As promised, it is time to poke and prod at The Last Jedi on a far deeper level. In this piece, we are going to have to do far more work than usual to clean up this flick, but it can be done! With that in mind, let’s stick to the obvious.
What if I was a part of Lucasfilm’s story group? What if I could change things up a little bit and make sure that The Last Jedi wouldn’t anger the fans?
We’ll see the results soon enough, but let’s get into the details first!
The Point Of It All.
Before we begin, let’s detail a few of the things that we need to accomplish from a writing perspective. We must:
- Deliver a followup to The Force Awakens that makes sense.
- Cut the fat.
- Eliminate plot holes and stupid moments.
- Focus the movie on critical characters.
- Expand the lore in a logical way.
- Deliver a unique surprise.
Will we pull it off? Let’s find out! This is Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
The Opening Works… Sort Of.
The film opens in a similar manner to the original. While the Resistance is mostly intact, they have to evacuate to a new base in the aftermath of The Force Awakens. Leia and her team are moving supplies when the First Order jumps in on top of them. As the battle begins, we notice the first big change.
The First Order has a number of Star Destroyers at their disposal, but no Dreadnaught.
Leia knows that Poe is outgunned, so she allows him to use most of the ordnance that they have in storage. With that in mind, Poe scrambles a flight of X-Wings, A-Wings, and B-Wings to counter the threat on their doorstep. The superior pilots manage to destroy a few Star Destroyers, but get absolutely clobbered when TIE Fighters swarm their position. Luckily, the Resistance manages to complete their evacuation before everything falls apart, which forces Poe and the survivors to pull away and jump into hyperspace.
There are tiny little changes in this segment, but it shows off the competence of both sides of the war. We’ll go into more detail on that a little later.
Rey Trains With Luke.
We pick up with Luke and Rey exactly where we left them in The Force Awakens. When Rey offers Luke his old lightsaber, he looks upon it with a sense of sadness and hands it back to her.
I know, right? It doesn’t add a pointless joke for reasons, but that’s okay!
After a small set of scenes that establishes a decent rapport between the two characters, we learn why Luke is on the island.
After the slaughter of the New Jedi Temple, our hero began to beat himself up over his failure to keep Ben on the straight and narrow. In his misery, he searched for answers and came across a reference to Ahch-To. What he discovered shook him to his core and led him to the belief that the Jedi must end.
After a brief back-and-forth, Luke agrees to give three lessons.
The first lesson is quite similar to the one on screen. Luke points out the balance on the island between things like life and death. Rey wonders about the nature of the Force, so Luke illustrates the main point. If there is balance in all things, why would one assume that there isn’t a need to balance the Light and Dark Sides of the Force?
The second lesson expands upon this point with a look at the past. As we all know, the Jedi attempted to purge all emotion from their students, whereas the Sith steeped themselves in it at the expense of everything else. This failure to balance emotion with reason doomed the galaxy to an endless cycle of war and violence. Consider the evidence that we’ve seen up to this point.
- The Jedi whittled the Sith down to two people, so Anakin Skywalker became a Sith messiah and did the same to the Jedi.
- Luke and Snoke were the only living Force practitioners at the end of Return of the Jedi, so Luke’s attempts to train a new generation of Jedi also threw the Force out of whack.
To make matters worse, Luke found no references to this conflict in the earliest Jedi texts, implying that the Jedi and Sith came from the same place. In short, those who use the Force must find a balance within themselves or the Force will do it on a macro-level.
After some brief practice with her lightsaber, Rey receives her third lesson in the cave of mirrors. Since she already came to grips with her parentage in The Force Awakens, this sequence reveals her possible futures. In one mirror, she looks quite like Darth Sidious did before his death. When she walks to another, she is normal and in love with *insert ship of choice here*. In yet another, she lies dead and forgotten in the middle of nowhere. This piece is important because it reveals her inner yearning and fear of what’s next.
With this knowledge in hand, Rey makes an attempt to save Ben Solo that is quite similar to the original script. We’ll get to that later!
As the Resistance flees from D’Qar, Leia takes stock of the galactic situation. We learn that the Republic’s command structure has effectively collapsed. Emergency protocols dictate that Leia is in command because she is in charge of the Resistance. With her newfound power, she orders the remnants of the New Republic to go mobile.
Just after that, we catch up with Jessika Pava and Finn. After our former stormtrooper wakes up, he offers to help fix her X-Wing, but they are not able to get it operational in time for the oncoming First Order attack.
As in the original film, the First Order drops out of hyperspace right on top of the Resistance, so Leia decides to buy time by pushing the engines to the limit. However, Kylo Ren’s wingmen make a successful attack run on the bridge, blowing Leia out of the ship.
In the aftermath of Leia’s death, Admiral Ackbar takes command of the Resistance. Rather than telling Poe to get the fuck off of the bridge, the Mon Calamari brings his CAG into the tactical discussion. It’s clear that there is a little bit of a father/son relationship there. Poe is learning how to be even-handed, Ackbar is figuring out how to be audacious, and we are learning from both of them!
Meanwhile, Jess and Finn are scrambling to help the repair crews fix the ship. At first, Finn is shocked at their welcoming attitude, but he develops an affection for the people around him. To make things even better, none of them are stupid enough to kiss him while their friends are under attack!
Kylo, Rey, And Snoke.
In the middle of it all, Ben Solo grapples with his inability to kill his mother and deal with Rey. Over the course of the movie, he endures astral projection sessions with Rey, but he doesn’t understand why he feels so conflicted and awkward. Much like Luke, he searches for answers, but takes a different path. On top of that, he learns that much of the galaxy is funding both sides of the war, which ultimately turns him against Snoke.
When Rey comes knocking, the death of Snoke and the fight with the guards plays out much like it did in the original story. However, the ending is quite different.
As the Resistance takes a beating outside, Ben remarks about the need to end the war, power down the military machine, and become a balancing force in the galaxy. However, he can’t do it on his own, so he offers his hand to Rey.
In an incredible twist, she takes his offer.
Around this time, the Resistance grows desperate. Admiral Ackbar and Poe make an effort to protect the fleet, but the dwindling supplies narrow down their possible options.
- They can’t infiltrate the Supremacy and shut off the tracker.
- A jump away is out of the question.
- If they seek shelter, the First Order can pummel them from orbit.
- The New Republic Starfleet can’t help.
Over time, Admiral Ackbar comes to the same conclusion that Vice Admiral Tumblr did in the original script. He tells his crew to evacuate to the other ships, but everything stops when Ben appears on every screen.
Ben Solo offers a ceasefire to Admiral Ackbar. In exchange, the Resistance must retreat to the Outer Rim and await further instructions. Finn and Poe are quite astonished by this, but they become angry when Rey appears on screen.
Rey tries to reason with them. Although they don’t really like it, the Resistance grudgingly accepts the proposal and jumps away.
The film ends as Ben Solo takes his seat and forms the nucleus of a new government. He and Rey are now in charge of the most powerful military machine in the galaxy, but what happens next is entirely up in the air. For one thing, they might have to keep General Hux in line, lest the redhead attempts to challenge their power.
As all of that is happening, Luke returns to the cavern where he took apart his X-Wing and begins to put it back together again.
And that is Star Wars: The Last Jedi!
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