My thoughts on Star Wars: The Last Jedi (No Spoilers)

I’ve always been a Star Wars fan, it was the first film I saw at the Pictures in 1977 when I was just 3.5 years old.  I loved it then and I love it now. You can see my old review for Star Wars : The Force Awakens and also another on some of my favourite Star Wars moments.

Having so enjoyed the previous film in the new trilogy and possible enjoyed Rogue One even more, I have managed to avoid all knowledge of The Last Jedi until the very moment I went to the cinema this morning at 9.30am.

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I was aware of lots of 5 star reviews and I was happy to say that I enjoyed this film a great deal.  It has great cinematography and vision and a gripping soundtrack too.  I also appreciate that the film is it’s own being and isn’t a retread of earlier films, though there are obvious nods and influences. However I don’t think it is a 5-star film.

The film is something of a long burner and though pretty enough on-screen, not that much happens for the first hour or 90 minutes.  It reminds me a little of some Rick Berman era Star Treks when you kind of wonder if this is as boldly as we’re going to go then whya re we bothering.

There are some spectacular special effects, space battles and chase scenes as well as various combats between armies and individuals.  There is even the odd twist but nothing quite asdaring as what might have been.

Probably the word I am looking for is lacklustre, without taking anything away from the positives (and I am already happily committed to seeing it twice more with various friends…. I’m sorry for cheating on you if you’re reading this).

Some of the shortcomings of The Force Awakened we were promised to be filled in or expanded upon in the next film but it doesn’t really happen.  We don’t learn anything about anyone that we didn’t all ready know, except a small point with Kylo Ren which many of us guessed all ready.

Yes we get to meet Snoke in person at last but we find out nothing about him.  All the PR about the Gwendoline Christie playing Captain Phantasm in the previous film and yet she was on screen for a few seconds.  In this film she is on screen for 3 or 4 minutes and obviously in such a time, we again find nothing about her.

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Adam Driver was less anoying than in the previous film and Domhnall Gleeson was actually allowed to make General Hux something of a believable military figure compared to the cartoonish character he was before.  He could still do so much more, see my review of Goodbye Christopher Robin.

John Boyega was good again but I felt was a little underused and spent much of the film with a new character called Rose.  Sadly I found the actress so annoying I spent much of the film hoping Rose would die… I won’t say if she did or not but she bought out feelings in me not felt since wooden Anakin and the even more annoying Jar Jar Binks.

I also found that Daisy Ridley as Rey wasn’t quite as gripping or exhilerating as she was in the first film.  I remember thinking how incredible she was and yet in this film I found her quite boring.

Mark Hamill was great as an aged Luke Skywalker and his unexpected scene with an old friend was for me the best part of the film but he was fun all the way through the actually quite fantastic finale.

Like the previous film Carrie Fisher didn’t have that much to do.  You can see how she would have a great deal more in the final film but sadly it isn’t to be.  Also, even more so than the first film, maybe because of various health problems but her inability to annunciate anything clearly was detrimental to the film.  Maybe that’s just me, I only have one good eye but the most fantastic hearing so these things are important to me.  Though again not her fault, her character was also in one of the most unreal segements of all Star Wars.  I haven’t seen Mary Poppins but I certainly get the Mary Poppins in space gag I heard about this morning.

The locations were great again, the island that Luke was on seemed to be something like the Tardis on Dr Who and got seemingly bigger with more lcoations as time went on and when you see why he was there, it doesn’t seem the smartest place to hide out on if you’re a Jedi.    It was also neat to see Dubrovnik again, a city I love so much.

I would rate the film about 3.5 out of 5 or 7 out of 10, enjoyable and as a Star Wars fan, doubly so.  Maybe it is the ‘Empire Strikes Back’ of this trilogy but as it stands, I struggle to rate it above the previous 2 recent films and it perhaps wouldn’t rate that highly without the sentimentality of a not so young master Luke.

I am looking forward to the final instalment but not so totally excited as I was last time and there are few if any intriguing fan mysteries to think about.

If you’ve seen it, let me know if you think it is the best thing since sliced bread or like me you’re just glad it’s not one of the prequels.

At 152 minutes long, if I can give you one piece of advice, don’t drink all your diet coke too early otherwise the protracted endings can be a bit painful, I’m sure on my second viewing I will enjoy the end showdowns even more.

“The greatest teacher, failure is.”

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About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including a #1 seller, I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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11 Responses to My thoughts on Star Wars: The Last Jedi (No Spoilers)

  1. Graham says:

    I’m off to see it later…at least you’ve helped manage my expectations there 😄…although I think if you analyse most things too much you come away a bit disappointed…so fingers crossed for harmless escapist entertainment. I’ll let you know my thoughts after.

    Like

    • Graham says:

      Hello again. Seen it now. No spoilers herein I hope. Well, there was plenty to enjoy but some glaring holes and cringeworthy moments too. I hated when Poe introduced himself to Rey at the end because surely they’d have met. When Rey reappeared on the Falcon after her fight with Ren was not explained. The script was far too Americanised in places (cops, perps!). The significance of the dice was a bit silly. Otherwise most entertaining. Maybe 7.5/10 😄 from me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Graham says:

        Replying to myself again but the more I think about this the lower my rating gets…I think there are some really odd story choices going on and it could’ve been much shorter if they’d been a bit smarter. I quite liked some of the character development but not others. I now agree with you on score, no more than 7 and maybe even 6.5! 😄

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hi Graham, I’ve been waiting to see what your opinion of the film was. If it were all spoiler related, discussing the better options for the film might be more entertaining than much of the film itself. It wasn’t anything special and I think really a wasted opportunity, and yes it was overly long. I don’t understand why the critics all gave it 5 star reviews but then many did the same for Phantom Menace and I remember being bored with it within a few minutes and asleep before the film was out…. that was a 20 year wait that was well worth it lol.

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          • Graham says:

            Yep. Agreed. I hated the phantom menace. For me it all still starts at episode four.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Luke was also a bit wasted too, good as he was. I don’t know why but the writers seem intent in not having a meaningful scene between Han Solo, Leia and Luke… and now they never can.

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              • Graham says:

                I fear that they will now just keep rehashing the same story over and over with no goal in sight and keep fleecing the punters. That said, I’ll probably still go and watch the next one but it could be the last. Say what you like about George Lucas but at least he was faithful to the lore he created.

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      • Yes, I agree with all your points. I know I only watched Star Wars 5,000 times but I don’t recall seeing those dice in any case. I agree about the Americanised bits too. Obviously it’s an American film but when so many actors are British (with or without the accents) it makes it even worse. I’m sure in the previous film Rey calls the Falcon ‘garbage’ and in my 43 years I’ve nee heard anyone outside the USA use that term and it took me right out of the scene. It was just rubbish…. I mean garbage. I was so excited after seeing the first film and I loved Rogue One (generally) but I’m nit excited at all about the final film.

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        • Graham says:

          Good point about garbage, although I guess they talked about garbage crushers (or words to that effect) in episode four. I noticed the word Godspeed on two occasions I think, and I thought that there is no way that God would get a mention in this galaxy. No way.

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  2. mlbradford says:

    Disney gave th writer-director job to someone who has watched Star Wars, but doesn’t understand Star Wars
    Here are my views:
    https://bradscribe.wordpress.com/2017/12/18/star-wars-the-last-jedi-the-bradscribe-review/
    May The Force Be With You! (It’s certainly NOT w The Last Jedi)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: My Top 12 movies of 2017 | Stephen Liddell

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