This movie was bad.
It can't seem to pick a tone, it can't seem to pick a story, it seems to crap all over the older movies. What it doesn't damage it quietly pushes off camera as fast as possible.
The thing that stuck with me the most? The amount of wasted time.
Work with me here, how much of this movie could be cut without having a real impact on the finale?
Poor, poor Finn. I love the underdog and I really wanted to see him grow and come into his own.
In this movie? You could cut him entirely and you wouldn't notice the loss. He gets a big buildup as being the final hope for saving the day, but it's just kind of undone making everything he's done pointless.
Rose... well, she seemed okay for a background character I honestly didn't care about. And then at the end she attempts to murder... err, sorry, she "saves" Finn preventing him from (again) having any profound impact on the story. And then, in spite of a complete lack of chemistry and very platonic relationship she's suddenly in love with him?
Poe... the first victim of the tone issue. You show up in an X-Wing in front of an enemy fleet and they don't shoot you down? And for what? A Your Mama Joke.
Poe spends most of the movie seeming like the hero trying to save everybody from the villainously incompetent military leader, who spends all of their time twirling their mustache until... surprise, she was right all along!
Except for the part where the terrible plan that Poe said would get everybody killed actually gets everybody killed.
Leia appears to sound really old, complain about things and suddenly become superman. She just randomly has enough force power to fly through space after being exploded out into the void... and somehow get back inside in spite of the fact that there's no airlock and the door she's trying to open leads to outer space...
She mostly spends the movie grousing about Poe's choices, in a coma, or sitting quietly to the side. Oh, she also shoots Poe when simply talking would have resolved the issue. But then again they situation wouldn't have happened if people talked.
Jake Skywalker - At one time Luke risked the entire galaxy in the belief that a man who'd kill hundreds, if not thousands, and had condemned the galaxy to the yoke of slavery under the rule of the empire, was worthy of redemption.
But apparently one vision of a future where he kills people and it's time to murder a completely innocent kid in his sleep. No point in giving him a second chance.
I know, he "hesitated" but only after being seconds from killing him.
And after failing that he goes and hides wishing to die in obscurity.
Which is why he left a map on how to find him in the previous movie.
Yeah, this isn't Luke. This is Jake Skywalker, slightly addled clone and general grumpy old man.
Chewie - Oh Chewie. I know he was always a background character and often played for laughs, but he's demoted to being Rey's chauffeur and stuck interacting with the CGI birds.
Am I the only person who thought they looked pretty poor?
So lets see, it's been... days(?) since the last movie, The First Order has gone from a rather crippling loss to suddenly controlling the entire galaxy?
Poe tries to take out their Dreadnought and... okay, so lets throw this out here now. Why are there so few fighters in these scenes? I realize back in the day it was due to budget constraints for special effects, but now it seems like there's about seven fighters on either side at any given time.
Couldn't we have some more fighters to make this seem like a real challenge?
Okay, so Poe takes out the turrets on the ship and is called back before an attack can put into place.
So then why as Poe sent out? What did this accomplish?
And then, in spite of being called back, Poe orders the attack.
And Leia, the de-facto leader of the Uh, Resistance(?) who has ordered Poe off doesn't just order everybody else back? *sigh*
Okay, so the good news is they have Y-Wings and the new B-Wing bombers to destroy the... oh, never mind, we have the worst designed, slowest, most fragile bombers in existence because the director has a WWII bomber fixation.
So many issues in such short order.
-Why is there only one switch to drop the bombs?
-Why can't the pilot do it?
-Why is it a remote control? Shouldn't there be multiple wall slots to do it for each member in case of emergencies? A remote can be dropped and lost (For an example of this please see Star Wars: The Last Jedi)
-Why does the woman watch it fall past her so she can roll over and catch it with the arm that was further away instead of just reaching out and grabbing it? (Oh right drama... but it just looks stupid)
-Why does it look like the bombs are dropping due to a non-existent gravity?
-Why does opening your ship to the vacuum of space have no visible results on the people inside? I don't see any force fields holding things in, and that lady is not wearing a mask. (Does the director not understand how space works? I mean, I don't, but at least I know the basics)
Anyways, Poe is quickly demoted for getting so many people killed destroying the enemy. This will be hilarious later when ships are running out of gas and being shot out of the sky for no reason.
Now for the silliest nonsense in the entire movie. The enemies are chasing the Resistance, but apparently the resistance has ships that are small enough to be faster than the First Order's ships, but not so fast that they can actually out run them, but they can get out of laser range...
*bangs head against wall*
Well thankfully they're fully loaded with star fighters which can go fast enough to just shoot them all down. Except they don't.
All they need to do is put in one line "Why waste our pilots? They'll run out of fuel and we'll destroy them at our leisure"
But they don't because they never thought of it.
Also, Fuel? That's the first time that's ever been an issue.
Anyways, this is to fit us into the story that can be completely cut. Everything after the ship gets blown up and the space race starts could be cut without anything being lost.
It think I've covered what happens next but, hell, lets do this quickly.
Leia done got blew up but apparently she's super powerful in the force so avoids death, but allows Mustache Twirler to be the new leader. She is portrayed as a bad guy in the film so they can have a sudden turn around later, but for the moment forces people to come up with a plan to save them all.
The plan? Get Maz to show up and help them disable the magic tracking device on the lead ship.
Oh, no, wait, that would be far to the point.
So she leads them to somebody who is built up as being some awesome sauce badass. Oh yeah, time to bring in Lando and-
Wait, really? No?
Okay, apparently we're looking for Rando Hackingstuff.
So our heroes steal a... uh... a ship? They steal a ship and hyperjump out. And nobody follows them.
So why don't they just start launching all the small ships and all jump out at the same time?
There's no reason why the First Order couldn't spare a few ships to go destroy... *sigh* Nevermind, lets just move on.
Okay, so we get a casino scene which looks way too... normal. It looks normal.
It really didn't feel like a Star Wars setting. It was overly played for laughs, and none of the jokes landed.
Our heroes are thrown in jail almost immediately for... a parking violation? A parking violation. Who's writing this garbage?
Well I can't tell if the security is just way too over the top or our heroes are just morons but whatever.
We meet Stutters (because it's easier to write than Curse-Your-Sudden-But-Inevitable-Betrayal) who saves the day for the heroes twice. Not having any other choice they just go with him.
Wait... did Finn just fly a ship? Wasn't his complete inability to fly a ship a major plot point in the movie that took place less than a week ago?
Oh well, I'm sure it's not as strange as the fact that Rey knows how to swim. Did you miss that the first tie too?
Yeah, she falls in a pool of water and just swims.
She was born on a desert planet and seeing green or large amounts of water is unheard of. But she can swim.
Okay, I really don't care so super faster forward for Rey.
"Luke train me."
::Actual good scene with an emoting Luke and R2::
"Okay I'll train you. This is how you sense the force."
"Cool, I'll go swing a lightsabre wildly for awhile to pretend I've trained in sword fighting, have a pointless run in with a mirror, steal your books, and kick your ass in a fight."
"Uh... I was trained by two Jedi masters, and spent years training Jedi..."
"It's in the script."
Luke doesn't act like Luke, mopes about, we get multiple scenes which don't help progress any characters or the plot and finally Rey decides to go confront Kylo Ren to try to bring him back.
You know. Luke's plot.
But we're to busy pushing Rey.
Rey, in spite of HATING Kylo in the last movie, decides that saving him is something she needs to do. She lacks motivation, but suddenly she's all in. As opposed to Luke who probably should be doing this.
So she goes in, finds out that Kylo is far to wussy to stand against Snoke, and then we get a confrontation with Snoke. Snoke's big plan for Rey? Kill her!
... *facepalm* that was the big build up from the last movie? Agh.
Okay, so we get a delightfully funny but tonally wrong sequence of Rey getting smacked in the head by a lightsabre. It's nice to see her fail for a change, but the humor is wrong for the scene.
And then Snoke is killed as almost an afterthought. He's built up as an unstoppable force and is taken out like a punk. Revealing his utter unimportance. Glad we spent so much time on building him up.
And then we get what is supposed to be an awesome fight which is kind of cringeworthy.
These Pratorean Guards are supposed to be elite combatants, best of the best with weapons that can counter lightsabres. And they're tooled by an untrained desert rat and the pouty boy she beat up like a week earlier.
They could have had a fun back to back battle down a tight coridor with the heros struggling to survive, or even have them only surviving because their force powers (pushing, tossing, hurling debris) give them enough of an edge to take on foes with superior training.
Nope, Rey just rips them to shreds. And they run into the usual "group waits for hero to be ready so they can attack on at a time" or "Group attacks at the same time from the same angle so hero can deflect all in one move" tropes.
They had some opportunities for interesting moves here.
But lets be honest, they just killed the big bad of the series, so Kylo has to be evil. Or they'd have to introduce a bad guy for the finale of the series. And since they neutered Hux throughout this movie it's hard to imagine him being the bad guy.
One inexplicable dual KO later, Rey flees off screen.
She doesn't try to kill Kylo. Or tie him up and kidnap him. She just... bails.
Since it was off screen we can't even see if there was extenuating circumstances. So it just comes across as kind of dumb.
Other things she doesn't do? Steal Kylo's light sabre.
He broke yours, take his!
Anyways, mustache twirler's brilliant plan is discovered, somehow, by Stutters. And when he's caught he sells them out and the First Order starts shooting all the defenseless ships that was escaping under cloaks. Because up to that point the First Order didn't bother with cloak scans. Which are a thing.
Anyways, Stutters sells out Finn, they're caught and Phasma, who's desperate to have anything to do in this movie, decides to execute Finn and Rose with axes.
No real reason for it, but still.
They are saved as Mustache Twirler uses the empty Resistance ship to hyperspace jump into the enemy fleet and cripples the... opening a giant plot hole of "Why didn't they do this in the last six movies?" and "Why aren't the enemies aware this is a risk until it's too late?"
Well this attack has the effect of emptying the entire room of storm troopers and filling the room with wreckage and fire.
Phasma teleports away so she can have another dramatic entry. Then magically loses a gun so her and Finn can have a melee fight. Finn loses, which seems to fit his character as he hasn't had any training, but wins by blindsiding Phasma after she assumes he's dead.
And she falls to her doom in fire.
Now I would assume she's dead, but she strikes me as that person who just keeps coming back. So she'll be back in the next movie, inexplicably, but this time with an eyepatch.
So everything they've done has been a failure, almost everybody is dead, and it seems like the movie should have been over already.
So time for another half hour of movie.
Finn somehow beats the First Order to the base, though I can't for the life of me even remember if he was supposed to know about it. I'll just assume he was. Somehow.
They find the base is basically empty, has no means of escape, and now they're trapped. They call for help and mount a final defense.
Poe leads everybody in a salt-speeder attack on the enemy to somehow destroy the uber laser the First Order is going to use to blow open the base.
... Instead of bombarding it from space.
So they fly out, never fire any guns, and Poe realizes that a pointless suicide attack is dumb.
But Finn realizes that there is something more important than just survival, and puts the resistance above his own life. For the first time in the movie he moves to make a deep and meaningful impact.
But his sacrifice is undone by a suicide attack by Rose who is... how is she able to stop him? She pulled away, he's way ahead of her, and she somehow gets far enough ahead of him to hit him from the side.
Anyways, they survive against all odds, and she feeds him a line about how killing enemies with hatred isn't how they're going to win. But beating them with love. As the enemy blows open the Resistance stronghold in the background. And then she kisses Finn because...
Why the hell does she do that? A concussion? Some form of mental damage?
They've had no chemistry the entire time, and they haven't really bonded at all.
Oh, I forgot to mention that Rey was saved, off screen, by Chewie, and she shows up to blow up three tie fighters in on shot. Because she's the god damned Batman!
Luke finally shows up, we get a short scene with Leia then he goes out to fight off everybody to... uh... well, everybody assumes he's buying them time to escape but they have no ships, and Luke isn't actually there so he didn't come in through a side entrance.
Luke acts like a bad action movie star, taunting Kylo when they can't shoot him to death, then matrix dodge an attack.
You know the move would have been pretty cool if they hadn't done the slowmo.
Luke does the Obiwan speech about killing him and... doesn't die. Because he's an illusion. Nice twist! Luke survives and can move back into being the hero that we love and- oh @*$* it all he dies for no reason!!!
::bangs head against wall::
Okay, so we've murdered off Luke so he can't get in Rey's way in the next movie. But we still have Lei-oh crap.
So the movie ends with the entire Resistance, all of them, in the Falcon flying to safety... I guess none of the other First Order ships have those trackers, then?
So yeah, about two dozen people escape. And nobody came to help the resistance.
But don't worry, there is... oh who cares anymore?
Obviously the guy who wrote this never watched Star Wars, nobody who knew Star Wars was in a position to veto any of this nonsense, and the reoccurring theme I get is "the old stuff sucks, here's the new stuff!" as they frantically try to push all old characters out of the movie.
And what do they do with the old characters out of the way? Squander the time and effort put in to getting them out of the way.
I'm not even going to talk about Rey's Mary Sue issue. No, wait, I will.
Daisy: Being a Mary Sue isn't about being a female. It's about being perfect at everything, loved by everybody, and never fails unless it makes her look better.
I think the actress is fine, and with proper writing and direction Rey could be a fun character if she had to work, at all, for anything. But at this point? Meh.
I still care more for Finn and he's been made into a useless buttmonkey. But at least he's trying.
There is no saving this movie, but there is still hope: Mark Hamill is still alive.
Mulligan the movie. Pretend it never happened, mark it down as a fever dream in Rey's mind as Snoke was trying to... mind damage her with the force or something. I don't care.
Just go back, do another movie and wipe the Last Jedi from the board.
Oh, and in case you're wondering? No, do not buy, do not rent. Netflix it if you have to. But please don't give them money for this.
God, now I just feel horrible every time I see how miserable Mark Hamill looks in every one of his interviews. He looks like somebody killed his dog.
And after seeing what they did to Luke I know why.