This isn’t your parents’ Star Wars.
So be warned that this episode ushers in a ‘let the past die’ theme and a new generation of Star Wars characters to love/hate.
I liked this movie. I really did. But I had to get over the idea that it bolded above. I struggled with this for about 2 days, I’m not going to lie. Then it clicked. This is a NEW generation of Star Wars. There are many STRONG female characters; both good and evil. There is a bigger hint to just what IS the elusive ‘balance’ in the Force and how it is achieved.
Can you take your kids?
Yes. No language, inappropriate scenes, or gore. However, there is one scene where Luke ‘milks’ an alien for a glass of ‘milk’. It is a bit gross looking; but it is an alien. If you remember, Luke is a milk drinker through Star Wars: A New Hope when he lived on Tattooine and they brought it back for The Last Jedi. A great Easter Egg if I do say so myself. Princess Amadala, Luke’s mother, and Anakin, also drank blue milk in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones.
Okay, my favorite part is when Rey tells Luke the Force is used to ‘move rocks’. I totally cracked up; but it becomes a VERY important line in the movie. It is also through her, we learn that the Force can be used as a ‘telephone’ of sorts as she and Ben Solo talk deep into the night. (Luke and Leia use is just a bit too). This was a new function of the Force, an interesting one.
Rey’s light saber is blue. Calm and cooling. Just like her. It was made by Anakin when he was strong in the Force and had little turmoil in his life. Luke, Anakin’s son, wielded it for a while having the same characteristics; until he learned about the identity of his father and Luke’s saber became green. Now, Rey has it. So is she a Skywalker? (I think so.) Will it change when she learns the identity of her parents? (Again, I think so.) **spoiler** the blue saber is torn in half…another indication of the ‘let the past die’ theme. Lots of speculation of the color of her new one…I’m going out on a limb here…I think it will be green. I feel this sets up Ben and Rey as the balance in the Force.
Grumpy old man through most of the movie. No joke. But he comes around eventually and **spoilers** saves the day. He closes himself off of the Force; but comes back to use it in a very strong manner.
I really love how this movie explains what happened to Luke and Ben and the Jedi order. And because of Luke’s ‘grumpiness’ we get to see Yoda again. This is an interesting twist and Yoda again becomes the teacher of Luke. Not in a physical way like on Dagobah; but in a fundamental spiritual way. It is the part of Luke’s training that he never grasped as a young man. The peacefulness that IS the WAY of life of the Force. It ends up being the kick in the pants that Luke needs.
And because Luke ‘completes’ his training **spoilers** he can become a part of the Force: with peace and purpose. His last fight scene has him holding a blue lightsaber. Cool and calm. Peace and purpose. Full circle. And then he turns into a pile of clothes. Will we see him in later episodes as a blue glowing ghost. I’d bet money on it.
There is a strange scene here as well. *spoiler* Princess/General/Admiral Leia Organa’s ship is attacked and the entire bridge is destroyed. They are launched into the freezing darkness of space. But, somehow, the Force keeps Leia alive. She survives the vacuum of space and lives to fight another day. In this chapter of Star Wars, she is not a fighter; but more of a wise guide. Especially to Poe Dameron. I am seeing a surrogate mother/son relationship develop here that Leia never really had with Ben/Kilo Ren.
Luke and Leia do re-unite…sort of and very briefly. I found it comical that she quips about ‘changing her hair’ to Luke. Long gone are the iconic ear buns; however they are mimicked in another character played by Carrie Fisher’s daughter: Billie Lourd.
Kylo Ren/Ben Solo:
In the movie, we learn more about the origins of Kylo Ren and about his path to the dark side. He is an integral part of this episode. He ushers in the theme and brings about even LESS closure than his Uncle Luke…if that is even possible. A conflicted character that wants to be like his grandpa, Darth Vader. He seems fascinated by Rey and that is a grounding point for him. Whether this interest is romantic or a draw to someone in his family’s blood line is unknown. There are hints to both; which is infuriating. His red light saber fizzes and crackles…much like his temperament. Again, the weapon is a characteristic of its wielder.
Points of Interest:
Instead of a Mos Eisley Cantina scene, we get a Monte Carlo/Las Vegas scene. Introducing Canto Bight Casino: high rollers of the alien kinds set in a posh resort on an amazing beach. Far out and I feel it will come back in later episodes. (Watch the movie, you’ll see why. Hello to a new Anakin type character?)
We do see Yoda again. We also see R2D2, C3PO, Chewbacca, Maz Katana (she’s alive!), Nunb (Lando Calrissian’s side kick), and even Luke’s old X-Wing. I would have LOVED to see Obi Wan, Quigon, or even Anakin; but not this time.
And yes, someone looses a hand in this movie. It just wouldn’t be a Star Wars movie if no one lost a hand.