Reviewing the Reviews - The Last Jedi - Part 1
Skewering Khachatrian's Review of The Last Jedi
I wanted to share this response to a recent review that I read on “the Wire,” of the Last Jedi. I’ve included the address at the end of my response. The original review was written by someone named Harry Khachatrian. It felt out of touch, and appeared sloppy, and over all was a poor review of the movie.
Khachatrian begins his argument against the movie on the grounds that the movie “falls apart” when the Imperial Fleet is chasing down the Rebel fleet. This is where the author’s first piece of sloppy writing shows up. He calls Admiral Holdo, “captain.” A transgression he repeats throughout the article. Whatever your assessment, it’s sloppy writing. This is what you get paid to do for a living. You have Google. Please use it. Secondly, has the guy ever seen the movie North by Northwest?
The only evidence that he offers of this “plot failure,” is that Admiral Holdo, seems to not have a plan that she is willing to communicate to the rest of the crew, so Poe takes matters into his own hands. I get that he doesn’t like this part of the plot, but a couple of questions. Is it feasible? Is it believable? Does it have any precedent? The answer to all 3 questions is a resounding, yes! History is replete with Generals who were stuck in a tight spot, with no options, and no greater recourse than to either run for hills and retreat, or to fight to the death. There have been thousands of soldiers who were faced with the reality that high command had no grand scheme from which they were maneuvering. They were either running for their lives or fighting to the death. Anyone remember Black Hawk Down?
The second piece of sloppy journalism that shows up is where Khachatrian states that Gatalenta is "the first place" Luke goes in his Jedi training. No, Dagobah was the first place he went. Gatalenta was the first place he went when he was researching the history of the Jedi Order. But we digress.
The third faux pas, is where Khachatrian attempts to apply racial metrics to assessing why the new character Rose appears in the story. His observation is that she was brought in because there’s not enough Asians in the movie. Really? Really? And let us take the bait and assume that he is correct. Explain why trying to “right” social inequities is a bad move? And while you're at it, explain why you feel free to completely undermine her hard work & performance as a mere, token Asian.
And stating that she is having a love affair with Finn, feels a bit premature. Let’s let the franchise play out and see where it goes. And to his second charge concerning their on screen interaction, that it's a meaningless distraction, couldn’t the same be said of Han & Leia in ESB? I mean did anyone really see that several movies later they would become the sole conduit of the Skywalker family line?
Fourth he conveys that Luke’s training of Rey was minimalist and consisted of “touching a rock.” Lets revisit ESB. It could easily be said that Yoda’s training of Luke was swamp hikes, hand stands, and mentally moving a few small rocks while giving Yoda a piggy back through the swamp. The film is not meant to serve as a stage for what the concise training of a Jedi looks like. It is implied. You have one of the most powerful, raw talents in the Universe. It is implied.
We had to delve into the EU books to learn anything of real substance about Jedi or Sith training, as ALL of the movies have been bereft of giving “serious” time to the subject. Anyone remember any serious conversation in any of the movies concerning lightsaber techniques and the numerous forms each Master might employ? Didn't think so. You find it the old fashioned way, by reading the books.
Fifth, he attacks the movie on the premise of how easily such a powerful Sith Lord was killed. Sir, please look at even fairly modern, military history. Genghis Kahn was killed on a horse. He ruled a cultural empire where Mongols were the equivalent to ninja, horseback stunt daredevils! General George Patton was ran over by a jeep, after traversing thousands of miles through the battlefields of Europe. Julius Caesar was killed by a small group of Senators. Achilles was killed by an arrow to the ankle. So is it a plausible event, history would not only validate it, but suggest that it might be the only way that one so powerful could be killed. Ask Emperor Palpatine who got caught monologuing while shooting the juice to young Skywalker.
And I’m tiring of picking captain Khachatrian’s work apart, but he seems to have a Freudian fascination with the physical attraction that is or isn’t there between characters. He writes that Kylo and Ren, were under the sway of a powerful sexual attraction. Wow, it felt more like a bond between two force using siblings than anything remotely sexual. But my point? It’s another irrelevant, inaccurate critique of a movie, from a review that is poorly executed.
Daily Wire, I’ve written a much more cogent, intelligent, linear response to both the movie and your writer. I would love to write for my day job. Why not give me a shot? If I can pick apart this guy’s writing on a lazy Sunday afternoon, on my couch, imagine what I could do if you were actually paying me to write about things I’m passionate and knowledgeable about! Or maybe we could become this generations Siskel and Ebert.