It’s been almost a month since Star Wars: The Last Jedi premiered. We’d had time to process. We’d had time to re-watch. We’ve (presumably, at least), come to terms with our feelings. And we’re ready to articulate them for you.
Sort of. Maybe.
But we’re trying. And that’s what counts. Lyra, Chloe, Lariel, Beata, Caryn and Jade join me as we discuss what we loved, what we didn’t really get and what we want to see more of in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Your first reaction, in six words or a GIF. (Or both.)
Lariel: Where do they go from here?
Chloe: In three words: I am shooketh.
Caryn: My mind is absolutely, completely blown –
Let’s get a little more in depth now. What did you like most about the movie? Who was your favorite character? Favorite scene?
Lizzie: I just …liked the movie. Carrie’s scenes made me emotional, and I loved the introduction of Rose, but my favorite was probably Poe. No, wait, strike the probably. It was definitely Poe. I liked that he really had an arc in this movie, that we saw him grow and come to a place where he could be a more effective leader. Despite my love for him, though, my favorite scene was probably Luke vs. Kylo Ren, near the end. Now that was badass.
Lyra: I really enjoyed how everybody went through a journey of their own in this movie. It wasn’t just Rey’s story. It was the Resistance’ story. It was Luke’s story. It was Kylo Ren’s story. They are all pieces of something bigger and you can see that the writing and production of the movie took that into consideration. As for my favorite character…would the force be considered a character? Cuz he was playing games and pulling two people together to realize they were the Ying and Yang of the Force. I really need a behind the scenes film of the Force watching and throwing popcorn when they don’t see the plan he or she laid out. Good times.}
Lariel: I liked all the scenes with Luke, from his initial reaction to Rey, right to that final vision of the twin suns of Tatooine. I especially loved the scene with Yoda; even Jedi Masters can keep learning!
Chloe: I was already Kylo Ren trash, for reasons I can’t quite explain, and now I think I’ve doubled down. For that reason, but also because of my love for Rey, my favorite scene was when Kylo killed Snoke and then teamed up with Rey to take out the Praetorian Guard. Chills. Every. Time. The nuance introduced by this scene and how it potentially sets the stage for Episode IX really hit home for me. As for what I liked most about the movie overall – the surprising humor, and the risks it took.
Beata: I’m with Lariel on this one. I know it’s kind of an unpopular opinion, but I loved every one of Luke’s scenes. I really enjoyed his interactions with Rey early on, his scene with Leia gave me ALL the feels, and his fight with Kylo Ren was one of the most exciting scenes in the movie.
Caryn: I was very much here for Luke and Leia. I loved the Luke trajectory, the fact that Luke as a grownup has changed so much, that he has hardened, that he felt every one of his errors and actions. Leia, as well, has shown how much she has changed as a military leader and a general, it was excellent seeing her use the force and learning to make the right calls, even when others disagreed with her. My favorite scene was the final scene between Luke and Leia, it chilled me to the core.
Jade: I don’t know if I realized how much Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia was a huge part of my childhood until she was gone. While there were several moments I enjoyed, nothing tops the last moment between Luke and Leia for me. The quietness of that moment (with a touch of humor). His words. That forehead kiss. I blubbered like a baby, right there in the theater.
Where do you think it could have been better? What would you have changed?
Lizzie: Was the pacing a problem? Yes. Am I usually the kind of moviegoer that gets stuck on something like that when she enjoyed the rest? No. So, yes, intellectually I feel like the Rose/Finn storyline ended up being a whole lot of nothing, but I loved Rose and Finn and their interaction and I’m honestly a bit more disappointed that others characters (ahem: Pashma) ended up being so inconsequential, than I am about the mission to Canto Bight existing.
As for what I would have changed – I think this movie did the best with the cards it was dealt from TFA and Carrie Fisher’s untimely death. I’d change a lot of things that I can’t change right now, because Carrie is gone, because Han died last movie …so ultimately, I’m pretty content with what I got, all things considered.
Lyra: Ben staying on the “dark side” and becoming Emperor was predictable AF. I would have liked it better if he went with Rey and worked on a Redemption Arc during the next movie. This would have worked really well if Snoke hadn’t died because that could be something they (Rey/Ben-Kylo) could fight against together. Everything else I’m cool with. Especially Kylo’s floor slide when his girl Rey was calling, the caretakers that got pissed at Rey for messing stuff up, and the Porgs guilt tripping Chewie.
Lariel: I did feel the middle dragged a bit. The trip to Canto Bight turned out to be pointless, though it gave us some wonderful stuff with Rose and Finn, especially the observation of the rot underneath the beauty. And I’m trying to figure out what I’m supposed to like about Poe Dameron. It’s not that he’s unlikable – I just feel – nothing.
But more importantly – I’ve been reading a lot of critical praise for Rian Johnson’s decision to “burn it all down.” And I guess that made for a good movie… but I don’t feel like it made for great Star Wars. We were left asking, “Where CAN they go from here?” Not just with the real loss of Carrie Fisher but the Resistance itself. They survived but… is there really hope left or is it merely that last gasp before the end? I felt a lot more grim coming out of the theater than I should have; I didn’t feel like this after TFA! Perhaps it’s just another symptom of the times we are living in; I look to Star Wars for some badly needed unbridled optimism and that’s not what this film is about.
Chloe: The main thing that bothered me about the movie was how Finn and Rose’s storyline turned out to be so ultimately inconsequential. Yes, the trip to Canto Bight had some important political and thematic meaning (and cool visuals / creatures), but I wish it had more bearing on the plot as well. It’s that whole “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing” situation. I want more for Finn! And Rose, for that matter!
On an unrelated note, I’m ready to start a drinking game where we all take a shot every time Poe says some variation of “I see it!” or “Do you see it?” Get ready for a wild night.
Beata: The pacing, for sure. When I heard that The Last Jedi would be the longest Star Wars movie yet, I didn’t think much of it because I still trusted the Star Wars franchise enough to believe the movie’s length would be justified, but I really felt like there were a lot of scenes that could have been shortened if not cut out entirely. The problem was definitely most noticeable with Finn and Rose’s whole storyline. While I understand that it provided some character development and was important to the whole theme of the movie, I just don’t think it had enough bearing on the plot to justify the amount of time it took up.
Also, I understand that the whole point of their excursion was to have them embark on a mission that very closely resembled missions that we’ve seen in previous SW movies so that the audience would be even more surprised when the whole thing was flipped on its head and they ended up failing, but I feel like that could have been executed much better. It REALLY dragged, and there was hardly any payoff in the end.
Caryn: Just as everyone above said, the pacing was a real problem, it seemed as if Rose and Finn were just sent on the side mission so that their romance could be believable. I wish there was more Leia, and that we were given a sliver to Snoke’s backstory, also in a way I wish that Kylo Ren could’ve had a more solid reasoning for turning to the dark side and killing his father (R.I.P. Han Solo) other than just feeling the pull.
Jade: Like Lariel and Chloe, I really felt that the casino scenes dragged. I really like Finn (and Rose) and wanted to see more of them, but I spent most of that sequence wondering if it was a good time to run to the bathroom. Those mega gulps are no joke!
But, honestly, the thing that made me saddest walking out of the theater was Luke. I really, REALLY loved everything they did with him from the moment he talks with Leia to the…well, maybe not the end. I’m on the fence about that. But at least through that final battle. And I really loved his training scenes with Rey. “Do you feel it? You do! Oh wow!” I died.
It’s not that I don’t think Grumpy Old Curmudgeon Luke made sense on some level. It’s that I wish they hadn’t dragged it out quite SO long. I went into this movie absolutely bouncing in my seat, eager to see Luke as an Obi-Wan character. Instead he was largely the old guy who yells at the neighborhood kids to get off his lawn. I suppose this may be an issue where you set yourself up for disappointment whenever you walk into a movie with a set idea of what you want to see. But I just was sad that we didn’t get more Wise Mentor Luke. From what I understand, Mark Hamill wasn’t overly thrilled with his character in this movie, and – to a point – I’m kinda right there with him.
Carrie Fisher’s General Leia has always been a strong female icon to look up to in the Star Wars universe. How does the addition of so many new female characters change things from here on out? Were they necessary? Do you identify with them?
Lizzie: Give me all the female heroines. Yes, we had Leia, but it’s hard to realize that we ONLY had Leia, because she shone so brightly. I think it’s important, and necessary, that these new movies gave us Rey and Rose and Admiral Holdo and you can identify with all of them or just one, but you have options. Little girls have options. No one counts the number of male role models and says, well, you have one, that’s more than enough …don’t get greedy. Why should we do the same for female characters?
Lyra: More ladies in the Star Wars verse equals diversification and GASP an actual representation of the kind of world we live in, or for many, that we hope to live in one day. As for identifying with them…Rose…you sneaky fangirl. We are all you. You are us.
Lariel: I’ve always identified with Leia, from the first time 13-year-old me saw her on screen in the original Star Wars in 1977. I still identify with her today; we have both lived lives filled with hopes and struggles and victories and disappointments. But I am so very pleased to see more central female characters in canon Star Wars, and I hope some other 13-year-old will find someone she can identify with in Rey or Rose.
Chloe: I think the addition of more female characters was absolutely necessary (and long overdue). Leia – and Carrie Fisher, for that matter – will always be iconic and rightfully looked up to – but now, we can count Admiral Holdo, Rey, and Rose among the same ranks as well. I loved that we got to see each of them owning their agency, making mistakes, and fighting for what they believed in. I think at this point, I’m most interested in where Rey ends up at the close of this film – coming to terms with not having some mythical legacy (as far as we know), having lost her would-be mentor, and needing to forge her own path.
Beata: Considering that there are literally only two women in A New Hope, and one of them is Luke’s aunt who barely gets any lines, of course I’m happy that Star Wars has finally decided to add a few more female characters. I love Leia, and she definitely helps make up for the lack of female representation in the original trilogy, what we really need is lots of different women.
I loved Leia and Rey in this movie, and Rose stole my heart right from the beginning even though I wasn’t too invested in her storyline with Finn and I definitely don’t ship her with him. I’ll admit that while I respected and appreciated Holdo from the start, I didn’t exactly like her, but mostly because she was kind of pitted against Poe, who is one of my favourite characters.
Caryn: I will gladly take each and every woman with a speaking role in the Star Wars universe. From the iconic Leia taking the lead in every instance to General Holdo staying true to the mission and being willing to sacrifice herself to Rose and her courage, Rey and her growth, even Lieutenant Connix having some actual lines in this installment was great to see.
Jade: Oh, I absolutely think they were necessary, and I think Carrie Fisher would have been the first to agree. As great as the original trilogy was, there was kind of an issue with Princess Leia being the Only Girl in the Galaxy (after Aunt Beru’s untimely demise). In a world a long time ago and a galaxy far away, women would have existed in all sorts of social spectrums doing all sorts of things. It was nice to see the world of Star Wars acknowledge that, and it actually adds breadth and depth to the narrative.
How do you feel about the movie’s portrayal of Luke Skywalker? Did it ring true for you, or would you have gone another way with it? What did you think about the relationship between Luke and Rey?
Lizzie: Do I, at times, wish for the Luke of those novels we got in the years after ROTJ? Yes. Will a part of me always go back to those books and hold onto them as the kind of ending I wanted for my trio? Yes. Do I hate this portrayal of Luke? No. Like other people have said, he was always my least favorite of the main three and I never felt like I was that attached to his characterization. He was used to send a message, and though I understand how that feels like a stake through the heart for his fans (see me and Han in TFA), I can’t say I hate it, no. Same goes for his relationship with Rey. It was exactly what it had to be considering who Luke was.
Lyra: I liked Luke because he wasn’t what I expected. I was ready to come into this movie and experience a Luke that was perfect in his grouchiness. Basic but familiar when it comes to male/characters like him. He surprised me with his reluctance and acceptance to teaching Ray, his strides to do what he could to help Leia, and his acknowledgement that he made a mistake when it came to Ben. He’s not perfect and that’s why I like him for the FIRST TIME EVER. Before he was just a bright eyed boy who (insert basic hero storyline) and I feel like I got to know him for the first time in this movie. I would like to make a point that people were really upset about how he retreated to that Island and separated himself from the resistance when he was needed. He was a young and impressionable man who lost his family at a young age and learned about life from men like Obi-Wan Kenobi. Obi chilled out in the desert for a really long time instead of throwing it down and trying to help. Who said Jedis were perfect? Cuz he certainly isn’t. I bet you that’s where Luke learned it from and why he hightailed it when things got rough.
Lariel: This is one of the things I’ve struggled with since I saw the movie last week. I felt so sad about how things ended up. Mark Hamill’s performance was stellar, but I will always mourn that we never got our heroes portrayed as they were in Timothy Zahn’s “Heir to the Empire” series. To me, that is canon. I did like the relationship between Luke and Rey, and she obviously touched something in him.
Chloe: It has been some time since I watched the original trilogy, so the portrayal of Luke didn’t bother me in the way I know it did some fans who are more immersed in Episodes IV-VI. I really enjoyed Mark Hamill’s performance – particularly what he was able to convey with just his eyes or his voice. I liked the humor in it, and how the relationship between Luke and Rey panned out in a different way than I think we all expected – right from the moment he tossed his lightsaber over the cliff. I would have liked to see Rey train more formally with Luke, but it’s also interesting that we are not rehashing the same Jedi Master / Padawan dynamics we’ve seen from past films. It’s uncertain ground, and there’s something thrilling about that.
Beata: I’ll admit that when I watched The Last Jedi, it had been a really long time since I’d watched the original trilogy, so I didn’t notice any obvious problems with his characterization. I’ve also always thought he was a pretty boring character, so I never really cared about him either way.
Mostly, it made perfect sense to me that Luke would change a lot after having lived on his own on an island for so long, and especially after everything he went through with Kylo Ren. He was different in this movie, yes, but I thought that the changes to his character made sense considering what he had been through.
Caryn: Unpopular opinion, but I enjoyed this trajectory for Luke, he was no longer just the starry-eyed hero boy, he was the jaded, experienced hero. He was Obi Wan-Kenobi in A New Hope. And that’s why I enjoyed this version of him, he was realistic. No one could have gone through as much trauma as him (especially what he thinks is his own fault) and come out bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I liked that he got over himself and helped Rey and fought against Kylo Ren, he was the Resistance’s last hope, and he gave them that chance. I think Luke would have loved to redeem himself and die a hero, and that’s exactly what he did.
Jade: Luke Skywalker was – to be honest – my least favorite of the three main heroes in the original trilogy. I know, I know, the movie was about him. But he often seemed a little less mature and put together than Leia (who I adored) and less cool than Han (who I also adored in a very different way).
So not just because Mark Hamill is one of those actors I just kind of want to hug and protect forever and ever and ever but also because I wanted to see that other side of Luke, but…I wanted something different for him in this movie. I really wanted to see him as the wise mentor. The first trilogy was about his journey – to become a Jedi, yes, but also to grow up. This was the moment for him to pass that torch and help someone else the way Obi-Wan once helped him. And, like Obi-Wan, I didn’t necessarily need to see him embrace that role right away. But when Rey stood there and begged him to help or she’d go to Kylo Ren and he did nothing? Well, I certainly hoped he would embrace his role sooner than that.
I think also because I know how deeply Mark Hamill respects what his character has meant to fans for decades. He’s always been very welcoming of fans, not just for what they have done for him but for what he knows Star Wars means to them. Of course actors don’t drive the story, but with Han gone and with Leia unable to be the focus of the next movie as originally planned, I feel an even greater loss over what they did with Luke in this movie. It’s not that it ruins the movie for me, but even weeks later, when I ponder my reaction to the film, there’s just that lingering dissatisfaction with his arc.
What did you think about the connection between Rey and Kylo Ren? Did it feel romantic to you? Was it believable?
Lizzie: I find the connection interesting, but I didn’t actually feel the energy was romantic between them, and I don’t ship it, not one little bit. I think if Kylo is going to be redeemed, that’s a choice he’s gotta make for himself, and one that has nothing to do with Rey, and I think Rey’s journey isn’t about looking back and trying to save Ben Solo, but about looking forward and making her own path.
Lyra: The connection between Rey and Kylo was my favorite part of the movie honestly. It was spread across the movie in short moments that built up to a believable moment, even if I’m a little butthurt that he didn’t go with her at the end. Could it be romantic? Yes. Would I be okay if they took it that way? Probably. (With work and time.) But I think the point of all of these moments between them was to show them their similarities and how uniting is the only way that they can bring balance to the Force. It’s like that cobbled portrait in the temple where Luke died. Light and dark as one. That’s how this must end.
Lariel: I’ve never been a Reylo shipper, and didn’t really want to see a romantic turn here. It did feel believable for them to have some kind of connection in the Force. I was surprised to learn it was all engineered by Snoke.
Chloe: Three words: here for it. I’m still not really sure where I stand as far as Reylo – or whether their Force connection felt romantic – but as I mentioned above, I am all about both of these characters. The “ForceTime” sessions necessitated that Rey and Kylo try to navigate their differences while removing the threat of physical harm, and they really landed on fairly common ground. With Luke’s death (if that’s what we’re calling it) and Snoke’s murder, they are now also in the same situation of having lost their mentors and needing to forge their own path forward. Will that be together? I hope so, but we shall have to wait and see.
Beata: I do not ship Reylo at all and never have, but I am very interested in their relationship and what it means for each character.
I think Kylo represents everything that Rey has always wanted to be: born to famous parents, gifted with the force, basically a typical “chosen one.” Rey wants so desperately to believe that she’s special just like Kylo is, and I think that’s why she’s trying so hard to redeem him just like Luke redeemed Vader. I think the reason she’s drawn to Kylo and wants to help him has nothing to do with him, and everything to do with herself.
Caryn: I understand the romantic connection, whereby they both feel that the other is the only one that can understand them, and they are both attractive young people, but what I liked about The Last Jedi is that Rey actually rejected the romance and partnership because she believes she is capable of more. Romance isn’t the end all, romance is a choice, and Rey chose not to enter into that toxic relationship, that’s a great and groundbreaking lesson on-screen – just because you are attracted to someone does not mean that they are good for you.
Jade: I love Rey and like Kylo, but I am vehemently anti-Reylo as a romantic ship. As adversaries? I’m down with it. As (I assumed them to be) long-lost relatives? Sure. As a romantic couple? NO. So for a good part of the movie, I felt a growing sense of horror and dread because I was terrified they were going in that direction. I was so incredibly relieved when that turned out not to be the case. Not just because I don’t like the ship but I also don’t think that ship would make sense at this point. After Kylo kidnapped her and forced his way into her mind in what I will refer to as a very violating manner…after she watched him kill his own father…to believe she’d turn around and be like, “Get over here, you sexy hunk of man meat?” Please. No.
I did, however, really enjoy their final scenes together, from the moment they fight together until Kylo tried to convince her to be on his side. Even the part where he tried to convince her he’s the only person in the universe who cares about her. And I’m really glad that I feel like whatever romantic undertones they may have even considered putting between these two characters can be put in the past now. It’s not needed. It’s not wanted (at least by me). It wouldn’t be at all believable.
For a moment, it appeared as if Ben Solo could be turned back to the light, but only for a moment. Can he ever be redeemed, or has the saga moved beyond the idea of redeeming the fallen? What’s the endgame for him?
Lizzie: I think they ARE going to redeem him, or try, at least, because this is Star Wars, and as much as they’ve broken away from the mold, I saw a lot of clues as to the fact that they were going to frame the next movie around the idea of his redemption. Can I forgive him? I’m not sure. He killed his father. I don’t know how you come back from that, and for me, a Han Solo fan from my youth, that’s kind of a dealbreaker. In some ways, Kylo Ren seems to me framed in the Loki mold, in that we’re supposed to root for him, or see under the mask he puts, and I’ve never actually managed that with Loki (till very recently), and I have a hard time doing it with Kylo.
That being said, there were clear moments of conflict in this movie. CLEAR. I don’t think the endgame is for him to live happily ever after, he’s done too much for that. But maybe the endgame for him is something similar to the grandfather he always wanted to emulate? A redemption “of sorts.”
Lyra: 100% Loki…I mean Kylo, is going to be redeemed. 😛 It would be too easy for our bad guy if he ended up being just…a bad guy. Plus everyone loves a good redemption story. I know I do. Endgame is him finding balance inside of himself and becoming grey. Not light or dark. Grey.
Lariel: When I consider this, I think a lot about the discussions of Nazis in the Arrowverse crossover, and whether they should ever be redeemable. Nazis = First Order/Sith/Knights of Ren. The former were race killers. The latter are world killers. Should they be redeemed, ever?
I’ve never considered Kylo Ren to be likeable in any way. I’m only interested in his redemption for his parents’ sake… but even Leia has given up on him now. Mothers stand by their children – for her to do this says a lot.
Chloe: “No one’s ever really gone.” “There’s someone who still could [come back.]” The theme of unlikely returns is one that has echoed through this trilogy since The Force Awakens. I loved how Rey was open to at least exploring the possibility with Kylo, recognizing that him turning to the Light could shift the balance – that Luke wasn’t the only option.
One of the things that intrigues me about Kylo Ren is that his grievances are so, so personal. He wants to be free of the conflict he feels – the call to the Light – and will do what it takes to be rid of that pain. It’s relatable, versus a more “super-villain”-esque motivation. Why couldn’t that wish take the form of going Light, instead of full Dark? Especially with Snoke, the one who originally turned him, and Luke, the mentor who failed him, out of the picture?
Beata: I’m with Jade on this one. Of course, Kylo Ren could be redeemed. This is Star Wars, after all. Should he, though? I personally don’t think it’s necessary. Kylo is nothing but a spoiled, power-hungry child, and he doesn’t really have a good reason for turning to the dark side. I think that’s why so many people see the potential for good in him, but I think that just makes him an even worse person because he doesn’t even have an excuse for his behaviour. He’s just a terrible human being, and I don’t think I’d be able to root for him as a hero.
Caryn: At this point, no. I can’t see Mr. OG Spoilt Brat, Kylo Ren, ever being okay to just sit by in a Resistance ruled galaxy, as long as he is alive he will be a threat to peace. I think Kylo Ren was a good lesson to the Resistance that even the greatest promise children can fall into darkness (which is a lesson you would think they learnt with Anakin) and also everyone has a choice to make – between light and dark. So basically, I suppose they could redeem Kylo Ren but I think it would be a cheap storytelling device and with the smart and risky decisions they are making now, I don’t think they will.
Jade: There’s a difference, I suppose, in whether he can be redeemed and whether he should be. I suppose in a universe where we’re supposed to believe Darth Vadar was redeemed, anything is theoretically possible. That said, in a universe where characters like Darth Vadar are redeemed (and given three movies that try to tell us why we should want him to be)…I don’t particularly want them to redeem Kylo. I know he’s been conflicted over the past two movies, but he’s also chosen the Dark time and time again. Sometimes bad guys stay bad guys. Certainly bad guys who see their cohorts destroy five planets and think to themselves, “I could do this better” could stay bad. Even when we really, really wish – if only for the sake of other characters we love – that they could have been good.
After years of speculation about Rey’s parents, we learn they were “nobodies.” What did you think about that reveal? Did you love I? Hate it? Still unsure?
Lizzie: Like Beata, I love it. It means so much that she’s not related to anyone, because it introduces the message that anyone can be special, that she’s who she is, that she’s our hero, not because she came from this lineage, but because she’s Rey. And I love that.
Lyra: Like Lizzie and Beata, I love it! It’s a really great example for little girls and boys that you don’t need to have royalty or an amazing background to build yourself into something truly spectacular. It takes belief and perseverance. The fact that she came from nothing makes her more relatable and someone you want to cheer on.
Lariel: It felt anticlimactic, actually. We got a bit of building up in TFA, and certainly years of fandom speculation, and in the end it was like watching Geraldo Rivera open up Al Capone’s vault on live TV: a dud. Yeah, I’ve seen all the writing about how it’s supposed to mean ANYBODY can be a hero. But I think that disregards something very important: We all want to be more than we think we are. We all want to believe there’s something special about each of us. I suppose it’s supposed to be encouraging that we don’t need to have anything special in our background in order to be someone special or important, but for me that fell kind of flat and felt more like, “We don’t want to be bothered trying to write this backstory.”
Chloe: Yes, it would have been mind-blowing to learn that Rey was a Jedi legacy, etc. etc. But it would also have been heartbreaking to learn that a favorite character (or someone related to them) left her behind. I’m not 100% sure I believe what Kylo told Rey about her parents – he had everything to gain by making her feel like she had everything to gain by joining him – but I also kind of love the idea that she isn’t a Skywalker, a Solo, or something similarly fantastic. She is amazing on her own, and is earning her place among those legendary names. She is her own kind of special.
Beata: I loved it! Like I said before, it does so much for Rey’s characterization, because we understand that she wants so badly to be someone important, so finding out that she’s nobody plays into her deepest insecurities. It could also set up a really good arc in the next movie about how heroes are made, not born, and how people born into greatness can end up like Kylo Ren while people who were abandoned by insignificant, unimportant parents can become heroes like Rey. I really, really hope they don’t reverse that reveal.
Caryn: I was in the camp that didn’t want her to be a Skywalker special child, but I wasn’t opposed to her being Obi Wan’s love child or something. Yes, the reveal was anti-climatic, yes, I understand why they did it, but I didn’t really think her parentage was of any importance anyhow. However it was great to know she wasn’t descended from Anakin’s mother’s magical womb.
Jade: On the one hand, I think it’s kind of great. It would be a bit convenient if she were Luke’s daughter and Kylo was the son of Han and Leia and they just kind of happened to exist to fight. It is a bit anticlimactic, I agree, because this mystery was intentionally fueled over the course of a movie and a half. But this movie also had the idea that anyone could be a hero, so it also makes sense. I don’t know. On this, I suppose I can say that I’m conflicted. I’m also not entirely sure I believe Kylo since he wasn’t really pushing her to that “realization” out of the goodness of his heart. I’m not dismissing the possibility this answer changes in the next movie. If the truth remains that her parents were nobody, there is something kind of great about that on some level…but on another level, I’ll wish they hadn’t tried to pretend there was some big mystery to it to begin with. Because, honestly, it really wasn’t necessary.
Before the end, we got a reunion of Luke and Leia. Was it enough? What about the callback to Han? Just what you needed, or would you have liked more?
Lizzie: I think it was the perfect scene for this movie, aka the best they could do under the circumstances. It made me hella emotional, that’s for sure.
Lyra: Personally I think they hit a really good balance with the Leia and Luke reunion. For die-hard fans it could have been a little longer but I think they stuck true to the relationship that they had without losing themselves in the past or forgetting that there was a war to be fought. Plus, that’s what fanfiction is for.
Lariel: I mentioned above that for me, Timothy Zahn’s first Star Wars trilogy is canon. One of the major reasons is that feeling of family that he evoked throughout. TLJ’s reunion was sweet and sad, and right for the movie. But… this is going to be one of those canon movies that I pretty much disregard (as I did with Star Trek: Nemesis).
Chloe: I could have done with more from each of these characters and dynamics, but at the same point I liked that the new trio, if you will – Rey, Poe, and Finn – got to remain more or less centerstage. The reunion between Luke and Leia was sweet and heartbreaking; the callbacks to Han felt more understated. I was pretty satisfied.
Beata: I loved it. It was enough to give me all the feels, but not so much that I felt like it was taking away from the main plot of the story and the main characters.
Caryn: I would have taken all the Luke/Leia scenes they gave me and would not have complained about it, but I think it was perfect. Also Han Solo is my favorite character, so I appreciate the callbacks.
Jade: Of course I wanted more of them on some level, because I grew up with them and you never really get tired of seeing the heroes of your childhood together. That said, did I feel more was needed of the two of them together than I was given? No, I suppose not. The callback to Han, the humor, his words, the kiss…it is probably the most perfect scene in the entire movie, in my opinion.
Speculation time: With Luke now gone, and Carrie Fisher having passed away, how do you think they carry on? How do they write Leia off? How does Star Wars continue without the original trio?
Lizzie: I feel like they need to do a time jump, which hurts me because we’re going to miss SO MUCH. But that’s about the only way to write Carrie Fisher out, and boy, will that hurt. I also think the last scene of the movie set up Rey/Poe in a way that sorta came out of nowhere but that makes more sense than anything else in this movie, ship wise. So I guess that’s where we’re going.
Lyra: Bro…I just realized the original trio is gone. Mind blown. Hmmm…CGI for Carrie and flashbacks for Mark & Harrison if need be. The first two movies did a really great job of establishing this new world and I think it’s strong enough to survive Leia, Luke, and Han being gone. (I know Leia is still technically there in the movie verse, but just in case and moving on, I think our group of heroes will be ok.)
Lariel: One of the things I noticed was that we’re losing the original trio in reverse order of how we met them. Han went first, then Luke. We met Leia first, so I’m pretty sure she was going to become one with the Force by the end of Episode IX in any event, passing the lightsaber on to the new generation. But like I said at the beginning of this roundtable… where do they go from here? I have no idea.
Chloe: Based on the structure of TFA and TLJ, it does feel like Episode IX was meant to be Leia’s film – in the way the first was for Han, and the second for Luke. I think Carrie Fisher’s passing will have impacted the original plan, but I hope that Leia’s presence will still be felt and honored in the third film. I think that we will probably see a small time jump (up to a few years) that will be covered in the opening crawl, including Leia’s death. A podcast I listen to theorized that IX could even open with Leia’s funeral, which would allow characters the opportunity to mourn and celebrate her – that’s an idea I could certainly get behind. I imagine we will still get echoes of the original trio – perhaps through Force Ghosts, even if just of Luke? – but am also excited to see the new characters press on without these legends.
Beata: Like the others, I have no clue. I’m guessing they’ll have to kill her off off camera, but I don’t know how they’ll pull it off. I just hope they do Leia justice and give her a proper send off.
Caryn: I figured there would be a time jump between the films, which would include Leia’s death. I liked the idea that Chloe mentioned about the film starting with Leia’s funeral. I also think that the fact that Rey is able to harness the force correctly might help them to garner support and allies, and of course the scene at the end of the little boy on Canto Bight. I think this is the perfect opportunity for the Resistance to build itself up, and for them to strike Kylo Ren when he thinks he is comfortable again.
Jade: I honestly don’t know. They could show “her” from behind in an opening sequence in which her ship is blown up and kill her off that way. They could just say she’s off commanding troops or gathering allies and write her off without killing her off that way. With their supposed promise that they won’t CGI her next film, I’m not sure what else they can do – unless they can get really creative with whatever cut footage they have from TFA (since I understand none of her scenes were cut from this film). I do suspect Luke will be back as a Force Ghost because they’ll probably want that tie to the original trio in the final film, particularly since the original intention was that this third movie was supposed to be in good part about Leia. I just don’t entirely know how they do it at this point.
Finally, ship wise, where are you feelings? What do you ship?
Lizzie: I’ve shipped Stormpilot without much hope since TFA. I still ship it, but I have even less hope now. Like Caryn, though, I’m also okay with Rey/Poe (fine, I’m more than okay, I actively ship it), maybe because I love them both and also because Oscar Isaac really has chemistry with everyone and everything, including the droid.
Lyra: Is “shrug” an acceptable answer? I’m still collecting data on shipping in the Star Wars verse at the moment. >.<
Lariel: Eh… I don’t, actually. And maybe that’s a good thing, seeing characters outside of romantic relationships.
Chloe: I don’t feel especially committed to any particular ships, but if I had to choose, I’m definitely not opposed to StormPilot – and I might be coming around to Reylo. (But also, how does Poe have chemistry with literally everyone and everything? It’s astounding.)
Beata: My answer has not changed since the first time I saw The Force Awakens. The only thing I ship is StormPilot. There are a few ships I could live with, but that’s the only one I’m actually rooting for.
Caryn: I’m still crying for Han/Leia. But other than that I like Stormpilot although I doubt they will go that route, but I’m weirdly also okay with Rey/Poe, that came out of nowhere and I kinda liked it.
Jade: I don’t know that I am a die-hard fan of any ship, but after seeing how many in fandom totally dismiss Finn as a potential love interest – particularly for Rey – I would not be at all opposed to a FinnRey endgame. Finn is pretty great, Rey is pretty great, they obviously care about each other a lot, and I’m petty when it comes to fandoms totally dismissing awesome characters. Outside of that, I honestly would be open to just about any other ships. Except for Reylo. Sorry, mindrape does not a romantic date make and it never, ever will.
Let’s end it on a light note: Your favorite creatures?
Lizzie: I love the porgs, but if I have to choose between them and BB-8 I’ll eat them, no problem.
Lyra: I’m with Lizzie. Those damn Porgs. I will cuddle them and accept their meaty flesh if there is nothing to eat. (Don’t look at me like that. Girl is hungry.)
Lariel: I want one of those crystal foxes!
Chloe: Does BB-8 count? I’m also in love with the crystal foxes.
Beata: BB-8 and the foxes. Don’t make me choose!
Caryn: I’m going to be super basic and say that the porgs were the most adorable things I have ever seen.
Jade: BB-8 is absolutely precious. BB-8 running around inside of a trashcan, careening into walls and people is even more so. BB-8 cuddled up with a entire family of crystal foxes and their pet Porg? The most precious thing in that galaxy. Also, can someone draw that for me? Because the level of mental adorableness I have going on right now is kind of killing me.
Agree? Disagree? Share with us in the comments below!
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is in theaters now.