After two years of waiting, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is finally in theaters and the reaction after its first weekend is surprising, to say the least. While critics have loved the movie, fans are a lot more divided. The Last Jedi has a 93% score on Rotten Tomatoes from critics, while the audience score is currently just 56%. A quick browse through these comments and those on other message boards like Reddit, and you’ll see plenty of comments from people who HATE this movie… while others absolutely love it, and there seem to be a few recurring points as to why some fans don’t love The Last Jedi.
The Last Jedi is odd in the sense that it has some of the best scenes in Star Warsever and also some of the worst, too. Directed and written by Rian Johnson, Star Wars: The Last Jedi was rolling off the good vibes from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. People were not only excited to see several of the well-liked new characters, but it also featured the return of fan-favorite Luke Skywalker. Couple that with the potential to finally learn the gestating mysteries about Rey’s parents, and you’ve got a recipe for hype. However, The Last Jedi didn’t follow the formula or play to expectations, and now some fans have shared what makes them so angry about the sequel. These are the top common points we could find about why The Last Jediis rubbing some Star Wars fans the wrong way.
Sorry, But Snoke Is Dead
Of the many new characters introduced in The Force Awakens, Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) was easily one the most discussed online. For two years people developed fan theories about Snoke and his identity, certain that he was being set up for a massive reveal. There was a huge volume of theories debating he was some lost Star Wars character back from the dead, and fans poured over any resource to find some kind of clue about his backstory. Whatever the answer ended up being was bound to disappoint some people, but most don’t seem happy with The Last Jedi’s answer. Snoke is ultimately nobody and he’s dispatched rather quickly (but awesomely) by his pupil, Kylo Ren, with no mention of where he came from or why his face is like that.
People understandably feel burned by this, even though The Force Awakens offers no real hints or gives Snoke any substance based on his screentime. He was just a Palpatine analog and really was never that interesting to begin with. Kylo Ren is, though, and his ascension to Supreme Leader makes for a more compelling villain going forward. An explanation would have been nice, but it likely wouldn’t have stopped the movie cold.
Leia Floating Through Space
Okay, I’ll give you this one; it’s pretty cringy. The Last Jedi does a lot right by Leia, but she is smack dab in the middle of the worst scene in the entire movie (in my humble opinion). The Resistance fleet is being pushed back by The First Order and the command bridge of the Resistance flagship is blasted by a Tie Fighter. All the Resistance leaders are sucked into the coldness of space, including Leia. It’s one of the most surprising moments of the movie (this writer genuinely thought they killed her), but it doesn’t stop there. The camera finds Leia’s body floating in space and lingers in a moment that begins to feel exploitive in a meta way. Then Leia opens her eyes and, using the Force, floats through space and back onto the safety of the ship. It’s… not great. The intent of this was clearly meant to be a beautiful and poetic moment, but it doesn’t really come off that way. It’s not the right kind of cheesy, and it has a tendency to pull the viewer out of the movie, based on comments.
The big one: Rey’s parents. The single most theorized topic from The Force Awakens. Is she a Skywalker? A Kenobi? A clone? The resurrected spirit of Anakin Skywalker? Much like with Snoke, people had built this up way too much in their heads, but unlike with Snoke, The Force Awakens actually teases that there’s more to this. Well, as The Last Jedi tells us, there isn’t. Rey’s parents are just two junk traders who sold their daughter into slavery for beer money. She’s not from some fabled bloodline, destined to save the galaxy. She’s a nobody. All the cool theories were wrong and people are upset that this revelation didn’t live up to their expectations.
However, Rey’s parents being nobodies works really well. It’s great character development for Rey, it’s a subversion, and it plays perfectly into the key theme of The Last Jedi: greatness can come from anywhere. Rey doesn’t need to be tied into another character from Star Wars past to be special or powerful. She is those things simply because she wants to do good. Some think that Kylo Ren was lying (Rian Johnson has gone on record saying he wasn’t), and J.J. Abrams could decide to undo it for Episode IX, but as of now, Rey’s parents are no one special.
Luke Skywalker Meets His End
Expectations were high for Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi but one of the major points of The Last Jedi is that it does not play to expectations. Rather than being the character that fans remember, Luke has become a recluse and refuses to help Rey on the grounds that it won’t make things any better. He’s given up on the Force and heroics, something that is not sitting well with some fans. People weren’t happy with his grumpy attitude and hermit lifestyle. They want to see him pulling Star Destroyers out the sky with the Force or getting into the most intense lightsaber duel ever with Kylo Ren.
The movie ended up deciding on a different approach to Luke, who technically never leaves Ahch-To. From his isolation, he uses a Force apparition to buy the Resistance time to retreat in a crucial moment (still proving himself to be a badass), and then peacefully dies into the Force while looking at a sunset. For many, Luke’s portrayal was satisfying, but when a childhood character as beloved as Luke dies, people can take it personally. However, given the several decades and all the tragedy Luke has endured, change is only natural.
Too Much Humor
Star Wars has never really been HaHa funny. It’s usually more accidentally funny, but the new trilogy has put in an effort to be funny as well as serious. That’s pretty much just the nature of most blockbusters these days, but something about the humor in The Last Jedi is pushing buttons. Some are calling out the frequent jokes for undercutting the drama, a complaint that crops up with blockbusters from Marvel Studios, for example. Despite the fact that The Force Awakens is also funny, some are taking issue with the number of jokes in The Last Jedi. Poe smarming his way through a call with Hux, or Finn pratfalling while in a leaking bacta suit isn’t the type of humor usually associated with these movies, but that’s what it is now. It’s just the difference in filmmakers and the style of humor in the decades these movies were made in. At least the jokes in The Last Jedi usually hit their mark. I’d rather have a movie with too many good jokes than lots of bad ones that involve an annoying fish man or a bunch of teddy bears.
All The Canto Bight Stuff
At one point in the movie, Finn (John Boyega) and Rose (Kelly Tran Marie) need to journey to the casino city Canto Bight to find a codebreaker who can get them on to a First Order ship. The idea of a Star Wars casino is attractive, but some people aren’t fans of this part of the movie. It’s a pretty slow sequence of Star Wars: The Last Jedi when there are much cooler things happening elsewhere, and little is actually accomplished. Some interesting ideas are introduced during this part and while it ultimately does play into some important themes, it doesn’t make Rose and Finn escaping via a long stampede any more exciting to watch. Most people have taken issue with all of the subplots, like Poe’s mutiny, and the various plot holes. Rian Johnson puts much more focus on character development than plot, which works to The Last Jedi’s benefit but does leave it open to logical inconsistencies. No movie has perfect logic (if we were always logical there would never be drama ever), but the plot holes in the movie are too hard for some to overlook.
It Didn’t Build Off The Force Awakens
Rey’s parents and Snoke are a symptom of Star Wars: The Last Jedi pretty much ignoring several of the threads established in The Force Awakens. Both Snoke and Phasma (probably) met their end, Maz Kanata barely shows up, and the mystery of Rey’s parents has no grand cosmic payoff. Rian Johnson opted to do his own thing and deviate from the path that was started for him by J.J. Abrams. According to Johnson, there was never any mandate for what storylines he had to finish or tee up, but fans who had been waiting for specific answers have felt cheated. Perhaps this is a flaw of creating a trilogy with no central director behind the wheel. However, Johnson is entitled to make whatever kind of movie he wants and shouldn’t necessarily be boxed in by work someone else did in order to tell his story. If anything, it might be more Abrams’ fault for setting up mysteries that he never even intended to finish in the first place and introducing too many characters at once to fairly service.
It Wasn’t ‘Star Wars’
This is a complaint that showed up a few times. Star Wars: The Last Jedi didn’t feel like a Star Wars movie to some people who watched it. That’s another way of saying that the movie didn’t live up certain expectations or feelings that a person gets when they usually watch Star Wars. It’s maybe a vague form of criticism but completely understandable because one of the main points of The Last Jedi is to subvert what a Star Wars movie is. It zigs when you think it’s supposed to zag and it doesn’t give in to the familiar tropes of good vs evil or destiny. Whereas The Force Awakens lives in nostalgia and familiar feelings (which it needed to do), The Last Jedi tries to blaze a new path. Star Wars is 40 years old and trying new things is just a necessity if the franchise wants to stay fresh and make a movie every year.