Characters are important to me. If I like a character and empathize with him/her and the situation, I’ll settle down and enjoy the story for what it is. The Star War movies have cranked out some memorable characters and adventures over the years. Even the Anakin trilogy (the first three about his turn to the Dark Side) are enjoyable because it’s about a man’s choices and the consequences of those choices-good or bad. I’ve counted on the fact that any Star Wars movie will give me a good adventure movie with memorable characters.
However, The Last Jedi broke that mold for me. Sure, The Last Jedi was a good movie. It had breathtaking scenes and cool fighting sequences, BUT I wasn’t sure what the movie was about. I’ve watched it three times and I’m not sure how I’m suppose to feel about any of the characters or where they’re at currently. If the goal of the movie was to be tonally confusing, I say the job was done well.
First of all, who’s Rose? Yes, I know she’s an lowly mechanic working on Princess Lei’s ship. Okay, sounds slightly interesting. She’s going to be the funny side kick character. Right?
Does she have jokes? Well no because she’s crying. I’m not sure why she’s crying until two minutes later it’s revealed her sister has died. I saw her sister sacrificed at the beginning of the movie. It was tragic, but after the tragic reveal, Rose instantly becomes enthralled with Finn and then they have a humorous back and forth which ends up with Finn being tranquilized and then they continue their humorous exchange.*
Then Rose and Finn leave the ship to go find a mysterious brilliant man who who knows how to work a device that will save the Resistance from destruction. They use an escape pod and arrive safely at Casino Land. They park illegally. Not sure if I care by this point because Rey’s training and talking to Kylo Ren through telepathy. Princess Lei is dying. Three more interesting development points then whatever Finn and Rose are doing.
Finally, the action accelerates when Rose and Finn are thrown in jail for parking illegally. They find a thief in jail (not the mysterious brilliant guy) and he helps them break out and destroy Casino Land. Somewhere during this time, Rose says she hates the Casino people because they enslave people and animals. She and her sister were enslaved. I feel a little empathetic now. Kind of wish there was flashback to really see this play out, but that’s okay.
Finn, and thief single handily destroy the city with the slave animals which they release. They proctor a ship and escape with an untrustworthy thief/hacker, but put all their faith in his skills anyway.
The guy betrays them. She and Finn almost die, but everyone knows they’re not because no one gives a final death speech and the general who’s suppose to kill them talks too much. But ships explode. There’s fire involved. Finn is finally given something exciting to do which is fight the general. The general loses and dies despite being a general with years of soldier experience. Finn and Rose are so lucky.
Then Finn and Rose escape with the Resistance to a desert island. The enemy follows. Finn decides he’s going to take on the whole army by himself. So basically commit suicide in a damaged jet contraption. Rose was helping Finn, but she turned around because she didn’t want to die.
But, Finn will die. Yet, the hugest plot hole happens and Rose manages to turn her damaged jet around and fly into Finn’s jet pushing him out of harm’s way (I’d like to point out Finn’s jet is still going in the same direction).** He gets a couple of scratches. The enemy stops shooting them so he can get out of his jet to run to her. She says a bunch of nice things because she’s near death and she kisses him.***
What? Why? There was no chemistry between the two, so I don’t understand. Anyway, I’m going to infer she’s never been kissed before so she figured why not kiss this guy. Finn carries her all the way back to their base without huge enemy tanks shooting them down. The enemy had bigger fish to fry and Rose’s kiss had a secret power that made them invisible to the enemy. Okay, the last part is not true, but that would have been interesting. Instead another plot hole happens and Finn carries Rose all the way back to their base and they escape with the Resistance.****The End.
In conclusion, Rose is not funny, but loves animals, hates the rich casino people, and is mourning the lost of her sister (sort of). And I got all of this through conversation. The only important thing Rose contributes to the plot is saving Finn in such a glaringly impossible way it took me out of the movie watching experience. Also Finn and Rose epic adventure seems like another story entirely, and wait. . .
Is this little arc really a second rate version of Finn and Rey’s adventure in Force Awakens? Except Finn and Rey’s journey included torture, a legendary light saber, 20x the fighting and peril, PTSD flashbacks, self discovery, and a friend’s death. Rey should have kissed Finn at the end.
And that’s my problem with Rose. There’s more telling than showing her emotions and what she can do. In fact, dare I say this, but the whole movie feels like a lot of thrilling situations thrown together. The Rose and Finn arc is only 1/3 of the movie!
What I really wanted was characters doing things that make me care about them. That was the biggest flaw of the The Last Jedi. There was no care for character development.
Finn is given the task of saving the Resistance, a Resistance he didn’t really care about in the first movie, so why this one? Why was he willing to sacrifice his life? The movie leaves us to wonder and infer it’s because of the animals and mistreatment of people like himself.
Rey who’s obliviously skilled beyond her years as a Jedi turns out to be a very talented happy-go-lucky nobody. There’s no explanation for her skill. No legendary ancestors. Just pure luck.
Life is more than luck and characters need more than luck to make them remembered and loved.
*All asterisks are moments I believe would have made for a good comedy or a sappy romance.