Star Wars: The Last Jedi picks up right where Star Wars: The Force Awakens left off and gives us a lot of the old mixed with a lot of the new. We get to see Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa, interacting with the likes of Rey, Finn, Kylo Ren and Poe Dameron. There are new worlds explored. There's a whole lot of the Force being used. Exploration of the Jedi order and mythology, as the title implies. And lightsabers. Lots of lightsabers. It may not be a perfect movie, but it does a lot of things right.
Director Rian Johnson was brought on board to take over for J.J. Abrams, who ushered the franchise back into the world with The Force Awakens. Bringing in a fresh, smart perspective, he's proven he knows how to craft a good sci-fi movie, and that turned out to be a very good move. Not only because it's going to make Disney and Lucasfilm a lot of money, but because fans are treated to a lot of great things as a result. When compared to Rogue One, there's a lot to love here. So, here are all of the ways that Star Wars: The Last Jedi is better than Rogue One.
Last Jedi has a clear vision.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a good movie, but the massive reshoots needed in order to get the movie ready for the big screen are quite well known at this point. Tony Gilroy was hired to come in and helped Gareth Edwards shoot new scenes and reshoot other scenes to get the final product we have today. In as much as it is a good movie, there is a lingering sense that the movie doesn't have as clear and distinct of a vision as Star Wars: The Last Jedi does. Despite any personal feelings toward either movie, Rian Johnson clearly has a vision that was executed flawlessly in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. He made the movie he wanted to make and the movie he set out to make. There's a clear vision to it through and through. Hence, Lucasfilm seemed to be very happy with his work. This is, without a doubt, one of the best things about Star Wars 8.
The Force is utilized better.
With characters like Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen), the Force was explored in Rogue One, despite the fact that there were no actual Jedi in it, with Darth Vader only appearing in a few, key scenes. However, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is absolutely loaded down with revelations about the Force. Rian Johnson doesn't just show us what's familiar. He gives us a lot of Force-wielding and a lot of Jedi action, while expanding upon our deeper understanding of the Force. Surprisingly, after seven episodic Star Wars movies, the deeper ideas of the Force and the Jedi hadn't really been explored on screen. This is an absolute pillar of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and the movie is better off for it. In fact, future Star Wars movies, in general, will be better off for it, as the Force playbook has been opened up quite a bit. This adds to Star Wars lore in the best possible way.
Last Jedi has a better main villain.
There is no better villain than Darth Vader in the history of cinema. Period. So Rogue One gets an immediate bonus point for having him in the movie. Especially with that epic scene at the end. However, he's hardly the main villain of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. That honor belongs to Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn), who does a fine job with what he's given. The problem is, he's not given a lot to do. It's one of the frustrating parts of that movie, without a doubt. Star Wars: The Last Jedi, on the other hand, has both Snoke and Kylo Ren. Not only were they one of the best parts of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but because we get to dive very deep into their characters in this latest chapter, it makes them much stronger villains. Literally. And with Kylo Ren, his character arc is not at all something predictable. It's easily one of the more interesting parts of The Last Jedi and Ben Solo's fascinating villainous turn, which keeps you guessing the entire time, makes him far and away a better villain than Orson Krennic could ever hope to be.
There are more familiar characters.
Rogue One proved that a Star Wars movie can totally work without relying on familiar characters to drive the story. The movie largely deals with an ensemble of characters never before introduced to us in a galaxy far, far away. It works. But there's just nothing like seeing Luke Skywalker with a lightsaber in his hand. There's nothing like seeing Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa commanding the Resistance in the way that only she can. Also, in this movie Rey, Finn, Poe and Kylo Ren are familiar to us, since we got to know them in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. That makes the journey we take with these characters more special and, for Star Wars fans who have been waiting for more than 30 years to see some of the things we get to see in The Last Jedi, it's impossible for a movie like Rogue One to hope to compete with the advantage familiar characters provide.