‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ disappoints fans with weak storyline

Ysabelle Buenavista, Contributing Writer

After a long, torturous two years, the eighth installment of the series of lightsabers and the Force is finally here. But after all the hype and promotion, Star Wars: The Last Jedi succumbs to the all too familiar fate of sequels throughout time; mediocrity. With a predictable plot and almost nonexistent character development, The Last Jedi just comes short of having enough originality to propel it into the success the franchise so desperately needs.

It’s a struggle to stand out amidst the sea of action movies that seem to be advertised everywhere, and though the Last Jedi makes an attempt, it falls flat. In this installment of the series, main protagonists Finn and Poe return with the Resistance, while Rey is off learning how to be a proper Jedi – and Kylo Ren broods in a variety of dark spaces. The subpar plot of the movie gets pushed aside to make way for the introduction of new characters – which is just another opportunity for the franchise to make yet more money off of branded products. As a result, viewers focus less on the actual storyline and more on the characters themselves.

Although, overlooking the initial impact of force-feeding (Ha!) characters down viewers’ throats, there is an upside to one of the newly introduced roles. Rose Tico, portrayed by Kelly Marie Tran, is the first major female character played by an ethnic Asian. The Star Wars franchise has had an unfortunately lengthy history of Asian erasure in its casting, so it’s much appreciated that they deliberately wrote a character in that would require an ethnic Asian actress. That, however, does not excuse the fact that there is little to no character development exhibited throughout all major roles. Finn, for example, has no large revelations or changes in morals in the entire two hours and thirty-two minutes of the movie – he remains a pious follower of the Resistance throughout and never doubts his transition from a cold-hearted Stormtrooper to a lovable hero.

In examining the story, it’s plain as day that even without the forced insertions of new characters, the plot is lacking in ingenuity and originality. For example, the whole “will he or won’t he” with Kylo Ren. It has long been speculated by fans that the writers would try to establish Kylo as a dynamic character that would seem to reject his master and turn to the Resistance but ultimately retain his dictator-like ambitions – so when Kylo finally made his fatal decision and offered Rey a leading role in his quest for galaxy-wide power, audiences yawned. And consequently, when Rey rejected his olive branch in the classic feel-good protagonist manner, viewers barely blinked. The Star Wars franchise has fallen into the depths of the cookie cutter sci-fi storyline, becoming increasingly predictable and boring.

To die-hard fans and enthusiastic experts, Star Wars will always come first in their hearts. However, for those who are just looking to watch a nice movie with a thought-provoking plot, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is not the movie to watch. It falls short of the standard set by the seventh installment of the series, and relies on the pure nostalgia of the franchise to rake in the cash. With a lackluster plot and intrusive characters, The Last Jedi just doesn’t live up to to hype.


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