Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
Updated: Jan 6, 2022
It’s here; one of the hottest takes of all. We’re ranking the most polarizing film of the saga: The Last Jedi. Is it best viewed as a stand alone movie, or is it a sequel that could’ve started something great? More importantly, will Brody and Amanda remain friends? Tune in as we evaluate the Holdo maneuver, puppet Yoda, and Rian Johnson lighting Star Wars on fire!
“This movie feels like it just kind of gives the finger to everything else.” - Brody
Like many others, Brody raises a plethora of concerns with this film. He thinks that all Rian Johnson cared about was subverting our expectations. It’s about throwing off the fanbase, and we can’t blame him for thinking this. He says killing off Phasma was a mistake, the Throne Room fight scene demonstrated terrible choreography, Yoda’s puppet looked really off, and one of the gravest sins…The Last Jedi got Luke Skywalker wrong. To Brody, he’s the most hopeful Jedi. Luke had turned Darth Vader, but now we’re supposed to believe he had a thought to kill his nephew over a bad dream and then became a hermit when it all went south? Luke then taunts Kylo at the end, and leaves him only to die or give himself to the Force. That doesn’t mean he hates the whole story. He thinks it’s an amazing movie in a different trilogy. Kylo’s character was amazing, and Rey was fantastic. To him, it’s the opposite of Attack of the Clones, which is a great bridge and filled with lore, but terrible acting.
“That just sounded like it came out from the deepest crevice of the reddits’ subpages.” - Amanda
On the opposite end, we have Amanda putting this as her favorite of the saga. She loves it more when people hate her for loving it. It lights Star Wars on fire! It asks different questions that no one has asked before. Does it matter where Rey comes from? Rey plays into the light and the dark side. Rey dives into the dark side pit looking for answers simply to get answers. If there isn’t a Jedi and there isn’t a Sith, what is next? This movie dares to ask questions. Not only that, but it focuses on the theme of failure. She loves that Yoda comes back to tell Luke that failure is the biggest lesson. Who we train, they are what they grow beyond us. We’ve never seen Luke so vulnerable on screen; this theme gives him more humanity. However, Leia coming back from the dead docks the story for her. It could’ve been a peaceful death, but it remains cringy that she is brought back. But that alone can’t take away from the ingenuity of Force-bridging between Kylo and Rey. Even though it was of Snoke’s doing, we learn more about Kylo and we see that his mind is not easily invaded. So much is torn down and questioned; Amanda says we leave the movie asking “What’s left after this?” Rey is a nobody and Kylo is now the villain. She mentions it’s one of the best acted films, it’s the most cinematic, and seeing it in IMAX was great (especially the throne room scene).
“The acting alone is so much better than anything in the prequels.” - Amanda
This is the horniest Star Wars film.
Rey should’ve taken Kylo’s hand.
It’s the most visually appealing Star Wars movie.
Leia should’ve died.
Amanda raises a lot of good points regarding the romance and intimacy of this story. There’s a lot of tension between everyone while still remaining a Disney movie. Rey and Kylo, Poe and Holdo…“It’s palpable.” We sidebarred this hot take by discussing the relationship between Poe and Holdo. Amanda says Poe has to learn to be submissive to women in this film. I raise the issue of Holdo being a bad leader, not because she’s a woman, but because her actions certainly encouraged their situation to escalate into a mutiny. She was withholding info in spite of Poe instead of being a good leader. Yes, a good leader shouldn’t have to divulge all their info, but they shouldn’t piss off their subordinates so much as to spur on a mutiny. Holdo could’ve been a better leader. Amanda thinks Holdo is justified in her withholding because Poe’s actions killed too many people. Regardless, Holdo does have a line that Amanda quoted which changes the way we all view those two forever; tension! What Rian Johnson achieves with the elevator scene, a force touch, and Kylo offering his hand presents many horny traits. Amanda said it best; Star Wars is based on a love story and having that baked into the dyad concept is wonderful.
We all think Rey should’ve taken Kylo’s hand; it certainly would’ve made for a better conclusion to the trilogy! Brody thinks TLJ is the most visually stunning with worlds like Canto Bight and the Battle of Crait, and I think Leia should’ve died in this film. With Carrie Fisher dying a year before this release, it would’ve been the responsible thing to do.
“I hate this film.” - Charley
Amanda = 24
Charley = 17.5
Christian = 17
Brody = 14.5
Overall Score = 73
For Charley, everything was fine, until they killed Snoke. You need a good villain, and now he’s gone; Snoke was a cool bad guy. Now we’re left with the angry child, Kylo Ren. Though, it was a perfect movie in terms of technical aspects as he had no complaints about what it looked like. He thought the Holdo maneuver was an amazing scene, but it destroyed everything about Star Wars. It wrecks the concept of battling and makes the fans wonder why that was never done before. It was cool to see, but it creates bigger problems for the overarching story. If this was an anthology film, he could get behind it, but they destroyed what they were building up to. He agrees it ends with “what is left?” but it’s more unsettling for him. The third movie now has to pick up so much. The story has been destroyed.
“It’s the most polarizing film.” - Christian
There are things I love about this film, and there are things that I’m really uncomfortable with. It is the most ambitious and risky of Star Wars, which I appreciate and want more of (I think). But this film was only good on paper; I think it was poorly executed on screen. Canto Bight is a pointless waste of time and resources. We get many beautiful practical effects in that one long shot, but it was just that. I’m fine with having social issues like animal cruelty and profiteering baked into these things, but it could’ve been executed better than that. Kylo and Rey had something awesome going on. I can appreciate and justify Luke having a lot of flaws, regressing to be a hermit. Having been disconnected from the Force, it makes sense for him to not be in the first film. Following in line with his character, he would’ve wanted to help in any way possible. I like the concept of a wedge between Luke and Kylo, but it was executed poorly.
“It did not help Star Wars in any way.” - Brody
I enjoyed exploring the flawed side of the Jedi and having the theme of failure both on screen for the first time. I want more daring and ambitious stuff like that because it’s different. I love that Rey was a nobody, she’s going to take responsibility for her own actions and exercise her free will. She can’t blame her heritage, and we’re avoiding ‘the chosen one’ formula for the first time. I think Finn, Rose, Phasma, and Poe were all trashed characters. Finn could’ve died and that would’ve helped his character! Phasma could’ve had a bigger role helping herself and Finn’s character. The Holdo maneuver was awesome in IMAX; that absence of sound was a fun first! I love having Yoda back, but the puppet didn’t look good at all and I was distracted by it. Leia supermanning her way back to the ship with the Force makes sense on paper, and love that we got her using the force, but Rian screwed that up too on screen. Snoke bridging their minds was sweet. Charley makes a good point in that Kylo and Rey do it themselves in Rise of Skywalker without Palpatine knowing, so why can Snoke do it? Or was Snoke lying like Amanda suggested? Good questions, but I think it’s reasonable for Snoke to bridge them; then Kylo and Rey figure out how to do it themselves in Rise of Skywalker. Charley agrees the progression of the Force lore in this film is something worth giving credit to. Even as the eighth film in, we’re still getting new things like that! Regardless, the comedy here was awkward and not funny. We even got a momma joke, and it was terrible! There should’ve been a meeting between Rian and J.J. Abrams. Remember his “You’re Snoke theory sucks” card? I feel like that was the theme of this whole film; trying to tear down not just that, but every fan theory from TFA. I’m fine with being unpredictable, but if that’s your main selling point, that’s not going to end well.