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The Last Jedi was just awful

Rey (played by Daisy Ridley) in a scene from Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Rey (played by Daisy Ridley) in a scene from Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

WARNING: Spoilers ahead

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Star Wars movies used to be good.

They featured interesting characters doing cool stuff - flying spaceships, shooting laser guns, rescuing princesses from evil space knights.

Today, under the rule of the Disney Social Justice Empire, Star Wars movies feature boring characters standing around giving cringe-worthy motivational speeches and crying.

Does anyone remember the scene in A New Hope where Luke Skywalker, sniffling as tears stream down his face, gives a two-minute monologue to Obi Wan Kenobi about his childhood and how the Evil Empire killed his uncle Owen and aunt Beru and how he hates, HATES them and they'll never get away with it and he's going to RESIST, as music swells and the camera cuts to Obi Wan's face beaming with pride?

No. Owen and Beru get killed, Luke arrives just in time to find their charred bodies, looks sad for a second and tells Obi Wan, "I want to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi like my father." Then he f***ing gets on with it and doesn't cry like a girl for two-and-a-half hours.

Or what about the iconic scene in the Mos Eisley Cantina where Han Solo meets Obi Wan for the first time. "I'm just a lowly smuggler," he giggles nervously. "I've never met a JEDI HERO before!" Oh wait, that didn't happen either. Han Solo didn't care about Obi Wan. He called him a crazy old man and laughed behind his back.

Rey, played by Daisy Ridley, in a scene from Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Rey, played by Daisy Ridley, in a scene from Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

People didn't really care about things that much in the original films. Or if they did, they didn't stand around talking about their feelings - they just did things, and we sometimes felt things as a result. In the new movies, everyone cares about everything, and they have to tell each other all the time, and as a result the audience feels nothing. The drama is forced, but worse, it's completely unearned.

For three movies now, following The Force Awakens and Rogue One, these characters feel like children dropped into a Disney Star Wars theme park. (Gee, why might that be?) Every two minutes they stop to remind each other they're in Star Wars. Remember Luke Skywalker? Remember Han Solo? Remember the Force? Any second you expect them to turn to the camera and go, "Can you guys believe this!?"

When they're not reminding each other of things that happened in previous movies or even previous scenes in the same movie, they're talking at great length about what they're going to do in the next scene - usually with tears in their eyes, inspirational music and the word HOPE mentioned at least twice.

There are so many things wrong with Rian Johnson's abomination it's honestly hard to know where to begin - the criminal waste of Luke's final film appearance, the nonsensical plot (since when has space fuel been an issue in these movies?), completely pointless casino mission, flying space Leia, Rose's entire character, the Phantom Menace-level awful "Resistance Kids".

Let’s fly back to the galaxy far, far away where Star Wars movies were good.
Let’s fly back to the galaxy far, far away where Star Wars movies were good.

To be fair, many of the problems were inherited from J.J. Abrams' slightly less awful predecessor - Rey the Mary Sue, emo Kylo Ren, the existence of the First Order completely invalidating the defeat of the Empire and the entire original trilogy - but Johnson somehow manages to make everything worse.

From unceremoniously killing off Snoke to dismissing the importance of Rey's parentage to turning the ending of The Force Awakens into a literal throwaway joke by having Luke chuck the lightsaber, The Last Jedi is almost painfully self-aware in rejecting the previous film.

But in doing so, it feels like Johnson is rebooting the new trilogy in the second film. Not exactly a good sign. As terrible as The Force Awakens was, it's made retroactively worse in the knowledge that none of the mysteries it introduces actually matter, and yet we're stuck with these godawful characters and status quo.

One of the most annoying things was the fact that the best scene - the hyperspace kamikaze - was wasted on the worst character to ever appear in a Star Wars movie, instead of being given to Admiral Ackbar, a fan favourite and established character, who was instead killed off-screen and referenced in one line of dialogue.

Having read the glowing critic reviews, it felt like they had seen a completely different film. But then, as Meryl Streep, sorry, Laura Dern, literally turned to the camera and delivered a purple-hair speech to the Oscars crowd, sorry, spaceship, about RESISTING, everything made sense.

As bad as the George Lucas prequels were, at least they felt like they took place in the Star Wars universe. These new movies feel like a parody of Star Wars - a combination of Nickelodeon special and bad Saturday Night Live sketch.

George, we forgive you. Is it too late to bring back Jar Jar? I want off this Disney ride.

frank.chung@news.com.au

Topics:  editors picks movie review opinion star wars star wars: the last jedi



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