So, I wanted to do an opinion post on a recent article by ScreenRant about “The Last Jedi”. In this article by Ana Dumarog, she cites a few things that Rian Johnson has mentioned about why he took a lot of chances in the “Last Jedi”.
To see the article please read it here: https://screenrant.com/star-wars-last-jedi-rian-johnson-creative-choices/
So, the article goes on to quote Johnson as saying:
“I think the instant you start thinking in terms of how do you not step outside of the bounds of what the original movies did, you’re not thinking the way the people who made the original movies did. They were with every movie, they were pushing it forward, with every movie they were stepping outside those bounds and pushing the characters into new, emotionally honest, but surprising places. That’s why those movies are great. That’s why they’re alive. If they had been looking at something that came before it and saying, ‘Oh, we better not do this because that is outside of this or that,’ it would’ve been different.”
I must disagree with this excuse in making some of the creative decisions they made and I will start with some of my major criticisms of the film.
Luke tossing the lightsaber
While I do applaud taking a risk and stepping outside the box for the sake of taking a story outside of what people expect I usually am the one defending movies for taking a risk. However, I think this mistake was just too much to defend with a simple excuse because I felt that they must have known that most previous attempts at topping the original trilogy were not as well received as the original three movies. Think of the prequels…and by this I mean I think it should have been clear that people wanted to see Luke being Luke…and I totally get them wanting to grow their character arcs and it has been 40 years since the last movie where we saw Luke Skywalker, but people had been talking and buzzing for two years since The Force Awakens to see what Luke was going to do or say and I think they had a massive opportunity to give the fans something great, and when Luke tossed the lightsaber I think for most fans the movie went very much downhill from there.
Another reason I think that was a massive mistake was it then set the tone for the movie. So, once a mistake like that was made, you start to watch the movie with a negative view. Like everything that came after was set in a tone that was very critical. If Luke hadn’t tossed the saber like that I think other mistakes such as him milking that alien cow could have maybe been forgiven, but the tone was set and I think that destroyed the movie.
Princess Leia Flying
I think while in some theoretical sense it may have had some merit because she is after all the daughter of Anakin Skywalker, I think it would have been better to show her force powers in another way.
Now, to be fair I think a lot of what Rian Johnson said for pushing movies into unknown territory was true, franchises need new life and new ideas to keep them alive, I just felt that the mistakes they made were very much outside the realm of being forgiven with trying to push outside the known boundaries of what Star Wars is already. I think they pushed a bit far especially with those mistakes they made not to mention the whole Canto Bight scene, and the underlying philosophy of who is the good guy? Who is the bad guy?
The movie did get confusing at some points in an effort to be somewhat philosophical I think…and it didn’t do anything for me, I already know there is a lot of grey area in life already, I want to watch a movie where there is a clear good guy and clear bad guy, I don’t go to think deeply about a directors point of view.
Oh, well what do you all think will happen with the new Star Wars movies?
I think offhand….I’m giving it a 50/50 shot for the die hard fans of Star Wars but that is another article entirely.