Since the release of The Force Awakens, the Star Wars sequel trilogy has generated passionate debate among fans. Amid that debate, an extremely vocal contingency of devotees has seemingly made it their mission in life to deride the movies as much as possible.
While no one is saying that the sequel trilogy is perfect, there are just so many aspects that fans misinterpret. Yet, seeing them with an open mind would reveal that most of what fans complain about have simple explanations. Here are 10 such example ‘problems’ that aren’t what they seem.
10 The First Order Isn’t Threatening
The similarities between the First Order and the Galactic Empire are impossible to deny. Yet, many fans have dismissed the First Order as the lesser of the two for a multitude of different reasons. But while no governing body will ever top the Empire in terms of cunning, the First Order isn’t to be taken lightly either. They are much more radical than their predecessors, with their leaders (especially General Hux) exhibiting the passionate, narcissistic tendencies of religious zealots, while their inexperience and unchecked power make them more prone to making reckless decisions that could cost countless lives. This paints the First Order as a cult-like entity whose actions could end all life in the galaxy.
9 Too Many Things Happen For No Reason
A major gripe that some fans had with The Last Jedi was the fact that many of the subplots went nowhere. The whole Canto Bight scene, for example, was a messy affair that fans labeled an example of ‘sloppy’ writing. Yet, the old adage ‘everything happens for a reason’ is not a binding resolution that every writer has to abide by.
Many writers have successfully embraced nihilism, and shows like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead have proved that casual audiences could embrace such material. While it’s implantation in The Last Jedi wasn’t for everyone, many would argue that such elements didn’t so much hurt the plot, but rather make it feel more grounded and more realistic from a certain standpoint.
8 The Characters Make Too Many Mistakes
A constant critique of the new cast of characters in the sequel trilogy is that they are mistake prone. As is the case with the last entry, characters end up making decisions that blow up in their faces. Again, disgruntled fans used this as ammunition against The Last Jedi and Ryan Johnson’s storytelling abilities. However, can you really blame Rey, Poe, and Finn? As online critic Bob ‘MovieBob’ Chipman mentioned in a video essay on the movie, mistakes will happen when young, inexperienced characters are forced into leadership positions for the first time. In the end, they learned from their mistakes, and their characters developed as a result.
7 The Force Is Inconsistent
When the ghost of Yoda summoned a lightning strike to destroy the tree containing the sacred Jedi texts, many audiences were caught off guard. This, coupled with Luke’s appearance as a force vision and Lea’s flight in a force bubble, left some fans confused over the alleged inconsistencies in what the force can and cannot do.
Yet again, the force is living energy whose power has shown in the past to be wildly unpredictable. Also, who says that the force cannot evolve, or that new abilities could never be discovered? And is there a law saying that future writers and directors cannot create new, never before seen abilities? The possibilities are limitless.
6 Rey’s Parentage Issue
One of the biggest plot twists in The Last Jedi was the revelation that Rey’s parents were never really that big a deal in the first place. As a result, many fans were angered by this revelation and felt cheated after it was extensively tested in The Force Awakens. While the revelation was disheartening, that was the whole point. We were supposed to feel Rey’s disappointment at the realization that she came from nothing. But this revelation opens up a world of possibilities Without an important bloodline behind her, Rey is essentially a hero who came from nothing to become something great. Simply put, Rey is setting a new standard in the Star Wars universe, where merit and achievement are placed above familial ties, ranks, and prestigious names.
5 Luke’s Characterization
The single most polarizing aspect of The Last Jedi was the film’s depiction of Luke Skywalker as a fallen hero. While it’s normal to feel upset at this revelation, saying that it was inconsistent with his character completely ignores the larger picture. For starters, Jedi are prone to going into exile after a nasty defeat, and Luke’s fall from grace is no exception.
The fact that Luke inadvertently caused the death of countless Jedi and exasperated an already costly war, all because of a lapse of judgment, is enough to drive anyone over the edge. It doesn’t help either that the men in the Skywalker family are prone to poor decision making and self-destructive behavior, as we’ll see below with Luke’s nephew.
4 Kylo Ren Is Too Emotional
There are a few commentators who claim that Kylo Ren is a lousy villain. His critics claim that he’s weak, ineffective, and too emotional. But fans who feel as such haven’t been paying close attention. If anything, the Skywalkers are typically impulsive, emotionally wrought, and let their feelings dictate their actions. Anakin, for example, spent the better part of an entire trilogy consumed by constant anxiety over losing those he loved. When his greatest fears were realized he broke down, and he became the spiteful, coldhearted tyrant we know as Darth Vader. With that in mind, it’s safe to say that Kylo’s genetics had a hand in his development as a character.
3 The Movies Have A Political Agenda
A particularly annoying criticism is that the sequel trilogy is attempting to push a progressive agenda. Online reactionaries have accused Disney of trying to push an anti-white/anti-male agenda, evidenced by the diverse cast and the placement of women and minorities in leading roles. While it’s not out of the question that the movies lean left, the same goes for the entire saga. The entire franchise has revolved around a disdain for authoritarianism and prejudice, which shouldn’t be partisan issues in the first place. Also…
2 The Diversity Is Forced
…why on earth are we still having this conversation in 2019? Like it or not, movie audiences are more diverse than ever before, and therefore it makes sense for movie studios to pursue a wider variety of casting options.
Having equal representation has the benefit of making movies more accurately resemble society as a whole. Not everyone is identical, that’s always the way the world’s been, and our movies should be the same.
1 Rey Is A Mary Sue
A common accusation thrown around is that Daisy Ridley’s character Rey is just too perfect to be taken seriously. Ignoring the fact that Star Wars heroes regularly pull off spectacular feats of bravery with little to no experience, calling Rey a Mary Sue is a disservice to her character. Rey isn’t all that different than how Luke was presented in the original trilogy. She has strong morals, an enduring sense of hope, and a commitment to do what she thinks is right. Also, considering that she spent most of her life homeless on a hostile planet full of thieves, it makes sense that she knows how to defend herself. And her force sensitive abilities only add to the strength of her character, showing that she has untapped potential that’s waiting to be discovered. She is a new hero for a new generation, and not only is calling her a Mary Sue degrading but inaccurate.