Monday, December 11, 2017

The Last Jedi predictions

It will make a lot of money and tons of fanboys/girls will declare it the bestest Star Wars movie ever.

But seriously, I haven’t seen some advanced copy and I haven’t read any earlier reviews.  This is just based on my reaction to The Force Awakens and what I understand of the movie business.

My feelings on The Force Awakens was that it was an okay movie undeserving of all the hype.  Probably the biggest issue I had with it was Starkiller Base.  I can cynically picture this conversation taking place: “What do people remember about Star Wars?” “The Death Star.” “Then we have to have a Death Star.” “If we just have another Death Star, people will say we’re just ripping off the older movies.” “Then we’ll make it bigger!”

I mean, if there needed to be a Death Star, what if the New Republic built it and was using it to destroy the last bits of the Empire?  That opens up a complex issue of how good people/groups/ideas can fall into evil.  In theory, that was supposed to be the point of the Prequels, but this could have been a chance to do it better.  Instead we get the Standard Story Number Seven of a group of good characters rushing to defeat the evil characters on the eve of total victory.

For years people would reference The Empire Strikes Back as an example of a good sequel because it wasn’t just the first movie done again.  If I talked about a simple character, living on a desert world, after an encounter with a droid, flying off in the Millennium Falcon and getting caught up in the fight against the galactic evil and their doomsday weapon, am I giving the blurb for A New Hope or The Force Awakens?  When I first heard that they were making a new trilogy, my one hope was that they would – competently – take it in a new and interesting direction.  But in my opinion, they just played it safe, which is why I say it’s an okay movie undeserving of all the hype. 

So what are my predictions for The Last Jedi?  Since they were successful playing it safe with The Force Awakens, I expect them to continue doing so.  This will probably lead to another okay movie.  I don’t expect any big twists.  For example, there is a fan theory that Rey is Anakin reborn which – from a storytelling point – is really interesting.  But it’s too weird for a major blockbuster movie.  As such I predict that Rey’s origin will be rather mundane.  It will only be … shocking because it was kept secret. 

I could be wrong.  The Last Jedi may be the bestest Star Wars movie ever, but I think it has a major uphill battle just to be in the same league as the original trilogy.  We’ll see.

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