Shane McCarthy's SMAcTALK

The Last Jedi: In Answer To Insider & Other Interweb Gripes

Greetings! The latest Star Wars movie is out and BOY is it a doozy! What’s that? Did I like it? No, no I didn’t. I LOVED IT! Yes, yes I did, I loved all of it…MORE PORGS and so on. I’ve been a Star Wars fan for as long as I can remember and this movie was every bit the Star Wars film it needed to be. Not that everyone agrees with that…

Yes, yes there’s a lot of hate on the net (and thusly the real world I’d assume) for The Last Jedi and, let’s face it, that’s going to happen. Not everyone is going to like everything. I remember at school not being able to proudly say YES I AM A STAR WARS FAN without fear of some sort of mockery so I know not everyone likes the ol’ Star Wars (do NOT get me started on admitting I was a Doctor Who fan…you’d be mocked by other nerds for that one…bottom of the rung that was the Doctor Who fan back in the day before he got all trendy and Doctor Cool). Anyway, point is, not everyone’s going to like a thing and that’s alrightio Daddio. I mean I LOATHE the prequels with a fiery passion so I get it.

What I don’t get is some of the questions, “plot holes” and gripes I see on the Facepages and the MyTwits. Or, case in point, the article on Insider that asked the 21 unanswered questions from The Last Jedi which prompted my Star Wars loving wife to tell me I needed to write this. So here I am, cup of tea in the good old R2 mug next to me, writing this.

Firstly my answers to Insider’s UNANSWERED questions from Star Wars The Last Jedi (And no I didn’t mess my numbering up I retained their specific numbering because, my God, how amazing is it…glorious is what it is). Then it’ll be on to the remaining gripes. This is long so feel free to click away, Kids, but if you’re interested…SHALL WE?

SPOILERS ABOUND!!!!

1. Who is Rey?

Other than a certifiable BADASS? A nobody. No, no Kylo didn’t “lie” to her about her parents (I keep seeing people saying that). I mean let’s get specific here, he made HER answer the question. She admitted it. He elaborated on it. So, yes, she’s a nobody. Why is she so powerful? Did we not watch the same film? Did you go out for a wee and miss it (not hard given the length of this thing)? Snoke says the Force created an equal for Kylo in the light. That’s Rey. Ms Nobody Rey. And no it doesn’t ruin things…IT’S THE POINT.

One of the defining themes of TLJ is that heroes are regular people and, thusly, regular people can be heroes. They don’t need to be space princes like Luke who’s from a powerful bloodline or born of immaculate conception like Ani “are you an angel” Skywalker. They can be absolute nobodies who go on to become big ol’ somebodies.


2. So, who was Snoke?

A bad dude. Do we need to know any more? I remember watching Empire Strikes Back as a kid and seeing the Emperor with those weird eyes (did you know they were monkey eyes??? Right?! Jesus). I had no idea why Vader was bowing to this guy but I figured, hey, he must be one hell of a baddie. Then Return of the Jedi comes along and there I am in the cinema with my little Ewok figure all ready to go (it was the chief Ewok, I hadn’t seen the movie and didn’t realise Wicket would be the Ewok to get FAILORAMA). I’m sitting there and the Emperor is going on about the Force. WHAT?! He’s a Force guy too?? THEN THE LIGHTNING HAPPENED! My goodness, it was enough to make a young fella drop his Chief Chirpa! Point is, we had no explanation as to the Emperor’s powers or where they came from or how he and Vaderpants met. We had theories but no answers (until much later on). Did we lose our shit? No. We were excited by what we didn’t know!

The point of Snoke is to set us up with another Emperor type, set up our expectations and then flip them when Kylo turns on yet another father figure. It’s not important who Snoke is, what’s important is what he did. And what he did was a SERIOUS number on Kylo. After looking at the abuse that poor bastard put up with I LOVED seeing Snoke go down. SUCK IT WEIRDO FACE! You deserve to die in obscurity.

Again though, we’re dealing with the flipping of expectations and the dismantling of heroes/villains. It’s not what you expected but you aren’t owed any answers.

3. Is Luke dead?

Yes! Seriously?! Yes! How is this a question?!

4. But is Luke going to appear in another “Star Wars” movie?

Ummmmmmmm yeah I’m gonna go with yes on this one.

5. Will R2-D2 stay awake or will he go back into his droid hibernation?

I, uh, yeah I don’t actually care about this one.

6. Is Carrie Fisher going to be in the next “Star Wars” movie?

No. No. I mean…oh god…do the people at Insider not know?!?

7. What was that entire scene with Leia floating in space?

Okay so there’s been soooooo much griping about this one. “Space Leia” or “Super Leia”. Seriously? Come on, she’s a Skywalker, they’re straight up crazy powerful Jedi. She can use the Force and because she’s a BADASS she manages to BARELY stay alive and will herself back to the ship. How does she stay alive in space? BECAUSE THE FORCE!

I mean look at this…look at this…

This is Anakin after he’s had both legs and an arm cut off and BURNS IN MOLTEN LAVA. Guess what? Lives. Why? Force n stuff. No problem there though, eh, kids?

Look at this guy…this guy was CUT IN HALF and still manages to live. He comes back with mechanical legs. That’s some serious Lieutenant Dan shit right there!

Leia’s a powerful Force user because of her bloodline. She survived just like the boys did…with the Force.

7. Why is there a Force-sensitive kid on Canto Bight?

Why not? The kids show both a populace inspired by and desperate for the Resistance and the next generation of potential heroes coming up. The theme of anyone can be a hero is represented here as is the future Jedi. Jedi can be ANYONE, even little scamps like Broomo the Wonderkid.

10. How does Rey know how to swim?

That was swimming?! I remember going for my Bronze Whateverthehell and we had to dive into the deep end of the pool (screw that) and swim down to get a black brick (what the SHIT right?!). And fuck you to the little kid who’s brick landed on those black lines in the pool. Oh you can’t see it? Well GROW GILLS because there’s no home time till you find it! Anyway, my point is, I saw some seriously shithouse swimming in my day but Rey’s takes the cake.

She falls in, flails desperately, does some Z grade doggy paddling and clutches for life at the rocks. That’s your nit pick? REALLY?!

10. How does Ben and Rey’s Force talk work?

Snoke did it. It’s called Snoking. It’s when you connect people long distance with your brain powers. Snoking. Look it up.

11. If Snoke was linking Ben’s and Rey’s minds why did he connect them together when Ben was shirtless?

Why would you questions this?! I mean…jesus…how hot was he. That chest…and with those Harry Highpants?! MOTHER MAY I.

12. What was up with that trippy mirror scene?

Rey saw only herself leading forward and back. There is and always was only her. Her parents are nobodies and the answers she seeks are within herself. Or something.

Rey’s big flaws in these films are her inability to move on and her need to look to others to solve her problems. She won’t move on from the wound her parents gave her when she left and she won’t accept responsibility for who she is and what she needs to do. Well, until she did in this film…yay growth!

12. Why was Yoda the only Force ghost in this movie?

Because Alec Guinness is dead, they can’t use Ewan McGregor because Alec was used as the original Force Ghost and does anyone really want to see any more of Hayden?? The question is did we NEED other Force Ghosts and the answer is of course not, Silly.

13. Why don’t all Stormtroopers have chrome suits?

Because they’re not Captains! What the shit! Also Phasma is NOT a wasted character! I keep hearing about how she was supposed to be so much more and how people were lied to about her. You know what I love about Star Wars? All the great looking characters that are in the background! Not everyone needs to be super important. She gets more screen time than Boba Fett and look at the love for that guy.

Yes she’s played by a cool person from a cool TV show but that doesn’t mean Phasma needs to be anything more than she is. Oh there’s toys of her? There’s toys of the weird butt face guy from A New Hope too and you don’t see people clamouring for more screen time for that guy!

15. Why didn’t any allies respond to Leia’s cry for help near the end of the movie?

Because they’re dicks. Also the galaxy has lost all hope. If only there was someone that could come back to restore hope to the galaxy like he did years ago. If only that was the whole point of, like, the whole, like, film.

16. Is Rey going to have a double-bladed lightsaber in the next film?

MAGIC EIGHT BALL SAYS YES!

17. Do the Jedi matter anymore?

YES. The point was the Jedi have returned in Rey! Luke wanted them to die and realised he was wrong and riddled with guilt. He learns from his mistakes and saves the day so the next generation can live on. See previous mention of Broomo.

18. Will “Episode IX” take place in the future?

Yes. It quite literally has to because, you know, numbering.

19. How did Rey get on the Millennium Falcon near the movie’s end?

Is this honestly a mystery?! She escaped in Snoke’s ship. I’m pretty sure she has the number for the Falcon. You know how you can just text your mates for a pick up in the area? It’s just like that but in space.

20. Does Rey have the sacred Jedi order texts?

Yes. YES. Did you watch the film?! She has them in the draw in the Falcon next to those super comfy blankets.

21. Is Reylo going to be a thing?

I’m going with no but if only.

And lastly here’s the honest answers to the big gripes I’ve been hearing about. If you’ve made it this far through my rambling then, Man, you are dedicated…or bored…but here we go.

1 – Why didn’t Holdo tell Poe about her plan? 

I see this one a LOT and it really, REALLY is a case of totally missing the point. The other big theme of the film was accepting your mistakes, learning from them and moving on. Why didn’t Purple Hair Lady tell Hero Man about her special plan? BECAUSE WHY THE HELL WOULD SHE?! Poe is a recently demoted pilot that just got people killed because of his ego. He’s demanding a whole lot of NOT HIS BUSINESS and expects an answer because he is HERO MAN. Guess what? There’s a chain of command, Buddy, and you’re not at the top of it. He’s got so much arrogance it’s amazing she even bothered to listen to him at all. We know him as a hero, she knows him as an arrogant, bordering on aggressive, pilot who doesn’t belong on the bridge. Rather than blame Holdo how about we ask why he didn’t just do as he was ordered?

Ultimately though this was all part of Poe’s arc. He needed to make mistakes, BIG ones, so he could realise it wasn’t about “winning” all the time. If he was going to be the leader he eventually became in the end he needed to be able to see the big picture which he couldn’t to begin with because of his giant ego.

2 – What’s the point of the whole casino bit?

Firstly it shows us a world beyond the black and white we know in SW. We see the disgusting war mongers making mountains of gold from the battle between good and evil. There’s a darker side to the galaxy and this is it. Secondly it gives us a glimpse of the downtrodden, the people the Resistance is fighting for. Lastly it’s integral to Finn’s arc. Without the “casino bit” Finn has NO ARC. He starts off as a coward with no ideology beyond “get to my friend”. He has no real purpose and nothing to fight for. There is no greater good beyond himself. When he arrives at the casino it’s a dream world to him until he sees the reality of the galaxy exposed before him. Then we’re introduced to DJ, the counterpoint to Rose’s idealogical righteousness. Finn has to make a choice here, follow Rose or follow DJ. He doesn’t want to believe what DJ says is true but he’s scared to take the plunge into Rose’s world. Ultimately when DJ (the Han Solo to Finn’s Luke Skywalker…except this Han didn’t come good) betrays them Finn steps up, makes his stand against Phasma (the living embodiment of his experience with the First Order) and proclaims himself Rebel Scum. This is his arc!

3 – Why didn’t the First Order just Hyperspace in front of the Rebels?

Two reasons. One, Hux is shown to be a shitty commander. He makes average decisions in battle and we saw that with the Dreadnaught commander’s grumblings at the start. He’s content to follow them and decides to play it safe. Two, seriously, why not just follow them and enjoy every minute? You ever play Starcraft? Man, I loved that game. I’d spend FOREVER building up my forces and battling for survival and then you hit that sweet spot where they can’t fuck with you anymore, you’re on top. Did I immediately wipe out my enemy? HELL NO. It took me forever to get here and I’m going to enjoy it. I took my time and broke those bastards down bit by bit. In short, Hux is playing Starcraft and he’s LOVING IT.

4 – Why don’t they just Hyperspace jump into ships more often?

Okay this one I have no answer for. In fact that was the first thing I thought. Why don’t they just load up terminally ill pilots into these things and shoot them at the bad guys. You don’t even need to waste money on seats. Just one thanks. So, yeah, you got me on this one.

Not everyone is going to like everything but this movie worked hard to deliver some really great themes and character arcs and it did it well. It doesn’t mean you have to like it but they’re there either way.

This was a Star Wars film that worked hard to deconstruct the previous films and present us with something new that still felt like something old. Tricky stuff. I adored the film, I’ve seen it twice (it’s even better the second time) and I’ll definitely see it again. It’s a new generation of characters and I’m on board.