Johnson makes a Rouge One
Star Wars isn’t a franchise or a company or even a business, it is its own entity that defies logic or explanation. It is impossible to put into words how truly gigantic Star Wars is, but if we consider it has it’s own religion we have even the smallest glimpse into the truth of it. For the last 2 years, there has been a Star Wars film for Christmas and this year isn’t any different, the reel question is why do people hate it so much?
The answer is a simple one. It’s not what people wanted or expected. We have become so hyper excited for the return of Star Wars over the last decade that we believe we know best, that anything that deviates from our one true vision is wrong. It’s OK, I feel like that about Batman, and I still forgave Batman Vs Superman, we can rise above hate together. Promise.
I have a lot of sympathy for Rian Johnson, he had an incredibly difficult task handed to him. Make a sequel to The Force Awakens. That might sound like an easy enough job, but he had to simultaneously juggle fan service, some kind of real story and the pressure enforced by Disney one on one of their franchises. That was my problem with The Force Awakens, it was a movie that gave us all of our toys from the toy box in a 2-hour stretch, you want a girl Jedi? You got it! You want a new more relatable Darth Vader? Sure thing! You want massive set pieces? Hell yeah! Home made lightsabers? We’ve got one that looks like a reactor core! the return of almost all the original cast? How could we not! Great! We got everything we wanted! And then Rian had to pick up the pieces left to try and make some sense of it all.
I’m confident that entire chunks of the film could have been dropped and we would have lost nothing, but sometimes you have to get through that mediocre to get to the outstanding, and the sequences that do work are worth the price of admission alone.
Personally, I applauded Rian for trying to take the franchise in a number of new directions and make something new. Here is a man bold enough to give us something really unique and not apologise for it, true not everything works, but what does it matter? In another year we will have another one to fall over ourselves to go watch.
The problem is that the longer these films go on for the more you can feel Disney’s hand at work. They have stepped away from the Nazi feel of the first order and made them less threatening as an overall figure. This is done by at the expense of General Hux, whom for my money was one of the highlights of the previous instalment. We also get to see Kylo Ren’s pretty face of the entire film, I apologise if this is a spoiler but he destroys his own mask within the first 5 minutes of the proceeding. I understand why they did it, I Just think it’s kind of dumb.
In The Force Awakened, JJ played to the fans of the franchise, in The Last Jedi Disney play to the kids and Rian plays to the adults. Ultimately it is a film that is at ends with itself.
The Last Jedi is a film filled with both successes and failures, there are some moments that are both epic and unpredictable but in the same token, there is a lot of wasted time and belittling of strong characters.