Revisiting ‘The Last Jedi’ for the First Time Since Watching ‘The Rise of Skywalker’

The Last Jedi. I hadn’t watched it since a couple of weeks before The Rise of Skywalker entered theaters. And how could I? The Rise of Skywalker ruined the Sequel Trilogy for me. Since 2015, I have been so invested in these characters, in this mysterious story filled with blank spaces that I was hoping would be fulfilled in a lovable and truly epic manner, and The Rise of Skywalker turned out to be more than just safe. It ruined the franchise as a whole, annihilating storylines built in the previous eight films, dampening characters’ awesomeness, and creating new threads that felt lackluster and unwarranted.

After a couple of months of recovery, I began to appreciate The Last Jedi even more for its bold choices, its surprising character developments, and its new characters who Rian Johnson put some real thought behind. Particularly, Rose Tico.

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Rose is a character unlike any other in Star Wars and that’s what made her special. J.J Abrams and co-writer Chris Terrio didn’t appreciate her enough. Instead, they swept her under the rug, reducing her relationship with Finn to pat-on-the-shoulder status while giving her just a little over a minute of screentime. Even! when there were clearly scenes she shared with Rey. How upsetting is that?

It’s little things like this that prevented me from watching The Last Jedi because I didn’t want to be somewhat depressed. I watched The Last Jedi yesterday and I’ve got a lot of thoughts but I’m going to keep it simple for this post on a Saturday afternoon.

  1. The Last Jedi is REALLY good. No, it isn’t the best Star Wars movie ever made but it is in my top 5 list because of its originality. Plus, there are some scenes in this movie that are just…top-notch.
  2. Following my viewing of The Rise of Skywalker, the moments between Kylo Ren and Rey have even more depth now. The conflict, the not-so-subtle romance, Kylo’s betrayal, and Rey’s defiance, their combined story feels heightened thanks to The Rise of Skywalker actually.
  3. Gosh, I’m loving me some Poe and Finn. They are the two characters who had conclusions I actually appreciated in the ninth Star Wars movie so to see the middle of their personal journies in this film is very rewarding.
  4. I still despise Holdo with a passion. Don’t get me wrong, she’s an interesting character, but her getup with the dress and purple hair is distracting.
  5. Luke was awesome but his conclusion feels really sad now because that is literally the last cool thing he did in the franchise. His return in The Rise of Skywalker was as lackluster as it gets. Have I ever mentioned that when he Force-pulled the X-Wing out of the water at Ahch-To that part was SUPER CORNY?!
  6. Snoke makes a bit more sense now.
  7. Rey is a Palpatine. That’s a bit weird but whatever.
  8. The lightsaber duels were WAY BETTER in this film and there weren’t, technically, any lightsaber duels.
  9. I think I’ll end the list here.

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But…if I’m totally being honest with myself, I am a bit excited to see The Rise of Skywalker again because of the threads that did connect in The Last Jedi. And like I said before, I love knowing where Finn and Poe’s story went in this overall trilogy.

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

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