The Last Jedi ~ Movie Review

*Cue drumroll*

Pause. Ok, announcement: I AM LATE WITH THIS REVIEW. MY APOLOGIES Y’ALL. Alright, continuing!

*Drumroll resumes*

….

The Last Jedi came out December 15, 2017. I was totally not counting down the days, and absolutely did not look at any Star Wars related content up to its release. Nothing. Nope. Nadaaaaa.

Fine. Y’all caught me. I was 100% counting down the days until it came out, and browsed Star Wars content albeit religiously on social media (read: Instagram). I’m going to be honest here; I have a terrible weakness for spoilers. It’s a bit of a problem. And I was doing so good! I was so proud of myself the week that it was going to be released, because I had resisted the urge to read any spoilers! But the day before I went to go see it, something in my brain *ahem* snapped.

Read it. 

No. Nope! I am going to wait til the movie.

But, IT’S RIGHT THERE. 

I can do this. I have gone almost the entire week without reading spoilers. 

Click. The. Link. 

Well. As I’m sure you can tell, I did not make it without getting some spoilers. Whoops. But hey, I made progress! The next movie I’ll definitely make it the whole way without looking at spoilers.

Anyway, onto the review!

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This review is going to have spoilers in it, so to those who have not seen it – DO NOT SCROLL ANY FARTHER. Be strong (though I’m totally not blaming you if you can’t resist. The struggle is real y’all!).

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD.

TURN BACK NOW.

SERIOUSLY.

LAST WARNING.

Well, that’s as many warnings as a person can give, so here we go! Gosh, where do I start? So much happened! I will attempt to contain my enthusiasm and – eh, who am I kidding. What fun is a review without some excitement?

Let’s start with a breakdown of how the movie begins.

The Resistance is fleeing the First Order, who is tracking them ruthlessly and not giving them a moment of peace. On the other side of the galaxy, Rey and Chewie have gone to Ahch-To in search of Luke Skywalker, who they feel certain will return with them and help defeat the First Order.

Now that we have the background set, I’m going to dive in to my random thoughts of the movie. First of all, I love love love the character development arcs. My favorite one, in terms of just the over all beginning and ending, would have to be Poe’s.

blog6The way Rian Johnson, the director/writer, constructed it was awesome. We see Poe, who is the best pilot in the Resistance, get some reprimanding from his leader and idol – Leia. When the film first starts, Poe takes some reckless risks and because of them, lives are lost. He ignored Leia’s instruction to turn back, and kept fighting. It becomes clear that Poe is zealous for the Resistance and its cause, and while passion is a key component when battling obstacles, unbridled passion can lead to causalities and ignoring leadership.

blog5Further, when Leia puts someone in charge; Poe completely disobeys Vice Admiral Holdo. To be fair, until we learned the reason behind Holdo’s statements, I was actually on Poe’s side in this instance. It seemed like she was giving up, but as we learn, Holdo actually had good reasons for what she was saying.

Anyway, as the movie continues to progress, Poe starts learning that fighting is not always the answer. You can’t rush into the thick of the battle every single time. When they’re on Crait, we really start to see his growth in becoming a better leader and shaping his passion into something that also takes into account consequences.

Now, onto Luke. There have been mixed reactions about his character in The Last Jedi, and I think I fall somewhere in the middle. I don’t think it’s unrealistic to think that Luke is suffering from depression, and if you think about everything he’s been through, it would be ridiculous to assume that he could come out on the other side, the same boy that left Tattoine. So, I’m not upset that they didn’t portray him as untainted or as enthusiastic as he was in the original trilogy.

On the other hand, I do wish that Rian would have made there be a better reason for Luke to be on the island for so long. Personally, through reading meta and different theories, I always thought that he went to Ahch-To to seek out the first Jedi Temple – to find answers through the Force. In my own mind, I’m still going with that as I think it makes more sense than just saying he isolated himself. Though. To be fair, his two previous mentors exiled themselves to planets, and Yoda going to one without any companions. Who knows! It’s plausible, I suppose, if you look at Yoda and Obi-Wan’s exile choices.

Speaking of Yoda, we got a Force Ghost! I was actually surprised that it was Yoda, not that I’m complaining of course! I thought it was neat that Yoda was the one who was basically saying that it’s time for the past Jedi order to die out (he did burn the whole tree down after all), seeing as how he was a stickler for the Jedi rulebook in the prequel trilogy. I was a little bit disappointed that we did not get Force ghost Anakin though. Here’s to hoping that happens in episode nine! Pretty please Lucasfilm.

I cannot go this far without mentioning my favorite part of the film.

Reylo. Yep. IT HAPPENED PEOPLE. Also, disclaimer here, you’re free to disagree with me, BUT NO HATER COMMENTS. Or they will be deleted. Anyway.

Two years, and people said reylo shippers were crazy (unfortunately, including my own dad and brother *sigh*). Thank you Rian Johnson for doing what we all had theorized and actually making it come to life!

blog9The Force bond is real y’all. And yes, I know Snoke said he created it, but honestly that’s the stupidest statement I’ve ever heard. And I’m not just saying that because I ship reylo. For one, why should we trust anything Snoke says? He is a manipulator, and so of course, he would want to take credit for something that has formed between his apprentice and Rey. Secondly, the major indication that he did not form it, to me, is that after his death, the Force bond did not disappear. It was still there. With that said, I do not think it is too far-fetched to think that Snoke manipulated Kylo’s end of the bond. After all, it is canon that Snoke has been “whispering” and basically in Kylo’s head since he was a child. With his dark knowledge of the Force, he could have manipulated it to suit his own objectives.

Personally, I believe the Force bond was created when Kylo and Rey were in each other’s minds during the interrogation in The Force Awakens. Another theory, that I have seen is that the Force itself bonded them.

blog12With that out of the way, onto the actual Force bond scenes! They were so awesome. Better than I could have ever imagined! It definitely left me wanting more! For starters, I think it was really neat that not only could they see each other’s surroundings, but they could actually feel them (rain with Kylo) and touch. 

Yep. The hand scene. Y’all, like where do I start??? I love it so much. The simplicity and innocence of the entire interaction – how they are both so lonely and desperate for affection and validation, and yet, like the INTIMACY of such a pure, childlike action was crazy!

LOVED. IT.

I can’t even imagine how amazing it is going to be when they finally kiss! And for those of you who doubt that it will happen, I’m just going to point you to something the late Carrie Fischer (RIP) said to Daisy Ridley: “I’m looking forward to your space kiss” (just search Carrie’s name and space kiss and the quote will come up).

Also. THE SCENE IN SNOKE’S CHAMBERS. Ya know, where they are fighting back to back and in complete sync with each other. Where they LET THE OTHER ONE USE THEIR LIGHTSABER (the amount of trust???). Absolutely beautiful. Honestly, it’s the first time since the prequels that I can remember seeing two Force users fighting together – and who doesn’t love that?!

Pure awesomeness.

blog13Alas, with mentioning the throne room scene, I would be a terrible movie reviewer if I skipped over the final moment. The one where the lightsaber breaks in half, and our poor characters hearts shatter. I saw something on Pinterest or Tumblr that really explains this better than I can.

Other moments I loved were where Luke is trying to teach Rey to reach out with the Force. He uses a plant leaf/stem to touch her, and she excitedly thinks that this is the Force! Y’all – SO HILARIOUS. Literally one of the best parts of the movie xD

Being the animal lover that I am, I cannot finish this review without referring to the new creatures! Porgs – ADORABLE FLUFF BALLS, so cute! Ice crystal foxes – visually, completely stunning! Fathier – seriously, do they not have the sweetest face ever??

blog15On the whole, I loved The Last Jedi. There were some parts that I did not like – I thought Luke drinking milk from that creature on the island was super weird, and I also wasn’t completely satisfied with his death. I loved the whole interaction with Leia, that he finally came to his senses and did what needed to be done. However, I’m still not fully convinced that projecting an image like that could drain you enough to kill you. But who knows, maybe I just want to think that because Luke is one of my favorite characters.

I thought Rose’s addition was great. It really gave a perspective of someone who is in the background, and who is dealing with real losses – her sister dying. Up until now, other than Han, our characters haven’t really lost someone close to them, and I think this was a good, grounding addition. War has consequences.

Also, I think she really helped Finn achieve some character growth. He was confronted with someone who looked at him like a hero. Would he rise up to the challenge of being part of the Resistance? Or was he going to run away and save his own skin? Great stuff.

Honestly, there is so much more that I could go on about, but I’m going to try and keep this review at a realistic length xD

If you haven’t seen The Last Jedi, go see it! It’s an amazing film. And if you have watched it, comment below and let me know what you thought! Did you love it? Hate it? Fall somewhere in the middle?

May the Force be with y’all!

~ Southern Dreamer

Red ~ A Reylo Songfic

Disclaimer: The song “Red” belongs to Taylor Swift. All characters and the world belong to Star Wars, but the plot and everything else is mine. Please don’t steal my work, and give credit if you decide to post it somewhere else and whatnot. With that said, I hope y’all enjoy it! Oh, and the collages are made by me.

Loving him is like driving a new Maserati down a dead-end street
Faster than the wind, passionate as sin ending so suddenly

His hand hovered over her face, until the black leather touched her cheek in a feathery, soft wisp. She was frozen in place, unable to move. Her hazel eyes locked on his darker ones, knowing she should call out a warning to the Resistance – do anything but stand here in a dreamlike trance.

“Do you even know what you do to me?”

Oh, most certainly. Likely the same horrible, spell-binding pull that seemed to draw them together – always together. Never being able to truly hate one another, always with the longing that they could be something more. Together. As One.

In a sudden burst of movement, he pressed his lips to hers in a passionate kiss full of the ridiculous adoration that he could never stop carrying for this tiny, spitfire of a woman. And to her shame, she found herself responding in equal longing and neediness.

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Loving him is like trying to change your mind once you’re already flying through the free fall
Like the colors in autumn, so bright just before they lose it all

“Rey.”

She shook her head, already knowing what he was going to say. The hallway of the building was eerily empty save for the presence of two orphaned souls. Turning, she saw her friend’s crestfallen face – sensitive spirit trying to understand why in the universe she would do this. “I’m sorry Finn. I-I can’t change how I feel – it’s beyond my control – the Force…” Her voice trailed off, shoulders sagging wearily. There was no logical explanation for this, nothing she could say that would make him or herself feel any better. “I’m sorry,” she whispered.

Losing him was blue like I’d never known
Missing him was dark grey all alone
Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you never met

Rey clung to him tightly, refusing to let go. She would not, would not let him do this. Of course, considering the fact that he was a good foot taller than her and at least physically, much stronger, she knew he could easily pull her off and leave. Leave. “No! I will not allow this! Not after everything, does this mean nothing to you?” She shoved her ring finger in front of his face, tears pooling in her eyes.

Closing his eyes tightly, he rested his forehead against hers – breathing in deeply. “Sweetheart, this-this running from planet to planet is no life for a family. No life for-for you. You deserve better…”

“But what if I don’t want anything better?” came her choked reply.

“I have to do this.”

But loving him was red
Loving him was red

“Don’t be afraid, I feel it too.”

“I need someone to show me my place in all of this.”

Touching him was like realizing all you ever wanted was right there in front of you
Memorizing him was as easy as knowing all the words to your old favorite song

She staggered backwards, battle wounds causing her vision to swarm. Right before black completely clouded her sight, she thought she saw a worried, anxious face leaning over hers.

When she finally awoke, she wondered where she was, what had happened. Then, she remembered. Luke had sent her on a solo mission to an Outer Rim planet. While there, she had encountered Kylo Ren. So much had happened…strange creatures had attacked, forcing them to become allies out of necessity. Even before that, he had – surprisingly, saved her from drowning.

Looking to her left, she gasped. There lay Kylo Ren, knocked out cold. She shifted slowly, not wanting to disrupt her wounds, but when they did not pain her, she came to the strange conclusion that he had healed her. But is that not a Light Side technique?
Shakily, she crawled over to him, hand trembling as she unconsciously rested it against his scarred face. In his current state, his entire body was relaxed and she almost felt as though she had known him in another life.

Fighting with him was like trying to solve a crossword and realizing there’s no right answer
Regretting him was like wishing you never found out that love could be that strong

“It is you.”
“You’re a monster!”

“I can train you! Show you the ways of the Force!”
The Force…
She swung.

Losing him was blue like I’d never known
Missing him was dark gray all alone
Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you never met

She could not stop shaking. Frantically, she reached up and cradled his face in her hands. His face that she knew so well. Subconsciously, she traced every scar that marked him, tenderly brushing her fingers over their surface. “Please,” she begged, voice barely audible. “Please, we can leave now.”

His tortured soul grew more conflicted as his wife lovingly caressed him.

She glanced down at her swelling stomach. Eight months pregnant. “I can’t do this alone. Please, please. We can go – live in some remote planet. I don’t care! Just – ” She broke off in a choked sob.

Overhead, aircraft sounded. It was too late. The Resistance had come for Kylo Ren. Her heart shattered into a thousand pieces, and she could only muster more tears as her love, her soulmate held her tightly.

But loving him was red
Oh red
Burning red

“How can you love me? After everything I’ve done?” He whispered to her, voice broken.
She tilted her head to look at him, noticing the sorrowful, self-hatred emotion that filled his eyes. Shushing him, she rested her head against his chest. It was late at night, they had both been exhausted after numerous death threats throughout the day. Shrugging her shoulders, she yawned sleepily. “Dunno, I guess-I guess I just always saw the good in you. And I blame Snoke for starting you on it. No, no. I know it doesn’t excuse anything, but that-that,” she let out a sharp, insulting curse word for the disgusting creature, “he watched you since you were born. And anyways,” she snuggled against him, “you’re the only one who understands me.”

Emotion filled his throat, and he could do nothing but place the most tender and innocent of kisses on her forehead.

Remembering him comes in flashbacks and echoes
Tell myself it’s time now, gotta let go
But moving on from him is impossible
When I still see it all in my head
Burning red
Burning it was red

She awoke with a sweaty gasp, shuddering under the weight of memories. Tears slipped down her cheeks, though she alone saw them in the darkness of night. How much longer could she go on like this?

Oh losing him was blue like I’d never known
Missing him was dark gray all alone
Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you never met

She wanted so badly to kill every single one of the guards who were holding her husband, her love captive. They had tied his hands together, feet locked in chains. He wore a black cuff on his hand that weakened his contact with the Force. Clenching her fists tightly, fury bubbled up in her as she watched them mockingly parade him around on the platform.

As though sensing her emotion, Ben Solo met her gaze – shaking his head slightly. Somehow she knew what he was saying…no. don’t Rey. I don’t want you to suffer on account of me.

But you’ll die! she shouted through their bond that not even the Force inhibiting cuff could cut off. In some part of her mind, she knew he was right. They had a child, her infant son. She could not leave him without a father and a mother. “I love you,” she whispered, blinking back tears.

He gave her a sad, lopsided smile. “I’ll always love you, sweetheart.”

‘Cause loving him was red
Yeah, yeah red
We’re burning red

As he fell to the ground in a heap, killed by the Resistance in accord with his First Order history, something in her snapped. An unearthly scream escaped her throat, and in some manner, she managed to instantly appear at his fallen side. Cradling his body to her, tears flooded down her cheeks and face.

No, no. This could not be happening! Where there was once his comforting presence in the back of her mind, now there was nothing. Her head spun with the pain of having the one she was bonded with taken from her in so cruel a manner.

A giant wave of the Force erupted from her – freezing everyone in place.

She had lost her lover, part of her soul. All she had left of him was her son, and she would be damned if she let anyone lay a finger on him. Not after losing Ben.

And that’s why he’s spinning ’round in my head
Comes back to me, burning red

“Scavenger.”
“Rey.”
“Sweetheart.”
“Ree.”
Partner.
Soulmate.
Lover.
One.

Yeah, yeah
His love was like driving a new Maserati down a dead-end street

 

Sparks ~ A Reylo One-Shot

Disclaimer: All characters and the world belong to Star Wars, but the plot and everything else is mine. Please don’t steal my work, and give credit if you decide to post it somewhere else and whatnot. With that said, I hope y’all enjoy it! 

She picked up on his scent immediately…it was so, so unmistakably him. He smelled of pain and heartache – agony settling deep into his bones long ago; and yet…there was something else. Something torn and shattered, needing – no, pleading to be made whole again. The tiniest, smallest flicker of hope that continued to give the barest light in his world of darkness.

Against the logic of herself and the rest of the galaxy, she breathed in deeply. The scent of metal, something only a scavenger could appreciate, hit her nose instantly. And then, as she focused, an aroma of leather and spearmint, mixed together in a wonderful abrasion floated through the air. The effect was immediate. Her stiffened shoulders and anxious lines cross-crossing her face relaxed. She couldn’t quite pinpoint it, but there was just something about it that calmed her…made her feel safe and secure.

With a frigid chill, a breeze brushed against her cheek – causing her heart to thump violently. The very air seemed to hum with the Force, thrumming with every vibration and breath. Intangible, yet she could almost touch it. It was right before her, and still farther than a lightyear away. What was this? Who –

Then, she saw him. Almost like a phantom, a ghost who she alone could see. Him with his deep eyes, saying far more than words ever could -an ebony lock drifting over his brow. He moved silently towards her, a beautiful, yet deadly creature – treading the ground with power and strength. Shadows, casted by the twilight in all of it’s romantic mysteriousness, fell over his face…across his left cheek. Unconsciously, her gaze drifted to the scar that would always remain – a reminder, a whisper of falling snow, flashing sabers, and her trembling heart that somehow seemed to beat in sync with his.

“Do you feel it?”

He stood before her, towering over her much smaller frame. His words, betraying the otherwise intimidating demeanor, were tender – an inquiry intended only for her ears to catch. Every logical neuron in her mind, every bit of survivor experience she had gathered from that dust pit screamed against the closeness of the enemy – told her to get away, to move. She closed her eyes briefly, trying to muster up enough strength to take a step in the opposite direction.

“I – ”

She could not. Something-something beyond herself, had her feet glued to the grassy ground. The darkening skies and the dimming sun could not even hold a flame to the phenomenon that seemed to tie her soul with his. What was it?

Suddenly, a rough hand lifted her chin gently. On instinct, she looked up and found herself drowning in his dark eyes, that seemed to pool with every emotion that the universe could offer. Heart pounding, she tried to make some sense of this insanity. She squeezed her eyes shut tightly, a single tear escaping. Her senses were overcome. She inhaled sharply.

“Ree,” his deep voice murmured, wiping her tears away. In his own mind, he had always called her this. Perhaps silly, trivial even – and yet, it felt right.

Despite the fact that her throat felt closed off, Rey managed to choke out, “I-I don’t understand!” She did not understand at all. She did not understand why this was happening to her, why in the galaxy the Force decided she should be the one. She did not understand why she did not hate him – why her heart and mind seemed flooded with anything, anything but loathing. She did not understand why every time they drew near to one another, a spark seemed to light within her veins.

In that never-ending way she still did not grasp, somehow he knew the confusion that wrecked through her very being. Rey found herself drawn into a tight embrace, her head buried in his chest and his arms wrapped around her. Tears continued to slip from her hazel eyes. Too many emotions and feelings flooded her. Why was this so confusing? Everything was so much simpler back on Jakku…”I should hate you,” she mumbled against his cloak.

He nodded wordlessly, stroking her hair with the tenderest of touches. “I know.”