The new Star Wars abandons great themes for silly ones
National Post, 21 December 2017
The Last Jedi turns away from the great themes that dominated the previous films, the contest between power and mercy in the context of tyranny and paternity
When Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens was released two years ago, I noted that any spoilers were 38 years old, as it was basically a remake of the original Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope.
Same thing this time around. Episode VIII: The Last Jedi has so many scenes that are taken straight from The Empire Strikes Back and The Return of the Jedi that it becomes comical. But be warned: spoilers do follow.
Indeed, so much does the new Star Wars recycle the old Star Wars that when we finally arrive at the rebel base on what appears to be an ice planet, an extra has to pipe up to inform us that it is salt, not snow, that we see.
Leave aside the bad film-making. What to make of the story? When we first met the Jedi back in 1977, the film was entitled A New Hope. In The Last Jedi hope is dying. The characters speak of it constantly, but as something diminishing — a “spark” — or having completely disappeared.
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