Hey Readers, I was going to take it easy and post just once this week because the week between Christmas and New Year is always very slow. However, I saw The Last Jedi (TLJ) with the family and I couldn’t understand why there is such a huge negative backlash from the viewers. For those of you who haven’t heard, the audience score for The Last Jedi at Rotten Tomatoes is just 51%. Wow, that’s almost like the presidential election. Half of the audience didn’t like the movie. That’s nuts! I enjoyed the movie thoroughly so that’s why I’m deviating from our regular personal finance topics and posting a film review today. We only saw one movie in the theater this year and TLJ was just right. Hey, that’s why it is good to have a blog. I can share my views and write about anything.
We’re Star Wars Fans
Yes, RB40Jr and I are Star Wars fans. We watched every episode of the films and the animated series. We have a bunch of Lego Star Wars, 2 light sabers, and a Star Wars trivia game. RB40Jr probably knows more about Star Wars than most casual viewers (like Mrs. RB40). He is six years old. I think we’re qualified to comment on the latest movie.
So what do I think of The Last Jedi? As I said above, I enjoyed it thoroughly. TLJ isn’t as straight forward as the other Star Wars movies, but I like the different feel. IMO, it’s one of the top 3 movies in the franchise. I liked it better than The Force Awakens (VII) because TFA is almost exactly like A New Hope (IV). RB40Jr agrees with me on this point. TLJ is also better than the all the prequels (I to III) and Rogue One. I didn’t like Rogue One that much because I never liked movies that end with everybody dead. So what’s TLJ about? I’ll give you a quick no spoiler summary.
No Spoiler Summary
At the end of TFA, Rey found Luke and TLJ picks up right after that. Rey tried to convince Luke to teach her the ways of the Force, but he was very reluctant to do so. Meanwhile, Poe, Finn, Leia, and the Resistance were in a running fight against the First Order. Fuel was low and the First Order would destroy them when they overtake them. Later on, Rey reunited with the Resistance and there were several confrontations with the bad guys. In the end, only a few of the good guys escaped to fight another day.
The movie was too a bit too long at 155 minutes. RB40Jr got tired out and he was ready to go after 2 hours. This movie would be more fun at home for us. One of his favorite characters also pulled a Boba Fett so that’s disappointing. Maybe they’ll bring that character back in the next episode. Who knows…
Why viewers didn’t like The Last Jedi
It seems a lot of people didn’t like TLJ for many reasons. Let’s go through a few of them.
Bombs don’t fall in space
Jeez, Star Wars is pulp sci-fi. This isn’t a hardcore sci-fi series and it never really adheres to the law of physics. Remember when Han, Chewy, and Leia were walking around in the space worm’s stomach on an asteroid in The Empire Strikes Back? Who believes giant worms have gravity and atmosphere in their stomach? You have to suspend your disbelief and just enjoy the show.
Also, there is gravity in space. This is the main reason why I’m writing this review. If you’re going to get scientific, then get it right. The space battle took place next to D’Qar so the planet’s gravity is there.
Let’s take a pop quiz. Does gravity disappear if you go up 250 miles? That’s how far the International Space Station is from earth. Think about it for a second.
Everyone knows there is no gravity on the International Space Station because everyone has seen footage of stuff floating around. Well, I hope you’re not everyone because that’s wrong. At that altitude, the gravity is about 90% of what we feel on earth according to NASA. What the heck? Why are things floating around then?
I urge you to go to the page from NASA and read more, but I’ll give you the quick low down here. The ISS is in orbit around Earth and it is moving sideways at a very fast speed. The gravity is dragging the ISS down, but it is moving sideways fast enough to stay in orbit. The ISS and everything in it is in constant free fall. It’s like one of those tall freefall rides at the fair. If you let go of a ball during the ride, it will look like there is no gravity for a second. It doesn’t mean there is no gravity at the fair. In conclusion, there is noticeable gravity in space when you are near a planet.
Anyway, the official explanation from Disney is that those bombs didn’t require gravity. They are accelerated out of the bomber with magnetic field. Fans need to lighten up and just enjoy the show.
Luke turned into a curmudgeon
The next big gripe was character continuity. Luke turned into a curmudgeonly hermit. It doesn’t make sense for an optimistic farm boy to change that much. Well, I was an optimistic engineer who thought I was the smartest cookie in the jar when I started my first job. It only took me 16 years to curse engineering and quit to become a stay-at-home-dad/blogger. People change. That’s why you should save for retirement even if you really love your job. It probably won’t stay that way forever. BTW, I was way wrong about the cookie jar thing. There are a ton of people way smarter than me.
Anyway, it seems like the fans want a more straight forward story. They want the Jedi to be good and wise. They don’t want to see a Jedi brought down by the disappointments in life. I thought it was fine. Even good people do the wrong things sometime. Not a big deal to me. I didn’t put Luke on a pedestal.
Too many jokes
Okay, there probably were too many jokes and cute aliens. Some jokes worked and some didn’t. I guess people think the jokes break up the mood too much. We enjoyed them, though. RB40Jr thought there were many funny moments. Star Wars movies are for kids too so the more jokes, the better. Audiences should put kid goggles on when they go see these movies. Don’t be so cynical.
People complained that the bad guys were all Caucasian males and the good guys had diverse racial casting. The girls made all the right decisions and are smarter than guys in this movie.
I didn’t even notice this until I heard this criticism. I guess it’s true, but who cares? It’s way better than the original movies in that aspect. There was only one female in the original Star Wars movie. More diversity is better to me. It’s not 1977 anymore.
As for females making better decisions, I guess that’s too close to real life for the fan boys. Hahaha…
No continuation from TFA
I guess the fan boys and girls spent the last two years debating the big questions from TFA. Who is Leader Snoke and where did he come from? Who are Rey’s parents? There are a ton of theories on the internet if you Google them.
Some people thought Snoke was seen in Rogue One. There were a bunch of theories about Rey’s parents and why she is so strong with the Force. Well, TLJ tears those down and gives unsatisfactory answers. Weirdly, I was fine with this. I don’t mind the twists and turns. That’s more interesting for me. Anyway, I don’t think we’ve heard the last word on Rey’s parentage yet.
Yes, the movie was too long. There was a casino segment that dragged the middle of the movie down. I agree with this one.
***Minor spoiler ahead
Yoda made an appearance in this movie and he is a puppet. I guess people liked the CGI better, but I didn’t even notice. Who cares if the Yoda force ghost is a puppet or CGI? Why is this a big deal to people?
- Too many new Force powers
***Minor spoiler here.
There are too many new Force powers in this movie. Not really. They are pretty similar to previous Force powers. Leia just did a Force pull. What Luke did at the end is something like a Force ghost. No big deal to me. More power is more fun.
What do you think?
Alright, now it’s your turn. Feel free to mention anything in the comments. Spoilers are okay there. All in all, I enjoyed the movie and we are looking forward to the next Star Wars film. I liked it because Rian Johnson showed us new things we haven’t seen before in the Star Wars universe. The movie didn’t turn out as expected, but it was very enjoyable. Star Wars movies will be part of our Christmas tradition as long as they keep making new ones. These new movies are way better than the prequels so far so I’m very happy with them.
Did you see The Last Jedi? How did you like the film?
Happy New Year!
ISS image credit: NASA