I Saw The Last Jedi

OK, spoilers 4ever. Can’t bring the juice for a full review like the ones I’ve done before, so this is it…

I liked The Force Awakens better, though this was totally fine. On a subsequent watching I might revise the opinion I’m about to give, but my feeling was that JJ Abrams did a better job with the emotional momentum. With making the narrative feel more emotionally powerful and flow well from one scene to the next, almost musically. Rian Johnson had a script with much more emotional heft, but TLJ didn’t swell in my heart the way TFA did. And by rights, I should have been bawlin’, because I practically teared up at some shitty trailer before the show.

The biggest sin was that Finn and Rey didn’t feel important. I agree with some other reviewers that it was dope to have Luke carry the finale, but Finn and Rey gripped me hard during the first movie, and it’s a shame they didn’t have me at all here. While it’s cool to see Rey more confident in this one, she often seemed blank, like a non-presence somehow. Maybe I was just too tired, maybe this’ll change for me the next time I see it. Anyway, I know what Daisy Ridley is capable of, so I blame the director.

Visually there was a lot of good stuff. The origin of blue milk was hilarious and gross, the village people on exile planet were cute, the lovely environment of the finale was wild. So far every review I’ve seen felt weird about or initially disliked or laughed at Princess Leia’s showy force power scene, but I unequivocally liked it. It was kinda beautiful and very cool to watch. For me. Different strokes for different pokes.

I know what IHFJ and Pzed thought about it. How about the rest of y’all?


  1. says

    The director wanted to hard to reinvent Star Wars, he seemed to forget that this is a sequel.

    He let the air out of the tires with too much. I liked a lot of the movie, but I wasn’t excited through most of the scenes I should have been.

  2. Robert, not Bob says

    I find it amusing at all the (presumably young) people seeing love’n’romance everywhere in these movies: Finn/Rey, Finn/Poe, Rey/Kylo, even Leia/Holdor(sp?). I never saw any romance in any of those relationships, and frankly hoped the movie makers wouldn’t go there. It’s the same for other works of fiction-reading TVTropes articles really makes my eyes roll. Oh well, I used to be young and romantic too… As to Rose for Finn, well, I’m not going to claim it’s impossible to fall in love quickly: I did. But of course she’s young, bereaved, and under enormous stress. Then she’s gone adventuring with a decently attractive member of the appropriate sex for whom she already had some hero-worship. Of course she’s going to think she loves him, and if they were real people in a day or two her declaration would be “let us never mention that again”.

  3. says

    I’d like to thank you both for not being the same tired breed of shitboy polluting youtube with desperate fantasies of this movie being a HUGE DIVISIVE FAILURE WAAAAH RUINED CHILDHOOD BARGLE because they’ve finally reached the end of their racist sexist tethers. It’s possible to have a mildly negative critique of something without channeling one’s inner pajama-footed reactionary man baby. Just made the mistake of visiting that joint tonight, ugh.

    Para – I don’t see the reinvention, exactly. It took some big liberties with what the force can do, but I didn’t mind that. The Star Wars Rebels cartoon series seems to have gone a lot more wild with the reinvention, I think. I do agree that it didn’t excite where it should have, but I’m open to having my mind changed by subsequent viewings. Sometimes I go to the theater tired and it affects my enjoyment.

    Rob – I remember the first time I noticed a movie ditching the obligatory romance. I was big into action movies and watched John Woo’s US releases as they came out. In Broken Arrow, Samantha Mathis and Christian Slater hug at the end, but do not kiss. I was all like, whoa. Respect.

    But the best defiance of that trope ever was the end of Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s “The Guard from Underground.” A better / more literal translation of the title would be “Security Guard from Hell.” It was a low budget slasher movie, essentially, but that Kurosawa is one of the best directors in the world, made that worth watching.

    I like your take on the “shipping.” I’m still able to be moved by romantic foolery, but where is it, ye sundry youths of fandom?

  4. Robert, not Bob says

    I don’t think I was talking about shipping, exactly-isn’t that fantasizing romances? More like romantic subtext, I’d say. That can exist though-for example, Fried Green Tomatoes.

    I quite liked the diversity of human characters. It makes the setting more realistic: in a multispecies context racism and sexism make no sense. And it didn’t have any scenes that are, for me, head-desk moments, like the space slug scene and that moment in The Force Awakens when people can see a hyperspace beam weapon from thousands of light-years away.

  5. lanir says

    I thought it was a better film than the first one that preceeded it. I just kept looking at the plot for that one and thinking “Again?!? Really?” Seeing another “death star” made me think the real sith lord was in charge of whatever construction firm got paid to keep building those useless things. He’d be king of the sort of under the table dealings that would make even Han Solo envious, and no one would manufacture a controversy over who shot first (unless he also had a t-shirt factory, then… Profit!).

    This film was pretty decent. I liked that it felt like a story someone was telling in the universe rather than a story chained to all the most popular tropes of it. I didn’t really come to the independent conclusion that it had a progressive push to it but I could see it when it was explained to me. I think they’re reading too much into it though. The people who write this stuff aren’t that unclear when they want to convey a message. They’re perfectly fine with beating you over the head with it like a club.

    Also on a semi-related note, Star Wars is always horrible at depicting romance. You have to either assume these are all horrible, shallow people or assume the romantic character growth happens off-screen or it never makes any sense.

    It was surprising to watch it veer more towards hard sci-fi near the end with vice admiral Holdo. In the past it’s mostly been hard sci-fi novels that admit how dangerous fast moving things in space can be. Think how much the Empire/First Order could have saved by just scouring junkyards for capital ship parts instead of building several death stars from scratch. More evidence that Darth Corrupt Government Gig is real!

    Meanwhile we have Star Trek films busy on action film reboots and nonsense where some ships are made with origami technology and crumple instantly while you can’t scratch the paint on others. Not even with a high speed collision. The sci-fi I grew up with has changed in very weird ways.

  6. says

    Bob – re: shipping, I dunno, maybe I missed the definition in my travels. lol, TFA sure had a number of moments where physics and time took a hike, and while I noticed, it wasn’t a deal breaker for me.

    Lanir – Han merched first. 🙂 I actually liked the death star knockoff because it very strongly like the contents of my dreams. I dream about giant things between the earth and sky and apocalyptic scenarios sometimes. Between that and some other moments with a profound sense of physical scale, maybe TFA just primed me to like it more.

    Star Wars romance lol. Padme and Anakin, maaaan. Wotta load of foolery that was.

    Weapons in space movies. In both of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, construction equipment kicked ass on military spacecraft. Meanwhile, ship crashing maneuvers were always so effective in Starwards it makes me wonder why people don’t just make drone ships to fly around with.

    I oughtta get current with the Trex. Never saw the Beastie Boys one, with its various crumplings and scratchlessnesses.

  7. StevoR says

    I watched that movie last month; there were things — scenes and aspects — I liked about it and other things & aspects, I really didn’t. Visually awesome of course, plot is, well, I don’t want to give anything away but darker, more complex and with some key holes, unanswered questions that really stick out and things that don’t add up for me anyhow. Shades of the Battlestar Galactica TV series. I mostly like what they’ve done with the new characters & hate what they’ve had happen to the old cast given how ROTJ (Ep. VI) ended. I thought it was better than ‘The Force Awakens’ and it passes my “would I go see it again” test because I would.

    The reich-wingers have gone rather apeshit about it since as noted elsewhere on FTB for instance here :


    Ranting as per usual about subversive themes in it like , wow, a woman can actually be a hero and a black person and its states that rich gamblers oppressing people is wrong and, oh yeah, Luke Skywalker drinks blue milk from an alien that somewhat resembles an aquatic Chalicothere cross Stellar Sea Cow which seems to have really riled up a surprising number of people to a surprisingly large extent.

    Although I’m not sure what the fuss is all about because it answers the very minor where does (the same or similar?) blue milk come from mystery present since the breakfast on Tatooine sequence in the first ( or IVth) Star Wars movie; helps explain how Luke is surviving and living and given he started off as a farming kid; why not have Luke get his own food and drink? Also, wonder how these supposedly self-proclaimed tough and independent types feel about, y’know, earth cows and knowing where milk comes from!

    If folks are interested, Daniel Fincke has a rather interesting spoiler free review (& a spoiler galores one too) on his Camels with Hammers blog here :


    as well as a facebook page group to discuss the whole too. Of course, if folks are interested there’s already a vast amount of youtube, blog , etc .. sites to discuss and review it anyhow but still.

    This online article about Compassion being Luke’s superpower :


    was one I really enjoyed and thought made a lot of sense likewise one where someone made an overdue apology to Luke for being seen as “whiny” in expressing his emotions throughout the series and another about the subversive elements to the latest movie and its attack on toxic masculinity.

    Stuff that as noted has the reich wing haters creating petitions to have it struck form canon and using bots to tryand reduce its ratings on review sites and stuff like that.

  8. says

    I fucking loved the joke of the blue milk origin, but didn’t love watching it, haha. People didn’t like the humor in the movie. I don’t know how I felt about that generally – even after watching it a second time – but that scene was a perfectly executed joke about a canon thing that people have no doubt wondered about in the past.

    In the compassion article, “colorful milk enthusiast” – lololol I tell ya, perfect. Good article in general. I’m not too attached to the original movies and am perfectly fine with how things have gone for the characters, Luke most of all. He had a super-showy big finale, put Kenobi to shame.

    If I had to add anything to my cursory review above, after my second viewing, it’s that the tone at the end was a bit light, considering the huge amount of people that had been slaughtered. Still, my favorite Rey moment in the film was the “lifting some rocks.”

    Eh, I’ll also add that Poe didn’t deserve the good will shown toward him after his one gambit failed. It’s a “boys will be boys” kind of moral, which is the last thing the world needs at the moment.

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