6 Reasons 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' is Not the Sequel We're Looking For

Ensign Lestat's Film Log, 28/12/2017

I know, yet another disgruntled fan of the original Star Wars trilogy complaining about Star Wars: The Last Jedi - when will us fanatics get it? Rian Johnson did not make this movie with your stupid fan theories in mind, so boo to you. The world of elite film critics has decided that the paying public are nothing but overgrown cry-babies, but half the viewers have valid criticisms of this film that go well past the existence of the porgs.

These little guys wouldn't want us to fight

The Last Jedi has divided fans like no Star Wars film before it. Haters will always hate the prequels, but those of us who love them do so with equal measures of guilt, enjoyment and a heady sense of childhood nostalgia. Film critiquing and analysis wasn't a real passion to most of us kids and teenagers when the prequels came out. But today, we're older and we have to ask Hollywood and Disney, 'Dude, what exactly were you going for with this film?'.

After my initial viewing of The Last Jedi, I was livid; after my second viewing, my feelings were tempered by a few knowledgeable articles and the comfort of knowing what to expect. I could enjoy my second viewing more, but the problems of the film were compounded by catching more plot-holes and issues.

Crait - the best thing to appear in a Star Wars film to date
I am envious of those who love the film, and wish I could see the positives that they do. Admittedly, most of the locations are spectacular, and everything about Crait is mind-boggling. The location scout deserves an Oscar for finding this surreal piece of land in Bolivia. All of us film fans have, at some point or other, been on the wrong side of the majority's perspective. But, Star Wars fans (for the most part) aren't fanatics who believe it's their way or the high way - we aren't like DCEU fans, incorrectly believing themselves backed into a corner by Marvel's success and therefore hailing every piece of crap that Warner Brothers creates as the second coming. Star Wars followers are eager to be surprised, to be awed and most importantly, we expect the creators of this epic franchise to subvert our expectations. For some, The Last Jedi ticked all those boxes; for the rest of us it didn't come close.

There are positives to this film, but the overall execution is lacking, which is why many disapprove of the film. There have been sweeping assumptions about what has riled fans about the film. While not everything they've said is wrong, most have missed the mark by a fair margin, because the critics are too busy infantilising the criticisms fans are levying against the film to pay attention to the film's flaws. It amazes me that so many obvious problems with the writing and direction have been swept under the carpet for this film; the film is being praised despite flaws that would have levelled other films - blockbuster or otherwise. The above Vox article seems to imply that Johnson's social media presence has ingratiated him to the critics and hence there appears to be an outpouring of support for the film. I know nothing about this business, but if that is the case, then I am truly concerned about the kind of cinematic product that will be thrust upon us in the near future.

Director Rian Johnson and Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker)

Hollywood is already riddled with mediocre films, be it indies or major studio productions. Everything is formulaic and 'safe', erring towards global satisfaction rather than being outstanding, diverse or realistic. Most of the societies represented in cinema do not resemble our own, and the stories only occasionally resonate. Which is perhaps why, after the nostalgia-heavy, but relatively brave Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the spectacularly diverse, innovative and realistic Rogue One, fans were faced with crushing disappointment while watching The Last Jedi. What went wrong? There is plenty to discuss. I'm going to point out where the film failed itself and the franchise. This will not be a definitive list, nor will everyone agree, but at least this will attempt to understand fans' grievances, rather than belittle them.

  1. Derivative to the Core
  2. Big Ideas Do Not Trump Good Execution
  3. No Follow Through from The Force Awakens
  4. Dear Disney, I Think Your Homophobia is Showing!
  5. ReyLo is Not a Good Look
  6. The Last Jedi Often Doesn't Make Sense

I don’t know why poor and lazy writing on Johnson’s part is not being called out in this film. It surprises me actually. Better films than this one have been massacred by critics, yet this one gets lauded on all accounts. What are the detractors not seeing?

Never thought I'd say this, but 'Come Back!'

Nothing people say is going to change the film - it is raking in millions and is already a huge box office success for Disney. The actions and personalities of the characters will remain canon and Johnson will continue to ride this tide and ruin more Star Wars dreams with the trilogy he has somehow bagged. But, if anything, the fans have some valid points that Disney (and Johnson) should seriously consider these for future Star Wars instalments.

No film or product is perfect, but the voices of those who have paid and consumed the products for anywhere between 20-odd to 40+ years should at least be taken into consideration. Would a car manufacturer ignore a massive customer base's complaints about a faulty part in a particular model? Why does Disney get a pass?

Let's end with some happy beeps

What do you think of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi? Has the fandom gone mad, or do you feel that the Force was not strong with the film's ambition and execution? Let us know in the comments below.

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