The Last Jedi seems to be the most polarizing movie among fans in the history of the franchise. This is the impression one will get while reading social media and blogs. Granted it is difficult to believe everything you read because there are numerous trolls intentionally trashing the movie and driving down audience scores. I think the percentage of haters is far lower than we are all lead to believe. However, to that end I thought I would select a few particular themes these obtuse and belligerent fans allege are “wrong” with The Last Jedi.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD – If you haven’t seen the movie yet, stop reading now.
Let’s begin with the most highly anticipated question we wanted answered: Who are Rey’s parents? There were so many fan theories scattering the Internet, I even proposed my own. I think everyone was expecting one of them to be right. When Kylo Ren told Rey that her parents were nobodies; drunken junk traders looking for their next fix, I think we were all pretty shocked. I was not disappointed but apparently that rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.
I admit that I may have felt a little let down, perhaps even confused. Her Force abilities seem too exceptional to be from humble beginnings. While I could learn to appreciate the existential explanation (that Rey and Kylo are essentially the yin and yang of the Force), I don’t think that is the truth. I think either Snoke implanted images in Kylo Ren’s visions or Kylo chose to lie to Rey about her parents to bait her into joining with him. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time the facts about the protagonists parents were skewed.
Snoke’s Back Story
Speaking of Supreme Leader Snoke, why do we care about who Snoke is? Since when does every supporting character suddenly need a back story? When the “Empire Strikes Back” came out (and, subsequently “Return of the Jedi”), we weren’t clamoring for Emperor Palpatine’s backstory. We just knew he was the “head bad guy” who was manipulating Vader. Sure, the various theories are exciting and entertaining (ex: Darth Plagueis, Mace Windu, Revan etc). I’ll admit that I was trying to conjure up my own theory about Snoke but after his death I realized that he’s just another pawn. He is the Count Dooku of this trilogy. He is simply a means to an end and who he was is completely irrelevant. Complaining about his lack of a back story is simply belligerent.
New Force Abilities
This one makes absolutely no sense to me. Apparently some of the complaints were regarding some of the new Force abilities. I guess mind tricks and floating things are the only acceptable Force powers? The Force is so much cooler than that, why on Earth would we want it so limited?? Luke’s ability to create a Force illusion of himself, in his stand-off with Kylo Ren, was one of the powers that received criticism. This isn’t some random ability Disney conjured up, it’s always been a Force ability. In The Jedi Path it’s referred to as Doppleganger.
This also includes Snoke’s Mind Probe ability. We know that Kylo Ren has the ability to perform a Mind Probe, we see him use it several times in The Force Awakens. Kylo Ren is Snoke’s apprentice, therefore one can assume Snoke taught Kylo Ren the Mind Probe ability. This is the same ability Snoke uses not only to manipulate Kylo Ren but also to bridge the connection between him and Rey. The Dark Side has always been notorious for clouding and manipulating the minds of the innocent and righteous; what Snoke has done is well within those expectations.
The list of Force Powers is quite extensive. It’s built upon by decades of books and video games and never has a complaint been lodged. The Force Unleashed is one of the most popular Star Wars console games. The Force abilities players could use were unparalleled and awesome. It would be incredibly short sighted of Disney to not introduce new Force abilities and it’s obtuse to expect less.
Luke’s Demeanor and Fate
I think the trailer painted a pretty clear picture as to Luke’s demeanor. If he’s on a secluded island, disconnected from the Force, he clearly doesn’t want to be found. I don’t know what people were expecting. Perhaps they were hoping for Luke to become some wizened sage, eager to train new Jedi. We know from The Force Awakens that he failed training his own nephew. The Jedi have a known history of disappearing into seclusion after a major loss. Remote locations, such as the swamps of Dagobah or the Jundland Wastes of Tatooine, are common places of escape for reflection and meditation.
I admit that I was really bummed when we saw Luke poetically vanish into the Force. I had hoped that he would come out of his funk and stick around for Episode IX to complete Rey’s training. Alas, the Force has other plans for him. While many fans were really sad to see Luke fade away and become one with the Force, I think we are all forgetting one, inevitable fact. We will see Luke in Episode IX, in the form of “Force Ghost”!
So there you have it. The Last Jedi is a worthy entry into the saga, those who wish to continue to lament and cry, please opine on Twitter, where the rest of the butt-hurt vitriol lives.
The Force. It calls to you. Just let it in.