Why I Think ‘The Last Jedi’ Is Such A Divisive Film

The Last Jedi has been out for over a month and it’s still being hotly debated by fans around the world for some of its various scenarios and unsuspected character developments. Now The Last Jedi was one of the highest anticipated films of 2017 and it ended up becoming the highest grossing film of last year because, well, it’s Star Wars. And while it was a box office success there were a lot of fans who felt that it was one of the worst Star Wars movies ever made and then there were others who appreciated Rian Johnson’s vision and the gutsy choices he made in the movie. Now, I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum.

When I first watched The Last Jedi on opening day I was one of the viewers who utterly despised nearly everything about the film. I thought they had undermined Finn and had left his character development to the back burner, I was upset that they had killed Snoke without giving us a hint of his back story, I couldn’t believe Luke was dead, and I thought the movie was overall pretty terrible.

Then I watched it a second time and I was profoundly shocked. The movie was amazing, the character developments were perfect, and I completely understood everything Rian was trying to achieve with this film. I couldn’t believe how different an experience it was watching the movie the second time and I realized what had made me dislike the film so much the first time.

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I had gone into the theater the first time with a pre-conceived notion about how the film was going to be and when it ended up becoming a movie entirely different from what I expected I felt slightly betrayed. I was legitimately upset and I thought Rian Johnson had completely torn up the foundation The Force Awakens had created but when I saw it for the second time I realized that Rian’s entire goal was to move the story forward and erase that nostalgic feeling its predecessor had. I highly appreciate that.

It’s hilarious. People were upset that The Force Awakens was too much like A New Hope and now they’re upset that The Last Jedi did decide to move beyond the past and become its own movie. That’s ironic.

Now, I’m going to convey my opinion on all of the hotly debated topics that have divided fans for the past month. Enjoy!

Leia Using The Force

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Leia is a wonderful character whose Force ability has been hinted at throughout the movies she’s been in but besides her having an unusually high sense of intuition there’s never been a moment where she’s actually used the Force…until now.

SPOILER ALERT! If you still haven’t seen The Last Jedi yet I must warn you, I’m delving into heavy spoiler territory from here on out. Okay, thank you for heeding my warning.

General Leia, after getting blown out of the bridge of her ship (that was a traumatic moment by the way), used the Force to save herself and pull herself back to the ship. Now a lot of people, after seeing the scene, were slightly outraged by Leia becoming Space Poppins and I have to admit I was a little shocked as well. It was cool seeing her finally use the Force but my only problem with the scene is how fake it looks. The way Leia floats back to the ship is rather odd-looking, if I’m being honest. I’m glad that we got to see her use the Force before she died but I would’ve been much more satisfied if she had done a mind trick on somebody or possibly Force pushed Poe and knocked him out instead of stunning him with a gun. That would’ve been AWESOME!

Finn

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Finn became an instant fan favorite in The Force Awakens because of his lovable personality, his cute naivety, and his heroic ways but a lot of fans felt that his story was lost in the rushing current of story telling within The Last Jedi. Now, I felt the same way but after viewing it a second time I realized what Rian had done with Finn.

There weren’t a lot of directions the ex-stormtrooper could’ve gone. He could’ve stayed in a coma throughout the movie or he could’ve woken up and gone looking for Rey or he could’ve jetted like he was trying to. This movie was set to solidify his reasoning for staying with the Resistance, nothing more, and Rose helped show him why it was worth fighting for the Resistance. He got to see first hand what cruelty would bring as he watched the children on Canto Bight forced into slavery and he realized that fighting the First Order and not running away like a coward would better millions of lives throughout the galaxy. At the beginning of The Last Jedi he didn’t care about helping the Resistance but at the end of the movie he was willing to sacrifice himself for his friends. That’s a large step forward and now that he is a full-blown Resistance fighter I’m excited to see the end of his journey in Episode IX.

Poe Dameron and Admiral Holdo

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A lot of people did not like Admiral Holdo or Poe in The Last Jedi. They thought Holdo was a throwaway character who didn’t provide anything for the movie and they thought Rian had taken away Poe’s coolness and turned him into a rampaging brat. Now, for me, I was a big fan of this side of the story as well, but, of course, that was after my second viewing.

The first time I saw the movie I was perfectly fine with Holdo. She never got on my nerves and I thought she was a great addition to the story but Poe was driving me crazy. He seemed to always be running somewhere or hollering about something. Poe had been so cool…and then he wasn’t.

Then, after seeing the movie a second time, I completely understood Poe. In his mind, after Leia went into her coma, he thought he was going to take command and then in steps Holdo, someone who he didn’t trust in the slightest. He felt that all of her plans were doomed to fail and he didn’t want to see the Resistance die because of her. He thought he knew how to handle everything but when he realized he didn’t he became humble and grew from that. He learned that you can’t face everything head on and just expect to be able to have positive results like when he’s in his cockpit tearing up Tie Fighters. He’s a wonderful fighter but a terrible strategist and he learned that the hard way. Now, were his actions excusable? Of course not, but I’ll get to that in another post.

Snoke’s Death

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This was probably one of the most controversial topics after the release of the movie, for everyone was so excited to find out just exactly who Snoke was and then we found out, to our complete shock, that he ended up dying before any information of his back story was presented. I was and still am shocked but I love this decision Rian Johnson made.

Ever since I saw Snoke in The Force Awakens I thought he was too much like Emperor Palpatine. I remember thinking to myself how they should have made Snoke a woman to make him a more original character instead of making him a deformed, creepy male hologram just like Palpatine was. I think Rian knew he mirrored the Emperor too much and that’s why he took him completely out of the conversation. No one exactly cares about Snoke. We are much more interested in Kylo Ren and so eliminating him to further Kylo’s story receives a huge thumbs up from me.

Luke Skywalker

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Luke was everyone’s hero in the classic trilogy and that’s why it was such a shock when he wasn’t treated as such in The Last Jedi. A lot of people couldn’t believe Rian had the audacity to take such an iconic character and turn him into this hopeless hermit on an island but I thought it was the perfect story line for Luke’s character and honestly, what else was he supposed to do?

J.J Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan had already decided to have Luke in exile on Ach-To and so Rian had to tell the reason why Luke would make a decision that drastic. Luke isn’t one to give up on anything and so for him to put himself in exile and not want to be found by anybody is saying something. Luke isn’t a coward, he just refused to cause any more pain and suffering in the galaxy and in his mind that meant to separate himself from everybody, even his sister, Leia.

And yes, he wasn’t the hero he was back in the 80s’ but this isn’t his story anymore, it’s Rey’s story, and I think a lot of men might not be able to handle that. Luke was their hero and the fact that they killed him off pushes that narrative that we’re finally moving beyond the Skywalker era even further.

I think Rian gave Luke’s story a rather satisfactory ending and I wouldn’t Luke’s involvement in the film to be any other way.

Well, this is what I think about some of The Last Jedi‘s most controversial topics. I know some people might think The Last Jedi is pretty horrendous but I’m very glad about how the movie turned out and I am beyond excited to not only see the movie again but to get it on Blu-Ray so I can watch all of the featurettes and deleted scenes.

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a magical day. May the Force Be With You.

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