It’s here… IT’S FINALLY HERE! On December 20, After a run of almost five years, the skywalker saga is nearly complete. Throughout this newest saga, there has been a vast dichotomy of feelings; a combination of love, hate, adoration, and disgust for the newest movies, produced by Walt Disney Studios.
The reviews with these movies and new shows have been… mixed, to say the least. With many people either loving or hating the newer movies, but very few in between. The Force Awakens was received well, but didn’t meet expectations. The cliffhanger ending did hook fans for the next movie, though. The Last Jedi, however, was received more poorly… While it was received well by critics with a 93% score on Rotten Tomatoes, it received only a 56% score for fans.
After switching directors from J.J. Abrams in Force Awakens to Rian Johnson for The Last Jedi, the momentum of the series completely changed. Characters were split up, plots went slower, main characters were split UP and not shown on screen together, useless characters were introduced, the main characters were SPLIT UP, cool characters were killed, MAIN CHARACTERS WERE SPLIT UP.
For instance, in The Force Awakens, Poe Dameron, played by Oscar Isaac, is introduced in the first scene, then Finn, played by John Boyega, enters in the same scene on the opposing side. The audience then follows Finn as he defects from The First Order and frees Poe, who both proceed to escape to Jakku, where we are introduced to Rey, played by Daisey Ridley.
These introductions are seamless, and the audience could clearly see how one event led to the next. The movie then followed the main characters as they worked together and bonded with each other.
Then, in The Last Jedi we see that Rey spends nearly the whole movie on Luke’s island, where he basically just sits there, insisting on being a hermit. Finn finds this random engineer named Rose, played by Kellie Marie Tran, and runs off to Canto Bight to find some codebreaker, only to be betrayed when the odd pairing has to settle for someone else, named DJ, played by Benicio Del Toro while Poe spends the runtime trying to help Admiral Holdo, played by Laura Dern. Holdo doesn’t tell anyone the rescue plan, resulting in a coupe and her sacrifice.
For long time fans like myself, this movie sorely let down our expectations and nostalgia. One of my earliest memories was when Revenge of the Sith came out in 2005. I was four years old and had already seen A New Hope, the Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, as well as Phantom Menace, and Attack of the Clones. These movies used to be my whole world! So when little toddler me saw a commercial advertising the newest installment, I begged my dad to take me to it. So we immediately went to the theater and watched the movie. To this day, it’s one of my happiest memories, even though the ending scared me a little bit.
Those are the memories that fans have of these movies, and the memories that Disney has to live up to.
The whole movie is only saved because Rey ends up saving the entire Resistance at the very end.
But these are not all the reasons people didn’t like The Last Jedi. Here is a quick summary of the most common complaints, according to cinemablend.com
- Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) is killed off unceremoniously and without backstory.
- Leia (Carrie Fisher) suddenly uses the force. Yes, she used a low level force power in The Empire Strikes Back, but that is not the same as using it to hold oxygen and pull her through space. This type of power should take training, which she has never had, and she never uses the force again in the rest of the movie (unless you count communicating with Luke’s projection, which most people don’t).
- Rey’s parents. After fan theories and discussions galore, it turns out that Rey’s parents were just junk traders… which is just so, so disappointing. But many believe this could be false.
- LUKE SKYWALKER DIES. After this epic battle with The First Order and their AT-M6 walkers (The big gorilla things), it turns out Luke was using force projection to look like he was on the planet, which apparently took so much strength that he just… faded into the force, killing a fan favorite character who barely got to accomplish anything in the new saga.
But now, just maybe and just perhaps, just in time for Christmas, there’s hope. The Rise of Skywalker opens on Friday, December 20th.
This newest film, directed by J.J. Abrams, could possibly save the skywalker saga. Between theories of either Rey or Ben Solo (Adam Driver) switching to the dark or light side respectively, the return of The Emperor, and the Introduction of the Knights of Ren, fans are incredibly excited for this final installation of the Skywalker Saga.
The return of Abrams means that all the loose threads that were seen in The Force Awakens and not explored in The Last Jedi could possibly be explained, and maybe we’ll get some definitive origins on characters like Rey or Snoke. Questions like “How did the Emperor survive?,” “Who are the Knights of Ren?,” and “Will Disney kill off Lando Calrissian and Leia?” could be answered.
In short, fans everywhere are waiting with anticipation to the conclusion of this decades long story.