Warning: MAJOR spoilers ahead for The Last Jedi. Seriously, if you haven't seen the movie yet, you may want to check out some of our non-spoilery articles about that galaxy far, far away until you get the chance to watch.
The latest installment in the Star Wars saga has officially debuted on the big screen, and it managed to expand the Star Wars universe we thought we knew in some significant ways. As with any movie, reactions to The Last Jedi have been mixed. Still, The Last Jed made a killing at the box office in its first weekend, and we can bet that the number will continue to grow for a long time. That said, there are definitely some aspects of The Last Jedi that weren't entirely perfect, and the entire plot could have been enhanced if it had been expanded into a TV format rather produced as a movie.
The Last Jedi was the longest film in the Star Wars saga to date with a run time of 153 minutes, but just think what could have been possible with a miniseries of six or eight or even ten episodes! Read on for our big reasons why The Last Jedi would have been better as a TV miniseries.
Snoke Could Have Been Developed More
One of the biggest mysteries left over from The Force Awakens was of the identity of Supreme Leader Snoke and what exactly he had planned for Kylo Ren and the galaxy. Fans have spent the years since The Force Awakens formulating all kinds of theories about Snoke, and he seemed poised to become the saga's biggest bad since Emperor Palpatine back in the original trilogy.
In The Last Jedi, however, Snoke was killed by Kylo Ren when he used the force to activate a lightsaber and bisect Snoke where he sat. Snoke's death made for a pretty epic twist that few of us could have possibly seen coming halfway through the second installment of a trilogy, but it also leaves us wishing that Snoke had gotten extra time to develop into a more complex character. A miniseries could have been the perfect format to fill in some blanks in his story and perhaps make his death all the more epic.
We Could Have Seen The Fall Of Ben Solo
A big question left after The Force Awakens was what happened that Ben Solo betrayed Luke, destroyed Luke's new Jedi order, burned the temple, and joined Snoke with his Knights of Ren. Well, The Last Jedi did deliver answers. Kylo Ren and Luke gave slightly differing accounts of what happened, but they concur on the fact that Luke drew his lightsaber on Ben while he was sleeping, poised for the kill. For Luke, it was a momentary lapse after he saw confirmation of the terrible darkness that he'd come to suspect in his nephew. For Ben, it was an ultimate betrayal that kicked off his abandonment of the Jedi order. The Knights of Ren are others of Luke's former students. Yay for answers!
While it was certainly awesome that The Last Jedi told audiences what happened between Luke and Ben, it would have been awfully nice to see Ben's fall into darkness. The Last Jedi informed us that Luke had seen it coming for a while, which is what motivated him to check in on Ben. A miniseries could have enabled Star Wars to actually show Ben's descent via flashbacks to make Luke's lapse feel more relatable. We got a full prequel trilogy to show Anakin going dark; a miniseries could have at least delivered a handful of extra flashbacks to fill out the origin story of Kylo Ren.
We'd Have Gotten More Of Captain Phasma And Holdo
Star Wars has created a vast universe of characters, and obviously some get more attention than others. After all, there are only so many movies and TV shows to go around, and not everybody can have a starring role. Still, The Last Jedi featured a couple of characters in particular that had a great deal of potential but who did not get a ton of screentime. For one, Captain Phasma has had all the makings of a big bad all along, what with her imposing stature, suit of armor, and clear grudge against Finn. Her screentime in The Last Jedi actually provided one of the most epic fight sequences of the saga. Nevertheless, she seemingly died at the end, and we never even got to see her out of her armor beyond a hole in her helmet.
Then there's Amilyn Holdo. Despite having a pivotal role in the plot as the officer who got in the way of Poe's crazy plan to try and get Finn and Rose on board a First Order ship, The Last Jedi simply didn't have the time to tell us much about her. Her death by the end of the movie saved the lives of what remained of the Resistance and she was a true hero; we just didn't know much about her, and we won't have the chance to learn in the third installment of the trilogy due to her death. More time could have given us a lot more of Holdo.
The Timeline Could Have Been Less Wonky
Unlike the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy, the sequel Star Wars trilogy did not put its characters through a time jump between the first episode and the second. The Last Jedi picked up right after the end of The Force Awakens, revealing Luke's immediate reaction to Rey's arrival on Ahch-To and Finn's immediate response to waking up after his injuries. The result was a fast-paced movie that kept many viewers on the edges of their seats from start to finish.
It also resulted in a bit of a wonky timeline that could have benefited from some spacing out. While this wasn't the first Star Wars movie to send a Jedi trainee to a distant planet to receive training from a reluctant mentor while the action progressed elsewhere, it was the first time that such a story progressed over a matter of days rather than weeks. A miniseries of 6-8 hours could have given more time to Luke and Rey together as well as given a closer look at what was going on in what remained of the Resistance fleet.
The Casino Adventure Needed Way More Attention
The Last Jedi featured an unexpectedly lengthy side plot that sent Finn, Rose, and BB-8 to the casino planet known as Canto Bight to try and recruit a master codebreaker who just so happened to be a regular high-roller. It took Finn and Rose a while to even find him, and they were separated from BB-8. Throw in some hijinks with local authorities and the big screen introduction of a new species that was being abused on Canto Bight, and there was already a lot going on before they met Benicio Del Toro's shady character, who happened to be a master codebreaker himself. Then they had to run away from authorities and escape and free some critters in the process.
Basically, a lot went down in not a lot of time, and the entire subplot could have benefited immensely from a miniseries format that would provide time to really explore Canto Bight and the various ethical quandaries our heroes ran into there. The casino adventure could have even worked as a bottle episode, enabling viewers to get to know Rose better and learn more about the man they just happened to meet while stuck in Canto Bight holding. It wouldn't have distracted from either of the main plots either.
The Last Jedi Could Set Itself Apart Even More
The Star Wars saga is known for running gags and recurring themes, ranging from characters saying "I've got a bad feeling about this" and hands being chopped off to the importance of balance. Some degree of repetition is to be expected, and The Last Jed\_i_ actually went in some bold directions with subverting expectations. Nobody is going to forget the unprecedented mental connection between Rey and Kylo Ren courtesy of Snoke any time soon, and Luke's death was a poignant cap to the action. Still, it's difficult to deny that aspects of The Last Jedi are quite noticeably similar to past adventures in the Star Wars universe.
Sure, there were differences between the battle of the white snow planet Hoth and the white salt planet Crait, Rey discovered Luke in a much lovelier place of exile than Luke discovered Yoda, and the showdown between Rey, Snoke, and Kylo Ren wasn't an exact recreation of the throne room in Return of the Jedi, but there were also striking similarities. If The Last Jed\_i_ had more time to show off the nuances of its scenes and stories, the entire production would have stood out from the many Star Wars installments even more than it already does.
A Miniseries Would Have Been Longer
For many of those who waited with bated breath for two years for the follow-up to The Force Awakens, the two-and-a-half hours of The Last Jedi probably weren't nearly enough to whet their appetites. The third installment in this trilogy won't hit theaters until 2019, which means that we're in for another couple of years of wondering and speculation. While Solo: A Star Wars Story will be out in the meantime, it won't follow up on the crazy ending of The Last Jedi. A miniseries would have at least given us more material than the two-and-a-half hours of the movie. Even if the extra material would have had us arguing even more than we already are, it would have been nice to have. We can always dream.
At least the wait until Solo: A Star Wars Story won't actually be all that long by Star Wars standards, even if there may be reasons why the release should be delayed. As of now, Solo is slated to be released on May 25, 2018. There are a couple of other ways to get Star Wars fixes while we wait for the final leg of the sequel trilogy, as the second half of Star Wars Rebels Season 4 has yet to air on Disney XD and the Forces of Destiny shorts are fun (if quick) bites of Star Wars stories. A live-action TV show is in the works as well, although we'll be waiting a while on that one. For your non-Star Wars viewing options, check out our 2018 midseason TV premiere guide and our 2018 Netflix premiere schedule.