In Defense of The Last Jedi

I’ve read a lot of negative comments about The Last Jedi lately.  Apparently, some fans are so upset with the movie that they have started a petition on change.org, asking Disney to wipe the movie from cannon, push Episode XI back so that The Last Jedi can be remade.  (https://www.change.org/p/the-walt-disney-company-have-disney-strike-star-wars-episode-viii-from-the-official-canon)  I get the frustration, I really do but I don’t think such drastic measures need to be taken.

***WARNING MINOR SPOILERS BELOW***

The Last Jedi is a true sequel to The Force Awakens in every sense in the term, and was an extremely well done one at that.  The Last Jedi is without it’s problems and so I get the frustration that some are expressing.  I felt that Finn and Rose’s storyline of the casino on Canto Bight, while beautiful, was just plain stupid and brought the movie to a standstill.  I’m sure that Rian Johnson wanted to show what the rest of the galaxy looks like but it didn’t work for George Lucas’ opera scene in Revenge of the Sith and it doesn’t work here either.  Let’s be honest, we just don’t care beyond the adventure that our heroes are having.  My only other gripe with the movie are the stupid Porgs, clearly nothing more than a marketing ploy to move plush toys.  As a side note, where are the scene transitions?

While the scenes with Rey and Kylo Ren were the gift that kept giving throughout, I thought that Poe Dameron is the character who grows the most from the first battle until the end.  In particular in his interactions with Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo as he struggles to realize that he isn’t included in her plan.  Poe eventually comes to the understanding that you cannot always punch your way out of a situation and that sometimes you need to think two moves ahead of your enemies (let’s be honest, with General Hux and Kylo Ren as your adversaries it’s not that difficult).

I need to watch the movie several more times before deciding where it ranks in the franchise, The Last Jedi is a worthy entry into the Skywalker Star Wars saga and I look forward to 2019 when we get to see how J.J. Abrams brings an end to the Skywalker saga.  I give it four out of five cushions.

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