“The Last Jedi” aftermath

Viewers and critics don’t agree on latest Star Wars movie

Jesse McCauley

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Although “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” was generally received well, there was some discrepancy between critics and movie goers. The critics gave it a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, but the audience gave it a 56%, a considerable drop-off. So why the divide?

The critics look strictly at movie quality and production, but fans are subject to bias. Especially with a film like Star Wars, there comes obsessive fandom.

Critics can view the movie for the movie with no bias or expectations. Fans, on the other hand, can become disappointed with the content of the film, especially after a long wait. This is the first time that audiences and critics were not on the same page at all in terms of Star Wars.

However, the fans who write reviews are the extremes. “The Last Jedi” earned an A for general audiences leaving the theater. Nevertheless, it seems there is a section of fans who were very disappointed with the movie, enough to sway the vote all the way down to 56%. Popular audience critiques were that the movie had too much humor or that Luke Skywalker was not portrayed how they expected. The much anticipated eighth installment in the Star Wars series, was released on Dec. 15. Prior to this film, there were two trilogies, the main saga and the prequel, as well as “The Force Awakens,” the first movie in the third trilogy.

As expected, “The Last Jedi” shattered box office records, grossing an estimated $220 million on opening day. The only movie to reach higher than that was “The Force Awakens,” its predecessor, which cashed in $248 million during December of 2015.

Disney also released another film last year, “Rogue One.” Although this film followed the timeline of the current trilogy, it was a stand alone movie.

The newest trilogy features old characters and new characters. Characters from past trilogies such as C3PO, R2-D2, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Princess Leia all have parts in the new movies.

Building on the older generation, characters like Kylo Ren, Rey, and Finn are now in charge. Just like how it was in the good old days, Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega) must help the Resistance and battle the dark side.

Kylo Ren, played by Adam Driver, is working to make a name for himself in Darth Vader’s legacy. In “The Force Awakens,” viewers got a taste of this desperation to follow in Vader’s footsteps, but in “The Last Jedi,” Ren faces an inner battle with finding his true identity.

As set up by “The Force Awakens,” Rey, a girl who has shown signs of the Force, is sent by Princess Leia to ask the M.I.A Luke Skywalker for assistance. Rey wants to learn how to be a true Jedi, and Skywalker is her only hope.

Skywalker is very reluctant to help, as he deserted himself on an island expecting to die there alone. Much of his reluctance stems from the possibility that he may have played a part in creating the dark side of Kylo Ren. However, Rey still sees the good in him, and turning him back would be the ticket to victory. To her, she sees him as Ben Solo, his birth name, not Kylo Ren.

One obstacle that the series faced was the unexpected death of Carrie Fisher last December, the actress who portrays Princess Leia. Not only was this a heartbreaking loss, but it complicated the direction of the movies. Leia was due to become a center piece, but they had to cut back a bit. Luckily, she already started work on the current movie before her passing, and that footage was approved to make it into the film. No CGI was required.

The movie handled this situation very well and even paid a touching tribute to Fisher during the end credits. Her role in a future installment is still not set in stone.

The end of the trilogy will premiere on Dec. 20, 2019, and should receive the same amount of anticipation as the last two.

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