Star Wars Episode VIII - The Last Jedi Review

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Tavish McFini
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Star Wars Episode VIII - The Last Jedi Review

Post by Tavish McFini » 2018-04-15 21:43

So... Star Wars Ep VIII... Let's just get this obvious out of the way first: I didn't like the movie. The visuals were good and... that's about it.

Before I begin proper, be aware, everything that follows is going to be very, very spoiler heavy. You've been warned! Also, it's a very long rant that's probably very poorly structured and written but it's really hard to commit myself into making a decent review about this movie.
Let's start with the opening bit of the movie, where the First Order was attacking the Rebel Resistance base. They bring in a dreadnought and a small fleet of First Order Star Destroyers, presumably as escorts. I say "presumably" because, well, that would have been my first thought as to why those Star Destroyers were present, to help protect their valuable asset.

So, Hot-shot-cocky-pilot-who-isn't-Wedge (henceforth to be known as not-Wedge), seeing that the Resistance fleet needs some time to escape, decides to make the daring move to fly his X-Wing, solo and unaided, towards the Dreadnought and then proceeds to open a channel with General I-have-no-clue-how-to-actually-command-a-fleet-hence-why-I'm-a-bloody-General Hux (henceforth to be known as General Twat). Not-Wedge basically stalls for time as his hyperdrive charges up while General Twat pretty much stands by incredulously wondering why he's not being taken seriously. What happens next, the X-Wing does a micro-jump to close the gap against the Dreadnought and take out all it's point-defense lasers which... for whatever reason, happen to all be on the top side. Guess the bottom of the ship needed to be reserved for those comically over-sized cannons. With the point-defense lasers gone, the Resistance sends their bombers in to try and destroy the Dreadnought, which succeeds, but at great cost, allowing the Resistance fleet to escape to hyperspace.

I have so many problems with this opening scene, it pretty much ruined the rest of the movie for me:
1) I'm willing to give General Twat a pass for not just ordering the destruction of not-Wedge's starfighter instead of trying to converse with him if only because he probably assumed he was going to announce the conditions of the Resistance's surrender. That said, it's hard to give him a pass since the Resistance could just as easily have announced their surrender from their flagship. But whatever...

2) After the point-defense guns on the Dreadnought were destroyed and the Resistance bombers showed up... What in the blue hell were the other Star Destroyers even present for!?! They did nothing to even attempt to slow the bombers down. No shots fired, I doubt they even launched TIEs. So... why were they even there in the first place?!? One theory a friend of mine had- and honestly, it's the only worthwhile one I've heard yet- glorified cheerleaders. Why even send them if they're not going to do their job of escorting the Dreadnought properly?

3) The Resistance bombers moved so slowly, I'm kinda surprised the Dreadnought didn't just, y'know, rotate , try and buy themselves a few extra minutes before those slow bombers ponderously maneuvered over the critical weak point of the ship.

After this stunning display of tactical incompetence, I pretty much lost faith in the rest of the movie, and my loss in faith was justly rewarded. But, before I go on, I recall one person after the movie asking "how the hell would bombs fall in zero gravity?" I'm a little more forgiving on this since the bombers had their own artificial gravity inside the ship, all that was needed was the gravity pulling on the bombs to allow them to break the environmental shield/threshold and then let their "downward" momentum carry them to their target. Still, these bombers were so slow, I'm amazed they didn't just spend the resources it took to build those and invest in 4 dozen Y-Wings...

So, after the destruction of the Dreadnought, the Resistance flees to hyperspace. Now, we wouldn't have much of a movie if they could escape just like that so enter crisis #2: the Resistance ships ran out of fuel.

Let that sink in for a moment.

They.
Ran.
Out.
Of....
FUEL!!!

What the actual eff?!? All this time, I assumed, perhaps wrongly, that the reactors in the ship were somehow able to operate off solar radiation or some such but, whatever the cause, I never, in all my years thought Capital ships were ever at risk of running out of fuel. To be fair, there was never anything saying that they didn't use fuel and I figured the starfighters always had fuel but as part of that assumption, I figured capital ships were big enough to almost never actually worry about it. Maybe resources are a lot more scarce in the new trilogy universe than it was in previous eras...

Actually, let me correct myself, they didn't run out of fuel, I think they were regrouping back in realspace, realized they were low on fuel and then, all of the sudden, the First Order showed up and made the deduction that they were tracked through hyperspace somehow.

So, the Resistance fleet is stuck fleeing at sublight while not-Wedge gets a dressing down for losing a bunch of bombers. Supreme Leader Snoke Gollem's flagship- and handful of the same useless First Order Star Destroyers, probably even the same fleet that failed to protect the Dreadnought- show up which, in a vast departure of ship design, goes for a much more horizontal bent rather than length. Kylo Ren Emo kid flys out in his souped out TIE Silencer to attack the Resistance flagship, along with 2 of who would probably be the most concomitant TIE pilots the First Order has to offer. They're making a pass for the bridge of the flagship and Emo Kid has a weak heart and doesn't shoot missiles/torps at the bridge since his mom, the venerable Leia, is on it. His wingmates on the other hand, have no such qualms, and fire their own missiles/torps. The shots hit and lots of brave men and women are blasted out into space including Ackbar and Leia. Leia, however, does a Merry Poppins and uses the Force to float herself back to the damaged bridge where she can be recovered and brought to the medbay for a bacta treatment.

By this point, the Resistance ships move out of range of most of the First Order vessels' weapons save for Gollem's flagship's supercannon which basically fires some pointless shots at the Resistance vessels as they move through sublight. Oh, and they reason they're still traveling through sublight is because the First Order has a device that can track them through hyperspace so they don't want to waste their precious fuel on a hyperjump that would only leave the First Order hot on their trail, presumably with more fuel than they have. One by one, the few support ships of the Resistance get picked off which is at least reassuring to see the Resistance support ships are as useless as the First Order ones. Meanwhile, the First Order ships give chase in sublight, barely able to keep up.

So, once again, the person-who-played-a-Grand-Admiral-on-and-RPG-site is screaming inside my head wondering why, oh why, didn't the First Order take their group of Star Destroyer support ships, have them perform a micfojump ahead of the fleeing Resistance ships, do an about face and then come at them head on from the front, at least do some damage to them!?!

Anyways, since most of the senior command for the Resistance is either dead or- in the case of the one survivor- in the medbay, Vice-Admiral Social Justice assumes command and pretty much gives non-Wedge the same dressing down. Fin Traitor-turned-deserter (henceforth to be known as Make-up-your-mind-already) attempts to flee the ship where he's stopped by Rose a mechanic a guard posted to stop people from using escape pods to flee this increasingly desperate situation. It's revealed that there's a hacker in the near by corporate sector that could disable the First Order's tracking device. So, Fin goes along with the guard- as opposed to an actual dedicated combat/recovery team since Vice-Admiral Social Justice will have none of non-Wedge's antics which only serves to get people killed.

Meanwhile Rey The Last Jedi is trying to convince Luke Skywalker to train her. Luke doesn't want to train her because of his own failings as a Jedi teacher to other students including Emo Kid. There's probably more going on here, but I'm was too frustrated with all the other gaping plot holes and tactical blunders to care.

Make-up-your-mind-already and the guard show up on some planet in the corporate sector and, you can tell that someone was purposely trying to send a message here. Something along the lines of "with credits comes debauchery" or some other prattle that social justice warriors of today continue to peddle. Casinos, gambling and otherwise rich snobs purposely written and designed to show that capitalism is the root of all the galaxy's evils or something. Anyways, the two eventually find their hacker and, after causing a scene and showing it's okay to cause property damage and general mischief so long as those being targeted by said damage/mischief are painted as "evil", finally leave and get back to space to try and infiltrate Gollem's flagship.

The Last Jedi, after some Force shenanigans and stuff with Emo Kid, shows up on Gollem's flagship too and appears to be taken into custody by Emo Kid to be taken to Gollem. At the same time, the last of the Resistance's support ships falls to the overwhelming firepower of the flagship's gun and now things are looking desperate for the Resistance. Make-up-your-mind-already, the guard and the hacker find their target, the tracking device thingy but, in a very (very) brief displace of intelligence, the First Order apprehend them, having been sold out by the hacker. But, rather than shoot them on the spot, they are paraded out to a massive hanger to be given a long monologue.

Meanwhile, The Last Jedi and Emo Kid basically cooperate to kill Gollem and then, together, dispatch his guard detail who had some fairly fancy- if useless weapons.

As this is happening, the Resistance all board a bunch of shuttles, seeing that they're about out of fuel and there's so happens to be a planet nearby that everyone could escape to. They all cram onto shuttles and depart the flagship. Leia is all better and congratulates the Vice-Admiral on a job well done before boarding a shuttle. The Vice-Admiral stays behind for an inglorious send-off. The shuttles depart, the Resistance members thinking that the ships are small enough to escape the notice of the First Order. They don't so then the Vice-Admiral takes control of the ship from the secondary bridge and steers it 180 degrees around before initiating a hyperjump...

A hyperjump that sends it clean through Gollem's flagship, cutting it asunder and also devastating all the Star Destroyers that were following along behind it. A noble sacrifice but then... why do capital ships need crews of thousands if one person can single-handedly pilot it from one chair? Also, it seems shield technology has fallen since the Empire era since, if I recall, the Executor managed to withstand 3 Star Destroyer's ramming into it at hyperspace speed.

Anyways, in the devastation wrought by the the noble sacrifice, Make-up-your-mind-already and the guard are able to overcome their captors who really should have just shot them both in the head rather than parade them around since they were going to murder them anyways. General Twat arrives to see Gollem dead and Emo kid standing over a bunch of dead bodies saying they have to go after The Last Jedi and the rest of the Resistance. General Twat says that they need to regroup (or something), citing "The Supreme Leader is dead!"

Emo kid force chokes General Twat saying, "I am the Supreme Leader."

"Long live the Supreme Leader," General Twat manages to choke out. One of the few enjoyable moments of the movie.

So, once again, we fast forward to one of the final scenes of the movie, the recreation of the battle of Hoth. The Resistance took refuge in a base built into the side of a cliff with blast doors that rivaled the Black Gate of Mordor. The First Order, meanwhile, deployed their Gorilla walkers and a massive land based cannon that looks like it would be better suited on a ship blasting fortifications from orbit. Actually, why not just glass the whole area from orbit? Oh right, they lost all their ships... Tsk.

Anyways, a desperate attempt to defend the base is made, the Resistance trying to stop the giant cannon in their ramshackle pod racers while the First Order uses both ground and air forces to try and stop them. The Falcon shows up to divert the attention of the TIEs away from the pod racers. Make-up-your-mind-already is about to make a noble sacrifice of his own despite the order to retreat having been given by non-Wedge who's finally clued into what the Vice-Admiral and Leia were talking about with regard to throwing lives away when he's saved at the last possible second by the guard.

Before the First Order can storm the breach, however, Luke Force projects himself and, Emo Kid, wanting to finish unfinished business, departs the command shuttle despite protests of General Twat. They also should have figured something was amiss when all the Gorilla walkers blasted away at him but he was left with nary a scratch but hey, Emo Kid needs to kill two important people today, not just satisfied with Gollem. He engages Luke in single combat but realizes he's nothing more than a phantasm... This diversion gives what little is left of the Resistance the time they need to find a back tunnel out of the base to an awaiting Falcon where The Last Jedi is waiting.

Luke makes some sort of quick speech to Emo Kid before fading away. The First Order moves in only to find the base deserted, their chance at stopping the Resistance having slipped away as the Falcon departs the planet.

And that's pretty much how the movie ends, oh, and Luke just sorta fades away for real, his robes just falling away as his body demateralizes much like Obi Wan's did back in A New Hope. The Resistance is basically now one ship and maybe a few other systems that may have heeded a distress call they tried sending from the base while the First Order seems to be much reduced as well... I mean, they've lost more ships in a day than I have in my career! :P

The opening sequence pretty much told the story of how the movie was going to play out as as I kept watching, I watched social justice continually creep into it as characters were introduced solely for the reason of diversifying the cast and hidden messages were littered all over the place. At the end of the day, The Force Awakens was bad and this, somehow, managed to take a turn for the worse.
The non-spoiler version... this movie was too full of tactical blunders to be enjoyable. It was fun to watch but not much fun to get into. Thankfully I set a low bar before coming to watch this one based off the Force Awakens but now there is no bar for Ep IX. It's a real shame too...

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Abraxes Rancor
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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII - The Last Jedi Review

Post by Abraxes Rancor » 2018-04-22 23:54

This review has so much winning.

Thank you Admiral Tiger Blood!

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