If you’re a long-time reader of The Pop Culture Studio, you probably noticed that I didn’t review The Last Jedi, unlike the other recent instalments in the Star Wars saga.There’s a reason for this: my initial reaction to Rian Johnson’s film was negative – really negative.
And despite the tone of some of my recent “work for hire” posts, being negative isn’t what The Studio is about. On the contrary, this site is supposed to be about being constructive – even when it comes to movies, TV shows or comics that I don’t like – and I genuinely wasn’t sure that I could do that when it came to The Last Jedi, that’s how unimpressed I was.
However, in the weeks since the movie was released, I’ve subsequently reconsidered my opinion of it – or looked at it from a different point of view, as Obi-Wan Kenobi might have put it – and I’ve come to the realisation that I do like it after all.
Don’t get me wrong: I still have issues with the film – major issues, in fact. But ultimately, I’ve decided that these imperfections are insignificant compared to The Last Jedi’s many good points, and what the film means for the future of the franchise and its fans.
By now, we’ve all had time to digest the latest trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi (unless you’re one of the strong-willed souls who resisted the urge to watch it!). General consensus among fans and critics seems to be that – adorable porgs aside – Episode VIII of cinema’s greatest sci-fi/fantasy saga looks like a far darker outing than its predecessor, The Force Awakens.
After all, this most recent look at the film provided new glimpses of a grumpy, grizzled version of Luke Skywalker, good guys the Resistance on the run, and Jedi-in-training Rey being tortured by big bad Supreme Leader Snoke – at last taking a break from his giant hologram Wizard Of Oz-schtick. Heck, there’s even the suggestion that a bit of matricide might be on the cards, with tormented wannabe Darth Vader Kylo Ren seemingly poised to murder his mother, the former Princess Leia!
Ratcheting up the gloom factor has only served to further fuel comparisons between The Last Jedi and The Empire Strikes Back – the latter of which is widely considered not only the best Star Wars episode of all time, but a perfect example of the “darker sequel” done right. And whilst it’s hard not to see tonal similarities between these two sombre films – just as it was impossible not to draw parallels between The Force Awakens and series opener A New Hope – the trailer has left me feeling surprisingly upbeat.
That’s because – despite its surface-level imitation of The Empire Strikes Back – this tantalising peek at The Last Jedi seems to have rewarded the faith of fans like me who hoped that incoming director Rian Johnson would finally taking the franchise in a fresh new direction. “This is not going to go the way you think,” promises Luke at one point – and thank the Force for that!
If you’re a movie fan – and we’re guessing you are, given you’ve visited Screen Rant – you’ve come across your fair share of confusing endings. While some films are downright baffling from start to finish, in a lot of cases, things only start to take an unexpected (and often inexplicable) turn during the closing moments.
Sometimes, we can tease out the meaning behind a finale with bit of extra thought (not to mention a cheeky repeated viewing or two). But just as often, even after considerable mental effort and umpteen re-watchings, viewers can still be left scratching their heads.
This can be further aggravated in instances where films end on an ambiguous, open-ended note. Here, the director deliberately refuses to serve up an easy answer to audiences, leaving us to wonder not only how the story ended, but inviting us to speculate over what happened next.
Fortunately, thanks to the wonders of the Internet age, we have a jaw-dropping wealth of information at our finger tips – whether it’s actual commentary by the filmmakers or well-researched theories by fans and critics.
As such, we’ve mined this online knowledge bank to create this list, which covers 20 Insanely Confusing Movie Endings (And What Happened Next) – try to keep up!
But, as I lack Jedi clairvoyance, I wasn’t able to foresee the arrival of the Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi teaser trailer earlier this week, and thus realise that my intended next post would soon be headed the way of the Death Star.
Still, what you lose in variety, we all gain in excitement – because The Last Jedi teaser is exciting. VERY exciting.
This first sneak peek at director Rian Johnson’s new adventure offers fleeting, tantalising glimpses of Leia, Finn, the Millennium Falcon and at least one breathtakingly epic space battle, all of which are enough to give fans genuine goosebumps of anticipation.
Even so, these brief moments – whilst undeniably cool – are virtually nothing compared to what else is on show, which is why I’ve pulled together this rundown of the biggest talking points across the galaxy (or at least, the internet) surrounding the teaser, and what they might mean when The Last Jedi hits cinemas this December!