So, for some reason, spending the last 14 years singing Star Wars tributes on the radio makes me some sort of expert. It really doesn't. I'm just a fan. Ever since my parents took me to see Star Wars in 1977, I have loved most things Star Wars (except episodes I, II, and most of III).
I really enjoyed Episode VII (The Force Awakens) when it came out. Sure, the biggest thing people complained about was that it was too close to the original trilogy. To me, that was the point. We got to see characters we had missed, and met new interesting characters like Rey, Finn, Kylo Ren and Supreme Leader Snoke. The formula for the original trilogy was simple....and so was The Force Awakens. And it setup The Last Jedi perfectly with questions.....
Who in the heck is Snoke? How did this guy become the all powerful Supreme Leader?
Who is Rey? And more importantly, who are her parents????
The Force Awakens took me back to a place I honestly hadn't been since 1983 (Return Of The Jedi), and at the end of it all it left me wanting to see the next movie. Which brings me to Episode VIII (The Last Jedi)
I have seen it twice. Thursday night in 2D, and Saturday in IMAX 3D
I liked The Last Jedi. I didn't love The Last Jedi. I was disappointed in several things in TLJ. So let's start with the things I feel like I have to get off of my chest:
SNOKE: What in the actual F???? So you introduced a new bad guy, with mystery and intrigue, AND THEN KILLED HIM???? Without actually telling us who this guy was, or how he came to power?? I know they want to make Kylo the supreme bad guy in Episode 9, but Snoke was all of the things the Emperor was in the original trilogy. Why? Unless he is Darth Plagueis.....and isn't really dead?
REY: I love Rey. I think she is a great character, and the mystery of who she is has left fans wondering for two years. However I swear she had better not just be a "nobody, whose parents were nobodies" as she was told by Kylo Ren. Sure, Luke was just a farmboy from Tatooine.....but his dad was Darth Vader. I'm hoping that Rey was just messing with her head to get him to join her.
LEIA: I love Leia Organa Skywalker. Always have. And as she showed in The Empire Strikes Back, she has always been "force sensitive".....but NOW SHE CAN SURVIVE IN SPACE AND FLOAT LIKE MARY F'ING POPPINS??????????? When? How? Who taught her? That wasn't just moving a pebble.....she survived being sucked out into space!!! I loved how they made her a general and a leader in The Force Awakens, but now you have to explain how she honed her skills to become powerful with The Force. And that's going to be a little hard to do, now that Carrie Fisher has passed away
CANTO BIGHT: What a waste of time. Unnecessary simply to introduce the kids that work the stable. One of them has powers? Ok.....but I just didn't care for it. You could have introduced Benicio Del Toro as a member of the resistance and gone from there.
PHASMA: See above for Snoke. You marketed the crap out of her and gave her a total of 15 minutes across two movies???
Now...what I actually liked:
LUKE: He's defeated, and broken. His protege (Ben Solo) turned on him and went to the Dark Side. His interaction with Rey was perfect. It was nice to see him with R2 and Chewie again too.
REYLO: I actually love where they are taking this with Rey and Kylo. Of course Episode 9 comes down to the two of them. The fight between them and the Praetorian Guards (after Snoke was killed) was one of the best I have seen in any of the Star Wars movies. And the two of them being able to talk to one another, even though Snoke says he was the one to do it, was a very cool twist.
YODA: And thank goodness it wasn't CGI Yoda. Much of what Yoda said is what prompted Luke to help at the end. And by the way, did you notice that Yoda knew that Rey had taken the Journals? (They showed you she had them on the Falcon at the end when Finn went to get a blanket for Rose)
CRAIT: The visuals in the final third of the movie were incredible.
PORGS: Yeah....there I said it. I actually thought they were kept to a minimum, and the scene with Chewie and the fire was funny.
POE: I'm starting to actually like Poe
LUKE & LEIA: Just seeing them on screen together for a few seconds was more than enough for me. Wish it could have been more....but it was nice to finally see.
Also, make sure you stay for the credits, or you'll miss the tribute to Carrie Fisher.
All of that said, I liked The Last Jedi. It's packed with action, and doesn't feel like a two and a half hour movie. I was disappointed with a couple of things.....but overall I would rank it here (best to worst):
The Empire Strikes Back (V)
A New Hope (IV)
The Force Awakens (VII)
Return Of The Jedi (VI)
The Last Jedi (VIII)
Revenge Of The Sith (III)
Phantom Menace (I)
Attack Of The Clones (II)
I don't list Rogue One because it isn't part of the Skywalker storyline....just in case you're wondering. So yeah, I put The Last Jedi ahead of Episodes 1-3, but the gap between them is huge. The second trilogy truly sucked....and The Last Jedi doesn't suck.....I liked what Rian Johnson tried to do. I just didn't like everything he tried to do. And some of it left me scratching my head.
Let me know what you thought. Email me at email@example.com . I'm on vacation, so I'll have plenty of time to reply.