(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from Star Wars: The Last Jedi)
Doug (vo): The Last Jedi, the biggest Star Wars film to win all fans over since...Phantom Menace? Yeah, I definitely want to review this film again, because, man, the reaction this movie got was crazy. I mean, don't get me wrong. Every Star Wars film, apart from the first one, has gotten some kind of backlash. When they first came out, a lot of people were against Empire, Jedi, even the Christmas special, I ask you! So I guess you can't act too shocked that there's people that don't like this movie. I mean, there's plenty of reasons why, but...man! Man! I'm just waiting for Rian Johnson to get in a car accident and some fan has him in a bed and forces him to rewrite the script! (An image of Annie Wilkes looking at Paul Sheldon in bed from the movie Misery (1990) is shown) Me, personally, when I first saw it, I actually loved...a lot of it, and had some problems with other parts. Overall, I remember it being a really good experience. But I'm not gonna lie, the more and more I think back on it, the more and more problems do arise. Well, let's talk about the story, as well as look at the good stuff, because, weirdly enough, this movie is kind of divided into two. It's very easy, in my opinion, to point out what the good stuff is and the bad stuff is.
Doug (vo): The good stuff. Rey finds Luke Skywalker, but he has no interest in training her. In fact, he even tosses the lightsaber behind him. Many fans were shocked by this and astonished that he was so bitter and cold and abandoned everybody, kind of like they said he did in the first film... (An image of the opening crawl from The Force Awakens, which has the opening line, "Luke Skywalker has vanished", is shown) ...and one of the most likeable characters did, too. (An image of Yoda is shown) Again, I can see people getting angry that this got in the way of the happily ever after, optimistic point of view, but as soon as you see Han and Leia don't work out, I think it's pretty clear that's out the window. I just assumed this is what Luke would be doing. He would feel like he'd have to banish himself just like Yoda did. Why were people so shocked by this? Like a lot of stories about spiritual journeys, Rey decides not to leave and stays there until she's trained. While Luke technically refuses to train her, at least the traditional way, she does find out a lot of stuff by herself. The island holds many mysterious secrets as Rey herself also holds many mysterious secrets, including somehow a way for the Force to connect both her and Kylo Ren. Neither are quite sure how they're doing it, but they're able to talk to one another and even sometimes bring a little bit of the environment back with them. That's actually rather intriguing.
(Footage focusing on the film's second half of the story, the one with the Resistance trying to escape the First Order, and the storylines of Finn, Leia and Poe Dameron, is shown)
Doug (vo): But then you have the other story, though, which is, in my opinion, the bad stuff. The Resistance is on the run from the First Order, and it's just kind of a really long, drawn-out chase scene that I still don't entirely get. Why can't one go faster to catch up? It has more power. Through an even more confusing subplot, Finn and a new character named Rose have to travel to a different planet to find this codebreaker that can break aboard and...somehow stop it, but they don't come across that codebreaker, they come across another one. And while that's going on, Leia seems to be out of commission and Poe wants to know what's going on, but he's not being told for...absolutely no reason. Even if you were to take out the details of this story, which do make absolutely no sense, a lot of these characters just aren't that interesting. I don't know why this really slow chase is supposed to be suspenseful, I don't know why this really boring casino is supposed to be interesting, I don't care why we're supposed to care about...space horses? What? How did we get here?
(Footage focusing on the film's climactic scenes is shown)
Doug (vo): The two stories kind of come to a head in the last third, where they confront Snoke, and, big shock, there's betrayals and backstabbing and lightsabers and giant machines shooting at each other and ships flying all around and all the usual Star Wars stuff.
Doug (vo): Without getting into spoilers, I think a lot of people agree the movie should've ended a half-hour earlier, and most people agree on the exact same spot where it should have stopped. That's not to say the climax isn't interesting or creative, but it does go on way too long, and on top of that, a lot of the mysteries and dilemmas seem to already be solved, and most of them aren't that satisfactory.
(Several clips focusing on one of the film's villains, Supreme Leader Snoke, are shown)
Doug (vo): Snoke, for example, we never find out about. And I know a lot of people say, "Well, he's like the Emperor. You didn't really know anything about him." But the Emperor wasn't mentioned in the first one. We just thought it was Darth Vader. And even when he does come along, you just know he's the guy calling the shots. Even Obi-Wan says that it's kind of Darth Vader himself that turned himself to the dark side, so that was explained. Here, it's said that Snoke did it. Well, okay, I don't need much, but just, who was he? How did he come across this guy? How did he turn him? How did he know Luke? Just...something! Give me something! A line of dialogue, I don't care. Just a little bit. But then, it's also strange because I never found Snoke that interesting.
(Various clips resume showing)
Doug (vo): And honestly, a lot of these mysteries I thought was just gonna go the same usual route, like the Chosen One or the family blood or something like that. But they don't go that route, which at first I liked, but then I realized, they don't really replace it with anything of substance. It's just kind of set up and then nothing is delivered. Not something different, just nothing. That's very odd, especially for a second movie that's supposed to be the second act of something, you know, where things are supposed to be getting interesting. There's twists and turns that lead to the third act, but...nothing's really leading to the third movie, apart from Rey and Kylo's connection, but it doesn't seem like a huge cliffhanger to see what's gonna happen with them.
(Dozens of clips focusing on the storylines of Luke Skywalker, Rey, and Kylo Ren are shown)
Doug (vo): But, okay, those are the downsides. The good sides? Pretty much anything with Rey, Luke and Kylo Ren, I love the shit out of. I adore all these characters. I know, technically, they don't even do that much until the third act, but they're just so interesting, I love hearing them talk and I love their dialogue, I can just watch them do nothing! It's so funny, because the side story has so much shit going on, but because I don't really care about those characters, I don't get into it. With them, so little is going on, and yet they do it so well and so engaging, and they're so complex, and I just want to learn more and more about them. It also feels like they're evolving the idea of the Force as well. It always kind of seemed like the Force was one thing, and in the first three movies, it seemed to evolve a little bit, you find out a few more tricks, but then it just kind of stayed the same. Well, unless you count blood tests, which most people don't. But you know of the idea. The Force is around us, you lift your hand, you can move stuff and fly around, sometimes, shoot lightning, things like that. Here, it seems like people who are really in touch with the Force can kind of experiment with it and push it in a new way. At first, I didn't like that Rey wasn't taught by Luke, and, yeah, there's also a little bit of a cheat with these books that you find later in the film. But then, the more I thought about it, because she does have such a strong connection with it, she can take it in a new direction, she can kind of recreate it, reshift it, redefine it, it can become something really new. Even having the books, I kind of like, because it gives her the basics, and she can figure out where to go from there, and how to sort of morph and shift and experiment with it. It's the first time in a long time I got legitimately excited for an idea in Star Wars.
(Footage focusing on the film's special effects, cinematography and production design is shown)
Doug (vo): On top of that, it's, hands down, the best-looking Star Wars film. I mean, okay, some of these places could have been designed better, but the way it's shot, the epic poses, the way they have the sun, the way they're silhouetted, the way they stand, it all seems so gigantic. It's like an anime, some of those really good animes that seem so huge. But I don't think that's just the cinematography. I do think it's the characters, specifically Rey, Luke and Kylo Ren.
Doug (vo): So looking back, it is a little bit more of a mixed bag than perhaps I remember. It is a little too complicated, a little too long, and probably explains too much, and what it does explain is not really that satisfactory. It's more leading us down one path and then suddenly leading us down a different one, but that new path doesn't really go anywhere. But I'll admit, the stuff I do like is some of my favorite stuff in any of the Star Wars films. It's the first time I can remember where I was watching a Star Wars movie and I had, like, butterflies in my stomach, I was afraid what was gonna happen, I didn't know what was gonna happen, I was excited for it. So, yeah, pretty much everything done with Luke, Rey, Kylo Ren and the Force, I really, really enjoy, some of the best I've ever seen in any of the Star Wars flicks. The stuff done with Finn, Rose, the First Order, Snoke, and... (A shot of the porgs is shown) ...those things...I didn't think were the worst, they just weren't that good. It's nice to have it on Blu-Ray because that means I can watch the best parts over and over and skip the parts that don't interest me, and miss very little. It's a good big screen movie for the visuals, but a good disc movie to rewatch the best parts and fast-forward the "blah" ones.
(One of the film's final scenes, showing the Millennium Falcon blasting off into hyperspace, is shown)