1832 Time To Shine.
Finally saw the last Jedi. It’s… an odd mish mosh of stuff. Some of it works & some of it seems like it wasn’t thought through all the way. That said it was fine. Certainly not the disaster some people seem to think it is. I think it lacks direction & has too many protagonists. It seems like carrying over from the force awakens that they weren’t sure how to kill off the original cast in a way that would let the new characters take over. It’s not the story I would have told for these characters, but it is what it is & I expect young people will accept it the same way they accepted the prequel trilogy. That’s about as much as I feel like saying about it.
Well, I have some issues with The Last Jedi.
One huge one is that the tone is not appropriate for a Star Wars movie; too dark. It seems that after an incredible success (defeating the Emperor and blowing up yet another supremely expensive Death Star) the Rebels spent the next four decades losing and losing, so there were only a few hundred left; and then over 90% of those died, so that the only survivors are literally about two dozen people; they all fit in one battered old freighter.
Another huge issue is the way Luke Skywalker was written. The defining aspect of Luke’s personality from the first three movies is that he was a stand-up guy. He was being personally trained by Yoda, and he threw that away to help his friends. In Return of the Jedi he walked into a trap because he thought there was a chance to save Anakin Skywalker from his dark fate, and he pulled it off simply by never giving up. (“Simply” but that wasn’t an easy thing… it was a legendary, epic thing.) Now in this movie we find out that after a disaster, he gave up so completely that he self-exiled to a remote place and spent like a decade or something detaching himself from The Force. He did come back for a bit there to help the surviving Resistance guys, but every other aspect of his situation is jarringly out of character.
Finally, the whole subplot with Vice-Admiral Holdo and Poe Dameron was a stupid plot. It’s not great leadership to go out of your way to convince your crew that they are going to die, to teach them a lesson or something. With the Rebellion (these days, the “Resistance”) pared down to so few, there wasn’t much worry about Imperial spies, and she could have just told everyone: “Don’t worry, we have a plan. In a couple of hours we are going to pull a sneaky trick that will convince the First Order that we are all dead, and as a result we will be completely safe while we make plans and rebuild for a while.” She could even have told Poe Dameron the plan. Because she didn’t there was this half-baked plan to find a codebreaker, and as a direct result the First Order was told what was going on and killed (as I said before) about 90% of the few people still alive. Yeesh.
And, this is not a big thing, but I really dislike the Rebel vehicles from the final fight. They have all the disadvantages of tiny fighter ships, yet they have to stay at ground level so they have all the disadvantages of surface vehicles. Who would even design such a thing?
I have no idea how the Resistance is going to come roaring back from this bleak pit of death and despair in the next movie. I hope it isn’t eye-rollingly stupid.
I have three categories of movies: “I’m not going to see that”, “I’m definitely going to see that”, or “I’ll wait for the reviews and decide”. Up until this movie, any Star Wars movie has been “I’m definitely going to see that” but I think this movie convinced me to downgrade Star Wars new movies to “wait for the reviews”.
Have you ever read any of the Extended Universe stuff?
Luke has the emotional stability of a wet tissue in everything written after the Return of the Jedi. In some stories, he joins the reborn Emperor (in an attempt to stop him) and ends up being turned to the Dark Side. He’s only saved by his sister in those stories. In other stories, Luke’s own trained Jedi apprentices seem to leave the Order because they believe he’s holding out on them, and he becomes upset. In other other stories, the Solo children (all three of them) do massively stupid things that end up with:
= Chewie dying and making Han Solo exile his youngest and most beloved kid until that kid dies killing the queen of the aliens invading the galaxy.
= One of his kids becoming a Sith and wrecking havoc, including killing Mara Jade (Luke’s wife). This drives Luke into seclusion, saying “Fuck it” to the rest of the galaxy and forcing Han Solo to seek out his old enemy Boba Fett to get Fett’s ablative armor and kill his OWN CHILD to stop them.
= One of the kids being converted to the side of the invading alien force as a weapon to kill other Jedi. Which I stopped reading at that point, because it became clear to me that both Luke and the Skywalker kids were incredibly unstable and the reason why the galaxy was being tormented for so long.
So saying that The Last Jedi is too dark for Star Wars? In my opinion, The Last Jedi was way, way, waaaaay not dark compared to all the literature written and approved by George Lucas after Return of the Jedi.
Also, Luke has NEVER been the upbeat, happy go lucky adventurer in anyone’s fanfic or approved book. He’s always tormented, unhappy and walking a fine line between the Dark and Light Side of the Force. He seems to fold at opposition and then bounce back only when forced into a corner (or out of love or whatever …).
No, I haven’t (well, I read the Thrawn Trilogy [good stuff — should have been Episode 7-9] and one of the Jedi Apprentices, but that’s all). And since it’s all been thrown into the dumpster by Disney, it turns out that’s just as well….
Can’t say I agree with most of this.
The tone argument loses weight when we consider that Anakin killed a bunch of kids in Ep 3, murdered a bunch of Sand People in Ep 2, and that everyone dies in Rogue One. The Rebellion also hasn’t been losing for decades. The First Order was basically in the Rebellion’s position prior to Ep 7. The Republic was the legitimate government until the First Order blew them out of the galaxy in one fell swoop. The Resistance, on the other hand, never even had that sort of legitimacy. They were almost entirely covert, which is why they had to abandon base immediately.
Luke didn’t just break down after failure. He broke down after the failure to rebuild a religious order when he pushed his own nephew to the dark side, from his viewpoint. I mean, there’s a ton of pressure and then he screwed up with his own family and essentially created Vader 2.0. That’s enough to make anyone want to go hang out on an island for 20 years. Why would he want to face Han and Leia and literally everyone else with that and the deaths of however many young Jedi on his hands?
The ski speeders make a lot of sense, given Crait is a Rebellion hideout. Remember, the snowspeeders on Hoth were ineffective against the AT-AT’s. So based off that, I see a few in-story reasons for the ski speeders:
1. The Rebellion couldn’t afford anything better.
2. The ski speeders were only meant to slow down the Empire so the Rebels could evacuate
3. The ski speeders were meant to be used in conjunction with proper air support (star fighters or airspeeders) and were basically anti-personnel or antitank vehicles
4. There was a lot more there but nothing else was operational
I’m not saying Last Jedi was perfect by any means. However, I dont think your criticisms here are entirely valid.
Tone: You’ve seen Empire Strikes Back, which I still think is the best of the entire canon, right? It ENDS with Han in carbonite and sold off to Jabba, Luke having lost a hand and his entire world-view (we’ll get back to this in a moment), and Vader and the Emperor sitting pretty.
Luke: Remember that bit with Luke? When he first learns the truth about Vader, it nearly destroyed him. Luke first loses his hand in the duel, and then, when forced to accept Vader being his father, he commits suicide (he does NOT know the Millennium Falcon would be hanging around waiting for him). Luke is a stand-up guy–but when he fails, he takes it hard, and it usually knocks him for a loop until something else brings him back. In this case, ‘something else’ took 20 years.
Holdo & Poe: I disagree completely, particularly about the non-concern about Imperial spies. Remember, they’re being tracked through hyperspace, a previously believed-to-be-impossible feat. There’s basically three possible explanations:
1: The New Order has some sort of super-tech.
2: The ships have some sort of tracking beacon planted on them someplace.
3: There’s a spy aboard. This option is actually the most likely, without meta-knowledge.
Furthermore, even beyond that, Holdo knows two things about Poe:
1: His reckless disobedience caused the loss of numerous ships and personnel.
2: He got demoted almost immediately before she took command.
That’s not someone you trust with your plans. My ONLY issue with Holdo, throughout the thing, was that she never told someone to dig out a damned uniform from storage, already. (Seriously, she rocked that ballgown, but it was not going to inspire confidence in the rank and file.)
My actual (and only) issue with Last Jedi was the pacing of the casino arc. Not its existence (unlike many, I think it has a narrative function that ties in with some of the key points of the story). But it did drag on far longer than it should have, interrupting the pacing in a clumsy fashion.
Empire Strikes Back: Luke’s hand chopped off, Han in carbonite and being taken to Jabba.
The Last Jedi: everyone in the Resistance dies except for a handful on board the Millennium Falcon. We get to see ships being blown up one by one, each one a few hundred people dying.
In my mind, one of these two is darker than the other. I guess your mileage may vary.
Also, I disagree about Luke committing suicide. He took the one chance he had to escape. He didn’t know where he would end up if he dropped down from the platform but he knew that Vader was beating him roundly even before his hand was chopped off. It was a million-to-one chance but not certain death. And if he was truly committing suicide, instead of clinging to the antenna or whatever it was and using the Force to call to Leia, he would have just dropped to his death.
All I can really add is that it seemed to me like nobody in the Resistance could get anything useful done unless they were disobeying orders…
I liked The Last Jedi and appreciate the level response. It’s possible my fondness for it will fade with time, as it did with the prequels, but I enjoyed it when I saw it and certainly missed some of the flaws. I will say, the “rich people are dicks” part was heavy-handed at best, but that was also when I remembered I shouldn’t drink my entire soda before the movie, so I missed a lot of it. Though I will say, I’ll praise the inclusion of Rose if it kills the Finn/Rey relationship that I didn’t want after seeing Force Awakens.
“that was also when I remembered I shouldn’t drink my entire soda before the movie”
I feel you, man. The second time I watched TLJ, I realized it’s a lot better when you’re not spending 2 hours of the movie trying to ignore that you have to pee.
I just feel like Finn is building a harem. Rey, Po and Rose so far. I wonder who they will add in the next installment?
The Last Jedi was a great Jedi movie and a shitty rebel movie. If I could go back I’d pay full price to see that movie with all rebel scenes cut. Especially the worthless casino planet. But Rei, Luke, and Kyle were all amazing.
If you want good Rebels go watch the series Rebels.
It’s so good
… You sure James is not aware of Jess and Jo’s relationship ? Because his last sentence is something I can’t really see someone say after a friends bickering, while it’d be perfectly in-tone after a lovers quarrel.
The only other possibility, I think, is that he’s thinking the fight was about making movies.
I’m fighting the urge to dive head first into a rant about the astonishing level of incompetence by both major military factions in The Last Jedi
The incompetence is probably because it’s written by people who write for Hollywood and have no actual military experience. The reality of military operations is that they are long periods of crushing boredom interspersed with short bursts of intense terror. The reality doesn’t make for good cinema.
Amateurs are all about the Strategy and rank amateurs don’t even get that right. (Hollywood)
Dilettantes are all about the tactics, just like any good FPS group of players and they do make good cinema. Just look at all the videos of other people playing these games. Again none were around for the scripting
Now professionals in the Military are all about logistics and aside from some plot-line and a few sound bites it makes for really boring cinema yet is what wins or looses wars.
“Logistics… makes for really boring cinema”
May I suggest you check out “Red Ball Express” from 1952? It’s about the eponymous “Red Ball Express” truck convoy that carried ammo and supplies to Patton’s Third Army after the Normandy landings. I think it’s quite good, and is a great example of how you can make a movie about the logistics side of things without being boring.
Well, the First Order is terrible at tactics and strategy because Blonde Hux took over his position as General by assassinating his father to take the spot. Not out of any competent command promotion or anything. And Phasma is also not very good at tactics, but she was given her promotion by Blonde Hux for her part in assassinating his father. And the First Order is made up of old Imperial officers who either were expelled from the Empire or ran away during a conflict with the Rebellion, so there’s that as well.
And there are only a couple of actual Rebellion era officers in the Resistance. Ackbar, Holdo and Leia. Leia and Holdo weren’t military trained to start with – both are daughters of influential families destroyed by the Empire. Ackbar is the only one that had any military training, but he dies pretty early in the movie. And we all know how good his strategic senses were (can you say – leading the Rebellion into a TRAP at Endor?).
I think – and this is my opinion because I read a lot of the books that came out after the Force Awakens – that the major problem people have with the movie are all kind of explained in the books. So they relied heavily on things explained in other media to drive some of the plot in the Last Jedi (which is not ideal in any way).
1. A lot of the Rebellion became the New Republic when they won the war. That being said, some of the Rebellion leaders were heavily invested in the original war, and realized that their wealth was now in jeopardy from no real conflict going on. This allowed General “Blonde” Hux’s (I’m always going to call him that because his actor is probably the greatest and worst choice for that role – the casting was either brilliant or lucky) family who had been hiding on the fringe of the New Republic to slowly grow their forces through military purchases from Republic war mongers and create the First Order.
2. Princess Leia (now Senator Organa) lost a huge amount of credibility and support when Snokes’ agents leaked to the Senate that she was the daughter of Darth Vader (ooooh nooo she’s the kid of a murderer!). This happened at the same time that she found out about the First Order, so no one in the Senate paid attention to her warnings. They all assumed the First Order was a fringe militant group who intended to consolidate its power in just that section of the galaxy, because apparently, that’s what fringe militant groups do in the Star Wars galaxy. They don’t try to take over the galaxy or anything …
3. Snokes and Luke had apparently met before and Luke got his ass handed to him, because Luke had spent all his time and energy on trying to restore the Jedi Order, and suffering a setback of epic proportions. Kylo Ren’s defection was a huge blow to Luke’s morale. Of course, before that, Luke apparently suffered another morale shattering blow, although they really don’t elaborate on it in the books or the movies. Just that Luke had seen something incredibly demoralizing, and since it was revealed by Snokes’ agents to the New Republic that Luke and Leia were Vader’s kids, the entire galaxy sort of turned on them for concealing that information for a few years after the victory at Endor. So Luke was isolated, shunned and everyone looked at Force users as more of a … liability than benefit.
4. It’s Leia’s old friend Holdo who trusts ABSOLUTELY nobody (everyone is a spy, in her opinion, and they explain in the books that she thinks both Poe and Finn are possible First Order spies) that gathers the Resistance and convinces Leia to give up her seat on the New Republic to join the Resistance as a General. So Holdo is important. The first thing about her is that she fights dirty and outside the rules of established engagement that most of the lawful galaxy believes in. The second is that she will do anything to kill General Blonde Hux and decimate the First Order. Her use of hyperspace to disrupt the First Order fleet in Last Jedi makes sense if you know that (more about that in the next point).
5. General Blonde Hux’s family was … unique. They believed in the Empire and had a huge stake in the Empire, although they withheld most of their troops and fleet because they didn’t think the Emperor was completely sane. They wanted to wait until he messed up and then lead a coup that would put them in charge. Fortunately and unfortunately, the Rebellion won, so the Emperor was toppled for them. However, they no longer had the alliances or easy access to resources they had with an intact Empire, so they hid out in their section of space and slowly created the First Order. They also – with the help of Snokes – managed to convince the warmongers in the New Republic to sell them tech and resources despite certain laws prohibiting that. Now General Blonde was ambitious as heck although he’s not that great as a strategic thinker. He recruits Silver Helmet (Phasma) and treats her like an equal, so Phasma helps him and Snokes assassinate his father to take over the First Order. Blonde hopes to strike at Snokes and take complete control when the chance presents itself, but then Snokes recruits Kylo Ren and ruins all of Blonde’s plans.
6. Phasma isn’t all that great of a strategic thinker, either. She came to Blonde because she had basically botched all her previous military jobs and no one treated her like an equal. So the First Order leadership – save Snokes – is full of mostly competent people. Mostly. They only win battles because they have the superior forces and technology, but their tactics are very bad, and Holdo points this out several times to Leia as the reason why she thinks the Resistance will eventually win a war of attrition with the First Order. So when Holdo hyperspace wrecks the First Order fleet, it was because they were all piled up in a very bad formation behind each other (mostly because Hux doesn’t think the Resistance has it in them to attack the fleet – which explains why Holdo has “surprisingly” won several engagements against the First Order. Cuz Blonde is bad at strategy).
The only thing the books don’t explain much is Rey’s or Finn’s past. They gloss over that Poe’s parents were a Rebel leader and a Imperial agent who fell in love during a mission to stop the Emperor’s dead-man switch plan, but there’s very little about the characters we all have questions about. Like who is Snokes? No book about him. Who is Rey? No book about her. There’s a short comic book story about Finn’s training with his unit and the death of his friend (and who Nines is), but it’s not very … deep.
And that’s kind of the problem with the new movies. They rely on books written by huge Star Wars fanfic writers. Star Wars fans have set the stage for this, and guess what? Other Star Wars fans hate them for it. Yaaaaaayyyyy, fan dramaaaaaa …..
“Nice try, George. Give me back my five bucks!”
James doesn’t looks that bad of a guy, hell he doesn’t seem like a kid who deserved to be used, Jess you’re not a nice person goddamit!
Also I was so angry when I finished TLJ I yelled at the screen how much of a clusterfuck the movie was, while for some reason other people were claping as if itbwas a good movie
IMO- If you don’t totally like the Star Wars films that came after, “Return of The Jedi”, You might like these adventure films, from the Return of the Jedi’s era:
— The Hobbit (a 1977, animated, TV film by Rankin/Bass productions),
–Raiders of The Lost ark (1981),
–(Indiana Jones and) The Last Crusade (1989),
–Rambo 2 (1985),
–Judge Dredd (1995),
–Tank Girl (1995),
–a 1976, animated film, (from Belgium + France?), named: The Twelve Tasks of Asterix.
This is just a short list, of some of my faves.
France. Asterix and Obelix comics are good stuff, I didn’t realize there were thirteen movies. I cannot wait till I have time to watch them.
Another film that you might like, is Sidney Poiter’s, gripping, police, action film: Shoot To Kill (1988).
*Ahem*, I mean: Sidney Poitier.
On twitter: Jackie has mentioned the 1991, Japanese, animated film, named: “Only Yesterday”.
I think it is very good. Please give it a look.
If you are short on money, and live in the US, your local library can probably borrow it, for free, for you.
It’s about a woman, looking back at her past, when she was about 10 years old.
Meaning: she looks at her past, and she was 10 years old…in the past.
Sheesh!…Language is a pesky thing! ;)
Come on Jackie, the character development was amazing