How Star Wars: The Last Jedi Ruined My Childhood, and How I Came to Terms with it.

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi is like the first time I ate sushi. I didn’t like it… But I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Now I love sushi. I don’t love The Last Jedi, at least not yet, but I can’t stop thinking about it. It deserves another watch from me, one less entangled in my biases and preconceived notions. [NERDITOR’S NOTE: Warning – mild spoilers ahead.]

star wars last jedi
Adam Driver (left) portrays Kylo Ren and Daisy Ridley plays Rey in the third trilogy of the Star Wars film saga.

What I keep coming back to is  the chemistry between Rey and Kylo Ren (#Reylo). Since the Clone Wars animated series and Rebels, we have had “Balance of the Force,” the Bendu, driven into our minds; preached to us almost ad nauseum and much like an ol’ Jedi mind trick all we ever experience is Light (Ashla) and Dark (Bogan). What we see with that is neither truly work. When has an extreme of anything ever actually worked?

The Last Jedi destroyed my Star Wars childhood, and that’s okay. We learn that the Skywalker name isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme. That you don’t have to be somebody to be someone. That learning from failure is more important than learning from dusty old ancient Jedi tomes, and that freewill is stronger than destiny.

This series was looking more and more like a Star Wars reboot [love letter] than a new chapter, until Snoke died. Boom! Just like that (never under estimate the power of an emo kid who just hates you). When Kylo Ren offered his hand to Rey, there were more than a few of us wanting to see her take it. Why? Because they have amazing fiery on-screen chemistry that just makes us want to scream?

Well. Okay, maybe, but also because together they wouldn’t be ruling the galaxy as an evil father and son “Dark Side” duo. They would be ruling with the balance of The Force… And isn’t bringing balance to The Force what we have been after since 1977? I’m dying to see how this plays out. I’m no longer attached to the characters of the past, and finally, begrudgingly I look towards the next generation to take Star Wars into the future.

From the Nerditor’s desk

What about you? Did you see Star Wars: The Last Jedi? What did you think about the film? Let us know in the comments below.

Star Wars last jedi
The Force Awakens Beginner Game contains everything you and up to four friends need to start playing your parts part in the struggle between the First Order and the Resistance.

If you want to play your own games in the Star Wars galaxy, check out Star Wars: The Force Awakens Beginner Game from Fantasy Flight Games and tell the stories you want set in the iconic setting. This standalone game is set just prior to The Force Awakens and includes pregenerated characters and custom dice. The rules are compatible with Age of Rebellion, Edge of the Empire and Force and Destiny so you can continue your adventures in a galaxy far, far away however you like.

May the nerd be with you…I mean…stay nerdy!

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Follow Elyunn:
Owner of BeholdHer Gaming, LLC. Lover of all creatures great and small. Gamer. Modder. Gardener and cheese enthusiast.

11 Responses

  1. Veritas Mortez
    | Reply

    WARNING: MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD:

    Elyunn, I have heard this refrain many times. Whereas I can understand the sentiment, I have to point out one glaring thing that Star Wars fans of all shades ignore. The opening statement in every Star Wars film is “a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away”… The key world there is Galaxy. Note Yoda’s description of the Force. It’s supposed to be an energy that binds all living things together.
    With those two statements in evidence, assuming that every force user has to be a Skywalker holds no water. The “Balance in the Force” was, at best, Jedi dogma. In just the one Galaxy we see in play, there have to be many other belief systems around The Force, where the overarching concepts of “balance” are not considered. A Galaxy is a big place. Imagine how many Force users are out there, trained or untrained.
    I loved that Rey’s parents were nobody. The Force should call and touch many people, not just Skywalkers. I loved that Snoke died early. Otherwise it would have been just another rehash like “The Force Awakens” was. It opens the scripting to new ideas and options. It revealed Snoke’s hubris despite his vast power. It also unlocks the possibility of Dark Side Force ghosts.
    I thought the “hyperspace collision” was great, and supported a statement made by Han Solo in “A New Hope”. Speaking of which, compare the diversity of the original trilogy to this one movie. Note the number of female heroes, pilots, warriors and villains. In the original trilogy, the ladies were arm candy, with the exception of one, and even she ended up in a brass bikini.
    I loved the doubt in Luke, his questioning of his faith, and his surrender to The Force. THAT is the path of a long term Jedi whom has seen what he has seen. The astral projection and force illusions were brilliant, showing the extent of the truly powerful.
    The only way to really ramp up the possibilities in a Star Wars film is to remove the Skywalker name entirely. In fact, I would go farther. Make the hero something other than a human. There are so many great tales out there about Twi’leks, Trandoshans, Zabrak, Quarren and Nautolans. So many more!
    Again, I understand your sentiment. I know where that comes from, and the love of the stories that have fueled generations.
    But to truly rise above, we, as Kylo alluded, need to let go of past things. Thank you for a wonderful article.

    And may the Force be with you, always.

    • Elyunn
      | Reply

      I couldn’t agree with you more. And that is what I was trying to convey, at least from my point of view. That the Skywalker name isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme and that you don’t have to be somebody to be someone.

  2. Cindy Smith
    | Reply

    One of the best Articles I have read

  3. BeardedGlory
    | Reply

    I watched the movie and I enjoyed it and my gripes are little.

    **WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD READ AT YOU OWN PERIL**

    1. To many characters

    There was Leah, Poh, Rose, Luke, Kylo, Hux, Snoke, Holdo and DJ all clamoring for screen time. I felt it difficult to really get invested in the new characters.

    2. Still no idea on who Snoke was

    Who could have been said was the new main villain of the franchise bites the dust in the second movie. I’m fine with that but WHO was he? HOW did he reach Ben when Luke was training him? We still have such little information on this guy. I feel like he could have been fleshed out more.

    3. The First Order

    I understand that they are the remnants of the old Empire, but how were they able to sneak under the radar to build such an Armada. After the first movie their super weapon was blown up and all they seemed to have left was the fleet. But there is an impression that they already seem to control the galaxy? How did that even happen?

    4. Why are all the other planets sitting on the side line?

    The Force Awakens has the First Order flying in trying to take over the “New Republic” or whatever Galactic system they are using. So it’s understanding they are slow to join the Resistance when they believe the Empire is long dead. Then one of their planets blow up. Why didn’t they get involved after that? Did they just not spend money on a military? Did they still not believe in Leah after the planet exploded? I would have to think after blowing up the super planetary weapon that Leah would have reported it destroyed to everyone.

    5. Luke Skywalker

    I understand that Luke is upset. He said he didn’t want to be found so why did he leave a star map so people could find him in case of an emergency? Why did he give up on the Force because of a failed student? Sure it was traumatizing and it’s understandable he would be reluctant to train a new Jedi member but to completely cut yourself off? Luke has faced this danger before. I just find it odd that he seems to just give up because of it what happened. He does redeem himself in the end. Though I wish I could have seen him go to town instead of Force projecting himself on the planet the Resistance has been cornered on.

    6. To much humor

    I like humor but I wish there was less of it in this movie. The opening scene where Poh was talking to Hux was cringe worthy. This is supposed to be a tense moment for the Resistance and the audience. Why did you have remove that with “Please Hold” bit.

    7. Why can’t Rey and Fin be a thing?

    I was hoping this would happen as soon as I watched the Force Awakens but Rose had to go in there and dash my hopes. 🙁

    I’ll watch the movie again because as far as action scenes and graphics it’s a beautiful film. I do hope in the next movie they end up cutting the cast down.

    • Elyunn
      | Reply

      Lol. All great points. I wish I had those answers and it’s not a perfect film, but it is an interesting one. Also, like you, I was a Rey and Finn shipper. I never once considered Kylo in this mix as a possibility, until this movie. But, from a subjective perspective, Adam Driver and Daisy Ridley’s on-screen chemistry is much more palatable than it is with John Boyega. At least for me.

      • Veritas Mortez
        | Reply

        I agree that the Rey/Kylo connection was far more genuine and not so contrived as the Rey/Finn mix. Heck, I’m still wondering if Finn and Po will become a thing, Rose or no Rose.

        • Elyunn
          | Reply

          Lol. Total bromance there.

  4. J.
    | Reply

    I have trouble with exactly three things in this movie:

    1) Finn’s arc was completely irrelevant to the plot of the movie. If you take it away you are left with the same exact movie. Do it.
    2) Luke Skywalker should have been in Crait, physically, and die there in an epic battle. Much more satisfying and you’re still telling the same story.
    3) Leia Organa should have died instead of Admiral Holdo, sacrificed herself for the Resistance. Again, the story doesn’t change but you have a new super interesting bad-ass character that can lead the Resistance. As a bonus, you got rid off all the original characters once and for all.

    Other than that, I thought the movie was decent.

    • Doug Vehovec
      | Reply

      First off, I’d like to say how nice it is to see calm, thoughtful comments here on this post – thank you! I thought similarly about Finn at first, but then I read somewhere how it fit in the theme of the film about failure and still going forward after facing them. So that made me feel a bit better about it. Still, it did kind of come off like “what was the point of that whole side story?”
      I was okay with Luke’s arc but maybe a little more time with him (perhaps borrowed from Finn/Rose?) would have been nice.
      Lastly, in light of Carrie Fisher’s passing now, having her make the sacrifice would have been ideal but that’s an unforeseen circumstance. I did like Holdo a lot though and it would have been cool to have that character back for Episode IX.

      • J.
        | Reply

        My thoughts exactly. I really really really liked Holdo, and if the whole point of the movie was breaking with the past, I would have been super happy if Holdo kind of replaced Leia. Luke’s arc was, overall, good, but I think it deserved a more satisfying finale. Not that’s anything wrong with what they did, not at all, but I would have liked it better if we actually saw him fighting like a bad-ass.

        Regarding Finn’s arc, I also have friends who think that the whole point was showing that there was hope in the far confines of the galaxy, but I believe that if you remove the thing altogether (leave the end scene with the kids playing, of course), you still show that “there’s hope”. Likewise, with the argument of overcoming failure, the whole movie is about overcoming failure. They barely save the day, only a few survive, yet they keep fighting. After thinking about what was the point, my only conclusion was that they wanted to introduce the decoder, a few more species and the cute racing animals… for merchandise purposes. I hope that, at least, the decoder is back in the next episode.

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