Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by ray245 » 2017-12-15 01:56pm

Abacus wrote:
2017-12-15 01:36pm
One thing I forgot to add: Mark Hamill is pure gold in this film. Luke's first minute of the film was the funniest thing I've seen in a Star Wars movie...possibly ever.

*throws lightsaber away*
I wonder if the point of that is to say what is established in Ep 7 doesn't really matter. All the mystery about the lightsaber? It's not important at all. Then Rian Johnson proceeds to break it in half later.
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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by Nephtys » 2017-12-15 02:01pm

Luke has a good point: The force isn't about what magic you do. It's just, life. This is going back to Obiwan and TESB Yoda stuff, not 'This weapon is your life' prequel stuff, where Lightsabers became a cultural marketing gimmick. In universe, it's a badge of office only and a throwback to older times: Times that were wrong and stupid. If anything, it kinda reframes the idiocy that are prequel jedi: wise they were not. And that's fine.

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by tezunegari » 2017-12-15 02:06pm

ray245 wrote:
2017-12-15 01:56pm
Abacus wrote:
2017-12-15 01:36pm
One thing I forgot to add: Mark Hamill is pure gold in this film. Luke's first minute of the film was the funniest thing I've seen in a Star Wars movie...possibly ever.

*throws lightsaber away*
I wonder if the point of that is to say what is established in Ep 7 doesn't really matter. All the mystery about the lightsaber? It's not important at all. Then Rian Johnson proceeds to break it in half later.
While I know that Lucas never had both trilogies planned beforehand, they both feel like they are truely connected.
These new "Episodes" feel like the works of different people trying to tell their own stories and by doing so ignoring or simply devaluating parts of the works that came before. (mostly towards each other and the marketing fail around Phasma didn't help)



Also a good Luke scene:
Walks out of burning smoke. Looks at Kylo. Simply dusts of his shoulder.
(the pilot of Kylos ship was also pure gold)
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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by ray245 » 2017-12-15 03:07pm

tezunegari wrote:
2017-12-15 02:06pm
While I know that Lucas never had both trilogies planned beforehand, they both feel like they are truely connected.
These new "Episodes" feel like the works of different people trying to tell their own stories and by doing so ignoring or simply devaluating parts of the works that came before. (mostly towards each other and the marketing fail around Phasma didn't help)
The set-up in TFA doesn't really help things. Either do you a retread of ESB, or you break as many tropes as possible to give the audience something new. My issue with JJ as a director is that his mystery box is almost empty inside. The story is often set up with no end goal in mind.

I know Lucas didn't know the ending of Ep 6 when he wrote ANH, but at least he was the same person writing Ep 5 and 6, which gives a sense of consistency. Again, this is why I feel Kennedy was not the right person to head the franchise. Kevin Feige works because he is able to force different directors to tell a semi-coherent story throughout different movies, with some sort of "end goal" in mind.

It's less so with Lucasfilm under Kennedy. Who is responsible for the overall story-arc of Ep 7 to 9? Abrams? Rian Johnson? What's the connecting theme between the movies? With Ep 4-6, you can say it's family. With 7-9? Is it just about letting go of the past?
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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by Ace Pace » 2017-12-15 05:52pm

ray245 wrote:
2017-12-15 03:07pm
tezunegari wrote:
2017-12-15 02:06pm
While I know that Lucas never had both trilogies planned beforehand, they both feel like they are truely connected.
These new "Episodes" feel like the works of different people trying to tell their own stories and by doing so ignoring or simply devaluating parts of the works that came before. (mostly towards each other and the marketing fail around Phasma didn't help)
The set-up in TFA doesn't really help things. Either do you a retread of ESB, or you break as many tropes as possible to give the audience something new. My issue with JJ as a director is that his mystery box is almost empty inside. The story is often set up with no end goal in mind.

I know Lucas didn't know the ending of Ep 6 when he wrote ANH, but at least he was the same person writing Ep 5 and 6, which gives a sense of consistency. Again, this is why I feel Kennedy was not the right person to head the franchise. Kevin Feige works because he is able to force different directors to tell a semi-coherent story throughout different movies, with some sort of "end goal" in mind.

It's less so with Lucasfilm under Kennedy. Who is responsible for the overall story-arc of Ep 7 to 9? Abrams? Rian Johnson? What's the connecting theme between the movies? With Ep 4-6, you can say it's family. With 7-9? Is it just about letting go of the past?
Maybe it is, maybe we can let them finish a fucking trilogy?

A new note from listening to the soundtrack during the day. Vaders theme shows up only once, and only for a few bars. Meanwhile, many other Original trilogy motives and themes are in big display. Luke and Leia are no surprise, as is the Force but I think I heard some bars from the Forest Battle.
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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by ray245 » 2017-12-15 06:15pm

Ace Pace wrote:
2017-12-15 05:52pm
Maybe it is, maybe we can let them finish a fucking trilogy?

A new note from listening to the soundtrack during the day. Vaders theme shows up only once, and only for a few bars. Meanwhile, many other Original trilogy motives and themes are in big display. Luke and Leia are no surprise, as is the Force but I think I heard some bars from the Forest Battle.
What trilogy? This film has made it clear that there isn't any 3 act structure. It's effectively a 2 act structure with some loose ends. The overall theme of the new sequels, about letting go of the past is fulfilled by the end of this movie.

This isn't like Lord of the Rings with 3 books being written down and to be used as a reference. This is about people making stuff up as they go along. There is no indication that the new saga will be concluded by Ep 9, and I doubt it's in Disney's financial interest to conclude the story.
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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by Knife » 2017-12-15 07:31pm

Yeah, saw it last night and I'm still pondering it.

Most of all, I'm underwhelmed. And mad about a few things. Overall, it's not bad. I'm not rating it high in my SW list but it's definitely in my top 10 SW films.

The good:

Rey/Ren character growth was really good. There were a few times I generally, and for the worse, though Rey would turn. True tension. And, they did all the work early to set up the awesome Luke end scenes without giving it away.

Lukes scenes on the island were actually well done but a bit long and dull. They over played it even though I thought it worked and he was funny and grumpy enough.

The bad:

All the Finn stuff was just fluff. All the Casino scene were just set up for the wannabe Sun of Sun's bit at the end and in the end didn't change anything in the film. The LOOOOOOOONG ass chase scene was boring and I already saw it for 3 episodes on Clone Wars. They should have ditched the cruiser earlier and did all the tension on the Hoth wannabe base. The wannabe Hoth fight was just a blatant steal from the actual Hoth scene. The Falcon flying in the crystallized version of the DS II insides was just a steal from the actual scene of the Falcon flying in the DS II. The wannabe scene of Rey, Ren, and Snoke in the throne room was just stealing the actual scene of Luke, Vader, and the Emperor in the throne room.

There was a bit too much wink and nod in a lot of scenes for me. A lot of people bitched about Ep VII being a ANH knock off, but I think this movie aped V and VI more than VII did ANH.

I'm a bit miffed at being teased about the 'balance of the Force' with very little pay off as well.

The ugly:

I could have lived my whole life without the horrible floating Princess Leia scene. It was awful.

They killed off Luke (fair enough I guess) but left Leia as if she could come back in ep IX. Oops.
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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by Khaat » 2017-12-15 07:43pm

Knife wrote:
2017-12-15 07:31pm
I'm not rating it high in my SW list but it's definitely in my top 10 SW films
There are *counts on his fingers*... nine Star Wars films so far (OT, PT, TFA, Rogue One, TLJ)? :lol:
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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by blahface » 2017-12-15 07:56pm

I really didn't like this movie. I was bored through most of it. The dialog and humor was really cringy. There were some things I did like though:

1) Kylo Ren betraying Snoke, but not because he turned back to the light side. He was trying to do with Rey what Vader had planned to do with Luke, but he jumped the gun.

2) Poe followed his instincts, but ended up being wrong.

3) I guess I somewhat liked the idea that Rey's parents weren't anyone important after all.

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by Q99 » 2017-12-15 08:20pm

I do think we need a movie that spends a lot more effort just universe-building for the era, something which, I'll admit, the PT did very well, despite it's flaws.

In a lot of ways it's kinda the inverse of the PT. Solid plot and great characters who's development makes sense, but setting building and pacing need work.

Personally I rather dug this one. The throne room was great, and the growing connection between Kylo and Rey made a lot of sense- and how both were sure the other would turn and were kinda right. Luke also went out like a Jedi Master should.

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by FaxModem1 » 2017-12-15 08:27pm

Can anyone explain to me why the Rebel fleet didn't just jump to a location that was advantageous to them? The First Order clearly didn't bring reinforcements, so why not just pick an asteroid field, nebula, or whatever that would buy them time by hiding and forcing the First Order to spend resources finding them?

Did they ever explain how the First Order was really able to track the Cruiser? Aside from, "Plot says so." No hidden tracker or traitor on board or anything like that? Because I was expecting Purple Hair to turn out to be a traitor with the way she was intentionally bleeding the Resistance dry of resources and ships.

I enjoyed the film, but it required both the First Order and the Resistance to be utter idiots in how they do things.

Also, Snoke is apparently a walking plot device, and nothing more. Why make a mystery on this new challenger instead of just making General Veers or someone from the PT or OT a force user?
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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by Knife » 2017-12-15 08:29pm

Khaat wrote:
2017-12-15 07:43pm
Knife wrote:
2017-12-15 07:31pm
I'm not rating it high in my SW list but it's definitely in my top 10 SW films
There are *counts on his fingers*... nine Star Wars films so far (OT, PT, TFA, Rogue One, TLJ)? :lol:
You think?
:P
They say, "the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots." I suppose it never occurred to them that they are the tyrants, not the patriots. Those weapons are not being used to fight some kind of tyranny; they are bringing them to an event where people are getting together to talk. -Mike Wong

But as far as board culture in general, I do think that young male overaggression is a contributing factor to the general atmosphere of hostility. It's not SOS and the Mess throwing hand grenades all over the forum- Red

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by Q99 » 2017-12-15 08:36pm

Vympel wrote:
2017-12-14 06:15pm
- How the hell did the Raddus skewer multiple ships? Were they all in its path? It wasn't really clear on one viewing, but it was an awesome looking shot.
It looked to me like the debris from Snoke's throneship shotgunned out at the impact and did much of the damage.


Suicide Hyperspace is really a very effective tactic now.

FaxModem1 wrote:
2017-12-15 08:27pm
Can anyone explain to me why the Rebel fleet didn't just jump to a location that was advantageous to them? The First Order clearly didn't bring reinforcements, so why not just pick an asteroid field, nebula, or whatever that would buy them time by hiding and forcing the First Order to spend resources finding them?
Sure- they didn't have the fuel to get from such a position to a place they could refuel. Once they jump, it's Last Stand time. An asteroid field or such would make it more costly to the FO, but wouldn't let them get away.
Did they ever explain how the First Order was really able to track the Cruiser? Aside from, "Plot says so." No hidden tracker or traitor on board or anything like that? Because I was expecting Purple Hair to turn out to be a traitor with the way she was intentionally bleeding the Resistance dry of resources and ships.
New technology- Rose said it was based on existing scanning principles, just better.

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by Knife » 2017-12-15 08:40pm

Khaat wrote:
2017-12-15 07:43pm
Knife wrote:
2017-12-15 07:31pm
I'm not rating it high in my SW list but it's definitely in my top 10 SW films
There are *counts on his fingers*... nine Star Wars films so far (OT, PT, TFA, Rogue One, TLJ)? :lol:
Actually, you missed the Clone Wars movie. It was awful. But it makes 10. TLJ right now rates 9/10 for me.
They say, "the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots." I suppose it never occurred to them that they are the tyrants, not the patriots. Those weapons are not being used to fight some kind of tyranny; they are bringing them to an event where people are getting together to talk. -Mike Wong

But as far as board culture in general, I do think that young male overaggression is a contributing factor to the general atmosphere of hostility. It's not SOS and the Mess throwing hand grenades all over the forum- Red

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by FaxModem1 » 2017-12-15 08:44pm

Q99 wrote:
2017-12-15 08:36pm
FaxModem1 wrote:
2017-12-15 08:27pm
Can anyone explain to me why the Rebel fleet didn't just jump to a location that was advantageous to them? The First Order clearly didn't bring reinforcements, so why not just pick an asteroid field, nebula, or whatever that would buy them time by hiding and forcing the First Order to spend resources finding them?
Sure- they didn't have the fuel to get from such a position to a place they could refuel. Once they jump, it's Last Stand time. An asteroid field or such would make it more costly to the FO, but wouldn't let them get away.
But they can still do galactic communications, as shown by broadcasting to Maz for help finding a codebreaker. So, same plan as the Not-Hoth planet, only without pointlessly losing two of their ships, fuel, and whatever other resources they lost in their pointless 'RUN AWAY' plan.
Did they ever explain how the First Order was really able to track the Cruiser? Aside from, "Plot says so." No hidden tracker or traitor on board or anything like that? Because I was expecting Purple Hair to turn out to be a traitor with the way she was intentionally bleeding the Resistance dry of resources and ships.
New technology- Rose said it was based on existing scanning principles, just better.
Then go somewhere to negate that advantage. The really dangerous nebula from Star Wars Rebels that the Ghost escorted Mon Mothma through, for instance, or the asteroid belt from Empire Strikes Back. Or anywhere better than pointlessly throwing away lives because Miss Cocktail Dress can't be bothered to explain things and see if her troops can improve her plan somehow.
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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by Kojiro » 2017-12-15 09:31pm

FaxModem1 wrote:
2017-12-15 08:27pm
Did they ever explain how the First Order was really able to track the Cruiser? Aside from, "Plot says so." No hidden tracker or traitor on board or anything like that? Because I was expecting Purple Hair to turn out to be a traitor with the way she was intentionally bleeding the Resistance dry of resources and ships.
This was one of my big annoyances too. We're openly told a) Rey has buggered off to find Luke, something the FO are also trying to do. b) They cannot contact Rey c) Rey is apparently carrying a device that will lead her directly to the Rebel fleet.

Now a reasonable person would worry that perhaps Rey has been captured and the FO are tracking them because Leia is broadcasting a fucking beacon. Shit, adjust the timing a little and Rey hands herself over to the FO. That'd be a better story. Rey's naivete leads her to surrender to Ren and when she's searched she has forgotten to ditch the tracker. Cue the FO chase. But no, what it totally definitely certainly is is a new kind of technology that we know perfectly how to find and disable. We will now squander 25 minutes of screen time with a useless side quest, leading to a questionable romantic subplot. 'Cloaked beacon' indeed.
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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by Rhadamantus » 2017-12-15 09:47pm

It was ok. Could have been worse, could have been better. One weird thing was Ray's escape pod, which seemed to have an acceleration an order of magnitude higher than Poe's fighter.
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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by CaoCao » 2017-12-15 09:51pm

Ehhh...if it were a standalone movie, it could have been good. Being a SW movie, well, an entertaining failure.

Technology and force powers worked and stoped working at the plot convinience.

In Rogue One, the big ships generated enough gravity to prevent frigates and corvettes from entering hiperspace... now the can jump and penetrate a ship that was almost as big as a death star (why didn't they do that with the medical frigate).

Snoke is uber powerful with the force, and can read and even link minds across the galaxy...but he fails to see the lightsaber moving right beside him. And ends up dying in a rip off Joruus C'Baoth way (in that he misinterprets what Kylo/Mara are about to do).

Did they put at least one original idea in the film? I like the characters, but "plot" makes no sense.

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by Terralthra » 2017-12-16 12:32am

I quite enjoyed it. Rey, Kylo, Luke, and Poe all have real character arcs where they learn and grow something important. Finn and Rose's subplot with the casino planet and Benicio del Toro's character was a bit of a far tangent that dragged on more than I'd've liked, but it wasn't enough to ruin the movie. Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern's purple-haired character) was rad, imo, though it did seem as though she was being set up as a traitor because she refused to explain that there was a plan and what it was.

While there were definitely wink&nod scene homages to previous movies, I'm pretty much fine with that. The throne room sequence where Kylo turned on Snoke, for example, clearly was playing with the similar scene from RotJ, but it worked for me, because both scenes were emphasizing the hubris of the powerful. Snoke was so convinced he'd won that he misinterpreted the (correct!) readings he was getting from Kylo's mind. I dug it.

As a SW music nerd, I really liked the callbacks and developments of various OT/PT themes, in addition to the continued development of the new themes. The quick, subtle transitions from Luke/Leia's theme to Leia/Han's theme, for example, was really well done.

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by Vympel » 2017-12-16 02:55am

https://filmcrithulk.blog/2017/12/15/th ... star-wars/
I’ve made my feelings about The Force Awakens quite clear before. To sum them up, I think J.J. has always been a talented filmmaker with an incredible casting eye, quite adept at imbuing a given moment with energy and emotion, but it’s always just that: a moment. There’s never a larger context. Carol Markus will scream as her father dies then the entire movie will go on as if it never happened. It’s all bits of affectation that excite and delight, and as far as meaning goes, it’s all promise and deep questions and lingering intrigue that pull you in deep, deep, deep… but, you know, never amount to anything. And it’s not that the “answers” are bad, it’s just that they were never set up to be meaningfully answered in the first place. That’s the mystery box. That’s literally the design. He doesn’t think it matters what’s inside as long as he makes you think it’s important. He’s literally said this. And that’s what it’s always been. It’s a grift. A con. A charming way of storytelling that whispers sweet nothings in your ear and is out the window before you wake up. And in making a Episode 7, I was hoping he’d cast it aside, and in some ways he did, and in some ways doubled down on some of his worst story habits of “momentary effect” over building to a coherent point. And the lack of that point is all symbolized in that final moment, Rey standing there to hand a lightsaber to Luke. It’s not a story beat. It’s not really anything. Just someone waiting to hand a baton to someone who can figure out a way to have any of this make a lick of sense.

There’s a reason this movie begins with Luke throwing it off a cliff.

In fact there’s a number of moments in the film that seem like direct refutations to the mystery box questions that were vaguely teased as maybe kinda sorta being deeply important. Why did we think they were? Because destiny! Because Skywalkers! Because Luke I am your father! Because mysteries and answers! And so for two years the internet does what they always do with J.J. and trying to solve the unsolvable questions that were never meant to be answered in the first place. So for two years they’ve been speculating about Rey’s parentage, or Snoke’s origins, or the Knights of Ren, etc. And what does the film do in response? It definitively takes those mystery box questions and throws them off the literal and proverbial cliff. Sometimes it’s done in a funny way, sometimes in an incredulous way, but it’s always in purposeful way. Because in the end, The Last Jedi is actually about something really, really important.

And it’s going to lay the groundwork to get us there…

...

4.

“Fuck Skywalkers.”

My friend said this in a conversation a long time ago. And he didn’t mean it about the characters themselves, nor what they meant to him. He meant it in the sense of the Star Wars series’ focus on lineage and the way some all powerful family who are the most powerful force users who basically controlled the fate of galaxy was… super gross. And he’s right, quite frankly. Because it’s everything I hate about the notion of ‘destiny” and “why I’m destined to be a hero!” bullshit. That psychology only leads you to the kind of place where you are the asshole kid screaming DO YOU KNOW WHO MY FATHER IS!?!?! at night clubs. And as this series has gone on and on, it has fed more and more into that thinking. So it would always this deep fear in me that in the return to the galaxy far far away, the new trilogy would get sucked back into that thematic toxicity.

But in TFA, we actually got a nice self-aware version of that with Kylo where it saw the juvenile villainy in such bloodline thinking (he is absolutely my favorite part of that film, btw). But I still always dreaded it with Rey parentage angle and fan theorying, etc: “Is she secretly Luke’s kid, etc!?!?” Is this just going to be more stories about Skywalkers and the children of all-powerful Jedi and Sith and how they’re the only ones that matter? And so in the moments of The Last Jedi that led up to the confrontation with Snoke, I’ll admit it… I fell for the feint. I thought there was going to be Lord Snoke “I am your father” moment. Why? Well, because that’s the what gets nicely set up in the scene before with Kylo’s feint of “I know who you parents are”… but nope, the lightsaber literally goes sideways and it’s another “OF COURSE!!!” reaction that rings out in my brain, because it all says it so clearly. Especially in their scene after: Kylo just wants to burn it all down with him atop the totem pole. And Rey, she’s just a kid whose parents sold her away for nothing… a meaningless child who therefore needs to share her place among those destined to be great, in order to be great… That kinda gross regal thinking sound familiar?

But Rey won’t do it. She would never. I actually ended up arguing with some folks about the “disappointing” nature of this reveal, but to me it was the only reveal that could actually mean anything in this story. Because she’s not “just” anything. Which is actually everything. For she and Rose and so many others are everything important about this movie. They are people who aren’t the sons of daughters of legends. People who have their own lives and wants, but they are people who have been discarded and stepped on and put under a system of unbearable weight. But from those leanings, there’s nothing that makes them any less capable of the force, any less a jedi, any less powerful…

And anything less than a Skywalker.
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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by ray245 » 2017-12-16 03:05am

A movie about the new generation of skywalker family doesn't have to be about them saving the galaxy all over again. You can make the new skywalkers average Jedi and the movie about resolving the issue on one single planet.

The new movies doesn't have to be stories about the fate of the galaxy.
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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by Nephtys » 2017-12-16 03:06am

This article sums up my feelings well.
http://www.slashfilm.com/the-last-jedi-defense/
With Star Wars: The Force Awakens, director J.J. Abrams sought to prop up and revitalize the most popular film franchise in movie history, to preserve its qualities in amber for a new generation. The Force Awakens was very concerned about what you, the moviegoer and fan, thinks about Star Wars. It wants to please you. It wants to be comfort food. And it’s very, very good at that.

But with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, director Rian Johnson wants to burn Star Wars to the ground. Not because he harbors ill will toward it, but because he loves it. He loves it so much that he wants to cleanse the garden and allow something fresh and new to grow. The Last Jedi is not concerned about what you, the moviegoer and fan, thinks about Star Wars. It wants to challenge you and make you question what Star Wars is and what it can be



(This post contains major spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.)

The Last Jedi questions

An Answer to the Ellipsis
Star Wars: The Force Awakens concludes with one helluva cliffhanger. The Force-sensitive Rey arrives on the planet Ahch-To, tracks down the elusive Jedi master Luke Skywalker, and offers him his long-lost lightsaber. Luke’s face flashes with a dozen different emotions. You can practically feel the words crawling up his throat. And then the film ends, to be continued in two years. It’s a grand moment. An epic moment. A perfect finale for a film built out of questions and mysteries, a film about legacies and the shadows they leave behind.

And when we return to that scene in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Luke Skwalker accepts the lightsaber from Rey, examines it for a hot second, and casually tosses it over his shoulder. From its opening scenes, The Last Jedi makes it very clear where it stands – everything you thought this movie was going to be is incorrect. The symbols you hold dear, the symbols that J.J. Abrams held so dear in your stead, are being deliberately stripped of their power. If that shakes you, if that upsets you…well, that’s just Rian Johnson preparing you for what’s next. Abrams left him with an ellipsis, a “to be continued” that felt like a specific path. And Johnson takes a hard left turn in his land speeder, breaks through a fence, and goes off track into the wilderness.

Star Wars has gone off the rails. Either you’re going to be on board for the bumpy ride to a new place or you’re not. But the intentions are made early and they’re made perfectly clear.


Star Wars The Last Jedi reviews

Legends Bleed
Mark Hamill famously disagreed with Johnson on the direction of Luke Skywalker when he first read the screenplay for The Last Jedi, and it’s clear why. Luke, the farm boy who became a war hero who became a warrior knight who became his father’s savior, has fallen into disgrace. While The Force Awakens featured a Han Solo falling back into his old scoundrel ways (a position of comfort for those worried about a watered-down take on a character who was at his best when he wasn’t playing nice), The Last Jedi features a Luke Skywalker that is unlike anything we’ve seen before – a broken shell of a man who believes that everything he fought for and achieved was for naught. By telling young Rey that none of this matters, he’s also telling the audience the same thing. The stuff you love? The details that have reshaped pop culture and created a geek language that everyone speaks? Yeah, they’re wonky. Or rather, they’re broken. Your faith was flawed.

Luke’s hopelessness is especially affecting because the film is clearly on his side. This is not a movie where a plucky young Jedi-to-be shows up at the old master’s doorstep and teaches him how to hope again. This is a movie where a flawed old man with a lifetime of victories and regrets informs the decisions of a new generation of young heroes who need to find a new way to hope. Clearly, the old ways didn’t work because darkness rises again and there are still tyrannical man-babies trying to be the next Darth Vader. There’s a flaw in the system, buried too deep for most to see, and the only solution is to burn it all down.

The Last Jedi chooses to make this literal, as Luke Skywalker, wild and enraged, moves to burn down the ancient tree housing the ancient Jedi texts. But he doesn’t get to do it. Instead, the ghost of Yoda, the wizened master who trained him decades earlier, arrives, summons a lightning bolt, and does the job for him. This Yoda (once again depicted with a physical puppet after years of being a CGI creation) is very much the character we first met in The Empire Strikes Back – eccentric and wise and silly and profound in equal measure, the kind of old weirdo who has found grace and power in just letting go.

Johnson is clearly not a fan of the militarized, commanding Yoda of the prequels and the animated Clone Wars TV show. This Yoda cackles as he burns down what remains of the Jedi religion, the court jester whose mischief always carries greater meaning. This Yoda knows what Luke knows – the order to which he dedicated his long life is gone, and trying to recapture it is a fool’s errand. Why resurrect an archaic institution that cannot serve a new generation when you can let that new generation build something new for itself? Even Luke, a noble man who believed in the hidden goodness of Darth Vader, gave into his darkest feelings and considered murdering young Ben Solo in his sleep. The old ways failed Luke. They failed Ben. They will fail the Resistance. Luke knows this through anger and regret. Yoda knows this through wisdom and perspective.


It’s important that Johnson lets Yoda burn it all down and not Luke – the passing of the torch is not just the result of the failure of an old man who learned things the hard way, but it comes with the blessing of the wisest character in Star Wars canon. Luke knows that the Jedi must end, that they do not monopolize the Force, and that evil has flourished on their watch. But where Luke saw despair, Yoda sees a chance for renewal. Where J.J. Abrams saw a warm and comforting blanket that makes you feel really good, Rian Johnson sees that stagnation is the death of all things. Stagnation leads to Empires and First Orders. Hitting the reset button, breaking the machine, leads to revolutions. And after 40 years of circling similar ideas, Star Wars could use a revolution.

That revolution feels especially well-timed, as fans discuss whether or not “Luke would have done that.” Geeky debates will always exist (they’re the reason Star Wars thrives today), but maybe we should hone in on what The Last Jedi is telling us. Maybe it’s dangerous to worship our heroes to the point of idolatry, to convince ourselves that they can never do wrong, never make mistakes, and never let their hubris create monsters that threaten a new generation. Johnson sends Luke out on a high note, allowing him one more showdown with his former pupil in a fight that is pacifistic resistance at its most grand and extreme, but it’s the final gasp of the hero we once knew. Long live Luke Skywalker…but never forget that he erred. That he done fucked up.

Star Wars The Last Jedi

Breaking Expectations
It’s easy to imagine Rian Johnson watching The Force Awakens and being thrilled. It’s a thrilling movie. It does that. It’s also easy to imagine Rian Johnson watching The Force Awakens and noting, “This Supreme Leader Snoke guy kinda sucks. I should do something about that.”

Despite being positioned as the Big Bad of the new trilogy, the overlord pulling the strings, Supreme Leader Snoke barely leaves an impression during his appearances in both Star Wars movies. His generic flavor of Almighty Galaxy-Destroying Jerk is something we’ve seen several times in Star Wars and countless times elsewhere. He’s dull. He’s especially dull when compared to the angsty, flawed, and powerfully human Ben Solo/Kylo Ren, played with such intensity and raw pain by Adam Driver.


But The Last Jedi knows our expectations. It knows that we think Snoke will remain a threat through the next movie and that Ben will find redemption. It focuses on Ben’s internal conflict as it showcases Snoke’s incredible power. As the son of Han Solo grows more sympathetic, his leader grows more godlike, revealing a command of the Force that allows him to flick enemies and allies alike around his throne room like gnats. The Last Jedi makes Kylo Ren more vulnerable as it makes Supreme Leader Snoke more unstoppable.

So yes, the death of Snoke is a disarming twist and a beautifully staged one – Snoke’s command of the Force bites him in the ass when he reads Ben’s feelings and intentions but cannot understand where they’re pointed. One little Force push from Ben Solo and Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber is activated, cutting the Supreme Leader in half and ending his reign of terror an entire movie earlier than anyone expected. It’s shocking. It’s hilarious. It’s bound to anger fans who have spent the past two years attempting to discern the identity of Snoke. Quite frankly, The Last Jedi doesn’t care about Snoke and it reacts accordingly – your Snoke theory never mattered because Snoke never mattered.

Part of this reflects Johnson’s interest in Ben Solo and his lack of interest in Snoke (can you blame him?), but it’s also a perfect reflection of the grander ideas at work in The Last Jedi. Luke Skywalker loomed large, but in the end, he was just a bitter old man with a chip on his shoulder. Snoke loomed large, but in the end, he was just an vicious old bastard whose backstory is unimportant and who gets stabbed in the back by his angsty student. In a universe where everything is connected, where we’ve been trained to expect greater meanings and profound truths, this is a punch to the gut. Not everything is connected. The mightiest can fall. And at some point, they probably should.

Snoke probably mattered once upon a time, to someone. But he’s gone now. Luke Skywalker mattered to the galaxy, but his time is over. The future has been yanked from the hands of past masters and the universe will be reshaped by Kylo Ren and Rey, who are both fighting for the same thing from opposite directions: the chance to build a future beyond the command of a generation that failed. Johnson’s decision to bring us even closer to Ben Solo, even allowing him to fight alongside Rey in an incredible lightsaber fight, before doubling down on him being irredeemable may be the best choice in a movie filled with audacious choices. Just because Darth Vader was redeemed doesn’t mean his nephew is going down the same path. And yeah, the motivations of this new villain make a certain amount of sense, don’t they? That should trouble you as much as it troubles Rey.

(As a side note, the sudden demise of Snoke feels akin to General Hux’s transformation into bumbling comedic relief. Some may take issue with him being reduced to a punching bag, but it once again feels like Johnson taking an ill-defined character from The Force Awakens and running wild with him, giving him something to do. The same goes for Maz Kanata, who is funnier and wilder in her brief cameo here than she was in The Force Awakens.)

star wars the last jedi tracking

Save the Things You Love

If the death of Snoke was The Last Jedi bursting a bubble, the revelation about Rey’s parents is…an even bigger bursting of an even bigger bubble. The Last Jedi is a movie about disappointment – your heroes are broken, your allies failed you, and your mystery parents, whose identity has been driving your entire existence so far, aren’t Skywalkers or Solos or Kenobis. They’re just some schmoes who sold you off and left you to rot on a backwater planet. If your last name is Skywalker, you’re destined for greatness. It’s a given. But what does it mean if your name is Rey? Just Rey?

The Last Jedi is full of nobodies brushing shoulders with somebodies. Rey discovers that her parents were drunks, simple traders who didn’t care about her, even as she trains under the legendary Luke Skywalker. Poe Dameron must grapple with the fact that he’s taking orders from General Leia Organa, a woman who has suffered and bled and fought for the Galaxy for 30 years, and therefore knows what’s right more often than him. And poor Rose must come to terms with the fact that Finn, a “hero” of the Resistance, is prepared to desert the moment things get tough. The new men and women of Star Wars (with the notable exception of Kylo Ren) are profoundly ordinary. Or rather, they’re profoundly ordinary people forced to live up to the extraordinary people around them, even as those extraordinary people often let them down.

I imagine we’ll see Star Wars fans upset about Rey not being a secret Skywalker or a Kenobi or a clone of Emperor Palpatine or the reincarnated Anakin Skywalker (the internet is a bad place), but Rey’s origin as just a person is more powerful than even the most shocking twist. Luke Skywalker and Anakin Skywalker emerged from a nothing planet as nobodies and rose to the occasion, stumbling into destinies they could never have imagined. To tie every character of significance to them and their circle of allies and enemies would be to rob them of their power. The beauty of Star Wars, since its earliest days, has been the depiction of heroes coming from every corner and every walk of life. A farm boy. A princess. A smuggler. They have no business saving the galaxy, but damn it, they have to! Who else will?

And now we have an orphaned scavenger abandoned by her completely un-noteworthy parents, a conflicted deserter from a vicious military regime, and a skilled pilot with a lot to learn about leadership. The next generation of Star Wars heroes are born from disappointment, the disappointment of having to live in the shadow of heroes and the disappointment of having to fight the war that those heroes failed to actually win all those years ago. No one should have to do this. No young person should have to go to war. Why should these kids, with no connection to the previous generation beyond being unfortunate enough to exist in the same galaxy as Luke, Han, and Leia, suffer for the sins of the Skywalker family?

They shouldn’t, but this is the hand that was dealt to them. And they’re going to fight because that’s what heroes do, no matter where they come from. Secret parentage that supplies an easily digestible explanation for your superpowers is for chumps…and Jedi masters who spend their final days in self-imposed exile.


Star Wars: The Last Jedi Canto Bight aliens

A Long Time Ago…
Think back to the original Star Wars, the 1977 film, back before it was subtitled “A New Hope” and before it inspired an entire multimedia franchise. Look at the man who made it: George Lucas, a young hotshot, a proper artist, whose previous brush with science fiction resulted in the grim THX 1138. That film wears its politics, and its anger and frustration, on its sleeve. And while Star Wars is an infinitely more accessible film, it’s still the work of the same man and he’s still speaking the same language. A “fun” movie about a team of freedom fighters battling an oppressive, fascist regime is inherently political. Lucas knew this more than anyone and he even kept it alive in the much-derided prequels, which ended up being an entire trilogy of films about the failure of democracy in the face of a tyrannical despot.

When Lucas conceived Star Wars, it was as fresh and radical as anything else made in the American New Wave of the ’70s. But by Return of the Jedi, the ragtag Rebel alliance felt safer and the Force more of a superpower than a mystical way of life. An already simple premise was made simpler, an undesirable turn after The Empire Strikes Back doubled down on Lucas’ original concepts. It’s telling that The Force Awakens feels like a cinematic adaptation of our nostalgic feelings about Star Wars instead of a Star Wars movie as conceived by George Lucas.

Perhaps that’s why The Last Jedi is such a jarring experience, one that feels specifically built to make audiences work through their feelings about this universe. Rian Johnson is unabashedly political and unafraid to slaughter the sacred cows. The First Order isn’t just a group of guys whose costumes provide cool cosplay opportunities – they are fascists, evil and cold and frightening. The Resistance isn’t a team of plucky heroes – they are a band of fighters who are specifically cast with diverse men and women to reflect the fears and frustrations of millennials who feel trapped and afraid in a world where resistance often feels futile (and who really wouldn’t mind tearing apart a casino city operated by the 1%). The Force isn’t just a cool excuse for heroes to lift rocks – it is something mystical and mysterious that cannot be easily explained and comprehended, something that even Luke Skywalker has a complex relationship with at this point.

Even the Lando surrogate, the unnamed codebreaker played by Benicio del Toro, offers no easy answers as he betrays our heroes and doesn’t even reach for apology or redemption. Even the goofy humor that arrives early and often is a departure from the norm, a case of Johnson making the movie his own rather than following a style guide. The Last Jedi feels like a movie young George Lucas, passionate and bold, would have made. It feels like a proper Star Wars movie by refusing to feel like a Star Wars movie.


The Force Awakens and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story want to please you. They want to hit familiar beats and remind you why you love Star Wars. They are so much fun. But The Last Jedi doesn’t want to remind you of anything. It doesn’t care about your relationship with Star Wars. The only relationship that matters here is Rian Johnson’s relationship with Star Wars, and for the first time in a long time, here is a Star Wars movie with a proper point of view, one delivered by a storyteller who is unafraid to shatter a universe he loves, to break down the heroes that mean so much to him. A wise and noble Luke is easy. A Luke with regrets? That’s hard. That’s tough to swallow. That’s what elevates The Last Jedi beyond a simple retread – it asks you to take these characters seriously in a way that other Star Wars films have not, to acknowledge them as something beyond a vessel for escapism. Star Wars can only matter in the long run if it’s given the room to grow. And right now, it feels like the sky is the limit. Right now, Star Wars feels…unsafe.

And that feels great.

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by Ace Pace » 2017-12-16 03:16am

ray245 wrote:
2017-12-16 03:05am
A movie about the new generation of skywalker family doesn't have to be about them saving the galaxy all over again. You can make the new skywalkers average Jedi and the movie about resolving the issue on one single planet.

The new movies doesn't have to be stories about the fate of the galaxy.
Name a blockbuster that does that. Oh wait.

Meta matters. Art is created inside a specific context.
Your wishes, and mine for that matter, for world building in the SW universe, will not happen in spectacle films. Why? Because they never happen. In the slow and deliberate OT? No. When they happened in the PT, they got canned by critics.
I don't see why this is so hard to understand, that film making context matters.


Nevermind, if we're quoting wonderful quotes, the following quote on continuity.
More
No one in A New Hope had the power to shoot lightning, so the Emperor's use of this power in Return of the Jedi is an unforgivable breach of the established material.

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by ray245 » 2017-12-16 03:33am

Ace Pace wrote:
2017-12-16 03:16am

Name a blockbuster that does that. Oh wait.

Meta matters. Art is created inside a specific context.
Your wishes, and mine for that matter, for world building in the SW universe, will not happen in spectacle films. Why? Because they never happen. In the slow and deliberate OT? No. When they happened in the PT, they got canned by critics.
I don't see why this is so hard to understand, that film making context matters.


Nevermind, if we're quoting wonderful quotes, the following quote on continuity.
More
No one in A New Hope had the power to shoot lightning, so the Emperor's use of this power in Return of the Jedi is an unforgivable breach of the established material.

That's you. That's how you sound.
Are you sure you are quoting me correctly? And worldbuilding can work for films. Lord of the Rings is a good example. Harry Potter is another example.

Just because the prequels have issues does not mean worldbuilding have no place in a movie franchise. Hell, movie franchise and 'cinematic universe' is built via worldbuilding. The Marvel movies spent a considerable amount of time with the 'politics' of the world they live in.
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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi release thread (spoilers)

Post by Q99 » 2017-12-16 08:42am

CaoCao wrote:
2017-12-15 09:51pm
Snoke is uber powerful with the force, and can read and even link minds across the galaxy...but he fails to see the lightsaber moving right beside him. And ends up dying in a rip off Joruus C'Baoth way (in that he misinterprets what Kylo/Mara are about to do).
Snoke doing that is a lot like Palpatine doing that- that's how an apprentice kills a Sith Lord (or equivalent), get them when their eye is on the prize.

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