I responded:The Romulan Republic wrote: ↑2018-09-18 11:30pmI do think there's a danger of them getting into constantly trying to one-up the previous films with new, even greater Force powers, though they have a long way to go before they overtake the old EU, particularly Dark Empire, New Jedi Order-era Luke, some of the ancient Sith, and the original Clone Wars shorts.
Agreed as well that its good Luke's last stand was not some gross display of physical power, and not just for that reason. I saw a lot of whining on-line (not here, I'm happy to say) from EU fan-types about how Luke should have been more powerful like in the EU, and it always irritated me because it came off as shallow internet tough-guyism that completely missed the point of who Luke is. Luke was never a great character or a great Jedi because he could blow up armies with the Force. He was great because of his character, compassion, and wisdom, and his ability to understand and reach his adversaries emotionally and psychologically. That's how he defeated the Empire, and that is how he went to face his final stand- not through a direct assault, but by playing on Kylo's emotional and psychological vulnerabilities in order to score a moral and symbolic victory. That was much more true to Luke's character than him walking out and destroying the First Order army in some superficially "bad ass" display of power would have been.
Say what you will about TLJ, Luke's last stand was damn near perfect for me as a Luke fan. Now that I think about it, a lot of my willingness to defend the film probably stems from that fact.
FaxModem1 wrote: ↑2018-09-19 12:43amI would disagree, in that Luke comes across as too bitter, his compassion seemingly burned out of him. The symbolic victory was telling his nephew that he was beyond helping, and trolling his sister about giving her her dead husband's dice via force projection a few days after she became a widow. That's bungled delivery of what they were trying to tell if the intent was an inspirational battle against Kylo Ren.
This is part of why the direction Rian Johnson wanted to take his character, regardless of the direction laid out in The Force Awakens, runs into issues with intent and delivery.
Heroic wizard here to help
Corrupted wizard that fell off the path of good
In costume storytelling terms, Luke's days as a positive influence are behind him, and the heroes move on in spite of, not because of, his actions. It's a sad ending for Luke, barely atoning for his decades of apathy after considering nepoticide.
I think a better option would have been for Luke to be modeled a bit like Flynn in Tron Legacy, or King Bumi from Avatar the Last Airbender, hiding mostly because he wants to avoid causing the collateral damage that such a conflict would bring, and patiently waiting for the opportunity to act. Because unlike the Sith, the Empire, or even the Jedi of old, Luke cares about his actions unintentionally harming others, and wants to wait for the best opportunity to strike.
This could lead to Power creep of Luke's abilities, but it's preferable to a beloved hero turning against everything that he stood for.
Civil War Man wrote: ↑2018-09-19 12:05pmIt's also troubling that Luke's depiction in TLJ makes him apathetic to the fate of his sister. He was so bitter and jaded that he was apparently willing to let Leia die without lifting a finger, all because he was disillusioned about the past failures of the Jedi. Refusing to train new Jedi and wanting to save his family from imminent mortal danger are not mutually exclusive concepts. And this is supposed to be the same person who was willing to forsake his training and go face-to-face with Darth Vader before he was ready because he could not sit idly by and let his friends be killed by the Empire.
But I digress. I'm okay with the idea of some Jedi being overpowered, and in the OT having all of the Force users be stupidly overpowered worked because there were so few of them left. The issue started with the EU and the PT taking what should have been the 99th percentile and turning it into the new mean, and the sequels appear to be content to continue that trend. When that goes on long enough, characters like Jango Fett, Grievous, and HK-47, hyper-competent mundanes who can go toe to toe with all but the most powerful Jedi, become more and more outlandish.
There was a recent episode of the Venture Brothers that I think is one of the best episodes of the show in a while. In it, the Monarch is tasked with mentoring a level 1 villain, with the Ventures mentoring Billy Quizboy and Pete White as the corresponding level 1 heroes. Since the show has recently been focusing on really high-level players, providing some context into what things are like for the really low level heroes/villains provides some nice context and reminds everyone that the Monarch, despite being a mid-level villain among super powerful villains, actually knows what he's doing.
So, let's discuss Luke's character.The Romulan Republic wrote: ↑2018-09-19 09:18pmI think a more involved discussion of Luke's motivations and actions, and their meaning, would be best suited to a separate thread.
But I do think that subverting the power creep issue was a good move, and it happened to play nicely into an aspect of Luke's character (that he is someone who wins his greatest victories through non-violent means) that appeals to me.
Having gone from the compassionate hero who risked everything to save his father, to someone who gives up on his nephew, and then a recluse who abandons everything, and is then called to action, in which he briefly talks to his sister, and potentially comes off as making his nephew look foolish in order to inspire others(we'll wait until Episode IX to see how that turns out), or as someone who tried to atone for his past failures, and barely did so, letting Leia and other people die due to his apathy, their escape only being due to the will of the force and Rey disagreeing with Luke on how to proceed?