Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi

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Except that ...it isn't.
... isn't it?*

Reread. These are issues that one might have in critiquing any similar movie. For me, some of these points are poor writing.
But the majority of them are extremely petty. Even If you were like the rest of the fanbase (loosing your sh*t because you didn't get the Luke Skywalker that 'you wanted')--I don't really see you signing a petition to remove it from official canon because you expected "X" and got "Y."

Even if you must insist on petty mis-characterizations of mostly reasonable disappointments, then so be it. Agree with them or not, this movie is not an island and, by existence, is part of an already established sequence of movies. Each one of which has helped define rules and internal logic in one way or another.

However, finding fault in that development is not necessarily fanaticism of a franchise. It may actually be legit criticism of a movie.
Agree to disagree. I'm not a believer in that.

The Prequels aren't terrible because of what they do to the backstory. (Although, what they do is very ignorant.) I could get over that. I find them bad because of plot inconsistencies, awful direction, bland acting, terrible writing, etc. The works.

And 'Rogue One' (to me) is lackluster because of non-developed characters, hollow action, and a lack of stakes and emotional engagement. In fact, RO has contributed a lot of positive aspects to the Universe. But the film itself, is pretty damn mediocre.

*eagerly awaits gif*
Unfortunately, I have no 'gif' for this post. I suppose this video will do.
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That's so weird. I was still watching one of his videos when I saw this.



Welcome to the human race...
The complaints are always the same and so are my counter-arguments.
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Way too much stupid talk on the forum. Iroquois, Im thinking about you.



I just want to hug (your FACE)!
Except that ...it isn't.
... isn't it?*

Reread. These are issues that one might have in critiquing any similar movie. For me, some of these points are poor writing.
But the majority of them are extremely petty. Even If you were like the rest of the fanbase (loosing your sh*t because you didn't get the Luke Skywalker that 'you wanted')--I don't really see you signing a petition to remove it from official canon because you expected "X" and got "Y."

Even if you must insist on petty mis-characterizations of mostly reasonable disappointments, then so be it. Agree with them or not, this movie is not an island and, by existence, is part of an already established sequence of movies. Each one of which has helped define rules and internal logic in one way or another.

However, finding fault in that development is not necessarily fanaticism of a franchise. It may actually be legit criticism of a movie.
Agree to disagree. I'm not a believer in that.

The Prequels aren't terrible because of what they do to the backstory. (Although, what they do is very ignorant.) I could get over that. I find them bad because of plot inconsistencies, awful direction, bland acting, terrible writing, etc. The works.

And 'Rogue One' (to me) is lackluster because of non-developed characters, hollow action, and a lack of stakes and emotional engagement. In fact, RO has contributed a lot of positive aspects to the Universe. But the film itself, is pretty damn mediocre.

*eagerly awaits gif*
Unfortunately, I have no 'gif' for this post. I suppose this video will do.
Thanks for the reply.
Yeah, *I'm* not doing some of those actions. I would think many others aren't either. Some are. Just because their criticisms overlap doesn't make those criticisms any less valid.

I watched TLJ for the first time last week. I made great effort to avoid spoilers, to avoid this thread, and to avoid any social media that might say anything about the movie. Walking out of the theater I had my own list of disappointments---not just what what was done with a few characters, but what I felt was simply poorly crafted story elements. Some days later I found Angry Joes group video and was shocked at how exactly similar our issues were with the movie. Personally, I find him a bit obnoxious always cutting off his friends, but our opinions of TLJ were spot on.

I'm arguing that while some reactions may be ridiculous, I really don't think the underlying criticisms are.

Watching Luke angrily milk and dribble alien cow juice just threw me off. Why did that have to exist? Could the story work as well without that scene? Or with another option in its place? Absolutely it could.

The opening humor with Hux set a tone for the rest of the movie. It was cute at first and I did laugh, but it also droned on much too long setting Hux up to look like a slapstick bafoon that carried through the rest of the movie with me.

For me, if a writer or director cannot readily see the potential faults in scenes like these and honestly reflect on how this will be perceived by an audience, then that lack of awareness begins to break my faith in their abilities as story tellers.

Once that happens, other issues that I might have been happy to glaze over (5th Element style), become even more glaring to me.

---

Critique, as I've always used it, as I was taught to use it, offers alternative views on a work that may or may not be readily apparent to the artist. Because we're all biased, we generally see things how WE see things and because of that we must make great effort sometimes to see those same things how others might. Honest critique allows that window for view.

Many people appear to have found fault with a similar list of things. I doubt everyone is parroting. Some yes, and some frothing at the mouth. The attitude, as poor as it may be, still doesn't change the argument.

This all nudges me to believe not much consideration was given to how the entire audience may interpret the art. If not, then I must ask, "Why not?" Is this then not art and, instead, a product?

If a product, then how is irrational screaming at customer service a bad thing? That is what we've been taught to do as a society, after all.

If it is art, then it is the responsibility of the artist to be more aware of the story and affects that his part will have on that story and audience interpretation. Then again, as the artist he can absolutely dismiss audience potential expectations and reactions to do whatever the hell he pleases in pure creative right, like the photograph Piss Christ.

Regardless, the artist must still be conscious of the audience and the choices made must be deliberate to be an artist. I believe these choices, the choices made that so many have issue with, were as arbitrary and ill-thought out as choosing what color to make Optimus Prime's hood graphic. Hey! There were MANY stunning scenes, both visually and audibly. Just stunning. I just wish the story had been given as much attention.

That I'm arguing this all over Star Wars is depressing me btw =*(



Welcome to the human race...
On the other hand, sometimes (maybe even all the time) you have to make the effort to be prepared to engage with a film on its own terms rather than dismissing what it's doing simply for not meeting your expectations and worldviews - part of the reason art exists is to challenge perceptions. Take your reaction to the "Luke drinks milk" scene - you ask "why does that have to exist", but you ask in a rhetorical "who thought this was a good idea" sense instead of actively trying to think of a reason why the creators would include it? It's not like it's a random scene - it's not only meant to reflect Luke's simple lifestyle (which is reflected in its placement amid scenes of him catching fish and cooking), but he's also doing it in order to spite Rey and convince her to leave without him (this is reflected in how she's clearly repulsed by this, hence the audience should find it repulsive as well). It reflects a clear intent on the part of the creators so instead of thinking "they don't know how to tell a story", you have to consider the possibility that they really are doing something new with storytelling and adjust your perception accordingly - that's part of how you grow as a film-watcher and develop a more nuanced sense of critique.

Besides, I would say that irrational screaming at customer service over a product that they had no hand is a bad thing because, well, it's irrational. I also don't know exactly how much creators and franchise-runners really owe their audiences - if anything, I question the responsibility of the audiences who take the film to task over criticism that are able to be defended. People already complained non-stop about Force Awakens pandering to audiences yet they also complained when Last Jedi attempted a new direction, so the lesson is that sometimes audiences don't know what the hell they want and as such don't deserve that much consideration when it comes to the development process.



We've gone on holiday by mistake
The complaints are always the same and so are my counter-arguments.
Probably for the best to make posts like this and not continue to make a fool of yourself (just kidding don't bite).

Hasn't been a defense this desperate since fall of Berlin!
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Let's not get into people repeatedly insisting that my arguments are "desperate" or "making excuses" or whatever.



I just want to hug (your FACE)!
I think that is a reasonable prespective on the scene mentioned, but in context of other elements that were off (to me) it is hard for me to give credit overall to the possible intent of the scene. Or other scenes for that matter, in this context.

I agree with your view as a possible design, but there is not much that I personally find that suggests this without speculation on the audience's part. One may speculate this. Another, that. For me, there were more reasons to doubt the intent than to have faith in it.

If a director's cut ever exists that gives more weight then I hope my views change, but for what was presented I don't think there is enough.



I just want to hug (your FACE)!
Short reply. Sorry. *I'd like to respond with more later in the day. The sequence as a sequence does as you describe. The specific scene felt out of place. I understood its purpose but still felt the contrast was too high relative to the other tasks he had demonstrated. As a result, I was removed from the intent of the scene to instead focus on an awkward moment of special effects use.

My question on customer service was a bit sarcastic really, but I get what you are saying and agree. But this is the culture we've created for ourselves.



Registered User
I'm trying to avoid posting on this thread because I have a hard time talking about this movie without cussing, but I think I see where the disconnect is between those who liked this movie and those who are right (jk).

It's like what happened with Superman breaking Zod's neck on Man of Steel, if you rewatch it, you notice that the problem isn't the neck snapping or the destruction in that scene but the awkward tonal shifts that happen before and after that scene. It's not an issue of fetishizing the past like it's usually framed ("You're just mad because he isn't your Superman"), but one of storytelling.

Similarly, this broken old man that left his best friends and sister to die in a war for years while he sulked on an Island is not my view of Luke Skywalker, however, I would've accepted it had it been presented to me in a better-told story. One without awkward slapstick comedy and two nonsensical subplots that got in the way of this story being further developed.

Beyond that, we mostly see Luke from Rey's perspective, leaving a very unlikable version of Luke, who is in sharp contrast to the one we saw in Return of the Jedi, or the one that Han Solo talked about in TFA. Some more time dedicated to deepening his character or have him form a rapport with Rey like Yoda and Obi Wan did with him, instead of him just acting like Rey's drunken step-dad would've done wonders.

it wouldn't have saved this movie because that ridiculous "Romance" between Finn and the cardboard cut out and Poe's mutiny would've still dragged the movie down.

And I can't stress this enough, even if this hadn't been a Star Wars movie and I had 0 prior knowledge of who these characters are, I still would've hated this movie. Star Wars has to be a good movie first, an expansion of the canon second and this fails at the former and takes a dump on the latter.



urkillinmesmalls's Avatar
If I had a steak, I would f**k it!
From a list on tasteofcinema.com. Hey, if the haters can pass off nameless Internet reviews as definitive, then I will too.

"Disney buying up the Star Wars franchise in that massive LucasFilms buyout pretty much guaranteed that Star Wars would be in our lives for the rest of our days. After a limited amount of output in the previous 30 some odd years that took a real quality control hit in the more recent output that also doubled as a severe poisoning of fandom, it couldn’t be anything but a big step up from those prequels. And really, they have been the best case scenarios thus far (if you aren’t a nitpicking scrooge that is).

“The Force Awakens” was the best case scenario for nostalgia based filmmaking, using the cyclical nature of the series and our own world to bring back past glories while also twisting them in new ways to set a new path forward.

“Rogue One” was a step backwards to imbue the present, as it is a feature length look at how a rebellion is started. It also was the first movie to really put the war into Star Wars, featuring the most breakneck and thrilling action in all of the series. The weight of human loss in this spectacle-filled finale was a new feeling for the series, as it has always lacked that sense as the narrative has always been so laser focused on the Skywalker saga.

Now, Rian Johnson came in as the first writer/director in the saga since Lucas to helm the next chapter that would really signify what the series really was now that the introduction was over. And holy crap, did he nail it. He took the elements of “The Force Awakens” and “Rogue One” that we had previously mentioned and brought forth its whole new elements. It’s the freshest entry in the series since “The Empire Strikes Back,” and it’s arguably as good or better than that one.

For a series all about the weight of the past and how the past imbues the present, there has never been this one element involved. Move away from the past. Learn from those mistakes but stop living in them. It’s a massive philosophical statement for the viewers, as we are currently inundated in our own First Order nonsense. But it’s also a statement for the series itself. The past will always be with us.

The original trilogy will always be there. But there’s a reason the prequel trilogy didn’t (amongst too many others to count). They were too busy being love letters to itself that they couldn’t be anything fresh. Johnson is saying that Star Wars needs to move forward to stay fresh.

And really, in a cinematic world that is so in love with remakes and redos and adaptations and redos of adaptations, that’s a pretty bold statement to make. And it may be way some of the most pathetic fanboys have revolted against the movie. Saying their youth isn’t so important that we need to keep circling the same ol’ beats again and again to make them feel good. Now, the movie is smart as a whip in its examination of the past and how failure is a tough but vital lesson. But most importantly, it’s a rollicking good time and just thrilling as all hell.

The filmmaking on display is stunning. The action is great and once again manages to really highlight the weight of war. The twists and turns are wonderful. It doesn’t bog itself down in the fan theories that the online pissants decided were important. It’s so rich and perfectly calibrated that it really couldn’t be anything else but this. For lifelong fans of the series, there are so many moments that will give you goosebumps and choke you up. So much iconic imagery and moments that it will make your head spin. It is just perfection."



Welcome to the human race...
I think that is a reasonable prespective on the scene mentioned, but in context of other elements that were off (to me) it is hard for me to give credit overall to the possible intent of the scene. Or other scenes for that matter, in this context.

I agree with your view as a possible design, but there is not much that I personally find that suggests this without speculation on the audience's part. One may speculate this. Another, that. For me, there were more reasons to doubt the intent than to have faith in it.

If a director's cut ever exists that gives more weight then I hope my views change, but for what was presented I don't think there is enough.
Like I said, it's about making the effort to meet the film halfway instead of expecting everything to make immediate sense in the moment (whereas to head too far in the opposite direction would draw complaints about how the film spoon-feeds audiences and insults their intelligence). That's why I brought up Blade Runner in this thread - what makes it great is the way in which it defies expectations and how its superficial plot problems (the legendary robot-killer actually sucks at killing robots!) play into its greater themes and approach to storytelling that can only really be appreciated with introspection. What reasons did you have to doubt the intent of the scene anyway that weren't already covered by what I said?

Short reply. Sorry. *I'd like to respond with more later in the day. The sequence as a sequence does as you describe. The specific scene felt out of place. I understood its purpose but still felt the contrast was too high relative to the other tasks he had demonstrated. As a result, I was removed from the intent of the scene to instead focus on an awkward moment of special effects use.

My question on customer service was a bit sarcastic really, but I get what you are saying and agree. But this is the culture we've created for ourselves.
Another possible angle is that, without the milk scene, Luke's routine seems too pleasant. People already assume that he's being selfish for disappearing and living a life of quiet and solitude while others are fighting the war, so the idea of Luke doing something as unpleasant as drinking raw alien milk for the rest of his life is supposed to defy that idea and give credence to the idea that he really is punishing himself as he waits to die.

It's like what happened with Superman breaking Zod's neck on Man of Steel, if you rewatch it, you notice that the problem isn't the neck snapping or the destruction in that scene but the awkward tonal shifts that happen before and after that scene. It's not an issue of fetishizing the past like it's usually framed ("You're just mad because he isn't your Superman"), but one of storytelling.
No, the neck-snapping and the destruction by themselves are also part of the problem. Unlike The Last Jedi continuing the Star Wars story in a direction that makes sense, Man of Steel reinvents Superman from the ground up in a way that is fundamentally at odds with the character as a whole.

Similarly, this broken old man that left his best friends and sister to die in a war for years while he sulked on an Island is not my view of Luke Skywalker, however, I would've accepted it had it been presented to me in a better-told story. One without awkward slapstick comedy and two nonsensical subplots that got in the way of this story being further developed.

Beyond that, we mostly see Luke from Rey's perspective, leaving a very unlikable version of Luke, who is in sharp contrast to the one we saw in Return of the Jedi, or the one that Han Solo talked about in TFA. Some more time dedicated to deepening his character or have him form a rapport with Rey like Yoda and Obi Wan did with him, instead of him just acting like Rey's drunken step-dad would've done wonders.
That's. The. Point. Rey's grown up on this desert planet only ever hearing about Rebel heroes like Han and Luke as living legends, so it makes sense that there'd be a gap between the myth and the man. This is also true of Han, who has lost the Falcon and has gone back to being a low-level smuggler following Ben Solo's turn to the dark side, but that's not so surprising so nobody complained about it. I don't know why we needed Rey and Luke to develop a rapport other than that it would potentially give us a glimpse of the old Luke that we know and love from the OT, but that would feel like cheating (and it's not like we don't get that in Luke's final scenes anyway). Having him be exactly the same as he was in the OT wouldn't deepen the character at all - I'd contend that he's still deepened in The Last Jedi in a way that certain fans ultimately hated because it "betrayed the character" or whatever.. Besides, Yoda didn't have much "rapport" with Luke in the first place ("he has no patience", "that is why you fail", etc.) and, like Rey, Luke bails before his training is complete anyway.

it wouldn't have saved this movie because that ridiculous "Romance" between Finn and the cardboard cut out and Poe's mutiny would've still dragged the movie down.
It's ridiculous to think of a single unrequited kiss as constituting a serious romance. Might as well complain about how pointless the Luke/Leia "romance" in Empire was. At least Poe's mutiny serves a purpose in its purposelessness.

And I can't stress this enough, even if this hadn't been a Star Wars movie and I had 0 prior knowledge of who these characters are, I still would've hated this movie. Star Wars has to be a good movie first, an expansion of the canon second and this fails at the former and takes a dump on the latter.
No kidding, there's no way you can judge this movie separately from the canon so why even think about "what if it wasn't Star Wars"?



In the Beginning...
I'm not interested in wading too deep into this quagmire of a discussion, but I do feel the need to address some of the criticism that's been posted about those who weren't happy with The Last Jedi.

Originally Posted by Cynema De Bergerac
...your entire review above seems like all the rather surface-level complaints I've been hearing from fans. Almost all of them stem from "I WANTED THIS TO BE LIKE THE STAR WARS I KNOW AND LOVE! AND IT WASN'T! EVERYTHING I WANTED TO HAPPEN, DIDN'T EVEN HAPPEN AND THEY TOOK IT IN A DIFFERENT DIRECTION! 4/10!"--instead of figuring out when someone is trying to do something NEW while breathing much-needed fresh air into the franchise.
...sometimes (maybe even all the time) you have to make the effort to be prepared to engage with a film on its own terms rather than dismissing what it's doing simply for not meeting your expectations and worldviews.... so instead of thinking "they don't know how to tell a story", you have to consider the possibility that they really are doing something new with storytelling and adjust your perception accordingly
There are a couple of significant assumptions being made in these two statements.

  1. I didn't like the film because it's not what I wanted.
  2. I didn't like the film because I was unwilling to accept a new direction.

Both of those assumptions are both unfair and untrue.

I didn't go into The Last Jedi (or The Force Awakens, for that matter) with any preconceived desire to see anything other than a new Star Wars film. I spent the months leading up to both films actively avoiding trailers, articles, interviews, or anything else that might give away details about the plot. I did this because I wanted to go in with a clear mind and an open heart. (Not to mention, adventure cinema is a whole lot more fun when you have absolutely no idea what to expect.)

So, in a very real sense, I got what I wanted. I also got to see some of my favorite characters onscreen again. Regardless of the treatment or the fate of those characters, it's been incredibly fun to revisit them again.

I also fully expected and welcomed a different direction for this new trilogy. There is absolutely no way the original trilogy and this sequel trilogy, with 30+ years of film evolution between them, were ever going to feel cut from the same cloth. If anything, I'm surprised and delighted that The Force Awakens, by and large, manages to recapture the spirit of the original trilogy. I can imagine that was no easy thing to accomplish.

Nevertheless, I'm not pleased with how these films, on the whole, have turned out. But consider: my feelings about this sequel trilogy have less to do with my love for Star Wars, and much more to do with the fact that I write for a living. I understand how things like character, plot, conflict, and resolution are supposed to fit together. Writing is as much a science as it is an art. Rules are made to be bent, yes, but not broken; and maintaining an underlying structure of logic is absolutely essential. Without it, you run the risk of losing the audience. We can only suspend our disbelief so far.

The best example I can offer is how the film characterizes Luke Skywalker. As I've said, I don't believe the Luke Skywalker we met in the original trilogy would have ever become the Luke Skywalker we meet in The Last Jedi. That's not sour grapes; that's a reaction to a break in the underlying logic of the story. I understand why Rian Johnson wanted to take Luke's character in a different direction: it better served the story he wanted to tell. That's not an inherently bad thing... but go too far and it takes me out of the story. I don't like that. I don't want to see the man behind the curtain.

In fact, let me say it as plainly as I can: I hate when stories don't make sense. I hate it when one beat doesn't follow logically from the one before it. That doesn't mean I'm averse to sandbox creativity. By all means, go crazy. But if you want human beings to find purchase in your world, you have to stick to the rules you set for it. Or, if you intend to bend those rules, you better know what the hell you're doing.

I'm glad Rian Johnson tried something new. Like I said, I absolutely do not begrudge any storyteller from doing so. But he should have recognized that his new approach wasn't a good one. Obviously we can get into a discussion about the subjective nature of the word "good," but that misses the point. What I'm talking about is good writing, plain and simple. Good writing sings; bad writing sticks out like a bloody zit. I can't overstate this enough. It's like "good piano playing" or "good architectural design." There's ample room for improvisation, but it must be done with respect to the foundational system of rules lying beneath. And that requires an exceptional talent: someone who understands where to bend and how much.

With The Last Jedi, I believe Rian Johnson simply bent too much. He played the wrong notes in too many scenes. And that's why I dislike the film.



I'm not pleased with how these films, on the whole, have turned out. But consider: my feelings about this sequel trilogy have less to do with my love for Star Wars, and much more to do with the fact that I write for a living. I understand how things like character, plot, conflict, and resolution are supposed to fit together. Writing is as much a science as it is an art. Rules are made to be bent, yes, but not broken; and maintaining an underlying structure of logic is absolutely essential. Without it, you run the risk of losing the audience. We can only suspend our disbelief so far.
First off, just because you write for a living: doesn't mean you know everything about what makes or brakes certain aspects of a film. Sure, sometimes the 'basics', guidelines, and ground-rules are set when writing a story. (As they should be.) However, a good portion of all-time favorites have essentially broken (what is considered) the stories plot and character logic; urinated and spat on them, before throwing it out the window for something entirely audacious. I know 'Star Wars' (what is considered a Modern-Day Flash Gordon-esc Swashbuckler) can't bend or (in your words) "break" the rules too much. But as long as you don't have Leia turn out to be Snoke, I don't think anything is quote-on-quote "broken" within these newer films. And again, being a writer for a living doesn't give you a better understanding over others. Everyone can have their own interpretation, and response to the storytelling at hand.

The best example I can offer is how the film characterizes Luke Skywalker. As I've said, I don't believe the Luke Skywalker we met in the original trilogy would have ever become the Luke Skywalker we meet in The Last Jedi. That's not sour grapes; that's a reaction to a break in the underlying logic of the story.
that's a reaction to a break in the underlying logic of the story.
What? Like everything that happened in the 30-or-so years between Episodes 6 and 7 is irrelevant, and didn't have any impact on him as a person? It would've been "a break in the underlying logic of the story", If My Luke Theory came true. False expectations are off the charts here. Those are sour grapes, If you ask me.

I understand why Rian Johnson wanted to take Luke's character in a different direction: it better served the story he wanted to tell. That's not an inherently bad thing... but go too far and it takes me out of the story. I don't like that. I don't want to see the man behind the curtain.
You just proved my point with that last sentence. I'm sorry Luke wasn't the brave and noble Jedi Knight on-par with Yoda that you expected him to be. I'm so sorry that Rian Johnson wanted to strip the character and expose his humanity. In fact, If you think about it, his character has always been this way. Sure, he did mature overtime and developed a better understanding of the 'bigger picture' by the time he finally confronted Vader as the man's son. But after what happened with Kylo Ren, do you really think he'll just revert back to that, or stay the same? When you think about it, everything else was pretty consistent within the rules his character.


In fact, let me say it as plainly as I can: I hate when stories don't make sense. I hate it when one beat doesn't follow logically from the one before it. That doesn't mean I'm averse to sandbox creativity. By all means, go crazy. But if you want human beings to find purchase in your world, you have to stick to the rules you set for it. Or, if you intend to bend those rules, you better know what the hell you're doing.

I'm glad Rian Johnson tried something new. Like I said, I absolutely do not begrudge any storyteller from doing so. But he should have recognized that his new approach wasn't a good one. Obviously we can get into a discussion about the subjective nature of the word "good," but that misses the point. What I'm talking about is good writing, plain and simple. Good writing sings; bad writing sticks out like a bloody zit. I can't overstate this enough. It's like "good piano playing" or "good architectural design." There's ample room for improvisation, but it must be done with respect to the foundational system of rules lying beneath. And that requires an exceptional talent: someone who understands where to bend and how much.
Like Rian Johnson doesn't know what he's doing? Or is it that he doesn't play by some set of rules, that some random writer think he should play by? As I've mentioned before, this is all your interpretation. Some things were bent immensely, but nothing was "broken." You could say they were, but that doesn't make it truth because of 'some set' (proclaimed by you) of "limitations" you (once again) claim to be oh-so-vital.



In the Beginning...
And just to put a little more meat on the bones, here are some brief explanations for my other stated issues with the film:

Slow-speed spaceship chases
This just seemed ridiculous. All that open space, all that technology, and the First Order is content to simply lumber along behind the Resistance fleet in a straight line until it "ran out of gas"? I get why someone might think that scenario would offer some drama, but compared to the typical action you find in a Star Wars film it just felt weak and uninteresting by comparison.

Roasted porgs
This is admittedly a small gripe, but it does illustrate the kind of breaks in logic that I'm talking about. It seems like the director went to great lengths to make sure we understood that the porgs were fairly vapid creatures. They're often seen flying around aimlessly, tearing up furniture, or pecking naively at dangerous Jedi weapons. And then one porg seems to be aware that Chewbacca is about to eat one of his own, and is clearly upset by that fact. I get it: it was a funny scene meant to draw a laugh. But it was a logical breakdown for me. It reminded me of the many poignant scenes with the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi, such as when one Ewok became sullen upon realizing that his friend had fallen. That scene worked because the film did the work of characterizing the Ewoks accordingly; the porg scene, conversely, just feels cheap and nonsensical.

General Hux (I still don't like this guy)
This character is unnecessary. He seems to exemplify this trilogy's attempt to inject a Grand Moff Tarkin-esque character into the story. But whereas Tarkin was shrewd and calculating, Hux just seems like a buffoon. Maybe that's the point, but it's not clear at all. I can never figure out if we're supposed to fear him or laugh at him. And as talented as Domhnall Gleeson is, he's overacting in this role.

Unoriginal and unexplained plot holes (i.e. tracking through lightspeed)
This is absolutely a plot hole, in the sense that information critical to this plot development is missing, leaving us to wonder why in the world it was ever included. I have my suspicions: Rian Johnson couldn't figure out a way to circumvent the established technology (i.e. lightspeed) in order to bring his heroes and villains into sustained conflict, so he just made up something. Now J.J. Abrams has to sleep in the bed Johnson has made. Although, maybe the intent is to make it a one-time thing like the planet killer in The Force Awakens, since the First Order's lead ship was destroyed. A little too convenient, no?

Leia's Mary Poppins superpower moment
Another ridiculous scene. Nevermind what would actually happen to a living person that was exposed to a concussive, fiery explosion followed by the cold vacuum of space. The scene itself, while probably designed to feel heroic, actually comes off as cheesy and laughable. And it noodles too much with how previous films have established the functional nature of the Force. I have to think there were more elegant (and more plausible) ways to reveal Leia as Force-sensitive.

The film's (and this new trilogy's) poor characterization of C-3PO
In the original films, C-3PO was at times fearful, grouchy, or confused. But he was also a valuable supporting member of the Rebellion and was often seen taking an active role in its operation. He was also capable of being quite shrewd, misdirecting enemies or providing aid to his friends.

In this trilogy, C-3PO has been reduced to nothing more than a bumbling oaf. I've heard others justify this approach by saying, "Well, maybe he's just an old model and out of his league." But I don't buy it. What's more likely is the filmmakers took C-3PO at face value and simply threw him in for comic relief, believing that was his primary (and sole) purpose in the story.

The inclusion of Rose
I'm not yet able to really articulate why this character bothers me. Right now, I can only say she feels weak, underdeveloped, and out of place. Her role could have easily been replaced with Poe, who is stagnant for most of the film.

The entire Canto Bight subplot
Narratively, this entire subplot is inconsequential. If anything, Finn and Rose are responsible for the deaths of the majority of the Resistance's remaining members during their escape. I hope the next film deals with the inevitable emotional shrapnel that should result from that fact.

Beyond that, Canto Bight itself was a poorly designed eyesore. Whereas the original trilogy was adept at balancing the alien and the familiar, Canto Bight feels far too derivative. Take away the weird CGI aliens and you're left with, essentially, an ordinary casino. It also feels too much like a Star Wars pastiche: it's trying to replicate the feel of the Mos Eisley Cantina from A New Hope, but in doing so, it just ends up making a mockery of it.

The abrupt death of Supreme Leader Snoke
I talked about this in a previous post, but the crux of the problem is this: they just killed off Voldemort without ever explaining where he came from or why he was important, and then unceremoniously replaced him with Draco Malfoy. I'm being glib, obviously, but this decision just smacks of clunky, disjointed storytelling. It's an impulsive plot twist of the worst kind: it confuses and frustrates rather than titillates.

The second abrupt death of Captain Phasma
We're supposed to fear the First Order. So why did Rian Johnson choose to kill off its two most imposing villains (Snoke and Phasma) and promote its two most childlike (Kylo Ren and Hux)? I'm not saying Phasma was an integral character or anything, but she was clearly a strong asset with an opportunity to become an iconic supporting villain. Now that she's been dispatched twice (rather easily), she'll remain a middling memory and any future return will just seem laughable.

The absence of any explanation for Snoke and/or the Knights of Ren
This speaks for itself. One film sets these up as major, intriguing plot points. The next film ignores them completely. What?!

Luke's death
I'm not opposed to the idea of Luke meeting his end. But I feel like Mark Hamill was clearly the film's best asset, and he delivered the strongest performance of the three main original cast members. He was also the one most closely connected to the main plot. It doesn't seem good sense to dispatch him in this film. I imagine he'll appear as a ghost in the next film, but it won't be the same.

The awkward establishment of Kylo Ren as the main villain
After The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren had the potential to become a truly formidable villain. He was brutal, iron-willed, and fiercely intelligent. His emotional state only added to his volatility. In this film, however, it feels like Kylo Ren has regressed. He's more of an impetuous boy now than a capable leader. He's unstable and confused and consumed with self-doubt. He seems doomed to lose. Honestly, I hope the next film finds a way to avoid the trajectory that this film sets up, but it's going to take an awful lot to turn Kylo Ren around now.

The underwhelming "spark of the Rebellion" finale
What was clearly intended to feel like an uplifting exaltation of hope falls embarrassingly flat. A big part of that is the sheer disparity of the First Order and the Rebellion at the end of The Last Jedi. These people just lost hundreds of friends and colleagues, and the First Order can still, conceivably, track them through hyperspace. Luke Skywalker is dead and Rey is no closer to being a Jedi than when she started. it seems a bit unrealistic for any of them to feel a sense of hope about what's to come.

The absence of Lando Calrissian
His absence could be quickly and easily explained in so many different ways. He died in a battle with the First Order. He went into politics and perished with the rest of the Republic. He retired to some far-off world and has since been unable to aid the Resistance due to the the reach of the First Order. Instead, these films have given us nothing. The more his absence goes unexplained, the more it's going to stick out as a deliberate oversight.



🐉Double🐉🐉Denim🐉 🐉🐉🐉Dragon🐉🐉🐉
I haven't read any of this thread post-release, but what would you guys rate this. Go or NoGo ? I'm a big OG Star Wars fan, with a mild reception for the newer films.

I thought the milkdebeast had to be a meme, but apparently it's real???




In the Beginning...
being a writer for a living doesn't give you a better understanding over others. Everyone can have their own interpretation, and response to the storytelling at hand.
Actually, it does. Writing is a craft. I'm not saying viewers can't have differing interpretations. I'm not even saying viewers can't enjoy the film. I'm glad you liked it. I'm just saying that from the perspective of craft, The Last Jedi is not a well-written film.

What? Like everything that happened in the 30-or-so years between Episodes 6 and 7 is irrelevant, and didn't have any impact on him as a person?
Another assumption. Obviously, those years are relevant. I never said they were not. However, the films thus far have given us too little to conclude that Luke would have acted as he did. Sure, he tried to train Ben Solo and believes he failed. What does that decision have to do with letting the First Order run roughshod over the galaxy?

I'm sorry Luke wasn't the brave and noble Jedi Knight on-par with Yoda that you expected him to be.
Yet another assumption. I never said I expected him to be a "brave and noble Jedi knight." But I do expect him to be Luke Skywalker, and Luke Skywalker was never a quitter.

Like Rian Johnson doesn't know what he's doing? Or is it that he doesn't play by some set of rules, that some random writer think he should play by? As I've mentioned before, this is all your interpretation. Some things were bent immensely, but nothing was "broken." You could say they were, but that doesn't make it truth because of 'some set' (proclaimed by you) of "limitations" you (once again) claim to be oh-so-vital.
Dude, I'm not trying to come over top here and say "I'm right and you're wrong." I'm just speaking to why I didn't like the film. You were the one who just assumed I was a butthurt fanboy; I felt compelled to correct the narrative. Like I said, feel free to think The Last Jedi is a fantastic, well-written piece of cinema. I honestly don't care.



Welcome to the human race...
There are a couple of significant assumptions being made in these two statements.

  1. I didn't like the film because it's not what I wanted.
  2. I didn't like the film because I was unwilling to accept a new direction.

Both of those assumptions are both unfair and untrue.
You assumed I was talking about you.



Unoriginal and unexplained plot holes (i.e. tracking through lightspeed)
This is absolutely a plot hole, in the sense that information critical to this plot development is missing, leaving us to wonder why in the world it was ever included.
Was it a plot hole when Yoda says "no, there is another" and we don't find out who it is until the next film?

If everything has to be self-contained, then there's no point in it being a trilogy and there's no way to carry any mystery from one film to the next.
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