- Last Active
I like this take about the tonality of the film:
". But a dispassionate examination of events as they unfold in the film reveals that, at its heart, The Last Jedi is a bleak and unremitting tragedy. Johnson just never quite musters the courage to let the audience feel it.
Here are just a few of the uplifting developments that befall General Leia’s Resistance:
- Poe defies a direct order and gets the entire Resistance bombing fleet, half its fighter pilots, and the bulk of its military leadership wiped out. (We’ll talk more about Poe later. That f’ing guy.)
- Finn and Rose rush off to disable the First Order tracker but fail because they are jailed for a parking violation, though they did free those horse things.
- Luke tells Rey to buzz off and refuses to leave his island of self-exile.
- Kylo chooses the dark side.
- The last-ditch plan to save the Resistance by launching transporters to an abandoned base is leaked by Poe (who, by the way, led a mutiny, the f’ing guy), picked up by Finn and Rose’s random criminal companion, and in turn leaked to the First Order, leading to hundreds of deaths among the remaining Rebels.
- The Resistance’s desperate call for help is ignored across the galaxy and a handful of Rebels barely escape through Luke sacrificing his life. The End.
I mean, that is some awful, awful stuff. Like I said: a tragedy.
But ... does it feel like that?
Take the Finn-and-Rose casino storyline. Many people have criticized it for being a waste of time that had no effect on the larger plot. Technically, though, it had an enormous plot consequence: It tipped off the First Order to the existence of the transports and led to their wholesale destruction. It triggered the final blow that wiped out the Resistance. It was, in retrospect, a horrific and fateful miscalculation on every level.
It feels inessential, though, because it’s not played as a mistake or a tragedy. It’s played as a madcap romp. Even afterward, Finn and Rose do not seem particularly troubled that they played a direct role in the death of thousands of their fellow Rebels. Johnson never slows down and lets it sink in."