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The Last Jedi - Spoiler discussion

So I am still wrestling with this movie after last nights viewing. Thought starting a discussion on it might help me flesh it out a little bit.

First things I liked:
1. Rey and Kylo team up. That whole scene was badass and kept the movie out of prequel land for me. Only regret from that scene was that I was hoping we would learn more about Snoke.
2. Kylo vs. Luke. Loved the choreography and dialogue. Then the twist at the end blew my mind.

Things I didn’t like:
1. Rey and Luke. I am not sure what bothered me so much about this half of the movie but I just didn’t feel anything from their interaction. Maybe the actors didn’t have any chemistry or maybe I am just not buying Luke’s reasoning but I was literally just wishing they would move on the entire time they went to that island.
2. Mission to gambling planet. Interesting to see the other side of the universe but it just felt very strange to me. Plus didn’t love Del Torro’s character. This whole sequence reminded me of the “capture a wight and take it to Cerci” plot from GoT for its randomness and stupidity.
3. Too much humor. One of the great part of the original trilogy and the force awakens is the humor (hence why I love Han so much). The jokes they inserted in Last Jedi were all funny and I laughed at all of them. However, There was just too many IMO. Throughout the first half the movie I felt like I was watching a comedy and I think it might be why I had trouble getting into the story in the first half.
4. What’s up with all the wildlife? I know there are animals in the other movies but they were mostly domesticated and certainly not such a primary focus. Small nitpick but not sure where the idea to put wildlife in came from (specifically could have done without the green milk and the little cute things flying around with Chewie).

Things I am still thinking about:
1. Love triangle. This one is more of a see where it goes thing but not sure how I feel about them starting another one of these.
2. Poe. The constant disobeying orders and having no consequences for it kind of wears on me but I do like having a true blue resistance fighter.
3. The chase scene in general. While we were watching it I was honestly not enjoying it. However as I think about it more, I can’t think of why and it seems decent in hindsight. Not sure if the other things I pointed out above maybe bled over into my lack of enjoyment in this sequence as they were going on at the same time.

So I think I went on long enough. Would love to hear others thoughts as I haven’t read any public reviews yet. Overall right now I would probably put it behind the original 3 and force awakens (and rogue one if including the non-main arch movies) but ahead of the prequels.
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Comments

  • 70 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Failure can be the best teacher.  And hope can come from failure.

    This movie is still chewing on my head, and was unlike any Star Wars movie I have ever seen.

    Ultimately, I loved it.  The longer I sit on it, the less my earlier concerns remain.  
  • edited December 2017 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    I'll post more later, but I'm with Joe on this one. This filmed redefined what a Star Wars movie can be. And only one other film in the series managed to do that - Empire.

    Every time I think about this film I keep dissecting it, finding another layer and living it more. Which is funny because I initially walked from the theater disappointed, but love it more and more. Few movies do that two me
    (make me sit with them and think about them ) - Unbreakable was one and, more recently, Bladerunner 2049 was another.
    Post edited by TheLion at 2017-12-17 12:20:08
  • I left the theater really conflicted (aside from just feeling like crap).  But the scene that got me thinking about it was also my favorite scene in the movie: The last 30 seconds or so - where the young kid is inspired to "play jedi" by the example of his heroes.  To me, this scene was a love letter from the fan who made the movie, to the fans watching it - this was me when I was  kid and this movie (along with all the Disney movies), felt like the culmination of restoring "hope" back to Star Wars and the wonder that it created in all of us.  This began with the opening line in The Force Awakens, "This will begin to make things right." - which always felt like a small jab at the Prequels and that his movie was part of the process of fixing that.  This continued with Rogue One, and culminated in The Last Jedi which, in my opinion, was the first "balsy" star wars movie we've had since Empire.

    Here would be my list of Star Wars films, which I'm sure will be radically different then most of you:

    1. The Empire Strikes Back
    2. The Last Jedi
    3. The Force Awakens
    4. Rouge One
    5. A New Hope
    6. Return of the Jedi
    7. Revenge of the Sith
    8. The Phantom Menace
    9. Attack of the Clones
    Some of my favorite moments:
    1.  The last 20 seconds
    2. Yoda
    3. I both love and hate that they killed Snoke in this film, but the battle that ensued was amazing
    4. Luke vs. Kylo
    5. Kylo and Rey communicating through the force (under the influence of Snoke)
    6. The humor - I agree with Aron that there was too much of it, but...in all fairness, it never felt forced to me
    7. World building - this is the first star wars that felt like it was showing us real worlds and a universe that existed since the original trilogy.  It felt lived in and legitimate.
    8. IT REDEEMED THE PREQUELS (or, at least, their overarching story: see this article for more, I 100% agree with this: https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/9kdd97/star-wars-the-last-jedi-review-makes-prequels-good
    9. Making "Han's Dice" canon - that's just classy. :)
    10. Depth. Not since Empire have we had a story that had depth, nuance, and "real" characters.  There is a moment that I both Hate and love in this film...and that is the moment where we are reminded that Luke is a human - where he - for a moment - considers killing Kylo to save the galaxy.  I hate this moment because it's not the Luke I want to remember, but I Love this moment because it make sense and makes his place in the universe make sense. As the avatar of the original trilogy, we viewed this series through his rise - he discovered things as we did. Many of us grew up as he did.  Here, all of us, who have faced loss, sadness, and hard choices - now see a Luke who has done the same. A Luke who has grown up past the idealism of youth, to face the hard realities of the world and the universe.  Luke is now a human. And, ultimately, makes the choice to be the myth that will inspire the universe.  It's probably as happy an ending as that character could ever have.
    11. I could have been two movies.  I felt like I'd watched two movies when the credits rolled and I mean that in the best way possible. I really thought they could have ended the film right when Luke and Kylo faced off - and saved that for the final chapter.  It would have been right in line with Episode VII and would have made us counting the days until episode IX.

    I'm sure I'll have more thoughts on this after I see it a 2nd time (...and a third time), but for now - I think this movie nailed what Star Wars could be.  It's not perfect - I felt like Finn was under-utilized and that Poe felt a little one-dimensional, BUT any of my quibbles with the film are minor.  

    This was the Star Wars movie I've been waiting to see since 1983.

  • But whether Snoke was lying, or a door was opened that could not be closed--Rey and Ben continued to speak through the Force without the aid of Snoke.  So something is going on, there.  Or was, until Rey appeared to shut it down.

    ANYWAYS.  I'm not always very eloquent in describing my feelings, but I have to side with Mike.  I left the theater sort of hating it for the sheer WTFness of the whole thing...but the longer it percolates in my mind, the more amazing it was.  For the first time ever, I have no idea what is going to happen next in Star Wars.  And it's exciting.  

    Also, thank you for that article about the prequels.  I don't think it was originally set up that way, but TLJ has definitely improved on things.  This is another good article: http://www.slashfilm.com/the-last-jedi-defense At least in so far as it talks about how TFA and Rogue One were like "comfort food."  Rogue One, which I still love, is probably the most damning in that it's basically a fan film of everything we already knew.  It's the most playing-it-safe Star Wars movie of all time, even eclipsing RotS.  This movie went all over the place, and managed to have an ending less immediately uplifting then ESB.  

    I'm frankly surprised at some of the constant talking points I keep encountering--that Leia's return to the Radus was like "expletive Mary Poppins."  I have wanted to see Princess Leia use the Force since about five minutes after RotJ.  To see her nudge herself through the vacuum of space ever so slowly was awesome.  I think I'm more bothered that Admiral Ackbar died at the same time, and didn't even get a mention.  

    Other critiques seem to be savaging Rose.  I need to think about this one a bit more, but I think she helps to show that there really isn't a big difference between herself and Finn.  Huge critiques on the beginning Hux/Poe dialogue.  Really?  And someone said, "Star Wars isn't the place for 'your mom' jokes."  Did they not see all the scat and fart humor crammed into Phantom Menace?  That's way more cringe inducing, in my opinion, than seeing a lone starfighter pilot fuck around with the First Order.  

    Ugh, god, critiques on "goddamn SJW vegetarians ruining Star Wars" because Chewie was eating the Porgs.  Are you shitting me?  Chewie eating those damn things like popcorn and not giving a fuck was goddamn hilarious.  

    I agree with Mike that the movie felt like it had such big movements/moments that it felt like more than one movie.  Jessica said something of the same--and not just because it was so long.  It's so funny...every time I think of something I hated from my first viewing...I like it more because of that, now.  The ending...with the kid using the Force?  It was so uplifting to have that little moment where you know that no matter what, it isn't the end.

    This movie absolutely deconstructed Star Wars in ways I never thought possible, and it feels really good.
  • I guess I am missing the point on how this rescued the prequels. Wasn’t it already common knowledge that a major point of the prequels was showing that the Jedi were flawed? Just because Luke realizes it doesn’t all of a sudden make them good movies. It certainly isn’t going to make Padame dying from a broken heart any less stupid (as an example). I also can’t imagine how watching them will all of a sudden be enjoyable.

    I guess I just differ from you two in that the parts that were bad have remained bad for me. Leia somehow Force flying after a direct hit that incapacitated her being a perfect example.

    The Ackbar death I agree was really disappointing. I read an awesome suggestion on the internet that that purple hair chick (who I have such little interest in that I haven’t bothered to learn her name) should have been Ackbar. How cool would that have been if he would have had the hero’s death instead of some random character we had little emotional investment in?
  • And this is hilarious and extremely accurate all at the same time. https://kotaku.com/lets-talk-about-the-weirdest-and-best-scene-in-the-la-1821376910
  • I'm honestly embarrassed that two of my earlier complaints were so silly: that Phasma did barely anything and went out like a punk (Boba Fett, Jango Fett) and that the Resistance spent the entire movie running away and losing (ESB).

    TLJ certainly doesn't fix the craptastic PT, but it does improve on aspects of it.

    I've even revised my feelings on Ackbar's death. Some jackhole on the internet "fixed" the script for that sequence and it now (of course) had Ackbar madly cackling "It's a trap!" as he rammed them at lightspeed. Actually, thanks internet dude--now I can accept the way he went out in sad dignity.

    I can't wait to see this again.

    Also, Mike, yeah--the hyperspace tracking was an awesome touch.
  • The big "petition to make Disney disavow TLJ from Star Wars Canon" is infuriatingly stupid, too.
  • edited December 2017 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Sorry, I'm on mobile. Anyways, maybe it was just a limit of filming, but Obi-wan moved stuff (vines in his way) in RotJ--in fact I always loved it because it was sort of like, "Yoda, I may be a ghost--but this place is a dump." So Yoda doing stuff in TLJ didn't bother me.

    Luke's arc in this movie is part of why I enjoy it so much. Maybe if I were a kid, I'd want to see him single-handedly kill the First Order, ala his deconstructed comments...but as an old and tired man that struggles with things like failure...it just spoke volumes to me.
    Post edited by dumps at 2017-12-19 05:16:49
  • I've only seen it once, and intend on seeing it many times more...but my current thought is:

    ESB
    ANH
    TLJ/RotJ
    RO/TFA
  • Hey guys! I finally have some time to articulate my thoughts about Last Jedi. I thought we could discuss it here. I saw it for the second time on Sunday with Michael for his birthday, and seeing it again helped me to realize where my initial disappointment came from and how there IS quite a bit of good in the movie despite its flaws.

    My biggest two gripes with these new movies (minus Rogue One, which was amazing) are, first, that they seem afraid to take chances, and second, that they seem to all be about set-up instead of advancing a complete story.

    Let’s start with my first complaint. I found myself very frustrated at times with how the movie pressed on the edge of really taking a cool turn but instead settled for the status quo. The biggest problem I had was the Rey/Kylo fight. They finally start battling together and seem to be united, but then they basically each say to each other “Hey join me!” And then “No!” And then it is back to square one. If they would have united, that would have been the perfect end to the movie. But, instead, Rey ran and it was back to status quo again. And instead of pursuing the cool “Jedis are flawed” concept and creating a new type of Jedi (perhaps a light and dark hybrid?) it went back to JEDI GOOD SITH BAD! Since the whole religion is basically a rip-off of Taoism anyway, the whole idea of Taoism is that sometimes you have to embrace the light side yin (passive, accepting) and sometimes the dark side yang (aggressive and active). Take a chance and try something new!!! But no, Disney seems afraid to change around the Mighty Star Wars too much. This is why Force Awakens was basically New Hope 2.0. Though this one did indeed introduce some cool new concepts (see my third big paragraph).

    The second big thing that bothered me, and this ties into my second point, is that once again we have an awesome Star Wars villain that is left VERY one dimensional. Everyone wanted to know who Snoke is. Nothing. We got nothing. Now people are theorizing a Snoke comic or Snoke movie. Why couldn’t we have had like a 5 minute reveal/backstory on him? Sometimes you have to give the fans what they want. And Snoke’s story, from what I have read and my own feelings, was a BIG want among fans.

    Now, all that said, when I saw it the second time on Sunday I enjoyed it a LOT more. I let go of my desires and just watched it and accepted it for what it was and really enjoyed it. I liked how Rey’s parents were nobodys. At first this seemed like a cop out but on second viewing I liked it. The central theme of “YOU define your identity” with Rey is pretty cool. Second, I actually liked Luke’s death the second time. While it would have been cooler to actually have had Luke there, they did introduce a cool new concept (I know, right?!?!) of Jedi astral projection that really did show just how insanely powerful Luke was. Speaking of insanely powerful, I’m really bummed that Carrie Fisher died. She showed how strong with the Force she really is in this movie, and now she cannot have that bad ass Luke moment in #9. Finally, I enjoyed the casino planet more during my second viewing. At first it seemed like a really pointless subplot (the whole trailing-the-fleet thing really did seem like filler compared to Rey and Kyla’s story), but I enjoyed it more this time. I found that when I let go and accepted the movie for what it was (instead of what I hoped it would be) I enjoyed it more.

    Better than Force Awakens, not as good as Rogue One nor the originals, and still overall better than the Prequels (though I’ve always really liked Phantom Menace despite the bad acting, but that is another email for another time)
  • I rather thought the fact that Ben refused to be redeemed after he killed Snoke, and doubled down on the dark side, WAS the "cool turn."  It's Star Wars, everyone is always redeemed.  Except this time, maybe not.  The fact that they really did end the Jedi, leaving Rey on her own with the sacred texts, also surprised me.  I know you're better at anticipating things (Harry Potter) than I am, but all of these things completely surprised me.  I don't think we're owed any story on Snoke--his death also completely shocked me.  I think I'll be disappointed when the inevitable tie-in novels produce some weird grand backstory for him.  

    For better or for worse, I think it's impressive that they kept the original cast to an extent, and were sort of phasing one out per sequel trilogy film.  The next movie, without any of them, will surely be a different feel. I'm somewhat conflicted that JJ Abrams is on the next one--considering the differences in tone and feel between TFA and TLJ--excited that he is back, worried that it will be safe and formulaic.  At least Rian will have his whole new trilogy.  Very excited to see that.
  • MattyDoo said:

    Meh

    There it is.   :D

  • MattyDoo said:

    Meh

    Best. Review. Ever.

    C


  • Back to Corey's comments about the Rebellion being back to square one, it kind of brings a lot of what DJ said back to the forefront.  At first I was really annoyed by his character, who appeared to do nothing...but when he pointed out that everything is in cycles, that the rich profit from the war (regardless who is fighting), that the poor suffer from the war (regardless who is fighting)...his whole, "The only way to win, is not to play the game." thing REALLY stands out in deeper context.

    The Jedi vs. the Sith...the Republic vs. the Confederacy...the Rebels vs. the Empire...the Resistance vs. The First Order.  Break the machine.  Leave the past behind.

    I REALLY need to see this again.
  • dumps said:

    I rather thought the fact that Ben refused to be redeemed after he killed Snoke, and doubled down on the dark side, WAS the "cool turn."  It's Star Wars, everyone is always redeemed.  Except this time, maybe not.  The fact that they really did end the Jedi, leaving Rey on her own with the sacred texts, also surprised me.  I know you're better at anticipating things (Harry Potter) than I am, but all of these things completely surprised me.  I don't think we're owed any story on Snoke--his death also completely shocked me.  I think I'll be disappointed when the inevitable tie-in novels produce some weird grand backstory for him.  


    For better or for worse, I think it's impressive that they kept the original cast to an extent, and were sort of phasing one out per sequel trilogy film.  The next movie, without any of them, will surely be a different feel. I'm somewhat conflicted that JJ Abrams is on the next one--considering the differences in tone and feel between TFA and TLJ--excited that he is back, worried that it will be safe and formulaic.  At least Rian will have his whole new trilogy.  Very excited to see that.
    I love a good Redemption story (with Love intermixed, of course), and I really do hope Kylo is redeemed. I am afraid I will be supremely disappointed if he isn’t.

    C


  • I, like Joe, really enjoyed Luke. I liked the whole concept that the perfect level and image that Jedi were held to is what led to Sidious and Vader. It made how the Jedi acted in the prequels (like pompous jerks) make more sense. Luke’s fear of further failure paralyzed him, but he overcame it. Love and Redemption Baby.

    C
  • Disagree for the same reasons--surpassing his fear of further failure (ffffff) gave him the strength to apologize to Leia and ask her permission to kill Ben.  He knows he was wrong, before--but that this is the right thing to do, now.
  • Wait, do you mean agree? I’m confused.

    C
  • dumps said:

    Back to Corey's comments about the Rebellion being back to square one, it kind of brings a lot of what DJ said back to the forefront.  At first I was really annoyed by his character, who appeared to do nothing...but when he pointed out that everything is in cycles, that the rich profit from the war (regardless who is fighting), that the poor suffer from the war (regardless who is fighting)...his whole, "The only way to win, is not to play the game." thing REALLY stands out in deeper context.


    The Jedi vs. the Sith...the Republic vs. the Confederacy...the Rebels vs. the Empire...the Resistance vs. The First Order.  Break the machine.  Leave the past behind.

    I REALLY need to see this again.
    And then the movie promptly DIDN’T break the machine and instead went back to the primary concept of Jedi and Sith. It was, like, a mixed message man (mmmmmm).

    C


  • I feel like that Hmmm was a Crash Test Dummies reference.  :D

    See, I don't see Kylo as Sith, or Rey as Jedi.  I think they both broke free of that sort of the in TLJ.  Kylo as never having truly been a Sith and deliberately killing Snoke, but Rey as explicitly not a Jedi.  Luke wanted to cut those ties, but was still conflicted enough to hesitate throwing it all away.  So Yoda helped.  It's a student's destiny to surpass the teacher, good and bad.  Their new hope (oh boy) is that Rey transcends the Jedi Order, and builds something new.  Maybe they'll be called Jedi, or something...but they won't be anything we've seen before.

    Also, I read this quote on a board earlier today and laughed;
    Remember when Luke was a badass character with a great story instead of crusty old hermit who watched the Galaxy burn? I member
    Yes.  But I really REALLY liked the crusty old hermit that walked away from it all.  I really liked it!  Having him defeat the worst order (actually typed that without thinking) is what everyone expected--with Rey/the Resistance serving as a proxy for the audience.  Everyone is shocked, in universe and in real life.  And when Luke reopens himself to the Force, and understands that he can have a part in the Force again, and that everything could really work out...it's just wonderfully transcendent.  
  • One thing that I,
    sincerely, love about you guys is how passionate you are about the things you
    love. I may tease or poke sarcastic fun but, really, when you guys love
    something, you go all out in proclaiming that love.

    I look at myself as the
    resident "non-Star-Wars nerd" of the group. I grew up with the movies
    like the rest of you, but I don't feel any real personal attachment to the
    characters or the story. Maybe I'm just jaded or never looked at movies as
    anything more than a temporary escape rather than an extension of the human
    spirit or whatever, but while I've always enjoyed the movies, I've never really
    felt emotionally attached or connected to them in quite the same way everyone
    else does.

    This is not to say that
    feeling that way is *bad*; if anything, I'm slightly envious of your personal
    attachment, and that cinema of any kind can move you emotionally. But when I
    view these things, I try to view them objectively, which can sometimes be
    difficult because the inclination is to connect them to your childhood roots
    and longtime love of the series (and its myriad outside properties, like
    comics, animated series, etc.).

    All that said, I love
    that those of you who loved this movie were passionate about it and are able to
    reconcile what happens with the previous six movies, and find that connection.
    But I just don't see it.

    As an aside, let me tell
    you what I've been struggling with. I really enjoyed "The Last Jedi."
    As a movie experience, it was fun. More fun, I dare say, than "Force
    Awakens," which also was fun in its own way. And I think my feeling holds
    more weight now, as I appreciate "Force Awakens" more now for setting
    up my enjoyment of "The Last Jedi". I felt like FA was a set-up piece
    for the continuation of the series, which is why I felt it was lacking, even
    though it had enjoyable moments. Many of the enjoyable moments in FA were borne
    out of nostalgia for characters we used to know (the whole plot, remember, was
    basically the old cast trying to reunite, using the new characters to push that
    forward), and, oh yeah, here's Rey and Finn and Poe and BB-8. I LOVE Rey and
    loved her in that movie, and she's the crux of what I want to see moving
    forward, because she's so wonderful.

    TLJ brings to fruition
    everything FA sets up. We know the players, we know the stakes, and we see it
    play out in a slightly contrived but still exciting way: a classic space chase.
    I thought the narrative, while still weak overall, to be more compelling than
    FA, and even with the ridiculous side adventure to the casino planet, I thought
    it was more interesting, compelling and thought-provoking.

    Point being, I really
    enjoyed the movie. I laughed when the audience laughed, cheered when they
    cheered, and those great moments (Luke throwing the light saber, Snoke getting
    killed, the bad-ass teamwork between Kylo and Rey, the light-speed ramming of
    the dreadnaught by the Rebel command ship, etc) are still great and resonate
    with me. I'd say, as movies go, those moments are among my all-time favorites
    (forgiving recency bias). I love Rey and actually thought they redeemed Kylo
    Ren in this one.

    But...

    This isn't "Star
    Wars," you guys. This is "Disney Presents - A Star Wars-like
    Adventure." It's different to me, and it's so different in terms of tone
    and context that it almost feels disingenuous to compare it to the other
    movies.

    I'm amazed that Mike has
    the three most recent movies in the top 4 all time. I just cannot fathom that
    (agreeing that opinions are what they are, but still). Rogue One, as I've said
    from the outset, is a flop if they don't connect it to "A New Hope."
    Again, the movie succeeds from a Star Wars fanboy perspective because it
    connects to the old trilogy. Did you forget how much of a dud that story was
    until it finally introduced Grand Moff CGI and Princess CGI? I could watch the
    last 10 minutes as a stand-alone feature movie and it'd be at or near the top
    of my favorite cinematic snippets ever (so much Darth Vader death), but
    everything before it was a resounding "meh."

    But with RO, FA and TLJ,
    I still enjoyed them. That's what gets me; I enjoyed them, flaws and all. But
    to create an objective, honest link to the previous trilogies (yeah, even the
    prequels) seems disingenuous. They're not the same, and I don't think they
    could be judged the same. They're just so different to me.

    Aron mentions this, and
    others have as well, that the humor is just so hokey and over-the-top tonally
    compared to the original six movies. And I get it, it's a new audience and
    you're reaching out to a wider scope of people. But the humor felt more organic
    and less contrived in the first trilogy, and that might just be a testament to
    the great actors and the great writing. Harrison Ford is an amazing actor, and
    as the center of many of the humorous moments in the original trilogy, he did
    it without making it seem like a Laurel and Hardy bit. But then you get TLJ,
    and, I'm sorry, that five minute back-and-forth between Poe and Hux was just
    tonally awful for a "Star Wars" movie. And it's not even about
    "taking risks" or "trying to not be like the original
    trilogy" - it's just terrible. I half expected Hux to do a Curly
    impression from the Three Stooges and start slapping his forehead over and over
    and let out a groan and call Poe a wiseguy.

    TO BE CONTINUED...

  • This is what I call the
    "Disney effect" and it's why I can't hold these movies up to the same
    standards. There's going to be this kind of slapstick silliness and plots that
    fit within the mold that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has carved out. Obvious
    story lines, obvious plots where the heroes are in a bind but ultimately everyone
    survives. But you say that Admiral Ackbar and Luke Skywalker die in this one?
    And Han Solo in the prior movie? And Leia, offscreen most likely, will be dead
    in the next one? Not the same thing. They can't live forever, obviously, and
    the plan is to clear the slate for the new characters. Did the stakes feel even
    remotely high for any of the "new" main characters? Did you think Poe
    would die? That Finn wouldn't come out of a coma? Do you think for a minute
    Phasma is actually dead? Sure, Snoke died, but his character is just a cardboard
    cutout of an "evil leader," and maybe there's no background on him
    because he's no more crucial to the plot than the porgs or the ice-crystal-fox
    thingies.

     

    The MCU suffers from the
    same thing. Much like Star Wars, we know there's going to be, like, seventy
    bajillion MCU movies coming out. All the heroes survive, anyone who's dead
    isn't *really* dead, and any real conflict will be sewn up with at least a
    mostly happy ending. There may be a token death here or there, but in the end,
    you'll walk away with the warm fuzzies and feeling pretty happy that you got
    some explosions and some cool moments.

     

    So that's where I'm at
    with this, and I still feel like I'm processing it and constantly changing my
    thoughts. At one point, I had TLJ pretty much on par with "A New
    Hope," and that's so wrong to me. First, it screams of recency bias (it's
    really easy to proclaim something the "best thing ever" when you JUST
    saw it, but over time you realize it wasn't as great as you thought it was) and
    second, it's not the same series anymore. Sure, it might be in title only, but
    for my purposes, the original trilogy and the prequels tell one story, and FA
    begins a new story that just so happens to connect peripherally to old
    characters we loved.

     

    Take Luke's story, for
    instance. I hate that we took the hero's journey conclusion away from him. He
    went from goofy kid to wisened master who took down an empire, faced and killed
    his own father, and lived to ruminate on his legendary role as one of the
    greatest heroes of the galaxy. His ending in RotJ was fitting: While he was
    happy to be reunited with his friends and save the rebellion, he was also
    carrying the weight of his responsibility and the things he had done to reach
    that ending. But he got a "happy" finish to everything, got to
    force-connect with all of his mentors, and the galaxy was restored to peace. End
    of story.

    But now he's back,
    curmudgeony, old, full of failings and mistakes, and has grown to regret
    everything he's ever done. He finishes with a flourish, but it's a terrible way
    for this character to be remembered, ultimately. I prefer to think back fondly
    on how his arc ended, with a smile and a nod to Obi-Wan, Yoda and Anakin, and
    not grumpily drinking milk from a space cow's boob. (That, again, is the Disney
    side - gross humor for no purpose).

    You say the prequels had
    this type of silly humor, too? Yes. It did. And it was equally distracting and
    silly at the times it happened. But in spite of all of that, the story
    connected because you're seeing the genesis of what's to come in the original
    trilogy. There's nothing from the original six movies that portends what's to
    come in Episode 7 and 8, because there's such a disconnect. It's a different
    story, told in the same style, but only clinging peripherally to the old
    characters out of nostalgia's sake. I almost regret that they connected them as
    chapters of the original two trilogies.

    Seems harsh, yes? Well,
    again, you can see why I'm conflicted, because I really did enjoy TLJ. It was
    fun. But it just doesn't fit somehow. When I watched the prequels, I enjoyed
    them because I saw how it fit the whole story. Unless JJ Abrams works some
    magic in Episode 9, I don't see how you can connect the original six to the new
    ones.

    Of the nine
    feature-length Star Wars movies, I still feel like the ratings are like this:

    ESB

    ANH

    RotJ

    RotS

    TLJ

    PM/FA

    RO

    AotC



    What's funny about that is I saw AotC the most in the theaters, and is still
    the only movie I've ever seen twice in one calendar day in a theater.

    Basic overarching theme:
    Loved the movie as a movie, disliked it as part of the larger "Star
    Wars" story because I think it's now officially two different stories, and
    should really be evaluated as such. And I love where it’s going from here – the
    “anyone can control the Force” idea is beautiful, and I’m excited. And I think
    I’ll enjoy the movies a lot more going forward as they continue to actively
    divorce themselves from the previous trilogy. Maybe I’ll end up feeling as
    passionate about the new story as you all do about the old one.

  • Interesting insight. I actually really love your point about Luke’s story and it put into words what I have been struggling with in that I loved the ending part for him but I hated the whole part of him and Rey on that island. I actually had a similar thought earlier this week that the movie kind of ruined that awesome feeling I get at the end of Jedi seeing them all standing there smiling.

    To me it’s interesting in reading all the comments that we all seem to base on thoughts on these movies on different things. Mi/J take a very Meta approach to these movies trying to connect things toegether that may not be obvious (unsurprisingly given they are the 2 that had delved farthest into this universe), C was looking for something that pushed the boundaries like the original series, and Matt was looking for something that felt like the original movies. At least those are my takeaways from what you all wrote, feel free to correct me if I am wrong. I tend to focus more on how much I enjoy the movie at this point in my life. Which probably explains why I have by far the lowest opinions of the prequels. I can’t ignore the that the movies had bad acting/dialogue and do a horrible job of fulfilling their primary purpose (explaining why the greatest Jedi ever fell to the dark side). I watch them now and suffer through them only because I know better stuff is coming.

    Likewise with TLJ, while the awesome was super awesome - I just can’t pretend I didn’t see Luke milk a space cow or have half the movie be taken up by a ridiculous plot of a space chase being solved by a random mission to find a code breaker. So like the prequels, I am certain I will watch this movie over and over again and trudge through the first half to see Kylo and Rey take out a bunch of royal guard 2.0s and to see holographic Luke punk Kylo.
  • edited December 2017 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    I'm curious about the "Disney-effect" in this example.  Could you explain?  What's challenging for me is that Star Wars....  are kids movies.  They always have been.  They were based on the serials of the 40s which were full of humor, heroism, and things aimed at children.  I didn't feel any of the last films felt "Disney" at all - and I could be 100% wrong.  I don't get the sense that Disney interferes with the Star Wars films as much as they do with the Marvel films (I'm looking at you Iron Man 3), but I could just be being naive. My understanding is that Kathleen Kennedy has a lot of pull over the content of these films, not Disney execs. And characters never die in comics...which isn't Disney's fault...that's not the same thing in Star Wars.  I mean...did you ever really think that Luke, Han ,etc. would die in the original trilogy? Nope.  In fact - Lucas wouldn't let them, because the writers of Return of the Jedi and Harrison Ford all wanted him to die with the explosion of the 2nd Death Star and he said, "no."

    All in all, loving this discussion. And, to be fair - it seems that Joe and I are in the minority on this one at least among people I know - everyone seems to want to give it a solid 7 or so.

    I'm also interested in those of you that feel this film was "Safe."  What's interesting to me is that TFA was a safe film - I LOVED it...but it was a safe film.  This film basically said, "all that stuff you were expecting...not going to happen." But, again that's my opinion. lol

    Side note: Do you really think that Disney execs read the script and said, "Hey, put this moment in where Luke drinks some alien tit milk - it'll be hilarous?"  I really have a hard time buying that - the director/writer seems to be pretty insistent that he put that stuff in the film because he wanted to.  I would think they would be more likely to say, "You know that moment where you have an alien get cut in half - or that other one where a lightsaber goes through the head of one of Snoke's guards...maybe cut that down a little, we need to sell toys."
    Post edited by TheLion at 2017-12-19 22:08:32
  • I can tell you one thing that really bothered me about this film: the set-up with Maz about getting them to look for the individual with the flower on his lapel.  Maybe I missed something...but why couldn't Maz just tell them who it was? Or give them a reason for not being able to tell them who it was.  Did I miss something...or was this just stupid?
  • I think we may be having two discussions here:
    What we think of Star Wars movies as "star wars" movies. And what we think of Star Wars movies as cinema.  For example, Matt, I agree that Rogue One as a film, can't stand on it's own.  You are 100% correct.  However, as part of the Star Wars canon- I really enjoy it.  It's fun for me. Is it perfect film? I never said that - it's flawed as all get out, but it "feels" like a lead in to A New Hope and it works better than it should.  To me, it was a success.  
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