It appears that critics are ranking the new Star Wars movie much higher than average viewers.
My guess, after looking at social media, is that lots of viewers don’t “get” the mania this franchise inspires in some fans or, like a reply I saw on one friend’s Facebook page, they say things such as, “I like movies that make me think” with the implication that The Last Jedi does not.
As with any film, I cannot not think. Here’s a slightly tongue-in-cheek (and deeply abbreviated) sample of what I thought while watching the movie. [Mild SPOILER ALERT]
Hmmmm…Snoke operates like Trump (but with more awareness)…the red backdrop in his chamber works for me visually…Kylo Ren is a weird amalgamation of Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner (but with vulnerability, a measure of self-doubt, and muscles)…General Hux is a little like a smarter Eric Trump…Rose is strategically placed in the narrative in ways that will support Asian sales of the picture…”The greatest teacher failure is” is certainly true…Yoda is my favorite character…he’s not as green as he used to be, and that’s a bummer…gosh, that island would be a great retreat…I think I want one…how much of that green stuff on the island is moss?…the rightest value frameworks of the original three pictures (heredity over environment, absolute over relativist ideology, veneration of the past over the future, etc.) have been complicated in the more recent movies, which is a good thing…Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver are really good actors…the pacing is off at times…I am ambivalent about porgs…the cheesy jokes actually work for me and set the tone in ways that evoke the first three (by release date) films…this movie is a little long…Benicio del Toro seems to have some reverse aging going on…representation of gender roles continues to improve…thank goodness…Laura Dern’s hair is certainly lavender…I am happy to see Poe get his comeuppance for doubting the dame in charge…Crait is a cool location for evacuation and a final confrontation sequence…the red substance beneath the top layer of white salt is visually appealing and recalls the red of Snoke’s chamber…those crystal critters are really growing on me…did I mention that Rey is amazing?…I did get goosebumps at the end twice…I can’t remember precisely the first time, but the second was when the kid holds his broom like a saber and reveals his resistance ring…that made me think…Democrats need to find a Rey, Finn, Poe, and Rose to draw on the wisdom of those who have gone before and launch a new resistance…I’m just sayin’…
Since I’m a media studies professor, specific words are part of my business.
Do you know the word “polysemy”? Basically, it means that a word or text can have at least two separate meanings. I think part of the power of the Star Wars franchise is that it is polysemic.
I can only imagine that when Steve Bannon watches the films, he fancies himself Luke Skywalker (who is a bit scruffy in this chapter of the saga) and considers himself a resistance leader. Again, I’m just sayin’…
What did you think of the latest installment in the franchise, The Last Jedi, or about Star Wars more generally?