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  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Kylo Ren:
      • His goals at the end: is he an extremist genuinely trying to create something new out of the supposed failures of the past by the Jedi, Sith and Republic through the forceful imposition of balance in the galaxy? Or is this just a facade for spreading the influence of the Dark Side through the First Order? Some measure of both? Does he genuinely think this is the best thing to do or is he only doing it to break out of his family's (specifically his grandfather's) shadow by swerving as hard off the path as he can? Again, some measure of both? In addition, was his betrayal due to feelings for Rey, or out of anger towards Snoke?
      • In the final act, was Kylo really planning to take Snoke's place as Supreme Leader all along, or was he initially just planning to free himself from Snoke and save Rey, with the rest of it being more along the lines of 'making it up as I go' and opportunism?
      • Is Kylo's decision not to rejoin the light solely out of desire for power and vengeance, and general villany? Or is it partly out of pragmatism? When one considers the context: the Resistance is looking pretty screwed, they being down to only a few transports and fleeing to Crait, where they’ll be sitting ducks unless their allies come to their aid (Kylo doesn't know about Holdo's upcoming Heroic Sacrifice). He and Rey would also still have to get off the Supremacy, which would be difficult, if not impossible, to pull off considering the place is full of heavily armed stormtroopers and security and whatnot, who probably aren't just going to let them walk into the hangar bay (Rey does manage to escape later by nicking Snoke's escape shuttle, but this is likely because everyone is distracted by Holdo cutting the ship in half at lightspeed; again, Kylo has no way of knowing about this). And finally, even if, by some miracle, Kylo and Rey made it to Crait and the Resistance weren't immediately wiped out, Kylo is still technically a war criminal who has killed, tortured and/or injured many Resistance members...in fact, he was doing exactly that just hours ago. Although Leia and Rey would probably defend him and thus prevent him from being shot on sight, the Resistance aren't just going to forgive him and roll out the welcome mat. Taking this into account, Kylo's Redemption Rejection starts to look almost sensible from a coldly pragmatic point of view; heck, DJ does the exact same thing when he sells out the Resistance to save his own ass when he, Rose and Finn get captured. From Kylo's viewpoint, going along with Rey's plan is not only counter to his personal goals, beliefs and mental/emotional state, but would be downright suicidal.
    • DJ's actions in the final act. Was his betrayal premeditated, leading Finn and Rose into a trap so he could sell their information to the First Order? Or was it a heat-of-the-moment decision after he was captured? His actions on Canto Bight certainly make him seem like the kind of person to pull the former, but his Jerk with a Heart of Gold moment where he gives his down-payment back to them seems genuine, and he seems to have at least a hint of remorse as he leaves. Additionally, the camera focus on why they got caught is on an inquisitive droid seeing BB-8 fail at disguise with no tell that it was DJ's fault. And then there's Finn seeming to notice a different logical hole in his story and he sounds genuinely confused more than anything and there's DJ's rather enigmatic "maybe" as his final line. In keeping with the second interpretation; Some fans have speculated that DJ secretly gave BB-8 info on First Order weaponry, thus explaining how and why BB-8 was able to commandeer that AT-ST. DJ represents a true unaligned party, and Benicio del Toro doesn't consider him a villain.
    • Admiral Holdo:
      • Her decision to withhold the information about her true plan to save the Resistance from Poe and the rest of the crew, to the point of not even letting it be known that there is a plan (which led him to devise his own plan that only succeeded in wrecking hers). Was it because Holdo didn't trust Poe due to his Military Maverick altitude? Did she believe there was a spy on board? Was it Leia's plan for only Holdo to know? Or did Holdo withhold the information purely out of incompetence? Or, worse yet, was it Leia's plan and Holdo didn't even know? Or, this may have been simply a rare (for Star Wars) moment of military realism: a three-star admiral is under no obligation to explain herself to a mid-ranked fighter jock, especially one who was just demoted and stripped of his command for disobeying a direct order from his commander-in-chief (Leia). The novelization depicts her reasoning as deciding that "the fewer people who knew, the better" rather than a distrust of Poe specifically.
      • Assuming one believes Holdo acted wrongly, when she saw the transports being destroyed, did she realize that her poor leadership was a major cause? Her Heroic Sacrifice can be interpreted as Redemption Equals Death.
    • Poe's attitude. Was he always a loose cannon, or is his behavior the result of mental strain? There's evidence for both. Expanded Universe material depicts him as willing to disobey orders if he thinks it's best, but in the films he endured physical and mental torture, crashed from orbit, and fought two aerial battles, and given the absence of a Time Skip between films, apparently went through all of that on the same day as the opening scenes of The Last Jedi, without any semblance of time to recover.
    • As this video argues, several plot points make more sense if you watch the movie assuming that Rose is a double agent working for the First Order. It would explain how the First Order was able to find the Resistance fleet so easily (since we never actually see the "hyperspace tracker" that supposedly makes it possible), why Vice Admiral Holdo was so reluctant to tell the Resistance their true destination (even when it could have prevented a mutiny), and why she was willing to ram Finn's speeder at top-speed to prevent him from sacrificing his life to destroy a First Order laser cannon—which could potentially have saved many Resistance fighters' lives.
    • The Praetorian Guard (i.e. Snoke's faceless red-suited bodyguards get quite a bit of this, given what little we see of them.
    • Luke Skywalker:
      • Luke's personality change in this film could suggest that he is suffering from depression or PTSD, perhaps related to his failure to teach Kylo Ren, or perhaps due to his rebellion experiences. Alternatively, Luke's personality change in this film may be due to the fact that he was aware that he was dying.
      • When Luke orders Rey to leave the island after catching her with Kylo, is it because he's actually trying to protect her, believing she will be drawn to the dark side and suffer the same fate as Kylo if she stays and he will be unable to prevent it? During his conversation with Yoda, the latter actually reassures him he won't lose Rey to the dark side, indicating this is a fear he has.
      • Furthermore, in the aforementioned scene, Luke can see Kylo but during the previous Force bond scenes, he apparently couldn't. Is it because he's reconnected with the Force again? Or is it possible Snoke let Luke see Kylo and Rey together in the hopes of sowing discord between him and Rey?
      • Did Luke initially go to Ahch-To seeking guidance after the destruction of his Jedi Order, but finding no obvious or helpful answers, gave into despair and decided to exile himself there and cut himself off from the Force?
  • Americans Hate Tingle:
    • While the Star Wars movies were never big in China, the last two movies made decent money there, about average for action-blockbusters of their budget range. This entry on the other hand was eviscerated by both audiences and critics in China (and East Asia in general), earning less in its opening weekend than the previous ones, making only $28 million compared to The Force Awakens's $52 million. Chinese exhibitors decreased the film's showtimes by 92% on the second weekend, from a 34,5% share of the total screenings to 2,6%. The reviews from their popular aggregator Douban (China's own Rotten Tomatoes) were even less kind, with the most upvoted review calling it "a insult to intelligence". It was so disliked in China that subsequent Star Wars films released there are dropping "Star Wars" from their titles.
    • The film wasn't particularly successful in South Korea either; it never reached the number 1 spot and grossed the equivalent of about $8 million - one-third of what The Force Awakens made in the country.
  • Angst Aversion: For some, it only continues this trend after The Force Awakens already became somewhat infamous for this. By the end... The Resistance's circumstances are even bleaker, Kylo seems even less redeemable (courtesy of invoking The Starscream on Snoke and graduating from The Heavy to the full-on Big Bad), Luke himself is dead (on top of Han already dying in the previous movie), Leia is also unlikely to survive afterward (courtesy of Carrie Fisher's death), and Rey is revealed to not be a Skywalker after all (meaning that the bloodline is probably done for).
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • Snoke, the Supreme Leader of the First Order, the man who turned Kylo Ren to the Dark Side and personally trained him as well as his elite bodyguards in combat, and an incredibly powerful Force user who can Mind Rape or electrocute people with a flick of his wrist. Despite all his power, he amounts to a Disc-One Final Boss and is killed in a sneak attack by Kylo Ren two thirds through the movie.
    • Captain Phasma gets into a brief fight with Finn that barely lasts thirty seconds. She's winning handily and knocks Finn down, but gets distracted for a few seconds to shoot at Rose when she tries to gun her down from behind, allowing Finn to get in a hit with his shock baton and wound her. This also knocks her onto a platform and then she unceremoniously falls to her apparent death as Snoke's ship goes to pieces.
  • Anvilicious: The film's theme of failure and overcoming it is well-meaning but very heavy-handed in some parts. Special mention goes to the Yoda scene for more or less flat-out explaining what the theme is to Luke.
  • Ass Pull: Leia using the Force to survive being blasted into a vacuum after bombers destroy the bridge of her ship is this for some. While it has already been established in canon that Force-users can survive in the vacuum of space and use the Force to "fly" through space (most notably Kanan in an episode of Star Wars Rebels - although that was more of a case of Kanan managing to catch and brace himself against a piece of a starship and propel himself back towards the dock that had atmosphere, rather than Force-powered flight pushing against nothing at all), Leia, unlike Kanan, received little-to-none Jedi training in the new canon (as opposed to the Legends continuity), making this seem completely out of the left field note . It's also unexplained how she also apparently managed to avoid being hit by the flames of the explosion or any debris from the decompression either. When asked about it, Rian Johnson explained that Leia's use of the Force was completely instinctual and out of a will to survive, comparing it to stories about parents suddenly being able to lift up wrecked cars to rescue their children. Though whether or not this is an adequate explanation and/or whether or not it should have been explained in the film rather than by the director is still a matter of contention.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Lawrence Kasdan stated that the film would be "weird", which may be an indirect response to people who thought that The Force Awakens was too similar to A New Hope. The "Behind the Scenes" video released at the 2017 Disney D23 Expo also contained several quotes from cast members emphasizing how "fresh" and "unexpected" the story is. Early reviews reinforced this, calling it one of the most surprising and original entries in the saga in years.
    • Likewise, many were disappointed with the fact that after being built up so heavily as the Decoy Protagonist, Finn failed in his two major action scenes in the previous movie. Having him fight Phasma and giving him his own subplot seems to be an attempt to rectify this. Although it's somewhat undermined by his character being relegated to the C plot and superfluous to the main story.
    • Given she is the daughter of Anakin Skywalker, and is strong in the Force, many had been taken aback that Leia in the new canon still followed the path of her Legends counterpart and did not become a Jedi. While she still is not a Jedi, after almost 40 years since her introduction, in this final performance from her, Carrie Fisher got to use the Force in the film.
    • The final scene of The Force Awakens is played again, this time in a far more low-key way that indicates the way it appeared before was just some dramatic license and Rey didn't really just silently hold out the lightsaber for an awkwardly long time.
    • Luke's comment about how the Republic and the Jedi were made out to be far better than they actually were by nostalgia explains why the Republic and Jedi were held to such high esteem in the Original Trilogy, despite how the Prequel Trilogy and Star Wars: The Clone Wars made it quite evident they were not worthy of that praise.
    • Kylo Ren had his fair share of detractors in the previous film; many criticized his fanboy attitude towards Darth Vader that led to him wearing a similar helmet and altering his voice, as well as his childish, hot-headed personality that ultimately made him come across as an inferior imitator of Vader. One of his very first scenes here has Snoke mocking him for exactly the same reasons, causing Kylo to smash the helmet and go without it for the rest of the film, and the rest of the film establishes him as a greater, more complex villain than the loony Darth Vader Clone he was in TFA, overthrowing Snoke as Supreme Leader (something Vader never did until his redemption) and revealing that Ren's ultimate plan is to destroy the existing order of light vs. dark, while still keeping his short-sighted impulsiveness and poor, overemotional judgment. His Foe Romance Subtext with Rey also won over a good many of his former detractors. Additionally, while Ren's callous murder of Han Solo was criticized by some fans for turning the Vader-esque character into a Hate Sink, TLJ gives him a moment where he hesitates and decides not to kill Leia Organa, his remaining parent, showing that he is indeed a conflicted character and not just evil for the sake of being evil.
    • Seemingly in response to criticisms of The Force Awakens, what is the first thing Leia does when she sees Chewbacca in this film? She gives him a big hug.
    • A very minor one, but the First Order Snowtroopers featured rather heavily in merchandise for The Force Awakens, only to appear in the background for a few seconds. Here, they do make a more prominent appearance after the Battle of Crait.
    • Pablo Hidalgo confirmed that Rey does use her Force Bond with Kylo to learn knowledge and skills, and that it was forged back in the interrogation scene in The Force Awakens. This assuages complaints about how she could pull off a Jedi Mind Trick on her first try: she simply picked it up from Kylo.
    • A common criticism of Rey in The Force Awakens was that she came off as a Boring Invincible Hero who didn't face much challenge. This film attempts to fix that by showcasing her personal flaws, inexperience, and lack of knowledge about the Force and the Jedi, and puts her in several situations where she struggles or outright fails, notably being played by Snoke the whole time and failing to turn Kylo Ren back to the light.
    • While it's already implied in Rey's Force Vision in The Force Awakens that some members of the Knights of Ren might be Luke's other students, Luke confirms that after Ben betrayed him, he did turn some of them while also killing the rest. This also eliminates the implication that Kylo Ren killed them all single-handedly as some people like Han seemingly believed, despite the fact that he suffered a humiliating defeat by an untrained girl.
    • The novelization of the book contains several quick asides that explains away famous gripes with the Force Awakens and the Last Jedi. For example, Snokes inner monologue contains a moment where he mocks Rey for thinking her pulling the Light Saber from the snow was a big deal, since that is something everyone that is in-tune with the Force does as their very first thing.
    • The comic adaptation seems to be going out of it's way to address fan criticism of the film, doing things like attempting to explain Luke's mindset better, having Holdo immediately tell Poe she has a plan and needs his support rather than antagonizing him for no reason, and showing Admiral Ackbar's final moments rather than killing him offscreen.
    • A common reaction to the Porgs is that they're essentially "Ewoks done right". Sure, they're Ridiculously Cute Critters explicitly designed to appeal to kids and sell merchandise—but they only appear sparingly, their Ugly Cute design prevents them from being too sickeningly cute, they're just animals (not major characters with their own subplot), and the film doesn't try too hard to make them likeable (it acknowledges that some of the characters find them annoying).
  • Award Snub: Despite receiving high critical acclaim and becoming the highest grossing movie of 2017, it failed to get nominated for the major awards at the Oscars. The fandom's backlash and subsequent rivalry with the nominees were spoofed in this video by How It Should Have Ended.
  • Awesome Ego: Poe Dameron is one hell of a pilot, and considering that he single-handedly disables the heavy weapons of a First Order dreadnaught in the very first scene of the movie, it's hard not to argue that his incredible arrogance is highly justified.
  • Awesome Music: Considering that the score is composed by John Williams. Awesome music is inevitable.
    • Rose's lovely theme.
    • "The Fathiers" is an exciting action piece.
    • The music during the Battle of Crait is simply epic throughout, it even uses a Call-Back to the Tie Fighter attack theme from A New Hope.
    • "Canto Bight" is a very jazzy theme.note 
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Rose Tico is either a likable, well-developed heroine who sacrifices more than Finn or Rey or a bland and annoying character who serves little purpose beyond acting as a rival to Rey for Finn's affections. There are also fans who believe she's merely Pandering to the Base. Finally, her speech to Finn in the movie's finale is either insightful or pretentious.
    • Holdo. Fans are heavily divided on if her decision to not tell Poe her plan (or even that there is a plan) was justifiable or stupid to the point of undermining her intended character, and if her Signature Scene-worthy Heroic Sacrifice redeemed her or not.
    • DJ can either be seen as an interesting commentary on the morality of war, or an overly cartoonish character that was unnecessary to the plot.
  • Bellisario's Maxim: Rian Johnson was well aware that Luke's metal hand should not have disappeared with the rest of him, but it was clear this would have ruined the emotional impact of the scene.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: One of the most talked about scenes of the movie is Kylo's Shirtless Scene. Though also for certain reasons besides the obvious.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The Thala-siren milking scene. It's hilarious at best and disgusting at worst, but it still comes right the fuck out of nowhere and it's never brought up again afterwards.
  • Broken Base:
    • Luke's characterization in the film. A neat twist on a character that builds on his established personality, or an utter betrayal of everything the original trilogy built upon him? One example that struck a lot of controversy was his brief impulse to kill young Kylo Ren. A chilling reminder that even Luke is not safe from the temptations of the Dark Side, or a move that was completely contradictory to his motivations from Return of the Jedi. Since there have been arguments on This Very Wiki about this, that is all we can say.
    • Snoke's unexpected death. A shocking twist that adds more complexity towards Kylo Ren's character and taking the story in a brand new direction, or a cheap way to end an incredibly underdeveloped villain.
    • The reveal of Rey's parents has divided some fans. Some people criticized it as an underwhelming reveal to a mystery the last movie had set up. Others support the idea of making Rey more relatable by having her be the daughter to ordinary people, and also think The Force Awakens had plenty of evidence to point to it.
  • Catharsis Factor: Plenty of it.
  • Character Rerailment: Much like Darth Vader in Rogue One, Yoda gets much of his original characterization restored after going through a personality overhaul in the prequel trilogy. Whereas Yoda in those films was noted for a frequently somber, serious tone, put predicates before subjects in his dialogue on a near-constant basis and tended not to express emotion strongly (at least when not physically fighting), The Last Jedi follows the template of Empire in making Yoda a much more optimistic and expressive figure while de-emphasizing his famous speech pattern.note  (Also, he's a puppet again rather than CGI.)
  • Contested Sequel: The Last Jedi is one of the most controversial films in the Star Wars franchise. Supporters (including George Lucas) believe the film to be an Even Better Sequel to The Force Awakens, taking the strengths of that film and improving on it with a more original plot, better Character Development, and strong performances from the main cast. Detractors feel it's weighed down by pacing issues, forced humor, and poor handling of Finn and Poe's respective subplots. The direction of Luke Skywalker's character has also been extremely controversial, with some feeling Luke's actions in the film are out of character and the movie did a disservice to the original hero of Star Wars, while others believe the darker take is more interesting and fits well with the movie's theme of overcoming failure. Rian Johnson in fact cited this as an Intended Audience Reaction,note  and that the conversations (read: debates) in the fandom would have to happen for Star Wars to move forward as a franchise.
  • Crack Pairing:
    • After this movie, some people have started jokingly shipping Snoke with Darth Maul, thanks to both of them being powerful Dark Side Force-wielders who get unexpectedly cut in half.
    • There are some who even ship Rose with DJ despite the fact that she canonically would find him creepy and weird at best or a monstrous "lying snake traitor" at worst. This is mostly due to him kindly giving her back her medallion rather than keeping it as payment.
    • If you thought DJ and Rose was a Crack Pairing, there are apparently a few people who ship Rose and General Hux. Their sole interaction in the film is Hux mocking her before ordering her execution, though the shippers also seem to focus on a Deleted Scene where Rose defiantly bites Hux's finger.
  • Critical Backlash:
    • On the flip side of the heavy backlash the film got upon release, many feel that the film deserves nowhere near the amount of bile it receives in many internet circles, especially considering that it was a darling with critics in the first place. Part of this may have to do with the fact that unlike the prequels (whose criticism was largely based of more obvious flaws like dialogue, special effects, and acting) The Last Jedi's criticism is mostly based off more abstract flaws like the discrepancies with tone and continuity from The Force Awakens and whether certain characters would act in the way that they are shown in the movie.
    • Rose Tico has gotten quite a bit of this. Some very vocal parts of the fandom absolutely despise her, leading to a frequent meme (sometimes used in jest, sometimes not) that she is worse than Jar-Jar Binks himself. Due to this intense hatred of her, many who have seen the movie after reading these comments have stated that while she does have quite a few cheesy lines, she doesn't deserve the absolute hatred she gets from these circles, and certainly comes nowhere close to Jar-Jar.
  • Critical Dissonance: The film received near-unanimous praise from critics with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 91%, but fan reception has been very mixed. Most agree that the film is well-made, but take contention with a number of plot points as well as the handling of certain characters, particularly Luke and Snoke. While the film's IMDB user rating is at 7.3 and the movie has received a CinemaScore of A, its Rotten Tomatoes audience has consistently hovered around the halfway mark, eventually dipping below any of the prequels' audience rating.note  The RT audience rating has been particularly controversial; some believe it to be a wave of initial backlash to the film defying expectations just like The Empire Strikes Back when first released,note  others have pointed to rallies and bot spamming to sabotage the movie's user score due to Fandom Rivalry or political motivations,note  some believe that the score is more than a knee-jerk reaction and that The Last Jedi will be forever marked as one of the most polarizing Star Wars films, more akin to the prequels than TESBnote , and general consensus is that all three options are true to some extent.note  For what it's worth, Disney's and Rian Johnson's official stances cite No Such Thing as Bad Publicity and consider the debate to be healthy for the franchise, and Rotten Tomatoes' exec Dana Benson claims that the score is at least genuine.
  • Designated Monkey: Both Luke and Rey show very little concern about destroying structures in the Jedi Temple, despite the fact that the Lanai have devoted their lives to preserving those structures. The scenes just drip with What Measure Is a Non-Human? Not even Yoda seems to be bothered with this if he's so easily willing to burn down an ancient tree with a bolt of lightning.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Though it wasn't really the leather pants that were the focus.
    • Kylo gets even more of this, despite seemingly committing himself to the Dark Side fully after becoming the new Supreme Leader. His backstory involving Luke having a desire to kill him and certain interpretations of his Force bond with Rey don't help matters. Also not helping matters is the fact that, as with TFA, the adult novelization for TLJ once again portraying him as a much more sympathetic figure and the junior novelization, despite giving Kylo a degree of Adaptational Villainy, outright inferring that Ben Solo would be saved if Rey was able to defeat Kylo Ren.
    • Invoked in-universe by none other than Snoke. He created the Force bond between Rey and Kylo in the first place to get her to empathize with him, knowing this would lead her to come to him in an attempt to redeem him. From there, Snoke could corrupt her or, failing that, get Kylo to kill her as an ultimate show of loyalty. Unfortunately for the Supreme Leader, both young Force-users turn out to be stronger-willed than he expected, allowing Kylo to fatally turn the tables on his master.
    • DJ gets a bit of this, as well seeing that he's likely a genuinely Grey/Neutral character who's presented as neither evil nor good, is a Lovable Rogue with a novel vocabulary and a stutter, has a grungy-but-cool sense of style and is played by Benicio del Toro.
  • Ending Fatigue: There are four climatic fights stuffed between the second and third act of the movie—Kylo Ren defeating Snoke and then he and Rey fighting his guards and then each other, Finn dueling Phasma as Snoke's ship goes pear shaped due to Holdo hyperspace-ramming the Raddus into it, the First Order's assault on the old Rebel base on Crait where the last of the Resistance are hiding, and finally rounds it out with a duel between Kylo Ren and Luke Skywalker. To say the least, it goes on and on, and it's a lot to take in.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • The Praetorian Guard definitely became unexpectedly popular, specifically for the fact that they fight on equal terms, and almost manage to win against Kylo Ren and Rey, to the point where the two need to work together just to even survive the fight. This despite the fact that there is no indication that they have any connection to the Force whatsoever. Their incredibly cool weapons and fighting styles don't hurt either.
    • Rose's sister Paige, who many people are calling one of the best characters in the movie despite her death in a Heroic Sacrifice 10 minutes into the movie. And just like Tallie, she's also rather good-looking (her actress Veronica Ngo is also a model, after all).
    • The vulptices on Crait are almost universally beloved thanks to their beautiful, elegant designs and helping save the Resistance by leading them to the secret escape route.
    • DJ, who is popular even among people who didn't like the otherwise controversial Canto Bight plotline for Benicio del Toro's excellent performance and the element of moral ambiguity that he brings to the Star Wars cast. Many people loved his personality despite, or perhaps even because of selling the Resistance out to the First Order to save his own skin.
    • Captain Canady, commander of the Dreadnought, who gets a lot of attention for being a crusty old Imperial Navy veteran and his Surrounded by Idiots attitude compared to the usual clueless incompetence of his fresh-faced First Order officers.
    • Tallie, the A-wing pilot who participated in the Dreadnought attack but was killed when the hangar blew up, has drawn attention from people who wish redshirts didn't have to be so good-looking.
    • The Porgs became overnight sensations on the internet shortly after they were first officially unveiled.
    • BB-9E is also very popular due to being an Evil Counterpart to BB-8.
  • Epileptic Trees:
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory:
    • The film can be considered a meta commentary on the cyclical nature of Star Wars conflicts, canon and in Legends; a really powerful person showed up and fell to the dark side, so now an equally powerful person emerges on the light side. Kylo wanted to say "let's just stop this, it's not going anywhere, we can do something new", but he's refused by Rey and the franchise itself.
    • According to this article and Reylo shippers, the Back-to-Back Badasses scene between Kylo and Rey when they face off against the Praetorian Guard has the Interplay of Sex and Violence as part of its subtext... including the Meaningful Looks between Rey and Kylo, the previous Foe Romance Subtext between them, Rey and Kylo working together and getting all sweaty and breathless in the process, the potential Freudian symbolism of lightsabers, Rey at one point grabbing Kylo’s thigh and jumping onto his back to gain leverage, and the fact it takes place in a red room. And to top it off, after all is said and done, Kylo outright asks Rey to rule the galaxy with him. It certainly wouldn't be the first time Disney dropped certain subtext in one of their films.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • Kylo Ren is back and more powerful than in The Force Awakens, dresses more neatly and perpetrates a coup that leaves him as Supreme Leader of the First Order and free to terrorize his troops with his impulsive nature, poor decisions and desire to destroy the established order, cranking up his Love to Hate factor and evoking numerous Game of Thrones villains. This is the film that established Ren as one of the saga's most complex and interesting villains, and many reviews praised him as a high point of the movie.
    • Snoke gets to show a lot more personality in this film than the previous one, throwing Rey, Hux, and Ren alike around like toys with the Force without even lifting a finger. Andy Serkis' scenery-chewing performance makes him both genuinely intimidating and delightfully vile, which is part of what makes it so genuinely shocking and satisfying when Ren murders him two-thirds of the way through.
    • Snoke's Praetorian Guard follows the same lead as FN-2199 and the Death Troopers as amazing fighters despite being merely henchmen capable of holding their own and nearly overwhelm two Force users at the same time.
    • DJ, thanks to the actor's excellent performance, stylish wardrobe, and raising some excellent points about the nature of warfare in the universe.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
  • Fandom Rivalry
    • An unusual one popped up between fans of The Last Jedi and fans of Wonder Woman (2017) and Black Panther (2018). When some defenders of The Last Jedi branded the film's haters as racists or misogynists, some of the film's detractors have fired back by simultaneously praising Black Panther and Wonder Woman. Furthermore, while the two superhero movies have similar critical reception to TLJ, both have better audience reception. Furthermore, both films didn't experience the racist/misogynistic backlash that The Last Jedi did despite of having even more overt socially progressive themesnote . Black Panther in particular managed to handily outgrossed the The Last Jedi and on a smaller budget with a more obscure source material to boot. This in turn has lead some fandom wars over which film is better at both entertaining audiences and promoting a progressive narrative.
    • One between Marvel Fans and The Last Jedi fans have also propped out in regards to debates about formula and audience-pleasing with Marvel fans claiming that if The Last Jedi had been an audience-pleasing movie (Tons of action, adventure and giving audiences what they want), there wouldn't have been such a large backlash against it while The Last Jedi fans claim that Marvel movies play it too safe and have made audiences very hostile to deconstructions and genre-critiquing in blockbusters today due to they giving what audiences want out of their action blockbusters.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: As of December 19th 2017, there is an actual online petition to declare the movie official non-canon. A few thousand people have signed the petition, though some to mock the idea. The creator of the original petition has come out and said that it was a bad idea. As of this writing, over 100,719 have signed the original petition, and another sprung up with the same goal, wanting it changed to just fanfiction.
  • Fan Fic Fuel:
    • The stable boy at the end of the film opened many storyline possibilities for future Star Wars installments.
    • The Reveal of Rey and Kylo's Force Bond has lead to many fics exploring just how much the Bond can do and if it is possible for them to do more physically than just touch hands.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Reylo (the pairing of Rey and Kylo) was already popular after the first film, but after this one's release, its fan following has become even stronger. Despite Kylo seemingly committing himself to the dark side fully and Rey rejecting the offer to join him, the amount of Ship Tease and UST in their interactions and the potential drama for their relationship in the future really won people over. Reviewers often praise them as one of the film's highlights, with one even comparing their interactions to Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester and (probably jokingly) stating that if they didn't end up together by the end of Episode IX, he was going to sue.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Snoke looks ridiculous in this film. Rather than the typical intimidating black hood worn by the Sith, his outfit looks more like a golden bathrobe.
  • Fight Scene Failure: Rey and Kylo's battle with the Praetorian Guards includes numerous moments where the guards stand by and don't attack, or they wiff attacks while Rey and Kylo do nothing to block or dodge. A particularly infamous moment has one of the guards' weapons suddenly vanish behind Rey's back mid-shot and he appears to be catching her from falling.
  • Franchise Original Sin:
    • One of the major points of contention about The Last Jedi is that a heroic character - Luke Skywalker - is shown to be more morally complex than previously believed. Yet, only a year earlier, Rogue One also attempted to paint the heroic faction in a more morally gray light, and was more unanimously praised for doing so. However, Rogue One did so with a team of original characters, and told a story that was deliberately meant to fit right in to A New Hope, showing that the Grey and Gray Morality was only on a smaller scale and that the factions at large still fit into the series' classic mold of Black and White Morality. Meanwhile Luke is known for being one of the most idealistic and good-hearted heroes in the series, to the point that he was able to redeem Darth Vader by sticking to his values, which results in TLJ's transformation of Luke into a morally gray character coming across to some to be an insult to his characterization, even more so in that the movie revealed him to be partially responsible for the Resistance-First Order conflict because he considered killing his own pupil and nephew. While Luke nearly killed Vader in Episode 6 in a fit of rage - and only after much goading from the Emperor and Vader, with the final straw being the latter threatening to corrupt Leia and turn her to the Dark Side - he managed to stop himself and reaffirm himself as a idealistic character. In TLJ, Luke's attempting at killing Ben happens in a flashback without context to provide why he would do so other than word of mouth. One scene was meant to show Luke having a realistic reaction to a bad situation, then managing to defy Palpatine's plans, while the other exists as a Shocking Swerve.
    • The Evil Overlord existing as a Generic Doomsday Villain and dying with little character development or backstory was first done in Return of the Jedi, where Emperor Palpatine was just as one-note as Snoke—he only got fleshed out when the prequels and side-material came. Rian Johnson even acknowledged this, saying that in both cases, who Snoke and Palpatine were wasn't important to the story. However, Snoke is heavily criticized for this status, with many fans arguing that just because it worked for Palpatine doesn't mean it can be repeated again due to various factors such as the fact that Palpatine was the status quo and the Final Boss introduced before the Star Wars universe was fully established whereas Snoke shows up out of nowhere in an established SW universe with 40 years of stories behind its back. It also doesn't help that unlike Palpatine, Snoke was built up by the cast and crew as a major figure, where in the original trilogy, Palpatine was built up in the actual story. Thus, Luke standing up to Palpatine has a strong foundation since in story he knows he's the Big Bad, while Rey never learns about Snoke till right before her meeting, causing there to be no personal attachment whatsoever.
  • Friendly Fandoms: There are some examples of inter-franchise fandom crossover, due to SW's size.
    • Rebels fans quickly took to the Vulptex species on Crait, in part because of being a cool and mystical-appearing canine species like the lothwolves, which had been revealed around the same time the foxes were seen in the second trailer. Likewise, Pokémon fans quickly took a liking to the species due to similarities between it and the Vulpix species, alongside and the evolved form of said species, Ninetales (especially the recently-introduced Alolan-forms).
    • Another example of this inter-franchise fandom phenomenon is that a great many of TLJ's biggest fans and supporters are also long-time fans of the Knights of the Old Republic series, particularly The Sith Lords fans. A number of the themes of TLJ - ruminating on the nature of the Force, the nature of the Jedi and their tendency to create their own enemies, heroes coming from nothing as opposed to grand destinies, wealth versus destitution and class interaction in the galaxy far far away, et cetera - had previously been explored in other facets in KotOR titles, and fans of the games were over the moon to see a SW feature film tackle the concepts.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • The biggest Star Wars meme to come out of 2017 was The Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise, which ends with the eponymous Sith Lord being killed by his apprentice in his sleep. In The Last Jedi, it's revealed that the inverse nearly happened when Luke tried to kill a sleeping Ben Solo.
    • The How It Should Have Ended segment for The Force Awakens features an alternate outcome to the bridge scene, wherein Luke appears out of nowhere and stabs Kylo in the back, saving Han. It's still pretty funny, but a bit cringeworthy now considering that Luke actually thought about killing Ben and that his aborted attempt to do so pushed his nephew to the Dark Side.
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    G-M 
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • One of the earliest rumors about the plot mentioned that General Leia would be seriously injured at one point and hospitalized for a portion of the movie. Come December 23, 2016, and Carrie Fisher was sent to the emergency room after she went into cardiac arrest, before she passed away on December 27. Fisher's death and Lucasfilm's adamant refusal to replace her with a younger actress and CGI as they did in Rogue One made this an utterly tragic case of Real Life Writes the Plot, What Could Have Been and Harsher in Hindsight at the same time.
    • Combined with Heartwarming in Hindsight, this apparently happened during post-production. According to Empire Magazine, director Rian Johnson was adamant that Carrie Fisher's performance not be changed at all following her death, but he did note that certain scenes in the film gained new resonance or dramatic impact with said knowledge. To wit, she barely survives the bridge on her spaceship being destroyed and spends a while in a coma, while Fisher had a heart attack on an airplane and lingered for several days before passing away without ever regaining consciousness.
    • Luke becoming one with the Force also turns into this after the passing of Fisher; Leia is the last of the original trio still living by the end of the film. While Luke can still appear in Episode IX as a Force Ghost, Fisher's death nonetheless makes Leia's survival after the deaths of Han and Luke bitterly ironic.
    • The film was released the very same day as Season 2 of Trollhunters, which also has Mark Hamill working alongside an actor who had long since died at the time of its release.
    • The subplot of Rey not knowing what to do and searching for guidance from someone, only to be rejected and forced to forge her own path resonates quite a bit with the revelation by Rian Johnson that none of the mysteries and questions raised in The Force Awakens actually had answers planned for them and he was more or less forced to resolve them on his own. Doubly so considering that just as Rey fails in her plan to redeem Kylo, RJ's solution to the problem was met with disdain from parts of the Star Wars fandom.
    • The Force Awakens has a scene where Rey looms over Kylo Ren, with an active lightsaber in her hand, considering whether or not to kill him. One major revelation in this movie is that Luke did the same thing to him years earlier.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: Although it's a tragic moment, the revelation about Rey's family selling her for drinking money also makes Rey's decision in The Force Awakens not to sell BB-8 for portions even more touching.
  • He's Just Hiding!:
    • Given all the build-up and fan theories surrounding him prior to the film's release, at least a few fans doubt that this is the last we've seen of Snoke, despite his on-screen bisection at Kylo's hands. It helps that Darth Maul survived a similar bisection.
    • Likewise, many have doubts about the implied death of Captain Phasma. The character's last seen falling into a blazing inferno on a destroyed dreadnaught, but given the Never Found the Body nature of this death, many think she could return. It helps that Rian Johnson, Mark Hamill and her actress, Gwendoline Christie, have all remarked (or joked) on how the character might've survived.
    • Let's be honest, does anyone think that Luke is not going to come back as a Force Ghost in the next movie?
  • He Really Can Act:
    • Mark Hamill's performance received very high praise from critics, even those who weren't fans of his acting in the original trilogy.
    • Ditto for Adam Driver and Daisy Ridley, who especially make excellent use of facial expressions and body language.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In the Doctor Aphra comic, the title character argues that what her father thinks was an ancient Jedi civil war was actually an argument over text translation by "Jedi grammarians". The reveal of the title has prompted real-life arguments over whether "Jedi" is meant to be singular or plural. Especially confusing since the title of the movie in languages other than English use the plural form of "last", which seems to point in a specific direction.
    • Due to the stark contrast of behaviour between FN-2199 and Phasma in The Force Awakens, many fans immediately noted that not only was Phasma a Dirty Coward but also disloyal, contrasting FN-2199's Undying Loyalty, despite Phasma showing no sign of disloyalty in that movie. As of Journey to The Last Jedi series (particularly the novel Phasma and the comic Captain Phasma), however, fans are absolutely right: Phasma is definitely not a loyal soldier.
    • This isn't the first time Benicio del Toro was involved with the franchise, at one time he was in the running to play Darth Maul, of all characters.
    • It turns out Matt the Radar Technician wasn't lying when he claimed that Kylo Ren is shredded.
    • The Vulptices, the foxes on Crait with presumably salt crystals on them, become this after Pokémon Sun and Moon introduced an Ice-Type Alolan form of Vulpix. Even their names are similar, although in both cases it is likely because they are based on "Vulpes", the scientific term for the genus of foxes.
    • This isn't the first time Mark Hamill would play a master instructor of an ancient order of unique sword wielders and practicers of the light side of the power of the universe. That teacher, coincidentally enough, would also push one of his most powerful students to the dark side by attempting to murder a student whose destructive potential he feared.
    • Many people were convinced that Snoke was actually Darth Plagueis. Well, although it hasn't been officially confirmed yet, Kylo Ren takes over Snoke's position just like Palpatine did to Plagueis, so in a way, they got their wish.
    • Many detractors of The Last Jedi want it demoted to non-canon and/or fanfiction material. Via Disney's reworking of the EU, this is exactly what happened to the similarly divisive video game that it's a Spiritual Adaptation of, Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords.
    • The fact that Rogue One was much less controversial among the fans than this movie makes it kinda ironic that Gareth Edwards is the guy who looks over in confusion at the random Resistance member who tastes the ground and says "It's salt."note 
    • In the Rifftrax for The Force Awakens, Bill says Kylo Ren kind of looks like that guy from HBO's Girls but he's not sure because he's got a shirt on. He probably recognizes him now.
    • One of the big Wham Shots from the trailers was a two-shot sequence of Rey imploring someone to show her "my place in all this", and Kylo Ren extending his hand to her, teasing a possible Face–Heel Turn by Rey. Fans, who were by now used to Disney-era Star Wars trailers being rather deceptive, dismissed this out of hand because the two shots were obviously spliced together from different scenes. In the film, Rey and Kylo Ren gain the ability to communicate through a telepathic Force Bond, and their shot-reverse-shot conversations are indeed spliced together from two different locations in radically different parts of the galaxy. To make it even funnier, the shot of Kylo reaching out his hand actually does come from Kylo offering Rey the chance to rule the First Order together, though she rejects him.
    • This is not the only film where Andy Serkis' character, heavily hyped up as a major villain in a previous installment in the franchise, ends up being anticlimatically killed off by a younger, more complex villain who the hero displays heavy sympathy for.
  • Ho Yay: Fans were quite enthusiastic about Poe giving his jacket to Finn in the previous film. The Last Jedi tops that by having them share an entire outfit.
  • HSQ: The movie is one big HSQ after another:
    • It seems that everyone's hearts skipped a beat when Kylo Ren was considering killing his own mother.
    • The shot of Luke buried under the rubble of the Jedi Academy, meaning both that Kylo tried to straight-up kill him, and that he failed because Luke is that much of a badass.
    • Rey igniting her lightsaber while glaring intensely at Luke.
    • Leia using the Force to survive being blasted into space.
    • Force Ghost Yoda (portrayed by an actual puppet!) appearing to Luke and summoning lightning to burn the Jedi Temple down.
    • Kylo telekinetically cutting Snoke in half with Anakin's lightsaber.
    • Admiral Holdo's Dying Moment of Awesome by ramming the Raddus into Snoke's flagship at light speed.
    • The reveal that Luke's appearance on Crait in the third act was an astral projection from the clear other side of the galaxy.
  • Idiot Plot: The entire space chase from start to finish. The First Order could have ended the whole movie right at the start had their Dreadnought fired on Raddus and her consorts first, rather than wasting time bombarding the already mostly-evacuated base. Knock out their fleet, and what's left of the Resistance isn't going anywhere, no matter what defenses they have on the planet. Examined in this video.
  • Informed Wrongness: After Holdo's true plans come to light, Leia admonishes Poe for trying to act like a hero, saying that Holdo was doing the truly heroic thing through deceiving those under her and generally failing to act like a leader. But he had no way of knowing better, since he was kept in the dark.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: For all the talk about the movie's "freshness" and subverting some expectations, such as by employing The Un-Reveal, some feel that the movie's relationship with The Empire Strikes Back ends up being pretty similar to that of the The Force Awakens with A New Hope, essentially a soft remake. The movie hits all of the major plot points The Empire Strikes Back did: Stern Chase, a group of the main characters going to a different planet where they find a charismatic rogue who ultimately betrays them, Jedi training (where the trainee goes to a place filled with The Dark Side to confront themselves), the reveal of the protagonist's parents by the Darth Vader Clone Big Bad done in a way meant to be deliberately shocking,note , a cliffhanger ending where the heroes are in a weak situation but still have hope, etc. Additionally, TESB was a major Wham Episode back in the day that employed many Shocking Swerves; TLJ does the exact same thing, only by subverting a different set of expectations based on the standards set by TESB and the other movies in the saga. This hasn't gone unnoticed by critics, and some fans.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Kylo Ren's first scene on screen has him being admonished, electrocuted, and taunted by Snoke, while he can only protest that he's given everything he has to him. It's later discovered that one of the major factors driving him to the dark side was waking up to find his mentor and uncle apparently trying to murder him in his sleep. He also loses his mother, who he thinks died, and Rey, the only other person he cares about, when he makes a power grab and she rejects his offer of ruling with him. By the end of the film, he's completely alone at the head of a First Order that neither likes nor respects him, and even he seems unhappy about it. And this is all while he's still recovering from the events of The Force Awakens, which were none too kind to him either. Quite a fair amount of his pain is brought unto himself, and he remains as dangerous as ever, but it's hard not to feel for him.
  • Les Yay: Quite a few fans detected sparks between Leia and Holdo in their single scene together, where they come close to giggling at trying to figure out who's going to say "May the Force be with you" to the other. Holdo was actually implied to be bisexual in a tie-in novel, though Laura Dern wasn't aware of this during filming.
  • Love to Hate: Just like in The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren is a terrifying but endearing buffoon, but this is cranked up even further because his successful coup against Snoke and takeover of the First Order just for the sake of power shows how his short-sighted avarice can make him truly despicable.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Snoke's Praetorian Guard. They're the last person you'd think would make for an epic fight scene, yet their battle with Rey and Kylo is cited as one of the high-points of the film.
    • The stable boy at the end, just thanks to the simple act of pulling up a broom with the Force. Fan interpretations range from him using the broom as his own weapon to being the new Chosen One.
    • The Z-6 riot control baton already had this reputation as the weapon of the legendary Nines from the previous movie, but the weapon itself has become iconic thanks to Finn using it to easily defeat Captain Phasma.
    • In contrast to his Memetic Loser status from The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren is now considered this; partially due to being much more heavily fleshed out in the film, but mainly thanks to the "Ben Swolo" meme, which portrays him as a ridiculously strong and buff character who is the strongest thing in the whole galaxy and can do practically anything.
    • Captain Canady, given the fact that he is a survivor from the days of the Empire, portrayed as the Only Sane Man of the First Order's personnel, and his general One-Scene Wonder status. In memes, he is usually paired with Hux as the Memetic Loser to his Badass.
  • Memetic Loser:
    • After this, Snoke will forever be remembered as a mere Disc-One Final Boss instead of a proper successor to Palpatine.
    • Captain Phasma already had this stigma due to her being an Anti-Climax Boss who is comically KO'd by Chewie and then thrown into the trash in The Force Awakens, and this film didn't really help her much. She easily beats up Finn, but gets distracted by Rose shooting at her. She then turns her back on the down, but not out ex-stormtrooper to return fire, allows Finn to get in a solid strike, and then falls to a fiery death when Snoke's ship starts falling apart. A lot of fans noted with some amusement that TR-8R really did have a better record than her.
    • General Hux is reduced to a joke in his very first scene and remains that way throughout the movie. Between his constant failures, public humiliations, the lack of respect he gets from enemies and allies alike, and Snoke and Kylo Ren throwing him around with the Force like he's a rag doll, Hux has somehow become the First Order's Butt-Monkey.
    • Kylo Ren already had this status thanks to The Force Awakens but his less-than-perfect head start as the new Supreme Leader of the First Order and his failure to best Luke (or rather, his astral projection) in a one-on-one duel and destroy the rest of the Resistance only cements his status as this even further for fans who remained unconvinced by his newfound Took a Level in Badass.
  • Memetic Molester: Supreme Leader Snoke rapidly achieved this status on tumblr within days of the film's release, with many people finding his emotional manipulation of Kylo to be akin to child-grooming and/or gaslighting. And then there's the scene where he Force-pulls Rey within inches of his face and compliments her on her "spunk." And there's the fact that in the aforementioned scene with Rey, he meets her and Kylo while apparently wearing a dressing gown. The novelization has a scene where he strokes Kylo's face while reprimanding him, only exacerbating the creepiness. The creators confirming they based his design off Hugh Hefner is the cherry on top.
  • Memetic Mutation: This film now has its own page.
  • Memetic Psychopath: BB-8's more... aggressive actions in this film have lead to jokes that it secretly loves murder. The novelization even nods to this, with Rose noting that it's picked up a worrying taste for larceny and assault.
  • Misaimed Fandom: An in-universe example warning against this: one of the major themes of the film is that deifying your heroes will only cause suffering when those same heroes fail to live up to your standards. Understandably, this theme was met with mixed reactions, and underscores the movie's Real Life reception with fans.
  • Misaimed Marketing: Kylo Ren's mask got just as much play in the merchandise for this film as in the previous one. Cue, very early on in the film, Snoke mocking him for wearing it, and him smashing it to a mass of twisted metal and never wearing it again.
  • Moral Event Horizon: DJ crosses it when he sells out Finn and Rose to the First Order. Not only because of the act of treachery itself, but because it got hundreds of Resistance members killed.
    N-S 
  • Narm: It's a Star Wars movie, after all. The franchise has its own page.
  • Narm Charm: The Ugly Cute Porgs manage to be oddly charming despite their bizarre design.
  • Nausea Fuel: In-universe, as Luke tries to gross out Rey by extracting milk from a siren in a sexual manner.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Luke Skywalker will forever be remembered for wanting to murder his own nephew.
    • Rose Tico preventing Finn's sacrifice and kissing him as the Resistance Base was being blown up won't be forgotten any time soon.
  • No Yay:
    • The subtext between Rey and Snoke is incredibly creepy. It was Snoke who linked her mind with Kylo's. When she first meets him he drags her over to him with the Force, puts his hand on her face, and compliments her "spunk" in a rather creepy way.
    • Fans have already noted that Snoke's corruption of a young Ben Solo makes him come off as a child predator, but the scene in the novelization where Snoke strokes his face makes it way worse.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • The ability to telepathically communicate with the Force has been seen in canon since the end of Empire, albeit only across a (relatively) small distance between starships. Communication across the galaxy already showed up in a Deleted Scene of Return of the Jedi, although it was just Vader's voice reaching Luke. This takes it Up to Eleven with Astral Projection, although this was also done by Yoda in Star Wars Rebels Season 2 episode "Shroud of Darkness" about 18 months prior.
    • Leia's ability to survive and move in space back to her ship is not unheard of, considering Kanan Jarrus managed to get himself back inside a ship after being spaced by Darth Maul in "The Holocrons of Fate" episode of Season Three of Star Wars Rebels, which aired 14 months prior to the film's release.
    • Before this movie, Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords had already taken a stab at doing an Internal Deconstruction of the Star Wars universe, to the point that several themes in the film echo that game, such as Luke's desire to end the Jedi mirroring Kreia's desire to destroy the Force itself. It was also similarly divisive among fans.
    • Luke's castigation of Rey for thinking the Force is just the power source for the Jedi, rather than something more mystical and concurrent with life itself, is reminiscent of a complaint raised by Timothy Zahn about other authors in Star Wars Legends while developing Hand of Thrawn. This prompted Zahn to write in those books regarding Luke's restored Jedi Order that overly flashy use of Force powers actually inhibits your higher perceptions of the Force.
    • A common argument against Luke feeling tempted to kill young Ben Solo is that Luke is the same idealistic person who saw good in Darth Vader and tried to save him, so it makes no sense that he would even consider such an extreme option. However, that argument leaves out an important detail: in Return of the Jedi, when Luke handed himself over to the Empire with the intention of saving his father, he still had a moment where he gave into anger and tried to kill Vader, although he ultimately stopped himself before he could deliver the killing blow. This shows that, even in the original trilogy, Luke was not an infallible idealist who only saw the good in people; he was still capable of being blinded by anger and fear, momentarily giving into dark temptations, but more importantly he could also stop himself before it was too late. That sums up exactly what Luke went through when he felt a brief temptation to kill Ben, but stopped himself from doing so.
    • An Asian actress cast as a major character was actually first done twenty years earlier in Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II with Angela Harry portraying Jan Ors.
    • Several people have expressed wonder at the sheer amount of hate the film has received, and continues to receive to this day. However, people are still complaining about the prequels even after nearly two decades.
    • Luke cutting himself off from The Force is similar to Kyle Katarn's cutting himself off after the events of Mysteries Of The Sith.
    • Force ghosts being able to affect the living world. Way back in Return of the Jedi, Obi-Wan’s ghost is clearly shown moving tree branches when he walks past them.
    • Even Kylo Ren killing Snoke so early can actually be traced back to his Legends counterpart, Jacen Solo/Darth Caedus to a degree; Lumiya, the Sith Lady who led Jacen down the path of the dark side, was killed (admittedly not by Jacen, but by Luke) well before the climax of his story.
    • Rose Tico talking about fighting the Order with love... considering the fact that it is now led by Dark Force-wielder Ben Solo, the fact that positive thoughts (including, yes, love) are a way to literally fight the Dark Side has appeared on multiple Legends stories.
    • In a meta sense, people condemning this film because Mark Hamill expressed dissatisfaction with the creator's intent is interesting because nobody seemed to care about his opinion when he complained about Luke slicing the wampa's arm off in The Empire Strikes Back, citing that he felt it was out-of-character. Hamill has also gone back on his doubts with this film, but has never agreed with the wampa-hurting.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Captain Canady, the commanding officer of the dreadnaught-class Fulminatrix. A dignified Old Soldier from the days of the Empire who's in command of a badass starship but Surrounded by Idiots and faces death with dignity.
    • Maz Kanata only has a brief cameo, but it's both funny and badass when she trades zingers with Finn and Poe while in the middle of combat over a "union dispute".
    • Yoda, who appears as a Force Ghost to Luke.
    • Snoke's elite bodyguards for their fight against Rey and Kylo Ren.
    • Paige Tico, Rose's Determinator sister, who gives everything including her life in order to complete Poe's plan to destroy the Dreadnought.
    • FN-926, a regular First Order stormtrooper who appears in a deleted scene played by Tom Hardy, during which he recognizes Finn from their days in training (but doesn’t know that Finn has deserted the First Order) and, seeing Finn in an imperial navy officer’s uniform, just naturally assumes that Finn had been promoted, and drops his stoic demeanor to sincerely congratulate Finn and give him a friendly, bro-like pat on the butt. All with a very heavy southern drawl. People are already referring to him as the coolest stormtrooper ever.
  • Padding: One of the most common criticisms of the film is that the subplot involving Finn and Rose ultimately felt unnecessary and only served to drag out the pacing, with nothing coming of it and it even working against the other plan the Resistance had, which would have worked if it hadn't been for them going off to get the hacker. The fact that Return of the Jedi got through roughly the same plot point in a sentence ("Many Bothans died giving us this information") isn't exactly a point in its favor either.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Some Rose haters like to paint her as an abusive bitch to Finn, based on the scene where she tases him. What those people forget (or ignore) is that Rose was doing her job, which had been to catch deserters, and that Finn was attempting exactly that.
  • Ship Mates: Finnrose (Finn and Rose) became popular among Reylo shippers (Rey and Kylo Ren) before the movie even came out, and before Rose's name was revealed.
  • Shocking Swerve: Kylo Ren swiftly killing hyped-up, mysterious, extremely powerful Snoke midway through the movie.
  • Signature Scene:
    • The epic battle in the throne room is fondly remembered by fans who are used to the prequel trilogy's intense lightsaber duels, as the scene consists of a very dragged out and visceral confrontation between experienced warriors with impressive visual backdrops.
    • Holdo's Heroic Sacrifice via lightspeed that slices Snoke's ship into pieces easily trumps all other scenes in the space battle department, given the perfectly applied silence and sheer magnitude of destruction rivaled only by Death Stars blowing up. There's a reason fans have taken to calling Holdo as "Holdo My Beer" due to one upping crazy feats accomplished in the franchise.
  • Special Effects Failure:
    • Rey is frequently shown gripping her lightsaber by its blade.
    • During the throne room fight, one of Snoke's Praetorian Guards wields two knives. One of the knives is digitally erased at a certain point in the scene when this Guard grabs Rey. The Guard makes a drawing motion across her stomach with his empty hand, Rey reacts as if she has been cut, but the knife is nowhere to be seen, except for an outline that couldn't quite be completely erased.
    • In another example from the throne room scene, one of the guards is decapitated by Kylo Ren. However, a couple shots later, the guard's corpse can be briefly, but clearly, seen with his head still attached to his body.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: Thematically, it's an adaptation of Knights of the Old Republic II, both being subversive Internal Deconstructions of the Star Wars franchise starring a woman (well, canonically starring a woman in KOTOR II's case) that, because of said case of Deconstruction, ended up extremely divisive as far as fan reaction goes. Part of the plot of both involve a member of the main cast's desire to put an end to something related to the Jedi (whether it be Kreia wanting to destroy the Force, or Luke wanting to leave the Jedi Order as a thing of the past).
  • Spoiled by the Format: A very tragic case of it, as Carrie Fisher's untimely death caused Disney to announce Leia was planned to have a large role in the ninth film which had to be completely redone. Thus, there's no way Kylo is actually going to kill her like the trailer implies. This was later confirmed in an interview with Daisy Ridley, who described the emotion of filming a scene between Rey and Leia towards the very end of the film.]]
  • Squick: Admiral Holdo cupping Poe's cheek while he's unconscious made many fans uncomfortable due to their age gap, her status as his superior officer, their constant antagonism, and the sheer inappropriateness of the gesture.
  • Strangled by the Red String: A common complaint about the Finn and Rose arc is this, since towards the end of the Battle on Crait, Rose kisses Finn and expresses her love for him. Rose knows Finn for only at most one day, and has never interacted with him before this movie. While Rose developing feelings for Finn isn't really bad in of itself, since she clearly sees him as a hero, the fact that she falls for him that quickly feels like it was shoehorned in for no other reason than the writers needing a romantic twist. Possibly helped by the fact that Finn is just as confused as the audience is and is completely dumbfounded as to why she would feel love for him. It's clear that, at least for now, the romantic feelings are one-sided.
    T-Z 
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Most of the criticism among fans focuses on that it toys with audiences' expectations a bit too much, a stark contrast from how The Force Awakens was criticized for being too formulaic.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: The movie tries to take the plot in directions the viewer wouldn't expect. The flip-side of the medallion is that several characters that were seemingly set up to play a major role in this trilogy more or less get the axe in this film.
    • Snoke. Although Snoke's death sequence is an impressive bait and switch that throws the audiences' expectations for a loop, it nonetheless comes at the cost of completely erasing any storylines they could have tackled with the character, especially after Snoke's origins and motivations were such a longtime source of speculation. None of that is even remotely resolved either; we still don't know his origins. Andy Serkis has addressed this, stating that they decided to keep his backstory mysterious for any prequels.
    • Captain Phasma. She gets to actually do something, unlike last film, but when all is said and done she really doesn't have that much more screentime compared to The Force Awakens and likewise seemingly dies. It didn't help matters that in a deleted scene, Finn calls out Phasma for her Chronic Back Stabbing Disorder, causing her to kill the nearby Stormtroopers and attempt to finish off Finn to cover her tracks; while she still dies, that scene would've brought in aspects of her personalty that have been previously relegated to the books and comics. On the other hand, Phasma's death in the final movie leaves her fate far more open-ended than the deleted one (with the official Youtube clip of the deleted scene even titled "Phasma's End"), raising hopes that she may have survived.
    • Vice Admiral Holdo. Despite being played up as Poe's opposition in the Resistance and getting a beautiful Heroic Sacrifice, her character wasn't fleshed out much in the movie itself.
    • DJ. Built up to be a mysterious and menacing galactic criminal, DJ ultimately has extremely little involvement in the plot except to just get Finn and Rose on Snoke's flagship, betray them, and effectively disappear from the film.
    • BB-9E, BB-8's Evil Counterpart, who only appears in a couple of scenes before disappearing and doesn't even confront BB-8 directly.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The identity of Rey's parents. They were the source of massive speculation after The Force Awakens came out since people wanted to know who they were, why they left Rey on Jakku, and if they were the reason she was naturally powerful in the Force. They instead turned out to be some anonymous Jakku people who sold their daughter for drink money and instead Rey was just born with a powerful affinity for the Force. While this can easily be a case of Tropes Are Not Bad, as this serves to highlight Rey's The Unchosen One nature, it still comes across as a wasted plot to some.
    • Leia and Kylo Ren's relationship. Aside from the bridge scene where Kylo and Leia sense the presence of each other, the relationship between the two doesn't have a proper resolution, as they never come face to face in the film. The only thing resembling closure is that Leia tells Luke she's finally given up on him and Luke tries to encourage her otherwise. With this film being Carrie Fisher's final appearance, it's unlikely that their relationship will be explored more in Episode IX. It's possible this is another tragic case of Real Life Writes the Plot and their relationship was supposed to get more focus in Episode IX, before Fisher's untimely death.
      • Related to that: Leia's Parental Substitute relationship with Poe gets some development as she tries to mold him into a better leader. However, the fact that he was captured, tortured and mind-probed by Leia's actual son at the beginning of The Force Awakens is never referenced, even though it might have provided the perfect psychological backdrop for Poe's defiance of Leia's leadership.
    • Finn infiltrating the Supremacy and the brief exploration of child slaves on Canto Bight, are both seen by some fans as dramatically fascinating set-ups the film completely ignores. Finn's own history as a kidnapped child soldier should make his reactions toward the latter a major character moment, but there's no sign that ever entered the writing process. The former, in contrast, had some scenes filmed to exploit the drama of Finn back in First Order territory, but both were cut before the theatrical release.
    • Rose and Finn’s arc and relationship could have been more interesting if Rose had started out distrusting and resenting Finn for being an ex Stormtrooper and perhaps even projecting blame for her sister’s death onto him, rather than immediately hero-worshipping him. The subplot would then potentially involve Finn and Rose realizing they’re Not So Different and eventually coming to trust and care for each other, as well as acting as a Foil to Kylo Ren and Rey’s relationship. The reveal that originally, Finn would have been reintroduced in the film as one of Paige Tico's co-gunners, holding her in his arms while she died, has only exacerbated this. Rian Johnson noted that if this story decision had made it into the film, it would have required Finn and Rose (as Paige's sister) to eventually have a "big scene" built around that connection, but he "couldn't make it pay off".
    • Holdo keeping her plan secret exists to challenge Poe's existing character flaws and develop him as a character, but a number of fans felt that the plotline would have worked better if Holdo's reasons were explained better or she had more clearly defined ones. One example often brought up is having Holdo argue that a spy is on board, which would have made her secrecy far more understandable. It also could have allowed Poe the chance to investigate Holdo to see if she truly is loyal, which in turn might let the audience understand Holdo more.
  • Too Cool to Live: Luke. Once he pulls himself together, he proves to be far more badass than Rey or Kylo Ren, hence he couldn't stay alive.
  • True Art Is Angsty: Some fans and critics praise TLJ very highly and vocally for being more morally complex than previous Star Wars films, and that the cynicism displayed in cases like Luke's characterization and The Reveal of Rey's parents only makes it better as an artistic product by throwing the viewer's emotions for a loop. Yet, said viewer-emotion-loop-throwing is also one of the main reasons why TLJ has been so harshly criticized by others.
  • Ugly Cute: The Porgs (the alien birds seen on Ahch-To) are simply bizarre in terms of design, but there's a sweetness to them.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • Good ol' Snoke as always. Not only do we get a lovely look at his hideously disfigured, blemished facial half, his staring, Icy Blue Eyes devoid of any emotion and the fact one half of his face seems fairly normal despite the grievous damage are both particularly haunting.
    • This case is most definitely invoked because it worked out so well in the film's favor and foreshadowed the plot twist as well. Luke's younger, black bearded face looked particularly unsettling. This served to highlight the Unreliable Narrator nature of the flashback to Luke and Ben's fallout: Ben saw Luke as a monster when Luke showed only fear. The second time it is used to foreshadow the twist that Luke used Force Vision to fight Kylo.
    • The fathiers have uncomfortably humanoid-looking faces, which look particularly out of place on giant alien horse-dogs.
  • Unexpected Character: Very few people expected Yoda to pop in from the Force for a chat with Luke. Voiced by Frank Oz and puppeteered as a practical effect, no less!
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • Poe is meant to be seen as irrational for mutinying against Admiral Holdo. However, she deliberately kept him Locked Out of the Loop even after he repeatedly asked her to clarify the situation, giving him every reason to think that his actions were averting disaster. This is further undermined by the actors' performances, as Holdo seems rather repellent and Poe comes off as the Only Sane Man who, while impulsive, is well-meaning and concerned for the lives of his men.
    • While it may overlap with Draco in Leather Pants, there are some who view Kylo Ren this way because they think his idea of letting the past and all old things die, including the franchise's traditional Black and White Morality, and start a new order in the galaxy that can prevent the same problems from constantly happening is the correct one, and that Rey refusing to join him is holding back progress that needs to happen. Basically, he's seen as the Doomed Moral Victor of the story.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Luke considered murdering his nephew in his sleep just because he sensed darkness within him, despite regretting and not going through it still pushed Kylo Ren to the dark side, killing most of his Jedi pupils and several others defecting to his side. Rather than helping to stop Ren or trying to turn him back like he succeeded with Vader, Luke exiled himself for several years, leaving the galaxy to fend for itself against an evil, new force without The Hero to help them, causing countless to die.
    • Admiral Holdo is introduced giving a rather bland and weak speech that fails to motivate her troops and then she dismisses Poe's concerns seemingly out of an effort to teach him some humility, which might seem reasonable given they don't know how they're being tracked, but still doesn't exactly make her seem like a character the audience is meant to root for. The reveal of her plan (and that Leia supported it) doesn't help much, since it reveals that Poe would have gone along with it had she only trusted him and saved the lectures for a less critical moment, and her refusal to answer Poe's valid observation about the transports just seemed spiteful. Her Heroic Sacrifice is visually stunning, but the story behind it feels somewhat hollow as she only had to make it because she didn't try to win Poe's trust. This reviewer raises the interesting idea that this and Poe's Unintentionally Sympathetic portrayal were actually intentional on the parts of the filmmakers, and worked a little too well.
  • Unfortunate Implications: In spite of the general popularity of TLJ with social justice bloggers for its diverse cast and increased prominence in female roles compared to earlier movies, others have roundly criticized the movie for taking an overly-sympathetic stance to Kylo Ren, downplaying the actions of the First Order (Most especially by engaging in an attempt at Black and Grey Morality, when the antagonists are based off a very real horror visited upon the world), how Rey seems to be sidelined in favor of Luke and Kylo's conflict, and how Poe (played by the Latino Oscar Isaac) is taught a lesson on respecting authority by Admiral Holdo (Played by the white Laura Dern). Some examples of people discussing thisare here.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • Yoda's brief appearance uses an actual puppet instead of a CG model, and it looks and moves identical to the puppets of the original trilogy.note  This truly stands out in a movie loaded with CG spaceships.
    • The aftermath of Holdo ramming Snoke's flagship at lightspeed. The impact doesn't just destroy the flagship, it cuts through the First Order fleet in a brilliant blue blaze, and every other source of illumination in the surrounding space (stars, planets, etc.) cannot be seen as the First Order fleet is destroyed.
    • The thala-siren that Luke milks was completely achieved with puppetry, and it looks so good that it not only seems like a real creature, but one achieved through CGI.
    • While in the first film, Snoke's hologram looked really fake, "physical", "onscreen" Snoke is convincing, like Maz Kanata before him.
  • What an Idiot!: See here.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?:
    • Several media outlets (Vanity Fair, Den of Geeks, Buzzfeed, Yahoo and the Los Angeles Times) have interpreted the conflict between Poe Dameron and Admiral Holdo as a pro-feminist story that condemns male chauvinism and "toxic masculinity". Rian Johnson's Flip-Flop of God regarding the topic adds to this sentiment. However, not everyone agrees and the issue is best discussed elsewhere.
    • The Canto Bight scenes can be seen as political commentary on capitalism (particularly the global arms trade), slavery, and animal abuse. It had a mixed reception, though to a minor extent since not much was done with that subplot.
    • Many viewers of different political affiliations believe that, at times, The Last Jedi comes across as very Anvilicious in its political messages. Some have accused this quality of playing a part in the film's polarized reaction, both in terms of viewer agreement/disagreement and people wanting to see Star Wars as a fun, escapist action flick rather than a heavy-handed critique on society — the latter was also a major criticism of the prequels. Even worse, the political divide made it very difficult to tell which criticisms of the film were politically motivated and which were not, and made it more difficult for some people to pinpoint the film's genuine strengths and flaws.
  • The Woobie:
    • Rey, fresh from losing her would-be father figure Han Solo, goes to find Luke Skywalker and learn the ways of the Force, only to be denied by the grizzled Jedi who did not live up to her expectation of a legendary hero. She somehow bonds with Kylo Ren, the murderer who killed his own father, yet ironically, the only person who understands her feelings. He reveals that Luke attempted to kill him, causing Rey to lose all respect for Luke and run away to try to redeem Ben Solo on her own. It turns out that Snoke was manipulating her all along and with him dead, Kylo disappoints her by refusing to redeem himself and tries to eliminate everything she loves. Kylo also forces her to admit that she's been living a Changeling Fantasy; there's no grand destiny for her, she's not a descendant of some great lineage, she's just a nobody whose parents sold her for some drinking money and died afterwards. By the end of the film, it's amazing she hasn't become even more of a Broken Bird or turned to the dark side after everything she's been through.
    • Poe loses several of his comrades in the process of destroying the Dreadnaught, and upon returning to base he gets smacked, berated and demoted by his surrogate mother figure (who almost dies). Then he meets Admiral Holdo, who disrespects him constantly and refuses to explain her seemingly harmful actions, despite holding the lives of his fellow soldiers in her hands. Once Poe decides he’s had enough and stages a mutiny his plans are foiled by Leia shooting him. Moreover, this all happens mere days after being captured and tortured by the First Order, and suffering a near-death experience while escaping from them. He takes most of it in stride.
    • Rose loses her sister in war, gets sent on a dangerous mission (despite being a noncombatant) where she's arrested, betrayed, and handed over to the First Order. She also has the honor of seeing Finn, her hero, try to run away again and near the end she injures herself saving him.
    • Leia. The New Republic she spent decades building is in ruins and she's leading the Resistance in a losing war against the First Order. Every casualty under her command weighs heavily on her, while those who survive can't cooperate (Poe and Holdo) or inadvertently makes things worse (Finn and Rose). She recently lost her husband to their son - who she's given up on after he contemplates killing her - and doesn’t have the time to grieve for him properly. Her allies in the Outer Rim never arrive and when her brother Luke returns, he’s not even there physically, and he dies while buying the Resistance time to escape from the planet. Despite all this, she soldiers on.
    • Luke himself. Just try to listen to him getting choked up as he tells how he failed all of his students and not feel terrible for him.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?:
    • Snoke's golden robe looks really weird on someone who's supposed to be as intimidating as The Emperor. Some even derogatorily call it a bathrobe. The official Black Series action figure only made this worse — and, having been released long before the movie, cemented the impression before the character could even appear on-screen. The idea was for him to be wearing an impractical and luxurious outtfit out of arrogance, but most thought it looked too silly.
    • Holdo's hair and dress go a long way towards undermining the image of her supposedly being a competent and professional military officer, particularly when compared to Leia's prim haircut and her rough-and-tough military-style coat. In contrast, Holdo's outfit looks both impratical and sloppy, and has been compared by many as making her look like a giraffe. Especially since so much had been made in the supplemental materials about the Republic government being run by pretentious politicians and the Resistance is depicted as dirt poor. This may have been the point, given Holdo's character arc over the course of the film. The Art of the Last Jedi reveals that Holdo was going to wear a military uniform in early sketches of the character.
    • During Kylo Ren's shirtless scene, roughly 1/3 of his chest is blocked by high-waisted pants. Apart from not suiting his overall appearance... the fangirls were not pleased.

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