But that obviously wasn’t the only reason for the state of things.
“The Last Jedi” suffered from its predecessor in many other ways. Johnson made a risky decision by proving how much he himself disliked “The Force Awakens”. How? By awarding the Darwin Award to Supreme Leader Snoke for the most ridiculous death in the Star Wars universe. The immense mystery, meticulously built over the years preceding the premiere of “The Last Jedi” were thrown over the fence by one scene.
Again, I understand the idea – it was supposed to fix the problem with Kylo Ren. But you see where this is going already, right? Making Kylo Ren so badass that he kills his own master could be cool, if this master was meaningful to the story in any kind of way. But Snoke was there only to give Andy Serkis a job (we all know he can’t play a non-CGI character according to Hollywood). Any other reason became purposeless once he was Darth-Mauled.
Snoke was not the only meaningless guy on board though. Captain Phasma’s existence is only marketing and do not even try to compare her to Boba Fett. Boba Fett was never given much of attention story-wise and Lucas did not expect him to be one of the most iconic characters. Phasma – on the contrary – was designed to become a star. Or at least improve sales of Stormtrooper gadgets. She never served any meaningful role in the plot, whilst her existence became a bitter joke when two films brought Gwendoline Christie to the screen without a split of a second to show her face.
Johnson didn’t write an engaging story, but mostly – he made no use of the already existing characters. After “The Force Awakens”, some fans didn’t grow fond of Rey. Many saw her as a faulty “Mary Sue” – faulty in a way that in all her virtues, she’s a rather boring lead. And she became even flatter in Johnson’s entry. The Finn-and-Rose arch was artificial and too jokey, with the final kiss being the kind of “I don’t like sand” of the film. It was utterly terrible and had most of the audience in my cinema laughing. Kylo Ren is – not surprising – still a miscast, although Adam Driver is doing his best to channel the maddening ego outbursts of his Sith knight. And we can be sure that he is already a sunken ship.
In all the misery that “The Last Jedi” brought onto us, there’s light for just character. Among all of this ragestorm, petitions and whatnot, there’s someone that can finally find peace and redeem himself.
Yes, Jar Jar, it’s you. Be blessed my friend.