A bold and visually-stunning film, The Last Jedi is one that will likely keep a place in your mind days after you have seen it. To that end, Liam, Simone, and Amelia, from the Tulpa team decided to discuss the latest happenings in the galaxy far, far away.
Firstly, how did The Last Jedi follow up on The Force Awakens?
Simone: I think this film took where JJ Abrams left off and went into over-drive. There’s so much just more here; more action, more characters, more story, more Kylo Ren being the most strangely attractive man in the franchise. It was far better than anything I expected.
Amelia: I thought it was an interesting follow up because The Force Awakens had a more straightforward plot, and this seemed a bit like the earlier trilogies [being] over the place plot wise, but I think rather because it had so many different elements to it and trying to tie them all together. I liked how they were including references to the Star Wars TV shows as well.
Liam: Narratively it follows very directly on but feels like a completely different beast. Where The Force Awakens was compelling but familiar, this felt like a tearing-up of the script. Anything could happen in this movie – and very frequently did.
What of the balance between the old and new characters?
Simone: I felt the balance of new characters was handled really well. Pairing them off in story lines with older characters allowed for them to be introduced and explored by bouncing off the dynamics and conflicts in a really satisfying way. It was also really exciting that all the new major characters were women.
Amelia: Once they connected the old characters to the new characters it’s logical to start phasing them out [see Han, The Force Awakens], especially before they all die of old age (poor Carrie). Episode IX will be interesting.
Liam: This felt a bit like a passing-of-the-torch moment. Episode VII started that but Episode VIII continues it. That’s not to say that the wonderful characters we remember from the original trilogy aren’t still a welcome and active part of the story. The fight against the First Order feels like it ought to be won by Rey, Finn, and Poe, not Leia, Luke, and Han.
Where do we think Episode IX will go?
Simone: I think the best way for Episode IX to go would be to properly dissolve the Jedi Order. And for Finn and Poe to bang.
Amelia: They seem pretty intent on ending the Jedi and the Sith. Ultimately I reckon either both Kylo and Rey will die, or they’ll live in exile together quietly arguing about how to use the Force.
Liam: I think we’ll see the beginning of a new Jedi Order that isn’t so backward-looking and embraces a future. I feel that’s the direction the series is going as well; becoming something new, that’s less governed by its past.
Perhaps the most important question of all: should Kylo Ren be redeemed?
Simone: Part of me does want Kylo to redeem himself but I’ve always been a fan of the redemption arc. Prince Zuko is the best part of Avatar the Last Airbender.
Amelia: Kylo Ren redemption, no. I think it’s going to happen, because they spent Episode VIII giving him complexities, and motivations, and personality. But I don’t want it to happen. It’s like all the murder and grief he’s caused would suddenly be forgiven with no consequences
Liam: There’s a moment when Kylo Ren and Rey are almost re-enacting a scene between Darth Vader and Luke. That Ren then goes on to undercut expectation by utterly diverging from the course that scene went last time made me feel like that was a very pointed way of saying (as Luke himself said) ‘this won’t go the way you think’. He shouldn’t follow Vader’s arc. He should stay evil.
Each gave a final note of the film. Beware – spoilers beyond this point.
Simone: It was like they were deliberately trying to break the mould after everyone accused Episode VII of simply rehashing A New Hope. I also like the exploration of Kylo’s back story which really paints him to be a more sympathetic character. It’s not a black and white situation. Kylo has good reason to hate Luke. Ultimately he just comes off as a sad kid who was failed by everyone who was supposed to help him. I can’t imagine Han and Leia were the best parents. Neither of them had the most normal upbringings, they probably struggled with trying to raise their son, especially one as powerful as Ben.
Amelia: Favourite element? The humour was a nice surprise. I was also surprised how Snoke just got killed off, because he was supposed to be this Emperor Palpatine-type figure and then the apprentice kills the master. But then again, unlike The Force Awakens, I felt like this film actually started to branch out into new territory, instead of having a death star planet and shadowy empire etc.
Liam: I felt Kylo Ren had a much more satisfying arc this film. His conflict is still there and he’s not a standard villain creating evil schemes for no reason. It seemed like he genuinely thought his actions good for the galaxy. The furthering of the stories for the other characters felt satisfying except for Snoke and Phasma who I felt got short changed. The inclusion of Rose was excellent. She proved to be an immediately likeable character who got a wonderful moment with the animals at the casino stables.
And a final rating?
Simone: Five stars. And a screaming porg.
Amelia: Four-and-a-half stars.
Liam: Four stars.
Words by Liam McNally, Simone Corletto, and Amelia Hughes.