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Star Wars: Refuting The Last Jedi Hate

 

Fear of difference leads to anger, anger leads to hate from the fans, hate leads to analytic rebuttal.

A new year, new movies, and still half of the Star Wars fandom can’t seem to get over their hate of the Last Jedi. By the response on the internet, one would think that the prequels had been reborn in all their infamy. Assuming you are a regular on our website, you know that all of us here enjoyed the film. You can find our review here and our podcast here. We are all baffled at the hate it’s getting from fans. I have decided to dig through the complaints lobbed against the film and see if they hold any merit or if some fans have blinded themselves with the Dark Side.

 

Spoilers Ahead!

Do Not Read If You Have Not Seen The Last Jedi

You Have Been Warned

 

Complaint: Leia uses the force

And we’re off to a great start. A significant number of fans have voiced their displeasure at her highness, Carrie Fisher, defying her own death in the film by using the Force to grab hold of the command ship and pull herself to safety. While some people seem to mainly dislike how the CGI looked, others seem to hate Leia using the Force period. To the first group, I say appreciate the awesome moment rather than harp on the technology. To the second group, have you forgotten the fact that this is the woman who is not only the twin sister of Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, but also birthed the current villain of the new trilogy and Force powerhouse Kylo Ren?

It’s been 30 years in canon between the end of Episode VI and the beginning of Episode VII. You think in all that time this powerful, resourceful woman never took a moment to learn a few things from her brother and son? We have seen her use the Force in much subtler ways. Remember Han Solo’s death? It is honestly my own personal theory that General Leia has been secretly using a Force power from the Legends expanded universe called Battle Meditation to boost her armies’ moral. For me, this scene essentially confirms my theory.

 

Complaint: Admiral Holdo was dumb

This one I can mostly understand. If Admiral Holdo had told the Resistance forces her plan, then Poe would not have organized a mutiny against her. However, in her defense, when the First Order managed to track the Resistance through hyperspace, my first thought was “There’s a traitor in the Resistance!” Seeing how the Admiral was portrayed, I at first assumed she was going to be the traitor. But when Rose and Finn figure out how they were tracked, I came to a different conclusion. Poe, as great as he is, can be a bit too trusting. If Holdo was working off the assumption that a traitor was leaking their locations, she wouldn’t tell anyone her plans, much less Poe. A stretch? Perhaps. But I feel it explains a lot of the Admiral’s actions.

Besides, she turned herself into a lightspeed missile! That’s worth some respect in my book.

 

Complaint: Luke Skywalker was out of character

This complaint is part of a silly trend I’ve noticed in a lot of fandoms. For some reason, people think that after a time-skip, the characters should be exactly the same as they were before. But that makes no sense.

Again, 30 years passed between the Original Trilogy and this one. It makes total sense to me that Luke might get an inflated ego in that time. For so long he was the only Jedi in the galaxy. He blew up the first Death Star and caused the death of both Darths in charge of the Empire. People would worship him as a demi-god.

So when he got a vision of his nephew falling to the Dark Side, he would of course try to save the galaxy again. When he screwed up, he lost a dozen students and his nephew. And he had no one to blame but himself. Anyone with that much guilt would run away to avoid messing things up further.

And for those of you who say his death was lame, I present to you this:

Remind you of anything?

That is some beautiful narrative mirroring.

I want this shot set next to the mirror one in The Last Jedi and framed on my wall!

 

Complaint: the plot with Rose and Finn was pointless

This complaint has a few elements to it.

Some felt that the casino wasn’t creative enough or weird enough. So what? You’re going to hate a movie because one setting wasn’t quite as fantastical as all the others? The place gets trashed anyway, so that solves your problem. I think the salt flats of Crait more than make up for this one mediocre place.

Others felt that their quest took screentime away from more interesting plots and had no point. While I can understand this, if the worst thing you can say about a movie is that you wish there was more, then that’s good. It means it did it’s job. As for feeling pointless, you wouldn’t think so if their plan had worked. If the exhaust port bombing run in A New Hope hadn’t worked, you’d feel the same way. But that’s what this plot is supposed to do. When they fail, you feel just as cheated as them, which serves to make eventual victory all the more bittersweet.

And lastly, I liked how this plot expanded the galaxy. It really shows what some of the people not involved in the star wars are doing. It gives us a new perspective on all the conflict. And I for one, liked these shades of gray between the light and dark.

While I agree the romance felt rushed, Star Wars has rarely handled couples well. Prequels and original trilogy incest anyone?

 

Complaint: Snoke’s death

Supreme Commander Snoke. Built up as the equivalent to this trilogy’s emperor. Has super deep lore. Taken out in the second movie.

It’s understandable that fans would be upset after so much build up. But this movie is all about tearing down our expectations and giving us something new. For years, we’ve called for new stories from the Star Wars universe. But how new would it really be if we just had a copy/paste of the original triliogy. Remember how mad people were at Force Awaken’s similarities to New Hope? You called for something different and you got it.

I honestly like how this movie played with our expectations and subverted them. It makes me excited to see where they’ll go from here.

 

Complaint: Rey’s parents are nobodies

Let’s just point out the obvious. Rey was told this by Kylo Ren. The same Kylo Ren who is trying to pull her into the Dark Side. The same Kylo Ren who is obviously trying to manipulate her throughout the film.

So, my first question to fans. Do you really trust this man?

And my second question. Would it really be so bad if he were right?

Honestly, I’m tired of the Skywalker lineage controlling the fate of the entire galaxy. Let someone new, someone without a legacy, take things from here. Characters reiterate time and again in this film how things need to end and be remade. Maybe it’s time the Skywalkers end too.

 

Complaint: Rey can fight

This is a carryover complaint from Force Awakens and I have the exact same answer in both cases. Pay attention to the movie!

Rey was a scavenger from the time she was a child. Jakku is an awful, desert planet full of scoundrels. We literally watch her fight and beat two rival scavengers at the same time when Finn first sees her. Both of those opponents were bigger and stronger than her. Kylo had been shot with a bowcaster before he fought her.

And that’s just Force Awakens!

Snoke explains right to the audience about how Kylo was unbalanced in his fight against Rey. We watch her train on Ach-To for just as long as we saw Luke train on Dagobah. And yet no one complained when he survived a fight with Vader.

So please, for the love of the Force, stop whining about this!

And that’s my two cents on the major complaints fans have launched against The Last Jedi. I hope that I have managed to bring a new perspective on the film to you.

Happy watching!

May the Force be with you.

Brian Lazarow

I like big books and I cannot lie. I've been a fan of all things geek for as long as I can remember and I have a long list of things I need to check out that just gets longer as I get busier. Secretly a dragon.