Very recently, the title of the next installment in the Star Wars series was leaked to the public. The Last Jedi, as number eight will be titled, is an ominous and promising title. Of course, such a name has inspired a shockwave of discussion on forums and message boards over who will be the last of the Jedi. Of course, we know more than the title.
We know, for the most part, who will be in the movie. Obviously Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac will continue as the new trilogy’s heroes; Rey, Finn and Poe, respectively. Mark Hamill will play a larger role as an aged Luke Skywalker, while the late Carrie Fisher played Leia one last time in this film. Anthony Daniels will continue to delight us as C-3PO.
As with any other Star Wars film, we can hardly contain our excitement but are proceeding with caution in the lead-up to this movie, as this franchise burned fans three times back in the early 2000s and not all of us are ready to forgive the prequels. With that said however, there is a lot to get optimistic about.
Of course, with any film in this series, there is also a lot to be concerned about. Star Wars has always had strong points and weak aspects. The first trilogy had some unforgivably bad scenes (Jabba’s palace musical number), the prequels had some brutal writing (remember Anakin and Padme’s love dialogue?), and the major criticism of The Force Awakens was the sheer number of identical plot events it shared with A New Hope. Like we said, we want to get excited but we have some concerns. Here are eight reasons The Last Jedi will be great and seven for why it will be terrible.
15. Great: It Starts Off Right Where The Force Awakens Ended
The final scene of The Force Awakens was kind of incredible. Maybe “kind of” doesn’t do it justice. It was incredible. It was emotional and powerful without a word being spoken. Of course, if you were Rey, what would you have said? “Yo, old man, your laser sword scared the s*** out of me, take it back” doesn’t work.
But back to the scene, Rey scaled the hill, Luke took down the hood of his robe and then that iconic tune played. It was incredible, and while we have some ideas what will happen next, we can’t wait to see how it actually plays out. The fact that The Last Jedi will apparently start up right after that scene is an interesting shift from the other movies in the series, which have had years between them. This is something to get excited for.
14. Terrible: No Han Solo
Speaking with regard to the chronology of events within the Star Wars universe, The Last Jedi will be the first post-Solo film. He was one of the best characters in the series and while we’ve already mentioned the new characters, and we have no problem with them, nobody could ever replace Han. While we have no doubt that there will be entertaining characters in any Star Wars films in the future, the absence of a certain wise-cracking, charismatic, hyper-confident scoundrel will be weighing heavily on our minds. Forget all the rest of the main cast, Harrison Ford’s Han Solo was the best character among the Rebels and his absence will be missed.
13. Great: John Williams’ Music
You can’t make a Martini without an olive, right? Sure, you can haphazardly pour gin or vodka and some vermouth into a glass and sip it, but that olive adds greatly to the experience and makes it what it is. The same can be said of John Williams and the Star Wars franchise. He’s one of the greatest composers in the history of music in film and he’s done every film in this series and at age 85, he’s still going strong. While other things may well go wrong with this film, the music will definitely not be one of them. We can look forward to some familiar tunes but some new stuff as well.
12. Terrible: We’ll Likely See Another Beloved Character Die
We understand why Han Solo had to die in The Force Awakens. It kept the plot of the series going and gave us a reason to show up for Episode Eight. It is a painful reality in the world of cinema, but sometimes our heroes need to die. With that said, Han’s death scene was painful and probably the worst part of the film.
With Carrie Fisher‘s death (we prefer to say that she became one with the Force) coming after shooting had completed, it seems likely that Leia will be killed off, but we’d be willing to bet that this will be the movie in which Luke Skywalker meets his end, although he has hinted that he’ll be around for Episode Nine. Then again, it could be Chewie.
11. Great: Disney Is 2-0 So Far
Obviously saying something to the effect of “this group did a good job last time so they’ll likely do a good job this time” is a terrible logical fallacy. If a construction company builds two skyscrapers and they stand up, there is still the potential that the third will be a disaster and fall over.
But with that said, Disney has made two Star Wars flicks so far, and both of them have been vastly better than the prequels. In fact, they were both excellent. They’ve seemingly figured out a decent formula and if they implement it properly this time around, then it should be a half-decent product. Wouldn’t you agree?
10. Terrible: Kylo Ren Isn’t Much Of A Villain
We hope to the bottom of our miserable hearts that Kylo Ren will “come out of his shell” in Episode Eight. By this we mean, we sincerely hope that he won’t be such a terrible villain. We understand that part of his characterization involves the idea that he wants to live up to what Anakin (Vader) did but isn’t nearly as much of an effective force user or sinister guy in general.
For now, if the insecure, tantrum-throwing wimp shows up again and doesn’t man-up for Episode Eight, then we are in for some disappointment. Of course, we’re open to a new villain taking the stage, or possibly a larger part for Supreme Leader Snoke.
9. Great: Rey, Finn and Poe
They aren’t perfect, but we’ll take them. We’ve come to terms with the fact that the days of Han and Luke are coming to a close, and we’re hopeful that the new characters will fill the void. We still haven’t seen enough of them to form a complete opinion, but we are optimistic that these characters will come to hold the same place in our hearts as the heroes of the original trilogy.
Rey is clever; a gifted pilot and a hard worker with a backstory we hope is as awesome as it seems. Finn, as a former stormtrooper, is the kind of good guy we all love, and we’re excited to see what he does next. We know little about Poe Dameron at this point, but we like that he’s a charismatic smart-a*s with no fear, and one of the finest fighter pilots we’ve seen since… Luke.
8. Terrible: It Will Get Politicized
It hasn’t happened yet, but at some point before this film is released, some group will politicize some aspect of it. Will it completely ruin the film? Probably not, hence why we listed this problem first. However, something like this happens with every big movie that comes out these days and it takes away from the excitement, which is an essential part of any movie experience. Looking back to The Force Awakens, many people were up in arms about Rey (a woman) and Finn (played a by a black man) were going to be major protagonists. Of course, it was part of a war on white men, right? No, it’s a movie, and a bunch of clowns decided to blow a non-issue out of proportion.
7. Great: Some New Actors
A few surprising names have been added to the Star Wars world for The Last Jedi. Among them is a dark horse: Kelly Marie Tran. Her most recognizable work is in comedy, having worked for CollegeHumor Originals for three years. She’s funny and talented, but we don’t know her role in the movie but are optimistic.
The other two larger names who have been verified as having played roles however, are awesome additions. Benicio Del Toro and Laura Dern are gifted, respected performers. Dern is a multiple Golden Globe winner with two past Oscar nominations, while Del Toro has an amazing resume which includes an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (2000: Traffic) along with many other awards and nominations.
6. Terrible: This May Be Where The Franchise Really Starts To Slow Down
While many of us have waited for the new trilogy of the series ever since the prequels and drooled at the fact that it was finally being delivered, fans should be cautious of Disney’s promise to make a new Star Wars movie every year as long as they can. We all know that you can have too much of a good thing. It will be the frequency of the films that kills this franchise and while Disney is going to make a killing, the quality is going to plummet over the next few installments. Part of what has made Star Wars so amazing is the wait of each new film was special. We waited almost twenty years for the prequels, and then waited another ten for the sequel trilogy. One per year will start to get old (as much as we don’t want it to).
We predict that this unfortunate process will start with episode eight. For those of you saying that Disney is going to pump too much money into these films for them to be terrible, you can put half a billion dollars next to a dumpster fire, but it will still be a dumpster fire.
5. Great: The Film’s Cinematic Influences
Rian Johnson recently spoke in an interview about certain films he rewatched and had his staff check out in preparation for this movie. Interesting, he listed three classics, the most recent of which was released in 1960. The earliest of these was 1949’s 12 O’Clock High, a classic war film about American military pilots in World War Two. Johnson credits this film with being an excellent example of dog-fighting and pilot camaraderie. This film won two Academy Awards.
He also watched Alfred Hitchcock’s 1955 film To Catch a Thief and said that the “romantic scale and grandeur” of that film were among it’s most notable elements. The most recent film is Three Outlaw Samurai. This Japanese classic is an incredible example of brilliant swordplay
4. Terrible: As Per Usual There Will Be Copious Plot Holes
Plot holes go with Star Wars like bacon goes with eggs. They don’t take much away from the films themselves, but sometimes they are obvious and so glaring that they taint a movie watching experience. Some of our favorites from the rest of the series include Obi-Wan not remembering R2-D2, the droid being tortured in Jedi, the Trade Federation droids having a command structure (it makes no sense), Leia apparently remembering her mother who died shortly after childbirth, and of course how Rey somehow becomes a self-taught force user and takes on a skilled swordsman at the end of The Force Awakens.
3. Great: Johnson Is Going For Something Original
This is a sort of roundabout way of saying that The Last Jedi will not be a rehash of The Empire Strikes Back. Obviously, looking at what information we have, such a thing could happen. All we know at this time about the story is that Rey has met Luke and will likely now learn the ways of the Force. This well could lead us to The Empire Strikes Back 2.0. But Johnson has confirmed that he intends to do something new and fresh with his first movie for the franchise and based on his record, he is more than proficient at coming up with work that is unique and completely his own.
2. Terrible: It Isn’t The First Trilogy
Are you let down by this being the number one reason this movie will be terrible? Allow us to explain before you run to the shed to retrieve your pitchfork. The Last Jedi is going to be just another film in the series. There will be a plot twist, there will be action, adventure and a few clever one-liners. Unfortunately, the series has already blown people away and that happened in the late 1970s and early 80s. The special effects were unbelievable, the story was intriguing and the setting and concepts were amazing. Since then, the special effects have become mainstream, and the space-stories have been done time and time again. What we’re saying is: for all the garbage viewers put up with from the originals (some poor dialogue, some plot inconsistencies) they are some of the greatest movies of all time. No matter how flashy the creators make these contemporary Disney flicks, they will never be anything more than knockoffs of the originals.
1. Great: The Film Is In Good Hands
This one should go without saying, but looking at direction, writing and production, the necessary elements are there to make this a very solid film. J.J. Abrams, who did nearly everything on The Force Awakens (directed, produced and wrote) is working on The Last Jedi. Yes, we all know he rehashed a lot from A New Hope, but his film was ultimately entertaining and that’s what matters.
Kathleen Kennedy is producing, and her resume speaks for itself, including works such as the last two Star Wars flicks along with other sci-fi movies such as the Indiana Jones series, Jurassic Park and the Back to the Future series. Ram Bergman is also involved in the production and has worked with Rian Johnson in the past.
Finally, handling writing and directing is a far less known name, compared to Abrams and Kennedy, but a name who has come up with some brilliant work: Rian Johnson. He’s the man behind Brick, Looper and three episodes of Breaking Bad. Each of these earned him award by the way.