Prequels, Hate, and the Jedi
January 11th, 2018
How the Star Wars: The Last Jedi and the prequels redeem and substantiate each other
A single film has probably never left the galaxy so divided as has Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Reviews range from high praise to petitions to strike it from canon altogether. Before one writes this movie off, it is advisable to do some research and read multiple reviews after seeing the film to kind of help come to your conclusion. The film is a bit clunky, and some elements don’t make a lot of sense, but overall it still is a solid film. Matthew Gault, who writes for Motherboard, gives credit to The Last Jedi for bringing a new understanding to the hated prequel films. “One of the many reasons I love Star Wars: The Last Jedi is that it redeems the prequels. I loved the world of the prequels because they were movies about prophecy gone wrong. Anakin is a messiah who’s an antichrist. Worse, the Jedi aren’t the noble knights of legend, but a lazy priest class that lets Anakin become Vader. The Last Jedi knows this. Luke Skywalker knows this, and he makes damn sure that Rey and the audience learn from the mistakes of the past. It recontextualizes the prequels and reinforces what I loved about them.” He goes on to talk about how the Jedi class were a bunch of egotistical priests who created a system of exclusion to control who they let join and rejected. As is mentioned in the article the measurement of Midichlorians in the blood turned out to be one giant religious control mechanism. There are many glaring examples in the prequels of how the Jedi are full of hubris and their self-righteous agenda. To sum it up, the prequels are merely about a society in decline, and the new trilogy is supposed to be about the rebirth of hope. This would make sense for why Luke wants the Jedi class to die with him.
It is not without its faults. The dialogue at times can be clunky and unoriginal. Some of the humour was unnecessary. There was a mess of undeveloped new characters that only got a backstory through passive stories. There were also some physical impossibilities; I’m looking at you force ghost Yoda! While most of these details are minor for the majority of people, there are groups out there that want to go as far as to erase it from canon completely. Henry Walsh created a petition not only to get it stricken from canon but to push back the production of Episode IX and to remake Episode VIII. It has garnered more than 45,000 signatures so Emperor Palpatine would be pleased with the number of people that are letting the hate flow through them. No one is immune to being unsure of their devotion to either the Jedi or the Sith, and there are instances of sides being crossed. Henry Walsh would eventually retreat to a more unsure stance. He has since released a statement that he was on heavy painkillers at the time due to a recent car accident. He admitted to making an impossible petition and that there was no way Disney would remake the movie and that he was just trying to blow off some steam in his altered state of consciousness. He still dislikes the film, but he has softened his rage.
While not perfect it still has many pleasing moments, and with a little help from other points in the expanded universe, it can be argued to be a worthwhile piece of the Star Wars canon. It also would be an extreme disservice to Carrie Fisher’s last performance to hate the movie completely. The film is a solid 6 out of 10 and is worth the watch if only to bridge The Force Awakens and Episode IX.