Tag Archives: Star Wars

Movie Review: The Last Jedi

I just got home from seeing an early screening of Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi, and if I could sum up my thoughts and feelings in a single word, it would have to be… unsatisfied.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable movie, with stunning visuals, good pace, spot-on comedy, and of course John Williams’ classic handiwork on the score, but while I enjoyed it during the act of viewing, when the end credits began to roll, I found myself staring at the screen and wondering what was missing.  There won’t be any spoilers in this review, so don’t worry on that front. I’ll be discussing this in a more abstract way, and arguing with people who have seen the movie about the fine details.

One of the biggest criticisms of The Force Awakens I heard from people is that Rey is a ‘Mary Sue’.  A character who can do no wrong and excels at everything she attempts. As one might have already gathered from the trailers, The Last Jedi disabuses us of this notion. She remains the same character, but circumstances change and she finds herself in scenarios that show us her flaws and weaknesses. This is a positive thing for her development arc, and yet I find myself more disappointed by the choices she makes now, as a more fully-fleshed character, than I did in The Force Awakens.

The other big attack on VII was that it was nothing more than a retread of IV: A New Hope. If you’re in that camp, I’m afraid you’re in for more of the same; The Last Jedi covered a lot of ground that had already been covered in both V: The Empire Strikes Back and VI: Return of the Jedi. I defended The Force Awakens because I felt that a little retreading and fanservice was useful, even needed, to reboot the Star Wars universe. I gave them the benefit of the doubt, and said I would render a more final judgement after Episode VIII. Well, VIII has come and gone, and I’m left feeling the fool. Again, there was a great deal to like about this movie, but the plot beats, and even some of the scenes and shot choices, were ripped directly from Episodes V and VI.

It wasn’t so far gone as to make me lose my hope for the series. After all, they’ve run out of old movies to copy, since they de-canonized the prequels, so anything they make now must be new material, new ground. This movie did, however, suffer from being the middle of a new trilogy. Unlike The Empire Strikes Back, held in many circles as the greatest of the original trilogy, The Last Jedi fails to offer us anything concrete to carry into the next movie. The plot twists and character arcs were either deliberately unresolved or simply not well fleshed-out, so the entire movie ends up building a sense of anticipation that never really pays off.

Despite all this, I would give The Last Jedi an 8/10. There were enough moments with emotional impact to keep me invested, and the humor knew exactly when and where it should be, and showed itself in those places and only those places. Once again, I find myself in the position of saying, “Well, we’ll see if it all pays off with the next movie,” and tenuously defending Disney’s choices while hoping they know where they’re headed; sadly, with Carrie Fisher’s passing, and the subsequent rewrite of Episode IX that that forced, I’m beginning to question whether they can pull it off. They cleaned up some of the questions surrounding the first movie, only to generate another batch, and personally disappointing me in a few specific ways.

See you in two years, when I decide whether or not Disney was able to pull together a trilogy that matched or even outshone the original.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Non-Writing Related, Reviews, Sci-Fi, Videos

A Real Post, with Story Bits and Ideas

Blah. I just need to get my creative juices flowing. Random idea I had for a villain, and an idea for a Star Wars fanfic.

 

 

The hero got back up, gripping his laser sword as he made another attempt at a charge. Once again the villain foiled him, sending one of his liquid-metal tentacles slamming into the hero, knocking him into a wall. The laser sword fizzled and went out as it clattered across the floor. Our hero fell to his hands and knees, panting.
“You’re a fool, boy. Did you really think your laser sword could match my liquid metal?” The villain strode towards the hero, his liquid-metal weaponry shifting and moving over his suit. As he held out a hand, it formed into a whip-like shape. “Nothing can stop me. Least of all a boy who think he can use his father’s sword.” He swung, and the liquid-metal lashed out, responding to his thoughts as much as his gesture.
It slammed into the boy, knocking him flat onto his back.  He lay there, groaning, certain that that last blow had cracked at least one rib. Vaguely, he heard a woman’s voice.
“Well done, my dear. But why not just make it sharp and kill him, get it over with?”
“I would, but fine edges are still difficult. As you can see,” he whipped at the hero with another tentacle.
The hero screamed, the dull-blade edge of the tentacle leaving a long, bloody, but non-lethal gash across his chest.
“…it tends to be rather messy. Not a very lethal use at all.”

 
“Your thoughts betray you. Your feelings for them are strong. Especially for… sister! So. You have a twin sister. Your feelings have now betrayed her too. Obi-Wan was wise to hide her from me. Now his failure is complete. If you will not turn to the dark side, then perhaps she will!”

It has been two years since the failed attack on the second Death Star, in orbit around the forest moon of Endor. The Rebellion has suffered a series of crushing defeats. Generals Solo and Calrissian were killed during the last major confrontation. Luke Skywalker now leads the ragtag band, still endeavouring to overthrow the Empire, though the recent kidnapping of his sister has left him rather less able to function.

Onboard the Death Star III
To say the guards on duty in Cell Block Omega were nervous would be an understatement. They guarded the Princess, Leia Organa, sister of Luke Skywalker, leader of the Rebellion. Though the Rebellion was no longer what it had been, Skywalker was still a name that struck fear in Imperial hearts. More terrifying, however, was Lord Vader’s specific instructions that nothing happen to the Princess. If she so much as stubbed her toe, they would be held personally responsible.
Upon hearing footsteps in the hallway, the guards snapped to perfect attention. They would have sworn under oath that when the door slid open to admit Darth Vader, the temperature in the room dropped ten degrees. He walked past them without so much as acknowledging their existence, opening the door to Leia’s cell and entering it. The door slid shut behind him.
When it opened again nearly an hour later, Leia followed the Dark Lord out of the cell, her eyes downcast and cheeks tearstained, though she was not crying now. Her face was empty. If pressed, the guards would say the closest thing to an expression on her face was anger. Not directed to Vader, though. Anger at someone not present.

When Darth Vader’s shuttle landed at the Sith Temple, formerly the Jedi Temple, speculation quietly ran wild over who the mysterious woman was that accompanied him. Her black cloak shrouded her features, and she never left Vader’s side.
Vader entered the Sith Temple, heading straight for his destination. He showed his follower the lightsaber materials. She pulled the crystal out of her pocket, which Vader had retrieved for her from the farthest reaches of the Empire, and began assembling her own lightsaber. It came naturally to her. She knew what she wanted. When she was finished, she held it admiringly, feeling the power contained within.
“What is your name, my young apprentice?”
The lightsaber hummed to life, the blood-red blade illuminating Leia’s face under the hood. “Darth Ophidia.”

1 Comment

Filed under Characters, Ideas, Sci-Fi, Writing