By Benjamin Solomon, Staff Writer
Star Wars: The Last Jedi came out on December 15, 2017 and debuted as one of the highest grossing films in the last decade. Four months later, the movie came out on DVD on March 27th. How does it hold up after some time and a second viewing?
For anyone who has not yet watched the movie, beware of spoilers below.
The Last Jedi had great effects and action, just like every other Star Wars movie in its time. There was no slacking in this department, and the battle scenes and landscapes looked the best they ever have.
The story of The Last Jedi is really what should be scrutinized. To start, Supreme Leader Snoke starts out as a looming, mysterious threat in The Force Awakens. In this movie, Snoke becomes much more real and less mysterious, and then he dies, and we don’t know anything else about him. All we know is that he wanted to control the galaxy for some reason.
This seems pretty unsatisfying at first but comparing this film to the original trilogy reveals that the Emperor was basically the same character as Snoke. Only in the prequels did the Emperor get any real backstory.
When I first watched the movie, seeing Luke Skywalker disappear and die at the end felt tragic. But looking at it later, this makes sense because one of the themes of the movie is getting rid of the old, like Snoke. It was about allowing the series to move on to new people.
The Last Jedi took an interesting turn when it sent Finn and Rose Tico to Canto Bight. Rose voiced a lot of criticism of the military industrial complex, which made money on both sides of galactic war.
This is interesting because Star Wars usually tends to have very black-and-white versions of what is good and bad. Putting the war industrialists in the bad camp is controversial in the sense that it reflects real life. To many people, arms manufacturers are just doing a job with nothing moralistic attached to it.
Star Wars actually made a political statement. At first, this rubbed me the wrong way because the previous movies didn’t do that beyond equating democracy with good and empire with bad. The second time around, this actually felt grounding. This realistic, nuanced issue is much more relatable and interesting than plain old good versus evil.
One thing that didn’t sit well the first time and the second time was Vice-Admiral Holdo. This character had a plan and refused to tell anybody about it, leaving them all guessing while being pursued by certain death. How did Holdo expect that nobody would come up with their own plan in apparent absence of any from her?
Moving past the fact that the military is supposed to follow orders instead of question them, Holdo was working with rebels. She was working with a Poe Dameron who already demonstrated that he would go his own way if not strongly guided. This part of the movie did not make sense even after the second viewing.
Despite these small complaints, watching Star Wars: The Last Jedi mostly just brought back excitement for the next movie, Episode IX.