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The Last Jedi: Here There Be Spoilers

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3 hours ago, Pony Queen Jace said:

 left at the beginning of the Casino jail escape to pee and smoke some weed

hahahah, me too. Altho i took a little longer and got to miss out on pretty much the entire casino escape bit. 

Random tidbit - Poe says "we'll never make it through the night". Umm, you're in space dawg. 

Edited by Relic

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On the topic of the best lines in the movie... I really liked Yoda's "The greatest of all teachers, failure is".

And you can expand on that to include the whole part leading up to it. I don't remember the exact words too well. But it was something along the lines of "Give to them your knowledge, your wisdom and your successes. But give to them also your mistakes and your failures. Yes, especially your failures. The greatest of all teachers, failure is".

 

Edited by AndrewJ
typo

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Thinking about it a bit more I like a lot of the elements of the film but I'm not a fan of how it came together.

I like Rose but she spends most of her time tied into the irritating casino plot line. I like Ren killing Snope and taking over but don't build Snope up as a mysterious figure if there's not going to be any pay off. I like the idea of tension building throughout the film with the Imperial, er, First Order Fleet chasing the Resistance Fleet but don't have Finn just wander off midway through it (sidenote stop introducing bigger ships to try and up the stakes, Star Destroyers are cool; just leave it alone). I like the idea of conflict within the resistance leadership because Leia's injured but Laura Dern not telling Poe, who appears to be the most senior officer left other than her, the plan is a stupid pretext for that (also have Leia get injured in a less stupid way). I quite liked Luke force projecting himself to save the day, it's pretty Jedi to win without actually fighting, and I even think his death was well done but couldn't we have had more than one film with Luke Skywalker in it?

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I liked the movie a ton. I thought it was better than either Force Awakens or Rogue One. I see that people have issues with plot holes, and as valid as that beef may be, I didn't think about any of it while watching the movie. I guess a hole is only a hole if you allow yourself to fall in it...?

I was on the edge of my seat while watching the battle to redeem Ben Solo. It was every bit as thrilling as seeing the literal fight between Kylo, Rey, and the Praetorian Guard. The Yoda/Luke scene was equal parts inspiring and hilarious. I was pleasantly surprised with how the movie continually defied my expectations. So much to unpack.

Of all the possible outcomes for Rey's parentage, I think this was the best result. There's no better message to send. You don't need to have special parents to be special.

Also, I feel as if the way Snoke was so uneventfully cast aside was both great and poetic. As much as I look forward to seeing Thanos, I can appreciate a renaissance of practical effects, what with Yoda coming full circle -- puppet, to CG, and back to puppet again. I love that the big CGI bad was nothing more than smoke and mirrors. At the end of the day, he only existed to elevate Kylo. I am not mad at that.

Kylo became my favorite Star Wars character, of any trilogy, with this movie. For me, there's no character more nuanced and interesting in the mythos.

The movie wasn't perfect, though. As much as I appreciate the addition of Rose, I thought the entire b-plot with Finn was boring and made the film drag at times.

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OK, I'm rested, but my feelings about this movies are still jumbled up, and I'll list a bunch of stuff that I both liked and disliked:

  • This movie managed to make the galaxy feel even smaller, and that's after what JJ did in TFA. I was ok with fuel suddenly being a critical resource, but I probably would have liked the chase of the Resistance forces more if they were moving from system to system. That would have also given credence to the opening paragraph, that the First Order is taking over the galaxy. Maybe someone thought that it would have been too close to what Battlestar Galactica did, but so what. The first part of the movie got me excited, with the homage to the WWII bombers fighting Nazis, Poe's escapades, and setting up what looked could have been a space Waterloo, (with Leia being Wellington), but I guess not
  • That's the thing about this movie, not only did it subvert expectations formed from TFA, but it also subverted expectations between its first act and third act; some was good, some bad - one that was definitely good was Luke's force projection; it's clear that real Luke wasn't on Crait - what, he got a shave and makeover, he magically took the pieces of his father's saber from wherever and put them back? No, of course not - but the movie sets up the expectation that maybe the legend that is Luke Skywalker can show up and face down the war machine of the First Order, and of course, we all wanted to see Jedi Master Luke kick some ass; but what he did was no less impressive, and he sacrificed his body for it
  • Definitely one great thing the movie did was expand on the Force, and we got a good payoff to Obi-Wan's "I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine" when Yoda went all Zeus on the tree; great appearance from Yoda! I also loved Leia's "space flight". For one, I had actually imagined the possibility of a Jedi (or just powerful force-user in this case) doing something like that; if Darth Maul can survive being cut in half, and her dad can survive being barbecued, then she can fucking survive a bit of space exposure; and all she did was use the force to pull at the ship
  • That being said, these movies are a bit libertine with what force-users can do; it's clear that Rey doesn't require combat training, but all she got was one lesson from Luke about the Force, and she continues to evolve; still, another good setup-payoff with the rocks. And I liked that the stole the books, and maybe now she can actually teach herself (with ghost Luke to help her out here and there)
  • A bunch of plots have been brought to a closure, seemingly leaving little to continue with in the next movie; at the same time, I also feel that not enough was done or revealed

OK, I probably have more to say about the above, but I need to go.

One other thing - I didn't like Finn in this movie, his character development was a rinse & repeat of TFA:

  • TFA: starts wanting to get away from the First Order, finds his courage, decides to fight for his friends, and faces down big baddy himself
  • TLJ: starts wanting to run away from the fight, finds his courage, decides to fight for his friends, and even is willing to sacrifice himself, and almost faces the big baddy himself again; the only difference is he did some bigger stuff in this one - I liked his fight with Phasma, though that was helped by Phasma having armor that works, and just having a bit of Vader feel about her

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19 minutes ago, Bastard of Boston said:

Kylo became my favorite Star Wars character, of any trilogy, with this movie. For me, there's no character more nuanced and interesting in the mythos.

Can you explain his motivations for everything that comes after the throne room fight? I was really digging him up until that point,  but his motives seems to be "my parents abandoned me,  so everyone must die". 

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9 minutes ago, Relic said:

Can you explain his motivations for everything that comes after the throne room fight? I was really digging him up until that point,  but his motives seems to be "my parents abandoned me,  so everyone must die". 

His motivation for wanting to rule? On a surface level, Snoke used him as a pawn. Snoke thought of Kylo as a disappointment, only useful via the exploitation of his weakness. I thought Kylo receiving confirmation of this only reinforced his inferiority complex and need to prove his strength via a coup.

If he's leading the First Order, why wouldn't he want to destroy the rebels? Especially a faction led by a mother who sent him away to train with an uncle who tried to kill him. Han and Leia were poor parents to Kylo -- they admitted as much, if I remember correctly. Who knows, maybe because they feared him? Luke also came to fear him as well. Snoke, the one person who didn't fear him, stoked the flames of an inferiority complex. For me, Kylo is a monster created by his own family. Rey had it right. They all failed him.

Of course, accepting personal responsibility is a thing, too. Not completely trying to absolve him, here. I find him to be very compelling. 

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didn't he just say the war was just beginning, yet he's checked out for no apparent reason.

 

My take was that Force-projecting himself across thousands of light-years, having that conversation with Leia, leaving the Force-dice with her, confronting Kylo etc was way beyond a Jedi's normal skill level and basically burned him out to the point of death, so he had no choice in the matter.

10 hours ago, Corvinus said:

I just got back and I feel overwhelmed, and filled with mixed feelings. I really wanted to love this movie, and maybe on repeated viewings, my opinion will improve (or not). 

I've heard it said that this is great for the SW fans, but less for the casuals, and I disagree with that statement. This movie is filled with great moments, but the overall plot and some of the character development was off.

It may be that what bugs me the most is that all expectations were subverted, all predictions became irrelevant, so maybe if I can get past that, I'll appreciate the movie more. I'm glad it was not ESB 2.0, but I don't think it was quite at that level either.

I'm too tired now to list all that I liked and disliked, that's for tomorrow.

Yeah, it's the exact opposite problem. Casuals will probably be fine about the massive plot holes, retcons and inconsistencies, but more established fans are not going to give them a free pass on those things (especially not after extending the benefit of the doubt on TFA and after eliminating the EU because what might replace it might be better and, so far, it's been catastrophically inferior).

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Ha, any one think the part with the books was a "the EU is dead!" Moment?

 

No, not really because the books survived. Rey stole them and stashed them in the Falcon. Which is another failing of the movie, they really didn't make this clear.

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There were so many cringeworthy moments in this movie but I happily ignored them all and enjoyed the fun.  If I actually analyzed this like an episode of MadMen, it would ruin the movie.  They were never built to withstand any sceptical scrutiny. 

 

I don't think, "Star Wars is so dumb, why are you even bothering to analyse it? derp derp" is any kind of logical defence of a film. We expect iffy physics from Star Wars (a space worm living on an asteroid, anyone?), big explosions and sound in space (and those are actually SF conceits overall, not just Star Wars). What I do expect is logical consistency with the rules established in prior films and TV shows especially when you have a team of a dozen people dedicated to doing exactly that. I can only imagine Pablo Hidalgo reading the scripts, going into the story meetings with a list of why the stuff they're planning doesn't make sense and after he leaves his notes are scrunched up, thrown into the corner of the room and completely ignored.

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Also if ghost yoda can throw magic misiles around and he's been dead for 30 years I imagine we'll see more Luke in 9.

 

Maybe, but I think he was able to do that because he was a Force ghost channelling the lightning into the Force tree. He's also not killing anyone. I don't think Force ghosts can affect the real world all that much. I think you can only become a Force ghost by achieving total oneness with the Light side of the Force and vapourising people with lightning from the beyond doesn't seem consistent with that.

Of course, I've always had a problem with this "only good Force users have an afterlife" thing. It'd be interesting if the Dark Side had its equivalent - Force Hell - and maybe before the final battle Kylo Ren is offered advice by Snoke, Palpatine and Darth Bane.

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Here’s a more measured list of likes and dislikes from the movie, some of which appear in both sections:

LIKES:

- visually amazing.  They even bent the plot to create more opportunities to be visually amazing (e.g. the red salt plumes are tactically stupid but visually fantastic)

- confounds expectations.  Parentage, Snoke’s backstory and importance, Ren’s turning (as a kid and and not turning now), Luke’s error with Ben, cowboy tactics aren’t always rewarded or praised, deflates the self-importance of the Jedi order.  

- humor, unexpectedly included here and there to break tension and humanize characters and their situation.  Not clownish or forced, thankfully.

- not a remake of ESB, despite a lot of homage sequences, evading the trap of TFA.  Even uses the homages to help confound expectations.

- not over-stuffed with freakish-for-sake-of -freakish side characters that leave the movie feeling full of puppets and CGI. 

- great performances by Ren, Rey, Luke and Leia.  Driver and Ridley especially grew as nuanced actors (or their roles did). 

- elemental Manichean struggle.  Even if it feels simple and heavy handed, the use of light vs dark in how scenes were shot was more prominent than in any prior film. 

- the story felt intimate.  A galactic struggle is too sprawling but I can watch it play out on a select subset as my window into the story. 

- motivation: it tried to introduce individual agency (REN especially) and motivation beyond simply being good or evil at root.  And was tantalizing close to showing that smug, self-righteous “good” creates rebellious, non-conformist evil, while malicious and destructive evil creates just and righteous good.  Also came tantalizing close to the idea that both sides are just puppets in a perma-war, benefiting the military industrial complex and weighing on the economy.

- Rose was a great character addition, humanizing the story and the struggle compared to the crusading zeal of the other characters.

- This story represents a feminist revolution and largely does it without seeming to have tried too hard or that the whole plot is in service to that goal (Holdo excepted)

- combat choreography — only time other than Darth Maul (or a ridiculously manic Yoda) where we see some discernible combat skill from lifetime users of melee weapons.

- new surprises/reveals in force use.

DISLIKES:

- So. Many. Plotholes. And blatant inconsistency.  And plot-required stupidity.

- Patronizingly lecturing the audience with the casino detour and Holdo.  The plot was contorted horribly so we could get our heavy-handed lecture.  Good, now we’re all woke. 

- Yoda.  One one hand he had some great lines, on the other hand his high pitched voice, giggling, and contorted speech pattern and another gaping plot hole all jarred me out of my otherwise generous suspension of disbelief.  It felt like gratuitous fan service and a crutch to resolve Luke’s arc when he had no-one left for expository dialogue. 

- Finn.  Charismatic and fun, offering a lighthearted C plot, but what a pointless and convoluted arc, both plot and character.  Could have been much better used. 

- Inconsistency of newly revealed force use and newly discovered tactics. 

- Incompetence of Hux and Phasma.  How did those morons end up terrorizing a knitting club, never mind a galaxy?

- Despite the corresponding positive, it felt too small and too humanoid.  As much as I hate the re-released Cantina and Jabba’s palace scenes, where was the sense of a vast and varied galaxy?

Edited by Iskaral Pust

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Everybody should find an old copy of the lando calrissian adventures and read them if possible.  Just to experience how trippy and sureal the stories get.  Eventually Star Wars films are going to become as common place and ordinary as Marvel films.  You can't bemoan that and also complain about a drop in quality. 

And to be fair its not as if the original trilogy was immune to stuff that could irrationally annoy you and I'm not even talking about the Ewoks.  I hadn't watched New Hope in years.  The older I get the more I sympathize with Uncle Owen.  Honestly forgot what a whiny brat Luke was in the original.   No shithead you can go get those power converts when you finish your chores. 

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Random opinion:  I hope Rian Johnson's spin-off trilogy is Old Republic related.  I think much of the angst not having to do with world-building failures and plot holes in the film has to do with the film's tone.  All the other Star Wars, including RotS, were ultimately very up-beat.  Johnson's take is hardly downbeat or cynical, it's just plain.. uh 'beat'.  And that would fit wonderfully with a KoTOR adaption.

That said, I'm not sure Rian Johnson even knows KoTOR or the Old Republic exist as a setting based on what I saw in the movie.  One credit to Lucas is that he was very familiar with the world-building, even those that others had created.  Palpatine has that relief-mural depicting the battle between the Sith and the Jedi on the wall, the one just prior to Darth Bane killing all the other Sith.

Edited by Ajûrbkli

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Random opinion:  I hope Rian Johnson's spin-off trilogy is Old Republic related

I did as well, but he's already confirmed that it's not KOTOR based.  Sucks.

Ep 4 was the first film i remember seeing with my father, just glimpses of memory, but I vividly remember going to see Ep5/TESB with 2 uncles, and I also remember that it wasn't all that well received at first as well.  Time will tell on this one I guess.

Edited by SerHaHa

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This was a strange film. I liked it overall, I think, and definitely feel it took some more risky choices than TFA. Those choices didn’t bother me, but i’ll have to think some more about the whole plot to decide my full opinion. There were definitely parts that didn’t work or were poorly written/contrived but for the most part I enjoyed it. And certainly, it completely blew my expectations of what would happen

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6 hours ago, Werthead said:

 

Yeah, it's the exact opposite problem. Casuals will probably be fine about the massive plot holes, retcons and inconsistencies, but more established fans are not going to give them a free pass on those things (especially not after extending the benefit of the doubt on TFA and after eliminating the EU because what might replace it might be better and, so far, it's been catastrophically inferior).

 

I disagree with this statement as much as it is humanly possible to disagree with something. *checks strongly disagree on survey).

Our opinions differ, honestly, but with a few exceptions I've hated almost every Old EU Storyline/book from 2000 on.

 

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7 hours ago, Werthead said:

Maybe, but I think he was able to do that because he was a Force ghost channelling the lightning into the Force tree. He's also not killing anyone. I don't think Force ghosts can affect the real world all that much. I think you can only become a Force ghost by achieving total oneness with the Light side of the Force and vapourising people with lightning from the beyond doesn't seem consistent with that.

Of course, I've always had a problem with this "only good Force users have an afterlife" thing. It'd be interesting if the Dark Side had its equivalent - Force Hell - and maybe before the final battle Kylo Ren is offered advice by Snoke, Palpatine and Darth Bane.

Yeah you're probably right, I wrote that way early in the morning. I feel like the Old EU had evil force ghosts at one point but I think that was only in KJA trilogy and they dropped it later?

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1 hour ago, Pony Queen Jace said:

I liked Benicio Del Toro. His character's involvement in the plot was mostly idiotic and heavy handed, but he seemed like a fun guy.

Yeah, his part in things wasn't well handled story-wise, but Star Wars stories are always much more fun when there's a legit rogue/rapscallion like him around so I enjoyed the brief moments we got with him.

The lack of a Han or a Lando to bring that rapscallion element to the Star Wars party was pretty glaring otherwise. I guess I'd hoped we might find Poe had some of that in him, but he's far too much of a goody good to even be close to the type of rascal Han or Lando were. Not even close to close.

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