I often write about serious topics on my blog, but sometimes I like to share fun things too! In this post I review the latest Star Wars film, The Lost Jedi. I really enjoyed the The Force Awakens, but the latest movie may have been my favorite!
The Force Awakens ended where Rey finally found Luke and handed him his lightsaber. We are left with so many questions. What is Rey’s background? Will Luke train her? Why is he in hiding?
All those questions are answered, but in fairly unpredictable ways.
First off, the suspense is over and Luke finally meets Rey, with her hand outstretched with his lightsaber. What does he do? Well, he promptly chucks it over his shoulder and walks away.
I didn’t see that coming and neither did the rest of the audience who burst out laughing. I’ll focus on the Luke/Rey dynamic for a bit first.
Luke is really grumpy towards Rey and doesn’t want to teach her anything. But eventually we learn why he went into hiding. Luke became fearful of Kylo Ren’s power and connection to the dark side as he was training him. Luke, in a moment of weakness, was going to kill Kylo in his sleep. Kylo woke up, saw Luke’s lightsaber hovering over him, and went on a rampage at the Jedi training temple killing several of Jedi training there.
I liked this because it added a lot of complexity between the characters. Luke struggled with the worry that he couldn’t stop Kylo (then Ben Solo) from going to the dark side. So he gave into his own dark side and was thinking about murdering the teenager in his sleep. Ben, conflicted about the dark side, felt justified in going full Sith after the attack. But he clearly still struggles with it.
Rey learns all this, but doesn’t really get any training from Luke. Luke tells her that the Jedi should be destroyed as it’s just an ancient religion, which is interesting when we get to the end of the movie.
Anyway, while Rey and Luke and going through all that, the Rebel Alliance is trying to escape the First Order destroying the last of their fleet. The Rebels are losing badly, running out of fuel, and the movie does a good job in making this drawn out struggle exciting to watch. Fin and a new character, Rose, also travel to a casino world (throwback to Cloud City) to try and find a codebreaker who can stop the First Order from tracking the Rebel Fleet so they can finally escape. This was another fun side plot to the story.
The Rebels vs First Order space battles were fun to watch and there was really only one scene I thought they could have done without. Leia’s ship gets hit and she is ejected into space. She then floats through space into a nearby ship. But it looks awkward and kind of funny. It was cool to see Leia actually show some of her powers with the force. However, I think they could have done a better job in that scene to simply not look so goofy.Despite that awkward scene, the rest of the space battles more than made up for it. For example, it was stunning to see the Rebel cruiser sacrifice itself and blast through the main First Order ship with a light speed jump. This allows the remaining Rebels to reach an abandoned base.
Okay back to Rey. Luke still isn’t being helpful and she is having regular visits from Kylo Ren via the force. Kylo and her have several funny scenes communicating here. Rey decides to go to Kylo and see if she can convert him back to the light side.
Once Rey meets Kylo, this creates a great scene where they are with Supreme Leader Snoke. Snoke tries to get Kylo to kill Rey as she is a threat. But instead Kylo kills Snoke at the last moment. Kylo and Rey team up and it looks like maybe Kylo has a change in heart. But really he just wanted to be the leader of the First Order. We also learn of Rey’s parents finally. They are not Skywalkers or anyone relevant, but common junkers who sold Rey for drug money. Wow.
Meanwhile, the last remaining Rebels arrive at the abandoned base (which looks like Hoth, but has salt instead of snow). The First Order is right behind them and severely outmatch the Rebels. It doesn’t look good for the Rebels, but then Luke Skywalker, the guy who seemed defeated and wanted to be left alone, somehow appears. While the Rebels hide in their base, Luke confronts the First Order troops and ships by himself.
This creates an epic scene where Luke appears to survive tons of blaster fire from all of the First Order. Only to brush off his shoulder. Kylo, enraged, goes down to fight him one on one. But Kylo can’t do anything to him. Meanwhile, the distraction allows the Rebels to escape again.
We soon find out that Luke wasn’t physically there at all. But instead used the force to create a hologram of himself in order to help the rebels escape. We then see Luke fade away as he appears to finally be at peace helping the Rebels and allowed himself to move on into the force completely.
The movie appears to be coming to a close, but it leads into my favorite part. There are only a few dozen Rebels left so it seems unlikely that they can take on the First Order again. But Leia notes how there are allies to Rebels around the galaxy. Many other creatures around the galaxy stand with them even if they haven’t officially joined them yet.
We then see a child (who Fin and Rose met on their adventure) use the force to pick up a broom and flash his Rebel ring. The message is clear. The force is available to everyone, not just Skywalkers or Sith or Jedi. And many creatures can use it to fight evil. The movie ends with so many more possibilities.
So that’s why I enjoyed this movie so much. It allows for the possibility of going beyond the somewhat tired trope of Jedi vs Sith. Anyone can tap into the force now. So Rey just happened to have lucky genetics or whatever that allowed her to have such a strong proclivity to being in touch with the force. She didn’t have to be a Skywalker. Without the focus on Jedi being the true holders of the force, it seems a little less religion-y to me. It opens a lot more possibilities and I’m excited to see what will be in store in the final film!
What did you think of The Last Jedi? Did you like it as much as I did?