New Jersey’s nerdiest son, Kevin Smith, has seen Star Wars: The Last Jedi. On Monday, in a lengthy review uploaded to his Facebook page and as an episode of his podcast Fatman on Batman, Smith recaps all the major twists in The Last Jedi while offering his final judgment.
In short, it should be no surprise that the man who last gave Mark Hamill a lightsaber (in his cameo as “Cocknocker” in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back) really loved The Last Jedi. But there are two things Smith says he would change.
Obviously, spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi are ahead.
The first change, Smith says, is the breathtaking scene where Amilyn Holdo lightspeed cuts a First Order Star Destroyer. At first, Smith applauds the scene. “I wanted to kiss Rian Johnson and his fucking co-writing buddy,” Smith gushes. “Fuck that’s good. God damn it, that’s good.”
But upon second viewing, Smith had a small change of heart. “I had this feeling, like, would have been better if Leia did it. You know what I’m saying? She worked her whole life fighting with the Rebels and shit. What a way to go out.”
The second change Smith would make would be the showdown between Kylo Ren and Luke Skywalker on Crait. Similarly to Holdo’s moment, Smith was moved by the grandeur of it all.
“This is one of the most powerful images in any Star Wars movie ever made,” Smith says. “We are over the shoulders of the man from Tatooine, a man who was once a farm boy, as he faces down a slew of walkers and a giant spaceship. Are you kidding me? It’s a moment that becomes instantly legendary. It sums up everything we thought about Star Wars as kids: Luke Skywalker against all the fucking bad guys, and there it is summed up in one beautiful image.”
Smith got really stoked when Skywalker brandished his lightsaber. “We’re gonna have a fucking old timer’s fight! Like Ben Kenobi fought Vader and shit. Grizzly Adams Luke Skywalker is gonna fight young Darth Vader, New Vader, Poser Vader, Darth Poser. Whatever the fuck. Kylo Ren.”
The twist, of course, was that Luke Skywalker wasn’t actually there, but rather Force projecting himself across the galaxy. Smith, although “not unhappy” with the scene, says he would have had Luke Skywalker actually there.
“If I was in charge I would have sent him there,” Smith says. “He would have been there in physical person. In that moment, where all the fucking ships bear down and shoot him, they cant get him because he’s a fucking Jedi Master.”
In his Last Jedi, Smith says he would have had Luke Skywalker be as nimble as Yoda against Count Dooku in Attack of the Clones. “I would have loved it if he deflected each shot into all the fucking walkers until everyone was fucking dead except him and Kylo Ren. And even if they had to have him die and killed by Kylo Ren, at least we would have seen this Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, our hero, we grew up with this kid, to see him be the equivalent of the Yoda fight when he takes on Dooku, and you’re like, ‘Holy fucking shit!’”
As the guy who defined the modern nerd debate — regarding the ethics of blowing up contractors on the Death Star in 1994’s Clerks — Smith’s musings on a galaxy far, far away have an especially important weight over most other internet personalities. At the same time, Smith sometimes has dissenting opinions from popular fanboy consensus. He has even defended the prequel trilogy. As recently as 2016, in an appearance on The Star Wars Show, Smith said he’s started rethinking the prequels as a story about the failure of the Jedi.
At the end of his podcast, Smith thanks Johnson for making the film. Though Smith has his opinions, he concedes at the beginning: “Hey man, they made choices. Some of them I’m baffled by. But overall, I respect their vision. Believe me, nobody’s ever gonna let me make a Star Wars movie.”