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The I've Seen The Last Jedi Thread (spoilers OBV)


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Star Wars - Episode 8: The Last Jedi Good: Rey: Despite referring to Rey as a Mary-Sue in TFA, I found isolating her from the producer's politicized string-pulling leaves a stronger character. Ridley

Best line of the film...   "Do you think you got him?" —General Hux

What are you talking about? Jedi Cool has been recapping every Eu book ever in history one post at a time.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

I always felt like the PT was missing its Falcon. It needed a home ship.

Total missed opportunity for sure. Owen Lars told Luke his father was a Spice Freighter pilot. TCW sort of payed homage to this in season 1, but the prequels could totally have done something with that.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

The dice are a thing in this trilogy, not the OT and that's fine. They establish them with a shot in TFA and then it plays out through TLJ.

They do appear in a scene from ANH, but it's a blink and miss it moment. And it is never explained, until the ST.

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There's a new video making the rounds of a young Rian Johnson (at least I think it's him) in 2003 discussing the movies he wants to make.

 

"I would be worried if everybody across the board was like, yeah it was a really good movie. It's much more exciting to me when you get a group of people who are coming up to you and are really, really excited about it and then there are other people who walk out just literally saying 'it was the worst movie I've ever seen.' Having those two extremes to me is the mark of the type of movie I want to make."

 

Who would've thought back then he would succeed in doing this with one of the biggest franchises of all time.

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Rewatched TLJ last night for the first time since the theater. I was able to pin down the exact moment it goes south for me. It really is the end of the first act.

 

You have the escape, the first battle, the rediscovery of Broken Luke, Rey’s tenacity, R2 show’s Luke the old message from Leia, and you reach the first point of the leads taking their first steps into the next phase of their arcs. Rey gets Luke’s attention and he agrees to train her, Kylo stands idle while Leia is blown up into space, Poe is passed over for promotion, and Finn decides he’s going to be true to himself.

 

Up until this point I think it’s a solid movie.

 

Then it gets stuck, like a bus trying to go over a tall hill it gets high-centered and makes no progress.

 

We now have each of those leads chasing their goal— Rey, to become a Jedi. Finn, to make a difference. Poe, to lead the resistance, Kylo to shed the last vestiges of the light. And, each have a roadblock: Rey has too much dark in her for Luke’s liking, Finn’s mission goes poorly, Poe is passed over by Holdo, and Kylo has too much light in him for Snoke’s liking.

 

In a well-written script, or say, any of the OT films, the second act should continually escalate these situations. For example, in ESB, Luke’s goal is become a Jedi, Han’s goal is to protect Leia, Leia’s goal is deny her feelings to be the strong leader she presents herself as, Vader’s goal is find Luke.

 

Goals in act two remain the same, but the difficulty to achieve them is continually increased with constant set-backs. ESB and TLJ are both fine in doing this, but the one big thing to these set-backs that sets a good movie apart from a bad one is that these seemingly simple set backs should trigger the key drama going in the leads, otherwise it feels like false or forced conflict.

 

In ESB, here’s the goal/conflict/character crisis relationships:

 

Luke wants to be a Jedi, Yoda is reticent to teach, and Luke fails the big tests. He has hang ups about his failures because he is being told about Vader at every turn, which feeds into the daddy issues he had in the first film. His hang ups overpower everything else, he abandons his training and runs to face Vader and gets his ass kicked.

 

Han wants to protect Leia, they are chased relentlessly by the Empire, and after he vouches for Lando, he ends up betrayed and tortured. Han’s over-confidence in doing things his own way, and shirking responsibility (he wants to leave his comission, doesn’t join the fleet, assumes Cloud City is safe, etc) and his free-wheeling ways put Leia in more danger than ever, and they are used to trap Luke.

 

Leia wants to be a fearless leader, but she is falling in love with Han, who she knows is a decent person despite acting like a tool. She tries to refuse him, she tries to take command of the situations they find themselves with little effect. Ironically, she’s right— she says the asteroid belt is a bad idea, she doesn’t trust Lando, she senses something is wrong before Vader appers, etc. Little by little she accepts her feelings, and loses Han when she finally says it out loud.

 

Vader’s goal is to find Luke. He’s going behind the Emperor’s back, ostensibly leading the hunt for the Alliance, while really only interested in getting his hands on Luke. He’s risking a lot, and while he doesn’t have many failures, he has roadblocks due to the incompetance of the Empire. By the end, once we realize he’s Luke’s father, we understand just how much his soul has been destroyed.

 

So again— the conflict is plot based, but triggers personal crises.

 

In TLJ the second act feels stalled to me because only half the characters get this proper treatment. Rey, Luke and Kylo have the emotional escalation— from Rey’s abandonment issues to Kylo’s inability to shed his emotions, their plot roadblocks hinge upon the personal drama.

 

Poe and Finn however— have zero of this. They try to put it in, but it’s hollow. Poe has to learn a lesson about being wreckless, but the only thing at risk is his own station. Han’s recklessness endangered Leia, which was the opposite of his goal. Finn co-opts Rose’s backstory since he doesn’t have one, which consists of her telling us about her childhood. Given that we JUST met her, and we’ve seen none of her life, this falls flat.

 

Add in the fact that Luke is decidedly non-Luke, and the great space-chase is stupid as hell, you end up with a second act where a lot of things happen, and yet nothing really happens.

 

Luke becomes the Luke we want in the third act— this should have happened at the mid-point. He’s broken Luke in act one, he agrees to teach Rey, but in his anti-teaching way into act two. At the midpoint, they should have left Ach-To to help Finn and Rose. Luke could then have the experience Rose has— seeing the down-trodden, etc. With Luke’s history, this would actually work. Then Luke steps up, but because he’s avoided being a hero for awhile, Rey leaves to see Kylo. Bringing him back to be hero PLUS for the third act.

 

It’s a suprisingly minor change that gets you to the same place, with a Luke that would feel right.

 

At the end of the day I still think it’s the most visually amazing of all SW films, and I actually appreciate the idea of not being precious of the past and I utterly detest fanboy crybabies assuming ownership and agency of Star Wars... but at the end of the day, Luke was just too far off the mark for too long, and a very boring second act, make for a movie I won’t be watching over and over the way I do ANH, ESB, and R1.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

Excellent analysis, Tank. You laid out points that I also believed, but was not able to articulate myself.

 

Regarding Rey & Luke in particular, I had always wanted to see some kind of homage to old Kung Fu movies where you often saw a reluctant master and a student who was seeking training (you see it a lot in Asian movies, but American film examples I can think of are Karate Kid, and Kill Bill especially), and the master was looking for something within the student that was worth training. The student basically had to prove their worthiness to receive the training. Rey did not demonstrate that. Instead, she lectures Luke about Kylo failing him, not the other way around, and then Yoda goes on to tell Luke Rey doesn't need Luke to train her anyway, thereby rendering Rey's entire quest to find Luke from the first film invalid. WTF?

 

I did like the aspect where Rey had a darkness that Luke sensed, and became fearful of training her, but I also felt that what could have worked better is if Rey did something heroic or after Luke initially declined to train Rey it is later revealed that Luke was testing Rey all along and she passes said test without her realizing it was a test (EG the cut scene where Rey rushes off to save a village...if reworked could have actually served that purpose) that proves she can overcome the darkness within her and is worthy of being trained...basically a parallel of Yoda's debate with Obi Wan's ghost over whether he should train Luke.

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See if you do what Tank says then I think you are just hedging your bet with Luke. What Tank said is what everyone would expect to happen. Luke won't train her, he decided to train her but doesn't embrace it, Rey wins him over and old Luke is back, they go to save the day. Everyone was just waiting for Luke to return to his old self, but if your story is that Luke is really messed up then have him be really messed up. That what happened with his nephew just totally destroyed him, then have it destroy him. Don't have 2 sequences where he is destroyed and then plucky Rey wins him over and Luke is fine. Have Luke totally be f'd up. He doesn't get happy again, he is never the same again. He doesn't get to go on another adventure in the Falcon.

 

Even at the end when he sends the projection and is "the old Luke", he's not really the old Luke. That Luke is gone and never coming back. That projection is what Luke wishes he could be but just can't be anymore. He knows he is going to die as a result, Leia knows it's not him and probably senses that he is going to die as well.

 

Basically if you want to make Luke's story a tragedy, make it a real tragedy. Don't just play at it for a little bit and then have Luke come back and be fine. Make him tragic, make him sad. Make his mistake with Ben destroy him forever, not just as a story device so Rey can bring the old Luke back.

 

If you are going to make him ****ed up, then make him ****ed up for real.

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Guest Robin

The amazing thing about The Last Jedi is that its so pretty it makes you forget its taking you against your will until later that night when its asleep with its back to you and youre crying into your pillow. Real Fifty Shades like stuff, man. #notmyluke

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See if you do what Tank says then I think you are just hedging your bet with Luke. What Tank said is what everyone would expect to happen. Luke won't train her, he decided to train her but doesn't embrace it, Rey wins him over and old Luke is back, they go to save the day. Everyone was just waiting for Luke to return to his old self, but if your story is that Luke is really messed up then have him be really messed up. That what happened with his nephew just totally destroyed him, then have it destroy him. Don't have 2 sequences where he is destroyed and then plucky Rey wins him over and Luke is fine. Have Luke totally be f'd up. He doesn't get happy again, he is never the same again. He doesn't get to go on another adventure in the Falcon.

 

Even at the end when he sends the projection and is "the old Luke", he's not really the old Luke. That Luke is gone and never coming back. That projection is what Luke wishes he could be but just can't be anymore. He knows he is going to die as a result, Leia knows it's not him and probably senses that he is going to die as well.

 

Basically if you want to make Luke's story a tragedy, make it a real tragedy. Don't just play at it for a little bit and then have Luke come back and be fine. Make him tragic, make him sad. Make his mistake with Ben destroy him forever, not just as a story device so Rey can bring the old Luke back.

 

If you are going to make him ****ed up, then make him ****ed up for real.

I don't know if I would say it's what I would have done, it's more what was done vs what people wanted based on familair Star Wars and mythic mentor arcs.

 

I personally would have shot for something unexpected, but also not so polarizing

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Guest Robin

I think Megan Markle wore an intellengent dress. I can only hope she doesn't get raped.

I hereby bequeath my non-sensical thought + cannot spell crown to you.

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