Blasting The Last Jedi and Solo for their faults has become a past time in certain circles. Although I don’t walk in those circles, I agree with some of their arguments. But for fairness’ sake, let’s take that same critical eye to the whole body of Star Wars movies.
Before we start looking at them individually, there are some consistent things across the movies that bother me:
- Star Destroyers suck. I’ve yet to see one do anything truly impressive
- Planetary gravity is stronger in this galaxy. Any ship that takes any damage near a planet automatically and quickly plunges into the nearest planet.
OK, let’s begin (in order of timeline, not release date))
Episode I: The Phantom Menace
- So let’s start with some low-hanging fruit: Jar-Jar Binks and Whatto. The thinly veiled racism implied in these characters was shocking to an adult viewer, although it may have gone over the heads of younger viewers.
- Wait – Anakin made Threepio? WTF? Was he a D’Agostino kit? How could Shmee afford all the pieces on her slave wages?
- Naboo: looks pretty much borrowed wholesale from Dinotopia
- Midichlorians. There, I’ve said it. Now forget you ever heard it, please.
- Queen Amadilla: An elected head of state, and they elected a teenager? How unimportant is that role if a teenager can be elected to it and be taken seriously?
- The aquatic Gungan are prepared for a substantive land war? Why? Were they planning on attacking the humans? Did the Trade Federation’s blockade stop a genocide? Three cheers for the Trade Federation!
- Darth Maul’s all too quick demise*.
- How can there be ‘balance’ in the force if there are thousands of Jedi, but only two Sith?
Episode II: Attack of the Clones
- Padme, the pedophile.
She knew this kid when he was, what, nine? And now she’s sleeping with him when he’s, what, a teenager? If the roles were reversed, (see Natalie Portman in Beautiful Girls), we’d feel at least a little uncomfortable.
- Sand gets everywhere.
- Bad acting, worse than original trilogy, perhaps the worst ever.
- General Grevous, a boring villainous robot with a head cold, is what you get when you kill off* Darth Maul too soon. And he gets to live for another film!
Episode III Revenge** of the Sith
- Why do damaged ships suddenly fall planetward?
- Anakin as a whiny child-killer just isn’t sympathetic. Padme, you can do better. Maybe try Obi-Wan…
- Padme died from a broken heart? Wimp. Obi-Wan, you can do better…
- Why didn’t Maul cut off Qui Gon Jinn’s legs in Episode I the way that Obi-Wan does Anakin’s in Episode III?
- Chewie knows Yoda? Give me a break. Then why did he agree with Han that Jedi were just an old myth?
Solo: A Star Wars Story
- Someone please reconcile the Falcon as seen in Episode III and Episode IV with it as seen in this film, which occurs between those two. Here’s the comparison. On the left is the ship as seen in Solo, on the right is how it appeared before and after Solo chronologically:
- Chewie’s hit hard times after his Yoda-helping warrior days,
- I didn’t like the casting of Han. It just didn’t work for me.
- I also don’t like the name L3-37 (in gamer talk, it’s LEET, an old term for the best of the best [elite]) but I loved the character.
- There’s this weird thing where they’re sitting in the cockpit and you’re looking at Han, and out the side windows behind him you can’t see the rest of the Falcon. Where’s the ship?
- That’s the Kessel Run? Somehow bragging about 12 parsecs doesn’t feel like it fits with what we saw. Do they even know what a parsec is?
- I’m fine with Maul making an appearance, but I really disliked the whole idea that this fortune was the seed money for the rebellion. Can’t anything just be a standalone event?
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- Did seeing daddy die really add anything to the story? They went to kill him, then didn’t. He’s still dead, but it doesn’t matter.
- Disabled Star Destroyers fall planetward again.
What use are these huge white wedges? They seem to do nothing against the rebel fleet except launch fighters.
- I think there’s a whole other cool Rogue One film on the editing floor. The one where Jyn gets confronted by a Tie Fighter while on the transmission tower. I’d like to see that please.
- The only parents that Luke has ever known (He’s literally lived with them since day 1) get killed and it doesn’t really phase him. He’s more upset about Ben’s death later. Where’s the grief?
- They can track a ship through hyperspace (the Falcon to Yavin IV) but the rebellion/resistance leaders, including Leia, still don’t know this in The Last Jedi?
- The Trash compactor tentacle creature: How’d it get there? Please explain the ecology of this creature’s environment.
- Just blow up Yavin already and let the pieces wipe out the rebel base!
+ A New Hope
– Greedo fires first.
– Han steps on Jabba’s tail.
The Empire Strikes Back
- What do abominable snow creatures eat? Seriously, if they survive off of tauntauns, what do they eat? If your response is caribou survive in the arctic so tauntaun can too, I’d point out that caribou get a summer to graze and store energy. Does Hoth have a summer that we just didn’t see? Maybe it’s an elliptical orbit and we’re seeing it at it wintery-est?
- Yoda’s a prick, really. A great Jedi master and this is the best he can do?
- R2D2’s a prick, really. Luke has a clear shot at Boba Fett, but R2 hits his leg, knocking the shot off. Doesn’t R2 like Han or something?
- “There is another.” No shit, Sherlock. Obi-Wan was with you when you decided to split the twins up. Why doesn’t he remember that, too?
- Ewoks throw rocks, fragile troopers die.
- The Emperor can force-pull/push objects but can’t force pull/push himself when thrown off a balcony? Hell, Leia can do that.
- If you don’t need to complete the whole Death Star for it to be operational, then why bother? Leave it unfinished as an artistic statement about the fallacies of capitalism or some such.
- And why does Yoda die exactly? Is that a broken heart I sense?
The Force Awakens
- Han knows the Falcon can be tracked, even expects the First Order to do so, so of course he goes to visit a friend and doesn’t bother warning anyone of the trouble that’s following him.
- It’s a weapon, but it’s a planet. Using it kills the planet’s star. Uh, can the planet be moved to a new star or is this truly planned obsolescence?
- When it fires, everyone can see the shot, no matter what planet they’re on. Just how small is this galaxy far, far away? It seems to be 15 planets around two stars.
- Every knows the Falcon can be tracked by the First Order. Everyone knows that the First Order wants Luke. So of course, Rey and Chewie take the Falcon directly to Luke. Sure, that makes sense (and, we see in the next film, they get away with it, which also makes no sense).
- The whole two gangs fighting Han on a ship sequence was a waste of screen time. A better use of time would have been start with Rey and Finn running, chased by Tie Fighters, seeking shelter on the Falcon. They find Han and Chewie doing repairs. Saves eight minutes of screen time for better uses, unfortunately loses the “Chewie, we’re home” line.
The Last Jedi
Please note the following caveats:
– I loved that they killed Snoke.
– I loved the whole Rey/Kylo story line.
– I hope that it’s true that Rey is a nobody and not the hidden child of some famous Jedi.
– I’m fine with the suicide run.
– I don’t know what I’d have done differently with Luke, except not drink the milk.
- Wait, why did General Hux recall the First Order fighters when there was no fighter resistance and no noteworthy AA fire?
- Somebody really likes their big ships. Are we over-compensating for something? Don’t worry, mate. It’s not the size, it’s what you do with it.
- The First Order is chasing the Resistance at sub-light speeds through a star system. Why not have a few of those much vaunted Star Destroyers jump ahead and either cut them off or force them to make a course change that will allow you to vector the big ship to them quicker.
- I’d trade the whole Canto Bight sequence of scenes for an extended cat-and-mouse chase between Phasma and Finn on the command ship.
So really, given all that, plus whatever else you want to add in the comments below, every Star Wars movie is shite.
Yet we love them anyway.
Live long and prosper May the force be with you. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
* I know, I know. Obi-Wan never kills someone just once.
** Finally a movie with Revenge officially in the name! And they didn’t change it to Return at the last minute.