Major spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The non-spoiler review is here.
With Star Wars: The Last Jedi, writer-director Rian Johnson made a point of answering questions set up by The Force Awakens, and giving fans some answers they were slavering for. He directly addressed the mystery of Rey’s parentage, instead of stringing it out for another couple years. He explained, in brief, why Kylo Ren rebelled, while leaving plenty of the character’s past open for later reveals. He reunited Luke and Leia for the final touching moment of closure they really needed, considering Carrie Fisher’s death. He even brought Yoda back to lay down some smack on Luke one more time. There’s a whole lot of satisfaction to go around in this movie. But there were a handful of things we didn't get from Last Jedi, from tiny, petty desires set up by the story itself to larger series questions that weren’t addressed this time around. In ascending order of significance, here are a few things we wouldn’t have minded seeing in Last Jedi.
The resolution to that porg dinner. C’mon, Chewbacca, you’ve already killed it and gone to a lot of trouble to cook it. You’re not going to eat that delicious-looking, suspiciously perfectly basted roast porg, just because a bunch of other porgs are staring at you? (Also, are you sure you understand their intentions correctly?)
A confrontation over that creepy milking scene. Rey really should have told Luke that no matter how goth, forlorn, and dejected he is, drinking green milk he just squirted out of a gross CGI alien is a pretty destructive personal choice, even if it does remind him of the blue milk of his childhood. His transparent attempt to creep her out and drive her away from his hermit-island was just insulting. (Are those things the moofs Han Solo was talking about in The Force Awakens? Is his old friend Luke a moof-milker?)
The verbal smackdown Chewbacca owes Rey. The death of Chewie’s lifelong buddy Han Solo does not make Rey his boss. And yet most of his on-screen time in Jedi consists of her barking orders at him. He’s been around since Han’s day, which suggests he’s at least old enough to be Rey’s grandfather. And suddenly she’s treating him like a junior employee?
An actual face-off of some kind between BB-8 and BB-9E. Why introduce a red-eyed, all-black, clearly evil BB-8 and not have it do anything significant, beyond glowering meaningfully at BB-8’s trash can disguise?
Captain Phasma’s face. Why hire Gwendoline Christie for this film and never once let her out of her armor and mask on-screen? For that matter, why build her up as this ultimate badass and have her die having never accomplished… anything on-screen, really? Is her whole character arc just meant to recall the way Boba Fett was similarly embraced as a fan hero in the first trilogy, even though he never accomplished much and wound up in a Sarlaac pit? Or is her entire on-screen appearance just meant to sell her backstory book and chrome-stormtrooper merch?
A little comeuppance or closure for DJ. Benicio del Toro’s backstabbing hacker character appears without fanfare, and disappears with equally minimal impact. Did he make it off that ship with his payout, proving that he’s right about the benefits of never taking sides? Is he being set up as a significant character for Rian Johnson’s next trilogy?
An explanation for Rose and Finn’s survival on Snoke’s ship. Yes, heroes often survive where lesser folks don’t, but there’s something profoundly cheaty and unconvincing about the way the destruction of Snoke’s ship leaves two protagonists completely untouched, while roughly a hundred troopers standing right next to them are largely vaporized, and Phasma is somehow moved halfway across the hangar.
A better resolution for Finn and Rose in general. The Last Jedi is unconventional and daring about sending two significant characters off on a desperate survival gambit that completely fails to help the Resistance or save lives. But it’s also not particularly satisfying. Their failure isn’t tragic and meaningful, like the sacrifices that end Rogue One. They just… fail to meet the person they’re chasing, fail to shut down the First Order’s tracking device, and in the end, fail to clarify either why Rose abruptly has a crush on Finn, or how he feels about it.
Snoke’s backstory. We definitely didn’t need a three-film arc about who Snoke was and where he came from. Given how little learning about Darth Vader’s history improved the character, it’s unlikely that anyone really wanted a lengthy exploration of Snoke’s rough childhood or adolescent betrayals. But as it is, he’s reminiscent of Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace: a built-up badass who comes out of nowhere, is amazingly powerful, and then gets cut in half before we have any idea what he’s about. With his death, millions of fan theorizers suddenly cried out in frustration, and were suddenly silenced.
A little hint about the Knights of Ren, maybe? For a film so devoted to cutting off fan speculation, tying up loose ends, and answering questions, The Last Jedi is surprisingly tight-lipped about the mysterious Knights of Ren, who they are, and what they’re up to right now. We can certainly guess that they were the other students who left Luke’s school with Kylo Ren. And it’s certainly possible that they’ll play a part in the next film, as Kylo Ren seizes control of the First Order and figures out his next moves. But it’s just as possible that they betrayed him at some point and went on to other things, or that he murdered them to earn his position as Snoke’s only apprentice, or that they all went on to become Snoke’s Praetorian Guard — and were killed by Rey and Kylo in the movie’s final act. Who knows? As satisfying as it was to have so many enigmas addressed, it’s certainly good to have a few left untapped for the third movie in this saga… but would a single line acknowledging their existence and giving the speculation industry something to chew on for the next year be too much to ask?