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Post Posted: December 20th 2017 4:19 pm
 
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I had a similar feeling the first time I saw The Last Jedi as I did the first time I saw The Force Awakens. When it ended, my girlfriend—a casual fan—was cheering wildly. Meanwhile, I sat in silence. Just like TFA, I enjoyed every minute of TLJ. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. I laughed. I was thrilled. I think both films are extremely well-made movies (with botchy but acceptable scripts). And in the case of The Last Jedi, I would go as far to say cinematically it was more vivid and exciting with vibrant action scenes the likes I haven’t seen in a blockbuster in some time. But at the end of it, the same anxious questions filled my thoughts: What was this movie trying to say and why are we doing this?
After some thinking and a second viewing, I think Rian did a better job of filling in answers to both of those questions, though I think we will never be fully satisfied with those answers in this movie or the next. I realize that most of what I don’t like about TLJ and its impact on the Skywalker story as a whole has more to do with TFA. As has been stated by many on these boards and in the fan community, this trilogy as a whole will never truly make sense as a continuation of THE Skywalker story. So I think that we should start viewing it more as a rich epilogue to the Anakin Skywalker tragedy rather than another segment of THE story.

(An aside: There is a sacred dogma to the Star Wars franchise that just doesn’t exist in any other franchise. I think the best way I can illustrate what I mean is that [MARVEL SPOILERS] the “Hail Hydra” twist in Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the sort of things that ROCKS a universe like that for the better and is accepted almost in harmony among fans. But that twist could never be universally accepted by Star Wars fans. I think this is because for most other franchises there are already so many iterations in books, reboots, TV shows, etc that when a big moment like that happens, fans who don't like it still have the Avengers universe of their choosing. Star Wars is unique in that there is literally a canon that we stick to like a church. That’s not good or bad. It’s just what it is. I wonder if when Luke tells Rey the Force does not belong to the Jedi if he is telling the fans Star Wars does not belong to us…)

So. Here’s what I took from what Rian Johnson was trying to say of the Force, Star Wars, and Luke Skywalker, if anyone cares:

TLJ gives us the Kylo Ren we were promised in TFA. J.J. Abrams said we’d get an evil character that’s not like any other SW baddie: A bad guy who spent less time defending ideology and more time recklessly destroying anything and everyone; an evil character that would represent the anxieties and fears of today. But most of what we saw out of Kylo in his debut actually fell in line with what we're accustomed to from a Galaxy Far, Far Away: A once-good child manipulated down the wrong path, ripe for redemption. The version Rian gives us is less familiar and more frightening: A powerful Force user who doesn't seem to care about anything at all; a Kylo Ren focused on destroying the past and leaving nothing for the future. By the mid-way point of the film, Rian's version of Kylo Ren goes full-nihilist. He doesn't care about the light side or the dark side. To him, both the Jedi and the Sith should cease to exist.

The part that might piss off fans is that this is also Luke believes at the beginning of the film. Luke has different reasons than Kylo, but he has pushed himself onto an island of carelessness. This movie seems to be less about light vs. dark and more about caring vs. not caring. And it takes apathetic characters and juxtaposes them with the supposed naivete of Rey, Rose, and Leia who—while recognizing that not everything is black and white—choose to relent to purpose over indifference, even when heroes let them down. There’s also two parallel stories of Rose and Rey teaming up with their heroes—Finn and Luke respectively—only to struggle with the realization that their heroes are flawed. But what Rose and Rey offer Finn and Luke is the reminder that choosing to sit out a fight is taking a side and is in these cases the most selfish route. While not actively setting out to destroy the universe, characters like Finn, DJ, and Luke aid in the damage caused by a madman like Kylo Ren by flirting with or accepting apathy. Rose and Rey, on the other hand, reinforce empathy and the importance of caring about a cause greater than one's personal interests or in the case of Luke, one's mistakes and shortcomings. This seems like a modern, relevant conflict. And it’s fascinating to see Luke go through it.

Luke's arc in Episodes 4, 5, and 6 is one of the ideal student. He listens to his teachers and mentors but doesn't blindly heed to their word. Luke allows what he has learned to fuse with his own life experiences and—most importantly—his strong sense of love and compassion to forge his own path. But we learn in The Last Jedi that Luke Skywalker is very much an imperfect teacher. And he has trouble dealing with this, resorting to rash impulses to squander mistakes. Luke only seems to find hubris in failure. It means that as a teacher he is not fully allowing lessons to be learned. When his students make mistakes or when he believes he is failing them, he wallows in shame and guilt, which can be utterly paralyzing.

Now compare to this to Leia, who clearly has a better understanding of learning lessons from failure. Leia allows her pupil, Poe, to grow into the leader he can be not by fearing what he may become but by allowing his failures to be his greatest teacher. Poe's grave mistakes in the film prove to him the value of choosing which fights are more important than others, that the war is more important than the battle, and that lives must be valued before anything else. Leia allows missteps to teach and by the end of the film, welcomes a transformed Poe to lead the Resistance. The arc of older Luke is accepting the burden of the master. As Yoda teaches him of students: "We are what they grow beyond." Teachers lay the groundwork but throughout the learning experience there will be weakness, folly, and failure. Yoda wants him to find humility and learning in failure, not simply reflect on hubris.

Anyway. Here’s my main takeaway:

Luke promises Rey three lessons. Two are given to Rey in the form of lecture: That the Force does not belong to the Jedi and that the Jedi were consumed by overconfidence and hypocrisy. The Force endures no matter what. And forgetting this has lead to extreme failure on the part of the Jedi. We aren’t given a third lesson; at least verbally. But I think we have a hint given to us in what masquerades as a romantic confession when Rose tells Finn: "That's how we're gonna win: Not fighting what we hate, saving what we love." The Force does not belong to the Jedi. But at their purest, it is the Jedi's responsibility to mythify not deify; to use legend to pass on what they have learned—in success and failure. Luke's final lesson is to, above all, care; care about others and care more about saving wisdom for subsequent generations than fear screwing it up.

What's so powerful about the finale is that while acknowledging Kylo Ren is a lost cause, Luke does not confront his nephew to destroy him. Luke instead faces off with Kylo to allow the Resistance to escape. Kylo is hellbent on destroying the past. At the end, Luke is focused only on saving the future. No one is ever really gone. Neither are the Jedi. And most importantly, neither are the lessons that they teach.

That’s what I took from it. But it’s possible to that every word I said in this post—was wrong.


Post Posted: December 20th 2017 9:26 pm
 

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I've seen the film twice at the theatre. In another week, I'm going to see it for a third time with distant friends of mine. That'll be a first for me - to pay hard earned cash three times to see the initial release of a Star Wars film.

I've also rewatched several key scenes via a poor quality online stream.

No doubt about it, Johnson’s such an amazing DIRECTOR that even I loved it, for about an hour afterward.

The problems come when one thinks about the plot and character actions.

There is no way, none, that Luke would’ve done what he did to Ben. He WOUNDED the Wampa that tried to eat him on Hoth. He went COMPLETELY ALONE to try and save the father he NEVER KNEW. Actually, Luke knew a LOT about his father, before he left to save him. He knew that he was a SOCIOPATH-BUTCHER and a MASS ENSLAVER of thousands of worlds.

I just find it impossible to imagine him entertaining (with ACTUAL action, even reaching for his hilt) the concept of assassinating his sister’s/best friend’s precious son, a boy he literally HELPED RAISE, in the night, while he SLEPT.

Luke STRUGGLED with the temptations of the Dark Side HIMSELF - he’d cut his beloved nephew in half for the same struggles?

Much more in character is this...

He would’ve Force pulled Ben's saber to his hand. Ben would've woken up in the morning, confused and then very concerned when he couldn't find his lightsaber. He would've rushed outside, and standing there would be his uncle and all of the other loyal Jedi. They would've already gathered up the several traitors in their midst. There would be an immediate council. Luke would’ve given him a CHOICE, and if Ben commenced the attack, THEN Luke would’ve responded w reciprocal measures.

Luke would’ve KEPT HONOR.


I just - it seems like a severe violation of who Luke was, who he is, for Johnson to setup the situation that he did. For a “hardcore SW fan,” I can’t fathom how his conception of Luke could be so twisted. And that’s exactly what it is.

There are many other points as well, but I'll just touch upon a couple more...

The plot can be completely braindead.

For one example, the First Order could’ve EASILY wiped out the entire Resistance fleet. Just launch more than 4 fighters (look at ALL of the damage Ren and his three wingmen did ALONE!). That, and send a few capital ships via lightspeed AHEAD OF the fleeing fleet, and wait for them to come into range.

That entire trip to the casino planet was pointless. 20 minutes of dead-weight story that had no reason to be there to begin with.

See how rapidly that “It was awesome” glow fades away when one reflects on what was actually done?

So much more.

Luke’s death was poetic, but considering that he would have NEVER tried to assassinate Ben in the middle of his sleep (gah! I am shocked that Johnson even wrote that!), I can’t help but wonder what REALLY SHOULD HAVE happened.

And sending his astral projection - it smacks of being (very) cowardly. Luke literally went into the lion’s den to save a father he knew was a sociopath and outright butcher. In The Last Jedi, he did FAR less to save his friends and comrades.

So as wet as my eyes got over him dying in The Last Jedi (both times!), he deserved a BETTER death, one that actually SHOWN BRIGHT who he always and unwaveringly was. Was he fallible? Yes, but he struggled deep within himself to find the hard courage to take the hardest path.

Luke was my hero growing up. I can’t even begin to explain it to you how powerful and uplifting he was to me. Luke was my Target. He was my Hope.

I ran MILES with a toy Yoda in my backpack as he trained me hard, climbing trees as fast as possible, doing pushups. I did these things willingly and for hours at a time.

Luke was not an “idea” to me. I worked his Spirit and his Message into my very bones. I was exhausted and aching because of how deeply his persona filled my being.

This death was unworthy of him. He deserved far better, and us fans who have born his mission are left with the visage of a man who at the end of his life very nearly assassinated his sleeping nephew and who chose to not fight a battle and died anyway.

A death that spits in the hero’s face because it severely warps his always valiant Mission.

This upcoming third attempt at the theatre experience - it will very likely be the very last of my hard earned cash Lucasfilm and Disney will receive from me.

I am just gobsmacked by how Luke was portrayed.

So sad.

And undoable.

Kathleen Kennedy and Rian Johnson should be fired, and might as well throw in "Mr. Unoriginal Anything," J.J. Abrams, who also produced this abomination.

I have no issues with Luke and all of the original cast being killed off in these films - just do it with RESPECT and HONOR who they were.


Post Posted: December 20th 2017 9:44 pm
 
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This review has wonderful counterpoints concerning Luke:


Whether you love or hate the film probably comes down to the portrayal of Luke Skywalker. Luke Skywalker, the mythic hero of the Original Trilogy who even saw good in Darth Vader, failed at creating a new Jedi Order, briefly contemplated killing his nephew, went into hiding, and severed his connection to the Force. I’ll admit that I had trouble accepting this depiction as it was unfolding and certainly understand those who reject it. It seems antithetical to the Luke Skywalker we knew in the Original Trilogy. However, it was a bold choice to depict Luke this way and I think that it was ultimately successful. The two main themes of the film are failure and letting go. These concepts drive and shape almost every character and storyline in the film, and Luke Skywalker is the best example. Luke’s conversation with Yoda may just be the most important scene in the film. Yoda essentially tells Luke that we learn the most from failure, and I believe this is the message at the heart of the film. It’s a simple message, but Star Wars has always dealt with broad themes and I cannot think of a more effective way to explore that idea than applying it to Luke Skywalker. I adore the film’s exploration of what it means to become a legend. Luke explaining that he became a legend and that he believed it is one of the most powerful moments in the film for me. Luke’s story demonstrates the consequences of becoming a legend. Luke inspired a galaxy, but his belief in his own legend led to his greatest failure. For a split second he thought about killing Ben to stop the darkness from spreading precisely because he too, whether consciously or subconsciously, believed in the legend of Luke Skywalker. The weight of the galaxy was on his shoulders and a moment of weakness led to the creation of Kylo Ren and the death of Han Solo. Luke removed himself from the galaxy so he wouldn’t make that mistake again, but he was still consumed by his failure. Hiding from failure and regret doesn’t work though, and he had to learn from them and let go. Luke Skywalker is still the hero we knew in the Original Trilogy, but he is not an infallible legend. To become the legend everyone viewed him as, Luke had to embrace his shortcomings. An unwillingness to face your own failures and look in the mirror gives you Snoke’s overconfidence or the Jedi Order’s hubris. Luke is right that the Jedi failed. The hubris and dogma of the Jedi Order directly led to its destruction, Palpatine’s rise, and Anakin’s fall. That was the point of the prequel trilogy. The very idea of Luke thinking about, even for a second, killing his nephew almost immediately made me want to reject the portrayal of Luke in this film. However I think when you take into account the exploration of “legends” in this film and Luke’s depiction in Return of the Jedi, it is not as out of character as it seems at first. Luke flirted with the dark side throughout Return of the Jedi, from force choking the Gamorrean Guard to attempting to strike down the Emperor. Yet, Luke did not attempt to kill Ben Solo and rejected the Emperor’s dark side temptations. Luke can be tempted by the dark side, but will always reject it in the end. Before we move on to the topic of Luke’s death, I have to commend Mark Hamill’s performance in this film. Hamill has always been an underrated actor and may have given the best performance of his career in The Last Jedi. He surpassed my expectations and rose to the many challenges the script presented to him as an actor. He was simply fantastic. Finally, there’s the issue of Luke’s last stand and death. I did not want Luke Skywalker to die and in all honestly I am still struggling to accept it. At the same time, I haven’t been able to think of a better end to Luke’s journey. Luke Skywalker, “the myth”, walking out to face the entire First Order as the Resistance watches in disbelief is an iconic moment for this franchise. In addition, it is culmination of Luke’s story in this film as he literally faces his failure head on. Luke withstanding all of the firepower the First Order had to offer was another great moment that led to an audible cheer in my theater. Matrix move aside, Luke’s confrontation with Kylo worked beautifully. The whole force projection idea worked for me and I loved Luke’s immediate “no” after Kylo asked if he was there to offer forgiveness. Luke’s “see you around, kid” was the best line of the movie.Not only does it all but assure Luke’s return as a Force ghost in the next film, but it immediately reminded me (and probably Kylo) of Han Solo. Luke dying after using the Force projection was hard for me to take (he just died?!?!), but Kylo already set up earlier in the film that anyone who used a power like that would almost certainly die. I’m not sure if Luke made the ultimate sacrifice when he decided to use that power or if he simply decided to become part of the living Force once his mission was complete. I think it works either way though. Luke becoming one with the Force as he watched the twin suns set is already in the pantheon of great Star Wars moments. It was heart wrenching but beautiful. In that moment Luke is simultaneously the young man who longed for adventure, the old man that had to accept failure, and the legend that inspired a galaxy. Luke’s sacrifice wasn’t about saving the 20 surviving members of the Resistance. It was once again about providing hope to a galaxy that had apparently lost it and inspiring a new generation. This is crystallized in the film’s final moment as the children of Canto Bight recreate the legend of Luke Skywalker’s last stand on Crait. Luke is forever a new hope in a galaxy far, far away.

IAmYourFathier wrote:
The version Rian gives us is less familiar and more frightening: A powerful Force user who doesn't seem to care about anything at all; a Kylo Ren focused on destroying the past and leaving nothing for the future. By the mid-way point of the film, Rian's version of Kylo Ren goes full-nihilist. He doesn't care about the light side or the dark side. To him, both the Jedi and the Sith should cease to exist.

Well said, all-around IAmYourFathier. The above bit about Ren explains is character perfectly.


Post Posted: December 20th 2017 10:59 pm
 

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E_Chu_Tah, your post is in depth, well written, and well reasoned.

Absolutely everything laudable that you wrote COULD have still occurred in the film AND Luke did NOT have to come within an inch of assassinating a sleeping child he was raising.

ALL of it COULD HAVE been in one film, if that is what they had wanted to do.

We could've heard Luke being tempted in Ben's abode, "He plans on killing us in the night... To spread Snoke's terror... Strike him down - Now!" We could've seen his hand drop towards his hilt. We could've seen his eyes bulge in realization at what he was contemplating, and then, with RELIEF, we would've seen him Force-pull Ben's saber to his hand as he silently stepped back out of Ben's abode to confront him in the morning. EVERY bit of that great drama STILL there, only with this approach, Luke is kept honorable.

What I'm describing here may seem like a small difference in details, but it's not, and the ramifications between the two are enormous and OBVIOUS.

Ben's heart and mind were ALREADY completely corrupted by Snoke. But every tyrant loves to blame the victim. Awakening from the buzz of his "dear" uncle's lightsaber, holding it lit above him, GAVE Ben the "justification" he was seeking to STRIKE. Would Luke have been THAT STUPID to setup such a situation? To so easily give Ben the cover he wanted? I can't buy that. At all. The risk would've been too great, and very obvious.

And what would Luke have explained to his academy IN THE MORNING? Where Johnson, Kennedy and Abrams took Luke... They made him THAT stupid.

How would he EXPLAIN the ASSASSINATION of his NEPHEW while he SLEPT to his PUPILS? <--THAT is THE question that just lays bare how DELIBERATELY ignorant Johnson, Kennedy and Abrams are.

It
is
FAR BEYOND
belief
that
Luke
would've
been
THAT
foolish.

It is literally AS STUPID as the First Order's MASSIVE fleet from being "incapable" of completely wiping out the Resistance on their lame reenactment of the "Speed" film franchise. Luke's standing over Ben with a lit lightsaber is just as absurd as the First Order's inability to wipe out the Resistance's fleet.

And Johnson WANTS us to believe that Luke's mistake is due to him believing in his own legend. HUBRIS. VANITY.

But just because he makes Luke say those lines does NOT make them believable. In fact, it's another flagrant example of how LAZY and CARELESS the writing can be. The EASY route was to just have Luke claim it. What's far superior is that one SHOWS it. Of this, there is NO evidence. LAZY. HAM FISTED. CARELESS. IGNORANT.

Compare Luke's supposed hubris and vanity to what was SHOWN to us in the Prequels. Yup. ALL of it was shown. EVERY soldier WANTS to believe to the core of his being that the horrendous things that he's doing are JUSTIFIED. That he IS the GOOD guy! That he IS spreading DEMOCRACY! That he IS spreading PEACE! To believe otherwise will very likely destroy the mind and soul of that soldier, for it rightfully CONDEMNS him. Thus there is TERRIFIC motivation for willingly pursuing a path of ignorance, vanity, and hubris. This, the old Jedi Order had in spades. And it was believable. As outright awkward as Lucas' dialogue can be, the politics that he presented in the Prequels were NECESSARY to frame the Jedi's circumstances properly. It needed to be done (oh, it definitely could've been done BETTER, but at least it WAS done!).

Not that Johnson had to have three movies' worth of politics to paint Luke's circumstances, but the bald truth is that he did NOTHING to show how Luke grew drunk on his own legend, so that his fall "caused" the fall of Ben, which is also complete and utterly lazy writing as well. The bottom line is that Ben was seduced because he WANTED to be seduced.

To me, Luke's apology to Ben was insulting to the character of Luke, because Luke would NEVER have ignited his saber and stood over Ben.

Just RUBBISH and TRASH from a trio of people who have fallen completely to the lust of filthy lucre.

And Luke, and all that he represents, is The Ultimate Casualty.

Just... shameful.


Post Posted: December 20th 2017 11:27 pm
 

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I’m not good at explaining stuff just wanted to say I liked it after I expected to hate it. Saw all the leaks before hand. I liked the story and Luke was Luke to me. I felt like he was in exile not because he wanted it but he truly thought the Jedi would only make matters worse. I also didn’t see him as trying to Kill his nephew. Bens tale is obviously meant to make him seem like the victim. While Luke’s show he went to find out if his fears were founded and when he saw darkness his instinct was to ignite his saber. Before he could turn it off it was too late.
My only problem at the moment is the flashbacks. Like the scene above I feel these are always better if the actor telling it is focused on instead. Like obiwan talking about anakin in a new hope and rotj.
Obviously having my kids with me clouds my view of it cause they are always so positive about Star Wars movies.

Side note: Luke’s hiding and refusing to fight until his sister was threatened reminded me of the throne room scene in Rotj.


Post Posted: December 21st 2017 1:30 am
 
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**Just a warning that this is going to be a long post**

I have now seen it 3 times and I have never gone through this wide a range of feelings with a film before. I have ultimately concluded that The Last Jedi is the most well-directed Star Wars movie in the saga, the best acted, the best-looking, and the most thematic. It's a triumph of modern blockbuster filmmaking because of how much it actually has to say - more (maybe too much) than any of the previous movies (and probably all of them combined) - and uses the Star Wars lore as the platform to say it.

By my read it is a very personal film told exclusively through one person's voice. To accuse this film of being "Disney-fied" or "corporate-imposed" is, quite frankly, total ignorance. If anything, Rian Johnson has blown the lore to bits and has left JJ Abrams in a place where every plot thread he began with TFA has been thrown off course. This was a massive risk for Disney, and to see it as anything but is a complete misread of this film and the current state of the saga.

As fans, I think we need to accept that there will never be another Star Wars that will satisfy us the way we want it to. We hold the OT (and some of us the PT) on the highest cinematic pedestal. We are at the point where when something SW-related is released, all we do is complain about what's not there and what didn't happen. We say we want new Star Wars more than anything in the world, but we are not prepared to accept anyone's contribution to the canon. Nothing can fulfil that kind of expectation and when it doesn't, we turn to blame. First it was Lucas being out of touch with his own creation, or it was Rick MacCallum's fault for being a "yes-man." Now it's Disney's fault for being overbearing and insisting on cranking out a picture per year, Kathleen Kennedy's fault for not trusting anyone, or JJ's fault because "he's never made a truly great movie." Now it's Rian Johnson's fault because he's some indie guy who doesn't get Star Wars or that he, like everybody in Hollywood, is another overrated auteur.

I love that our fanbase is so passionate. I really do. We just need to grow up, and start to let go of this entitlement that filmmakers need to cater to our vision for the series, whatever that actually means. That's basically the message of TLJ - that it's time for us to let go of the past - so it's pretty ironic that the fanbase has reacted so harshly to this film. I really dug this article about the nature of reactionary fandom and where we're at as a movie-going community. Part of the magic of Star Wars is that it's united a group of people over something we all cherish, and I hope we can get back to discussing films for their merits and faults and not threatening the lives of others for art they make or like.

Speaking for myself in the moment, The Last Jedi isn't my favourite Star Wars chapter. I still believe both Empire and New Hope are better "Star Wars" films, at least with respect to what I connect to most as a fan (the Skywalker family opera). I'm also too nostalgic not to cut ROTJ enough slack, and drop it from my top 3. But TLJ is great work of film and a surprising Star Wars tale, even if I don't agree with all of the choices made by RIan Johnson.

So now onto my detailed thoughts on the film, starting with stuff I thought they nailed.

The Opening Battle

The opening space battle is a masterclass in direction. There's tension established by clear stakes that keep rising, a boatload of inventive shots, likeable characters we only know for 20 seconds, the establishment of a major character's arc for the film, and the consequences and teachings of failure, which turns out to be one of the film's major themes. It's also damn exciting. BB-8 trying to "stop the leak" was great Star Wars-style fun.

I knew the film was going to be "different" as soon as we were introduced to Paige - the slow motion shots, the cut to black when she fell, the closeups of a character we didn't even know before the sequence began. Rian wanted to expose the sacrifice of war in this "Star War" and not just make it about fun and games when a fighter pilot is blown out of the sky. Although it was a bit over the top, I dug the Poe/Hux exchange. Hux was established in TFA as an over-the-top type, so I think Rian was poking fun at that. I liked that there was a reason for Poe trolling him and it wasn't just a joke for levity's sake.

Luke's Journey

Why would Luke Skywalker so flippantly throw his lost family lightsaber off a cliff (perfect symmetry to the last time we saw Luke hold a lightsaber in ROTJ when he tossed it away)? What could have driven a person, who cared so much about becoming a Jedi and restoring peace to the galaxy, to that level of apathy? He persevered through being an orphan, losing his aunt and uncle, losing his adoptive father figure, learning that he was the son of space Hitler, losing his teacher/grandfather figure, and ultimately losing his father who saved him. Was losing Ben Solo to the dark side really the final straw that broke that camel's back? And would it really make him turn his back on his sister, his best friends and a galaxy in need of Luke Skywalker - the hero, the legend?

What we learn is that it wasn't simply losing Ben Solo to Snoke that drove Luke to self-exile: it was his belief that because of his temptation to murder his nephew he had betrayed anyone that had ever placed any faith in him. He was untrustworthy. I think he also believed that the ways of the Jedi had corrupted his judgment and, because of that broken faith, figured the galaxy was better off without him and the Jedi. Luke's journey throughout TLJ is realizing that his legend does serve a purpose: to inspire hope. Just because he failed Ben, and his expectations of himself, doesn't mean that he can't still make a difference. Nobody can be expected to be perfect, not even the great Luke Skywalker. One of the major fan criticisms of the way that Luke was portrayed is that they don't believe Luke could ever be tempted by the dark side. Except he already had been in ROTJ. Luke was never perfect, and so I fully bought that he could be tempted again.

I also get why Mark wasn't initially on board with this direction for Luke. The leap from being the most hopeful hero there is - one who withstood a barrage of lightning from the most powerful villain of all because he believed that his father would turn to the light, and had that faith rewarded - to a broken hermit who had lost complete faith is certainly a tough pill for him to swallow. I actually bought this turn completely. What especially sold it was Hamill's pitch perfect performance. He absolutely killed it. It's easily the most nuanced he has ever been and it's worthy of awards consideration.

How else could this have gone, while also serving an interesting narrative? If Luke succeeded in rebuilding the Jedi after ROTJ then there's not a whole lot to tell in the sequel trilogy. The First Order needed to have risen when Luke was off duty, so he had to be removed from the fight somehow. We can argue all day about whether or not there should even be a ST following the destruction of the Sith, and I'm actually on the side that says there probably shouldn't be, but since we've got one I admit it doesn't exactly break new ground for Luke to be the hopeful hero who rides on his white horse to obliterate the First Order. There's no drama in that, only pure fan service and wish fulfillment.

And Luke dying? Again, no other way I could have seen this ending. If he stays "alive" for 9 and returns to the fight next to the hyper-powered Rey, we get a twosome that would be unstoppable. Luke had nothing more to accomplish in the flesh and I think he will serve a better purpose as a Force ghost, haunting Kylo Ren. "See ya around, kid" indeed.

Rey and Luke

Rian called this relationship the "beating heart" of the film, and I absolutely agree. I was never bored on Ahch-To, and I couldn't get enough of Daisy and Mark going at it. Watching a stubborn Rey follow Luke around as he went about his daily routine was great and although Luke eventually relented, you truly felt that Luke was trying to save Rey from a lifetime of pain and disappointment by talking her out of wanting to become a Jedi. It was the complete opposite of the way Yoda and Luke's training went, but it ended up rhyming perfectly with Rey leaving her training prematurely to "save" Ben. This begs the question: will "Lesson 3" be taught in Episode 9?

On the emotional payoff side, Luke's line to Kylo Ren at the end of the film that Rey will lead a new generation of Jedi simultaneously completes Luke's redemption arc and develops Rey's. That's the mark of some very good writing.

Rey and Kylo Ren

Daisy had some heavy lifting to do in this film. She had to fight an uphill battle against a reluctant teacher and go from absolute enemy of Kylo Ren to having sympathy for him. I was fascinated by their Force connection scenes: the progression of their dynamic from a black and white to a grey relationship, the way the scenes were shot, and the way this deepens the mystery of the Force (specifically how their respective physical spaces were able to cross over into each others'). Clever line that I missed the first time set up the ending: "You can't be doing this, the effort would kill you."

Ren playing on Rey's insecurity about her parents and her choppy relationship with Luke gave me echos to Revenge of the Sith. When Luke intervenes, blowing the hut apart and casting Rey off the island, it reminded me of Anakin walking in on Mace confronting Palpatine. It was as if the act "confirmed" to Rey that Luke was indeed the villain, kind of like how Mace's assassination attempt "confirmed" to Anakin Palpatine's story that the Jedi were trying to overthrow the Republic. The resolution is different but by the time Rey left for the Supremacy, it was totally plausible that Rey could lure Ren to the light or vice versa.

My prediction for this film was that Rey and Ren would switch sides. By the time we got to the throne room scenes, I actually believed this was set up to happen. Ren had been abused by Snoke all film and Rey was a ship without a rudder. I thought that Snoke would embrace Rey since Ren had "failed him," favour her raw power and strength of spirit, and reveal something to her that would make her trust him as her new master. It was so close to happening! While I'm not entirely disappointed with the result, it did leave both Kylo and Rey in the same place they started the film albeit with a deeper connection. Their fight with the guards, which I believe is the most unique action scene in the saga, got the loudest cheers in my theatre on opening night.

Leia

I thought Leia's role was note perfect for this story. She helps groom Poe as the future leader of the Rebellion, plants a seed that Kylo could be tempted back to the light, and goes through her own journey of lost and regained hope. I didn't expect that she'd have this much to do, or that Carrie was capable of delivering this strong of a performance. And while I know that her Force moment is getting a mixed response, I think it's an absolutely beautiful all-time great saga moment.

I had been hoping that we'd get the return of the Luke and Leia theme, and the reunion between the two was perfect. "I'm here to face him, Leia. But I can't save him" echoed the last time those two spoke on Endor.

Although she writes Kylo off at the end of TLJ, it appeared to me that her role in Episode 9 was to build off her connection to him earlier in the film and try to tempt him back. It's such a shame we won't see her role in this story come to its rightful close. I am happy that Rian left her scenes intact and didn't let her die in the cruiser explosion or swap Holdo out for her on the cruiser. We would have lost some great moments with Poe and Luke.

Yoda

I had a strong feeling that Yoda was going to show up in this film so when he did I was pretty excited about it. It felt absolutely natural in the flow of the story. Imparting a crucial lesson at a critical time is where these Force ghosts should be showing up in the saga. "We are who they grow beyond." I appreciated the decision to take Yoda back to being the goofy trickster from ESB and Frank Oz really channeled his 1980 former self.

My issue is with Yoda summoning the lightning to destroy the tree. Although Rian makes the argument that it's important to expand our knowledge of what's possible with the Force, and what Force ghosts are capable of doing, I think it risks destroying previously established rules in the canon. If Yoda can interact with the real world then why can't he, and now Luke, reign destruction from beyond on the First Order?

I know that his look has been scrutinized, and when he first appeared I thought it looked kind of like a weird cross between CG and a puppet. We now know that it was a puppet made from the original ESB mold and after the first shot, he did look a lot better.

Other awesome moments for me:

- Luke on the Falcon, he and Artoo reunited
- Seeing Leia's message hit me each time I saw it
- Leia & Kylo Ren Force connection using the same wipes as Luke & Vader from ESB
- Seeing Luke's underwater x-wing, subverting expectation that it'll be risen at some point in the story
- "I want you to use every gun we have, and fire on that man"
- The Falcon sequence on Crait, played to "Tie Fighter Attack" from ANH, was jump-out-of-my-seat fun. Felt like a kid again
- I dug the Chewie and the porgs schtick
- I dug the Caretakers' schtick, and laughed out loud when the rock Rey sliced smashed the cart
- Luke using the Force to stop himself from falling
- Both Luke and Ren's re-teling of what happened the night the Jedi temple was destroyed was true...from a certain point of view
- The reveal that BB-8 was piloting the AT-ST is a bit of a callback to the reveal that Chewie was piloting the AT-ST on Endor
- Luke winking at Threepio
- "Everything you just said was absolutely wrong" x2
- The Luke vs. Ren samurai duel. When Ren "slices" through Luke his feet create a trail of red against the salt giving the illusion of spraying blood

Stuff I thought was hit or miss:

Snoke

Snoke was flat out scary in this movie and Andy Serkis really leaned into his performance. The trap he sets for Ren and Rey was brilliant, his arrogance was Emperor-like, and his tormenting of Ren really helped sell the moment he was betrayed. Ahead of the premiere, Serkis said something about how Snoke was more powerful than Vader or the Emperor, and it certainly appeared that way. He almost looked unbeatable.

I've heard Rian's logic on killing Snoke being important to progress Kylo Ren, and I buy that. If Snoke sticks around for Episode 9, it basically becomes ROTJ redux. I also get the sense that Rian thought that introducing another Emperor-like villain for the ST, especially when Sidious had been set up to be the most terrifying threat in modern galactic history, was a mistake that he needed to fix in order to bring the focus back to the more fresh and interesting characters.

However, I disagree with Rian about Snoke's backstory being irrelevant to this story: it absolutely is. And it can't be compared to how Palpatine was portrayed in the OT. I didn't need Snoke to reveal who he was to Rey, because I agree with Rian that she probably wouldn't care, but I wouldn't have minded hearing Luke, Leia or Kylo Ren give us that kind of exposition. royalguard96 said it best in another thread:

Quote:
In the OT, Palpatine was the head of the galaxy's established government, the one that was already in power when we picked up the story. Us as consumers accepted this fact and proceeded forward, because there inherently wasn't much explaining to do. He was in charge, the end.

The galaxy's political makeup is more complicated as we begin TFA. We have the New Republic, and we have the First Order. We also come into the ST story with the understanding that the leaders of the Empire perished in ROJ and the Empire was left in tatters. So the natural question to ask is, who is the First Order, who's in charge, and how does that group exist within the New Republic?


And what was Snoke, seemingly the most powerful dark side user we have ever seen, doing during the OT? Why did he care about rebirthing the Empire? Why is he so interested in Darth Vader? Why does he look so fucked up? Why does he hate the New Republic and the Jedi (which never really got off the ground after ROTJ anyway)? Without knowing any of this, the ST feels far less relevant narratively and it looks like we'll never get great answers to any of these questions within the films.

Poe, Holdo

I think that Rian challenged both Poe and Finn in the right ways conceptually, but in both cases the execution was wobbly. Poe's arc fares better than Finn's mostly because he's given more to do. His actions also lead to the biggest consequences for the Resistance, so by the end it truly feels like he's had the most to overcome. Part of me does wonder whether we needed a Holdo-type character in the film to challenge Poe directly since Leia does this in the first act. Poe still could have attempted to sneak onto the Supremacy without Leia's knowledge in an effort to "win back her trust" and suffer the same consequences. Maybe Poe is taught the ultimate lesson about not fighting a war alone when Leia, not Holdo, has to pilot the cruiser and sacrifice herself. I know there are story problems that this would cause, and I'd rather have the space survival scene and the reunion with Luke, but it just shows that Holdo isn't a unique enough character to be crucial to the plot.

I love Laura Dern and I wish she gave something more to Holdo to make me feel like this was a necessary addition to the story. But for that character to work as an obstacle for Poe, Holdo had to have been far more prickly and unlikable up front. She doesn't provide enough reason for the crew to mutiny. Instead, Laura Dern basically played herself (not to mention she's basically the same character as Leia - a feisty and inspirational leader) and since she's a sweetheart, Poe comes off looking like a total asshole when he should have just seemed impetuous.

Some people are complaining that the entire chase plot doesn't make any sense because the First Order should have been able to deploy fighters, or jump ahead of the cruiser, but I do think it was sufficiently explained in the film. This is the kind of stuff I can suspend my disbelief for. Remember that the Falcon made it to Bespin without refuelling and without light speed.

The imagery of the hyperspace battering ram might be the most beautiful of the saga. This got one of the other big reactions in my theatre. It does open up a can of worms for the canon, but in the moment that sequence was magic.

John Williams' score

Doctor When and I kind of had this one out in a previous thread, so I don't want to rehash that here. This is certainly the Star Wars score with the least amount of new stuff, although I do like the Rose theme and the Fathiers music felt very "Hook" and "Last Crusade" (I felt a lot of 80s Williams on this score actually).

TFA's score is definitely more rich with new leitmotif. In TLJ, there was probably room for a new First Order theme, which I actually thought was coming based on something that had been released on the official site just before the movie premiered, and a deeper Rey/Luke theme. However, I do think that TLJ's score works well in the context of the film. It's packed with themes from the OT, expands on the new themes established in TFA and weaves them together well. The music editing is also as crisp as it's been since the OT with no embarrassing edits.

And what didn't work for me:

Finn, Rose and the codebreaker side mission

I appreciate that Finn's loyalty needed to be tested and that he had to learn to become more selfless in this film. Unfortunately, he was paired with a mostly needless character who sucked all the fun out of him. I get that she's the righteous resistance fighter who's supposed to make him realize "no sacrifice, no victory," but she's filled with exposition and political messages that grind the movie to a hard stop whenever she's on screen. She literally felt like a character from the prequels in that way. This is not, however, an indictment on Kelly Tran who I thought did good work despite this being her first big role.

As soon as Maz showed up, I knew this plot thread was going to be the weak link. Not only did that FaceTime call with Maz look like a video game cutscene, it was ridiculous. Why wasn't this a holocom? Who was shooting that video since her hands were tied? I don't get what Rian was going for that she was in this elaborate firefight but it wasn't funny and just ended up playing sloppy and awkward. The plan itself is also too complicated to be interesting.

I dig Canto Bight as an environment but it almost felt like it belonged in a different movie because there were already so many moving parts. Adding DJ to the mix, after already adding Holdo and Rose, made the movie feel even more bloated. It also affected the screen time of characters we want to spend more time with, like Finn. Similar to KMT, while I don't have a problem with BDT's performance as DJ, he's just yet another device to develop Finn and comment on war profiteering.

The droids being non-entities in the ST

I wish Artoo and Threepio had more to do in these films and it saddens me that the story is no longer told through their eyes, or really with them in mind at all. I've always loved the idea that were the messengers behind the Star Wars saga (of course Lucas ruined that with Phantom Menace, but that's another story). Threepio very well could have had more dialogue in this one, and Artoo could have been off the Falcon and more present during the Ahch-To scenes. Don't know why they weren't.

The Skywalker Saga reconciled with the idea that anyone can be a hero

This is the only way Rey being a nobody makes sense to me in the context of the broader saga. Back when the ST was announced, I wrote that the ST needs to deal with the Skywalkers' unnatural bloodline since that's the only "balance" problem that's been left over from the OT after the destruction of the Sith. This would also explain why Rey is overpowered - it's the Force's proportional response to create the balance.

Anyway, we'll see how this goes but I still don't need to be constantly hit over the head with this "everyone can use the Force" BS because Obama was the son of a single mother from Hawaii. I thought the final scene in TLJ felt terribly out of place and the film should have ended as soon as the Falcon went into lightspeed.

This trilogy having no consistent voice, retconning previous episodes and where the story goes from here

I have absolutely no problem with a different filmmaker coming in and placing their unique stamp on the saga. I want fresh perspectives and new energy pumped into these episodes. However, it felt clear to me that Rian Johnson flat out disagreed with many of the choices JJ made in TFA and burned them down to suit his own story. Whether it was the destruction of the Ren mask, the killing of Snoke, retconning Luke's emotional reaction from the end of TFA, killing Phasma, the absence of the Knights of Ren, or abandoning the significance of the Skywalker lightsaber calling to Rey. It is true that Lucas made the OT story up as he went along but since those chapters followed his single vision they never actively burned down or ignored threads that came before; they only added to the lore.

Wherever JJ thought this trilogy was going after Episode 7, he definitely needed to change course after Episode 8 (not withstanding Carrie's death). I'm sure he sees this as a great challenge but for the audience, the feeling that this story doesn't know where it's going concerns me more than it excites me. After Empire, I was excited as hell to find out what happens next because so much was left unresolved. Was Vader really Luke's father? What's Yoda going to say about Luke's failure? Who is the "other"? Are we finally going to see Jabba!? Will they save Han? Is Lando really good now? Will Luke face off against the Emperor?

After TLJ, aside from the inevitable final battle between the Resistance/Rey and First Order/Ren, what other burning issues do we need to have answered? We spent so much time worrying about a master code breaker that we didn't stop to consider what the ultimate purpose of the sequel trilogy actually could be. This film was too self-contained with no teases of a bigger picture to concern ourselves about and that's TLJ's biggest failure.

Miscellaneous thoughts:

- Where's Snap? In fact, where was the rest of black squadron? I thought it was a missed opportunity not to bring them back and create that continuity throughout the trilogy ala Wedge
- Will the Knights of Ren finally ascend in Episode 9?
- I didn't mind the limited screen time Phasma got. This movie was crammed with too many characters and I thought she served her purpose well enough
- Admiral Ackbar dying unceremoniously stung a bit, and I suspect it was partially because the actor who did the voice recently passed away

So while I'm overall positive on TLJ, and the more I think about it the more I love it, my excitement for Episode 9 isn't as high as my excitement for 8 was following TFA. I think Rian was a little too ambitious, and went a bit too far in an effort to make TLJ different. This movie is heavy. It's dense with lots of new characters, unexpected character turns, multiple plot threads to follow, plot twists, political messages and themes, nods to the past, and the weight of this being Carrie Fisher's final film. It's actually a miracle that the film works so well juggling this many moving parts.

But in a few months we'll catch our breaths. The hype around TLJ will have died down and we'll be excited for (or dreading) Solo. Then the stories for Episode 9 will start to fold in and the hype train will start anew. That is the way of things after all.


Post Posted: December 21st 2017 3:07 am
 

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Damn, CoGro. Do you write for a living? Your thoughts are super articulate and I think your review would appeal to both TLJ lovers and those who have criticism of it.

One thing you brought up regarding Rey being OP because "it's the Force's proportional response to create the balance." Snoke briefly brings this up saying that as Kylo's power grew, so too did his light-side equal. This would have been a great time for some exposition to fully explore this point. It could probably segue into Snoke's origin or something. Just seems like such a missed opportunity.

Which is really my main issue with the film. Rian seems to want to flip things on its head, but for me, it was like he only went half-way and didn't follow through. The emphasis on balance, embracing the dark to an extent, becoming a grey Jedi, etc.

Luke says that Kylo has this incurable darkness inside him, yet all we've seen from him is hesitation to kill Han Solo and a straight up refusal to kill Leia. You can't just tell us this when we've only seen the opposite. I really don't buy him as an antagonist.

I think like where this film left off makes things very difficult for JJ. I'd say it begins years in the future with Leia's funeral where a now revamped and regrown resistance is on display.

Oh and regarding Knights of Ren... it's possible that what Rey saw in Force Awakens was in fact a vision of the future.


Post Posted: December 21st 2017 7:37 am
 

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From CoGro:
What we learn is that it wasn't simply losing Ben Solo to Snoke that drove Luke to self-exile: it was his belief that because of his temptation to murder his nephew he had betrayed anyone that had ever placed any faith in him. He was untrustworthy. I think he also believed that the ways of the Jedi had corrupted his judgment and, because of that broken faith, figured the galaxy was better off without him and the Jedi. Luke's journey throughout TLJ is realizing that his legend does serve a purpose: to inspire hope.

I've done a LOT of reading of others' opinions of The Last Jedi - absolutely desperate to find even a minuscule measure of saving that film for me. CoGro - I think that you supplied The Only Seed that MIGHT make that happen. The next viewing will be made with your eloquently written words burned into the forefront of my brain. I thank you for that.

If I can find what you're describing here in the next viewing, then it still points out a fundamental problem that has already been identified by me: a lack of showing. Just one more line of dialogue from Luke could've made all of the difference in how fans are left interpreting what Johnson orchestrated on the screen. Johnson should have cut the 20 minute Canto Bight scene to give us more of Luke/Rey, and squeeze out but a mere 10 more seconds about Snoke.

The removed Third Lesson for Rey's training, detailed here https://io9.gizmodo.com/report-heres-what-lukes-third-lesson-to-rey-in-the-las-1821467308 would not have supplied the kind of detail regarding Luke's deepest thoughts that you very plausibly detailed in your post. That said, I wish that the Third Lesson would've been kept in the film, but it sounds like it was removed because test screenings determined that it made Luke look too much like an asshole. That right there should've been a major red flag that "Hey, the audience isn't getting what we're trying to say with Luke - what are we doing wrong?" Then, they should've hired CoGro to write the single sentence that would've corrected their colossal mistake.

But that didn't happen, and these mistakes are proving to be very, VERY costly for the saga.

And Lucasfilm has no one to blame but themselves.

I'll keep my fingers EXTREMELY tightly crossed that the next viewing of the film allows me to see the Luke that you see.

Again, thank you for your deftly worded write up.


Post Posted: December 21st 2017 11:50 am
 
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Brilliantly said, CoGro. I've been waiting a long time to see your review, and I agree with just about every major and minor point you made.

The reaction to the film seems almost as nuanced and unpredictable as the film itself. Been very interesting to observe reaction in all directions in the past 7 days.

But like CoGro, I have absolutely no idea where Ep. 9 could go. That is both a strength and a weakness of TLJ. I don't think the middle chapter of a trilogy can be done better than ESB. It was simply a masterful work of genius from start to finish. But ESB is strengthened by the existence of ROJ, just as (in my view) TPM and AOTC are strengthened by how good ROTS was.

I expect a similar phenomenon to happen here. I expect (hope?) the lesser parts of TLJ will be strengthened by what we see in Ep. 9.


Post Posted: December 21st 2017 12:16 pm
 

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Me too... CoGro has great insight, and Im only partially surprised at his take. I feel this film is a brilliant film from someone that licensed the Star Wars characters and made a "what if" movie... but, I know its canon.


Post Posted: December 21st 2017 8:11 pm
 
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I don't always agree with CoGro but it's guaranteed he always expresses himself in a thought out manner in his reviews.

Now onto the negative reviews I've read online about TLJ.

The underlying themes in a majority of them are identical. The viewer is blinded by hate due to the fact that their own personal ideas and speculation were completely obliterated. In this day and age it seems 2 years is too long to comprehend for the next installment. So we all speculate and come up with wild theories. These theories are left to brew and simmer along until they almost seem to become fact in the eyes of the fans. It's when this speculation is revealed to be different to the actual story that things start spiralling out of control. The nitpicks I've seen against this movie are incredible and I wonder how those fans would react if you held that same mirror against the OT.

The one truth in all of this is that some Star Wars "fans" fucking hate Star Wars.


Post Posted: December 21st 2017 9:38 pm
 

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SI wrote:
The underlying themes in a majority of them are identical. The viewer is blinded by hate due to the fact that their own personal ideas and speculation were completely obliterated. In this day and age it seems 2 years is too long to comprehend for the next installment. So we all speculate and come up with wild theories. These theories are left to brew and simmer along until they almost seem to become fact in the eyes of the fans. It's when this speculation is revealed to be different to the actual story that things start spiralling out of control. The nitpicks I've seen against this movie are incredible and I wonder how those fans would react if you held that same mirror against the OT.

The one truth in all of this is that some Star Wars "fans" fucking hate Star Wars.


I disagree. I don't think it's a matter of theories being wrong. It's a matter of getting no answer at all and with Snoke dead, unlikely we will get one in 9. The other issue with Rey's parents doesn't explain how quickly she can use mind-trick. I know it has something to do with balance and being Ren's opposite, but again, Rian briefly mentions it and doesn't take this time to really flesh out lore changes. This is a monumental factor. And this coming from someone who likes the Rey character and a lot of TLJ.

A lot of people are doubling down on this "anyone can be a Jedi" stuff without recognizing flaws. I'm fine with change, but go all the way. Don't half-ass it.


Post Posted: December 21st 2017 11:07 pm
 
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Snoke answers could come in 9 - anything's possible since there are no longer hard rules. Maybe Snoke will return as a ghost? Maybe he imprinted his consciousness on Ren and Rey, and will learn to manipulate them from the beyond? Maybe there's a whole planet of Snoke clones out there?

CoGro wrote:
**Just a warning that this is going to be a long post**

Thank you for laying out your thoughts in such detail. :?

CoGro wrote:
How else could this have gone, while also serving an interesting narrative?

Dammit, why can't someone leak Lucas' treatment for the ST?

prox wrote:
Oh and regarding Knights of Ren... it's possible that what Rey saw in Force Awakens was in fact a vision of the future.

That would be cool. But, do either Kasdan or Abrams know the meaning behind the vision sequence they wrote into TFA? Did they write it, and hope someone else would explain it for them? (And also figure-out how Maz ended-up with the Skywalker lightsaber? Seriously, why would she ever come into possession of it except for the convenience of the writers?)

SI wrote:
The one truth in all of this is that some Star Wars "fans" fucking hate Star Wars.

Star Wars isn't any one thing to any one type fan. Therefore, everything's potentially controversial, which is a healthy thing for a living franchise.

That being said, I'm not sure that Disney is broadening the fan base like they intend. Recently, I had a conversation with a Marvel movie devotee that Disney would probably love to win over to Star Wars. Her view on TLJ was that some parts of the story were good, but a lot of the movie was wrong-headed or too focused on the legacy characters. Her conclusion was that Star Wars just wasn't for her. (Uncomfortably for me, I've wondered that about the new live action films after watching both TFA and TLJ.)


Post Posted: December 22nd 2017 12:59 am
 
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prox wrote:

I disagree. I don't think it's a matter of theories being wrong. It's a matter of getting no answer at all and with Snoke dead, unlikely we will get one in 9. The other issue with Rey's parents doesn't explain how quickly she can use mind-trick. I know it has something to do with balance and being Ren's opposite, but again, Rian briefly mentions it and doesn't take this time to really flesh out lore changes. This is a monumental factor. And this coming from someone who likes the Rey character and a lot of TLJ.

A lot of people are doubling down on this "anyone can be a Jedi" stuff without recognizing flaws. I'm fine with change, but go all the way. Don't half-ass it.


Trust me I've seen arguments where the author has fundamentally misunderstood the narrative and as a result have aimed their hatred towards their preconceived notions not being fulfilled.

Onto the force and what it is to be a Jedi. I thought it was spelt out clearly in TPM when Qui-Gon explains midichlorians to Anakin. "They reside is all living beings.." not just the Jedi.


Post Posted: December 22nd 2017 9:26 am
 
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Everything GoGro and SI said. :heavymetal:


E_CHU_TA! wrote:
(And also figure-out how Maz ended-up with the Skywalker lightsaber? Seriously, why would she ever come into possession of it except for the convenience of the writers?)


In the TFA Blu Ray commentary, JJ says that he and Kasden had written a whole big elaborate story about how Maz acquired the lightsaber. Then they decided to keep it out of TFA so it could be explained in another episode. Whether or not that will really happen is anybody's guess at this point.


Post Posted: December 22nd 2017 11:49 am
 

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SI wrote:
I don't always agree with CoGro but it's guaranteed he always expresses himself in a thought out manner in his reviews.

Now onto the negative reviews I've read online about TLJ.

The underlying themes in a majority of them are identical. The viewer is blinded by hate due to the fact that their own personal ideas and speculation were completely obliterated. In this day and age it seems 2 years is too long to comprehend for the next installment. So we all speculate and come up with wild theories. These theories are left to brew and simmer along until they almost seem to become fact in the eyes of the fans. It's when this speculation is revealed to be different to the actual story that things start spiralling out of control. The nitpicks I've seen against this movie are incredible and I wonder how those fans would react if you held that same mirror against the OT.

The one truth in all of this is that some Star Wars "fans" fucking hate Star Wars.

To lump the majority of critisisms into “the viewer is blinded by hate” is a sweeping generalisation. I know many people, both fans and none fans alike, that disliked the film. Those with no axe to grind, who felt the plot was laboured and dull, to those that liked TFA, but believed the story/characters were thinly drawn. True, I know just as many people who liked it too... but I wouldn’t automatically believe them to be sheep like dullards who gravitate naturally to the vacuous. Thinking those who disliked it are largely aggrieved fans is a big stretch... and can be equally applied as a defence of critisism.


Post Posted: December 22nd 2017 1:18 pm
 
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The reaction to TLJ, and the reaction to the negative reactions of the film, when contrasted with how people reacted to the prequels, is a fascinating process to observe.


Post Posted: December 22nd 2017 1:51 pm
 
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This review sums up my thoughts pretty well actually and is pretty fair: collider.com /star-wars-the-last-jedi-problems-fandom-menace/

Why Rian Johnson’s ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Is “The Fandom Menace”
BY DAVE TRUMBORE DECEMBER 20, 2017

Spoilers ahead. Also, all credit for that epic headline goes to improv superstar Sean Paul Ellis.

Imagine for a moment that J.K. Rowling, while writing the seventh book in the Harry Potter series, said to herself, “Fuck it,” and actively chose to undermine everything about her creation that had earned her millions of fans (and dollars) in the pages of that final tome. Think about how differently the fifth season of AMC’s Breaking Bad would have been had Vince Gilligan decided to redeem and ultimately save Walter White despite the character’s no-turning-back transition “from Mr. Chips to Scarface.” Or ponder, if you will, what our world would be like had the final season of LOST actually been good, or if Dexter paid for his crimes instead of becoming a lumberjack. What these stories have in common is a creative force at the height of power and popularity who held their fandoms in the palm of their hands, and, with a guaranteed turnout and payday for their efforts one way or the other, chose whether to reward their fanbase with a satisfactory conclusion, or bring it all crashing down around them out of a narcissistic desire to destroy their own creation.

I’m a fan of the chaotic creative. Without such unpredictable forces, the arts would never advance. Andy Kaufman never would have blurred and pushed the boundary between the acceptable fiction of TV and the rock-solid foundation of reality. St. Elsewhere‘s final hour, “The Last One”, would never have blown the minds of viewers after 136 episodes by creating the fiction-within-a-fiction of the Tommy Westphall Universe. And, honestly, Loki would be a lot less fun if he always had to play by the rules. These creators are the demigods of their own universes, and they can do with them as they please.

Star Wars, however, is neither Rian Johnson‘s nor Disney’s creation, even if Star Wars: The Last Jedi happens to be. That honor belongs to George Lucas … or at least it did until his tinkering with the original trilogy and the substandard performance of the prequel trilogy weakened his foundation before ultimately handing over the Star Wars deed to Disney for $4 billion. That might still sound like a lot, even when compared to the $52.4 billion valuation of Disney’s Fox buyout, but it’s a reminder that Disney rarely makes bad investments. What they do better than anyone is acquire, adapt, and transition existing properties into a form that fits their well-oiled machine. They know that the fandom, which has buoyed Star Wars since Day 1, remains hungry for–perhaps even addicted to–more content.

So does it make sense to think that Disney would be all smiles to see Johnson’s The Last Jedi shitting all over the dedicated fandom’s forty-year investment into every conceivable nut and bolt in the Star Wars mythology? No … unless you consider the idea that the Old Fandom (ie Lucas-era fans) is being pruned away like dead limbs to make way for the New Fandom (ie Disney-era fans), an eager bunch who are ready to buy up Porgs and all manner of BB-8, Finn, Rey, Kylo Ren, and Poe merchandise while the foundational fans embarrass themselves with petition tantrums.

The burning down of the previous Star Wars mythology to make way for the new one is an ugly, mean-spirited truth beneath the progressive narrative veneer of The Last Jedi, and the decision to do so was every bit as much a financial and marketing decision as it was a creative one. While critics and the New Fandom are busy fellating the creative forces for the forward-thinking story of The Last Jedi that tears down previously established mythology, they’re also blinded by the fact that the Disney machine is playing a grand confidence game, undercutting Lucas’ creation for their modern, more profitable version of Star Wars. The worst part of this grift? We’re eating it up by the handful.


A Brief Concession: There’s a lot to love about Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Johnson’s handling of the franchise’s characters, new and old, was remarkably and refreshingly done, if a bit safe at times; I’ll go into more detail about that sure-to-be inflammatory statement later. But as a longtime fan of the franchise myself, I’m flummoxed as to how Johnson, a self-professed fan of Star Wars, apparently took such delight in quite literally burning the hero’s history down to the ground while metaphorically slapping the fandom in the face in the process. At worst, he’s the architect of that approach; at best, he’s complicit in the decision. I’m betting on the former but hoping for the latter, if only because this trilogy has been loosely plotted out, as the creative forces themselves have admitted. The Last Jedi will long be a divisive film for many reasons, some worth more discussion than others, but for me, it will be the cognitive dissonance between the highs of seeing a diverse cast of characters engaging in complex, multi-layered relationships with each other, and the lows related to the mind-boggling decision to rub the Old Fandom’s nose in the ashes of everything about the franchise they’ve ever loved, while simultaneously and disingenuously encouraging a New Fandom to take hold.

Perhaps the best bit of evidence to this idea is the behavior of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in The Last Jedi. While I was most interested in finding out more about Rey’s (Daisy Ridley) arc in this film, it was Luke’s increasingly odd behavior that needled at the back of my brain, warning me that something was not quite right with this movie. The Last Jedi is incredibly jokey, a decision which masks the cynical and nihilistic motives of the franchise’s fan-favorite protagonist until it’s too late and you’re in too deep. Luke casually and quickly tossing aside his lightsaber was funny at first … until you think about it for a moment. This is the same lightsaber crafted by his father Anakin, the same lightsaber handed down to him by Obi-Wan Kenobi and guarded by Maz Kanata for decades, a family heirloom and weapon with quite the complicated history. To be tossed aside so lightly was more than a reflection of Luke’s state of mind at the time (which made some narrative sense), it’s a message to the audience that every little bit of importance we’ve associated with lightsabers for 40 years is ultimately worth nothing. Sorry you wasted your time studying blueprints of handgrips and Kyber crystals, but please, still feel free to craft your own lightsaber at home!

Johnson defended this decision, saying:

“It wasn’t coming into it and thinking, ‘Okay, they’re expecting this. Let’s have him toss the lightsaber. Ha, ha, ha.’ The reason he did that was because I can’t imagine any other honest reaction from him to that moment.”
No other honest reaction? Was Obi-Wan a tantrum-throwing child while training Luke, despite years of reclusive living? Was Qui-Gon a reactionary nutjob while dealing with an impatient and impetuous young Obi-Wan? No, there’s an infinite spectrum of other honest reactions. Clearly Luke had not matured much in his years in isolation as it takes a special sort of petulance to toss away something that others have literally died to protect. Imagine being presented a Hattori Hanzo sword or the Elder Wand and simply throwing it over a cliff. Even Harry Potter put the contentious wand to good use before opting to discard it for the greater good. And if Luke’s act doesn’t convince you that The Last Jedi is ditching the existing mythology bit by bit, the fact that Luke steps out of the galaxy far, far away and basically into the theater in order to call the lightsaber a “laser sword” should be a slap to the face. It’s what clued me in that something greater than, “Isn’t this version of Luke silly?” was going on. And if even that weren’t enough, the fact that the lightsaber is literally torn apart during the struggle between Rey and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) should be the coffin nail. Will Rey learn how to construct her own lightsaber in the next film, using the parts of her pseudo-master’s destroyed weapon? The Last Jedi doesn’t give a shit about that question and certainly isn’t concerned with answering it, so don’t get your hopes and theories up about Star Wars: Episode IX doing so either.

But it’s not just Luke’s rejection of the weapon and it’s bloody (or technically bloodless, but you know what I mean) history that scratches Star Wars lore from the annals. Deadspin has compiled an epic list of over 50 times that The Last Jedi supremely dunks on the prequel trilogy and other Star Wars movies that came before it, like the bizarre green milk scene, Luke’s description of the Force, and much more. The Last Jedi is a step-by-step dismantling of everything the Old Fandom held sacred, warts and all, in favor of raising up everything the New Fandom is obsessing over; the real lightsaber through the heart here is that our ol’ buddy Luke is the one delivering each of a thousand cuts.

Now that’s not to say Luke pulls off this epic betrayal alone. Plenty of fans got sweatin’ mad about the lack of any connections between Supreme Leader Snoke and the rest of the Star Wars mythology. (And when you get that mad, you obviously need to start a petition.) This is easy to poke fun at and deservedly so to an extent, but the previous 40 years of Star Wars have also trained fans to expect these sorts of connections, narrowing what’s in theory supposed to be a vast universe. The Last Jedi subverts these expectations and should be rightly lauded for that. That’s not what had me upset about Snoke. Just like I didn’t need Rey’s parental lineage to be explained or to have an unbelievably convenient connection to existing mythology despite the vastness of this universe, I didn’t need Snoke’s gruesome face to be a familiar one. However, I did need him to be a worthwhile adversary, and what I got was a laughably safe choice on the part of Johnson.

Safe choices; The Last Jedi is replete with them. Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) has become an Untouchable, quite the feat for a character who was intended to die off in the early goings of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But now, the dreamy-eyed Isaac and his infallible (or, at least, immune-to-punishment) Poe has become a darling of both the New Fandom and of Disney brass. I love watching Poe carve up the First Order opposition in his T-70 X-wing fighter “Black One” (will you please stop blowing it up…) as much as the next person, but when it’s clear he’s not going to suffer so much as a scratch, it sucks the tension out of the telling. Finn (John Boyega) and his adventure with Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) was more a prequel for Star Wars: Episode IX than an integral part of The Last Jedi, but the decision to keep them both alive at the movie’s end rather than die in an act of self-sacrifice was another safe, character/New Fandom-preserving decision. Offing the relatively unknown entity of Paige Tico (Veronica Ngo) in order to give Rose an emotional arc works fine despite its tropey nature until you consider that most of the film’s people of color are tangential to the main plot. And while The Last Jedi casts some positively badass women with appropriately badass moments, most of them serve either sacrificial or “babysitter” roles. (Or they’re just snuffed out entirely for not being marketable enough; Sorry, Captain Phasma!) Those are safe decisions in the sense of, “Well, we need to make sure we have a diverse cast doing cool stuff, but we’re not quite ready to go all-in on them leading the A story just yet.” But yay! Everyone who’s marketable is alive and happy!

And then there’s Snoke (Andy Serkis). Supreme. Leader. Snoke. This is a Force-wielding dude with mysterious origins who’s strong enough to not only have led the First Order to power in the vacuum left by the defeat of the Empire, but who can also shut down the grandson of Darth Vader with a Force Lightning clapback and can bounce General Hux’s (Domhnall Gleeson) pale chin off the floor from untold parsecs away. Your telling me this bro is going to be done in with a bit of hand-waving trickery due to his hubris? Please. Serkis deserved better than that if nothing else.

Johnson, of course, clarified his decision to keep Snoke as an unknown entity rather than give in to various fandom wish fulfillment:

When I was working on the character of Kylo, I came to a place where I thought the most interesting thing would be to knock the shaky foundation out from under him at the beginning of this movie…By the end of this film, he’s gone from being a wannabe Vader to someone who is standing on his own feet as a complex villain taking the reins.

But then the question is: What place would Snoke have at the end of that?…That made me realize the most interesting thing would be to eliminate that dynamic between the ‘emperor’ and pupil, so that all bets are off going into the next one. That also led to the possibility of this dramatic turn in the middle, which could also be a really powerful connection point between Kylo and Rey.

It would have stopped any of these scenes dead cold if he had stopped and given a 30-second speech about how he’s Darth Plagueis…It doesn’t matter to Rey. If he had done that, Rey would have blinked and said, ‘Who?’ And the scene would have gone on…and I’m not saying he’s Darth Plagueis! …

We got the whole story of Palpatine’s rise to power in the prequels, but in the original films he’s exactly what he needs to be, which is just ‘The Emperor’. He’s a dark force: the scary thing behind the thing. That was entirely how I approached Snoke. I wasn’t interested in explaining where he came from or telling his history, except where it serves this story.

I respect and agree with Johnson’s decision to avoid playing into fan theories, especially after the unmitigated bit of fan-service that was Rogue One; that’s what fan-fiction is for and it’s a great arena to flesh out idea and play “What if?” However, your antagonist still has to have some heft to them, even if, as my colleague Allison Keene has pointed out, he ends up being nothing more than a red herring. Even Darth Maul got in an emotional killing blow before being dispatched (only to arrive in insane cyborg-spider form in Star Wars: The Clone Wars). Was Kylo Ren playing the subservient apprentice all along while biding his time, waiting for a moment to strike? Was Rey’s arrival and subsequent torture at the Force-hands of Snoke enough to push Kylo over the edge toward a second act of patricide? You could make those arguments, but you could just as rightly say that Snoke was a cookie-cutter version of Palpatine who held little value with the story that lies ahead. (And let’s face it, those Snoke Plushies probably aren’t flying off of the shelves … though I wouldn’t mind a comfy Snoke Robe.) Killing him so easily was a safe choice, as opposed to say, killing Rey or Kylo at one extreme, or maiming one of them severely, a la Cool One-Handed Luke in The Empire Strikes Back. Instead, the New Fandom got to salivate over “Kylo Rey” teaming up to take down not only Snoke but also the Elite Praetorian Guard, who came nowhere near living up to their name. I mean, why bother fighting at all once ya done fucked up and let your leader get kill’t? Perhaps the new Supreme Leader Kylo Ren, or rather J.J. Abrams, will bring his Knights of Ren out of the ether to act as his new guard, but either way, The Last Jedi doesn’t care; it’s just clearing out the dead wood.

Burning Down the Old Fandom ...

And that’s really the crux of my argument here. Star Wars: The Last Jedi deservedly ranks among the most subversive and non-traditional installments in a major blockbuster franchise, ever. But it’s subversive on a second level, one that’s actively undercutting even the praiseworthy critics, because the choices that elevated the progressive aspects that have been embraced by the new fandom come at the cost of burning away any semblance of the old. Quite literally. Crazy-ass Yoda returns in ghost-puppet mode to call down the thunder and the lightning from the sky (Why bother worrying about being corporeal at all if you can do that?), igniting the literal and metaphorical roots of the Jedi Order before Luke, who’s the last Jedi at that moment, can make good on the threat to do the same. Sure, Rey may have spirited away the early Jedi tomes, but since “page-turners, they are not”, does that even matter? The Last Jedi tells us that the Jedi have failed; that at the height of their power, they failed even more spectacularly. Extending that line of thought, everything the fans ever loved about the Jedi in the history of the franchise is built on failure. Did you love that farm boy’s rise to challenge the powerful leaders at the head of an authoritarian government? Too bad, the Jedi never should have let that happen in the first place. Oh and then the hero of the Rebellion failed again, so clearly this Jedi teaching isn’t up to snuff. Sorry to have wasted your time all these years. But we have a shiny new Resistance for you to get attached to!

That’s an even more cynical outlook on the history of the Jedi, the Knights of the Old Republic, etc., than my opinion that profit margins and merchandising drove a good portion of the decisions in The Last Jedi. What’s most bizarre to me where The Last Jedi is concerned is not so much Johnson & Co.’s decision to gaslight the fandom, but rather their decision to include any old nods at all. Why bother bringing Han Solo’s golden dice back into the mix at all, only to weirdly phase them out of (local) existence as part of Luke’s Force Projection ruse? Why reference young Luke Skywalker staring off into the Tattooine binary sunset as old Luke Skywalker does the same while he dies on Ahch-To? Why not smash the Millennium Falcon into bits during the skirmish on Crait?

Because Disney’s only willing to push the inflammatory fandom-bashing so far; they can still sell Millennium Falcon merch after all, and they’ve got a big park attraction planned for it, as well. When you realize that the decision behind what stays and what goes in The Last Jedi was driven as much by marketing plans as it was by creative decision, that takes a bit of the steam out of the praise-train for the film and its maverick filmmaker and puts a little real-world capitalistic bile back in the system. Or at least it should, because the moral of this story is this: Clear out the old to make way for the new, but make the transition just entertaining enough to swallow.

... to Raise a New One

Wait, no, don’t go! We didn’t really want you to give up on your obsession with Star Wars! Why, here’s an all-new book going into great detail about all the shiny new things in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, isn’t that neat? At the end of the day, Disney isn’t about making avant-garde films, especially not where multi-billion-dollar franchises are concerned. Simply put, the Old Fandom has just about run its course and the New Fandom is on the rise. This is the way of the world, the way of profit-driven businesses, and even the way of nature.

In biology, there’s a word for an organism that uses an existing life form to provide itself with structure and shelter while it competes with said host for resources in order to grow, develop, and eventually multiply; that word is: parasite. I can think of no better description for what Star Wars: The Last Jedi is to Star Wars overall. I know, that sounds harsh, but remember that a parasite is merely doing what its genes direct it to do in order to survive, what it’s “designed” to do; it’s only a “parasite” in a negative sense where the host is concerned. That host is Lucas’ version of Star Wars and, by extension, the fandom who embraced it.

A “strangler fig” is a tropical plant that starts its life by using an existing tree for support, competing with the much larger organism for resources until it’s able to root itself into the ground. Often, the host tree dies, rotting away from the inside, while the strangler fig stands astride it, a skeletal approximation of what once was. This is The Last Jedi, a Johnny-come-lately’s reinterpretation of nearly a half-century of mythology that acts as the corrupted bones of a new body of work. Johnson and The Last Jedi pulled everything they wanted, everything they needed from the Star Wars mythology in order to warp, twist, and adapt those aspects to their own designs, forever changing the landscape going forward.

I get it. Every creative out there wants to leave their mark on the world. Everyone wants their “Jesus overturning the table” moment, their Tyler Durden victory, to succeed where Guy Fawkes failed to blow up Parliament and reset the system. For Johnson, congratulations are in order because he’s done it. For Disney, the same can be said, because a new fandom is coalescing, even as the remnants of the old are staving off their impending disillusionment by clinging to such suppositions as, “Maybe Snoke’s not really dead. Maybe he can come back as Cyborg Plagueis after all!” and, “Nope, Rey’s parents have to be special. They just have to be!”

Let it go, my friends and fellow fans. Embrace the fact that the existing mythology of the Star Wars franchise will always be there in the films, TV series, books, and video games, for better or worse. Disney, Johnson, Abrams, and the Lucasfilm braintrust are taking Star Wars to some interesting places in the future, places designed for the next, progressive generation of fans. We can come along if we leave the baggage of the last 40 years behind us and look forward to new interpretations, adventures, and discussions in the years to come, or we can cling to old ideals and lament of what could have been like some sort of cultural refugees. Some day, perhaps 40 years in the future, this current cycle of Star Wars films will be subverted, reinterpreted, torn apart and put back together again, as is the nature of all things. We don’t have to like it now, and we won’t have to like it then. We can choose to be flexible enough to adapt along with it, or remain rigid in our rejection of it. The good news is that, ultimately, that choice doesn’t belong to anyone else but you, and that’s something that no amount of money in the world can take away.

Keep this (and your hard-earned dollars) in mind when Disney’s version of the franchise continues with Ron Howard‘s Solo: A Star Wars Story opening on May 25th, followed by Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode IX opening December 20, 2019.


Post Posted: December 22nd 2017 2:02 pm
 

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royalguard96 wrote:
The reaction to TLJ, and the reaction to the negative reactions of the film, when contrasted with how people reacted to the prequels, is a fascinating process to observe.

I think the really odd thing is that there seems to be an equal proportion of prequel fans who don’t like it, prequel haters who don’t like it, TFA fans who don’t like it, TFA haters who don’t like it. It seems to be the most mixed reaction to any SW film ever... Interesting times... especially interesting to see what Disney’s responce will be. I bet the Solo film may appear more popular in comparison.


Post Posted: December 22nd 2017 3:04 pm
 

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royalguard96 wrote:
The reaction to TLJ, and the reaction to the negative reactions of the film, when contrasted with how people reacted to the prequels, is a fascinating process to observe.

Doctor When wrote:
I think the really odd thing is that there seems to be an equal proportion of prequel fans who don’t like it, prequel haters who don’t like it, TFA fans who don’t like it, TFA haters who don’t like it. It seems to be the most mixed reaction to any SW film ever... Interesting times... especially interesting to see what Disney’s responce will be. I bet the Solo film may appear more popular in comparison.


I Agree.


Post Posted: December 22nd 2017 3:54 pm
 
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First, I want to say that after finding out that Yoda was a puppet right after I did my post about TLJ, I'd like my comment about how bad Yoda looked excised from record. I lamented that he looked like a bad CG model from a PS2/GCN game. Turns out he wasn't from reading wookieepedia. Remember, I found out the day after I made that post. My main problem was that he didn't look bright green but his skin was dark green. I'd have to see the scene again but I don't really want to get a 2 hour shaky cam version of the movie just to re-examine that one scene. So, I'm hoping my family will ask me for an encore viewing. If not, I'll wait for the blu-ray. At this rate, it'll be out on video by February. Just look at how fast Kingsman 2 went to video from theatres. Same as Blade Runner 2049.

That being said. After witnessing so much backlash on social media, I'm taken aback to 1999 when fans bitched so much about how Episode I is so different from A New Hope. They bitched so much about everything from the characters to the story. I remember that everyone whined so much about how "clean" everything looked and everything wasn't downtrodden like the galaxy was in the OT. I remember telling people in an AOL chatroom and on :gb2tfn: that it's 32 years before ANH, it's supposed to look "clean." But the fans stuck their fingers n their ears and went "LA LA LA LA Not listening." (Gee, sounds familiar?) The current backlash I'm now seeing has me feeling suspicious and makes me think that it was never a Lucas/McCallum/whatever problem. It's a fandom problem because fans has built up 40 years of expectations so much to the point that No one, I repeat NO ONE can match up with their expectations. George Lucas knows this and ALMOST met their expectations when he got to ROTS. Reading the backlash makes me want to hit up an old review of TPM in 1999 and read it. Just substitute "TPM" with "TLJ" and "George Lucas" with "Rian Johnson." Also, "Darth Maul" with "Snoke." "Jar Jar Binks" with "DJ" and you'd swear a review from 1999 matches up with the current climate.


Post Posted: December 22nd 2017 5:50 pm
 

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Not as far as I'm concerned. I loved the prequels and still do. I totally understood that they were meant to convey "a more civilized time" and would have a slightly different and new aesthetic, to what we saw in the original trilogy. The problem is that these new films are supposedly made by fans, for the fans - but Johnson in particular, is putting out what he wants, not what the fans want to see - hence the backlash, which is far more full on in 2017, then it was in 1999.


Post Posted: December 22nd 2017 5:59 pm
 

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Yes and no. I think many people reacted negatively to the aesethtic and overly melodramatic elements of TPM. Whereas I think the issue some have with TLJ is more fundamental (for me anyhow)... in that it’s the plotting, characterisation, the underlying narrative that doesn’t work. It’s the importance one places on those individual elements which, IMO, dictates which side of the fence one sits. I certainly think the prequels are much closer to the OT... in terms of stylistic choices, tone, influences, narrative, creativity etc. than the new films are... It’s just a matter of preference. For me, TLJ is as removed from ANH or TESB as Justice League is from Superman:The Movie ... and for me that’s a negative thing. Some will be neutral and some will prefer that distinct separation.


Post Posted: December 22nd 2017 6:22 pm
 

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I've only seen TLJ twice so far, and will see it again this weekend, but do you recall if there were any wipes/dissolves in between scenes? I can't seem to remember any?

Also, how does Rey get off the Destroyer and back on the Falcon? I can't recall.


Post Posted: December 22nd 2017 6:34 pm
 
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Mike_Droideka wrote:
Not as far as I'm concerned. I loved the prequels and still do. I totally understood that they were meant to convey "a more civilized time" and would have a slightly different and new aesthetic, to what we saw in the original trilogy. The problem is that these new films are supposedly made by fans, for the fans - but Johnson in particular, is putting out what he wants, not what the fans want to see - hence the backlash, which is far more full on in 2017, then it was in 1999.



I agree about the Prequels. Oh I know what the backlash is about. Consider this - Johnson's reasoning for why TLJ deviates from (I read this off an article from Facebook) the norm is that he's simply following the Lucas playbook in which Lucas never intended ANH and the prequels to be for the fans. Lucas never really gave a shit about the fans. Johnson's a fan yes but he's a fan so much he's willing to execute the Lucas playbook step by step and adhere to the rules that Lucas set for the Saga (Lucas even created new rules with Empire.) Johnson saw TLJ as an evolution of what came before much as Lucas/Kershner saw ESB as an evolution of what we saw in ANH. Empire introduced a new layer of the mythology, a new hero, new villains, especially one that controls Vader and, new conflicts. It even featured a badass lightsaber battle that defined more clearly on who's good and who's bad. TLJ for me is the new Empire for this trilogy. If Johnson's script was hot garbage, don't you think Kennedy, Abrams and the LFL Braintrust would have immediately rejected it the minute it arrived on their desks? They knew the risk and went for it.

Doctor When wrote:
Yes and no. I think many people reacted negatively to the aesethtic and overly melodramatic elements of TPM. Whereas I think the issue some have with TLJ is more fundamental (for me anyhow)... in that it’s the plotting, characterisation, the underlying narrative that doesn’t work. It’s the importance one places on those individual elements which, IMO, dictates which side of the fence one sits. I certainly think the prequels are much closer to the OT... in terms of stylistic choices, tone, influences, narrative, creativity etc. than the new films are... It’s just a matter of preference. For me, TLJ is as removed from ANH or TESB as Justice League is from Superman:The Movie ... and for me that’s a negative thing. Some will be neutral and some will prefer that distinct separation.


And in 1999, People thought the plotting, the characterization and the underlying narrative was bad in TPM. Examples: characterization - They thought Anakin should have been better cast as a 12 year old instead of a 9 year old. They thought Darth Maul shouldn't have been quickly discarded and saved for AOTC. What about the fact that people didn't understand that Jar Jar was basically a Goofy ripoff and needed to serve as a stand in for C-3PO? (See, even Lucas was frothing at the mouth about this and was just being a big fan of Disney back then.) And what about the fact that people didn't like how the Neimondians was portrayed as? (Wahh! They have Asian overtones! Remember that?) About the narrative... Remember the minute the opening crawl ended, no one understood what the Trade Federation was and they felt that there was too much politics for them to understand (What's a blockade? What's halting of the trade?) Plotting: People thought there was too much bouncing around. Remember, you had the heroes going from Naboo to Tattooine to Corcusant then back to Naboo. TLJ is a lot like this in some ways... You had the heroes going from Ahch-to to Canto Bight then to The Supremacy, then Crait then finally, Ahch-to. Also, people in 1999 thought TPM had a bad Act II, too. From I've seen with my initial viewing of TLJ, it's no different from TPM in many ways.

As for Justice League, everyone thinks Suicide Squad is a better film. In the same breath, People can say the Donner Cut of Superman II is better than the original version because the Studio tossed away a lot of good scenes and needed to be reshot in some areas.


Post Posted: December 22nd 2017 6:37 pm
 
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Mike_Droideka wrote:
I've only seen TLJ twice so far, and will see it again this weekend, but do you recall if there were any wipes/dissolves in between scenes? I can't seem to remember any?

Also, how does Rey get off the Destroyer and back on the Falcon? I can't recall.


There were some couple of wipes.

They never really explained how Rey got off the Supermacy. I think it was either the escape pod Rey used to get to the destroyer or she probably hijacked a TIE or a shuttle considering how vast that hanger bay was...


Post Posted: December 22nd 2017 6:52 pm
 

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Thanks.

Similarly to how Poe got back to the Resistance base, after crash landing on Jakku TFA - they don't explain shit.
That's bad and lazy story-telling


Post Posted: December 22nd 2017 6:56 pm
 
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Mike_Droideka wrote:
Thanks.

Similarly to how Poe got back to the Resistance base, after crash landing on Jakku TFA - they don't explain shit.
That's bad and lazy story-telling


There you go. I liked TFA but I wish they didn't reuse parts of ANH and ROTJ. Up to 2015, we had enough movies about The Death Star.


Post Posted: December 22nd 2017 7:24 pm
 

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I liked TFA too, but the whole Starkiller base, was a poorly conceived plot device and felt like a cheap retread.


Post Posted: December 22nd 2017 7:28 pm
 
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Mike_Droideka wrote:
I liked TFA too, but the whole Starkiller base, was a poorly conceived plot device and felt like a cheap retread.


Even they said straight up said, "It's just a bigger Death Star" In the film. You'd think with Kasdan who has written one Star Wars film that doesn't revolve around a Death Star onboard; He would know better not to go there. But alas he gave Abrams too much leeway.


Post Posted: December 22nd 2017 7:59 pm
 

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If you look at the Star Trek film he made, and The Force Awakens, they're both basically remakes of ANH.


Post Posted: December 22nd 2017 8:02 pm
 
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One good, one bad. Mike, I'll let you guess which is which.


Post Posted: December 22nd 2017 8:05 pm
 
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Like Rogue One, I waited until a second viewing to give my impressions of the film. A lot of what follows is speculation and we'll never have the inside story. With that, here it is, the good, the bad, the ugly and my own 2 cents:


THE GOOD:

- Dialogue - for the most part, much improved over Rogue One.
- The initial premise of the story as the second act in a trilogy.
- The Themes - this is a trilogy about legacy, no more, no less and it fits in that sense - “We are what they grow beyond” - Best line in the movie.
- Mark Hamill as Luke and Carrie as Leia - well done
- I love Ach-To and all the locations.
- The new big three - Ray, Finn, Poe are great – That’s JJ and Kasdan.
- Luke’s death scene - he’ll be back for IX.
- Luke was actually in character as he was at the end of Jedi - he faced his nephew, but would not fight, was willing to die rather than fight, just like with Vader in ROTJ.



THE BAD:

- Luke was too flawed, I can see him being reluctant, but not as portrayed, he was defeated and pathetic - dare I say emasculated.

- Rose and Kylo - eh. Kylo is not iconic, he was more so in TFA. He looked like a phantom in that.

- Canto Bright as it plays in the plot - I thought this was going to be the Eyes Wide Shut moment of the saga (minus all the ritualistic BS). It even screamed Kubrick to me as the warm casino lights were similar to the Christmas party lighting at the opening of EWS and the alien faces/costuming looking similar to the masked, secret ceremony figures in EWS. It could have played like Bond observing Blofeld's secret meeting in Rome just as in Spectre, yet similar to how Kamino was portrayed as a mystery element in AOTC. Finn and Rose could stumble upon, witness and unravel the riddle behind who those people are and what they do as it relates to war profiteering. Not as a high-class cantina scene that seemed rushed, silly and ends abruptly up in a prison setting. The chase scene with the Fathiers was lacking too.

- Holdo - Her role should have been given to Ackbar, period. He deserved a legend’s exit.

- The Droids - even BB-8 was delegated to a role of little importance. That black, BB-Hate guy is on the theatrical poster yet practically a non-entity in the film. I also thought the BB-8/scout walker scene was over the top and sloppy.

- Alien Continuity - This was a problem with TFA as well, the lack of rodians, Zabraks, etc. creates a disconnect with the other films. This is not a reboot, it’s a continuing story.

- The Score - No new iconic leitmotifs or themes, all rehash. The score sounds great. I purchased it release day, but still mostly rehash. I read this as problems in editing that made it hard to score.


THE UGLY:

- DJ - I like the idea of the character, but how the character was realized, stutter and all was bad. How can you give this characterization a pass and say you hate Jar Jar’s and his dialogue (more on this in a bit)?

- The actual story as it played out - This screamed of too many hands in the pot - or too few on the same page, thus a corporate Disney movie, not a Lucasfilm Production. Many scenes were on the nose. Maybe the backlash against TLJ will cause everyone to scatter and JJ can do his thing with Bad Robot. JJ has more clout and everyone tends to back off. Also, the Bad Robot team gets it, TLJ was not made by the same team. Do yourself a favor and look at the crews for both films on IMDB and the credits to their names. I think it says a lot, especially editing and cinematography.

- The Editing - If people find the cinematography was great (I feel TFA and R1 was by far superior btw), it was chopped to hell by the editing. It seemed awkward and rushed to me and needed to breath more. Just plain choppy. To me these issues scream of mis-direction resulting in missed beats.

- The Directing - RJ may be a good filmmaker, but he doesn’t get the orchestration of sound, music and movement that goes into the saga films. I think this also contributed to the editing issues. RJ will get away with this in his own trilogy, but not the Skywalker saga. His film is the fish out of water.

- The orchestration of sound and music with the visuals - Again, TLJ lacked this completely. It’s beats and pacing actually seemed more like a LOTR film than a Star Wars/Space opera film. Again, JJ and the team at BR gets this. JJ is also a composer, so he gets the musical/rhythmic nature of the beats in these films. AND BEN BURT is part of Bad Robot’s team! I missed Ben Burt on this.

- Yoda - The premise and dialogue were great. The puppet looked like a bad Illusive Concepts foam maquette from the mid 90s. I would have gone with the ROTS CG version and fixed the force ghost effect a bit. This scene also exhibited bad choices concerning camera placement and editing.


My Own 2 Cents:

- How I felt after the credits rolled - I have not felt this demoralized at the end of a screening about a beloved film series since I left the theater on Christmas Night, 1990 having seen The Godfather Part III. There were things in the movie that worked. I was spoiled going in, but even more excited to see it all realized cinematically and for me it just did not work - especially in the editing/pacing/story beat departments.

- My 12-year-old daughter’s reaction - She loves these movies, especially TCW and Rebels. She left unsatisfied and somewhat disappointed, this had nothing to do with Luke dying, the movie just doesn’t play to the story premise. TFA plays! She loved it, so did I!

- The SJ/PC stuff - I too, sensed much larger amounts of on the nose, PC subtext injected into this film. Most all the male characters were weak, selfish, flawed and two dimensional while all the female characters were not. This will hurt the franchise in the long run because it is only going to get bolder, louder and more apparent until they realize one thing - it’s polarizing. GL’s films were unifying because they were able to present universal themes across a broad and simple story, allowing for depth, interpretation and understanding. TLJ is just the opposite. It is anything but non-threatening, and very evident in it's subtext. I’m still wondering how deep KK’s influence plays in this or if it’s all coming from Disney.

On this note, please Disney/LF, don’t float the idea that certain members of the SW fan base should feel guilty or question themselves because they need to catch up to the progressing narrative as presented to us. This too, is polarizing. I don’t get into politics, but unless I’m missing something it is coming across as a very pretentious message from a major production company through the megaphone of the press. Not cool.

- When my daughter and I got home from the theater we watched The Wrong Jedi/Ahsoka Arc of Clone Wars together on Netflix (Season 5). While it's animation and not live-action, it blew this film away, like so many of the CW story arcs probably could. This is a tribute to GL, Dave Filoni, etc. It was pure, cinematic, poetry in motion. A breathtaking, simple story with tension and top cinematography to match. Much better than this film, and a pure, bonafide Lucasfilm production (the last to be called such). I really think those days are gone now. These new movies and shows should be regarded as the cinematic version of the expanded universe. It’s becoming generic.

- Maybe it’s all in my head, but I think Mark Hamill, Dave Filoni, Benicio Del Toro and some others saw the writing on the wall regarding this film. Just watch that red carpet premiere. The energy was not the same as for the last two Disney SW films. I think they knew going in to that premiere that things were off base and the film missed the mark on SOME story beats. Mark Hamill has been both direct and cryptic about it. I wonder if he was even given the courtesy to consult, collaborate or give some input regarding Luke’s character arc during the writing and production stages of this film? This is the million-dollar question and the answer would say a lot! I also read somewhere that DR broke out in tears of joy when she heard JJ was coming back for IX. What does that tell you?


- Miss Uncle George yet? And on this note, a few last thoughts:

I have seen so many examples in TLJ, R1 and TFA that could warrant the same level of criticism thrown at the Prequels from the media, the industry and the fans, but have yet to receive any. BB-8 driving the AT-ST with Rose and Finn sitting atop it was worse and more video game-like than any CGI I saw in the prequels. Where is the backlash? DJ’s stutter compared to Jar Jar’s dialect, where’s the backlash? A nine-year-old boy destroying the Trade Federation control ship was rehash of Luke destroying the Death Star - but Starkiller base? Very little backlash and much of it dismissed. The prequels were made to sell toys - but the Disney/SW films? Where’s the backlash? It's called group think, and it's a trinkel-down effect from the top.

It's worth mentioning a fact which I’ve come to find few are aware of, nor understand its full implications. George Lucas and Lucasfilm were self-sufficient except for distribution. They were essentially NON-UNION before being owned by Disney. This is a story that goes way back to the fines levied by the DGA over the opening credits of ESB against Lucas. However, being PRO-UNION goes a loooooonnnnngggggg way in tinsel town. Now with this in mind, go back and consider the Hollywood/media backlash against the prequels and in some respects even as far back as ROTJ. See the pattern? See how it works?

Today it's practically the opposite. Should you criticize the Disney/SW films to any extent, YOU will be seen as having the problem (that's means you, the "haters") or YOU must “move on” with the progressing narrative or risk being dismissed and ignored. Again, it's polarizing. The end result of such a strategy will be Lucasfilm/Disney corporate getting itself off the hook and continuing with its' own agenda. In the end, it's one thing to criticize the films, another to criticize your own fan base. As the saying goes, find out who or what cannot be openly/fairly criticized and then you’ll know who’s running the show. These films are now UNION products. Hollywood products. It's a different quality of filmmaking and a different standard of publicity that goes with them - It's part of the machine now.

I saw ANH in 1977. I was 5. I love SW. I love the Prequels, the OT and especially the TCW. Rebels has improved over time. Twilight of the Apprentice was AMAZING! When Anakin called out to Ahsoka through his cracked face-mask it was downright HAUNTING! The best SW since TCW, period. Unfortunately, the series is about to end in a somewhat quick and abrupt fashion. Dave Filoni was/is a student of GL and it shows in everything he does. I wish he became the caretaker of the franchise. He gets it for what it is and the standard of craftsmanship it requires. He has shown again and again that he can build on the timeless & universal nature of the IP without bending it into a soapbox in service to a particular zeitgeist capable of marginalizing particular "groups" of fans.

I agree with Mark Hamill, people should have listened to George more regarding the ST. I read The Art of TLJ and TFA. The concept art shown from Lucas’ treatments seem far more intriguing and compelling than what we are getting now. My biggest fear is that he is now so far removed from having any influence that we will get even more PC subtext/product placement/corporate-imposed content & story beats than the great, personal, cinematic storytelling we once had. I wonder if he regrets selling?

I was at the 30th anniversary screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark in Hollywood (Sept. 2011) and Steven Spielberg made two statements during the Q&A that have stuck with me ever since. The first was that George was hurt on a deep, personal level by the criticism thrown at him and the prequels. The second was that George (for all his quirks) is a once in a lifetime occurrence in Hollywood and there will never be another George Lucas.
Read into that what you will.

Moving forward, here’s hoping an old school director/filmmaker like Ron Howard can show how it’s done.


Post Posted: December 22nd 2017 9:18 pm
 

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Excellent post and great observations.


Post Posted: December 23rd 2017 2:43 am
 

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Freezus wrote:

And in 1999, People thought the plotting, the characterization and the underlying narrative was bad in TPM. Examples: characterization - They thought Anakin should have been better cast as a 12 year old instead of a 9 year old. They thought Darth Maul shouldn't have been quickly discarded and saved for AOTC. What about the fact that people didn't understand that Jar Jar was basically a Goofy ripoff and needed to serve as a stand in for C-3PO? (See, even Lucas was frothing at the mouth about this and was just being a big fan of Disney back then.) And what about the fact that people didn't like how the Neimondians was portrayed as? (Wahh! They have Asian overtones! Remember that?) About the narrative... Remember the minute the opening crawl ended, no one understood what the Trade Federation was and they felt that there was too much politics for them to understand (What's a blockade? What's halting of the trade?) Plotting: People thought there was too much bouncing around. Remember, you had the heroes going from Naboo to Tattooine to Corcusant then back to Naboo. TLJ is a lot like this in some ways... You had the heroes going from Ahch-to to Canto Bight then to The Supremacy, then Crait then finally, Ahch-to. Also, people in 1999 thought TPM had a bad Act II, too. From I've seen with my initial viewing of TLJ, it's no different from TPM in many ways.

As for Justice League, everyone thinks Suicide Squad is a better film. In the same breath, People can say the Donner Cut of Superman II is better than the original version because the Studio tossed away a lot of good scenes and needed to be reshot in some areas.

I don’t really agree. The big gripes against TPM were about wooden acting/dialogue and the ‘overuse’ of CGI. People weren’t generally complaining about plotting that didn’t make sense or illogical character development. People generally liked the plot of TPM and the characters/character choices etc. etc. I personally think there is too much “bouncing around” in TPM, but that’s more about editing choices than plotting per se. And yes, it would have been great to see Darth Maul in AOTC... but these were minor quibbles. The focus of complaint was on the elements already mentioned I.e it was more about Lucas’ technique. The complaints against TLJ are more fundamental and would be more difficult to eradicate with 1) Less green screen. 2) Less stylised dialogue etc. etc. Which is why, in my opinion, dislike of TLJ seems more widespread, across the fan community at least. The net result is of course that both films are divisive, but I think the difference is that TLJ creates a broader divisiveness... for the reasons mentioned (IMO).


Post Posted: December 23rd 2017 5:47 am
 

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Upon a lot of deep reflection, Rian Johnson should never be allowed to do another Star Wars film. TLJ just isn't a good Star Wars movie and Johnson doesn't seem like a true fan. Writing TLJ while TFA was filming was a massive mistake. There are too many failures here.

As far as directors go, JJ is Piett. Johnson is Needa.


Post Posted: December 23rd 2017 9:43 am
 
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Thanks for the posting the Collider article Monari. That, and the Deadspin list are good reads.

Regardless, traditional Star Wars can still endure. Even "Jake Skywalker" (LOL) and Johnson's disrupt approach cannot completely lay waste to what's captivating about Lucas' vision. (After all, Batman mythology survived the TV show, and actually got better afterwards.)

Personally, I'm hoping for a post ROTJ animated show, which allows Filoni and Hamill to bridge the OT and ST divide. Of course, that idea is an old-world thought. So, it probably won't happen.

My biggest question with the TLJ is whether Disney is creating a new fan-base while throwing shade to the old one. I suppose its rightfully up to Johnson and his new trilogy to build from the metaphorical ashes. I'm interested.


Post Posted: December 23rd 2017 10:21 am
 
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Regarding Rey getting off Snoke's ship -
It is stated in the movie that she took one of Snoke's escape pods.


Post Posted: December 23rd 2017 11:46 am
 
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Doctor When wrote:
The complaints against TLJ are more fundamental and would be more difficult to eradicate with 1) Less green screen. 2) Less stylised dialogue etc. etc. Which is why, in my opinion, dislike of TLJ seems more widespread, across the fan community at least. The net result is of course that both films are divisive, but I think the difference is that TLJ creates a broader divisiveness... for the reasons mentioned (IMO).

I don't know where you were from 1999-2012, but I wouldn't call TPM or any of the PT films "divisive:" They were widely panned and had become a joke in popular culture. They are responsible for effectively destroying the public's positive perception of the Star Wars brand.

So I completely disagree that TLJ's problems are more fundamental - if that were the case there would be an outright rejection of the film by the broader filmgoing community, which there hasn't been - anything above 90% on RT should tell you that this film isn't quite the disaster that you, and other fans who dislike the film, are claiming it to be. The divisiveness is largely contained to the fan community.


Post Posted: December 23rd 2017 2:29 pm
 
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Doctor When wrote:
I don’t really agree. The big gripes against TPM were about wooden acting/dialogue and the ‘overuse’ of CGI. People weren’t generally complaining about plotting that didn’t make sense or illogical character development. People generally liked the plot of TPM and the characters/character choices etc. etc. I personally think there is too much “bouncing around” in TPM, but that’s more about editing choices than plotting per se. And yes, it would have been great to see Darth Maul in AOTC... but these were minor quibbles. The focus of complaint was on the elements already mentioned I.e it was more about Lucas’ technique. The complaints against TLJ are more fundamental and would be more difficult to eradicate with 1) Less green screen. 2) Less stylised dialogue etc. etc. Which is why, in my opinion, dislike of TLJ seems more widespread, across the fan community at least. The net result is of course that both films are divisive, but I think the difference is that TLJ creates a broader divisiveness... for the reasons mentioned (IMO).


And I just listed examples of what you didn't like about TPM. Like CoGro said, TPM was widely panned all for the reasons I listed. The criticism started in the fan community yes but you'd be surprised what word of the mouth can do to a brand like Star Wars. Watch:

"Hey, this new James Franco film is dogshit." From there people can overhear me and it can pick up from there. That's exactly what happened with TPM. The fan community collectively didn't like it and it spread like a wildfire from there. And we didn't have high speed internet. Most of us just bitched through AOL (dialup) and :gb2tfn:.

Bandersnatch wrote:
Regarding Rey getting off Snoke's ship -
It is stated in the movie that she took one of Snoke's escape pods.


Still lazy writing. Just like Johnson just discarded Ackbar like that.

CoGro wrote:
I don't know where you were from 1999-2012, but I wouldn't call TPM or any of the PT films "divisive:" They were widely panned and had become a joke in popular culture. They are responsible for effectively destroying the public's positive perception of the Star Wars brand.

So I completely disagree that TLJ's problems are more fundamental - if that were the case there would be an outright rejection of the film by the broader filmgoing community, which there hasn't been - anything above 90% on RT should tell you that this film isn't quite the disaster that you, and other fans who dislike the film, are claiming it to be. The divisiveness is largely contained to the fan community.


Yep I think the blind hatred that the fans has for TLJ is more about self-entitlement issues. 'They're OUR films, you must follow what we want." I can't believe the new generation of fans grew up to be whiny spoiled brats.


Post Posted: December 23rd 2017 2:31 pm
 

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Doctor When wrote:
The complaints against TLJ are more fundamental and would be more difficult to eradicate with 1) Less green screen. 2) Less stylised dialogue etc. etc. Which is why, in my opinion, dislike of TLJ seems more widespread, across the fan community at least. The net result is of course that both films are divisive, but I think the difference is that TLJ creates a broader divisiveness... for the reasons mentioned (IMO).

CoGro wrote:
I don't know where you were from 1999-2012, but I wouldn't call TPM or any of the PT films "divisive:" They were widely panned and had become a joke in popular culture. They are responsible for effectively destroying the public's positive perception of the Star Wars brand.

So I completely disagree that TLJ's problems are more fundamental - if that were the case there would be an outright rejection of the film by the broader filmgoing community, which there hasn't been - anything above 90% on RT should tell you that this film isn't quite the disaster that you, and other fans who dislike the film, are claiming it to be. The divisiveness is largely contained to the fan community.


How exactly would you define and quantify “widely panned”? I’ve just randomly looked at the scores for AOTC (not even one of my favourites), which has a 66% critic score and 57% audience score (RT). What’s probably responsible for any negativity, that’s leaked into public consciousness since 99, is probably linked to the rise of the internet and on-line fandom. It seems as if the sequels are now suffering from the same kind of ‘virtual’ feedback. More importantly though, IMO, is that The Last Jedi is currently scoring a lower audience rating than ANY prequel. So it looks like the data doesn’t necessarily back up your perception of the reality. If TLJ is less popular with the audience than any other Star Wars film, does that constitute “widely panned” in your view? Or does that only pertain to a scenario where only a minority of professional critics (as per AOTC example) score negatively?


Post Posted: December 23rd 2017 2:37 pm
 

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Freezus wrote:
Yep I think the blind hatred that the fans has for TLJ is more about self-entitlement issues. 'They're OUR films, you must follow what we want." I can't believe the new generation of fans grew up to be whiny spoiled brats.

So you believe ALL the Star Wars films are relatively faultless, and the flaws of any film are largely down to unqualified audience expectations?


Post Posted: December 23rd 2017 3:01 pm
 

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Freezus wrote:

Yep I think the blind hatred that the fans has for TLJ is more about self-entitlement issues. 'They're OUR films, you must follow what we want." I can't believe the new generation of fans grew up to be whiny spoiled brats.


To be fair, we were told (after Lucas' story treatment was discarded) that they wanted to make something for the fans. Clearly, something has changed and now we're stuck with a directors vision, that seems out of step, with what preceeded it.


Post Posted: December 23rd 2017 3:03 pm
 
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Doctor When wrote:
How exactly would you define and quantify “widely panned”? I’ve just randomly looked at the scores for AOTC (not even one of my favourites), which has a 66% critic score and 57% audience score (RT). What’s probably responsible for any negativity, that’s leaked into public consciousness since 99, is probably linked to the rise of the internet and on-line fandom. It seems as if the sequels are now suffering from the same kind of ‘virtual’ feedback. More importantly though, IMO, is that The Last Jedi is currently scoring a lower audience rating than ANY prequel. So it looks like the data doesn’t nesersarily back up your perception of the reality. If TLJ is less popular with the audience than any other Star Wars film, does that constitute “widely panned” in your view? Or does that only pertain to a scenario where only a minority of professional critics (as per AOTC example) score negatively?


I'm not going to argue with you about the world's response to the prequel trilogy. They are a running gag in pop culture, and even the most hardcore of prequel fans would acknowledge that. The word "prequel" has been forever linked to the public's derision for those films. If you want to turn a blind eye to that then I can't help you.

My perception is that the fan audience is split on this film. How would you characterize the types of people who post their reaction on rotten tomatoes? The average filmgoer or ultra-passionate fan-boys? Many of the lowest reviews came from new accounts. Also, they look kind of like this:

Quote:
“Male leads who aren’t [gay] or colored or both WILL ALWAYS be better than female leads. They should just stay in the kitchen instead of playing with Lightsabers."


So no, I don't think your example creates a reality that's different from the one I've put forward. The film got an "A" Cinemascore.

I'm not even a blind and ardent defender of The Last Jedi (see above), but if you come up with silly logic to back up your point of view - like saying that critics response only represents a "minority" opinion of people, when they usually don't - I'm going to call you out.


Post Posted: December 23rd 2017 3:24 pm
 
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Doctor When wrote:
So you believe ALL the Star Wars films are relatively faultless, and the flaws of any film are largely down to unqualified audience expectations?



Never said all nine films (I'm including Rogue One here) was perfect.

Mike_Droideka wrote:
To be fair, we were told (after Lucas' story treatment was discarded) that they wanted to make something for the fans. Clearly, something has changed and now we're stuck with a directors vision, that seems out of step, with what preceeded it.


And didn't Lucas say that it was the positive reception from the Clone Wars that sparked the roller coaster we're on now? If it wasn't for CW, there would be no Sequel Trilogy. So maybe Disney overreacted to the backlash for TFA "It's too unoriginal!" and changed course accordingly?


Post Posted: December 23rd 2017 3:41 pm
 

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Freezus wrote:

And didn't Lucas say that it was the positive reception from the Clone Wars that sparked the roller coaster we're on now? If it wasn't for CW, there would be no Sequel Trilogy.


I don't recall reading or hearing that. Could you please provide a source?

Freezus wrote:
So maybe Disney overreacted to the backlash for TFA "It's too unoriginal!" and changed course accordingly?


They did, and are now responsible for creating the bastard child of the saga.


Post Posted: December 23rd 2017 4:03 pm
 
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Freezus wrote:
And didn't Lucas say that it was the positive reception from the Clone Wars that sparked the roller coaster we're on now? If it wasn't for CW, there would be no Sequel Trilogy.

Mike_Droideka wrote:
I don't recall reading or hearing that. Could you please provide a source?


I tried finding it on google. But I remember reading an article right after the merger that said the positive response to the Clone Wars is what helped push Lucas to make Episode 7.


Post Posted: December 23rd 2017 4:05 pm
 
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Mike_Droideka wrote:
They did, and are now responsible for creating the bastard child of the saga.


AOTC was the bastard child of the Saga because it followed Obi-Wan around as this galactic cop in a movie that was supposed to mimic that of a film noir detective story.


Post Posted: December 23rd 2017 4:26 pm
 
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starwarsnewsnet.com star-wars-the-last-jedi-and-our-obsession-with-public-movie-ratings.html

Interesting post on topic and worth a read


Post Posted: December 23rd 2017 5:46 pm
 
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Mike_Droideka wrote:
I don't recall reading or hearing that. Could you please provide a source?


I can confirm. I believe it was Dave Filoni, in some podcast, that mentioned Lucas' (creative) involvement in TCW sparked the development of a sequel trilogy. The story treatments he made were developed while he was working on the series. Of course, it's not this sequel trilogy since Disney decided to discard his story and ideas.


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