The Good Things About “The Last Jedi”

I have a new podcast about this topic on my YouTube channel here. Check it out if you aren’t the reading type. But if you’re not, how did you even find this article?

Now, while I hate Star Wars: The Last Jedi more than any other Star Wars movie (and probably any other movie in general), it wasn’t complete shit. After the movie is released on Blu-Ray, I’m going to make a lengthy review for YouTube about every single thing I hate about it, but I don’t want to come across as blinded by hatred. (eh? see what I did there?)

So, for the sake of some nuance, here are the 3 good things I found about the movie:

Rey’s Origin

If you rewatch The Force Awakens, you see hints as to what Rey’s origin is. You see her being given away to whoever-that-guy-is, and you see her counting the days until her parents return. Notice she said ‘parents,’ as in plural. That alone should have been evidence that it wasn’t just one person who dropped her off there. But most importantly, when Maz Kanata talks to Rey in TFA, she says that Rey’s parents are never coming back, but she can look ahead to the future.

I don’t know about you, but I think that should have been a dead-giveaway that Rey’s parents really were nobodies. Especially when you consider that less than a year after the movie’s release, Daisy Ridley said she thought the movie made it obvious who her parents were.

Yeah, it is obvious…. In hindsight.

I wanted Rey to be the reincarnation of Anakin Skywalker, or to be the accidental creation of Snoke somehow. I was disappointed the real answer wasn’t anything that cool, but I wasn’t upset at the real answer.

Rey’s parents being nobodies means that Rey, who has done some great things, didn’t already come from greatness. I personally think that’s very true to the essence of Star Wars.

 

Luke’s Death

Before I explain this, I want to be clear that I wish Luke didn’t die in this movie specifically, because I hated this movie, and that I found it annoying that the movie didn’t really explain what killed Luke in the first place. ALSO, I didn’t really find it sad that he died, and I blame the filmmakers for how they handled his passing. He’s Luke-fucking-Skywalker. A character I’ve loved since I was a small child. His death should have wrecked me! Now, that being said…..

What better way for Luke to die?

He got to see twin suns, like on his homeworld of Tatooine, as he faded into the Force. Oh, and he got to be one with the Force, so we know his death wasn’t painful. More importantly, though…

Luke went from being a hermit who detached himself from the Force, to using the fullest extent of his powers to save the lives of those in the Resistance. If he had gone in to battle, with his actual body, he would have been disintegrated in less than a second. Being a projection made him kind of invincible, plus he knew Kylo Ren would recklessly focus on Luke before proceeding with the battle, which bought the Resistance the time they needed to escape.

He said he went to that island to die, and he got his wish, but not before redeeming his character.

 

The Most Important Thing About The Force

We see in this movie, and in The Force Awakens, the same thing we saw in the original trilogy. This is something I’ve never heard anyone talk about before, so I guess I’ll be the first.

The Force is most understood through experience. Through being out there in the universe, interacting with others, and doing what you believe is right. The Force is NOT most understood through religious dogma being shoved down your throat, whether that is by the Jedi or the Sith, or any other religion.

Why did Yoda say that Luke only needed to confront Vader to complete his training? Luke was not told by Yoda to kill Vader, he was told to confront Vader. That was the completion of his training, even though he barely got trained for a significant amount of time. Luke faced Vader, but felt the good in Vader and used that to confront him instead of purely through fighting. Understanding the Force is through the experience of life, because life itself creates the Force. They are one and the same.

No amount of religious dogma can instill the greatest teachings. It is by using the Force in everything, including doing what you feel is right. Luke didn’t feel it was right to join Vader, but he did feel it right to seek out his father (in Return of the Jedi) so that he could turn Vader back to the light.

In The Last Jedi, Yoda teaches Luke this very lesson yet again. He says failure is the greatest teacher, and this is true, both in Star Wars and in real life. And to fail, you must first try, in real life. It’s not the books of a religion that can teach you the Force, it is life itself.

 


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