Star Wars: The Last Jediis one of those movies that I actively try to avoid. Sorry. I said it.
If I think about it too long, then I start to get bothered by the plot holes and the changes made to the methodology of the story. I’m not the only one. Many of us were upset by Star Wars: The Last Jedi for several reasons, but writer-director Rian Johnson said he is “even more proud of it five years on.”
“The ultimate intent was not to strip away—the intent was to get to the basic, fundamental power of myth,” the director said. “And ultimately I hope the film is an affirmation of the power of the myth of Star Wars in our lives.”
One of The Last Jedi’s biggest criticisms comes from the depiction of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). Luke was a hermit who had closed himself from the Force after sensing darkness in Ben Solo (Adam Driver). Ben was pushed into the Dark Side (becoming Kylo Ren) after Luke attempted to murder him in fear that Kylo Ren would become the next Darth Vader.
This Luke is a stark contrast to the one we were left with at the end of the Original Trilogy, but I can understand characters changing for the better or worst over a 30-year gap. Eventually, Luke returns to become the symbol of hope and rebellion that fans know him for toward the end of the film, giving him a send-off that was reminiscent of Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness).
“The final images of the movie, to me, are not deconstructing the myth of Luke Skywalker, they’re building it, and they’re him embracing it,” Johnson said. “They’re him absolutely defying the notion of, ‘Throw away the past,’ and embracing what actually matters about his myth and what’s going to inspire the next generation.”
Although Rey’s (Daisy Ridley) and Luke’s storyline in The Last Jedi follows similar beats to other Master/Padawan stories we’ve seen before in the Skywalker Saga, Johnson did achieve his goal of building on a myth in his own way and starting a final chapter for a new generation of Star Wars fans.
The director also achieved his goal of showing the power of the myth of Star Wars in our lives by breaking the rules of that myth. I distinctly remember the audible confusion in the theater when Leia (Carrie Fisher) used the Force to pull her back out of space and into the spaceship.
'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Besides this bizarre moment, The Last Jedi isn’t necessarily a bad addition to the Skywalker Saga. The story is Johnson’s understanding of and relationship to Star Wars.
Not everyone gets the opportunity to write or direct for a franchise that has uniquely touched all of our lives, so we should appreciate Johnson for his willingness to tell the end of Luke’s story and what could have been the beginning of Rey’s next adventure.
Did Johnson achieve his goal with The Last Jedi? Let us know what you think in the comments.