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 after all – 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. But, then, depression set in.
It wasn’t disappointment over Rey’s parentage. (Frankly, certain fans needed to get their heads out of their half-cocked theories.) Initially, sure, I thought Padmé-lookalike Rey was Han and Leia’s kid, and Kylo a Vader-obsessed loser (true) wanting to continue the bloodline with Rey.
Then I actually saw The Force Awakens. Just half an hour in, a guileless Rey turns to Finn and says: “Luke Skywalker! I thought he was a myth.”
When Rey told BB-8 her parents would be back, ‘one day’, you could tell from Daisy’s delivery that Rey was in denial. As Maz said: she already knew the truth. I think Abrams planned a spiritual reveal to Rey’s origins – similar to Anakin’s. This may still come.
But there were people who thought Palpatine wasn’t Darth Sidious right up until Revenge of the Sith. Fans insisted Rey was either Kylo’s twin (despite the age gap), or Luke’s child with an unknown woman – perhaps Obi-Wan’s daughter!
Considering Luke looked like he last took a bath on Endor, he probably didn’t have any children to 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 the biggest of my problems with Rian Johnson’s movie. His bizarre vision of Luke no longer resembled 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 been so weak, skulking off to let Leia deal with everything on her own.
OK, he was never the coolest member of the gang – even after maturing into the calm, lethal Luke of Return of the Jedi, Han still laughed 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. Did Luke think Kylo was beyond redemption, or did he know it wasn’t his personal destiny to save him?
Poor old Mark Hamill gave a great send-off performance, even if he didn’t agree with the director’s ‘vision’.
It’s not Luke’s story now. 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.
On that note, I wish you all,
xx —-Merry Christmas!—- xx