5 ways 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' left me so confused

Change is hard, but the newest Star Wars movie doesn't hold back from rewriting the rules of the series.

Mike Sorrentino Senior Editor
Mike Sorrentino is a Senior Editor for Mobile, covering phones, texting apps and smartwatches -- obsessing about how we can make the most of them. Mike also keeps an eye out on the movie and toy industry, and outside of work enjoys biking and pizza making.
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Mike Sorrentino
5 min read

Rian Johnson has some balls.

"Star Wars: The Last Jedi," now in theaters, has brought giant changes to the way the galaxy far, far away works. And you know what? Change is hard. 

I'm thrilled the writer-director decided not to play it safe and directly retread "The Empire Strikes Back." But that also means he was willing to take the risk of leaving audience members with a bad taste.

For some viewers, that appears to be the case. While critical reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, audience reaction is substantially more divisive. This can be seen in the film's Rotten Tomatoes score. As of Tuesday, 55 percent of the audience liked it versus 93 percent of critics, according to the movie site. It's also apparent in the posted comments calling out plot points that threw viewers off.

To be clear, I do echo the sentiment in my colleague Rich Trenholm's review, who found the film to be a gorgeous, epic tale. But after viewing the movie a second time, I still have a handful of sticking points.

This story is going to dive straight into spoilers. So if you haven't seen the film, check out our guide for getting ready for "The Last Jedi," watch the movie and then tell me what you think in the comments section.


The Jedi Order is dead


The Jedi are not gone, but the Jedi Order appears to be.


While Luke Skywalker doesn't become the last Jedi, he certainly is the end of the traditional Jedi Order. I can't underscore how big a shift this is, as the history of the Jedi Order stretches over the course of 1,000 generations. Skywalker shows Rey that the Order should end by presenting how the tradition led to both his father, Anakin Skywalker, and nephew, Ben Solo, joining the Sith. Seeing Yoda appear in Force ghost form to help blow up the Jedi tree was radical.

But the ways of the Jedi aren't necessarily gone. It appears Rey was able to swipe the sacred Jedi texts from Ach-To -- they appear in a drawer opened by Finn at the end of the movie. But will she read them? Yoda did say "page turners, they were not." Speaking of Yoda ...

Watch this: 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' spoilers and reactions

When the heck did Force ghosts get powers?


Admit it, seeing Yoda return made you happy.

Lucasfilm Ltd.

When Yoda appeared to Luke, I was absolutely elated. But then, he conjured a lightning bolt that burned down a tree.

It's been known since "A New Hope" that deceased Jedi can become part of the Force, and can even offer guidance to individuals. But "The Last Jedi" is the first time we've seen a Force ghost physically interact with the environment after they passed away.

What are the limits to these powers? And if the Jedi can do this, where the heck is the ghost of Obi-Wan Kenobi? Why isn't there an army of deceased Jedi helping Rey, Finn and Leia out?

And regarding mysterious, special powers ...

When did the Force allow for space travel?


General Leia Organa is more powerful than we could have imagined.


I'm so happy Carrie Fisher got scenes that showcased Leia Organa's connection to the Force. If anyone deserved to be able to magically fly through space during a battle, it was certainly her. But that's the problem: Space travel has never been a Force power in the movies before. Perhaps it's a combination of using the Force as a shield while also telepathically propelling herself through space, or maybe it's a new power altogether?

Either way, it does appear that it's not the kind of power that any Force-sensitive individual should tap into often. Leia slipped into a coma after saving herself, but she thankfully was strong enough to wake up and fight through the conclusion of the movie.

Johnson does have an answer to how Leia was able to summon this ability, comparing it to a survival instinct.

"It would be something in these final moments to show that she's not done with the fight. And like a drowning person pulling herself back, that's how it manifests itself for the first time in her," Johnson said at a Q&A session, reports Entertainment Weekly.

No such luck for Admiral Ackbar, who died after being pulled into the vacuum of space during the same battle.

Meanwhile, over on the Dark Side ...

Gwendoline Christie needs to be Captain Phasma again, somehow

I need more of Phasma in my life.


We didn't get enough Captain Phasma in "The Force Awakens," and sadly that holds true in "The Last Jedi." Apart from the absolutely gorgeous battle she had with Finn, complete with fire reflecting off her metallic suit, the most human moment we get is seeing part of her face before plummeting to her likely doom in an exploding ship.

It being Star Wars, I wouldn't be surprised if a novel, book or cartoon reveals she somehow survived what looks to be a pretty dire fate. This happened with Darth Maul, who, after his presumed death in "The Phantom Menace," became part of "The Clone Wars" and "Star Wars Rebels" TV series. But Darth Maul never re-appeared in the live-action movies. I fear we've seen the last of Gwendoline Christie's portrayal of the character. It would be a sad way to see the "Game of Thrones" actress go out.

J.J. Abrams, can you please prove me wrong with Episode IX?

Everything about Rey


We got answers about Rey, and they're not great.


We got plenty of answers about Rey in "The Last Jedi," and I'm afraid it's not what I wanted to hear. Rey spends much of the movie looking for a new parental figure, leading her to explore a cave on Ach-To containing an infinity of reflections of herself. A few snaps later (literally), and the only answer she finds is yet another reflection of herself.

The apparent answer of Rey's parentage was disappointing. In an exchange with Kylo Ren, he reveals that her parents sold her off for drinking money and died in a pauper's grave. While Johnson isn't confirming that the truth to her origin ends there (Episode IX is still to come, after all), he does say the idea that Rey isn't connected to the Skywalker family was intentional.

"I was thinking, what's the most powerful answer to that question? Powerful meaning: What's the hardest thing that Rey could hear? That's what you're after with challenging your characters," Johnson said, reports Entertainment Weekly.

It's exciting that the newest Force-wielding character isn't necessarily a Skywalker, but the story as it currently stands is a bit of a downer.

Also, after their amazing cooperative wipeout of Snoke and the Praetorian Guards, Rey was totally considering taking Kylo Ren up on his offer to let the Resistance and the First Order die in favor of starting up their own empire. She turns him down, but she's a wild card.

Do you agree with any of these points? Or do you have your own issues with "The Last Jedi" spinning in your head? Add them to the comments and let's discuss.

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