porgs

Don’t Worry; The Porgs Aren’t the New Ewoks

I think some people have been hesitant to join #Porgnation before seeing the film, fearing the cute aquatic bird creatures might be the next Ewoks or Jar Jar Binks. I am happy to report that the porgs are the exact right amount of cute and funny without being an annoyance. Sure, they are in the film to provide comic relief, but in the right moments.

That’s not to say that all the comic relief moments in the film are stellar: there is a moment featuring BB-8 that seems like something out of George Lucas’ prequel trilogy and will probably get groans from Star Wars diehards.

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It’s a Big, Long Movie

At over two and a half hours in length, it is the longest Star Wars movie to date – and it feels it. Not because there is ever a moment to look at your watch, but just because it’s so jam-packed with characters, each with their own storylines alongside their own perfect moments. It’s in this aspect that I think people will compare the film to The Force Awakens. The momentum of Abrams’ film was just incredible and I think The Last Jedi could have learned from the pacing of that film.

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Disney, Please Stop Selling Us Characters Who Are Barely In The Movie

One of the big pushes for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was a new droid named C2-B5, a black colored Imperial astromech droid. But in the final film the new droid, which came with a bevy of action figures, was seen for only a split second in the background of a shot. This annoyed me and other Star Wars fans, as the droid was built up and marketed as a significant new addition to series canon. Star Wars: The Last Jedi introduces us to an evil black First Order BB droid named BB-9E, complete with a line of figures and toys. And while BB-9E has more screentime than C2-B5 and Constable Zuvio, it’s not much at all.

Imagine how all the kids who bought an expensive Sphero iPhone controlled version of this droid must feel after seeing the film. Listen, I know part of the reason Disney bought Lucasfilm was to sell Star Wars toys, but how hard is it to create new characters who actually matter and play a role in the film?

 

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Where Do We Go From Here?

I mentioned above that The Last Jedi feels more like Return of the Jedi than Empire Strikes Back. I also noted that Abrams’ Star Wars film was more about setting up questions and Rian Johnson’s film was more about answering them in ways you didn’t expect. I left this movie wondering where Abrams could possibly take Episode 9, not because there is a big cliffhanger (because there is not), but because it’s so unclear where this story is going. What I long assumed would be the conclusion doesn’t seem to be in the cards. A lot of what I had assumed would play into the final act has mostly been resolved.

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How Does Last Jedi Compare to The Force Awakens and the Previous Star Wars Movies?

It’s not a competition, but I know many of you will want to know where this film falls in the ranking of Star Wars movies and how it compares to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I’ve only seen The Last Jedi once at this point, and I’m still very much formulating my opinion and already have tickets to see it a couple more times, so I don’t think it’s fair at this point to make a definitive ranking, but I can compare my feelings for it against The Force Awakens:

  1. Let me first say that I loved Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and I know many of you had problems with how the film purposely echoed A New Hope. I was, for the most part, not bothered by this (third “Death Star” aside), and Abrams’ film currently stands very close to the top of the franchise in my heart.
  2. This movie has higher highs than The Force Awakens. I mentioned there are more than a few “holy shit” moments that are better than anything in The Force Awakens.

But as a whole, I think I enjoyed The Force Awakens a bit more. I remember having fewer initial nitpicks with Abrams’ film. The Last Jedi relies on an intricate story that weaves and twists, while The Force Awakens was more about character introductions, asking intriguing questions and fun moments. For that reason, I think (and again, I’ve only seen this film once) that The Force Awakens is probably a more rewatchable movie than The Last Jedi.

But I probably need to see it 10 more times to find out for sure.

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About the Author

Peter Sciretta is a film geek and popcultured fanboy living in Los Angeles. He created /Film in 2005.