The Santa Clara
November 9, 2017
The upcoming installment in the beloved Star Wars franchise, mysteriously titled “The Last Jedi,” has followers everywhere saying “I have a bad feeling about this.”
Well, not really. But, in 2015, after Disney stirred the hearts of die-hards in anticipation of “The Force Awakens,” some fans (including this one) left theaters displeased and let down by what had just screened. The plot of the new movie too closely resembled 1977’s “A New Hope” (Death Star number two?—come on) while taking inexplicable and inconsistent directions and generally not holding up to the standard set by the original trilogy. The movie basically hit the reset button, scrapping all that the rebellion had accomplished during the past films. Many (or at least a few) are predicting “The Last Jedi” will likely follow suit and end up as disastrous as Episode 7.
Why, you ask? Well, let’s talk about the only thing known for certain that will (or won’t) be in the newest movie; the characters. While Harrison Ford may have been pushing his limit in terms of age, it is a sad reality that Han Solo won’t be brandishing his unique charisma as the galaxy’s most wanted smuggler in the newest movie. He offered a rugged coolness in every film he appeared; that is until J.J. Abrams and Kylo Ren jointly killed him off.
That brings us to the first of many poorly cast characters in the Disney directed trilogy; the bad boy of the Empire, Kylo Ren— who didn’t really offer much more than a cool lightsaber and the emotional instability of a spoiled child. His predecessor, Darth, was twice the villain (with a fraction of the limbs). New trailers have also given subtle hints that his allegiance to the Empire may be challenged during “The Last Jedi,” but this too would be setting the newest trilogy up for failure.
Ren’s character is one that requires a cold and convincing ruthlessness, the type that is necessary to Star Wars: evil, angry and full of hatred for the rebel scum. How could the guy who killed his own father have a change of heart? In order to resurrect his performance from the prior film, Kylo needs to get badder, not better.
Finn, while providing some corny comic relief throughout the previous film, is the biggest waste of a character since the infamous Jar-Jar Binks. While he may have been able to successfully evade his comrades and join the ranks of the rebellion, he provides no real value to the storyline. Hopefully, this character can amount to more than Rey’s bumbling sidekick in his next appearance (because we all know he somehow survives the wound from Kylo Ren’s lightsaber).
What about Poe? Well, Poe was actually pretty cool. That is, for the two minutes we got to see him. He’ll absolutely need a bigger role in order for Episode 8 to have any hope.
Lastly comes Rey. The promotion of strong female leads in films is significant and important, but Daisy Ridley is simply a poor choice to embody this role. This is especially apparent when Ridley is compared to Felicity Jones, who portrayed Jyn Erso in the Disney offshoot, “Rogue One.” Jones went above and beyond in her role as the movie’s protagonist, seamlessly providing a rough-around-theedges, vulnerable outsider that viewers could relate to and admire. Ridley just doesn’t have the same on-screen captivation.
“The Force Awakens” was the highest grossing film of all time, and “The Last Jedi” will likely top it when it comes out in December, so all of this squabbling will probably fall on deaf ears. But how much of this is out of blind loyalty to George Lucas’ cinematic baby?
The answer is a lot. But that could change. So, if the next stop in the trilogy is anything like the first, Disney might consider preemptively changing the title to “The Last (Time People Pay to See a) Jedi.”
Ruric Ellings contributed to this article. John Brussa is a junior finance major and editor of the opinion section.