January 3rd 2018
Today I watched Star Wars: The Last Jedi at the cinema. It was… about an hour longer than it needed to be. I mean, I know they’re never going to make a ninety minute Star Wars movie, but there was genuinely an entire hour-long subplot of the film that gave absolutely no progression to the main plot.
It’s (somehow) decided that to stop the Bad Guy ship from blowing them up, then the main heroes have to get onto the Bad Guy ship (I feel like I’ve seen that film three times already, by the way). To get onto that ship they have to travel to a Casino Planet to find a codebreaker who can disable the shields and get Finn and his new mate Rose onto the Bad Guy Ship, where they can disable a tracking device that means the Good Guy Ship can’t run away from the Bad Guy Ship.
So Finn and Rose travel to this Casino Planet, find the codebreaker, but get arrested (for illegal parking) before they can talk to the codebreaker. An indeterminate amount of time later, they wake up in a cell, and their cell mate is — unbelievably — also a master codebreaker. Now, who woulda thunk that??? What a handy coincidence that out of the hundreds of jail cells, they’d be put in the one with another master codebreaker!
So, naturally, they all escape the jail on Casino Planet, and after this weird, vegan ‘Animals should not be used for sport’ ethical montage, Finn, Rose and their new Codebreaker pal fly away from Casino Planet.
So up to this point, everything has gone largely to plan. And, forgiving the galaxy-sized coincidence, I’m with the movie up to this point. So then the codebreaker gets Finn and Rose onto the Bad Guy ship, and then the Codebreaker gets Finn and Rose into a control room (again, I feel like I’ve seen this film before) and then… The Bad Guys find them, and they’re all captured. Codebreaker guy makes a dodgy trade with the Bad Guys, some information for some cash, and he flies off into the night, or something.
By this point, everyone has evacuated the Good Guy Ship anyway, except for one lady. That one lady decides to turn the Good Guy Ship around, and then lightspeed it the fuck into the Bad Guy Ship. Finn and Rose fly off together, because they’re somehow the only people that survived that literal spaceship lightspeeding the fuck out of the place they were just standing.
So, Finn and Rose go and join the rest of the Good Guys on an Old Good Guy Base Planet that just happened to be round the corner from where they’d all been all this time. And… that’s the plot hole.
After all that… nothing has happened. Finn and Rose went and fucked about on Casino Planet for an hour, to bring back this Codebreaker, who just snaked them over anyway, and nothing changed. There was an entire plotline that did not affect the arc of the story in any way.
Finn and Rose could’ve just stuck around, waited to evacuate the ship and go to Good Guy Planet with everyone else, let that badass lady suicide the ship into the Baddies, and they’d all end up in exactly the same position. Boom. The film is an hour shorter, and I would’ve made it back home in time to watch the second half of the football.
I’m sure that wasted journey is supposed to teach us an important lesson about the futility of war, and how lives are lost and missions are failed for no conceivable gain, but… I was just really bored and unsatisfied.
I mean, it was a good Star Wars movie, it just wasn’t a particularly good film in it’s own right.
There was another incidental, coincidental ‘we could have saved another hour’ moment, where Luke finds a way to project himself as a ghost to Ben. But he does this, like, an hour after everyone died. He could’ve just done that right at the start of the film, distracted Ben for a bit and allowed everyone to get away unharmed. That would’ve saved another hour of my life, and I might’ve got home in time for the first half of the football.
Until tomorrow, maybe it was two hours longer than it needed to be.