Darth Vader lords over the taproom.
Darth Vader lords over the taproom.
Photo by Haidar Hachem

Brewer and Star Wars Superfan Johnathan Wakefield Weighs in on The Last Jedi

There has been a disturbance in the Force since the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi two weeks ago.

The movie is a box office and critical success, raking in $533.1 million so far, according to Variety, but die-hard devotees of the franchise have given it mixed reviews. Angry fans started a petition on Change.org for Disney to strike Episode VIII from the canon, push back the release of Episode IX, and remake The Last Jedi into something fans will appreciate.

J. Wakefield Brewing founder Johnathan Wakefield is an extreme Star Wars fan whose taproom is filled with collectible art. During a conversation, the topic of The Last Jedi came up, and his tone changed with his responses about the movie as tepid as a beer forgotten out in the sun on Tatooine.

Having grown up with the franchise, Wakefield was upset with how The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson narrated this installment of the film series. The beer-maker busted out a virtual list of things that bothered him about the movie. "Even by Star Wars standards," he said, "I didn't like how campy this movie was — there were quippy one-liners every other scene!"

The brewery owner is also not a fan of the movie's penguin-like creatures. "The Porgs were completely useless. If you took them out of the movie, they wouldn't have made a difference. Now, they weren't as annoying as Jar Jar Binks, but they were still unnecessary," he said, citing the much-reviled character in Star Wars: Episode I –
The Phantom Menace

Asked what he thought the future would hold, Wakefield said Episode VIII might have left us with more questions than answers, but he hopes it will be wrapped up gloriously in the final installment of the new trilogy.

In the past, Wakefield's brewery has created some special Star Wars-themed releases, such as Han Shot First. Perhaps a beer inspired by The Last Jedi will appear at the upcoming WakeFest Invitational, the brewery's annual craft beer fest that offers craft beers, food trucks, and live music.

WakeFest Invitational. Noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, February 17, at Mana Wynwood, 318 NW 23rd St., Miami; 305-573-0371; manawynwood.com. Tickets cost $60 to $350 via jwakefieldbrewing.com.

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