There was lots of red in The Last Jedi, from the blood-coloured soil of Crait, to Snoke’s crimson throne room. And while critics were in raptures – Rian Johnson is an auteur don’t cha know – a lot of hardcore fans were left, well, seeing red.
After watching the film on preview night, I came soaring home like Princess Leia through space. Then, a certain flatness set in.
I didn’t care about Rey’s parentage. Frankly, certain fans needed to get their heads out of their half-cocked theories; just half an hour into The Force Awakens, a guileless Rey turns to Finn and says: “Luke Skywalker! I thought he was a myth.”
But some fans still insisted Rey was either Kylo’s twin, or Luke’s child with an unknown woman – perhaps Obi-Wan’s daughter!
Sadly, sequel-era Luke looks like he last took a bath on Endor, so it’s a brave woman who helped him carry on the family name. (Unless ‘Broom kid’ (Tamiri Blagg) is Luke’s long-lost son. No, I’m joking, please.)
This brings me to my major problem with Rian Johnson’s movie – his rendering of Luke no longer resembles the son of Skywalker, but his step-uncle Owen Lars. Festering away on an island, the only way he could have been more revolting would have been if he’d hit on Rey.
Chucking the lightsaber over his shoulder might have got a cheap laugh (a very nervous one, in my theatre), but the Luke that millions loved would never have skulked off to let Leia deal with everything on her own.
He was never the coolest member of the gang. Even after he’d matured into the calm, lethal warrior of Return of the Jedi, Han would still laugh in his face. Luke wasn’t necessarily the obvious tough guy type, but he was resourceful, and he never gave up.
We got one glimpse of that Luke when he Force-beamed himself across the galaxy, wearing an outfit that would have made Padmé Amidala proud. Poor old Mark Hamill gave a great send-off performance, even if he didn’t agree with the director’s ‘vision’.
It’s clearly not Luke’s story anymore. This is a franchise hoping to pick up new fans, and I can imagine committees overseeing the new global franchise want to lob most of the original trilogy off the edge of Skellig Michael, along with that lightsaber.