The Last Jedi: Reviewed

Aractus 15, December, 2017

So, if we are to believe some critics this is a “near perfect reboot of the franchise”. These are the same corporate shills that told us The Force Awakens was a good movie. I was told online and in-person that I was totally wrong about TFA, the people who told me it in person were either kids (i.e. under 18) or hadn’t seen the movie and told me I was wrong because “critics loved it”. Of course they did, most critics are paid extra to give positive reviews, or find themselves given rewards for doing so. This review is spoiler-light, so read on.

Star Wars VIII Crawl

Let’s start with a similar dissection to TFA, and then we’ll expand a bit when we get to plot.


Terrible. And that’s putting it lightly. I should note that going in I had no idea at all that the movie is also released in 3D, because the complex I saw it in was not running any 3D sessions. Nor did I see it advertised anywhere as a 3D movie… had I known that I would have recognised right away that some of the “decisions” regarding photography and cinematography were made in the context of 3D… but I will also say that 2.39:1 is the wrong aspect ratio for a 3D anyway. I actually like 3D unlike most people – and that’s fine I get that 3D isn’t for everyone – however if I knew the movie is 2.39:1 beforehand I would still choose the 2D version as was the case when I saw TFA.

The film’s cinematography is by far the worst thing about the film. Now it’s not all bad, it was better than TFA. But again, like Rogue One there was an overuse of close-up cinematography which is 1. WRONG for scope (2.39:1) films, and 2. destroys the suspension of belief when we see CGI characters like Snooky up-close. And that’s just the beginning, we also see Snoke communicate with his minions in one scene where he is so large that his head doesn’t even fit into the bridge (command room) and he’s so much closer to the character than the camera there’s just no way anything more than a couple of warts on his face are in view for that character. That’s just one example, but the entire film is filled with atmosphere-breaking close-ups. In fact it’s not until the third act that we actually get a decent sense of atmosphere, but by then the suspension of belief has been well and truly destroyed by incredibly ridiculous events that include:

Unbelievable Events

  1. A brand new Jedi/Sith ability that has never been used before,
  2. Another brand new Jedi/Sith ability that has never been used before,
  3. Another brand new Jedi/Sith ability that has never been used before (these new abilities are used by Snoke, Luke, and Yoda),
  4. (SPOILER) Leia surviving being blown up AND floating for several minutes in the vacuum of space,
  5. Although I actually did like these fighters, Finn surviving his fighter being cooked to the point it starts melting and he is unaffected, and
  6. Several different scenes where there are large fires and the characters are completely unaffected by smoke inhalation – in fact there is no smoke in any of the fires in this film… how does that happen??

That’s just to name but a few.


As already mentioned, with the appalling cinematography, it’s difficult to feel immersed in most of the environments presented in the film. But there’s another problem, what did I say back in 2015… ah yes I think it was THIS:

“Say what you want about Lucas, but he knew how to balance different scenes and different filming and camera techniques: he simply has a better sense of cinematography.”

Oh and that he brought us into new and interesting planets and locations. Now sure, we go to 2 or 3 different planets as usual – but we see so little of them that it’s hard to feel immersed, and we never see the goings on in any of them. For example, on “Luke’s” planet he isn’t the only intelligent inhabitant – he might be the only human, we don’t know because we never see anything other than the small island he lives on – but my point is that this would be like showing us only the Queen’s chambers on Naboo and never showing us anything else. Naboo felt real, it had character, it had atmosphere.

The Laws of Physics

We can still hear the space battles from inside the bridge of the ships, but at least there was no Starkiller base. And at least we didn’t have people being blown away by blasters – I’d completely forgotten about that in TFA until I read it in my review haha! And at least this time they showed exactly what would happen if you travelled at lightspeed into another object. But again the smokeless fires broke the suspension of belief.


There’s no character development, they’re just bland generic characters. Snoke describing himself as evil – who does that? I doubt even Palpatine would view himself as evil. On the plus side there wasn’t the overuse of CGI characters, and on that note…


The CGI was definitely overused in this film – but with that said, it was much more moderate than TFA. There are just a few instances where they could have toned it down to make it a more immersive film, although of course the cinematography would also have needed to be better to fully tease it out.

The Plot

It was actually a pretty good plot, if you consider that it’s a generic action film and most of them are held together by almost totally weak plots… it’s what separates the successes from the failures a lot of times. Think about Terminator Genisys for example compared with Terminator 2 which itself was entirely just a reworking of Terminator 1. So I don’t have too many complaints about the plot, but I do have one. And that is that there is no advancement of the plot. This is kind of like Empire which is supposed to represent their struggle and failure to destroy the Empire. So instead it develops the characters, and their story. In this film though there’s no character development. And worse still the main crew are kept separated from each other for most of the film and that doesn’t help.


If not for the cinematography I would give this 3 stars. But the cinematography while not as bad as TFA is awful, therefore…

2 Stars 2/5

Make a Comment

Hey! Pay Attention: