Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been a polarizing film. While it undeniably destroyed the box office, even becoming one of the 10 highest grossing films of all time – and scored well with critics also – not all fans were convinced. Some faulted the film for sloppy storytelling, and Mark Hamill himself took issue with the direction of the Luke Skywalker character (though he later more or less revoked his criticism).
What we can all agree on, however, is that this was a strange Star Wars film – as most of them are, really. Beneath the excitement and brilliance there are always some quirky moments and bizarre creatures. It’s part of what makes the series so wonderfully lighthearted at times, and what separates it from other franchises. Because of this, we wanted to take a look at what we thought were the strangest scenes in this latest installment in the Star Wars galaxy.
5. The Phasma Fight
The fight between Finn and Phasma was actually a fairly ordinary Star Wars scene. It was dramatic, the stakes seemed high, and the visuals were familiar. However, it also seemed strange simply because it felt so unnecessary. While there were technically reasons for these two to clash, it really felt like the director and writing crew were just determined to wrap up one of the weaker leftover threads from The Force Awakens. The truth is, Phasma and Finn were never particularly compelling, and it’s unlikely many fans were craving a resolution. It was odd because we didn’t need it.
4. Leia’s Flight
Chances are you either loved Leia’s life-saving Jedi-drift through open space or you hated it. It was undoubtedly one of the most polarizing scenes in a film that, as mentioned, was polarizing overall. But as with the film overall, it was undeniably strange. Even in Star Wars, we haven’t seen a human being survive in space without a suit or helmet on – let alone summon the Force to float, Peter Pan-like, back to safety. It felt almost like breaking the rules of what was capable in previous films, or at least dramatically upping Leia’s Force power.
3. The Casino Scene
A casino in a Star Wars movie is flat out weird. Sure we’ve seen cantinas, and we’ve even seen sports gambling (way back in Episode I). But this was a little different. A casino gaming news site based in Ireland actually quoted director Rian Johnson as saying the scene was meant to bring about “a Star Wars Monte Carlo-type environment,” a little James Bond-ish in nature. It’s tough to say if Johnson quite captured that mood, because the scene was just so jarring. This was not a typical Star Wars environment – and certainly not an updated version of the infamous cantina.
Let’s just be clear: Luke’s Jedi hermit shenanigans on his lost island were excellent, in their way. Johnson and his writers were clearly going for a Yoda-like isolation in which Luke has gone just the littlest bit nuts on top of his own genius. Part of the whole picture was Luke using a gigantic stilt to pole-vault across a sort of cliff-side ravine onto a tiny ledge, and then use the same stilt to spear a large fish (which he thin hauled across the island on his back). This whole sequence was completely absurd. It was entirely unnecessary, but delightfully weird.
1. Milking A Gigantic Land Manatee
Land Manatee might not be the correct classification for whatever giant CGI creature Luke casually milked (and essentially drank from). But you get the idea. This definitively one-ups the spear-fishing scene as the most ridiculous isolated Jedi stunt Luke pulls, and it’s about as strange a moment as we’ve seen in any Star Wars film. Supposedly the scene has a basis in dairy science, but for storytelling purposes it was nothing short of goofy. Again though, it’s sometimes these little touches that add a nice touch to these movies.