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millenniumfalcon.com • View topic - MF Reviews VIII
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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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Post Posted: December 20th 2017 9:44 pm
 
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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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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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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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