Star Wars: The Last Jedi hit theatres this past weekend, and by all accounts, it did well for its opening weekend. Worldwide, sales for the movie reached $450 million! What’s interesting about this is that it didn’t do as well as The Force Awakens. Could it be that we’ve had too many Star Wars movies too close together? These figures are just for the opening weekend and could certainly turn around over the Christmas break. But this puts The Last Jedi in the number five spot. After seeing the film, we have a lot of questions. Of which, I will explore throughout this post. Note – there may be spoilers, so please don’t continue reading if you haven’t seen the film yourself.
- Is Rey really a Jedi now? And will she teach others to be a Jedi? With Luke Skywalker now gone, Rey is left as one of the most powerful and experienced. In fact, she is likely the most powerful and experienced user of the light side of the Force. Luke, based on the title is the last Jedi of this film, which means that Rey isn’t yet a Jedi herself. But it’s clear that Luke thinks that she will be in the future.
- How will Leia’s role be handled moving forward? It’s hard to say, but one theory is that Episode IX could jump forward several years into the future. Which would give Rey time to continue learning how to be a Jedi, and for the Resistance to rebuild itself a bit. Which means, the third film in this trilogy could start with characters at Leia’s funeral. I mean, it’s not ideal, but we have to see the conclusion of the character.
- Why couldn’t the First Order ships just catch up to the Resistance ships? Half of the movie rests on the belief that the Resistance’s ships can stay continually out of range of the First Order. But why can’t the First Order just speed up? We’re told that the Resistance ships are lighter and faster than the First Order’s and that they’re going at their top speed. The First Order ships can’t jump to lightspeed because they’d wildly overshoot the Resistance ship. All they can do is continue to pursue them until they run out of fuel. This is suspicious, but I guess it works with the storyline.
- Are we getting a Rey/Finn/Rose love triangle? By the end of the movie, at least two things seem obvious. The first is that Finn has strong feelings for Rey and the second is that Rose has equally strong feelings for Finn. Depending on when the story picks up in Episode IX, this could easily be ignored, but it seems more likely those characters will have to deal with those feelings at some point.
The Last Jedi not only left us asking questions but it also metaphorically gave the finger to previous movies. Which is weird, right? I mean, it’s all one story essentially. What are we talking about exactly? For example, when Supreme Leader Snoke basically said that Kylo Ren was a lame Darth Vader cosplay, and then called his helmet ridiculous. I guess I just don’t understand why these instances were so strong throughout the movie? But that’s not the only time:
- Kylo Ren, fed up with the burden of giving the new series a Darth Vader of its very own, smashed his helmet to hell and left its shattered remains on the floor.
- When Rey resolved the cliffhanger ending of The Force Awakens by handing Luke Skywalker his father’s long-lost blue lightsaber, and he responded by chucking it over his shoulder like a crumpled-up cheeseburger wrapper and walking away.
- The big reveal explaining Kylo Ren’s turn toward the Dark Side turned out to be that he woke up in the middle of the night to the sight of a crazy-eyed Luke Skywalker about to murder him in his sleep.
- Luke refers to the lightsaber as a “laser sword.”
- When they restored the “stun” function to the blasters that everyone had forgotten about since stormtroopers used it on Princess Leia in the opening minutes of the first movie, even though it would have made everyone’s lives much easier throughout all the other movies.
- Ghost Yoda tells Luke that his Jedi knowledge of the Force was not useful to Rey. Basically saying that Luke screwed up too much, but this shrugs off the original trilogy’s focus on the importance of receiving proper Jedi training.
I am not saying that the movie wasn’t good. The visuals were very impressive. The film’s most obvious visual punch came during Rey and Kylo’s battle. Unfortunately, though some of the characters don’t really enhance the storyline. What do I mean? Poe and Finn enjoy their share of memorable scenes, but their character development feels much more predictable. Not only that, but these characters are battling for time, attention and context within the rest of the movie. Which makes it feel a bit crowded. Could these two characters have been put into one character?
There is still time to go and see the movie, though. The movie itself is ushering out the old and bringing in the new. Which means, Episode IX will really have to take a look at how they can move the series forward. Will we get a Rey origin story? For fans, the emergence of these new characters is kind of bittersweet. But the argument of which trilogy series is the best will be debated until the end of time.