5/10
Unsatisfactory
27 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I am a long time Star Wars fan. Not a nerd - just a movie goer who has a lot respect for the franchise. As a 19 year old, I saw "A New Hope" in The Dominion Theatre, Tottenham Court Road, London in early January 1978. I have grown up with this stuff, and can quote every line form the original trilogy.

So, you can imagine how greatly it disappoints me when I say that I found Episode VIII Unsatisfactory.

!"£$%^& SPOILER ALERT !!!")£*$&

A lot things about this film are just plain wrong, just plain don't add up. There are too many missed opportunities. Worse - the opportunities that are taken actually mess things up and twist them. It's frustrating to watch, and disappointing.

I wanted to find out more about the ways of the Force, and how Rey might acquire and deal with these. I wanted to see Luke as the sage Jedi Master, doing what Yoda asked him to do; "pass on what you have learned...". I wanted to see so much that was promised in "The Force Awakens". But it wasn't there.

Instead, I was treated to forced (and poor) self-reverential humour, characters that didn't grow together in adversity (and they do in Eps IV, V & VI). There is no "life" in this story. It doesn't gel.

Somethings do work well, but the problem is that the things that work well, are not the things I wanted or expected, to see. Chief amongst these is the encounter between Rey and Luke on the island. Luke has repudiated the Force and withdrawn from it, fearing his lack of control. Just as Obi Wan believed that he had failed with Anakin, so now Luke believes he has failed with Ben Solo. Even this isn't handled that well. Ben Solo/Kylo Ren is a profoundly conflicted character (acted better than Anakin, btw), but it is not clear why there is a "Force Connection" between him and Rey? Snooke claims that he created this link, but this doesn't really seem credible, especially after Kylo dispatches him with Lukes light sabre. Who/what is Snooke? We don't find out.

The climax featuring Luke and Kylo is very good - but then the writers go and spoil it by what happens next. As soon as we see Luke on the island and hear his music and see the two setting suns, we immediately sense that he is going to follow Yoda and pass into the Force. So it proves. That is by far the most surprising and disappointing thing that happens.

I'm not bothered about the other characters, that I can't even name, who appear overblown and stiff in comparison to Luke, Kylo, Leia and Rey. I'm not bothered about the predictable and sometimes banal action that follows. I AM bothered about the fact that Episode IX now will only have Chewbacca, The Falcon, R2-D2 and C3-PO to work with. I can't really see where Star Wars can go from here.

Finally. Bless you Carrie Fisher - you will always be our Princess. RIP.
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