Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Spoiler Alert

I'm going to discuss a sensitive and polarizing topic in this post: The Last Jedi.

If you haven't seen it yet, turn away now because there will be spoilers.

That's the first burning question: will we have an anthology story for Snoke? Who is he? Where did he come from? Does it even matter?

Before I go any further, I will say I loved The Last Jedi. I will also say that this post may be a bit self-serving. I have read and watched so many negative reviews about this movie. I saw an article about a petition to have it removed from canon. If we don't like something, let's whine about it and erase it from history? Does that work in pop culture as well as it does in politics?

The #notmyluke movement is what finally drove me to write this. I realize my opinion is no more or less valid than anyone else's, if you even read this.

Mark Hamill stated in an interview that his Luke Skywalker would never do the things that happened in the latest movie. He would never give up. He added at the end, that this wasn't his movie and a new generation of characters essentially needed to come into their own while he stepped aside. However, our sound-byte world will only latch on to the first part.

But that's what this Star Wars was about: giving up and failure. It was about how we deal with and overcome that failure. My generation grew up with Star Wars. We had idealistic heroes for an idealistic time. Things are not so hopeful these days (or are we blissfully nostalgic?). I, for one, think that many my age have become Last Jedi Luke. We are (or maybe it's just me) closed off from the force. We have forgotten the old ways and lost our hope. Something needs to happen to bring back that connection. This version of Luke realizes that and he comes back, if only to make his final and most important stand.

First they killed Han Solo and now Luke. They are killing our childhood. No. If it lives in our hearts and memories, can it really be killed? Everyone dies. Luke died. Yoda died. I'm going to die some day. That's not depressing. It's life. The death of Luke Skywalker somehow makes Star Wars more real and maybe that's why so many didn't like it? Who likes being confronted with their own mortality?

What else did they not like? Too many jokes? It's a kid's movie. Star Wars was always for kids. Part of the problem is that the kids have grown up.  Maybe it's a little more aimed at kids these days, but it is owned by Disney now. While Marvel may take Disney further and further away from its core values, maybe Star Wars can bring some of those back.

Where were the light sabre battles? This movie was more about the Force than any of the other two movies combined. One of the worst things, in my opinion, that happened to Star Wars was Yoda holding a light sabre. As a Jedi Master for over 800 years, he should have been so far beyond the need for a physical weapon. His few moments in Last Jedi showed some of his true power. Frank Oz and his puppet stole the show for me. And Luke's final moments, expressing himself through the Force, were brilliant. Notice how different he looked from the version of himself on the island? He brought forth the best version of himself, an ideal that he had long since abandoned. I hate how I look in selfies. I wonder what the best version of my self would look like?

Eh, not too bad...

And for those that had a problem with Finn and Rose, are there no romantics left? Rose just lost her sister and she spends her time alone in the underbelly of the ship. Then she is suddenly thrust into an adventure with one of her heroes. Of course she's going to fall for him. We should be happy for something simple and good among all the death and destruction.

I think the last thing I want to comment on is Poe. It is my contention that every story is incomplete without a character arc, a defining change. While Poe's arc was maybe a little obvious, it was solid and necessary. Did he spend a lot of time looking out windows or was he actually looking at a window into his soul? If he had been constantly caught up in the action, he would not have had the time to discover himself.

In summary, The Last Jedi is one of my favorites of the Saga. While I was disappointed that they did not bump into Lando on Canto Bight, I was as equally surprised at how I felt seeing Leia floating in space. The revelation, or lack, of Rey's parents didn't even bother me. They do have to save something for Ep IX. I do apologize if I rambled a bit, I did warn that this would be a little self-serving. I posted some specific thoughts and I would love to hear in the comments if anyone agrees or disagrees with any of my points.

If you would like to see how Star Wars influenced my writing, Journey of the Fourth Queen in only 99 cents on Amazon Kindle - http://mwbooks.me/4Q