I adored this movie. I was exhilarated that it pushed me, and surprised me, and subverted expectations and tropes. Even when my hopes for certain storylines were dashed, I was satisfied with the alternate direction Johnson chose to explore.
Some might say I’m swayed by being too close to the moviemakers and Lucasfilm. Having written about this film so intensively, how could I possibly be objective. Fair enough. (That’s why the beat reporter on a film doesn’t also do the review.)
I think something similar happens with reporters who cover political campaigns or sports teams, but my enthusiasm and coverage of, for example, The Dark Tower movie didn’t change the fact that I was deeply disappointed in its total collapse of narrative.
But some of the quarrels people have with The Last Jedi are exactly what I liked about it:Poe vs. Holdo
You could argue that this entire conflict could be settled by one conversation between Poe Dameron and Holdo:
“I have a team ready to recruit a hacker to break into their destroyer and disable the tracking device.”
“Great, I have a plan to evacuate unnoticed to a nearby planet. Let’s pursue both plans in case the other fails.”
But the whole point of this subplot is that Holdo and Dameron don’t trust each other enough to have that conversation, even though they’re on the same team. Surely the parallels to our own world don’t need to be pointed out here. We so often undermine each other with friendly fire, even as something more ominous and hideous looms behind us.
Poe also learned a little about respect and listening. He’s a great fighter, and a decent guy at heart, but his arc involved waking up to the fact that he’s a loose cannon at times. And loose cannons don’t have great aim.
I liked that he was wrong, even though we thought he was right. And I was moved that he eventually came to see this himself.
Oh, and the “Holding for General Hux” joke that Poe makes in the beginning? Come on, that was hilarious. Yes, the whole “can you hear me” gag is lifted from our world, but not so much that it felt out of place in the Star Wars galaxy.
Remember Han Solo speaking into the intercom on the Death Star? “We’re fine. We’re all fine here, now, thank you. … Uh, how are you?”
Okay, on to Finn and Rose’s resistance play …