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Point-Counterpoint: Star Wars, The Last Jedi

posted Feb 7, 2018, 6:39 AM by Jeffrey Wolf   [ updated Feb 7, 2018, 6:45 AM ]



By: Robby Timmler, Promotional Director and Korey Alder, Co Editor-In-Chief

Posted February 7th, 2018


Ever since the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, fans of Star Wars have had mixed feelings on the film and it has caused great distress in the fan base. Some fans loved the film, while some hated it and others are still mixed on it. Well today, the Nite Crier will take their shot at tackling this issue and see if The Last Jedi goes to new heights or crashes and burns. Fair warning for those who haven't seen The Last Jedi there will be spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the film yet, come back later.


Story

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is about the Resistance in their darkest hour to defeat the First Order that has them on the run constantly. Rey (played by Daisy Ridley) asks Luke Skywalker (played by Mark Hamill) who has been missing for many years to join the Resistance to defeat Kylo Ren (played by Adam Driver) and the First Order for good. Tensions are high to whether the Resistance will survive to fight another battle or be destroyed by the First Order.



Pros

Cons

While the story is nothing new to Star Wars, there is still some interesting aspects in the story that develops the characters and the world of Star Wars.

It’s fascinating to see the origins of these characters like Rey and Kylo Ren, while also seeing the change in old and new characters like Poe and Luke that shows the struggles these characters have gone through and have experienced throughout their life. The rebels subplot slows down the film a lot, but there are still some interesting ideas in it like other colonies war profiteering off the war and how the Resistance are on their last legs, but can still put up a fight.  It also adds on to the understanding of the force and how the force works.

The main issue I found with the story of The Last Jedi is that it seemed rather pointless to the story arc established in The Force Awakens. While the last film ended with the triumphant defeat of the oh-so-creatively named “Star Killer base”, this movie begins with the Resistance Fleet in a such shambles that they make the Rebellion look almost professional. How the First Order (let's be honest: a cheap rip-off of the Empire that someone at Disney found in the dollar store) managed to rebound from such a defeat remains a mystery. As the movie progresses, the Resistance leaders find more absurd ways to express their cowardice - that is, when the viewer isn't being subjected to a nonsensical tangent to “save the animals” on some backwater planet. But most problematic is that by the end of the film, neither hero nor villain has gained anything, and the overall story of the series is roughly right where it was when it started.


                                                Characters


Pros

Cons

This film takes the characters one step up from Force Awakens and goes more in depth in their history and backstory. Rey and Luke’s relationship in the film is great and shows how Luke has changed after the raise of Kylo Ren. The film also has moments of Rey and Kylo that over time shows that Kylo is in a grey area between good and evil and that Rey later on sees the true Kylo.  Poe’s subplot with the Resistance shows how the Resistance is in a tough spot and that he has been fight for so long that he would do anything to finish off the First Order.  Snook is a very onenote villain, who lacks backstory, but still has a haunting presences in the film.

Many characters from the previous film returned in The Last Jedi, and the acting quality was roughly the same (above average, in my opinion). Beware, however, if you were fond of Poe, the skilled fighter pilot and professional bad-guy killer, you're sure to be disappointed. An abundance of screen time was squandered as Leia and her new friend reprimand him for being too rash and being a warmonger. And yet, after thirty minutes under the leadership of these two “heroes,” the Resistance was left with only a pathetic smattering of lightly armed passenger ships. As for the interaction between Rey and Kylo, it was quite interesting and creatively directed. Sadly, the relationship that the two enemies developed through the movie was ultimately wasted when the writers decided to fall back on the old cliches of unconditional evil and unyielding good. In other words, “we’d better just do another lightsaber fight.”


                                                       Action

Pros

Cons

The action is amazing and very intense. The lightsaber battle in Snook’s Room is gritty and gripping to watch. The space battles look beautiful and are thrilling to watch.

I can't say much with regards to special effects or directing. These were exceptional, as is to be expected from a modern science fiction film of this budget. Action scenes were suspenseful and exciting. However, there were also long periods between action sequences in which nothing interesting happened. For nearly half the film, the Resistance fleet is literally just going in a straight line while the First Order fires one or two shots every few seconds. What are the other ten thousand turrets on the First Order battleship doing? Taking a coffee break?



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