Revisiting The Last Jedi Novel: Part 7

The two chapters yesterday, Chapters 16 and 17, were very enjoyable. Today, it’s time to see where the next few chapters will take me on this thrilling journey. Enjoy!

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Chapter 18 is a short deleted scene of sorts that showcases Poe’s annoyance with Holdo, the desperation of the dwindling Resistance, and a private moment he has by Leia’s side as he hopes she returns from her unconsciousness.

It’s an interesting chapter that once again reiterates his distrust in Holdo and why he eventually, understandably, blew up. Holdo was annoying in the sense that she led with such secrecy. Even though she was doing the right thing she kept her plans close to her chest and it caused more harm than good. It’s kind of a shame.

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Chapter 19 is all about Finn and Rose’s eventual escape from their jail cell in Canto Bight but what makes this scene differ from the movie’s version is the argument Finn and Rose have in the cell.

They’re both rapidly losing hope and time is ticking. They know the Resistance is on their last leg and yet they can’t seem to do anything about it. Finn mentions Rey’s name again and Rose gets frustrated. She begins to berate him for caring so much about her and he lashes back, bringing up the fair argument that she would feel the exact same way if her sister (who we of course know is dead) was in danger.

Rose, in response, literally shoves him, cementing their brief annoyance with each other. This annoyance is interjected into when the scoundrel DJ awakes to help them. DJ, on the pages of the novel, feels much more untrustworthy. There’s something wrong with him and you can immediately tell but he was all Rose and Finn had as an option to save the Resistance.

We also get a detailed account of how BB-8 reached the jail and met DJ, which turned out to be interesting but mostly…not that interesting.

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Chapter 20, however, was much more delighting. There’s an extended scene with Finn and Rose going through the underground sewers to escape the police. At one point, they have to make a decision for which direction they’ll go, left to what seems to be the ocean or right to where an awful smell is lingering. They end up playing what would be our equivalent of rock, paper, scissors which is a tiny bonding moment between the two.

This, of course, leads them to find the Fathiers and ride them through the city where the details of their destruction are told brilliantly. Rose’s elation at riding a Fathier is the first time in the novel where she displays legitimate joy. The same amount of joy that is often more present in the movie compared to the grumpiness or annoyance she often displays in the book.

By the time they’ve set the Fathiers free and are about to be apprehended by the Canto Bight police, there’s a palpable shift in the relationship between Rose and Finn, foreshadowing their eventual kiss of the sands of Crait which is going to be so SWEET once that moment arrives. Oh gosh, I’m getting emotional just thinking about it.

So yeah, while Chapters 18 and 19 were kind of, meh, Chapter 20 was absolutely fascinating. Sometimes I wish that Rian Johnson hadn’t included this sequence in the film but he did so for a very particular reason (to drive along Rose and Finn’s story) and reading it as part of the novel is very rewarding.

Tomorrow, I read the new few chapters and boy, it’s sure to be a doozy.

I’m ranking Chapters 18-20 at a solid A- simply because the first two chapters were kind of boring in comparison to most of the chapters so far in the novel.

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a beautiful day. May the Force be with you.

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