Photo credit: movieweb.com

By: Phillip Lutz, Sports Editor

There is a major disturbance in the force. (This article contains major spoilers from the movie.)

The Last Jedi opened with a whopping $450,821,889 in its opening weekend. That was the fifth biggest opening for any movie since 2002.

This movie is the newest installment in a proud franchise that began in 1977 with Star Wars: A New Hope. The Last Jedi gives fans of all ages a true glimpse of the continuing saga of the Skywalker legacy. The Last Jedi is a movie that has many subplots in it that jump all over the place and makes it hard to follow at times.

The movie opens how The Force Awakens ended–with Rey (who just found Luke Skywalker) handing over her borrowed lightsaber. Luke takes the lightsaber, looks at it, and just tosses it away like garbage.

Director Rian Johnson added many comedic attempts that were not needed to get the story across. Johnson takes great liberty with this movie and (in some fans opinions) makes a mockery of the entire franchise.

The Last Jedi opened up on Dec. 14 in the United States. The Phoenix Theatres inside Laurel Park Place in Livonia were hopping with fans anxiously waiting to get in the theater.

Members of the 501st legion were in attendance taking photos and walking around in full costume. Some of the costumes seen were: a Force Awakens Stormtrooper, a couple Stormtroopers, Lord Vader, Director Krennel, a motorized R2-D2, a Rebel Pilot, a couple Imperial Technicians, Vice Admiral Holdo, Obi-Wan Kenobi, a Hoth Snowtrooper, Luke Skywalker, a Scout Trooper, and the director of the Great Lakes 501st Garrison.

The movie was perplexing on so many levels that it makes your head spin. It introduces some new characters and new worlds, but does very little with them. In some cases it kills them off without fully using them. It is the Captain Phasma treatment from the Force Awakens.

Early in the movie you see a great space battle that puts the retreating resistance fighters facing destruction by the First Order. Poe Dameron and BB-8 are the lone defenders against a dreadnought and several star destroyers.

Poe shows his courage in the battle but also finds a way to destroy most of the resistance fleet of bombers in his quest to destroy one ship. This earns him a demotion by General Leia Organa.

Finn, fresh from his coma, is seen walking around. He is leaking fluids all over the place and is welcomed back to the living by Dameron. The First Order shows up with a fleet of starships including Snokes ship. The First Order starts attacking the shocked resistance ships and leads them in a deathly chase that leads to the death of Admiral Ackbar and all the bridge crew except General Organa. Organa finds herself in vacuum and using her own force abilities somehow flies through space and the destroyed bridge to the hatchway.

She is left in a coma and no one is left in command. Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern) is the only leadership left alive and is brought in from another ship in the fledgling fleet. Poe tries to run for his fighter and is cut off as the First Order destroys the starship bay with most of the pilots and ships in it except for Poe.

Finn and mechanic Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) set off on a plan to get onto Snoke’s flagship and disable the hyperspace tracker that tracked the resistance fleet. The fleet was almost out of gas and had nowhere to go. Finn and Tico go to Canto Bight. They had talked to Maz Kanata and she sent them to find the master codebreaker who could get them aboard the ship without detection.

Finn and Tico are arrested and thrown into jail with another inmate named DJ (Benicio del Toro).  DJ makes a deal with them to get them onto the ship if they pay him. He saves them in a ship stolen by BB-8. They get onto Snokes ship and find the tracker. They are then surrounded by First Order troops including Captain Phasma.

It turns out DJ sold them out for money and safe passage. He also tells Phasma and General Hux the resistance secret plan to abandon the flagship and run away in transports.

Meanwhile, Poe wants to take command and finally stages a mutiny to take command. The only one to stop him is General Organa. Organa shoots Poe with a stun bolt and he is loaded onto a transport with everyone else but Holdo. Holdo stays on the ship to distract the First Order so the transports can get away.

Meanwhile Luke is reluctant and even hostile in ignoring Rey and her pleas for his help. Luke is troubled and even shown as weak in this movie. Johnson portrays him as broken in the force after deciding he must kill Ben Solo while at the Jedi Academy. Solo escapes and burns the place to the ground. Luke feels he is responsible for the creation of Kylo Ren.

Mark Hamill said recently “this is not the Luke I know.”

No mention of the time between Solo’s departure from the academy and his turn into Kylo Ren is explained. No mention of the Knights of Ren are mentioned either.

Rey flies off to try to turn Kylo Ren to the good side and join forces against Supreme Leader Snoke. Snoke shows his true power as he questions and tortures Rey for information about Skywalker.

Ren makes his decision and joins Rey in an epic way by turning on Snoke and slicing him in half. With Snoke dead, Rey and Ren are forced to fight side-by-side against the Praetorian Guard. They help each other out and seem united after defeating the very skilled guardsmen.

The First Order starts destroying the transports that are fleeing to the planet Crait. Then vice admiral Holdo uses her ship to ram Snoke’s flagship at hyper speed. The ships collide and the flagship is split in two pieces.

Kylo Ren asks Rey to join him and they could rule the universe. He would train her in being a Jedi or Sith. Just as Rey reaches for her lightsaber the ship is ripped apart and Ren is thrown into unconsciousness. Ren awakens finding Rey had escaped.

Finn and Tico who were just about to be executed but were saved by the ship collision. Phasma appears out of nowhere as the ship is burning around Finn and Phasma.

Phasma and Finn have a battle for the ages and it ends with Phasma’s helmet being damaged and her falling into a flaming hole. Is she dead? No one knows yet but we will see in episode nine.

BB-8 commandeers a small walker and defends Finn and Tico against the remaining Stormtroopers inside the bay. They steal a shuttle and join the resistance on the surface of Crait.

The resistance lands on Crait and go inside the blast doors for protection from the advancing First Order in their new AT-M6 walkers. This part of the movie reminds the audience of the Hoth part of the Empire Strikes Back.

It shows the blast doors and the white ground. In this movie it’s not snow but salt that turns red when it is disturbed. It also shows the walkers attacking just like the Empire Strikes Back. It would be great if they came up with some new ideas for this film. Most of the movie has notes from the original trilogy that they used for this movie.

Luke is visited on his forgotten planet by dead Master Yoda. He is threatening to burn the tree of the Jedi and all their ancient teachings and books. Yoda has lightning destroy the tree for him and teaches him another lesson. Yoda says Luke is still impetuous and must pass on what he has learned.

The movie then takes the audience back to the planet Crait. The resistance must use old time speeders to destroy the enormous bunker blaster that the First Order is revving up to destroy the blast door. Finn makes the decision to ram the blaster but is rammed by Tico. Tico is seriously injured and is in a coma at the end of the movie.  

The last part of the movie shows the bold and prolific Jedi Master Luke Skywalker enter the bunker and say hello to Leia. He then walks out of the destroyed bunker to face Kylo Ren, the new supreme leader himself.

Ren orders the walkers to fire everything on Skywalker and not stop. After firing for thirty seconds he orders them to stop with the insistence of Hux.  You see Skywalker just brush himself off and walk out unharmed. Ren orders his ship down and he walks out to face Skywalker alone.

Kylo then fights with the Jedi Master that ends with Ren slicing through Skywalker, but not harming him. He is a force projection and not really there. Skywalker tells Ren that he will “see him around kid.”

Luke then is seen on the same planet where Rey found him. He just becomes one with the force and his clothes float away.

The resistance gets away in the Millennium Falcon piloted by Rey and Chewbacca.

This movie is not being well received by audiences and it is stalling in its money raised like no Star Wars movie before. It had an impressive opening weekend, but has tapered off after that. Rotten Tomatoes is giving The Last Jedi 92 percent and audiences are giving it 53 percent likes.

Have you seen the movie more than once?

Give the Michigan Journal your opinions and impressions.