Some quick thoughts on The Last Jedi
I saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi for the second time the other night. I caught a late showing on opening night and then a matinee this week with my whole family. I’ve got a few thoughts I want to share… spoiler-filled thoughts…
So if you still haven’t seen the movie, don’t read any further…
I really enjoyed The Last Jedi. It has flaws and a couple of scenes seem unnecessary. But it was a blast. Honestly, I think I enjoyed it more than The Force Awakens. It was even better on the second viewing. There are lots of reviews, blog posts and commentary on the internet that break it down in detail. You can read those if you want specific commentary, but I've got a couple of things I wanted to mention specifically.
The retreat! The entire movie is a retreat. The rebels are running away and trying everything just to stay alive. I suppose the Empire Strikes Back is somewhat similar, but the retreat from Hoth goes well compared to the retreat in The Last Jedi. At the end of the movie, the entire resistance can fit on the Millennium Falcon.
Evil BB-8! Its name is officially BB-9E, but to me, he’s the evil BB-8. We don’t see much of it, but BB-9E makes the best of the time on screen.*
The ships! I’m one of those science fiction fans that love the space ships. And the production design on The Last Jedi is great. From the Rebel bombers and First Order dreadnaught to Snoke’s ship and Kylo Ren’s Tie Silencer. I can’t wait to head to a bookstore and take a look at the cross sections book and visual encyclopedia for The Last Jedi.
The women! When I was in college, I took a class on gender and language. And one of our assignments was to take an element of popular culture and dissect its use of gender and language. I chose the original Star Wars trilogy.** And other than Leia, only one woman had a speaking part — Mon Mothma in Return of the Jedi. All men. Well, that’s not a problem any more. Many of the main characters in The Last Jedi are women. From main characters to background characters, the new Star Wars world is much richer and more diverse. And the series is better because of it.
The action sequences! Poe’s pyrrhic victory against the dreadnaught. Rey and Kylo fighting back-to-back in Snoke’s chamber. The standoff at Crait with the red sand.*** All beautiful, complex battle scenes that were fun and unpredictable.
Yoda! Snoke's guards! Porgs! Luke and R2 on the Falcon! Holdo slamming into the First Order fleet at light speed! Everything you just said is wrong! Rey lifting rocks! There's so much I love about The Last Jedi.
I’m looking forward to seeing where J.J. Abrams takes the series in the next film. I assume that some time will have passed between The Last Jedi and Episode 9. I have a feeling that the plan was for Episode 9 to be all about Leia, but with the loss of Carrie Fisher, I think the focus will be solidly on Rey as leader of a new Jedi Order. But this entire new trilogy has surprised me at every turn, and I’m sure they’ve got something up their sleeve for the final installment of this trilogy.
* I've seen the droid's name jokingly listed as BB-H8, which is hysterical.
** I had the original trilogy on VHS. I'm old.
*** On second viewing, Luke's feet don't disturb the red sand. Nice touch.
Bob Wertz writes about design, technology and pop culture at Sketchbook B. Bob is a Columbia, South Carolina-based designer, creative director, college instructor, husband and dad. He’s particularly obsessed with typography, the creative process and the tools we use to create. He's currently in the middle of a project to design a new shirt a week for an entire year. Follow Bob on Twitter, Instagram and Micro.Blog.