lunes, 18 de diciembre de 2017

The Definitive Review of The Last Jedi - Or how Disney wants you to forget about George Lucas and swallow their crap

By Victor Hernandez

Star Wars Episode VII: The Last jedi sucks.

A lot.

Even worse, Disney wants us to forget about the origiinal George Lucas Star Wars movies and swallow their crap.

Just like The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi has no coherent plot, the directing and pacing are terrible, and it insists time and again that the George Lucas movies were terrible and their movies are great.

But let's start with the basics: Just like The Force Awakens is a poorly rehashed copy of A New Hope, The Last Jedi is a a poorly rehashed copy of The Empire Strikes Back, except Disney moved the Hoth AT-AT scene to the end of the movie instead of having it at the beginning.

The movie starts with Leia's "resistance" evacuating their base (the one in The Force Awakens) because of an impending First Order attack. Poe Dameron tries to take on a the bad guys all by himself in his X-Wing but he ends up getting most of the resistance bombers and fighters destroyed in the process.

Leia demotes Dameron and tells him he's too trigger happy.

Here we have the first bit mistake in the movie: it pushes way too hard the idea that women are better leaders than testosterone-fueled men. I agree with the idea that women can be better leaders, but Star Wars is not Star Trek. It isn't about trying to address present-day American problems the way Star Trek does. Star Wars is about mythology and far larger issues.

The original Star Wars wasn't about spaceships, or even about The Force; it was about a central character finding himself in a situation in which he forces himself to make a decision to leave his comfort zone and start a journey into a larger world. That's what all of the George Lucas's movies are about. You will find the same theme in THX-1138 and in American Graffitti. Star Wars was merely a different setting for the same mythologycal themes from THX and Graffitti.

"What about the prequels?" some may ask. They are still about the same theme. They are about Anakin Skywalker's inability to let go of what he knows and losing everything as a result.

Anyway, Leia's ship gets attacked, she gets blown into space, and while she freezes nearly to death she uses the Force to get back to her ship in one of the most stupid sequences in the film. Right. So Leia never trained as a Jedi but now she uses the Force like an old pro. Ridiculous.

"Well, she's a Skywalker." Oh sure. But guess what? Even Anakin Skywalker was not able to use the Force without training. This is problem number 2 with the movie: it insists on pushing the idea that all of the sudden people can be fully trained Jedi just because. Jedi have to train. Otherwise they may have a whole bunch of midichlorians but no way to use them.

Anyway, Luke Skywalker refuses to train Rey because he wants the Jedi to end because he claims the Jedi were arrogant and let the worst evil possible to happen with Darth Sidious. And now the same thing is happenning with Kylo Ren, so he went to the island planet where the Jedi Order started in order to die.

Meanwhile, Rey has some sort of telepathic connection with Kylo Ren through the Force, something that even Yoda could not do. Sure, Yoda could sense Anakin Skywalker was in pain while being at the edge of the galaxy in Episode 2, but nothing as ridiculous as having actual conversations with people through the force. Much less with somebody who had not been trained in the ways of the Force.

This is problem number 3 with the movie: It made The Force look stupid. The Force was "relgion's greatest hits" in the original trilogy but it had its limitations. Darth Vader could not find the Death Star plans through The Force. He could not find Luke through The Force. And while in a deleted scene from Return of The Jedu Luke could hear Darth Vader calling him through The Force while in Tatooine, there was always a limitation. Not here. Now The Force can make you more powerful than being a Force ghost. Which is preposterous. George Lucas said it: Superman without kryptonite doesn't work.

Moving on: since Leia is unconscious, another female leader played by Laura Dern is put in place. Poe Dameron doesn't like it and bands together with Finn and a girl named Rose to find a way to get the First Order out of their back. Because... (take a deep breath to read the following batch of nonsense in the movie:

1. The First Order can detect space ships in hyperspace, something that was supposed to be impossible.

2. So it doesn't matter if the Resistance jumps to light speed, as they will only waste fuel.

3. Thus, they have to disable the First order's tracking device.

4. Thus, Poe sends Finn and Rose to a Montecarlo-like planet to get a guy who can crack the codes for the First Order, infiltrate the ship and disable the tracking device so they can jump to light speed undetected.

Here we have problem number 4 with the movie: the whole Montecarlo planet thing was irrelevant. It happened like this:

1. Finn and Rose go to the Montercalo planet.
2. They don't get the docoder guy. Instead, they get arrested.
3. In prison, they meet Benicio del Toro, who plays a Lando Calrissian type character.
4. Del Toro gets them out of the Montecarlo planet and offers to crack the code so they can break into the First Order ship with the tracker. For a price. They agree.

HOWEVER, just when they were about to disable the tracker Benicio del Toro betrays them and turns them in. Which means the whole thing was for nothing.

WHICH MEANS that you could simply cut the entire Montercarlo scene from the movie and it would make no difference. Why was that subplot in the movie then? So we could hear a preachy lecture on how rich arm dealers are horrible.

Yeah, we kinda knew that without having to get the preachy lecture.

"Well, that was a comment on income inequality!" some may say. Sorry but no. Leia was rich and that was never an issue in Star Wars. Remember this?
"She's rich. If we save her the reward could be..."
"More wealth than you can imagine."
"I don't know I can imagine quite a bit."
"You'll get it."
"I better!"
"You will!"

Now, in Episode 2 George Lucas cut an entire scene with expensive special effects in which Obi-Wan Kenobi had a saber dart analyzed by Jedi temple droids because the droids could not tell where the dart came from. As a result, Lucas said, Obi-Wan ended up where he started and therefore the plot didn't advance. Hence, the scene had to be removed. THAT is good filmmaking. This movie, which lasts 2 and a half hours, could've been far shorter without it.

But no. We had to see an Asian woman, a Black mand and a Hispanic man going around in circles for about 40 minutes in Montercarlo just for the sake of diversity.

Again: That is NOT what Star Wars is about. Star Wars is about larger issues dealing with human flaws and conflicts, like in Greek mythology. Star Wars is not about race.

Anyway, Rey finds out Luke tried to kill Ben Solo, gets pissed and tries to have a fight with Luke, who tells her that yes, he did consider killing him, but didn't, and then Ben Solo destroyed Luke's Jedi Order, so Luke went into hiding. Rey leaves Luke's island planet because now she thinks she can turn Kyle Ren to the light side of the force and hurries to do it because she thinks he will be the Resistance's last hope. This after Rey goes into her own "dark side tree" scene in which she asks who her parents are and finds no answer.

Problem number 5 with the movie: We don't give a crap about who Rey's parents are or about Kylo Ren, or about rey, for that matter. Those two characters are so poorly written we simply don't care about them. Buy Disney tries to force the audience to pay for movie tickets with the bait of "oooh! we gottan find out who Rey's parents are!" Honestly, it's a very cheap shot and it doesn't work.

Now, to be fair, NONE of the new characters are interesting, well written, likable, or essential in any way. We liked Luke because he was the naive reluctant hero most people could relate to. We liked Han Solo because he was the cowboy pirate hybrid from modern classic cinema. We liked Obi-Wan Kenobi because he was the medieval wizard. And we liked Leia because he was grumpy and self-reliant, unlinke the traditional princess in distress. And we LOVED Darth Vader because he was a calculating bastard who redifined evil and didn't open his mouth unless it was absolutely necessary. And when Vader did open his mouth it was memorable.

There's nothing to like about the new characters. Poe Dameron never does anything other than blowing stuff up. Finn never does anything other than pretending to be a tough guy. And Rey us just a poor excuse for having a female Jedi, even though there was a far better female Jedi before here: Ahsoka Tano.

Anyway. Rey goes to Supreme Leader Snoke's ship to try to turn Kylo Ren to the light side of the firce. Snoke tortures her to get the location of Luke Skywalker and then, out of nowhere, Kylo Wren kills Snoke by using The Force to turn Luke Skywalker's old light saber to point to Snoke *without Snoke noticing there's a light saber right next to him being pointed at him.*

But thescene gets even more stupid. Snoke's guards get ready to attack Rey and Kylo Ren and they figh them side by side. After they dispose of them Kylo Ren asks Rey to join him in the dark side of the Force and repeats almost word for word the speech Darth Vader gave to Luke in The Empire Strikes Back. "Join me and together we can bring order to the galaxy."

At this point you really feel like you want to walk out of the theater. It's offensive how Disney tries again and again to force the audience into forgetting the old Star Wars movies (the phrase "let the old die" gets repeated a couple of times) and yet they PLAGIARIZE George Lucas in the most shameless way possible.

Oh, and that brings us to what could've been the only good scene in the movie: Luke talking to Force ghost puppet Yoda. You see, after Rey leaves, Luke was going to burn an ancient tree where the first Jedi kept their original texts on the ways of the Force. Yoda suddenly appears and Luke tells him what he was about to. Yoda lifts his finger and brings a lightning to hit the tree and burn it. Then laughs. Luke changes his mind and aska Yoda why did he do that (later in the movie it is revealed Rey took the books with her). Yoda talks Luke pretty much in the same way he did in The Empire Strikes Back. "Young Skywalker." "Still looking at the horizon." In the end Yoda talks Luke into helping Rey.

Now, I said this scene COULD'VE been the best scene in the movie for two reasons:

1. It is the only scene actually reminiscent of the original trilogy without all of the Disney crap.

2. BUT at some point you start asking yourself "wait a minute. Why didn't Yoda give Luke a good spanking YEARS ago when he was mopping around in the island planet? He could've prevented a lot of damage that way! And what about Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker? Why didn't THEY try to talk some sense into Luke? They're Force ghosts too."

So the scene was charming, but it made so little sense it didn't make it as the best scene of the movie. It ended up being the *LEAST bad* scene in the movie. That is, taking into account all of the scenes are an absolute disgrace.

Anyway, back to Kylo Ren and Rey (if at this point you feel this review makes no sense, that's because I'm following the movie point by point and the movie makes no sense. I'm. Not. Kidding.) Rey refuses Kylo Ren's offer oto join him and tries to get Luke's old lightsaber by using the Force. Kylo Ren tries to get the lightsaber too by pulling it with the Force. They end up breaking the lightsaber in half.


Luke trained for a few days with Yoda before he could lift rocks with the Force. Rey only had a small lesson by Luke about reaching out with her feelings in order to feel the Force. The equivalent of Obi-Wan training Luke in the Falcon on their way to Alderaan. But no we are to believe that was enough for her to have a Force tug-of-war with a trained former Jedi? Just as ridiculous as Rey's use of the Force in The Force Awakens with NO TRAINING whatsoever.


Kick something.

Pound something.

Feeling better?

Good, because there's more crap like that coming.

Rey takes the broken lightsaber and without a clear explanation of how the hell did she do it, she ends up in the Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca and R2D2.

Meanwhile, the Resistance plans to escape to an old, abandoned based from the time of the Rebelion because the First order can't track small transport ships. But it turns out the First Order CAN track them. So Laura Dern stays behind and rams her star cruiser into Snoke's ship, stopping the bombardment and allowing Leia and what's left of the Resistance to escape.

At this point Finn has a fight with captain Phasma, who appears just for a few minutes and just so she can have a fight with Finn. Makes. No. Sense. Who gives a crap if Finn has a fight with her? Finn wins, of course in one of the least interesting fight scenes in the movie. Then escapes to the Rebel base with Rose.

At this point you really feel like the movie has gone for too long and it should end for the sake of the audience. Not no. Now we have the rehashed Hoth AT-AT scene, except the AT-ATs do nothing other than look menacing and fire a few shots. No tow cables. No Scariff AT-AT blasting. Nothing remotely interesting. And for the record, the AT-ATs knuckle-walking like a gorilla look absolutely STUPID. Not even menacing. Just plain ridiculous.

While that happens, and without an explanation, Luke Skywalker appears at the Rebel base and talks to Leia. He tells him he can't save Kylo Ren and Leia says she already knows he's gone. Right. So why did she send Han Solo to try to convince him to return to the light side then?" Besides, that's beyond idiotic. Yes, a mother is going to say to her brother "oh yea, no problem. Go ahead and kill my son." This after Kylo Ren decides NOT to pull the trigger and kill his mother a few scenes earlier. The mind just boggles and vomits at so much stupidity.

But that's not all. EVERYBODY at the Rebel base saw Luke walk outside and taunt Kylo Ren, who orders the AT-ATs and his ship to fire at Luke with everything the got. After the firing stops, Luke is still there without a scratch. So Kylo Ren gets out of his ship and faces him. Luke, by the way, appears here without gray hair, with shorter hair, and usig his old lightsaber. Not the green one from Return of the Jedi. The blue one that used to be Anakin's. *The same lightsaber Rey and Finn just had a fight over and broke in half.*

Well, guess what? Turns out Luke is NOT on the planet. He's doing a ridiculous "astral projection" sort of thing by reaching out with the Force.

At this point Poe Dameron says Luke is buying time for the Resistance to escape (see? the trigger happy guy just learned to use his brains, kids. How do you like this Disney afterschool special so far?), so they follow some... wolves? into some caves so they can get out.

Meanwhile, after his effort with the "Force astral projection", Luke dies in the island planet because the effort was too much and it killed him. He vanishes like Obi-Wan and Yoda, completely wasting the character.

Meanhwile Rey spots the wolves and finds there are a bunch of rocks blocking the exit for Leia and company. So she uses to Force to lift the rocks. Yeah, because, you know, you can get that much mastery of the Force just with a couple of lessons with Luke and NO PRACTICE.

So Leia, Rey, Poe and Finn and a handful of people end up in the Falcon escaping and the movie ends.

By the way, the movie never explains the following:

1. Who was snoke, where he came from or how did he end up being so mangled. The only thing we sort of deduct is he was a disciple of Palpatine, which is only plausible assuming Palpatine had an apprentice prior to Darth Maul, since Palpatine took on Count Dooku as an apprentice right after Episode 1 and then Darth Vader became his apprentice after Anakin Skywalker killed Count Dooku. We also don't get to know how he talked Ben Solo into turning to the dark side. So Disney made a huge deal about this character, but then delivered nothing.

2. How did captain Phasma survived being thrown into a trash compactor in an exploding Starkiller base and then appear out of thin air like nothing happened.

3. How did Finn know the inner workings of Snoke's ship even though he was a janitor at Starkiller base.

4. Why was Luke's younger "astral projection" using the blue lightsaber he lost in The Empire Strikes Back if he was shown using the green lighsaber?

5. By the way: Did they show Ben Solo using the blue lightsaber when Luke was going to kill him? How did HE find that lightsaber?

6. Why did Disney made such a big deal about the blue lighsaber if it was going to end up being broken anyway?

7. Maz Kanata was supposed to be Han Solo's friend. She barely spoke a few words to Flynn and she did not interact with Poe Dameron. How the hell did THEY contact her to get the decoder then?

8. At what point did the First Order made the deal with Benicio del Toro to turn in Flynn and Rose if they didn't know Flynn and Rose were not on the Montecarlo planet?

There are more plotholes in the movie, but I think that will give you a pretty good idea.

Oh, and by the way. It is also suggested some kid at the Montecarlo planet are Force sensitive. Yes, we knew that from The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. I assume that was Disney's way of justifying their new trilogy that will be unrelated to the Skywalker.

in short, this movie is just one huge disappointing mess. Not that I was expecting much, but I was not prepared to see something THAT lame.

Which only reinforces my firm belief that Star Wars without George Lucas is NOT Star Wars. And this Disney crap is just that: crap. They want the audience to forget about George Lucas so they can sell their own crap without the true Star Wars fans getting in the way.

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