Just some thoughts on the latest Star Wars Film.
SPOILER ALERT – STOP READING if you have not seen the film but intend to.
I very much wanted to love this film. That is the honest truth. I am a huge fan of Star Wars having grown up with it, and I really love Star Wars: Rogue One. I guess the experience of last year made me think that after Rogue One things were heading in a really interesting direction. But to be honest when I saw TLJ (The Last Jedi) I came out of the cinema feeling a bit flat. Of course, there are great moments and some of the character storylines have interest but the overall feeling it left me with was one of disappointment.
I have been trying to pin it down, trying to work out what it is about Star Wars in general that I really like. I think probably the thing I find most compelling is the age-old story arc of good versus evil, evil being defeated and particularly characters being changed or redeemed through the process. I’m sure others will point out a redemption arc somewhere in the film but it just didn’t hit me. Is it Luke being redeemed from self-pity? I think I’m with Mark Hammill on this one; it’s not a Luke I recognise or really believe in.
Kylo Ren is interesting and probably there is some mileage in thinking through his mantra “Let the past die”. That is at least an idea that many have: if I can’t face my past I will try and kill it off, or at a more societal level, let’s get rid of all that’s gone before because we can do a better job. That’s an interesting take on our current obsession with ditching everything because the past is automatically seen as irrelevant or somehow betraying our right to be free. Is the old to be destroyed because some parts are bad?
One thing I did like about the film (as pointed out by one family member) was the glimmer of hope at the end. A new generation, another set of people who will take up the fight. I’m not young anymore and I am really grateful that God is raising up a next generation of people who are willing to stand up and fight the fight. Of course, I am talking about those who will stand on what Christ says and live for him even though it feels a bit like a rebellion these days. Perhaps that means I can, at last, be part of the rebellion, just without an X-Wing.