I have to tell first, that I absolutly enjoyed The Last Jedi. I originally didn't had time to reserve a movie ticket, but then because of a family tragedy (my grandma died that morning) I suddently had a free day off, so to ease my mind, I went to the biggest movie in Budapest, and asked people in the last minutes before the start of the Pre-premiere-marathon, if they still have a free ticket for me. So I watched the film among the first people in Hungary, and then I remained in the movie, and watched it 2 more times on the same day. A few weeks later, when I had more free time, I went back to watch it with friends. So I know all the easter eggs, the hidden backstories, the little details, etc. And I think, it was more than a movie, it was more like a magic trick. And sadly, it also makes me remember the day I lost my grandma, who was a little bit like the old Luke Skywalker in her last years. So I was feeling myself like Rey watching all the things I lost that day.
Still, I think, its not a perfect movie, and it had some serious flawns which I hope will be improved in the future trilogy made by Rian Johnson. I have to tell, contrary to the mainstream critics, I enjoyed mostly the plotlines in Canto Bight and the story line on the island with Luke, I could watch it more (I hope to see the deleted scenes here), while the spacewar part was more conventional, I think. And I think, it suffered a lot from the same flawns, like the Force Awakens: it copied to much of the plotlines of the original trilogy, in some aspects it was a remake. (I really hope, that the new trilogy will not make the same mistake: we need more originality instead of remakes.) Still, I enjoyed in some extent even this, so generally it was a good movie.
But on the other hand, I could understand, why some people think, that the new trilogy is destroying Star Wars. Because, in some extent, it uses unnecessary destruction among the original characters. Please, note the word: "unneccesary". To understand what I mean, I will tell a few background information.
I watched Star Wars (New Hope) for the first time when I was only 4 years old together with my parents. I watched it on a small black and white Yunost tv-machine (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsNcyxxkbqw
), the pinnacle of soviet technology, and it was the main TV-night event in a time, when there was only 1 TV-chanel in all the country, and even that chanel was broadcasting only a few hours per day, sometimes in bad quality. (Most people didn't even had telephones in their home, there was only a few street call-stations for cases of emergency.) The funny thing is, that it was not a sci-fi film for us. It was the middle of the Cold War, when president Reagen was talking all day long about Nuclear War, Star Wars-Laser Weapon program, etc. So the communist state was presenting Star Wars not as much as a fairy tale in space, but as an education tool for the masses: The Death Star was Reagen's Laser Space Station, which he wants to use on Easter Europe to destroy us all, like Alderaan. Everyone was scared, especially the adults (it was like a reverse horror-movie, we children had to sit there with our parents, so they where not got scared so easily
). We children just started to realise, what is happening around us in the World by watching this film.
At that time, because of Communism, most west-made movies where forbidden to watch. We have watched every foreign movie only after a 3-5 years delay, with a lot of censure. Action movies, criminal series where more accessibble, because it showed the dark side of the Western "Decadent Capitalist" World: corruption, poverty, perversion, drugs, vandalism, violence, criminal bands ruling everything. Still, the communist authorities didn't want the common people to think, that people on the West could have the newest cars, televisions, frigiders, video-tapes, etc, which people could not posses in our countries, so even this movies have to wait a few years, before they could pass the cenzorship. We where like a country light-years away from the West: we watched the past of the movie-world of that hemisphere. First it was the same with Star Wars too. When the first critics have surfaced about it, most people was not knowing, what it was about. A few people for example recieved a video tape about a Japanese copycat sci-fi film (I think, its called Message from Space: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEmGbpgRzNE
), and they where thinking, this was the original Star Wars of George Lucas, so they have written an article about this in a mainstream newspaper. (
) Other people heard rumors about a trilogy (the sequels where allready presented in the USA before the first episode was showed in movie theaters in Hungary), and they also heard, that there will be 9 episodes together, 3 prequel, 3 sequel, and a lot of other things. Thinking back about that time, its suprising, how much of this was common knowledge among the kids, even Anakin Skywalkers story was well-known in gossip (how he had fallen in magma after fighting Obi van Kenobi), literally decades before it was made a movie. (To understand, why it is suprising: at that time the only people who could hear this kind of News where the people, who could travel freely back and forth between the West and East, so people, who where probably working for the local branch of the secret police /a puppet office of KGB/ and maybe in the same time for the CIA, and for example, if you where a too big fan of Karl May's Winnetou-novels (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winnetou
), then you could land in jail for being an USA spy talking with real native americans /this really happened to somebody/. The same was true for Star Wars.)
Everything changed after the fall of communism. After that, people where thinking, that the Empire in Star Wars represented the Russian Empire. The Jedi symbolised traditional religions, like Christianity, which was forbidden in Communism (for example my father almost lost his job as translator, when once I -- being only a 5 years old child not understanding this society -- was telling in public kindergarten, that we used to visit Christian Masses on weekends, this is how I learned from early on, that I should keep it as a secret, that I read the Bible for example. People in the West will learn this only now, with the mass-surveliance states created after 9/11, how it is to live in a totalitarian Police State, when even your family members are marked as Enemies of the State for telling the wrong thing to somebody, or for simply knowing wrong people.). This way, Star Wars represented our fight for national freedom, allmost all the former Star Wars novels and comics where translated to our language, and even unauthorised/illegal original novels and books where written by the most popular Hungarian writers of that era. (Later I have seen some of this early stories resurfaced in western comics and computer games, I think, some of the Hungarian IT programmers working on the projects presented this ideas in the West, like the story of the Force Unleashed computer games are very similar to the Hungarian novels written by Gáspár András and Nyulászi Zsolt in 1991-92: http://monty.blog.hu/2011/09/28/konyv_s ... er_crispin
.) So when Timothy Zahn was writing his superb novels telling the story, that the era of New Republic and Democracy was not an era of total freedom and happines, and the fight against the Empire was not over, everybody read this as a kind of warning to Society at Large: the fight is not over, you should make a lifelong struggle to fix the future as we want to see it. (While we watched horrified in real life, that our Democracy was abused: the winners of the new Society where the same communist elites, who have taken away our freedom during the time of oppression.) This is why Star Wars was so important for us, and this is why we read all the future EU (now Legends) novels for decades after this. So for us, old fans in Eastern Europe, and for our children and grandchildren the characters represented only in novels, comics, computer games, etc. represented our role models, fictional family members and allmost religious icons. It was not only a strange article in the Wookiepedia for us, it was part of our everyday life, of our common mythology.
And suddently JJ Abrams killed them all, just like that, unnecessarly. And why? Because he wanted to sell more Chewbacca toys.
You understand the absurdity?
So I dont agree with the popular critic, that it was the Last Jedi, which destroyed the Star Wars, most of the damage was allready created by the Force Awakens. In the new trilogy, the original heroes (Han Solo, Leia, Luke Skywalker) look like a band of idiots, loosers and misfits, most of the story background is illogical, out of character. Why would Leia and Han call their child as Ben Solo? They hardly knew the original Ben Kenoby (Leia was knowing him only as Obi van Kenobi)? Why not call him for example Bail (Organa) Solo? Or Tobias (Backett) Solo? Why is it, that Luke has no family of his own? (The worst theory I didn't even said yet, but if I remember it rightly, King Arthur was killed by a traitor, who was also his illegitime son from sex with his malevolent sister, so it is possible, that Ben Solo is called Ben, because in reality he is the son of Luke from before the time Luke and Leia knew, they where siblings, and Han was in karbonite? So this is why Luke had no family of his own?) What happened to this characters? Their life ended after Return of the Jedi, and they never achieved anything? And all the other characters we loved? Mara Jade? Jason and Jaina? Talon Karrde? Lando, the big and sucessfull businessman?
And the new meta-back-story: the First Order as Putins Russia, and the resistance as the Ukrainian freedom fighters? The same Ukrainians, who forbid for the Hungarians to talk in their own mother language (it is still like that today)? The present proxy-wars of the USA looks heroic only if you didnt have to watch the everyday horrors and end-results of it, like the mass-genocide in the Near East, and the EU-refugee situations created by it. Its a very narrow, USA-centric view of the World!
Most people got disillusioned after watching the Force Awakens ( a lot of people watched it only because they where hoping for a new Star Wars movie, but after watching it for the first time, they where not watching it again for a secund time, they where feeling, they are watching a spiritlesss copycat movie like that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NR59Dybwux8
), and while the Last Jedi tries to fix a few details, it still restores only fragments of the original fame.
The most sad thing is that Star Wars is a sci-fi universe, with unlimited possibility to creativity and new details. For example, you could make basically the same films, while writing only a few background details differently.
Like: After the Yuzhaan Vong war most people in the former New Republic got disillusioned with democracy and pacifism, whatching the destruction it made possible. So the same First Order recieves popularity. Leia has seen the trouble on the horizont, she starts to work on it. In the same time, she has no time for her family, which have to cope with the sudden free time after the war and the loss of little Anakin Solo. The twins travel to planets unknown (they are adults after all), and Han remains alone with grief. The Falcon makes him remember the things he lost, so he wastes the ship too. Suddently, he loses his senses out of love, and clones both Anakin and Chewi with spaarti tech. They have the same memory, same personality, like the dead ones. Only difference is, that Chewi is an adult, who dont cares if he was cloned, but Anakin was just a child, and strong in the Force (so there is a interference between his original Force Spirit=Ghost and the new spirit of the cloned body). He has trouble with the memories of a dead boy, and feels, that he is a different person, who should still inherit all the Skywallker family fame. He gots jealous of Lukes newly born child, Ben Skywalker, so he starts to call himself Ben Solo (as he is not Anakin, just a clone of it). He gots morbidly interested in death and resurection. And allready the same story is going on, which we seen in the Movies, just the former EU (now called Legends) remains intact. It's possible, that Ben kills Luke in the new Jedi Temple, when the Knights of Ren attacked it, but most people didnt know, that Luke died, so everybody thinks, that he deserted the Galaxy, while in reality, his spirit is living on at the Island of Ahch-to in a planet outside time and space, a sacred shrine almost like a Jedi Afterworld. Here Luke learns how to contact the rest of the Galaxy again as a resurected Jedi Ghost, while playing with Ray, acting before her, as if he is still living (and creating the necessary illusions for this). Later, using the new pseudo-personality of Kylo Ren Anakin-Ben Solo kills his father too, then he makes revenge on him by cloning Han Solo to, that he could remember dying, like Ben/Anakin/Kylo did. The rest of the jedi had not died, only they are hiding somewhere in a hidden corner of the galaxy to prepare for restoring the new order after Luke was lost. And so on (there is a lot of similar little details which needed to be fixed, but basically, the former EU gets restored as the story goes on). So basically, you could make the same film, like now, just the EU remains intact. And most of the fans remain happy.
So I will never understand, why you had to delete everything, which was making fans happy.