Since Disney has decided to get rid of the original canon there seems to be an issue in The Last Jedi and The Force Awakens when it comes to the new characters. One of the things that helped propel this franchise into the homes of most of the world is that over time, a rich amount of lore and back stories was built up that added a level of depth to each character that you wouldn't normally find in other franchises. This new direction the films are going in seems to be lacking any of this while the trilogy progresses on. Dotted throughout the film where some issues that ended up leaving it feeling lack luster. There where some parts of the movie that where done very well. With this review I'll explain the pros and the cons without adding any spoilers of the films into the mix.
Throughout the film there where a few things that stood out and set this movie apart from other films in this universe. The biggest of which was that the scenery was extremely beautiful and well done. The various worlds where extremely colorful and each one seemed to have its own unique life to it. The colors where bright without being overly vibrant and they where fitted intelligently into the designs of the scenes.
Luke's journey through the film I found to be the most interesting part. His progression was unique when compared to the Jedi found in earlier films and Mark Hamill did an excellent job portraying an exile who was at odds with himself over the mistakes that he made. His interaction with Rey was reminiscent of early martial films and was enjoyable to watch.
While there was some upsides to this movie, there was a lot going on that was either not well thought out or it was underdeveloped. At times it did almost feel like the writers gave up or that they where trying to rush the get the product out. While these issues might be overlooked after the whole trilogy is complete (depending on how the end game plays out), it's looking like the future of Star Wars is one that is going to take one of the more iconic franchises in cinema and push it into the category of being just another sci-fi flick.
The dialog in this movie tends to come off as either being marketable sound bites or its extremely cliche that doesn't contribute to the narrative or help build up the atmosphere of the scenes. Even when things are chaotic or are meant to be an emotional ride, generally most characters come off as being one dimensional or unable to take in the gravity of the situation they are in. This poorly developed dialog works against many of the main characters and adds to some of the problems with the new ones that have been introduced into the series.
Since Disney has decided to get rid of the orginal canon there seems to be an issue in The Last Jedi and The Force Awakens when it comes to the new characters. One of the things that helped propel this franchise into the homes of most of the world is that over time, a rich amount of lore and back stories was built up that added a level of depth to each character that you wouldn't normally find in other franchises. This new direction the films are going in seems to be lacking any of this while the trilogy progresses on.
During the movie while the characters talk about the evil of the dark side, it never feels like they're a real threat. The villains are either portrayed as angry teenagers or they don't get enough screen time to make you feel that you should be afraid of them. There is talk about Kylo Ren being powerful and how he has his own order of fallen jedi who took him as a leader after his falling out with his former master, but at no point do you really get to see any of this. Instead of being a witness to the rise of the strongest Sith lords we are left with a feeling of wanting to skip any scene that has him in it. Even with one film left to go, it has hard to see if we are going to have enough time to really see what the dark side is.
Like the underwhelming rendition of Ren in this movie (and The Force Awakens), both the New Order and the Rebel Alliance seem extremely weak throughout the whole film. The epic battles we get in the movie don't consist of a lot of troops or any original scenery and the logic used by both sides during confrontations make little to no sense. Instead of intense battles we are left with cheap tricks that aim at trying to make the audience sense how heroic all of these fighters are but it quickly becomes redundant when you get to the third time of seeing the same thing happen.
The weakness both sides now have in this new series can also be seen in the light saber duels that end up occurring. It felt like the elements that made this exciting in the first place where stripped away from them and left in their place, are these mediocre light shows that never seem to build up or make you feel like at any point the main characters are ever in real danger.
Is it Worth Watching?
When compared to The Force Awakens, it does feel like an improvement but as this trilogy progresses it feels like it is drifting away from all of the elements that made this universe as interesting and enjoyable to be in. The poorly written dialog mixed with lackluster scenes that either under deliver or asks you to suspend belief too much (you'll know this part when it comes up) makes a movie that in reality, you should wait for it to come out on Blue-ray. Its enjoyable for the parts that worked out properly but as a whole, it kind of makes you wonder if the writers of this movie watched any of the movies that came before or they're just coming up with any idea that they are going to be to cash in on quickly.