Edit: I wrote this shortly after viewing the Last Jedi. Since then, I have grown to despise the movie more and more. I could re-write this and add a million more paragraphs. But instead, I encourage anyone reading this to search for videos on youtube that go WAY more in depth and do a much better job than I did. If you have several hours to kill, I suggest searching for Last Jedi Critique. 3 parts. Amazingly enlightening.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi...Why I Was Disappointed
Here's what bothered me...
1. Luke Skywalker.
A. Luke was always my favorite character as a kid. Well, until I realized that Wedge was the true hero of the original Star Wars trilogy. But that's another story for another time. After getting to see Luke ever so briefly in The Force Awakens, I was eager to see him in action again, green saber blazing, now a master of the Force. I mean, I really wanted to see him kick some serious butt. When he faced Kylo Ren on that salty planet, I thought "this is it." I thought he was going to give his nephew a serious beat down, maybe take a limb as a nod to the original and prequel trilogies, show him who was boss, and then leave him licking his wounds for Episode 9. NOPE! He was the equivalent of a hologram...a Force projection. While his saber was ignited, it never clashed with Kylo's. So Luke just dodged Kylo's attack, Matrix-style.
B. He died. Sure, his character will be in Episode IX as a Force ghost, but it won't be the same. I am fine with the decision for him to pass on but I'll never get to see the lightsaber duel I was hoping for. I have wanted to see Luke in a lightsaber duel again from the moment it was announced that there would be another trilogy. Sadly, we will never get the chance.
C. At first I did not understand why he died. But upon viewing the movie a second time, Kylo Ren said something to Rey that I missed the first time. During their first "Force Projection" conversation, he said something like "How are you doing this? The effort alone would kill you." So Luke was so drained, that he died. But I am still disappointed because I would rather have had him use the Force to raise his x-wing from that shallow lagoon and show up in person on the salty planet to face Kylo Ren in a lightsaber duel for real. When Rey led the fighters away in the Falcon, it would have been extra awesome if Luke showed up in his x-wing to assist, then landed to confront Kylo Ren.
2. Leia's space adventure.
Leia is blown out of the command ship into space. I realize that she is Force sensitive, but to this point we have never been given any inclining that she is capable of anything more than sensing the well-being of others. Now suddenly she is able to survive temperatures of -300 degrees in an environment completely void of atmosphere, and then "fly" to safety? Maybe...MAYBE for a Jedi master trained in the ways of the Force. Or maybe being thrust into a life or death situation activated powers she didn't realize she had. And it would have been cool if they explored that in the next movie. But due to Carrie Fisher's untimely passing, that can never be.
But I just didn't buy that scene at all.
3. NO lightsaber duels.
My favorite part of Star Wars movies is the lightsaber duel. There has been at least one in every Star Wars movie...until this one. Yes, there were duels involving lightsabers. But none of them featured lightsaber/lightsaber combat. The Praetorian Guards wielded some pretty cool looking weapons. But they weren't lightsabers.
4. WHERE THE HELL IS LANDO?
I really thought he was going to be one of the surprises for which I avoided spoilers like the plague to truly enjoy.
5. The casino scene.
A. This side mission story was not enjoyable at all. I found myself eager for it to be over. I shouldn't feel that way about a scene in a Star Wars movie. I haven't felt that way since Attack of the Clones.
B. The side mission was unnecessary. It turns out they didn't need the code-breaker. I guess you could argue that this was realistic because there are both successful and unsuccessful missions in real life military operations. But it was obviously included in the movie to give Finn and Rose something to do. It allowed the audience to get to know Rose and introduce us to the kids on the planet, one of which would later be shown to be Force-sensitive. But in my opinion, this could have been accomplished in another way.
C. DJ (Del Toro's character) was just sitting in a cell when he had the means to escape all along? Or was he just waiting for a new "client." Or are we supposed to assume that the First Order somehow knew Finn and Rose were going to go the casino, get arrested, and thrown in that cell?
6. Rey's parents.
So they were nobodies? All these fantastic theories. And they were nobodies. I forget how Kylo Ren put it but they were no one of any importance or significance. Just felt like a let-down to me. My aunt defended this by saying this meant that anyone could be Force-sensitive. I get that. And after seeing it a second time, I am more okay with it. But it was still a let-down.
Just when I was really enjoying his character, he's sliced in half. That was really cool. But I expected him to be a villain in Episode IX too. It's fine that he's not, but I wish we had a better understanding of him. Where did he come from? How did he get those injuries? Who trained him? How did he find Ben Solo? I understand that we had these same questions about Emperor Palpatine and the only reason we found answers was because of the prequel trilogy. But I can't help but feel Snoke was killed off too soon.
Speaking of being killed off so soon...how could such a cool-looking character used in so much marketing be killed off after so little screen time? I know, I know...Boba Fett. I still would have liked to have seen her have more than 3 minutes of screen time and possibly see her with her mask removed. My son has a theory that since her armor was impervious to laser blasts, she could have survived the fall into fire. And perhaps she'll have cool eye/face burn scars in the next movie. But I think she is dead.
9. Hunting down the Resistance.
It didn't seem plausible to me that the First Order could only follow the Resistance and could not get close enough to destroy their ships. They have TIE fighters at their disposal and maybe some other smaller spacecraft. Couldnt' they be deployed to cripple their large, lumbering vessels? Too plot-convenient that they did not.
Not enough of him.
When he first appeared, he looked cartoonish. And so now Force ghosts have the ability to interact with and control nature? Why don't all the Force ghosts just get together and send some lightning to strike down all the bad guys? Didn't he knock Luke on the head with his cane too? If so, that would mean Force ghosts (and the objects they are holding) can interact physically with the real world. So why not get a bunch of Force ghosts with lightsabers together to take on bad guys?
A. Did Poe Dameron really have to use the term "big-ass door?" Not necessary in a Star Wars movie.
B. Sad to see Admiral Ackbar die. It was a trap. Rest in peace.
C. Luke's lightsaber should have been green on the salty planet.
So there you have it. I may add or subtract from this post after further viewings. I really, really wanted to love it. My hopes were so high. I waited two years like every other die-hard Star Wars geek. I think it feels worse because I was so, so, so excited about the release of the Star Wars: Battlefront 2 PS4 game...and that game is an even bigger disappointment. This movie was supposed to wipe out my frustration with that game and it did not.
I'm not even looking forward to Episode IX.