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


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The alien sea-cow does not wink at Rey. Only looks over at her. I did not see a wink.

It didn't wink. But it's expression was akin to winking. It's face was like "oh hey Rey, you want a little somethin somethin too? Get on over here then gurl"

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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

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The alien sea-cow does not wink at Rey. Only looks over at her. I did not see a wink.

It didn't wink. But it's expression was akin to winking. It's face was like "oh hey Rey, you want a little somethin somethin too? Get on over here then gurl"

 

Somewhere George Lucas is smiling that we buy into a digital character so much that we are contemplating the subtleties of her acting.

 

I meant that as a joke when I first wrote it, but it might be true...

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Funny moment at work the other day. Coworker of mine came up to me and said he saw TLJ and he just stared at me in sadness. I felt like giving him a hug.

 

As were talking another coworker comes to me about something work related and the other guy tells him were talking about TLJ and he lets out this huge groan. Apparently he saw it on a plane and was amazed at how bad it was, and he was only OK after he got to watch another movie, which was Guardians 2.

 

If you had told me 25 years ago that Guadians of the Galaxy would be more entertaining than Star Wars I woulda called you crazy. But here we are.

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If you had told me 25 years ago that Guadians of the Galaxy would be more entertaining than Star Wars I woulda called you crazy. But here we are.

 

That says more about how well Marvel have developed their properties than anything. I mean honestly, the first Guardians film is probably better than any Star Wars films made since 1980.

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GOTG2 has very similar structural issues to TLJ. I had the same reaction to both. Reel 1-- OMG SO FUN. Reel 2-- interesting set up! Can't wait to see where it goes!

 

Then in both movies, in the third reel (not that reels exist anymore, I'm talking somewhere in the 30-40 minute mark) I had the dreaded realization "Oh... this is the movie..." and then proceeded to be bored until the final act.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

Not that I disagree, but one thing that can be said for sure is that at least GOTG2 doesn't quite s*** the bed in the same way that TLJ does. I literally saw both the other day as a rewatch to see if I still thought they were bad: I actually liked GOTG2 better, while my disgust for TLJ remains as strong as ever.

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Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is one of my favorite Marvel movies. I liked that it tossed the Hollywood formula in the back seat for most of the movie and just had fun with situations and characters. When the big climactic battle finally came because that's what it was time to do, it was the least interesting part of the movie because it was intrusive to the fun the rest of the movie was having.

 

That makes it something I wouldn't put in the same boat as The Last Jedi which had a fairly conventional Star Wars plot structure. And, just to note, I still enjoyed The Last Jedi more than any of the other 3 movies that have come out in the Disney era and only Rogue One comes close. While it had flaws, it was a much more interesting movie than the others. I enjoyed that the basic question the movie posed on legends and the answer it came up with.

 

Though I get why people wouldn't like the slow-motion chase scene and anything Finn.

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Recently for the first time I watched The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi back to back. Not sure if anyone else has done that yet. For me it crystallized that I really do like TLJ much more than TFA. This is not meant as any kind of knock on TFA, which I love, but just in context of the TLJ.

 

The first thing I noticed was the intensity of the battle scenes in TLJ as compared to TFA. Each movie has what I'd refer to as 2 battles. In TFA it's when the Resistance shows up at Maz's castle and obviosuly the attack on Starkiller Base. Just as obviously in TLJ we have the opening evacuation and the Battle of Crait. The two battles in TFA just kinda happen. The Resistance shows up at Maz's castle and we are shown Poe doing some amazing flying but it goes nowhere. It's the First Order who feels they need reinforcements and leaves the battle. There barely seems to be any real objective for the good guys. They don't seem outnumbered, this doesn't seem hard. The battle just sort of happens. The attack on Starkiller isn't much different. Now I'll grant the focus here is on the saber fighting but the Starkiller Battle is just weak. The Resistance shows up, they seem to be doing fine. They lose some ships but seemingly no more than The First Order loses. The only problem is the armor protecting the oscillator. Once Chewie sets off the bombs and there is a hole Poe flies in there basically unmolested, shoots some crap and blows the base up. There is I'd say zero tension to this battle.

 

Contrast that with TLJ. The opening battle is infinitely better than the Starkiller Battle. We know exactly what they want to do, we see it is very difficult to do. As opposed to TFA where the Resistance mostly seems to have the upper hand in the battles. There is tension to this battle. I care about a character, Rose's sister, who basically has no lines. The moment her bombs drop is far more climactic than when Starkiller is blown up despite one being near the climax of a movie and this being about ten minutes in. When you watch the movies back to back the difference in quality is stark because you just finished watching Starkiller before you watch the evacuaton. Plus we see the cost of it, we see how hard this is for the Resistance to accomplish. The same thing applies on Crait. The purpose is so clear, the objective we can all see. It's that huge lazer. It seems hopeless and in fact it is. We see a main character actually willing to die to accomplish the goal and another character risk her life to prevent his death. It's just far more intense and clear than any of the large battles in TFA.

 

As I said this isn't to bash TFA, that movie does a good job of smaller scale more fun type action. Especially early in the movie on Jakku. However the battle scenes in TLJ just blow away the battle scenes in TFA.

 

The next thing is just the characters. In TFA really the whole thing is Rey and then Kylo. None of the other characters have an arc. When we first meet Finn he wants to get away from The First Order, at the end of the movie that is still his goal. Poe has nothing resembling a character arc. Just totally different in TLJ.

 

Let's start with Poe. In TFA he is just a cool pilot, more of just a stock character given extra time. In TLJ it just all opens up for him. He is given a great story arc. Early in the movie he is the same hotshot pilot we've seen in a hundred movies. He doesn't listen to his stodgy old, conservative leadership. He is a badass who can take out a dreadnaught. He doesn't think of the consequences. He is having fun, making fun of Hux, joking with BB8. When he gets back on the Rebel ship he is literally slapped back to reality and demoted. This doesn't even work. He still wants to make Hail Mary passes, he still doesn't understand that right now the objective is just to survive. This is Dunkirk, not D-Day. When Holdo takes over he has no respect for her, he wants to come up with his own plan. Which fails spectacularly. This brings me to a common criticism which is “Why didn't Holdo just tell him her plan?” Well we can start with the basic that military commanders are not under any compunction to tell their subordinates the intricacies of their plan. She has never met Poe, when she first does she lays out the reasons why she wouldn't trust him. Furthermore information is a sacred commodity. They have been tracked through hypserspace, they don't exactly know how. Would you go around telling your plan to someone you've never met and who was just demoted for recklessness? You'd get the circle of people knowing your plan small and include only those you know and trust. Anyway to get back on track, Poe continues to refuse to respect the military pecking order, even having a mutiny. Finally he learns his lesson, that leadership isn't about being the dashing hero. It's about taking care of those under your command. It's a great character arc that blows away anything he was given to do in TFA.

 

Next we will do Finn. He is given more time than Poe in TFA but really not much of an arc. He becomes a bit more brave but really overall his objective at the start of TFA is to get the hell away and his objective at the end is the same. In TLJ he begins in the same place. He just wants to find Rey and get out of there. His arc ofcourse carries on the much maligned Canto Bight sequences. These have grown on me, the encapsulate the point of the whole movie. People will complain “oh its SJW, do we need to know that war profiteering is bad or animal abuse is bad? Well that's kind of the point. Johnson uses animal abuse and the young children being in slavery because they are so non-controversial, Everyone knows animal abuse is wrong, everyone knows the treatment of those children is wrong. He;s not trying to make a point on animal abuse because the point is obvious to 99% of the audience. He uses that because he is trying not to make some kind of political point. It's all about Finn. He's been wanting to get away from The First Order because of what can happen to him. He's never thought of the other victims. When he sees the kids being treated like that and the animals being abused he realizes that it's not about himself only. He can't just leave and sit out because that's the same as helping the bad guys. Then you have DJ who basically puts out to Finn the philopsophy that Finn himself had at the start of the movie. Just get the hell out of there, don't join and worry about yourself. Finn though rejects this line of thinking, realizes in times like these he has to take a side. At the end of the movie he is so committed that he is willing to die to protect others, not himself, from The First Order.

 

Next we will get to Finn's buddy Rose. At the start of it all she is a simple maintenance worker. She believes in the cause of the Resistance but doesn't see herself as someone who can help. Remind you of anyone? Maybe Luke in ANH when he says that he hates the Empire but there is nothing he can do about it? She has also just lost her sister. When we first meet her she is in awe of what she feels is a Resistance hero. She quickly learns that meeting your hero isn't what it's cracked up to be. Quickly though the two work together and she helps formulate a plan that could help the Resistance. Maybe she isn't just a janitor, maybe she has value. Ofcourse as the movie goes on we see she does have value and she sees it in herself too. Then at the end when she saves Finn it all plays out. She says one of the central messages of the movie about not destroying what you hate but saving what you love. She had just seen her sister die in a mission that had no real purpose, she isn't going to let the same happen to Finn. Her journey is different in that she doesn't have a change in her thinking, she has a change in her self perception.

 

We'll move on to Rey. This is where I don't get the whole line of thinking that TLJ doesn't carry on from TFA. This movie makes its predecessor in the most important ways. Making Rey a “nobody” makes her story so much better in TFA and really her story is the story of TFA. We see her longinly looking at a ship take off, we see her looking at that old woman doing the same thing she is, we see her counting days. She tells anyone who listens that her family is coming back. When you watch it with the expectation that she is a Skywalker it really isn't a sad story. It's “hey kid it will all be worthwhile, your family had a great reason to leave you and it will all work out!” Now though, it's sad. In a great way. She wants that sense of belonging so bad, that sense of having a place she is supposed to be. Hell she flat out says that to Luke, she needs someone to show her her place in all of this. Well, she thinks she does. She is so desperate to find this sense of belonging that she even turns to Kylo Ren. That blows up in her face. She is faced with the hardest information she could be given, her parents are nobody of note, they sold her and are dead. In the end this doesn't break her though, she doesn't let the pain of this push her to the darkside. She finally realizes that it doesn't matter who your parents are, it doesn't matter where you come from. She doesn't have to be a Skywalker, Solo, Kenobi or whatever. She accepts this and eventually finds her place with the Resistance. As Maz told her in TFA the belonging she seeks wasn't behind her, it was in front of her. And really that message that anyone can be the hero is such a great message. It's so Star Wars.

 

I guess the next logical place to go is to go to her counterpart, Kylo Ren. Personally I think Kylo is the best thing about the sequels and maybe the interesting character they've ever had in Star Wars. We find out the terrible event that led to his joining Snoke, and it was terrible. The sense of abandonment by the person who was supposed to protect him, supposed to teach him was profound. He just processes it all wrong. He wants to destroy everything, somehow thinking this will make him whole again. He is constantly badgered by his new master, Snoke. Manipulated for the Supreme Leaders own ends. In TFA he thinks killing his father will commit him totally to the dark side, instead it tears him in two. Here he thinks killing Snoke and taking his place will do the same, it provides nothing he is seeking. He tells Rey the truth of her abandonment which I'm sure in his mind resembles what his uncle did to him. He is sure that this info will tear at Rey to the point where she will become like him, that totally fails. The man is a lost soul with no real purpose other than to kill, destroy, burn. That will never give him what he needs though. His lost shot of the movie with him kneeling on the ground with his fathers dice disappearing from him while Rey shuts the Falcon door on him is just perfect. He is the most poweful man in the Galaxy but is still utterly alone and broken.

 

Okay, now we come to the big controversy of the movie, the handling of Luke Skywalker. I can see how seeing Luke like this was hard for people. We grew up idolizing him, playing with his action figure, running around pretending to be him. TFA reunited us with Han and Leia and it was like “hey its Han he's just like you memba him!!! He's a smuggler again!” and “hey look it's Leia and she is leading another rebellion!!!”. It was easy. Luke though,not so easy. And it's not supposed to be easy. You are supposed to be mad at him, both for lighting his saber that night and also for how he has reacted since. For those who say it's out of character, I totally disagree. In ESB Yoda tells him his mind is never on the present. It's the same here. However instead of him optimistically looking to the horizon, to the future, to adventure he is now obsessed with the past. He fucks up with his nephew, flat out. How does he handle it? He looks back into the past “oh the Jedi must end, the Jedi were arrogant, I had hubris”. The whole galaxy has to change because of what he did. He can't just look at it and say “hey I messed up, how can I help this NOW”. He is worried about everything else, whole philosophy of the Jedi. The same character traits that made him the likeable guy in the OT are not just doing the opposite, but they are the same character traits. His meeting with Yoda just perfectly encapsulates it. Yoda tells him basically who cares about the books, the history, it doesn't matter. What matters is what you are going to do now to help. Luke obviously gets the message and he returns to the save the Resistance in what is maybe the most bad ass sequence in the whole saga. The whole staredown on Crait is just perfect and I'll get more into that later. But for now Luke is able to show up, save the resistance and still do it in a totally Jedi pacifist way. Ofcourse when it is done he is sitting on the edge of the cliff and the boy who was always looking to the horizon sees those twins suns on that very same horizon.

 

For me this movie has two of the very greatest sequences in Star Wars. First the whole throne room sequence. Starting with Kylo and Rey on the elevator. The two both have visions that they believe will lead to the other joining with them. They bot have only partial glimpses though and although they see the truth they don't see all of it. The whole visual in the room, the torturing of Rey until Kylo finally saves her. The fight with the guards is just epic. When it's over and Rey comes to the realization that Kylo has no intention of becoming a good guy. It just plays out so perfectly. I think it's as good as any sequence in the saga.

 

Next is the Kylo-Luke showdown. To start I think it's the best looking sequence in the history of the saga. Luke is just perfect in it. From dusting his shoulder off after the barrage to when Kylo asks if he's come to save him and he simply replies “no”. It's just perfect. The slow realization that something is not right here with Luke being there. Then the “see ya around kid”. It don't get better. Kylo dropping to his knees in realization that his hatred of Luke has allowed the Resistance to escape. It's just an amazing sequence and much better than simply having Luke return and fight with his saber.

 

Some of the criticisms of the movie just amaze me and make me wonder if certain fans will like anything. I mean how much did we hear about bombs dropping? This is a society that can create a space station as big as a moon, that can destroy an entire planet with a single blast and also can create enough energy to travel at the speed of light across star system. They can create something like that but figuring out a way to make bombs fall in a certain direction? Impossible! It's silly. The same thing goes for stuff like “why didn't the First Order have a ship jump in front of the Resistance?”. It's a silly criticism. First off Hux isn't exactly presented as a military genius here, so it's not far fetched to think he'd make a mistake. Furthermore bad guys always do dumb things. Why the hell would the Emperor give the Rebels the location of the shield generator? Ok I get it was a trap but why give them the location of the real one. Why not give them a fake location on the other side of the moon? I mean it's just as dumb of a mistake. Lastly though it's just no way to watch a movie, “why didn't they do this?” “I woulda done that”. It's not a choose your own adventure book.

 

One of the big ones is about Snoke and not finding out his backstory. I can understad this one but I just don't care. I mean I knew right from the start we'd never find much about him. It's just not important, it's never presented as important. It's not like characters in TFA are running around “we need to find out about Snoke, its the key to defeating him”. It's never presented as important, it never was important. If you thought it was important you were mistaken. That's not the story being told, the story isn't about Snoke.

 

Some of the others are also I think just wrongheaded. I mean people complaining about Phasma's role. Who the hell cares? Did anyone speculate on this board about Phasma in the two years between TFA and TLJ? I doubt it. Plus she has a much cooler role in TLJ anyway, she actually gets a bad ass fight scene. She gets nothing of the sort in TFA. She is basically a joke who gets taken out by Chewie with no effort and thrown in a trash compactor. You thought that character was due some huge role in the next movie? Why?

 

Having said all of this in praise of the movie there are some things I don't like. Usually we look at movies as three parts, beginning, middle and end. I look at this more in four parts. First is the start of the movie up until Leia's space walk, next is up until when Finn and Rose leave Canto Bight, third ends with Holdo's hyperspace kamikaze and then fourth is basically what happens on Crait. For me, parts 1, 3 and 4 are just amazing. Near perfection in so many ways. I'll freely admit that the 2nd portion of the movie could use some changes. I've defended Canto Bight here, but the sequences around it are still probably my least favorite of the movie. Even with that though we are still cutting to Luke and Rey and Kylo and all that stuff is great. It's just two or three sequences that don't quite work right and even with that I find stuff I like. I love the look on the kids faces when Rose shows them they are Resistance.

 

Now we will come to the end of this post, which could very well be the longest I've ever written. I realize that no one is going to read this and be like “oh he is right I didn't like TLJ but now I love it”. That's not my intent or point. I'm just laying out why I love this movie. I love the big things it says about Star Wars, how a “nobody” can be the hero. About being willing to sacrifice everything for a cause, about what real leadership is. I feel bad for the people who don't like this movie. I suppose either we see different things in the movie or we value different things in a Star Wars movie. This is very much the Star Wars movie since I first heard the prequels were being made. Alot of the people who don't like this movie like Rogue One and Solo, which I also both like, and hopefully for you they will make more movies like that for. And hopefully for me they will make more like The Last Jedi.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is one of my favorite Marvel movies. I liked that it tossed the Hollywood formula in the back seat for most of the movie and just had fun with situations and characters. When the big climactic battle finally came because that's what it was time to do, it was the least interesting part of the movie because it was intrusive to the fun the rest of the movie was having.

 

That makes it something I wouldn't put in the same boat as The Last Jedi which had a fairly conventional Star Wars plot structure. And, just to note, I still enjoyed The Last Jedi more than any of the other 3 movies that have come out in the Disney era and only Rogue One comes close. While it had flaws, it was a much more interesting movie than the others. I enjoyed that the basic question the movie posed on legends and the answer it came up with.

 

Though I get why people wouldn't like the slow-motion chase scene and anything Finn.

For me, GOTG2's problem is that it is a number of forced comedic scenes strung together. But even still, it is a middle of the pack Marvel film and still thoroughly watchable, though.

 

Finn isn't the problem with TLJ, but the slow motion chase is a large part of it for me. I actually don't mind the characters of Finn or Rose for that matter, I just hate the whole Canto Bite and DJ stuff.

 

And how fake do those stupid nun caretaker creatures on Ahch To look? They literally look like something right out of that Christopher Walken film, Communion.

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Think I'm gonna have to come back at the weekend to read that.

 

You really had that much thought after watching TFA and TLJ back to back?

Well honestly, no. The first couple points are really a comparison, after that it's just more general thoughts.

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And how fake do those stupid nun caretaker creatures on Ahch To look? They literally look like something right out of that Christopher Walken film, Communion.

I didn't have much problem with them. They don't look any more unnatural than Gamorrean guards. The cut scene of their party was a delight.

 

I think Rian Johnson is too much of a fan, that he knows so many details to draw from, and as a filmmaker and storyteller, where he took the saga rubbed wrong so many due to their own fandom baggage. Like some kind of reverse-uncanny valley response.

 

This realization helps me now understand why I can love Spielberg but loathe Abrams. I don't share Abrams' same nostalgia. But, after watching TLJ several times, and I've discovered Johnson's beats and parallels to the OT more closely match my own than Abrams' TFA.

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Totally.

 

The problem with the Disney ere films is that they are inspired by Star Wars, the OT specifically. As long as they do that it'll never be transcendant. It could be good, it could be fun, it could even feel right-- but it won't be original.

 

They need to NOT look at the OT for inspiration, but to the things that inspired George to make the OT: samurai films, Flash Gordon serials, mythic verse, etc.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

 

I didn't have much problem with them. They don't look any more unnatural than Gamorrean guards.

 

 

 

True, but ROTJ was in 1983. That is why it gets a pass from me. No excuse for TLJ, though.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

I didn't mind the horse things themselves, but the side quest really distracted from the story. What I am saying was filmed 2016/17. If you want creatures roaming around like that, at least make them look more alive than rubber suits.

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I get what you're saying - personally I'm just a bigger fan of older school effects than I am some of the more modern digital stuff. You're right, they could have felt more alive but for me it kind of added to their personality, grumpy old nuns sick of Jedi sh*t.

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