” is how the film handles its characters. The writers betray Luke’s fundamental character traits by having him try to assassinate Kylo Ren as a child. As the only character that held out faith for Vader in the original series, it goes against everything we know about Luke to have him try and kill his nephew based solely on the fact that he saw some darkness in him. Even Mark Hamill, the actor who plays Luke, has expressed displeasure with Johnson’s direction for the character in “The Last Jedi.”

Finally, the film could not decide if it wanted to anger or please their most devoted fans. The film was filled with fan-service cameos, but fans of the franchise can’t help but be angry with how the film squashed some of the best plotlines started in “The Force Awakens.” The intrigue surrounding Rey’s parents was destroyed when audiences learned that her parents were just regular people. Snoke was killed by Kylo Ren without ever discussing his back-story or how he came to power. Captain Phasma, who is played by Gwendoline Christie (“Game of Thrones”), had around five minutes of screen time before being killed off. While there are still more films planned out for the franchise to rectify this, it would be difficult for future directors to amend the many issues with this film.

The film had some redeeming moments. Kylo Ren and Rey’s ability to force-communicate was by far the best detail of the film and the Yoda puppet cameo was a nice touch. I think it speaks to the quality of the film, however, when the best part of the film were minute details. I’m still a fan of the franchise, but they are going to have to try hard to redeem themselves in the next installment.

Rating: 1 out of 5

Lauren Brown is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at lauren.brown@uconn.edu.

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