With the final installment in the Star Wars trilogy releasing this weekend, I have . . . some thoughts. Now, sometimes I like to preface my posts with a small disclaimer, but in today’s case, I AM DEFINITELY ADDING A DISCLAIMER BECAUSE STAR WARS FANS CAN BE THE WORST. They can also be awesome and just all around AMAZING people, but I still need to put this out there first: My opinions may be different than yours. You can disagree with me on every single point, and that’s great. It’s just an opinion. I’m not trying to change your opinions. This is just what I think. With that out of the way, let’s get into it.
Here is your spoiler warning!!
This one was my favorite of this trilogy. I did have an issue or two with it (which I’ll get into), but I just plain loved this movie. I’m not a hard person to please. Y’all clicked on this post to hear my thoughts, and there are so many, so let’s start with pacing.
This movie felt like a lot of “movie” if that makes any sense. It felt like there was so much packed into every scene, that there was barely any of that traditional ebb-and-flow that allows audiences to digest a large, info-heavy scene. In this movie, it was bombshell after bombshell after battle scene after battle scene. It made for a fun, fast-paced and visually stunning movie, but it did leave the viewer needing to catch their breath in a way. This could be one of the reasons this review may read as scatter-brained.
Finn & Poe
First things first (or more like third thing first), I am so happy Finn had a bigger role in this movie. He was such a central character in TFA, so when I saw TLJ, I was left wondering why he had been relegated to a smaller subplot. Luckily, he is right in the action in this movie. (which is perfect because John Boyega is a gem) This movie explored the friendship between Finn and Poe, especially since they were separated for most of The Last Jedi. They even *gasp* had a fight. Of course, they made up, somewhat too quickly, before the end.
Abrams and Co also gave Poe somewhat of a backstory, where we had been left wondering for the last two movies! Of course, it was glossed over a bit (the writers really tried to fit a lot in this movie), but finding out Poe was a spice runner on Kijimi and had a history with a new character, Zorii Bliss (who we sorely don’t see enough of). Again, it was just a line thrown in there to just give Poe this history in an attempt to flesh him out. I’d be ecstatic to get some kind of spinoff with Poe and Zorii and their adventures before this trilogy.
Rey & Kylo Ren/Ben Solo
These two might be the reason why you clicked on this post. Truthfully, I’d click on a post just for them too. The trouble is: how to start?
Let’s start with Rey. Her character arc seemed to really take off since The Last Jedi. In The Last Jedi, we see Luke reluctantly teach Rey the ways of the Force as she struggles with her identity and her place in the ongoing war between the Resistance and the First Order. When RoS starts, Rey is still working on her training while the rest of the Resistance fights off attacks.
After hearing the recording from Emperor Palpatine, she tries to find the wayfinder, a device that will allow her to find Exogal, a planet important to the Sith. Of course, Kylo Ren already has this device (we aren’t made aware of how he obtains it), and he’s made his way to Exogal in the first few scenes of the movie. Rey and Kylo both hope to use the wayfinder to find Palpatine for their own ends. Kylo hopes to secure Palpatine’s fleet and Rey wants to destroy Palpatine. In the meantime, Rey’s powers are growing and these two have several head to head battles in this movie (both through their bond and in person).
Kylo Ren/Ben Solo. Oh, boy. I love a villain. (side note: I’m thinking of writing a full post just about fictional villains and why they’re superior characters in every way, haha) And Adam Driver delivers on portraying a believable, complex character constantly struggling between the light and the dark.
*Also, this is really where all of the spoilers come in, so continue reading at your own discretion.*
After battling Rey near the remains of the Death Star, Kylo Ren is stabbed in the abdomen by Rey’s lightsaber. Almost immediately after, she is able to heal his wounds. Rey leaves Ren, and Kylo confronts his father, Han Solo, via memory (?). It’s a touching scene that parallels their meeting in TFA. When Ben tells Han (again) that he knows “what I have to do, but I don’t think I have the strength to do it,” Han tells him he is, in fact, strong enough. Ben turns and throws that now-iconic lightsaber in the water. This is the scene where Kylo Ren dies and Ben Solo lives.
We don’t see Ben Solo for a little while until Rey finally makes it to Exogal and starts to confront Emperor Palpatine. And, what a scene it is!
Audiences get to see Ben fighting the Knights of Ren (which is almost a shame since they weren’t really featured in the first two movies), and he’s using Luke’s lightsaber!!!! Gah, I just loved this part.
Of course, I can’t end this review without talking about the ending. When Rey is finally able to defeat Palpatine, with the help of all of the Jedi before her, it takes all her strength and kills her. Very reminiscent of a certain Avenger . . . Anyway, Ben Solo crawls to her, pulls her in his lap, and performs the same force healing that Rey did on him several scenes earlier. It’s a sweet scene that ends with what Reylo fans have been waiting for forever, a kiss. Before you come for me, I’ve been somewhat of a Reylo shipper for a while. However, I wasn’t entirely in it until I knew for sure they weren’t related. Fool me once, George Lucas.
After this reunion, Ben Solo dies, similar to Luke Skywalker’s death, where he just sort of evaporates and transforms into the Force. I. was. Pissed. Yes, I knew going into this that he was most likely going to die, but I am very good at living in denial. BUT, giving Ben this ending allows him to make the ultimate sacrifice, for Rey AND for the Resistance. And, in doing so, he completely redeems himself and is able to be reunited with his parents and uncle.
I know I’ve mentioned several times already that this movie felt so packed full of information, but at the same time, I wasn’t ready for it to end. It felt like there was still so much more to explore that when it ended, I was left with more questions. What’s going to happen to Rey, Finn, and Poe? Will Finn go off to join the other former stormtroopers? (a spin off I’d definitely PAY TO SEE, DISNEY). Will Poe go back with Zorii? With Rey claiming herself as a Skywalker, where does that leave her?
I have so much more I want to say in this, but honestly, if I don’t stop here, it’ll be like 6,000 words. Don’t even get me started on The Mandalorian. That’s a separate post (or twenty).
TLDR; I enjoyed this one a little more than TLJ, even though it was a lot of info packed into two and half hours.
May The Force Be With You Always.