Star Wars: The Last Jedi
The Last Jedi isn’t an awful film. Not Force Awakens awful. But it is pretty bad. Down there at the bottom of the scrap heap, with The Force Awakens and The Phantom Menace. The question on my mind was whether The Force Awakens was just a Phantom Menace moment, a rocky start to a trilogy that redeemed itself with two pretty good films. (Yes, I like Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Fight me.) But no, it was not to be. It was not hard, of course, for The Last Jedi to improve upon The Force Awakens. But it still isn’t a very good film, and no amount of directorial and technological wizardry can redeem this wretched trilogy now.
So is it time for the Star Wars franchise to die?
No. Last year’s Rogue One proved that Disney can turn out a good Star Wars film. Rogue One took elements from the established mythos and populated it with new characters and an original story. There is literally no end to the possibilities of such films, especially if they have good scripts and good directors. I am actually looking forward to next year’s Han Solo film, directed by Ron Howard. That, Disney, is the way to go forward. But the scripts have to be original and good, and why not get the best possible directorial talent? Why not get Christopher Nolan to direct a Star Wars film? Why not David Lynch, who was actually discussed as director for Return of the Jedi. (Imagine what he would have done with Jabba and the Ewoks.)
The problem with the new trilogy is that it is a calculated remake (a “soft reboot”) of the original one. Given that there is a whole universe of fan fiction as well as countless authorized Star Wars novels to steal from, the cynicism and complete poverty of imagination revealed by the decision to do an ill-concealed, sometimes shot-by-shot, remake is truly breath-taking. I have already detailed how The Force Awakens is a shameless remake of A New Hope and elements of The Empire Strikes Back. Let’s look at how The Last Jedi rips off The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
Read the rest of Trevor Lynch’s review at Counter-Currents.