Last week I wrote an article about Yoda’s cameo in The Last Jedi, explaining why it didn’t work within the framework of the Star Wars universe. Another scene that I found to be highly problematic was the ending itself, which discards logic and continuity in favor of cheap emotional gimmicks. Here are five major issues with the ending of The Last Jedi (major spoilers ahead):
5) Rose’s Sacrifice
While flying toward a battering ram cannon, Finn fails to collide with the weapon when Rose intervenes. Justifying her bizarre action, Rose explains, “We’re going to win this war not by fighting what we hate, but saving what we love.”
Of course, Rose places the entire Rebel Fleet in jeopardy by saving Finn, who, by attempting to sacrifice himself, was also acting to save the people he loves. In contrast to Rose’s ostensible heroism in The Last Jedi, the sacrifices of Han Solo, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and even Darth Vader exemplify selfless attitudes without endangering the lives of innocent people.
4) No Lightsaber Duel
After building up to an epic showdown, The Last Jedi fails to deliver a proper duel between Kylo Ren and Luke Skywalker—whose lightsabers never clash during the climactic scene. While one can argue that the Prequel Trilogy fights were both flashy and over stylized, every Star Wars movie should feature at least one lightsaber duel at some point in the final act. Instead, The Last Jedi attempts to cheat the audience with its “swing and miss” routine involving Ren and Skywalker.
3) Force Projection
When attempting to deliver a killing blow, Kylo realizes that he had been fighting a holographic version of Luke. Despite resolving the battle with an unexpected twist, the “Force projection” concept lacks a compelling basis in the Star Wars universe. In fact, if experienced Force users can project their bodies across the galaxy, viewers may question why the Jedi never used this technique in past engagements with the Sith. During his time on the Death Star, for example, Obi-Wan could have simply “tricked” Darth Vader with a Force projection, allowing him to escape with Luke, Han, and Princess Leia—at least according to the new Star Wars canon.
2) Luke’s Death
Exhausted from his “duel” with Kylo, Luke collapses and dies peacefully while gazing at the twin suns of Ahch-To. Though a poignant homage to A New Hope, Luke’s death scene makes little sense within a logical context.
Earlier in the film, for instance, Leia—a non-Jedi with no Force training—creates a seal around her body while exposed to the vacuum of outer space, allowing her to survive the experience. In Revenge of the Sith, Anakin loses three of his limbs and suffers third-degree burns over his entire torso, strengthening his connection to the dark side instead of killing him. Luke, on the other hand, fails to project his image for several minutes without dying of exertion—much in contrast to his father and sister, who endure traumatic injuries and still manage to survive.
1) Lack of Emotional Impact
Similar to Ben Kenobi in the original film, Luke creates a diversion at the cost of his own life. Prior to that point in the movie, however, the audience hadn’t been primed for a sacrifice of such magnitude, leaving viewers with a hollow feeling over Luke’s untimely demise. It doesn’t help that Rey, Leia, and the other characters refuse to mourn the fallen Jedi, instead taking solace in Luke’s ultimate joining with the Force—an emotionally cheap and lazy sendoff for the most heroic character in the Star Wars saga.
What did you think of the ending of The Last Jedi? Share your thoughts in the comment section.
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