There is a hail storm of negativity regarding Rian Johnson’s directorial debut in the Star Wars Universe. People just seem bound and determined to dislike (or loath) the new direction our beloved franchise is going and each and every one of them want their voices heard. There is even a petition on Change.org to have Episode VIII struck from canon and a new Episode VIII made with a new director and a new writer. WTF. Crazy much?
Anyway, There are a few go-to put downs the angry Star Wars fan turn to, to make their points and to “cut to the quick” when discussing The Last Jedi, and when I say discuss I mean shout with clenched fists with tears in their eyes. Believe me, I know the feeling. I felt the same way after 2-out-of-3 of the prequel films. After all of the years since they were released I have finally begun to not hate them and I think the surrounding media (Clone Wars, Rebels) helped me find things to like in them because they built upon the prequel’s mythology.
Before I begin let me explain that this is not a personal attack on any person or group. This is just me confronting the undulating mass of negativity as a whole. I apologize if anyone finds offense in anything I say, but as the naysayers demand the right to speak and be respected, I kindly ask for the same. Thank you.
1. Disney only cares about money and they ruined Star Wars!
Really? Ok, I have two points here that I’d like to bring up. One is that Disney is a company that is publicly traded and has financial backers, employees to pay, and a large investment in the Star Wars brand…Fuck Yes They Care About Money. Are they supposed to do this shit for free just to make fan boys (and girls) happy and care nothing about a profit?
Speaking of profit, how many Star Wars toys, t-shirts, books, and other brick-a-brack did you purchase before 2012? If you are like me, TONS. All of that money went into Lucasfilm’s pocket just like it does Disney’s now. Now next question, do having many different outfits for characters, Stormtroopers, and alien races really do anything for the over all story of Star Wars (albeit, it is awesome) or is it just another way to get people to buy more toys? People put Lucas on a pedestal now, but the dude cared about money just as much as Disney is being blamed for now.
And if you really want someone to blame, ol’ George whored out Star Wars to Disney way before they bought it from him. Dancing Vader and Boba Fett were a thing when no one gave a shit about Star Wars, after Disney’s purchase that stupid shit stopped. So who really is the bad guy here?
2. Luke should have been a bad ass!
There were so many hopes and dreams laid at the feet of Luke Skywalker before The Last Jedi came out. As a whole everyone wanted him to be the ass-kicking Jedi we knew and loved from the original trilogy. Hell, I myself was pretty sure he would bust bad and lay waste to some fools.
But wouldn’t that play into his whole distain for the Jedi Order? Luke himself tells Rey about the bloody and misguided Jedi Order that hid behind a veil of hypocrisy, righteousness, and violence. He even told her the tale of Kylo Ren and how Luke’s thoughts of violence and judgment was the final act that drove Ben Solo into the Dark Side and was the cause of the Jedi School’s destruction. Would picking up a lightsaber again and killing people (even if they deserved it) really be the right answer?
Lets say that Luke did show up and fight, where would it end? Would he be so bad ass that he single handedly takes down the whole First Order? Does he just take out Snoke and Kylo and end the story? Does he just kill a bunch of Stormtroopers than die? Say what you will, Rian Johnson made the best decision he could.
Luke still kept his convictions and his new found purity, while making the ultimate sacrifice and saving what was left of the Resistance. He became at peace with the Jedi, and the Force and in turn became even stronger because he became one with them. If people really want to look towards the original trilogy for inspiration in there hate for The Last Jedi, Luke did what Obi-Wan did. Believe in the force people.
Hey maybe this is our chance to get a guided tour of the other side in the next movie with Luke being our guild. That would be awesome.
3. Luke wouldn’t have run and hid!
Why not? Both his Masters did.
It wasn’t until his self imposed reclusion that Luke found the books and learned about the Jedi’s history. Up to this point (that we know of) his only real source of knowledge came from Obi-Wan and Yoda…two Jedi living in solitude and hiding. Of course when you add the Marvel Comics series into the mix, we know Luke has had other exposers to the Jedi, Sith, and the Force but none as impactful as Obi-Wan and Yoda.
Is it really so hard to believe that he would feel so bad and guilty knowing that he caused the deaths of children in his protection, enough so that he would just leave and never turn back. Would it have made people feel better if he didn’t care and just went total ape shit crazy slaying the bad guys? It would be pretty hard to return to that wide-eyed farm boy after that shit.
Recently Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamil has fanned the flames of “Luke not being Luke” in The Last Jedi. He doesn’t believe Luke would have gone into hiding or be turned into a curmudgeon. But he then follows up everything by saying “In the Lucas version, not the new version.” Dude, I love Mark Hamil but this kinda ticks me off because he himself doesn’t want the brand to grow and change just as much as some of the detractors online. Damn.
4. The whole fuel thing is B.S.!
A lot of people are calling foul on the fact that ships use fuel in the Star Wars Universe. I know it’s on a smaller scale, but do you remember the X-Wings needed to be refueled before their run on the Death Star in Episode I? It’s a scene that they actually showed. Hell, they also show ships being fueled up in Rogue One.
In the Rebels cartoon we have encountered fuel as an issue before and have been shown that fuel/power cells are a hot commodity. You also have to remember that most of the Mon Calamari Cruisers were once pleasure vessels that housed casinos, restaurants, and luxuries that would found on Earthly cruise liners. It has been said that some of the Cruisers like Home One were buildings from the Mon Calamari home world.
The reveal of science and technology within the Star Wars Universe has been slow. Once upon a time a laser was a laser and a space ship is a space ship but over the years practicality has been applied. I find the sense of urgency over fuel to be not a stretch, I mean blasters use ammo and its something we hardly ever see, but it’s there. Han’s blaster ran out and he had to borrow Chewbacca’s Bow Caster, no one had a problem with that. Star Wars was once a blending of old and new in the original trilogy, the prequels kinda ruined that with everything being shiny and new. The new trilogy is a return to form but few people see that.
5. Snoke was only a McGuffin!
So? We know that with the Sith the apprentice will eventually kill the master and take over -or- the apprentice will be killed to make way for another apprentice. Rey was Snoke’s next choice and it was either her or Kylo. During a moment of hubris Snoke was struck down to make way for a new master and apprentice. It just didn’t go that way because Rey was truly a Jedi and wasn’t swayed to the Dark Side.
Now all that being said, it has been said that Snoke is not a Sith so maybe these rules of two shit doesn’t apply. But anyway, this act really solidified Kylo’s choice to be a bad guy and Rey’s choice to be good. It may have been a waste to a potential big bad villain but his death was there to make Rey’s and Kylo’s choice feel organic since there was no longer a puppet master looming in the background controlling Kylo actions and feelings. Now we know everything that he is doing is 100% his choice and all the gains are his alone.
Many villains throughout books, movies, and television are only there as a devise to propel the protagonist either emotionally, physically, or morally. Yes this was at the cost of a lot of peoples 2 year love affair with there own imaginations and what they thought was the right answer to who Snoke was. Sorry, but whose fault is that, that you got wrapped up in your own arrogance of thinking you were right?
But hey, who says this is the last we’ll see of Snoke? We’re dealing with FANTASY, anything can happen!
There are more and more arguments happening every day about The Last Jedi. Both sides want the other to concede and say they are wrong for liking it -or- wrong for hating it. Sadly in the middle of this civil war are the people who poured their heart and soul into making the movie. Actors and actresses are being attacked via social media with sexist and racial comments and generally being dismissed and verbally assaulted.
At the end of the day NO ONE IS RIGHT and NO ONE IS WRONG, IT’S JUST A MOVIE. And as a movie it is art and it’s beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Yes, we as fans have made it so much more than a movie but that is our fault not the celluloid it was shot on…wait a minute, I guess the hard drive space it was saved on…whatever. Believe me, I’m guilty too. Star Wars has been in my life for the past 40 years and I have created rules for it and myself. I can’t blame anyone for that but myself.
Don’t worry Star Wars fans, Disney will keep making Star Wars movies for decades to come. Some will sink, some will swim but we will always have the original trilogy to fall back on.