My wife said something interesting to me the other day. "Thor is much better than the Jedi." In her cute Ukrainian accent it was probably the funniest thing I'd heard all day. When I finished laughing I thought about that for a minute. Could Thor really compare to Luke Skywalker or Obe Wan Kenobi?
As a long time Star Wars fan my knee jerk reaction was 'No Way, the two don't even belong in the same sentence.' But after thinking about it I realized the Marvel franchise was a great comparison to Star Wars. They had both been around for decades and had countless films, TV series and Video Games attached to them. So while Luke may be one of the most famous and popular heroes, so was Thor.
In fact thinking back to last year's theatrical releases; Thor: Ragnarok was my favorite one, including Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
As expected, Thor was hilarious and full of great action and memorable characters. Well of course it is, Thor is a lighthearted comic adventure while Star Wars is a character driven Space Opera. The thing is Thor delivered on the full spectrum of emotions, not just excitement and comedy.
There was the sadness of loss when Thor losses his father and his Hammer and strong internal conflict as Thor accepts the truth about his father Odin's past and learns to channel his power without his Hammer. There's even plenty of heartfelt family drama between Thor and Loki. Loki betrays Thor of course but he later shows up to help save Asgard. Well he does destroy it but still he helps saves his people.
Sadly the most recent Star Wars seemed to fall flat with many of those aspects. Leia's near death experience was little more than a cool moment as she finally uses the Force to save herself. The internal conflict for Rey was not bad but I never felt convinced that she would turn to the dark side and join Kylo. Nor did I feel like Kylo would give up the dark side after killing his father.
For family drama, where was it? Luke and Kylo certain had a bit of a past but that felt more like a history lesson to explain why he would not train Rey. Kylo and Luke never really deal with it to create more drama. Maybe Rey, she seems to be longing for her family and her place in all this.
Again nope Kylo tells her that her parents were nobodies who simply sold her. Then as expected she runs off to save the only people in the universe she really knows, her friends.
In the end Luke's death was probably the only scene that really hit the mark but that was mostly because we loved him from the past movies.
So yeah as a whole I would not say Thor or even the Marvel Universe is better than Star Wars. But as a single movie my wife was quite right, Thor: Ragnarok was hand's down better than The Last Jedi. My only hope is that the next installment in Star Wars will not rely so much on the past movies and characters and really stand on it's own.
Leave your thoughts on The Last Jedi or Thor: Ragnarok in the comments below. Specifically what are you hoping to see in the next episode of Star Wars?