BY JACK CORDELL
On Dec. 14, eagerly awaiting nerds and geeks of all sorts found themselves waiting in lines at their local theaters to see the premiere of the brand-new “Star Wars” blockbuster, “The Last Jedi.” Though fans may have entered the theater with smiles on their faces, an abnormally large number of fans left the theater with bitter opinions of the long-awaited sequel to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer cites critics having a 90 percent approval rating for the movie, signifying high critical praise for the new installment. The Audience Score, however, shows that fans had quite different opinions with a jaw-dropping 49 percent approval rating.
As expected, movies cannot please every single person. Regardless of the caliber of the film, some people will hate it while some people will love it. This is no different for “The Last Jedi.” Strangely enough, most critics loved the movie while a large faction of fans found it lacking.
“I did not like the new movie,” CHS junior Ryan Ricupero says. “It was probably the worst one, or at least one of the worst in terms of assembling the plot. I think director Rian Johnson could have put more time into [the story]. There were just a lot of obvious plot holes.”
“I’m happy that I got a new ‘Star Wars’ movie, but I just feel disappointed [because] it could have been handled in a much better way,” senior Aidan Westerman says. “I don’t hate the movie, I just hate how the story was handled so poorly. The entire idea of letting Leia die peacefully floating [in space] was wasted.”
However, the divisive nature of “The Last Jedi” meant that certain fans found the movie to be amazing.
“I liked it,” English teacher Hans Schmidt says. “The best part is where the Jedi Order was exposed for their hubris. Luke’s thing about the Jedi being too arrogant to notice Palpatine being right under their noses was a poignant moment. All in all, I really did like it.”
History and social studies teacher Brent Silva claims to have entered the theater without any expectations, which may have led to his enjoyment.
“I think the reason why people have so many problems with the new movie is that people have so much built up from the previous movies,” Silva says.
Forbes writer and film critic Scott Mendelson believes that people may have disliked the movie solely because they believe director Rian Johnson purposefully mocked the questions the fans speculated about after “The Force Awakens” by essentially ignoring them.
Mendelson adds that, for better or for worse, female characters were shown as the saviors while the male characters were shown as fools.
“All of the male characters seem like problems, and [they] contribute in no real way to the story,” junior Ben Airola says. “This is shown by Poe Dameron, whose futile efforts to save the resistance were almost entirely reversed by Rose Tico, sacrificing herself in the process. This is also evident in Luke’s limited effort in actually helping Rey, often times being more scared than productive.”
Females as strong characters is a part of the progressive nature of the film, shown in the attempt to diversify cast members in terms of gender and race.
Junior Liz McRae believes that this movement to diversify the cast is a step in the right direction for Hollywood.
“With ‘The Force Awakens’ and now ‘The Last Jedi,’ minorities have been given quality roles,” McRae says. “The roles of Finn, Rose and Poe are super important because these characters are some of the first portrayed by people of color in such a big franchise like ‘Star Wars,’ and it just goes to show how Hollywood is changing for the better.”