The Last Jedi: A Deconstruction (Part Two)

There’s no point pretending I can cover the entirety of this movie, but hopefully, the first part puts perspective on how out of sync it is with the rest of the Star War series. Now I’m going to focus on the characters in the new trilogy, specifically Finn, Rey and Kylo Ren. The three of them are entirely one dimensional. Most two dimensional characters I’ve observed have more character than these three combined. Rey’s overpowered nature is exacerbated in the Last Jedi making it clear that she will never have to face a real threat. The only character that I had some hope for was Finn but sadly he was butchered unceremoniously in this mess of a movie. His character was dead as soon as Rian conveniently forget the man had been sliced in the back with a lightsaber in the last movie. Not only that, we must sit through an awfully done romance subplot that makes me rather endure Twilight’s equally cringe-worthy attempt at romance.

Now I’m not pretending to be the expert on the romance genre but even as I continually practise my own abilities as a writer, developing character relationships overtime is the hardest part of any story. If things go to too quick then it becomes unrealistic, but to slow and you risk affecting the overall pace of the story. The problem with romance in the Last Jedi is that it absolutely has no right to exist and I hate to say it but Rose Tico could quite easily be removed from this story and nothing would be lost. If anything it would give us room to rework the weakest part of the story that is everything related to Canto Bight. The problem is if you take out Canto Bight then the story just falls apart. It doesn’t help that suddenly fuel is a problem in a universe that has seldom seen such issues arise.

But Canto aside what purpose does Rose serve? She’s just as much if it not more a Mary Sue than Rey. She takes centre stage in a story that didn’t need her. Only existing because her nameless sister dies blowing up a dreadnought.  Rose also undermines the arc of Finn before butchering what could have been a redeeming send off for him. The master of subversion couldn’t have a plot point resolve in a satisfying way. No that’s too easy. Subversion is the future even if it makes a subplot resolve in a way that nearly wipes the rebellion out for good. Rose’s cringe-inducing line about saving what you love is delightfully ironic as the death star laser penetrates the only thing separating the First Order from their goal of wiping out the Rebellion or Resistance because even that’s not entirely consistent in this movie.

Rey’s training in this movie can be summed up as three days of swinging a light sword around and magically becoming good. At least in a show like One Punch Man, Saitama is aware of how overpowered he is and almost resents that fact. Yet Rey had no sense of agency. She goes where the plot demands and is the forced hero no one wants. In the Force Awakens, she magically became good using the force after what? Getting inside Kylo’s head. It’s even harder to stomach that she could go toe to toe with a man that had been tutored first by Luke Skywalker and second by Snoke. She had absolutely no right to win her first match or even come off as strong as she did. At times a lot of what happens in the Force Awakens makes me wonder was Finn meant to be the main character all along. Because we never really see what it is like for a conditioned stormtrooper to adapt to being free. In fact, Rian just disregards that too. Forget the Last Jedi just call this movie, the Last Retcon because it throws out so much characterisation in order to inflate Rian’s ego in order for him to tell the story he wants and not the one that would benefit the new trilogy.

The two main bad guys in this trilogy are Kylo ‘how the hell is he worthy of leading’ Ren and the ominous Snoke. I literally have nothing on Snoke. We all know how ‘subversive’ his death was. And since Rian didn’t give a damn. Neither will I. As for our little angsty wannabe Sith Lord. He makes me yearn for even Darth Maul. The Darth’s in the star war universe have nearly always had a presence to them, something that makes them imposing on others. Vader had presence and power, while Sidious could just sound intimidating and you would listen. Now Kylo isn’t a Darth, why? Because we can’t have any of that common sense in this movie. Now the Knights of Ren you say, who are they? Well rather like Accrington Stanley. No one has a damn clue because this is the Last Retcon, that means everything Abrams set up needs to be trashed for the good of Star Wars. Which finally leads me to finish on the most tragic deaths I’ve seen in any film. Not so much because it came at the hands of a certain character but because it came at the hand of the Director.

Even if you’ve only seen the original trilogy, it’s not hard to fathom that Luke’s character in the Last Jedi makes no sense. Now I have no issue with him pulling an Obi-Wan and biding his time. That’s fine, when Yoda and Obi-Wan went into exile they had little choice otherwise the Empire would put an end to them. They had to hide as for all they knew the Jedi were no more. But Luke’s reasoning for being on Ahch-To directly contradicts the Force Awakens. We can assume originally, he was seeking to understand why he failed to rebuild the Jedi and was wanting to also find a way to combat the dark shadow that was sweeping across the galaxy hence why he left a map in the first place. But what we get instead is a man disconnected from the force, whose actual reason for being in such remote place is to die. Not only does he not realise Han is dead, we get no chance to share this moment with him. Almost like Rian just doesn’t understand what an audience wants. And even when he eventually trains Rey if you could even call it that, it simply turns out that she’s already surpassed him. We also find out that Luke tried to kill Kylo when we already know that Luke went so far as hand himself over to Darth Vader in a futile effort to redeem his father. In reality surely, Luke would seek to reconcile Kylo’s temptation to fall into darkness. In my honest opinion, it should have been Kylo trying to kill Luke. Which forces Luke into hiding. But again that would have been ‘sensible’. And Rian obviously isn’t going for that nonsense.

I guess as closure I could talk about Leia surviving in space and the breach of continuity regarding space and the opening of any door that leads into a vacuum. But it’s pretty obvious at this point that there’s really nothing more to say. In my next part, I’ll touch a little on why the Canto Bight side of things just doesn’t work.

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