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Old 04-14-2017, 01:06 PM   #1
Talon87
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Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi


The first trailer for The Last Jedi was unveiled today. Click here to check it out!
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Old 04-14-2017, 02:38 PM   #2
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If the Bendu doesn't appear, I'll be sad...
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Old 04-14-2017, 04:07 PM   #3
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My takeaway:

Spoiler: show
To end the Sith, the only option is to end the Jedi. This is the conclusion Luke has reached after learning about the history of both sides. If you want to get rid of the Dark Side, then you must get rid of the Light Side. All that can remain is 'Balanced'.

Luke most likely turned briefly to the Dark Side and isolated himself because of it, has been seeking balance since Kylo Ren slaughtered his pupils.


Also god damn that music... that music...
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Old 04-14-2017, 06:58 PM   #4
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I won't (can't) accept that explanation. It makes Star Wars even more kiddie than in the Lucas era films.
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Old 04-14-2017, 07:51 PM   #5
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I believe that line is more towards the beginning of the film since he wouldn't train her if that point is to be taken seriously
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:04 PM   #6
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It looks fun to me. Though with the "compassion for her" line makes me want to bring up that I do hope if Ren does get a redemption arc it isn't intertwined with a romance with Rey. although thinking about it seems like:
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Han and Leia were Rey's parents making them brother and sister

At least to me at the moment.
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Old 04-15-2017, 02:33 PM   #7
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My own thoughts, both on the trailer and on Last Jedi possibilities in general:

Spoiler: show
Return of the Jedi's dialogue gives us a Luke Skywalker who is Jedi and proud of it. "Then I am a Jedi ..." "The last of the Jedi will you be." "I am a Jedi ... like my father before me." From Palpatine the Sith Lord to Yoda the retired Jedi Academy instructor, everyone seems to acknowledge Luke as a Jedi and it's a mantle he wears with pride.

But the same film's non-dialogue content paints a somewhat different picture. Even as a child, I noticed one or two of these things, like ...
  • He uses Force Choke or something similar to it to suffocate several of Jabba's guards.
  • He wears all black.
  • He taps into the Dark Side and uses rage-fueled power to overcome Vader and win their duel. You can very visibly see it in his face and in how he brings the sword down on Vader, heavily and frequently, in the second or two before he literally disarms his father.
Details like these would make me question what exactly I was watching. I never really considered the possibility that Luke (or any other Force warrior, for that matter) could be something other than prodigal Jedi or reprobate Sith. It was always, "The plot doesn't make any sense here. " As an adult, I now consider it differently. Whether it was intended by Lucas & Team or not, I feel like there's solid support from Return of the Jedi for the hypothesis that Luke ultimately turned out as neither a pure Light Side user nor a pure Dark Side user but instead as someone who is more gray, in the middle. Undeniably, he identifies as a Jedi -- but he is a Jedi far grayer than, say, a Qui-Gon Jinn. He's much more similar to a Kyle Katarn or a Mace Windu.

Like so many fans, I too speculate that the Luke Skywalker of The Last Jedi is going to be a man who has given up on the Jedi teachings, but a man who also still rejects the Sith. For Luke, it isn't about the Light Side or the Dark Side, but rather about the cults and philosophies that arose in response to them. Luke might not reject Force Lightning or Force Choke any more than he would reject Force Push or Force Jump. He might value asceticism to some extent, but not to the same draconian extent that the Jedi Council did in the time of his father. He might value tapping in to one's emotions to some extent, but not to the same extent that Palpatine did.

In Ancient Greece, at Delphi, these words were inscribed on the temple: μηδέν άγαν. Mēdén ágan. "Nothing in excess." I believe that Luke has taken this idea to heart. The Sith are clearly evil, but the Jedi were excessive in their own way. The Sith were right to criticize the Jedi, on a good number of points. Many of which damned his own father. Most famously, the rule forbidding love.

You can see the good intentions behind that rule. (Aside: I think it could even be wonderful to explore that in one of Disney's even-year films, one set hundreds or even thousands of years ago.) It's easy to imagine a history where there was once upon a time this great Force user, he loved someone, something bad happened, and his love for that person drove him to do terrible things. So the Jedi decided, "As much as it sucks, from this day forward, nobody gets to love. Because so long as you don't love somebody, a tragedy like this can't possibly occur again." But it was a naive policy. And it exploded with Anakin Skywalker, someone who was largely seduced by the Dark Side precisely because he couldn't be open with the Jedi Council about his relationship with Padme. In an alternate universe where he could have loved her publicly, chances are decent he wouldn't have turned out the same way as he did in our canon. The potential within him would've been there, but the triggers wouldn't have been there to fire.

Luke understands that the Jedi code damned his father. He understands that he was able to overpower his father in a moment where Luke was Dark Side-heavy (in the moment) and Vader was at his Dark Side-weakest in years. And Luke understands that the Jedi code (or other details we do not yet fully understand) damned Kylo Ren. 1, 2, 3: Luke's operating with experiences that inform him, "The Jedi did not have it 100% right."

And to be quite honest? This is the perfect time to shelve the Jedi code in favor of a new philosophy. It would have been a heretical proposal 100 years ago, and one which would have likely seen most Jedi either expelled or else subjected to intense therapy. But today? When there aren't really any other Jedi to oppose Luke? This is the perfect time to say, "I have some ideas for some changes, some of them heretical, and I'd like to try them out if I may."

In fact, that might even be the backstory with Kylo Ren that we're all waiting for. It might turn out that Luke's decision about the Jedi Code isn't recent, but at the very least predates Kylo's turn to the Dark Side. It's quite possible that Kylo was one of Luke's very first Gray Jedi pupils but that instead of turning out gray like Luke he turned out black like most Sith. It has yet to be explained what will really separate a Sith from a gray Force user in terms of philosophy, but we're probably going to get it in The Last Jedi. Kylo must have disagreed with something that Luke was teaching him, and for whatever reason he decided that the Sith had it figured out and Uncle was feeding him hippie nonsense. Indeed, picture it like this (using Chinese philosophy): it would be like if the Jedi were Legalists; the Sith were Daoists; Luke has come up with Confucianism; Luke is teaching Kylo Confucianism; but there are a few things Uncle Luke teaches him with which Kylo doesn't quite agree; and Kylo reads up on other Force user philosophies; and he discovers Daoism; and he reads its texts; and he's like, "You know what? Screw Uncle! I'm a Daoist. The Daoists had it all figured out"; and when Luke tries to appeal to Kylo that, no, Daoism isn't quite the right answer either, Kylo fires back that Daoist (i.e. Sith) texts date back millennia and that Uncle, with his new-fangled "Confucianism", is hardly the man to tell thousands of years' worth of scholars that they got it wrong.

Of course, it might also not be anything like that, and Luke's decision to abandon the Jedi Order has as much to do with how Kylo turned out in the end than it does anything else; and that Luke had been attempting to raise Kylo as a Jedi, not as a gray Force user, when things turned bad.

I'm excited to see where this goes. A lot of people seem upset that Luke is so pessimistic now about the Jedi, a stark contrast with his Return of the Jedi self. But I like it, and I think it honestly makes a lot of good sense in light of the prequels. Because love them or hate them, the prequels delivered us a Jedi Order who were just ... wrong about a good one or two things. If they hadn't been wrong about anything, Palpatine wouldn't have been able to seduce Anakin as well as he did in the first place. It's more than just "they wouldn't let me have a wife and kids. " It's, all of the meddling in politics that the Order did ... All of the other legitimate accusations which Palpatine fires their way ... How the Order treated Anakin, how their very own actions created the monster they feared would arise ... Luke knows all of this, and I'm excited to hear his thoughts on the subject.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I'm very excited to see Rey's training. I hope it occupies at least twenty to thirty minutes of the film. Luke's training on Dagobah is a fan favorite, and yet I've already read many fans saying that they think we could do it better. Well okay then: let's. Let's do it better. Whether it's a book that's introduced into canon, whether it's teaching her a named lightsaber fighting style or technique, whether it's helping her to craft her own lightsaber ... A, B, C, D, E, F, G, there are so many things they can show here and I'd love to see all of them. Time is our limiting factor, sadly. But please! Give us a great showcase.

I'm also excited to see Luke at full power. Cinematography, special effects, and above all else choreography and fight scenes training have all come a long way since the early 1980s. The fights we got between Luke and Vader in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi were great for their time but, and especially for the final fight in RotJ, don't match up to what we expect nowadays from "two of the greatest Force users in the history of the galaxy going at it." I'm super stoked to see what The Last Jedi will depict Luke doing. How far in space can his powers reach? What is their scope? What can he do?

I'm basically going to go see this movie for the Luke and Rey storyline(s). I'm a lot less excited for Finn's, Poe's, and Kylo's storylines, but I hope that those will impress me too. Especially Kylo's. We sorely need a good front-and-center villain again. Palpatine was too in the shadows during the prequels, and the villains in the front kept shuffling. If Luke's desire is to scrap the Jedi Order in order to also rid us of the Sith, I'm curious to know why Kylo is so set on preserving the Sith. Why is he so convinced that a balance of Light and Dark Side is worse than bathing in nothing but Dark? Finn, I would've been more excited for if the trailer didn't indicate the fucker's still comatose. And I'm gonna be pissed if he somehow winds back up in the First Order's hands and gets reprogrammed. Not only because I'll be sad for him, but because I'll be pissed we're going to have to waste precious screentime on the inevitable outcome of getting back again. Poe ... don't really care. ^^; I don't dislike Poe at all, and actually enjoy a lot of his lines in Episode VII. But as a character, he's done nothing yet to make me feel like he's on par with a Luke, a Han, or a Leia. Rey and even Finn at least have done that much.

When Rey is swinging around the lightsaber in the wide shot on the island, I totally saw it as green. I understand if it's blue (and if it's the exact same saber as we've seen her in possession of since VII), but when I first watched the trailer I assumed it was green (and was her own, personal new saber! ) and on subsequent re-watches I've had to question whether it's the blue Anakin/Luke/VII saber or whether it's the green Luke saber, in either case not Rey's personal saber at all. (Obviously, the saber she's shown running with later in the trailer is blue in color. And one would assume it's the Anakin/Luke/VII saber, though of course it still could be her own personal saber. We'll have to wait and see.)

The trailer shows B-Wings with red chemtrails going up against AT-ATs on some sort of barren landscape. Given how Star Wars is prone to saying "if the part of the planet we show you looks like A then the entire planet is like A", it would seem likely then that this isn't the same planet as the one where Rey finds Luke. Which then begs the question: why is the battle taking place here? What's so special about this location that it would lead the First Order and the Resistance to fight over it? In VII it makes sense that they fight at Starkiller Base because the Resistance brings the fight to the First Order's backyard. And in VIII it would make sense if the First Order wanted to track down Luke and invaded his Irish island planet ... But if instead the battle is taking place elsewhere, then elsewhere has to matter for some as-yet unknown reason.

The music is a fantastic remix of the Force theme song from the original films with one of the tracks, Rey's theme maybe?, from Episode VII. On the one hand, I feel like the remix shows signs of Williams' having lost his touch, in the sense that "he can't write something new that's great" / "he can only make remixes of his old achievements", something which was largely evident from the prequels' and VII's soundtracks vs. the original trilogy's, with the first group of films having only the occasional sensational song but the second group having timeless tune after timeless tune after timeless tune. But on the other hand, it is a truly excellent remix and Williams can at least be commended on that. I have enjoyed listening to it many times now over the past 24 hours.
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Old 04-15-2017, 03:06 PM   #8
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Couple of points regarding Talon's post:
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Firstly, I'm pretty sure they established Kylo as one of the Knights of Ren, which is some dark side group that isn't Sith.

And regarding the barren landscape place... Well after the first film of the new trilogy, they could be repeating the formula of the original films again, only with some bits rearranged. The 'trainee force user leaves to find the last living Jedi' got bumped to the end of 7, but they might try and keep chunks of the old formula, such as the actual training montage. And the main actual battle we saw in Episode 5 was Hoth: A barren wasteland where the Rebellion's hidden out after the Empire found their base. After Episode 7, I'm pretty sure it's indicated that the First Order knew roughly where the Resistance base was, as I think(?) it was their system that was being targeted next by the Starkiller base. So they'll have had to move, and who's to say they haven't moved to say, some barren backwater hell-hole where the stormtroopers wouldn't look for them, just like the Rebellion did when they went from Yavin 4 to Hoth?
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Old 04-15-2017, 05:42 PM   #9
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@Talon

A lot of your speculation hinges on what Abrams considers the philosophy of the Jedi. This (or rather, the nature of the Light-Dark Side) have changed over the years. In the original films, Light/Dark was the difference between embracing emotion and detachment from it. A true Jedi always saw himself as merely a snapshot in time, a pixel as part of a larger picture, and their existence in the here and now was transient and mere preparation for their unification with the Force. It's a vague admixture of East-West Philosophy - you have the Buddhist idea of escaping suffering through meditative understanding, and the Christian idea that we're just "passing through" Earth on the way to the much-better realm of Paradise. These qualities are why the Republic allied with the Jedi as they were ostensibly warrior monks, with their philosophy advocating a disinterest in the worldly affairs of the day.

The Sith were a lot simpler bunch - value and embrace living in the present, and use your skills to control it for your betterment. The Sith were not all about power as they went through a great deal of suffering in the process to gain it - the very nature of the Dark Side would not allow them to simply be nihilistic like the Jedi. It's not surprising then that most Sith try as much as possible to achieve eternal life, so they never move on to the next world.

Writers realized that the former makes for less interesting drama than the latter. The Jedi are motivated for the same reasons in every era, while people might turn to the Dark Side for any reason under the sun. So the Light/Dark dichotomy, for at least since Jedi Knight II in 2002, has been about "positive emotions" versus "negative emotions". The Light/Dark Side is now White/Black, because Jedi can have their cake and eat it too, while Sith are just angry, violence-oriented losers.

I'm pretty sure Abrams knows the distinction and why everyone has gotten on board with the latter. There was very little "emotional detachment" in the previous movie and pretty much none in his Star Trek films (even out of Spock, the most Jedi-like Trek character). Luke leaving society however is a very Jedi-like thing to do, like Yoda, because Jedi are perfectly content with withdrawing from society in preparation for uniting with the Force. But if Luke isn't ready, or doesn't want to, he isn't necessarily deviating from the Jedi principles. Being a Jedi is something you have to constantly prove, and Luke did it in Return by 1) going back to Dagobah and 2) not killing Vader. Obi-wan did it by confronting Vader and allowing himself to be slain; Yoda did it by accepting death, as long life is the hallmark of the Sith.
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Old 04-17-2017, 12:41 AM   #10
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FYI, Abrams isn't working on The Last Jedi.
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Old 12-17-2017, 01:22 PM   #11
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Credits rolling. Brief thoughts:

Spoiler: show
It was okay. I enjoyed it the whole time, but now that it's over ... I wanted more/better from almost every chapter.

For me, it continues the tradition I guess of the newest Star Wars episodes feeling more like good fanfics (but fan fiction nonetheless) rather than something canon of any quality, good or bad.

Better than the first two prequels. Worse than Empire. Nothing's changed there.

This movie makes me ship (or made me ship) Kylo x Rey. Very disappointed by how things played out following their cooperative duel. Rose fighting with Rey for Sequels Star Wars waifu. Definitely as much a fan of Finn x Rose as I am Finn x Rey. Po x Rey is stupid (as we currently stand) and that had better not have been what that was at the end there.

Honestly, should've gotten / I needed an entire "Luke and Rey on the island" movie to satisfy me, I think in hindsight.

Disappointed they chickened out and didn't go for a Bindu/balanced/gray Force universe. Film was shaping up very nicely towards that all the way through the cooperative duel. Absolutely adored the Kylo & Rey telepathy scenes. Pretty bummed out by Luke's "And I am not the last Jedi" there at the end. Why does it have to be Jedi Rey and {?} Kylo? Why can't it be Gray Rey and Gray Kylo?

"Brief."
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Old 12-17-2017, 11:49 PM   #12
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Time for some more in-depth or specific thoughts. Incomplete list, just some of the stuff floating around my head right now. I'll probably have more to say tomorrow. For what it's worth, this is the last post which I'll have written without getting feedback from anyone else. Have yet to discuss the film with any friends, no one here's replied yet since I posted, and I haven't read others' thoughts on Reddit or YouTube or the like yet. (About to, though.)

Spoiler: show
I think one of the biggest problems this script has is that its writer-director relies too often on psych-outs. A good psych-out, one or two large-grade ones per film, can be nice. But this film has too many. Where do I even begin ...
  • Admiral Holdo is introduced, and it's done in a manner that screams to the experienced reader or filmgoer, "SHE'S A BAD GUY! DON'T TRUST HER!" The Holdo subplot eventually escalates to the point that Poe Dameron mutinies against her -- for the sake of the fleet! -- and then ... PLOT TWIST! She was really one of the good guys the entire time, and Poe was wrong to have ever doubted her.
  • Kylo Ren decides to spare his mother's life ... only for Leia to still be killed seconds later by some other First Order pilot.
  • Leia dies, her body caught in a fiery explosion and then sucked out into the cold vacuum of space ... only for us to have to bear witness to a special screening of Space Jesus on Ice.
  • Luke Skywalker is going to set fire to the ancient tree and with it the ancient Jedi texts. He pauses ... only for Master Yoda to trigger a bolt of lightning and set fire to the tree himself.
  • Luke Skywalker stands before an army of First Order war machines. Kylo Ren orders everyone to fire on Luke. Luke's position is utterly obliterated. But -- to the surprise of literally no one in my theater -- Luke has survived the blast. (This gains an EXTRA dimension of plot twist later, with the Force mirage reveal!)
  • Luke sets the stage for a repeat of Obi-Wan vs. Darth Vader from Episode IV. And sure enough, Kylo Ren goes in for the kill. And ........ his lightsaber passes straight through Luke. SURPRISE! PLOT TWIST! Luke's not really there. Nor is he a Force ghost (-- YET! We'll get back to THAT one in a second TOO)! Turns out he's not here at all -- he's an astral projection from millions of light years away. GOTCHA!
  • You thought Luke was dead? Well he wasn't! He's alive on this rock, see? ... Oh? Now you think because we showed you he's alive, he's going to live! PLOT TWIST! HE DIES ANYWAY!
  • The whole entire time Snoke is being violent towards Rey and you're asking "Will they? Won't they?" about Kylo and Rey teaming up ... only for them to indeed team up ... and then break up. As if the movie is crowing, "Aww! You thought they teamed up? You thought they teamed up? WELL THEY DIDN'T, YOU DUMB LITTLE SHIT! "
  • Benicio del Toro's on our side? He's even so nice he gives Rose back her pendant? PLOT TWIST! He's a scum-sucking bad guy after all!
  • Kylo Ren's a villain and Luke's a hero? PLOT TWIST! The reason Kylo turned on Luke was because Luke tried to murder him in his sleep.
  • Feels like the movie is almost over, and the story's going to wrap up for this chapter here with Kylo and Rey parting ways from the throne room and Finn and Rose barely managing to survive against Phasma & Co.? SURPRISE! We're going to write a screenplay with TWO endings, back to back, so buckle back in, buckaroos, 'cause we're in for a wild and red salty ride!
Like ... I get that The Empire Strikes Back's legacy is The Plot Twist™, and I get that Rian Johnson probably hoped to recapture that lightning in a bottle. But like ... fuck me, mate. Am I right? Way too many psych-outs. It gets so tiresome that by the end of the film, you become downright cynical towards each and every moment that is meant to excite and create a sense of suspense.

=============================

Before The Last Jedi hit theaters, Mark Hamill had gone on record saying that when he first read the script he "hated" what Rian Johnson had done with Luke Skywalker. At the time I thought Mark was mostly just upset about the whole "the Jedi must end " thing that got most of us so excited. But now that I've actually gone and seen the film, I think I know exactly why Mark was dissatisfied with Rian's take on the character: the idea that Luke would have gone into Kylo Ren's hut to murder him in the dead of night in a bid to save the galaxy from a second Vader. Indeed, just re-read that sentence -- Luke goes into Kylo Ren's hut to murder him in the dead of night in a bid to save the galaxy from a second Vader -- and you realize that this isn't just antithetical to the entire character that is Luke Skywalker, it flat out contradicts the sixth episode of the saga. As if tongue in cheek from Rian, one of the characters in The Last Jedi -- Rey, I think it was -- even draws attention to this, by way of chastising Luke for giving up on Kylo when he didn't give up on Anakin. But like ... no amount of cheek tonguing is going to change the fact that this is a very valid criticism of a very distracting problem! You can't just have Luke Skywalker go from "I would risk my very life to try and turn My Father the Satan into a good man once more" to "I caught my nephew listening to Black Sabbath I'mma have to murder him in his sleep now." Rian's script ineffectually addresses this with Luke telling Rey that "Snoke had already gotten to him", "he was in too deep", etc etc, but like ... that's such garbage. PALPATINE had already gotten to ANAKIN! Did THAT ever stop you?

=============================

Supreme Leader Snoke ... or should I say, Supreme Anti-Climax Snoke? This character gets to go down in history as one of the least fleshed-out yet most important Star Wars characters ever. I was never a fan of the character -- one half too Palpatine 2.0, one half horrid CGI -- but there was always the chance for him to be something greater than he ends up being. Some fans speculated he was Darth Plagueis. Others speculated that he was an ancient evil. Hell, I even know one guy who was adamant Snoke was going to be proven to be Mace frickin' Windu. There were no shortage of fan theories ... The fans wanted to be interested in this guy ... And Disney just goes ahead and offs him without so much as a backstory. We don't know who this guy was ... where he came from ... what he was doing ... hell, we don't even really know what he had hoped to achieve other than "KILL LUKE SKYWALKER" and "RULE THE GALAXY". A cartoon villain to the last. I couldn't even take the character seriously with that stupid gold bathrobe of his. He looked like a Hugh Hefner wanna-be, for crying out loud!

=============================

I liked Yoda getting a cameo. Not 100% sure I liked this particular cameo, but it was okay.

Feels really strange, though, not getting an Obi-Wan Kenobi cameo. Luke was always so much closer to Obi-Wan, I felt, than he was to Yoda. And certainly Obi-Wan would have had as tight an affinity to Luke as (if not a tighter affinity than) Master Yoda had. I get that Frank Oz is still alive whereas Sir Alec Guinness is not, but ... that's where Ewan McGregor and Hollywood makeup come in.

=============================

Credit where credit is due, I feel like this movie does a good job with Finn's character arc. Where we last left him off, he was fiercely loyal to Rey but otherwise wanted to abandon the Resistance at the drop of a hat. This film opens right where that left off, and over the course of the film it guides Finn down a path that results in him becoming a true blue Rebel who makes Rose smile and Poe blush. His arc isn't over yet (as shown by the scene in which he attempts to kamikaze the reactor and Rose has to forcibly veer him off course), but it's moving along smoothly and in general I like both him and his character arc.

=============================

Soundtrack, forgettable. Makes me sad , but oh well. It did its job okay enough, but the magic of Williams' pre-1995 scores seems forever out of reach for him now. Alas.

=============================

When I walked out of the theater after having first seen The Force Awakens, I was beyond excited. I could not wait to buy it on DVD, and I contemplated doing something I have done fewer than five times in my life -- going back to see it again in theaters in a few weeks. It was that good (for me), and I had enjoyed it that much.

That same feeling was nowhere to be found today as I left the theater after seeing The Last Jedi. Oh, sure, I enjoyed the movie alright -- but only "alright." I'm not particularly dying to see it again any time soon. I can comfortably wait for the DVD purchase to see it again. Worse still, I'm not even all that excited about the prospect of "having to" spend $25+ on a DVD+Blu-Ray combo in the near future. That's a bad sign (for me), I can feel it. I don't like that this is the way it is, but it is. I just ... am not anywhere near as excited about The Last Jedi after seeing it the way that I was The Force Awakens after seeing it.

=============================

While so much of this post so far has been critical, almost the entirety of it, really ... I have to stress, I did enjoy the film today. I had a pleasant time watching it, and don't feel like I wasted the $7.50 it cost me to see it in the theater. I just ... wouldn't say this was anything near to the level of what I had hoped for it to be. While the description is flawed here, I'll turn to it for its crude simplicity: if you want to think of The Force Awakens as a plateau of 7/10 goodness, where it's like 7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7 across the entire runtime ... then you can think of The Last Jedi as a scrambled salad of 3's and 9's. Like, it'll have a moment whose premise is 9/10 but whose execution is 3/10. Or it'll have some other moment whose premise is 4/10 but whose execution is 10/10. Or it'll have one whose premise is 10/10 and whose execution is 9/10 ... followed right by one whose premise is 3/10 and whose execution is 4/10. It's like, The Last Jedi is volatile in its quality and appeal for me, whereas The Force Awakens was just this constant "Good, Good, Good, Good ". Never great, never bad. Last Jedi is frequently greaweak ... or is it wea'eat? It's so weird. It's so hard to explain. It ...

I want a do-over. But what we got isn't bad either. Does that make sense?
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Old 12-18-2017, 12:13 AM   #13
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Talon, that is a savage beat-down. You might feel modest about that review and throw up the disclaimer that you liked it...but a rabid Star Wars fan, upon letting that iron-barbed logic sink in their skull, would respond with blind, keyboard abusive rage.

You've succinctly removed all credibility of Disney, who needs to prove they know what they're doing to reel in wiser, more internet savvy fans.
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Old 12-18-2017, 01:33 AM   #14
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In response to Doppel's last post:

Spoiler: show
For what it's worth, I don't think anyone at Disney seriously thinks that their 7-8-9 project is going to be something made for "wiser, savvier fans." The one thing that 7 and 8 strongly share in common is that they are both excellent popcorn entertainment.

The Last Jedi is a perfectly fine movie. If "fine", a score of 6 out of 10, is the only bar we need care about reaching, then we're done, mission: accomplished, we can go home now. That may not be the case for you ("TIE Fighter was my childhood!") or for me ("X-Wing was my childhood!"), but it is the case for millions of families the world over. The Last Jedi is largely inoffensive to older viewers while at the same time being perfectly enjoyable for younger viewers.

To reiterate: I don't feel like I wasted my $7.50, but I'm also kinda "Do I have to? " about the upcoming prospect of dropping $25 on this in March. This movie exists in that sort of domain. It's not bad -- if it were bad, I'd be upset about spending any amount of money to see it at all! But it's not great either -- it's not must-see cinema.

When it comes to pre-release hype, I think Rian Johnson may have been let down by two entities. The first is J.J. Abrams, who managed to tear down the wall of cynicism erected by bitter Star Wars fans after three -- count them, THREE -- failed prequel movies. For all the flak that Abrams gets for The Force Awakens essentially being a cosmetic rewrite of A New Hope, it doesn't change the fact that, at the end of the day, The Force Awakens was well received and returned to us the hope that we had once held for Star Wars movies. The second entity which set Rian Johnson up for failure (insofar as his screenplay could never satisfy the fans after this much hype had been built) was the Disney engine itself. Kathleen Kennedy and all those other Disney PR executive types. They kept telling us things like "Rian is such a gifted director! We think he's the next Steven Spielberg!" and "The Last Jedi is such a marvel, we're really excited to share it with the world December 2017!" that people started to get carried away -- they started to ask the question, in earnest, "Might The Last Jedi be as good as Empire Strikes Back? :o" People desperately want for an Empire successor. They want it so badly that when the Disney Company aggressively PRs that Last Jedi is a "really really really good movie, go see it, kids! ", they allow themselves to get carried away and for two seconds believe that there's even a 1% chance of Last Jedi being that good. This hurt Rian Johnson's chances at wooing us in the end. J.J. Abrams returning to us hope, and Disney fanning the flames of fans' passionate yearning for an Empire Part II.

Some copy-pastes from Reddit that I like or agree with and think are worth sharing here for you to read.

Spoiler: show
Does anyone else feel like the movie suffered from having different people in charge than TFA? A lot of things were set up in TFA and then promptly ignored in TLJ. I'm talking mainly about Rey's origin and Snoke. I'm thrilled that Rey seems to be Nobody, but it doesn't really fit with all the hinting in TLJ. And if we don't get any background on Snoke in IX, then... who was he? Where did he come from? A lot of unanswered questions that leave a massive hole in history.

It just seems to me that Rian didn't like some of the things JJ was doing with the story and simply decided to ignore them and go his own way instead of working off what was already there. As someone who had complete faith in the Story Group's vision until this movie, that bothers me quite a bit.
It definitely felt like a rebuke to JJ Abrams’ mystery boxes. It’s succinctly summed up by JJ having Rey hand the saber to Luke and RJ having Luke toss it away like garbage.
-------------------------------------------

I feel like the galaxy is basically right back to where it was at the beginning of A New Hope. Nothing has really been accomplished.

-------------------------------------------

The Rey/Kylo story was hilariously more interesting than anything else in the film, to the point where I groaned anytime we cut to Poe or Finn/Rose.

-------------------------------------------

Is it too much to ask for some damn context to this universe? This movie, has so many incredible moments, that I was visually wowed by, but emotionally almost didn't care about at all.
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Old 12-18-2017, 02:06 AM   #15
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6/10 isn't really acceptable when, at the very least, A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back are true cinematic classics, alongside being fun popcorn films. A franchise that spans multiple excellent films like that is truly rare since changing social attitudes threaten to diminish that status - think westerns, or Bond films - but those two, and maybe Return of the Jedi, have withstood the test of time.

The only comparison I would think is The Godfather and The Godfather Part II, with their lesser 1990 sequel. I might invite a lot of rancor inviting a comparison between SW and TGF, but while SW might be "on the second floor" compared to "the penthouse suite", I can't name another trilogy that pulled off two classics.

And so, the bar is raised without any need for Disney to hype it up any more than it can.
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Old 12-18-2017, 02:33 AM   #16
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To my mild surprise, I am in plentiful company this weekend.

Spoiler: show
Someone mentioned Rotten Tomatoes scores so I got curious and looked some up myself.

The Force Awakens: Critics 93%, Audiences 88%
Rogue One: 85% Critics, 87% Audiences
The Last Jedi: Critics 93%, Audiences 56%

It gets worse. When you actually read what some of the critics have had to say in their Last Jedi reviews, you find that a number of them, while having contributed towards the critic score of 93% approval, have less than glowing things to say about the film. For example, one critic's blurb reads, "Fanatics will love it; for the rest of us, it's a tolerably good time." 'Tolerably a good time'? ^^;; Another critics's blurb reads, "When the salt settles, we are left with neither triumph nor tragedy; instead, it's one more chapter in the continuing saga, punctuated by a few moments of genuine awe." 'A few moments of genuine awe', and yet his is another vote counted in favor of the film rather than against it. Hell, even this one is being counted by the site as a dubious vote of approval: "The Last Jedi should be the last Jedi. My interest died along with Han Solo who took with him that cowboys-in-space humor that made the franchise so special."

But if the critic scores can't be trusted, the audience scores reveal the troubling truth about Last Jedi. 88% approval for TFA ... 87% for Rogue One ... but only 56% approval for TLJ.

It gets worse. Apparently The Last Jedi has the lowest Rotten Tomatoes audience score of any Star Wars film ever made. Quote:
The first social media reactions to The Last Jedi surfaced late last week and promised audiences the best Star Wars film since Irvin Kershner’s The Empire Strikes Back, and the first batch of reviews that popped up online on Tuesday seemed to agree with that statement. After all, The Last Jedi currently sits at 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes – just 1 percent lower than Empire but tied with The Force Awakens. And the critical consensus states: “Star Wars: The Last Jedi honors the saga’s rich legacy while adding some surprising twists — and delivering all the emotion-rich action fans could hope for.” Unfortunately, moviegoers are challenging that belief and are bringing down the film’s audience score while doing it.

The morning of Friday, December 15, Star Wars: The Last Jedi‘s audience score sat at 60 percent, which is 33 percent lower than the film’s Tomatometer score and, thus, the biggest divide between critics and audiences for a Star Wars film. As if that wasn’t low enough, the audience score continues to plunge and is now at an astonishing 56 percent, thereby garnering the film the lowest Rotten Tomatoes audience score in Star Wars history.

The Last Jedi‘s audience score is 1 percent lower than the audience score for George Lucas’ Episode II – Attack of the Clones and 3 percent lower than Lucas’ Episode I – The Phantom Menace, both of which are arguably considered the worst installments in the entire saga. Of course, Johnson’s film still ranks 18 percent higher than the audience score for Dave Filoni’s 2008 animated film, Star Wars: The Clone Wars – but we’re not counting animated/non-theatrical films for this. Otherwise, we would need to somehow account for the Star Wars: Holiday Special, too.
Yeesh.
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Old 12-18-2017, 02:42 AM   #17
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Rotten Tomatoes lost all credibility after the Ghostbusters fiasco, though that was merely the last straw. What is clear in the current world is that press, especially online press, cannot be allowed to sabotage a $500M+ investment. Why allow RT to bomb your movie for free when you can spend $1M under the table to silence those critics?

When Ebert was still alive, he began to eclipse RT in credibility because he wasn't biased by studio money. Crowd consensus was really good early on but has become trouble when you can't maintain financial transparency and a NPOV, which is why Wikipedia is going strong and independent and why RT is jointly owned by Warner Bros and Comcast.

That said, RT is still good...for low-profile indie films. You get the most honest reviews for something that makes no money or is hated by audiences. Basically put...if the movie is intended for a wide audience, listen to the audience consensus. If it's intended for the clever viewers, go with the critical consensus.
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Old 12-19-2017, 02:50 PM   #18
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Solid 5/10 from me due to inconsistent and occasionally straight up garbage writing and character development.
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Old 12-19-2017, 08:34 PM   #19
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Warning! Spoilers!

Critic attempts to explain The Last Jedi backlash, comes across as an entitled prick in the process.
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Old 12-19-2017, 09:05 PM   #20
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More selections from Reddit. And some from YouTube too.

Spoiler: show
Vader nearly killed Han. He nearly killed Luke. He killed the entire Jedi Order and was the leader of the faction that torched his uncle and aunt while looking for him. And Luke still thought he was redeemable and went to surrender to him and try.

And that's the issue people have with Luke's portrayal. It's not that he was made human. It's that the catalyst that was used for this portrayal is so contradictory to what Luke was about: Believing that there's light in everyone, and everyone can be redeemed. Just this little "emo bitch" couldn't be. (Hyperbole intended)

The fact Luke isn't space jesus is not why people are upset, and it's getting to the point where people who just repeat that this is the issue are becoming silly.

------------------------------

At the very least, the TLJ version of Luke is a pretty large departure from the OT Luke.

Recall that Luke was the man who risked everything to redeem the irredeemable. He made rash decisions to protect/defend/help his friends.

He was very different in TLJ.

------------------------------

Luke could have failed Kylo in many ways, but trying to murder him in his sleep before he's even done anything? Luke should know how murky seeing the future can be, and how misleading the Dark Side is. It's just hard to believe that he would even consider it. Even going to confront him in the middle of the night was odd, given that he has other students. How in the world would he explain what happened, if he had ended up killing Kylo in self defense instead? "Yeah, if you guys are turning to the Dark Side, I'll confront you when you are most vulnerable, so watch out!" There wasn't enough background to convince me that this was Luke's only option remaining.

------------------------------

When your opening scene between Poe & Hux plays like a goddamn SNL skit, you fucked up. After that scene I knew I was in for a rough ride. Not a terrible movie by any stretch, but man they really forced a lot of bad humour and cutesy studio bullshit into this.

------------------------------

To me, the only unforgivable thing was the scene after Snoke is killed, when Rey doesn't join Kylo Ren. Literally everything about the grammar of the editing, the lessons of the movie, everything up until that point, the only sensible thing for her to do is join him, especially if they're trying not to repeat Empire. They care about each other, they bonded emotionally and in combat, and Ren's arc is that he just defeated his evil master to confront his good side. There was so much story potential in them joining together, and it would have made the next movie totally crazy and interesting!

------------------------------

I was so interested in Rey and Kylo joining together, perhaps both of them struggling with light and dark but from different ends of the spectrum, but now I guess Kylo is the new big bad even though he is clearly an anti-hero and not a villain?

------------------------------

This movie makes the original trilogy absolutely pointless. The galaxy is in the same situation as it was at the end of Episode III.

And speaking of YouTube, RedLetterMedia's appetizer Half in the Bag is up, with a main course Plinkett review almost assuredly in the works. (There was also a Nerd Crew review first, a sort of "appetizer to the appetizer", if you will.) Like so many other fans, Mike and his friends weigh in with the general verdict of:

Spoiler: show
"It's complicated." While they focus their discussions primarily on the bad, the friends seem generally agreed that the movie did at least some things right or that it had at least some brilliant ideas that may not have panned out in execution. I get the impression that these friends would have 5/10'd or 6/10'd the movie, which seems to be the general consensus online.
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Old 12-19-2017, 09:31 PM   #21
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It says a lot to me when the immediate reaction is 5/10 or 6/10. It took a while for the badness of the prequels to set in, people willing to admit or even entertain the idea that they were bad, even if some felt that way out of the theatre and tried to reassure themselves that Star Wars was beyond criticism.

We live in a more armchair critical world but...things can only go down from here.
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Old 12-19-2017, 11:36 PM   #22
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On the one hand, I think his, like so many others', is a well-reasoned and measured explanation.

On the other hand, I think he's wrong about a few things, unintentionally dishonest about a few other things, and most importantly fails to present his hypotheses as clearly hypotheses instead of as facts. (Paying lip service and calling them hypotheses really isn't enough. The way he writes is, not unlike myself and many of us here, very sure.)

There is something to be said for echo chambers and podiums for the poles. The sorts of people who are going to rant or rave about this film on Reddit, for example, are only going to be those sorts of people who are opinionated, confident, eager to share, and above all else passionate. It's entirely possible that the Reddit landscape appears one way while the IRL landscape looks entirely different.

But at the same time, we can't just dismiss the Reddit, the YouTube, or the Facebook forums like this. There is an undeniable, large contingent of people who all felt the same way about the film. The Vox journalist brings up that one man's trash is another man's treasure and that what one fan thinks ruined the film is what another fan will think was its very best feature. This is true, I can't deny it -- but it's also irrelevant to the case at hand.

Spoiler: show
Many of the criticisms being levied against the film right now are criticisms that have hordes of supporters. It's not as though a minor fraction of Redditors take issue with Luke Skywalker's reason for losing Kylo Ren's trust. It's not as though only a couple of people thought the film cracked one too many jokes. The most common criticisms thrown at the movie -- Luke's portrayal, the MCU humor, the casino sidequest, Snoke, Rey's parentage, the film's length and pacing -- all of these criticisms have hundreds if not thousands of distinct, unique account holders voicing them. This is not the Rotten Tomatoes case of "Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, it's just brigading. Pay no attention to the bots!" No. While Rotten Tomatoes may be vulnerable to brigading, Reddit is decidedly less so. Reddit users aren't disapproving of The Last Jedi with downvotes -- they're disapproving of it with written-out posts. Each post has its own syntactic, spelling, and lexical idiosyncrasies. It is heavily unlikely that there are only 50 or so people on Reddit who really disliked The Last Jedi but are masquerading as if they represent thousands. It is far, far likelier that each user account attached to a rebuke of the film belongs to a different, unique individual.
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Old 12-20-2017, 12:38 AM   #23
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What drew my ire were the low-hanging fruits he picked and surreptitiously wiped under his armpits before offering them:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vox
Just to put my cards on the table, I thought The Last Jedi was pretty darn great. I’ve never been a huge Star Wars fan, but it was the first movie in the franchise that made me feel something other than, “That was neat,” and made me realize what it was that fans had always loved about the franchise. After I saw it the Monday before its release, I looked forward to finally feeling like part of the club.
There's nothing more trigger worthy than "I've never been a Star Wars geek, but I loved this movie that upset the geeks and now I'm a SW fan too! ".

This doesn't make any sense. There's been eight Star Wars movies, I'm extremely skeptical that someone who bothered to see those eight but still "doesn't get it" gets it with a movie that is criticized as out-of-character for the franchise. Maybe, not as OOC as Rogue One is, and it's possible he's finally filled with the SW spirit, but Occam's Razor suggests he's mistaken and is fond of the very thing the other fans don't like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vox
Too much progressivism: In the early going of the backlash, this was the easy culprit to point to. The broad strokes of the Last Jedi response sure looked like the broad strokes of Gamergate or the backlash to the all-female Ghostbusters remake. And there are lots and lots of tweets and user reviews and responses that focus on the idea that the film’s strongest characters are almost all women, who usually know the right thing to do, while its most evil characters are white men with complexes about being given what they think they deserve.

In particular, as Dave Schilling points out at Birth Movies Death, The Last Jedi is more or less a metaphorical depiction of the baby boomer generation (a generation that featured a lot of white dudes — good and bad — in positions of power) handing off leadership roles to younger generations, particularly millennials, who tend to be more racially diverse and to advocate having more women in positions of power. The series’ millennial good guys are a young white woman, a black man, a woman of Asian descent, and a Latino man, while its millennial bad guys are two white dudes.

But saying there’s a lot of cultural anxiety around this particular generational handoff is an understatement. And when you consider that Star Wars fandom has long been presided over by white guys, it’s natural this would lead to angry policing over what Star Wars is and isn’t. And that policing can be ugly and lead to toxic fandoms in which people who aren’t white men don’t feel comfortable.

But while there’s a lot of this going around, and it’s tempting to write off the backlash as wholly defined by anti-progressivism, that also wouldn’t be accurate. There are plenty of other complaints and criticisms from fans that range from nitpicky to more concerning.
This is 100% pure, pharmaceutical-grade made-up bullshit.

Yes, anti-progressivism is a thing. Sorry, your princess is in another castle. Why anyone would think this is a thing in a franchise populated by aliens, humans, and robots speaking different languages in harmony.

Oh wait there's no black, Mexican or pregnant working droids, SW is racist! Let's not forget the Galactic Empire, which evokes Nazi Germany and noble privilege, is openly racist and of course was going to skew toward white males.

Arguably, Phasma, a woman leader in the Empire's successor state, is a much clearer and easier to grasp example of progressiveness than any of the minorities in the resistance's army.

Also, if you know anime, you know that men prefer women in lead roles. The more the merrier, dude. Otherwise, why is My Little Pony so popular?
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Old 12-20-2017, 12:57 AM   #24
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Something I haven't gushed about much yet ...

Spoiler: show
Kylo x Rey, or "Reylo" as the fans call it.

So, people were shipping as early as TFA. I didn't really ship anyone too strongly, though the one ship I did kinda go for was Finn x Rey. But of course there were TFA fans who were shipping Rey with Kylo, and I was all, "Oh come on. Please. "

But then we get The Last Jedi ... And oh my god, my No.1 most favorite scene in the entire movie is the scene of Rey and Kylo talking in the hut on Ahch-to by the fireplace, where they stick out their arms and touch each others hands ... <3 <3 <3 ... Oh my gosh, I just love it so much. And not just because "SQUEE! >D< SHIPPING!", but more importantly, it's just such a good, emotional, well-acted, well-filmed, well-done scene. I loved all of the telepathy scenes, but that one especially rose above the rest for me. Kylo and Rey "Force Skyping" is easily my No.1 favorite part of The Last Jedi.

But then we get to the throne room. And hrngnggngfgnggngng ...!
  • Kylo has to stand there watching while the master he despises tortures the woman he loves.
  • Kylo cuts down the rotten bastard.
  • IT'S KYLO AND REY TIME! Kylo and Rey vs. the entire imperial guard!
  • KYLO AND REY TAKE ON THE GALAXY!
It's just so good. I love it all. The movie was headed in such a good direction up until this point and then ... :') .................... Anyway, never mind. Back to Kylo and Rey.

Quote:
The single word that has the most weight in The Last Jedi... (self.StarWars)

submitted 15 hours ago by fordprefect48

...to me is Ben/Kylo saying "Please.." to Rey as he asks her to join him.

That single word says a ton about the characterization of Ben Solo / Kylo Ren, and Adam Driver's performance when saying it only seals the deal. It captures the character's ongoing turmoil, of his hatred towards all the old shit but we can feel that he is still unsure of what he just did, and he truly wants Rey to join because she's the only one that might understand, it captures that he is actually afraid of doing this alone.

That single word also removes Kylo Ren from the "you are beneath me" attitude that we get either from Vader telling Luke to join him or Palpatine persuading Anakin to join the dark side. It makes Kylo's struggle and motivation feel real. He took the bet that Rey would want to join him when he killed Snoke.

Also, to me it makes the last "force bridge" scene between Rey and Ben near the end of the movie that much sadder with the way Ben looks up at Rey just for Rey to close the Millenium Falcon ramp presumably ending any chance of Rey joining Kylo Ren on his struggle. I really hope JJ takes this unsure relationship between Rey and Kylo Ren to interesting places in the next installment.

From that single word I can feel that he's still the same young inexperienced force user who is disappointed of his supposed master and uncle.

I can't say enough good words about this movie, watched it twice already and plan on doing a third with the SO but i think that's one aspect of the movie i love that i haven't seen discussed anywhere.

Do you feel something as well about the Ben asking Rey to join scene?
Writes a Redditor. To which we get these replies:
That word had ME torn. I almost wanted her to say yes. He genuinely seems sincere about his need for her to join him.
Part of me desperately wanted her to say yes. Not just because the moment was intense, but because it would make an incredible story for Episode 9 if the two best Force users in the galaxy joined forces and went their own direction.
It would have also been super interesting considering he precedes his plea with the statement that he wants to do away with the dichotomy of Sith v. Jedi.

Maybe balance is best achieved when you don't have to choose between two diametrically opposed moral views, but learn to accept that both light and dark reside in the same person.

Would have loved to see that Luke really was the last Jedi and that Kylo and Rey moved forward abandoning the dated notion of moral absolutism that defines the Jedi and Sith codes. That would have been fucking crazy.
All of this. This is where I thought we were headed. Why the fuck they chickened out at the last second, I'll never know.

Quotes continue:
Dude,all I could think about was how I really wanted her to say yes. Like, I really love Adam Driver's character and what he's doing with Kylo.

They just really pulled at my heart strings.
Same here - in my head I was going, "Say yes and see if he'll accept your conditions!"
I don't need any conditions even. Kylo and Rey are both so charming, I was ready for the Skywalker Saga to wrap with "And then they ruled happily and mercilessly ever after."
Hux: We have twelve new resistance prisoners, what should we do with them?

Kylo: Take them to the advanced interrogation room.

Rey: Woah woah, is that a torture chamber? That is not okay!

Kylo sighs, long pause

Hux: Usually we only have to kill two or three.

Rey: And what's with all this red and black going on here? This ship is depressing.

Kylo: I'm willing to be flexible regarding our interrogation methods, but the decor is final.
Someone needs to make a comic series about this.
This is exactly what we need to keep us occupied until 9
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

Quotes continue:
That scene, reflecting on it immediately after the movie... it made me grateful that I was wrong to assume Rey was a Skywalker. Because she's just a good person, there is no internal conflict for her about possibly turning to the dark side like the Skywalkers have always had to worry about.

When Luke was worried that she didn't resist the dark, on the island with the hole, Luke couldn't understand that even feeling the need to resist is fear of the dark side, and it means you're already tempted. Rey doesn't have those fears. She has no concerns with diving into the darkness... she knows that it won't take her. She doesn't have to think about the possibility of following in her father's footsteps. She knows that she loves her friends and she knows that she has felt suffering, and she doesn't want the rest of the galaxy to feel it too.

That's why Snoke wanted her dead. He didn't even hesitate. "The spirit of a true Jedi"... if not for that, he'd have certainly sought to make her his apprentice, since she is likely stronger with the force than Kylo.
Interesting! :o

Quotes continue:
The first time I watched the movie, I was still in shock and awe of the fight scene before it. The second time though, I felt that "please" down in my soul. He tells her that she is nobody but "not to me" and I think when he says "please" and she denies him, it fractures him to his core. He was vulnerable, maybe even human for just a moment.
I never thought i'd want these two characters together, and then The Last Jedi happened.
And that's what inspired this post. "I never thought i'd want these two characters together, and then The Last Jedi happened." I feel the exact. same. way. I was never a big shipper with the sequels, and certainly did not ship Kylo and Rey together. But hrngngnggngngngn oh my god was I shipping them and shipping them HARD by the time we arrived in that throne room. And only because of what The Last Jedi told me to do!

And some more Reddit quotes now. This time, we have two members with opposing views on how they think Episode IX is going to play out for one major character ...

Spoiler: show
Person 1 writes:
I think this is all leading up to the one of the most heart wrenching villain death in cinema. We've already had the story where the seemingly irredeemable villain gets redeemed, now it's time for the seemingly redeemable villain turning out to be irredeemable and forcing Rey to have to kill him; ep VII was about introducing the characters, ep VIII was about building a connection between Rey and Kylo and ep IX will be about tragically pitting them against each other.

Or in other words anakin and obi-wan in the prequels but better
But Person 2 thinks differently:
I don't think this is going to end with "Kylo is completely broken and irredeemable." We just spent a movie watching Luke grapple with the repercussions of, apologize for, and finally die for his moment of weakness and fear. If there's no redemption possible, Luke's murderous impulse was right and everyone would have been better off if he'd iced Ben for thought crimes in his sleep. There's no way that's going to happen.
It'll be interesting to see who's right in the end. They both make compelling arguments.
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:54 AM   #25
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Someone asked director Rian Johnson what his thoughts were regarding the divided opinions on The Last Jedi, and Johnson replied.

What follows below are a few replies from Redditors that I want to share:

Spoiler: show
Basically he's making the same point much of us have already made. For Star Wars to continue, and be worth continuing, it needed to change and evolve. And no matter what that evolution entailed a sizable chunk of the fan base was going to complain.
Maybe I'm the odd ball, but my complaint is that it didn't change enough. I absolutely loved the stuff with Rey, Kylo and Luke(though I do understand why people are upset about Luke), but most of the stuff following the resistance felt like total rehash. I wasn't one of the people who said TFA was just ANH remade, but I feel that opening with "The first order is in power and the republic lies in ruins" was one of the worst things they could have done.

Honestly, I think they needed to take Kylo's advice and leave the past in the past rather than try to bring back the rebellion vs. empire dynamic. Say what you will about the prequals, but I am really appreciating them more for telling a more unique story.
This is one of my problems, too - and I feel like I'm going crazy reading all these people talking about how much it changes everything.

The film literally jumps through hoops and lobotomizes half its cast to entrench the galaxy in a set up as close to the original trilogy as possible. Meanwhile, Luke starts off being totally right about the Jedi needing to end and then just kind of peacefully comes to terms with them not. Kylo Ren's the only one left with the right idea and I'm supposed to believe he's the villain!

It's boring. It reaffirms everything it should chuck out and flushes all its interesting ideas down the toilet. And if you say you didn't like it you get accused of being a fuddy-duddy Star Wars fan who doesn't like "change."

What change?
To go ahead and reply to this (Talon speaking here), I feel like I strongly agree with Guy #3 about 50-50. Fifty percent he nails, and fifty percent I think he potentially misses. The potentially misses part is, when he says "I'm in agreement with Kylo Ren and yet he's supposed to be the bad guy!" ... that to me just feels either like you missed Rian's point or else you don't agree with it to begin with. ^^; Rian's point I think is pretty clear, and made clear by whom he assigns to which roles:
  • Rian's point: the past matters; we shouldn't be held back by it, but we shouldn't forget it either
  • Kylo Ren: the villain; assumes the role of the person who believes that the past is bollocks, that it should be destroyed/ignored, that we should forge forward irreverently; symbolized by his 180-degree turn, going from someone who idolizes Darth Vader and cosplays as him to someone who smashes his cosplay helmet to smithereens
  • Rey: the heroine; assumes the role of the person who believes that the past matters, that it should be preserved, that our steps towards the future should be informed by our footsteps in the sand (the past); represented by her refusal to join hands with the man who, among other things, murdered Han Solo (i.e. she can't ignore Kylo's past misdeeds; his past actions inform her decisions about a future together with him)
  • Luke: the born-again believer; assumes the role of the person who swings from one extreme (cripplingly traumatized by his past) to the other (decides to burn everything down) before settling somewhere in the middle; represented in many ways, including how he goes from being a man who carelessly tosses aside his father's lightsaber like it means nothing to being a man who goes out of his way to spend Force energy to give Leia a Force copy of Han's cockpit ornamental dice (which carry sentimental value).
  • Yoda: sets fire to the tree, but not in an effort to destroy the past; rather, sets fire to the tree to try and help his pupil to move forward; stresses the importance of failure, specifically of failure being the greatest teacher of all; whether this was intentional or not, is quite literally a new puppet made from new resin being poured into the original mould used during production of The Empire Strikes Back, i.e. is both new and old at the same time
I can see where people might get confused -- they see the Yoda lightning scene, they hear Kylo Ren's speech, and they just assume "FUCK YEAH, FUCK THE PAST!" -- but the truth is, Rian isn't advocating for past-squelching here. He's clearly framing the anti-past position as the villain (Kylo Ren)'s, and in one of the film's most memorable scenes he has the most beloved sage in all of Star Wars history deliver the viewpoint that it is important to learn from our mistakes, i.e. it is important to learn from the past, i.e. "those who don't study history are doomed to repeat it" and all the related jazz. It's easy to get distracted by Yoda's setting fire to the tree, but there's an important subtlety of difference between his actions+words and Kylo's words. Yoda represents someone who is measured and says, "Cut yourself loose from the past" (e.g. don't shackle yourself to the old Jedi texts) "but don't turn away from it either" (e.g. you should still study the old Jedi texts to get some ideas from them and/or to get a better understanding of where and why they went wrong). Kylo represents the extreme viewpoint of "The past was wrong and is therefore not worth preserving." Or at least, that's how I took it.

So where do I strongly agree with him, then? I strongly agree with the guy's part where he says:
Meanwhile, Luke starts off being totally right about the Jedi needing to end and then just kind of peacefully comes to terms with them not.
HOLY FUCKING SHIT YES! ^^; When the Last Jedi trailer came out, I was really, really excited by the writing team's decision to come to terms with the fact that the canon prequels, as they stand, do not allow for a favorable interpretation of the Jedi Order (or at least of the Jedi Order in the waning days of the Republic). Like ... if you watch the prequels, it's not to say you're on Palpatine's side by the end of them or anything that extreme, but like ... it's hard not to think, "The Jedi deserved this. " They feel like they are cut and pasted straight out of a Chinese history text. The textbook case of incompetent ministers, eunuchs, and royals in the final hours of the dynasty who make one mistake after another until finally the dynasty can take no more and it collapses.

The Sith is another clearly failed experiment. It doesn't work. It provably, demonstrably doesn't work. Palpatine lost. Vader lost. Maul, Dooku, they all lost. It doesn't matter how close they got or how much their adversaries have also failed. The point is, the Sith are proven losers. Particularly those in recent memory. The only "really cool" or "super big winner" would be, arguably, Darth Plagueis for his accomplishments in science. Pretty hard to argue that someone who found a way to create Force avatars born into the world from virgin wombs is a "loser." Then again, dude did get murdered in his sleep.

So to have Luke be all "No more Jedi " at the start of this film ... and for it to be such a refreshing take, an interesting take, a provocative take ... and to write the film 80% around this tenet, and to be teasing it constantly ... only to take it all away from us in the film's final moments, to have Luke recant, to have him proudly declare that he is "not the last Jedi" ... It just ....... UGH.
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