Nostalgia Screwed Me Over Again in Star Wars Episode VIII

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Image credit: Movie Pilot

Well friends, it’s that time of year again: another Star Wars movie to get excited about! I must say that this time around I was a little more excited about the nostalgia aspect of this movie rather than Force Awakens, which left me completely in the lurch. With Last Jedi I was excited by the posters and how they were, aesthetically, an inviting time warp back to the 1970s, rather than a newfangled labyrinth of multiple characters blending in to one another and all encompassed by a giant lightsbaber or Darth Vader mask. As to the movie itself, nostalgia screwed me over again!

The film picks up where Force Awakens left off, with Rey finding Luke Skywalker in the hope of recruiting him to help the Resistance overthrow the First Order, ruled by Overlord Snoke and Kylo Ren. Meanwhile the Resistance, led by Princess Leia, faces troubles keeping out of the First Order’s clutches as they are ambushed and left with limited fuel and a tracking beacon aboard their fleet. Finn awakes with a risky plan to disarm the tracker, but time is against him as their enemies close in.

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Image credit: Film School Rejects

Director Rian Johnson doesn’t so much make a Star Wars movie with this flick rather pays homage to the original classics and it really just proves that maybe the franchise should not have been continued… The thing that annoyed me most of all with The Last Jedi is its almost shot-for-shot, plot point-to-plot point resemblance to both Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. So many huge and climactic scenes are carbon copies of the originals that decrease the suspense and thrills and completely throws off the pacing of the entire film with where they occur within the story. So many scenes that are obviously meant to be really dramatic and significant end on an anticlimactic note and, as if in response to this, the film continues to roll on rather than just end. Then we have the added appearance of random cute critters that really have no place in the story other than to make people squeak with “aw”, which is a pretty lame writer’s move and a little reminiscent of the prequels, which many of us don’t care to recall.

In the catch-22 that is fast-becoming this instalment of the series, nostalgia is working against me –seeing as I can only speak for myself. Force Awakens promised to transport me back to being a kid and watching A New Hope and then totally reneged. This time around I was expecting nothing -the safest mindset to be in- and I was still screwed over as I felt warm nostalgia with plots, which are totally those of Empire and Return of the Jedi, got excited at the feeling, and then proceeded to suffer from massive displacements of time as scenes from the end of Return happened before opening scenes of Empire and argh *goes cross-eyed*. As a result of this I found myself feeling that the entire film lacked original flavour, it was simply loaded with MSG, and I didn’t care about any of the characters, what they stood for, or what they were doing. Indeed, my enjoyment of the movie came from being that person who was making comments and laughing at my own jokes throughout the film.

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Image credit: Vulture

While CGI has progressed to the point of being able to cast dead actors –may Carrie Fisher rest in peace- I still felt that this movie was a little overloaded with it, thus suffering a little as the prequels did with Hollywood techno-glamour and two-dimensional characters.

I love Star Wars, I really do, but the franchise has not so much been resurrected from the shambles of the prequels as sewn together from the dead and dismembered parts a la Frankenstein and I am finding myself more and more disillusioned as the starry blue credits and accompanying fanfare roll.

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