Star Wars: The Last Jedi- Am I Being Phantom Menaced?


I genuinely have no idea what I thought of The Last Jedi. If you know me in person or have been following this site in some capacity, you’ll know how much of a massive Star Wars fan I am. With The Force Awakens being tied with Return of the Jedi as my favorite movie in the saga, I naturally built too much hype in the hiatus for my own good. Throwback to two years ago when I said how unbearable the wait would be; it honestly feels like a month ago.

Anyway, I’m getting off track here. The Last Jedi was one of the first movies ever in which I experienced ambivalence to this degree. I must clarify, I don’t mean that I think it was meh. I mean I have no idea whether I loved it or hated it. There were scenes in which I clapped, yet there were equally as potent scenes in which I facepalmed.

I can’t help but wonder if myself, as well as all the other fans who feel the same way as me, are actively being Phantom Menaced. For those unfamiliar, Phantom Menacing is a term that refers to the feelings of denial and unacceptance that accompanied the reality that The Phantom Menace, the first Star Wars movie to release in 16 years, was garbage. Instead of facing said truth right off the bat, Star Wars fans at the time made justifications in their mind to keep the movie on a Star Wars pedestal of sorts. Eventually, after subsequent rewatchings, these fans came to the tragic realization that the return of their favorite series wasn’t what they hoped it would be.

After how much I loved The Force Awakens, I inevitably built unquenchable hype for its continuation. With two years to simmer in theorization and analysis, I inevitably formed a clear-cut vision of how I wanted this movie to go. Nothing that I predicted panned out the way I wanted. However, I can’t tell if I am pettily disappointed that Johnson didn’t fulfill my biased vision, or if the diverging paths they took are genuinely bad.

I can’t tell if I just need to watch the movie again to appreciate it, or if I’m actively being Phantom Menaced.

Either way, for good or ill, I will be seeing The Last Jedi again in theaters after I get back from Poland (I leave Monday for a week-long Holocaust studies trip). I will probably have a follow-up write-up when I form my conclusion.

Is this a gonzo experiment? I can’t say. I think my thoughts are too clouded with my impending graduation from college tomorrow morning to go on any mental adventures of sorts. Anyway, let me know your thoughts on The Last Jedi, especially if you felt the same way as me.


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