So, I Watched The Last Jedi
Oh, yeah. I’m gonna do it. The Last Jedi Review. Mwa hahaha.
You think we’ve heard enough about The Last Jedi already? It seems lately every other tweet, youtube video or Pinterest post is about the latest Star Wars movie. And they are all very insistent.
The Last Jedi is either the best movie ever made or a piece of garbage tossed aside by the king of hell himself (whoever you attribute that to be according to your specific fandom).
I went to see the movie as a date with my husband. We, like many Star Wars fans, were divided on the quality of the film. I was sure he was going to rip into it as soon as we stepped out the theater door into the cool darkness an of early EARLY Florida morning, but he smiled and said. “It was really good.”
Now don’t get me wrong. I didn’t hate it. I like to point out that Finn is my favorite character and if there is one thing most people agree on its that the casino scene was...well… Most people just say "Ohhhhh" when I give that as my reason.
When it comes to how to rate this movie, I am planted firmly in the middle. I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as The Force Awakens (even if Rey does drive me nuts) and I didn’t despise it for stealing my hard-earned dollars like I did with Rogue One. I would probably even watch it again.
One thing that most apologists of this movie are arguing is that the reason so many people disliked the movie was that they had the wrong expectations. I’m not sure if that is entirely true. Most of my arguments with the movie come from a story-structure mindset. But I can see how this movie was often trying (sometimes too hard) to disrupt expectations. Whether it was in the area of romance, or deaths or if it was the multiple false endings and dual climaxes, often the director seems to very deliberately be upsetting the status quo not only in Star Wars but in films in general.
As a writer who is now working on the sequel to my novel, the word "expectation" has come to have a whole new meaning to me. It is a hard thing to satisfy. There is a balance to be had. Something can be surprising without being good. Or it can be good without having an element of surprise at all.
But if you fail to meet consumer expectations there is a much higher price to pay than if you were to just fail to surprise them.
Expectations can often be our enemy when it comes to trying something new. A little bit of a surprise is good and enjoyable but often if it’s too different (Let's say I bite into a chocolate cake and find out it is actually coffee flavored. No thanks) it can ruin our experience even if it’s not necessarily bad.
That was one thing I was warned about heading into marriage. I had to adjust my expectations to my husband, not the other way around.
Perhaps that is something to think about going into the New Year as well. Life is hard, there will be struggles in every year. We can often approach a New Year with this attitude that if we just try hard enough or have enough luck, we can make it amazing. Because of that, we often leave the old year behind feeling a bit like a failure or a victim.
But life is rarely cut and dry. There is sorrow, yes, but there is often great beauty as well, often hidden in the sorrow itself.
I hope we are not so distracted by to-do lists and failed expectations that we aren’t able to enjoy this next year of our lives.