Rian Johnson And J.J. Abrams Force-Choke Star Wars Fan Base With Epic Failure

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The poster is as good as it gets, folks.

J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson, please report to the Carbonite freezing chamber. You two have done the impossible. You've made me long for Jar Jar Binks. Heesa wooda being betta dan de bombad Bantha poodoo that is The Last Jedi. This is your only warning: there are a ton of spoilers ahead. 

The first hour of this disgrace is complete garbage. Terribly unnecessary dialogue, ridiculous plotting, even the ubiquitous scroll to start the movie was poorly written. Johnson should have picked this long-awaited episode up where the beloved Star Wars: The Force Awakens left off: with Luke Skywalker staring at his long abandoned daughter (and we all know Rey is a Skywalker, right?) who was trying to hand him his lightsaber back. When Johnson finally does mosey back to Skywalker Island, Luke finally takes back his weapon, contemplates it for a moment, and then flicks it nonchalantly over the cliff. After being the hero of the Rebellion and the last true Jedi Knight Johnson discards all of the grizzly warrior's character development as generations have known to make him the whiny, moping farmboy again, to say nothing of grossly mishandling one of cinema's greatest cliffhanger endings? Uninspired and insulting! Mark Hamill surely had to take issue with Skywalker's handling throughout this travesty. We'll come back to this shortly. 
 
One of the things Star Wars fans did while waiting for Johnson to run this franchise into an iceberg was posit interesting theories as to the identity of Supreme Leader Snoke, the Sith Lord at the heart of the First Order. Was he a clone of Emperor Palpatine? My personal theory was that C-3PO had been behind the entire Empire this whole time. After all, he was built by young Darth Annie. People seem to forget that. Turns out he's just some Crypt Keeper knockoff who could get into anyone's head...although Kylo Solo was able to gut him in mid-soliloquy using his mind. How did Snoke not see that coming? I suspect Johnson didn't bone up on his knowledge of telepathy before shooting. It renders the whole Snoke subplot mute, and sacrificing the leader of the villains for the sake of a little visual razzle dazzle is poor filmmaking.
 
God save Carrie Fisher. She was a talented actress and writer with some personal demons and she was gone too soon. This should have been her iconic character's grand send-off, her last hurrah before reuniting with Han Solo in the Force. But wait! Did you know that Jedi Masters--if that's what Leia even is--are impervious to the otherwise insanely harsh conditions of outer space? No? Well, Johnson sets us all right on that score with the Princess taking a short, unintended spacewalk without any kind of protective clothing or equipment whatsoever. Look, I get it, folks, I really do. It's science fiction, not science fact. But from my seat in St. Louis, bombarded by irrationally loud theater volume, I distinctly heard Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson exclaim, "Oh hell no!" Carl Sagan appeared next to me for a moment, looking completely forlorn. If I read his lips correctly, I think he said, "We are made of star stuff, but this movie was made with idiots."
 
And since Abrams and Johnson saw fit to give the Skywalker twins superpowers, Luke can apparently project himself on the battlefield without the aid of his trusty R2 unit's grainy 3D projector, This projection is so realistic it even fools Kylo the Great, who just outduelled his boss in a game of mental gymnastics. Here's the rub: Carrie Fisher has passed away but Leia is now apparently immortal. Mark Hamill seems to be in sound health but Luke doesn't make it through this little stunt unscathed. Indeed, he just fades away, paying no heed of the classic line uttered by the Kurgan in The Highlander: "It's better to burn out than to fade away!" That little nugget is applicable to immortal sword duels and Def Leppard concerts, but not to critical Jedi Masters, it seems. It's not a great stunt if it kills you, and there's no point in killing off the hero of your saga like that. It's mind-numbingly awful decisions like this that completely ruined any enjoyment of this film. Luke's mihandling is unforgiveable.
 
If Rian Johnson doesn't know better, surely J.J. Abrams does. Then again, has his execution ever matched his ideas? Perhaps the greatest share of the blame should fall on the Disney brass for not keeping a tighter ship. The bottom line is not only did they fail to deliver on the promise offered by Episode 7, they failed in storytelling 101. It's unacceptable and inexcusable. It's what I expect from Warner Brothers and their DC movies, not from the Star Wars franchise at Disney. A sarlacc couldn't digest this mess, so why should the fans? Somewhere the ghost of Alec Guiness is telling the ghost of Peter Cushing, "And here I thought George Lucas was bad..."
Grade: 
0.5 / 5.0