So it turns out that I have too much Star Wars love to be able to fit it in one post, which is why this post exists. Once again, spoilers ahoy!
So without further ado, let’s pick up where we left off and continue talking about the things I absolutely love about this movie.
Perhaps my favorite ongoing trope in the Star Wars universe is that the older a Jedi gets, the older and more trollish he becomes.Yoda is the biggest troll of all time (do you remember the scene where he keeps stealing things from Luke’s camp and whacking R2D2 with a stick?). Now Luke has taken up this mantle, and it’s truly glorious.
Be weird. Why use force when you can confuse the hell out of people and let them ruin their own plans? This is the way of the Jedi.
From messing with Rey and quaffing the nastiest, greatest, weirdest milk in the galaxy, to playing the ultimate prank on Kylo by refusing to actually engage with him (that “see ya around kid” before he disappears is so quality), Luke is taking nothing seriously. HE CALLS A LIGHTSABER A LASER SWORD. He wants to poop on everything you love.
The best part of this is that a. he is the one who ends up saving everyone, and becomes a part of the force, something that only Obi Wan and Yoda have done before, placing him among the wisest and most venerated of the Jedi, and b. that the whole movie is just as much of a troll to fanboys or really anyone’s expectations.
Take for example this delightfully titled article, A List of Some of the Times The Last Jedi told the older Star Wars movies to Eat Shit. The places where The Last Jedi echoes the original trilogy are so intentional because they are so delightfully subversive. Who are Rey’s parents? We find out in a big reveal from someone from the dark side who is trying to win her over (just like we learn Luke’s parentage). The difference? Rey’s a nobody.
The best part of this is that the literal themes that the film is grappling with are about various people learning from past mistakes, whether that’s Kylo, Luke, or Leia. The movie in its set ups tells us “don’t rely on the past. This time is going to be different” even as it informs its characters the same thing within the narrative.
My favorite take on this is James Croft over at Temple of the Future, and his point that in destroying the past, many of the characters (and in fact the movie itself) are “Killing the Buddha” or showing respect by changing, growing,, and learning.
But perhaps the best part of this is that set against the scenes of Rey convincing Luke that things are different and we can change are scenes of Poe messing up because he does not know the past in the way Leia and Holdo do. There aren’t simple answers in this movie. Instead there are a variety of characters interacting with a theme: what is our relationship to the past. One character may find that the answer is “the past doesn’t constrain us.” Another finds that “when we learn from the past, we do better.”
Fate? Fuck That.
The original trilogy was pretty into the idea of destiny. The prequels even introduced a fucking prophecy. The Last Jedi does not seem to give a fuck about fate or predestination. It has characters that are intentional. In the original trilogy, half of the places that the characters go are by accident. The Last Jedi has nothing happen on accident.
These are people who are looking at the world around them and choosing what they can do to improve it. I find that highly refreshing, especially as it’s also showing us why they want things to be better. As I mentioned in the prior post, it shows us more of the common people, the complexities of living under this regime, each character learning about those situations, and deciding to make a change.
Holdo’s hair is perfection.
The female friendships are my everything, especially Leia and Holdo.
The light speed attack is possibly the most visually and cinematically beautiful thing I have ever seen in a movie.
Every character touches on the same themes at some point in this movie, and each of them reacts in a different way. It’s so interesting and refreshing to see a wide cast of characters from different backgrounds grapple with important human questions and come away with different answers.
I love that the rebellion truly appears to be in dire straits this time.This is the first time I’ve actually felt concerned that they wouldn’t make it, that the form and goals of the rebellion might have to change.
I love the “he said he said” nature of the crucial scene in Kylo Ren’s turn to the dark side. Did Luke intend to kill Ben? Who knows. What we know is that reacting with violence will turn others away, and that no matter your intentions, mistakes have consequences.
If you haven’t yet, you need to go check out Emo Kylo Ren on Twitter.