Before I get into this outrageously fun post, I have THREE QUICK THINGS to share with y’all:
- NUMBER ONE: I had two articles published last week! My very first article as a team member of The Cultivating Project, “A Saving Rest,” went live on Thursday, as did my article “Cultivating a Christ-Centered Lifestyle” with Milk & Honey Magazine! Needless to say, I’m thrilled and I really hope they’ll prove a blessing to all who read them!
- NUMBER TWO: The February edition of The Wordsmithery goes out on Wednesday, so if you haven’t already subscribed and would like the special Valentine’s Day-themed issue, sign up here!
- NUMBER THREE: For those who want to read my new Star Wars fanfic…the first two chapters are up. Ba-dum-tsssssssh.
Okay, enough with the announcements. I mentioned in my review of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker that I still hadn’t seen The Last Jedi–but I finally remedied that problem a couple of weeks ago. And guess what? I LOVED IT.
Now, The Rise of Skywalker did retcon some things, and I do have some minor quibbles with certain plot points and storylines. But as Jane Austen would say, “Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. I quit such odious subjects as soon as I can.” And like Rose Tico, I’d far rather focus on the things I love rather than the things I hate.
So without further ado, here are 10 reasons why I loved The Last Jedi!
1. BB-8’s Most Excellent Adventure
BB-8 is my favorite droid, hands-down, bar none, no questions asked–so I was thrilled he got so much fun screen time in this movie! Between helping Poe destroy a First Order Dreadnought, pelting bad guys with casino coins, and rescuing Finn and Rose multiple times, who knew the Resistance’s most adorable mascot could also be such a fierce little fighter?
He is also a smol baby who needs lots of cuddles from his daddy, as you can see from this sweet GIF.
2. Luke Skywalker’s Character Arc
Luke’s inner conflict in The Last Jedi gets a lot of flak, but I thought it made perfectly good sense based on what we already knew about him. Luke feels everything very deeply, and he tends to takes a lot onto himself: we saw it in his desperation to help Han and Leia in The Empire Strikes Back, and in his unshakeable faith in Anakin Skywalker in The Return of the Jedi. He’d probably be terribly hard on himself if ever he failed someone…especially if that Someone happened to be his young nephew.
I wasn’t shocked by Luke’s self-imposed isolation or his depression…but I really appreciated the fact that he didn’t stay in that place of self-loathing. Skywalker Males tend to be a bit melodramatic (*side-eyes Anakin, Luke, and Ben*), but they always get their act together in the end.
3. Rose Tico
Okay, Rose’s adventure with Finn and BB-8 didn’t really advance the plot (except to get the Resistance into even deeper trouble). I’ll admit that right-up front. But I don’t mind too much, because Rose still represents the small, ordinary folk of the Star Wars universe–people we don’t often get to see! Yes, we’re dealing with space battles, galactic politics, and awesome warriors, but we’re also dealing with everyday people who just want to defend their homes and regain their freedom.
That is why Rose is important. Plus, she’s an absolute dear–so pure and sweet!
4. Poe Dameron
Poe is such a fun character: warmhearted, reckless, snarky, and intensely loyal to his General-Princess. He learns a lot in The Last Jedi, though–namely, that he isn’t the Fount of All Strategic Wisdom, that Ellie Sattler–uh, I mean, Admiral Holdo–might actually know more than he does, and that if he misbehaves, Her Royal Highness Princess Leia will literally rise up out of a coma to shoot him with a stun gun.
Leia loves him dearly, though. I suspect that he not only reminds her of Han, but also that she’s “adopted” Poe in the absence of her own son.
5. Rey’s Jedi Training
Rey went to Ach-To expecting to recruit Luke Skywalker and learn everything she ever wanted to know about the Force. Instead, she got pushback and scorn from a depressed old man. Not exactly the most encouraging situation for my favorite Star Wars character of all time.
But Rey proves in The Last Jedi that she is more than able to face these challenges. Not only is the Force always with her, but it highly favors her–and her courage, compassion, and intuition serve her well. When Leia looks straight at her and tells her the Resistance has everything it needs, it’s because Leia knows Rey is the Last Jedi. She is their greatest weapon against the Darkness.
[Disclaimer: I could digress into a long discussion about how the Force is an unbiblical concept, but we’ll confine that to the comments and/or another post for another day. Suffice it to say that I’ve noticed the Force has become more “personal” over the years, which is interesting.]
6. ForceTime™ (because it’s like FaceTime…sort of)
I LOVE the scene when Rey and Kylo Ren are quietly minding their own business in their own places, when boom–all of a sudden they’re in each other’s presence! They’re still in their own locations, but they can see, hear, and even touch each other now. And Rey’s first impulse is to try and shoot him in the gut. (*proud grin*) That’s my child.
We get an immensely satisfying explanation for this in The Rise of Skywalker, but watching them figure out how it all works in this movie is mesmerizing, especially as they become less hostile, more vulnerable, and even sympathetic towards each other.
7. Princess Leia
This was technically Carrie Fisher’s last movie (J.J. Abrams used recycled footage to build her scenes in The Rise of Skywalker), and I’m so glad Leia played such a pivotal role in it. We got to see her in action not only as the Resistance’s beloved General, but also as a grieving mother and a trusting sister.
I also love the fact that Leia “adopts” Poe and Rey and that her own skills as a Jedi are on full display in this movie. She is truly an iconic character–not just in Star Wars, but in modern storytelling as a whole.
8. The Throne Room Scene
Okay, guys…THIS SCENE. I was on the edge of my seat, and I had no idea what to do with my emotions. Rey’s defiance, Snoke’s nastiness, Kylo Ren’s absolute horror when his master starts torturing Rey, the “WOW WOW WOW” look on Rey’s face when Kylo sent her lightsaber flying back into her hand and they got to fight together…gosh, it was a rollercoaster ride from beginning to end. And don’t even get me started on the “Join me” bit. I didn’t know whether to be furious or heartbroken.
And may I just say how unbelievable the choreography is? Daisy Ridley says it took twenty-five takes to get it right, and when they were finally finished, Adam Driver hoisted her over his shoulders and carried her off the set in exhausted triumph. (#bless)
9. The Battle of Crait
Crait was so unique: a salt mine planet where everything looks white…until you scrape your foot along the surface of the ground. Then it looks like you’re leaving bloody footprints in the snow. My inner artist’s appreciation for symbolism and dramatic effect found it rather fascinating.
The desperate “last stand” of the Resistance against the full might of the First Order also establishes a few key points: Kylo Ren is still a horrible person (in spite of the Throne Room Scene, alas), Luke Skywalker is still a true-hearted, self-sacrificial hero, Poe Dameron has learned what it means to be a real leader, and Rey is truly the new hope of the Resistance.
10. The Foreshadowed Eucatastrophe
Watching The Last Jedi in a post-Rise of Skywalker world is thrilling when it comes to the Eucatastrophe of the Sequel Trilogy (which I discussed at length in my review of the final film).
“If [Ben Solo] were turned from the Dark Side, that could shift the tide!” Rey tells Luke. “This could be how we win!” She even goes as far as to insist, “He’s our last hope!” When I first heard that, I had goosebumps.
It wasn’t the only moment of foreshadowing, of course. The Throne Room Scene itself foreshadows Rey and Ben’s epic reunion on Exegol beautifully. But Rey’s plea to Luke predicts Ben’s Eucatastrophe beat for beat. His “conversion” does shift the tide, it does help Rey and the Resistance win against Palpatine, and he does prove to be Rey’s last hope by bringing her back from the dead.
8 thoughts on “10 Reasons Why I Loved “Star Wars: The Last Jedi””
*basks happily* Such a gooooooooooood post. Such a good movie. ❤
Luke's character arc in TLJ is one of my favorite things about the new trilogy. I deeply, deeply admire Rian Johnson for taking such a risk, for showing that Luke isn't "perfect" and actually has quite a lot of darkness in him–yet, making him rise above the darkness in the end.
UM EXCUSE ME WHAT is this about Adam carrying Daisy off the set at the end of the Throne Room scene??? #CUTENESS OVERLOAD ALERT *flashing lights* *blaring sirens*
(*performs an elaborate curtsey*) Why thank you, dear friend–I had a feeling you’d enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it 😉
YES to everything you said about Luke! His character develops loudly in this movie–and now I can see his arc coming full circle when I think back to that moment in The Rise of Skywalker when he prevents Rey from throwing his lightsaber into the ocean. HE tossed it aside haphazardly in The Last Jedi, of course, but now he recognizes its deep importance to her and to Ben. And in the snarkiest, most Luke Skywalker-ish way possible, he won’t let her repeat his mistake. I LOVE IT.
I had a feeling you’d like that story, haha!! Apparently Daisy tells the story on the DVD/Blu-Ray Commentary. My DVD, unfortunately, doesn’t have special features, but just google something like “Adam Driver Daisy Ridley fireman’s hold” and it’ll pop up for you right away 😉
I did! ❤
Oh yes!! We stan a Snarky Wise Force Ghost xD
*zips off to Google*
Lovely post, Maribeth! Sorry I’m coming at it late – busy days at work the last few days!
This was super interesting to read, especially as I was one of those Star Wars fans who kind of came away with mixed feelings about The Last Jedi. All of the things you highlighted though were the reasons I thoroughly enjoyed the film! I actually went cosplayed as Rey to the theater, and I remember screaming during the entirety of that throne room scene! Such a powerful moment full of insane feels! Especially when Kylo just let Snoke eat it. Ahhhhhhh.
And I will say that I’m not a *huge* fan of Rose Tico, but she did has grown on me since my first watch of TLJ. I was kind of upset she didn’t get more screentime in TROS, to be honest. I personally feel like she could have been characterized better to begin with; some of her moments in TLJ just feel really rushed. Apart from that, she really is the sweetest little human. I’ve actually got her funko pop, too; she’s adorable.
The entire Canto Bight fiasco was something I never enjoyed. It was all kind of cringey to me. It felt way too Doctor Who-ey to be in Star Wars (if that makes sense LOL) xD
But I loved reading this! And that throne room scene will always be one of my favorite Star Wars moments! And what in the world? He carried her off the set when they were finished? Bless him. I love them so much. I shipped Reylo SO HARD during TLJ and just ended the movie feeling like my ship had sunk. BUT NO! Now our prince and princess live on – and they do in your fanfic! I love what’s going on over there! It’s wonderful!
Alas! A long comment have I written. (haha – little yodaism there).
Long comments I love, yes hmm! (That’s my Yodaism, hee-hee.) And thank you SO MUCH for this one, Emily! I feel like I’m commenting on TLJ from a very unusual and possibly even unique place: not only was I SUPER late in watching it, but I also watched it from a post-TROS perspective…which is a little like reading the ending of a book before the middle. So it’s been interesting for me to get other’s perspectives on it: unless they’re completely rude about it, I’ve found myself reacting with a cheerful, “Oh, okay! NOW I can see why you saw/thought/believed that, and I totally respect your viewpoint!”
So, for example, your comment about Canto Bight makes TOTAL sense to me! The hilarious thing is…I liked it for the exact same reason, haha! It DID feel like something I’d find in Star Trek or Doctor Who, but I’ve always been a huge sucker for stories that plunge me deep into the inner workings of a fictional world. For me, it was kinda delicious to see “the 1%” of the Star Wars universe rolling in the profits of the First Order…and it may or may not have given me ideas for possible antagonists in my fanfic. Ahem 😉
But yeah, the Throne Room Scene. INSANE feels. My brother was sitting on the couch with me while I was watching it on my laptop; I was wearing my earbuds and he was watching something else on the TV, but when I started fist-pumping and gasping and clapping my hands to my face, he kept giving me an unimpressed side-eye, haha! It was just…amazing. And yes, the behind-the-scenes story is one that Daisy apparently tells on the commentary! Not gonna lie: I gobble up ALL the nice stories about Certain Actors Who Play Bad Guys Who Are Actually Big Ol’ Sweethearts In Real Life.
Game-changing third chapter of the fanfic goes up today, btw 😉
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Hahaha our Yodaisms need to become a thing xD!!
I am very *very* intrigued to see what is up your sleeve with Canto Bight villain ideas for your fanfiction. Benicio del Toro’s character returns, perhaps? Hmm…you’ve got me thinking. LOL, though, it was definitely a quirky place, and I think it made the Star Wars universe a little more interesting. Whenever I watch it now, I’m just waiting for the Doctor (Eleven, of course) to pop out from behind a corner xD
Ooooooh those feels for the throne room scene. I’m all OVER it. So so so so good. And yes! Those lovely actors who play villains but are such teddy bears in real life! It’s hilarious! I had the same experience with Adam Driver, but also with Tom HIddleston…*Loki, you broke earth again*
Wonderful post, Maribeth! I love your insights on TLJ!!! I agree, it was a wonderful movie. 😀
I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the post, Amelie! I had a lot of fun writing this one. Seriously, frequent re-watches of my favorite scenes from The Last Jedi have not only convinced me that it is, in fact, a really good movie, but they’re also getting me through these last agonizing weeks of waiting for the Rise of Skywalker DVD, haha!
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