Let's Talk About 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is out now in cinemas, and with hardcore fans attending midnight screenings all over the country, I think the time is right to unpack all of the feelings we have about this movie.

Hey, look at that - a totally spoiler free intro. If you haven't seen it yet, do not read any further.

We've collected the thoughts of a whole range of people in the Allure Media office - from Popsugar to Kotaku, Lifehacker to of course, Gizmodo.

Please let us know yours too, in the comments.

Let's talk about Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Erin Riley: Parenting Editor, Popsugar

Star Wars occupies a funny place in my life: like most kids of my generation, I was raised on the original trilogy. My youngest brother in particular loves it. So while I'm not exactly part of the Star Wars fan community, I sit just outside it. I'm fond of the movies.

Which is important context, because I really loved this movie. It’s perhaps my favourite Star Wars movie ever. I found the story genuinely exciting: it was well-paced and the fact most of it took place over just a few days was a good move. I loved the role of failure in the film. I loved the fact schemes didn't always work. I love, love, LOVED Rose's character. Yes, I thought some of the themes were a bit heavy-handed, but overall, I really enjoyed it.

But my partner, who is far more of a fan than I, didn’t love it as much, and this morning, other friends who are really into the movies have had similar views. They’ve been pointing out inconsistencies and plot holes and theorising about gravity on the dreadnought (was it enough to get the bombs to drop?).

This movie seems to have more for the casual fan than who are more devoted to the Star Wars universe.

Also, Laura Dern's costume was amazing. That is all.


Jackson Ryan: Reviews And Round Ups Editor

The Last Jedi is a very good film.

I have reservations about calling it The Best because there are some niggling issues, but it’s far and away the most engrossing of Disney’s output from top to bottom. It goes for a long time, but it uses all those minutes to set up, break down and then tie together multiple narrative threads from a wide cast of well developed characters. Everyone gets their chance to shine but Hamill is ALL IN, Daisy Ridley gets to really evolve Rey from a naïve, force-sensitive nobody to powerful, force-controlling somebody and Kylo Ren’s motivations and aspirations become clear.

The first act is amazing action set pieces, the second act gets caught up on less exciting things for the sake of time but the huge third act is about forty minutes of the best Star Wars can deliver – and it delivers. I’m so glad that this movie is very good without being a retread of Empire. I am so glad it gave characters room to breathe and really set up Rey and Ren as the new Star Wars paradigm. The movie talks about 'letting the past die’ and with VIII, they didn’t let it die so much as kill it off in the most satisfying way possible.

We don’t need to hold on to our nostalgia anymore. We don’t need to pine for the Original Trilogy and hold onto our love for it, hoping the series can return to its former glory. This is the new order. This is the rebirth.

This is our Star Wars now.


Chris Jager: Editor, Lifehacker

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is really really good. It's the funniest and most emotionally satisfying Star Wars yet. Best of all, it's not completely predictable. If you thought Force Awakens was too much like A New Hope, you'll like where this one goes.


Hayley Williams: Social Media and Community Manager

The Last Jedi is a movie that brings balance to the Star Wars franchise.

I couldn’t stop thinking about the idea of balance in this movie. It’s a theme that’s played on heavily in the more Jedi theory-heavy parts of the story, but the film itself is so well-balanced you have to assume Rian Johnson has learned something from the old Jedi ways. I was never shy of pointing out my problems with The Force Awakens, but was pleasantly surprised to find that the second part of the trilogy improved on all of those annoying little issues.

Remember that clip of George Lucas calling the prequels ‘poetry’ in how they ‘rhymed’ with the originals? In relation to the prequels it’s a ridiculous statement, but I think the franchise finally got the rhyming thing down with Last Jedi and how it harks back to Empire Strikes Back. The Force Awakens was criticised for being too close a copy of A New Hope, but this time the relationship is subtler. It’s familiar enough to be gratifying to old fans, but new enough that the movie was never predictable or tired. It kept you guessing right to the end, leaving enough space for the next film to go any number of different ways.

The Last Jedi also balanced its comedic moments surprisingly well. This film probably has the most straight-out jokes of any Star Wars film, some of them coming at moments that are otherwise quite serious. Somehow it never gets obnoxious, though your mileage with gratuitous porg moments may vary. Despite the focus on humor, Johnson knows when to give space to a serious moment, and when to break up the tension with a more ridiculous moment.

Despite the expanding cast of characters, it felt like each character got their own satisfying arc in this film. Newcomers Kelly Marie Tran as Rose and Laura Dern as Admiral Holdo were particular favourites of mine, adding depth to Finn and Poe respectively while also getting their own character journeys along the way. I loved how Holdo’s character could call out the character flaws in someone as beloved as Poe Dameron, while not making us hate either one of them (at least not by the end).

With Luke and Rey’s storyline, The Last Jedi becomes the first saga film to question the Jedi and the Force more rigorously. While both The Clone Wars and Rebels have explored the idea of the Force beyond a simple Dark/Light dichotomy, it’s refreshing to see those questions and intricacies reflected in one of the franchise’s main films.

The movie wasn’t without its weak points, of course. The whole casino scene felt like a bit of a waste of time, and oddly paced considering the state of the Resistance. I wasn’t a big fan of Benicio Del Toro’s character in these sequences either. He seemed to straddle the line between major and minor character in a very uncertain way, as though he was shoehorned in at the last minute. Perhaps there are plans to do more with his character in the future, but from what I’ve seen in this film I’m not sold on him. The Clone Wars fan in me is maybe just a little disappointed that they missed the opportunity to bring in a more well-known scumbag from one of the animated series.

From a filmmaking standpoint, The Last Jedi is ridiculously gorgeous. The scenes on the mineral planet of Crait are almost too indulgent in their gorgeous red-and-white colours, but it pays off for some truly unique and interesting battle scenes. The destruction of Snoke’s ship was incredibly done, somehow managing to be impactful and stunning even in an age when we’re so used to giant CG-driven spectacle. The music is fantastic, underscored by the use of silence in the aforementioned scene of destruction. I’ll always love a film that knows how to use its quiet moments.

I have so much more I could say about The Last Jedi, but overall it was the movie I wanted in this trilogy – and the movie that the franchise needed. The Force Awakens was a fun movie, but it tended to lean on nostalgia a little too much. The Last Jedi has broken off from those bonds and is taking the series into interesting new places. It makes me want to dive into the Star Wars universe again and devour everything I can get my hands on while we wait for the conclusion to the trilogy.

WATCH MORE: Entertainment News


Comments

    As a Star Wars fan for forty years I can honestly say that I am still digesting The Last Jedi. I will no doubt see it three or four more times before I truly have my definitive opinion. From today’s viewing I can say that I think I like it. The Canto Bight scenes I enjoyed especially, having just finished the book before seeing the movie.

    Somewhat disjointed. There are some good parts, but it was a bit "try hard" on how many items/characters they could interject from the earlier movies that mostly seemed out of place. Most of the humour was lame. Have not been this disappointed in a Star Wars movie since Jaja Binks took some of my life that I will never get back.

    Saw it this morning. Long term fan; 1977 was my first viewing so i guess i have...expectations.
    Unfortunately i'd describe The Last Jedi as a poor remake of ESB with a little ROTJ thrown in. Yes, yes the visual effects are truly spectacular and yes there are several moments where i felt the original twinkle of... whatever that magical essence movie makers would love to have on tap.
    But essentially my realisation is finally this: The movies made in the 70's and 80's are gone. This (Star Wars) is a very expensive business model which a media juggernaut (Disney) will wring every last cent out of. Hollywood has remade everything i held dear from FRIGHT NIGHT to SPIDER MAN, IT, to the MAGNIFICENT SEVEN and yes, A NEW HOPE (repackaged as The Force Awakens) The main epiphany i had today watching this with my 9 year old daughter who incidentally declared her delight at how good a movie it was...was... as that awe-struck 9 year old who witnessed the beginning at the Greater Union Cinema at Russell street in Melbourne in '77... I'm not the market for this content anymore.

      I'm not the market for this content anymore
      Exactly, its what people seem to forget, its impossible to target an entire audience, and I had a similar experience with The Phantom Menace. I got to take my son, 8 years of age to watch it, and he (obviously) loved it, as I loved the original, in '77 at Hoytes, George St. I watched this one, trying my best to view it with younger eyes, and I really didnt mind it, did I want more depth, less cheese, yeah, but, best to view it as a pop corn flick, just like the original was meant to be...good fun. The reality is this, Star Wars isn't changing...we are.

      You're complaining about remakes as if they are a new business model, but stories have been told and retold for hundreds of years. Before film and television it was in print media, and it continues to happen in new story telling mediums ( e.g. video games). Even in the examples you gave, half of those are remakes: Spider-Man was adapted from the comics, IT was adapted from the book, and the Magnificent Seven is a remake of Seven Samurai. Stories (movies) don't have to be original to be good. They just have to be told well.

    I almost want to say it is better than Empire but that film was as much as what it stood for in the era as well as the film itself. That said the director here took risks, lots of them and for me sometimes it is unimportant if they werent always successful but the fact he had the balls to try in the first place, is an achievement in itself.

    It felt like no other Star Wars before it. I like the fact that it constantly didnt do what you wanted it to do or thought it should do. Hell even one whole section of movie was, in some senses, all for nothing in terms of story. That is something Hollywood films dont normally do.

    I really questions peoples problem with the humour, they should really go back to the rest of the films and even better go back to the films the originals were trying to emulate. The tone of the humour in this film was near perfect balancing between broody seriousness and lightness. Gosh it would have been unbearable if it ignored humour and just went all emo.

    I grew up with the originals and this felt like Star Wars finally trying to grow and destroy the past so it could FINALLY start telling unique stories for a new generation (hopefully nothing about super weapons)

      The problem with the attempted humour was that there was no respite. In the other movies there were humourous characters to add lightness to the movie, in TLJ everyone got to do a joke, except Hux of course because he was the butt of half of them.
      And they were mostly terrible jokes that shared no relation to the movie happening around them.

      Also, hopefully there are some unique stories coming, but TLJ was another rehash of scenes we've seen before in the other movies, just better disguised this time.

        I guess I should be glad I was in a cinema fill of people who still remembered how to have a laugh. Because my cinema was full of people gasping and laughing, and cheering and clapping. Give me that type of humour and a film that doesnt take itself too seriously, than the emo-fest it could have been.

          Nothing wrong with humour, I just felt it could have been better balanced.

    Could be the worst installment so far....overload of cringe fan service and 'take the piss out of itself' humor. A storyline that was so uninteresting, and Luke was just odd and nothing like what he should have been. They even killed off the the most interesting character. Just a complete wtf movie. Too many established rules of the playing field Broken also. Just hugely disappointed on so many levels. I actually feel nostalgic for the Force Awakens mess.

    I absolutely hated it and so did mark hamill, everything in the film is wrong
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBstE89j_7w
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnzFhjrm9y8

    nothing in the prequels came close to how bad this film was

      You are clearly emotional right now. Go back and rewatch Episode II. You may not like this film, but there is no way on Earth or any other planet Episode VIII is worse than Episode II. There are no rose coloured glasses for that movie.

      And the answer to this

      "nothing in the prequels came close to how bad this film was"

      Yes there is. Hayden Christensen.

        I have to say that that episode 7 and 8 have made me appreciate the prequels a bit more. Sure the acting and dialogue is poor in the prequels but there was a consistency and sensibility to their plots that is just missing from the two new films.

    I hated it. I thought the character development sucked and they offered little exposition or explanation to key players before sniffing them out and shifting the focus. The messages of “this is not going to go the way you think” and “let the past die” resonated throughout. I’m surprised more people haven’t been as butt hurt as I am! LOL!

    Can honestly say that this is the 9th best Star Wars film to date.

    Felt like a bunch of ideas for scenes stitched together into a nonsensical mess littered with cheap laughs and slapstick comedy. Some scenes were genuinely great, some were completely pointless, many were lifted wholesale from Episodes V and VI.

    I’m noticing a trend. All the professional reviewers love it and the common public hate it. Go on Rotten Tomatoes and see how many people with a profile pic give it 4-5 stars. Then note the overwhelming number of people without a pic giving it 1/2 a star. Methinks Disney’s operating as access enforcer on this one.

    It isn't a terrible movie just isnt very good.
    cringy dialogue, plot holes, no continuation of lore! Snoke's backstory is excluded from the story, Rey's parents are irrelevant, and where are the knights of ren, huh? And that one scene at the start (i think you all know the one) is just so weird and unnecessary. It trivialises the 'force' and is just so awkward. Without spoiling anything, it just makes no sense in the context of the rest of the film if they come back, and its worse for episode 9 because now they can't solve that problem either which would have been conveniently solved had the scene been followed-through with, its a mess. Its near the same level as batman v superman martha scene. There is zero depth in this film, sure the action sequences were perfect but its without substance, all flash. Humour was alright, but even that felt a little too obvious and unnatural compared to harrison ford and ewan mcgregor days. And it stems from a typical disney problem where characters are too superficially fantastical (i think only Poe and Rey had adequate character development).
    Honestly can't believe they're getting rian jhonson to direct a new trilogy SO BAD. Rotten tomato user reviews already dropped 30% and IMDB is hammering it now - can't believe critics are still holding at 90%+ when this film is a failure to fans. Just watch the film and then watch angry joe's angry review (spoilers): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09tTlVQ3VfY&t=3s

    Princess Leia flying through space was the worst thing I have ever seen. I was laughing in a silent packed cinema at how ridiculous it was.

    Sure this film was made for my kids and not middle aged me but my biggest issue is the way the new films completely negate the achievements and legacy of Luke, Leia and Han Solo. In the two new films these people are shown not just to be flawed but complete failures who created Kylo Ren and were by standers to the new order.

    The two new films actually mean that the original series was for naught after all and the three heroes achieved nothing really.

    Surely you can build a new series without hollowing out this legacy?

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