Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

So... Carrie Fisher isn't going to appear in EPISODE IX in any form; not in repurposed outtakes. Not as a digital character. On one level, it really sucks. On another, death always sucks, so if the production can find some way to mine Fisher's absence and make the audience feel it in a way that serves the film as opposed to detracting from it, it could work. Maybe EPISODE IX could be set after a large time gap from EPISODE VIII in which Leia died.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

I still wonder if that's the way to go.  Carrie's brother thinks that Leia should live on, even if Carrie didn't.  And I'd still wish that they'd keep her alive, even if it means just mentioning her a couple times in Episode 9 and not showing her.  For one of the more iconic players in this universe to just die offscreen seems wrong.  Maybe she will die in 8, and she'll get proper closure.

If not....you're right, it just sucks.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

I do think there's a certain courage in refusing to make Episode IX by pretending that Carrie Fisher isn't dead, accepting that reality and trying to work with it?

The CG Tarkin and Leia in Rogue One were necessary for telling the story of the Death Star and leading into A New Hope, but if not for that narrative purpose, they probably wouldn't have done it.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

There's no good way to deal with it. There's no good way to play it in the story, where it will be perfectly seamless. Unless her death was already a part of the next movie, it's just a hole in the Star Wars world, and there is no way to fill that hole.

Just like any future Star Trek movie is going to have an obvious and distracting hole where Anton Yelchin should be.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

Well, with Anton Yelchin, I think it's an easy fix.  Chekov, the excellent officer he is, got his own command.  He's doing great.  Kirk just had dinner with him right before this new adventure began - he's gonna make admiral soon enough.  Has a wife.  A kid on the way.  Nothing can stop him.

Chekov is part of the family, but nothing is tying him to the Enterprise.  So he can go off and have his own adventures without Anton Yelchin.  We can be happy for him, even as we're saddened by what happened to Anton.

With Leia, I don't think it's that easy.  We don't know, at all, where her character ends up in episode 8.  Maybe there will be a natural breaking point where she can go off and live happily ever after.  But right now?  Sure, her husband's dead.  But her son is a major villain that she desperately wants to save.  Her brother has just been found.  The war isn't close to being over.  If she ran off now, it'd feel just as cheap.

The question is....would Leia be justified to abandon the war if it all just became too much.  Her planet.  Her mother.  Her adoptive parents.  Her husband.  Her brother.  If they all die, would it be okay for Leia to get in a ship and never come back?  Try to find a little happiness after this damned war took everything else from her?

Because that's the only way I could write it.  She did her part.  Lost enough.  And wants to salvage what's left of her life.  Let someone else be the hero for once.

Is there any precedent (EU or otherwise) for a non-Jedi to become a force ghost?

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

Leia is a Jedi, which introduces another wrinkle in Carrie Fisher's death as Obi-Wan, Yoda, Anakin and Qui-Gon were Force ghosts. Will they have to find some way to explain why she doesn't appear as a ghost? Even Alec Guinness appeared in THE FORCE AWAKENS despite being dead.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

Right, but even if Chekov lives happily ever after, there is no way to address that fact or not address it without it being a huge distraction to the overall plot. It's all any of us will be thinking about.

Leia was a much bigger player, but the problem remains the same. There simply is no good solution. It is a bad situation. People die and they leave a hole in the place they should be standing. No matter what they do and how well it blends into the story, it will still be a hole where she should be standing and we will all be thinking about it every time we watch the movie.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

Informant wrote:

Right, but even if Chekov lives happily ever after, there is no way to address that fact or not address it without it being a huge distraction to the overall plot. It's all any of us will be thinking about.

I think something like this would work:

KIRK enters the ENTERPRISE BRIDGE.  MCCOY approaches him.

MCCOY - How'd it go?
KIRK - Good.  They want us to go to Starbase 117 to pick up the ambassador.
MCCOY - Klingons?
KIRK - Klingons.  Oh, by the way, I got a message from Chekov.
MCCOY - You mean Captain Chekov.
KIRK - At this point, it'll be Admiral Chekov before any of us know it.  I'm going to have to salute him before long.

Something like that.  It might make us feel sorry for Yelchin, but we can still be happy for Chekov smile

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

ireactions wrote:

Leia is a Jedi, which introduces another wrinkle in Carrie Fisher's death as Obi-Wan, Yoda, Anakin and Qui-Gon were Force ghosts. Will they have to find some way to explain why she doesn't appear as a ghost? Even Alec Guinness appeared in THE FORCE AWAKENS despite being dead.

Is Leia a Jedi?  Is it established that she ever trained?

And I was under the impression that becoming a Force Ghost was something that had to be learned.  I guess if Leia trained as a Jedi (between ROTJ and TFA), she might've learned that trick.  But if she was just a general the whole time, would she have learned how to become one?  I thought the deleted scene in Revenge of the Sith implied that Qui-Gon had figured it out after a long time of people not knowing how to do it.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

JJ Abrams says she didn't train and that he doesn't consider her to be a Jedi in THE FORCE AWAKENS, but she clearly remains Force sensitive. I don't think Anakin ever trained to become a Force ghost, but he appears at the end of RETURN OF THE JEDI, so there's some wiggle room, but Lucas deciding in the prequels that not all Jedi bodies fade into the Force does allow an explanation for Leia's ghost to be a no-show in EPISODE IX. The truth is that the prequels are not a particularly helpful source of information as their information is regularly at odds with the original trilogy from details (all Jedi inexplicably dress in Tatooine desert outfits) to large strokes (the arcane religious order of the Jedi served as leading political figures in the Republic?). There's no squaring those circles.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

A Force Ghost is a pretty solid way to show that she's still "alive" and "happy" if that's an option.  I just had no idea if that's even something that could be considered.  Because even though she's Force sensitive, it takes a special training to become a Force Ghost, and like you said, even other Jedi in the prequel don't become Force Ghosts.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

This is just my personal approach -- for me, the prequels are not canon because they're hopelessly in opposition to the original trilogy. Saying Leia didn't train to become a ghost and wouldn't become one ignores how Vader didn't train to bcome a ghost either, and here is no reconciling the discrepancy, just as there is no explaining how Leia remembers her mother in ROTJ but is shown to be adopted at birth in ROTS. The prequels are not a viable source and the two Disney SW films have, aside from using some of the actors, largely stepped away from them, treating them almost like the novels, comics and video games that were relabelled under the LEGENDS brand.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

ireactions wrote:

This is just my personal approach -- for me, the prequels are not canon because they're hopelessly in opposition to the original trilogy. Saying Leia didn't train to become a ghost and wouldn't become one ignores how Vader didn't train to bcome a ghost either, and here is no reconciling the discrepancy, just as there is no explaining how Leia remembers her mother in ROTJ but is shown to be adopted at birth in ROTS. The prequels are not a viable source and the two Disney SW films have, aside from using some of the actors, largely stepped away from them, treating them almost like the novels, comics and video games that were relabelled under the LEGENDS brand.

I actually looked into the Vader thing today, and there's a theory that sorta works on how Vader would've learned how.  He would've seen Obi-Wan disappear and would've been freaked out by it.  A student of the Force, he'd look into how that was possible (much like Qui-Gon did), maybe even following Qui-Gon's footsteps.  He might've studied it, not knowing that it only works for Jedi....or possibly learned it anyway...and then it worked when he redeemed himself.

It's very flimsy, but it's the only theory people seem to have on how Vader could've learned it.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

Every time I hear the name "Snoke", I roll my eyes.  In a universe with Jar-Jar Binks, Boba Fett, Dexter Jettster, Sheev Palpatine, and a species called the Mon Calamari....Snoke stands above the rest as the goofiest name.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

Too close to Snookie.

116 (edited by Slider_Quinn21 2017-04-21 10:42:27)

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

Snoke just sounds like a character from a Dr. Seuss book.  It's not cartoony but intimidating like Vader or Maul or Sidious or even Grevious.  It's just cartoony.

Try to imagine that Snoke appears in Episode VIII and kills Luke.  Now imagine Rey screaming "SSSSNNNNNOOOOOKKKKKEEEEE" (like Kirk's "Khan!" line) without that line being utterly ridiculous (infinitely more ridiculous than Kirk's "Khan!" line).  I just can't take that name seriously.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

True. I guess it doesn't matter as much for me, since I've never been able to take the franchise too seriously. I honestly laugh whenever I see Luke get his hand cut off and discover that Vader is his father.

118 (edited by Slider_Quinn21 2017-04-24 09:26:28)

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

So I don't know why this Leia stuff is bothering me so much, but I think I've decided what I would do.  It'd involve pushing the release date of Episode VIII (or working really quickly).

I'd reshoot the ending to VIII. 

I'm assuming there's a time where Leia is in danger and doesn't die.  I'd reshoot it where she does die.  CG, body double, the ship she's on exploding...something.  I think her dying offscreen is just wrong, and if she's going to die, it should be in one of the movies.  It'd involve adding a funeral to Episode VIII and possibly making a handful of changes to the ending (which would have ripples in Episode IX, of course) because if Luke was supposed to die, I don't think both can die in the same movie.

She gets a hero's death, and it's all contained on screen.  If she can't ride into the sunset then I think her character deserves that much.

(Again, I don't know why this is bothering me.  I don't even like Star Wars that much).

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

I would do the same. I think it's a mistake to have this hanging over their heads for a couple more years.

Actually, if she and Luke died together, that would be kinda poetic. Twins and all that.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

Informant wrote:

I would do the same. I think it's a mistake to have this hanging over their heads for a couple more years.

Actually, if she and Luke died together, that would be kinda poetic. Twins and all that.

Yeah, but I think these are still movies for kids.  Killing off one of the big three is fine, I think.  Two might be too many.

IV: Obi-Wan
V: No one?
VI: Yoda, Vader, Palpatine, Boba Fett
I: Qui-Gon, Maul (?)
II: Jango Fett?
III: Padme, Dooku, Grevious, Mace Windu, random Jedi
VII: Han

Those are all the main deaths, right?

And does no one really die in Empire Strikes Back?  I'm changing the subject to that now.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

I'd reshoot the ending to VIII.  I'm assuming there's a time where Leia is in danger and doesn't die.  I'd reshoot it where she does die.  CG, body double, the ship she's on exploding...something.  I think her dying offscreen is just wrong, and if she's going to die, it should be in one of the movies.

Hmmm, yes.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

Just watched Rogue One. Holy crap, that movie was horrible. Like, truly horrible. It's like the script was produced by an app of some sort, not a writer.

Wow.

And the CG people were very distracting. The Uncanny Valley has not yet been crossed.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

Informant wrote:

Just watched Rogue One. Holy crap, that movie was horrible. Like, truly horrible. It's like the script was produced by an app of some sort, not a writer.

Wow.

And the CG people were very distracting. The Uncanny Valley has not yet been crossed.

The third act, with all the action, was well done.  And it did establish that the Death Star had hyperspace capability.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

I was laughing through the entire third act. It was so cliche and ridiculous that it was just hysterical.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

I still maintain that the last 3 minutes is the most entertaining scene/scenes in Star Wars history.  I think it's what I've always wanted Star Wars to be, especially in terms of Vader.  And I liked it better than I liked Force Awakens because I think both are flawed and I wasn't caught up in all the "original trilogy" nostalgia because I'm not the world's biggest Star Wars fan (and I didn't love Force Awakens).

My biggest complaint wasn't with the script - I think Felicity Jones was way too wooden.  I don't know if she can act or not, but it was a prequel-quality performance.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

The problem was, she had no character to play. She was a simulation of a character, moving through randomly generated scenes that mimicked powerful moments from other films, while never forming a plot or character arc of its own.  The concept of the movie was interesting, and I had hope because this was supposed to be better than The Force Awakens, but the movie was a disaster.

My brother showed me video from when he and his wife took the kids to Disney World. It seems like Star Wars has taken over the place, and it makes me sad. Walt Disney built something great and creative and fun. Now we have his work being torn down so that they can replace it with hollow, soulless marketing opportunities that are just pretending to be movies.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

Rogue One was a terrific film for Star Wars fans, but with a Mission Impossible or James Bond feel for most of the film.  I think it's finally on Netflix so I may give it another watch tonight!

PS: Most of those CG people were in fact not CG!  ha ha.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

Not sure if we need a new post or not, but thoughts on the Last Jedi.  Please keep in mind that, after seeing Force Awakens a couple of times, I really didn't love it.  Better than the prequels, worse than the originals.

S
P
O
I
L
E
R
S

I think I'm going to see it a second time, but I thought it was a lot better than Force Awakens.  Instead of just being a retread of Empire Strikes Back (and, trust me, there were times that it really wanted to be that), it went about things its own way.  It took risks!  It made the characters gray and interesting, even though it feels a little weird in Star Wars, where it feels more natural to be black and white.

I thought killing Snoke was a great twist, and it'll be interesting to see what happens with Kylo at the head of the First Order.  It might've been too much, but as a writer, I might've chosen to have Kylo and Rey leave together.  So the First Order would have no leadership, and the Resistance wouldn't have had Rey.  Might've been cool, but it would've been really out there.

And I thought Luke was handled pretty well.  It sucks that he died, but I don't know if there would've been a satisfying way for him to die in battle.  He dies on his own terms, like Yoda and Obi-Wan.  Which is cool.  The Yoda cameo was also great, and we better get something similar to it with Luke in IX (and we almost certainly will).  I only wish Luke could've been slightly more badass in the movie...or, at least, show him at the height of his power.  He doesn't really do much....especially when you realize his coolest achievement (taking all that blaster fire) wasn't really an accomplishment.  I guess it'd feel like watching Obi-Wan in A New Hope after watching him in the prequels, but we never really got to see Jedi Master Luke....which is disappointing.

All in all, I thought it was fun, and I'm excited to see where they go, actually.  I almost saw this movie because I felt like I had to, not really because I wanted to.  Now I actually feel energized to see where they go next.

Some talking points:

- It was way too long.  It's 2:30, and it feels like it.  I think the main problem is that it feels like almost two full movies, and there are multiple moments that feel like a climax.  I don't like when movies feel like they're about to be over and then keep going for another 30 minutes.  After the great action and tension of the Throne Room scene to then have an entirely new set piece and have so much happen just felt tacked on.  I almost wish it'd happened differently., with Hux leading the attack on the rebel base and the Throne Room stuff happening simultaneously.  Although that would've been a lot like RoTJ and after all the retread talk of TFA, I guess I could see why they didn't do such a similar parallel.

- So was Benecio Del Toro actually the codebreaker that Maz wanted them to find?  I kept waiting for them to reveal that (maybe he lost his jacket at the casino), but they didn't reveal that, did they?

- The Leia stuff was sad, and I wonder if they considered just killing her when the bridge blows up.  With such a small group of Resistance fighters, after losing so much leadership, I think that's going to be a devastating blow.  Although I guess Poe will just take over.

- I still do not understand what's going on in the universe.  We still have no idea how the First Order got so much control, how the Republic was so weak after 30 years in control, and why the Resistance is so small.  We saw in the celebration scenes in Return of the Jedi that the entire galaxy celebrated the end of the Empire.  The Republic should've had a ton of new soldiers willing to fight for them.  Did the First Order take all of them?  Did they somehow convince people that they were the good guys?  How did any of that work?  No one in the galaxy came when Leia was in danger?  No one?  I get that they were talking about the spark of hope being so small, but I still don't understand what happened post-ROTJ that led to the First Order being so powerful and the Republic being weak enough to be destroyed in one fail swoop.  Especially after Starkiller Base was destroyed.  I wish they'd just kept Empire and Rebellion and just said "look, killing the Emperor was cool and all, but Snoke just took his place as Emperor and the machine kept turning for another 30 years"

- I thought it was weird that Hamill's force ghost came back with a dark beard - it sorta ruined the surprise that he wasn't really there.  I'm also not sure why he died when he did.  Was it just too much effort to send his spirit across the galaxy.  I wish they could've sewn some seeds that something like that was possible but really dangerous or something....so that it would've paid off a little better.

- I liked the twist with Rey's parents being nobodies, and I really hope they don't retcon that in a future movie and say Kylo was lying.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

SPOILERS























I see a lot of the issues you raise, but I also think THE LAST JEDI is addressing them. THE LAST JEDI is effectively a repudiation of the prequels and THE FORCE AWAKENS. The prequels declared that the Old Republic was a time of peace and prosperity -- but what we saw onscreen (in addition to some unbelievably boring films and the lamest love story ever lensed) was a theocratic government (run by Jedi) that was so clumsy, inept and incompetent that an idiot like Jar Jar Binks could hand it over to a Sith Lord whom the Jedi never even noticed rising within their own regime.

Add that to the fact that despite the supposed peace of the Old Republic, it was a time in which this peaceful government raised its own clone army with one hand being ignorant of the other, where a peaceful world like Naboo could be invaded with no action from the Republic and where slave labour unfolded on Tatooine without a flicker of concern from the supposed Jedi peacekeepers. And yet, Obi-Wan Kenobi described this era as "before the dark times; before the Empire" except the Republic was at best less malicious and genocidal while not being able to actually prevent any coups that led to Death Stars blowing up planets.

And then we have THE FORCE AWAKENS which, in reverting to the STAR WARS (1977) playbook of gleeful adventure with rebels against the establishment, reversed the ending of RETURN OF THE JEDI by establishing that the Rebels ultimately didn't win the war. As a result, THE LAST JEDI presents Luke Skywalker declaring that the Jedi have been a complete and total failure across the board; they failed to stop the Sith; they failed to stop the Empire; they'll fail to stop the Order. By the end of THE LAST JEDI, the Rebels/Resistance are reduced to whoever can fit aboard the Millennium Falcon.

THE LAST JEDI is effectively declaring the Republic/Rebels/Resistance vs. the Sith/Empire/Order war to be a dead-end for STAR WARS as a continuing franchise, with Luke observing that STAR WARS' central conceit, the Force, is about the light and energy between all living things and the idea that the Jedi's absence would mean the absence of light is absurd and arrogant -- meaning that there have to be new ways to tell STAR WARS stories that aren't just remaking the 1977 film (like THE FORCE AWAKENS) or trying to lead into the 1977 film (like the prequels). There's quite a bit of this with Kylo Ren too, urging Rey to "let the past die, kill it if you have to."

And Yoda urges Luke to stop thinking in terms of who won or lost which war when, but instead look to need: who needs him and for what and what can he offer and give to those who are suffering?

And when Luke dies, the narrative onscreen indicates that Luke has cut himself off from the Force, but now he gives himself over to the Force which is why he looked reborn to youth in his projection. He is giving up his physical body to become one with the elemental nature of reality and STAR WARS stories themselves, allowing himself and the STAR WARS franchise to potentially be reborn into something new.

However, I concede that all this content about renewing the STAR WARS formula and casting off the old tropes is presented in a movie that is entirely about presenting the STAR WARS formula of heists and space battles and lightsaber duels, so it could be somewhat muted and hypocritical and EPISODE IX will be from staunch traditionalist JJ Abrams who made the very sort of film THE LAST JEDI is trying to leave behind.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

Enjoyable movie, but absolutely terrible writing.  Too many tedious scenes that should have been cut.  Too many parts that in the moment were very cool, but on evaluation come off ridiculous.  Plot points that you try to follow, and then get dropped or take a 180 that make your head spin.  As if this is a bad pro wrestling angle.  Tried several times to play off Rogue One.  If there was one bright spot, it was Daisy Ridley, she was fantastic.  Beyond that, far too messy a script.  This is what you get when the studio essentially writes the script and controls the editing.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

STILL SPOILERS

*
*
*
*

I do worry about what JJ will do with the series where it is now.  I've read a lot of people criticizing The Last Jedi because it "wasted" a lot of the potential of The Force Awakens.  That it doesn't answer/address several critical questions that JJ set up. 

But, as someone who thinks TV-style questions in movies (even episodic movies) is insulting to the audience and ridiculous in today's Reddit culture, I think Rian Johnson took all the parts of the Force Awakens that he thought were interesting and moved forward with it.  I don't know how much freedom he had to answer anything he wanted, but some of it would've required some backbending.

For example, I've seen people upset that they don't answer how Maz got the lightsaber.  I don't think that was supposed to be some big mystery - she's a "person" who knows everyone and who deals with scavengers and smugglers on a daily basis.  Someone on Cloud City found it.  JJ Abrams didn't answer the question in his movie because a) he/the writers couldn't think of an answer or b) the answer doesn't matter.

Or there have been complaints that Rey's parents were a letdown.  Why did they use Ewan McGregor's voice if they weren't going to reveal that she's a Kenobi?  Why was it made to be such a big mystery if the answer was going to be so dumb?  But I think the answer is perfect - as someone on the Internet said, it completely fits the narrative.  Rey and Kylo are opposites.  Light and dark.  Male and female.  But, most importantly, Kylo is this princely character born of these insanely significant figures, and Rey is.....no one.  People wanted her to be significant, but her insignificance is crucial to her character.  The last shot of the slave (?) boy on the Casino World is exactly the point - anyone can be a hero in the galaxy.  You don't have to be a Skywalker or a Kenobi or a Solo.  Just embrace the Force and embrace the light and even you can blow up the Death Star.

And now that JJ is back for IX, I think he's going to take things in a more traditional direction.  But Rian Johnson didn't really set up anything for him.  The plot has been left in an interesting place, but there aren't mysteries for JJ to solve.  Which is the way I think it's supposed to be.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

SliderQuinn21 wrote:

I still do not understand what's going on in the universe.  We still have no idea how the First Order got so much control, how the Republic was so weak after 30 years in control, and why the Resistance is so small.  We saw in the celebration scenes in Return of the Jedi that the entire galaxy celebrated the end of the Empire.  The Republic should've had a ton of new soldiers willing to fight for them.  Did the First Order take all of them?  Did they somehow convince people that they were the good guys?  How did any of that work?  No one in the galaxy came when Leia was in danger?  No one?  I get that they were talking about the spark of hope being so small, but I still don't understand what happened post-ROTJ that led to the First Order being so powerful and the Republic being weak enough to be destroyed in one fail swoop.

Well, one of my favourite writers, Gerry Conway, has an answer:

Gerry Conway wrote:

George Lucas was the avatar of the Boom generation, and his obsessions, fantasies, political beliefs, life choices, myopias, and sense of destined self-importance are all hallmarks of the generation he embodied and spoke to. Rian Johnson is a true representative of Generation X.

Episode VIII, unlike Episode VII, recognizes the Boomer fantasy of cultural and political renewal through rebellion and the power of elitist “destiny” actually ended in disappointment, failure, and despair. The Baby Boomer Rebels who fought an Evil Empire that invaded the jungles of Endor and burned Ewok villages (an easy Boomer metaphor for U.S. miltary action in Vietnam) ultimately collapsed into a corrupt generation of disillusioned idealists.

Those despairing former idealists then empowered the rise of a new militarism, unopposed by an out-of-touch political establishment so distant from average citizens its destruction is a barely noticeable flicker in the sky. The rebellion against the Empire produced not a healthy new Republic but a remote and disconnected government with no productive impact on the lives of its poorest, weakest citizens (Rey and Finn).

The heroes of the Rebellion either retreated when confronted by failure to fulfill their “destiny” (Luke), turned back to their previous lack of convictions (Han), or soldiered on in an attempt to reclaim old ideals in the face of diminishing odds (Leia). Thirty years after the death of Emperor Palpatine nothing really has changed in that Galaxy long ago and far away. It’s a bleak recognition the 1960s Boomer Revolution was an utter political failure (but not a cultural failure, since we live in a culture that pretends to realize Boomer ideals).

Great movies reflect an era through the eyes of artists who embody that era. George Lucas embodied the era of Baby Boom “destiny” and self-conceit (“I’m the most important individual in the Galaxy because of my mystical understanding of reality”).

Rian Johnson embodies our era of diminished heroism, cynicism and near despair– tempered by the hope, if we can but learn from our heroes’ mistakes, that somehow, some way, some day, we may yet restore balance to the Force. http://gerryconway.tumblr.com/post/1686 … talk-about

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

I really like that.  And I think it makes sense....I wish that was conveyed by the movies themselves, though.

A lot of my problems are simply a lack of context that the movie needs to provide.  You know my disdain for "here's the product....if you want to understand it, here's your extended universe homework" stuff.  And I think a lot of this stuff doesn't have to have grand, Episode-I like political discussions.  I think small snippets of dialogue can help.  The problem is that The Force Awakens didn't even give us much of any background.

The Republic was small and weak -

CHARACTER 1 - "They're going to attack the Republic's home system!"
CHARACTER 2 - "The Republic?  They're still around?"
CHARACTER 3 - "I thought they collapsed years ago."

Was it corruption?  A lack of resources?  How do you go from a galaxy *starving* for freedom (as the end of Return of the Jedi shows) to a Republic that is only really active in one star system?  I was expecting a failing government (think the League of Nations or the United States under the Articles of Confederation).  What we got was....the state of Petoria?

http://familyguy.wikia.com/wiki/Petoria

Was the First Order a new thing or a rebranding of the Empire?  How was that sold to people? 

CHARACTER 1 - "They sold the First Order as the New Republic.  Using the enemy's old weapons to bring peace and freedom to the galaxy."
CHARACTER 2 - "People needed to feel safe.  They chose to believe Snoke's lies."

What's the difference between the Resistance and the Rebellion?

CHARACTER 1 - "This is it?  This is the Rebellion that took down the Empire?"
LEIA - "The Resistance.  When the Empire fell and was replaced by the First Order, the Republic was too weak and too scared to start another Galactic War.  So they signed peace treaties.  We're the only ones fighting them, and we have to stay strictly off the books, or the First Order will crush what's left."
CHARACTER - "The Resistance?"
LEIA - "The Empire rebranded.  So did we."

I like the disillusionment of the galaxy.  They won something big and then realized that the enemy was still as strong as ever.  So why keep fighting?  *Cue Sonic Youth song*  It isn't worth it.  I'm done fighting.  Done trying.  Who cares?

It would just be nice if the characters in the movie would fill in the gaps for me smile

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

reversed the ending of RETURN OF THE JEDI by establishing that the Rebels ultimately didn't win the war

They won the war, but lost the peace.  Which was inevitable, if you think about it.  The power structure was too entrenched and the one living jedi had no experience in how to unravel all that bureaucracy.  Unless Luke was going to declare himself emperor and slowly dismantle it, the galactic government was going to continue to be oppressive and cruel.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

pilight wrote:

They won the war, but lost the peace.  Which was inevitable, if you think about it.  The power structure was too entrenched and the one living jedi had no experience in how to unravel all that bureaucracy.  Unless Luke was going to declare himself emperor and slowly dismantle it, the galactic government was going to continue to be oppressive and cruel.

Wouldn't it be more likely that the galactic government would collapse and local/planetary governments would take over? 

That's what's sorta weird about the Star Wars universe.  There's clearly a Republic at one point, but what role do they serve?  Naboo gets literally invaded in Episode 1, and there's no "Republic Army" to defend a Republic planet.  They send in two Jedi to act as peacekeepers and nothing else.  It was basically up to the people of Naboo to save themselves.

The Empire, after the Senate was dissolved, probably had Palpatine-picked regional or planetary governors that were in charge of....collecting taxes?  And standard leadership stuff?

I'd assume when the Empire fell that those governors would be given the boot, and each planet would then elect their own leadership.  Planets that already had trade (?) relations, would probably form small versions of the Republic.  Maybe, this time, with actual forces to defend themselves.  Maybe a captain of a Star Destroyer from Tatooine (which, we know, has an Imperial academy) would decide that, with the Emperor dead, he has more loyalty to the new Tatooinian government and enlist his ship to his new government's defense.

So instead of a Republic, you'd have a collection of different "states" that would operate independently until a more centralized government was established.  It'd take a long time to rebuild to the Republic, but it'd move in that direction.

My guess is that the Empire would move to the next in the chain of command, but the Empire lost so much of their chain of command (losing both Death Stars, Tarkin, Krennic, and their top two leaders).  So I'm guessing imperial leadership would be a street war of different captains of commanders at an identical rank (plus political leaders - like the different governors I'm talking about) fighting each other. 

Imperial soldiers, from grunt stormtroopers to commanders of smaller ships, would have to fight between loyalty to the now-scattered empire, their own home-planet governments, and people vying for control.  We're talking a civil war between several factions with giant weapons.  I don't think that gets sorted out very quickly.  And even when it does, it'd wipe out a ton of the Empire's weapons.  Even if someone (Snoke) rose to take command very quickly, I still think the Empire would be too weak to have complete control over the galaxy.

What seems to have happened, however, is.....nothing.  Snoke, who almost-certainly had to have been a key member of the Empire who already had power and respect, took command of the Empire's forces and renamed it the First Order for his own reasons.  Even though the war was over and their leader was dead, the millions/billions of stormtroopers remained loyal and nothing across the galaxy changed.  One star system declared themselves "the new republic" but didn't have connections (politically or militarily) to any part of the rest of the galaxy.  The remainder of the Rebellion simply renamed their forces to be the Resistance and kept doing what they were doing until they were whittled away to nothing.

In a universe as simplistic as Star Wars' seems to be, I guess it makes sense.  What might've been more interesting would've been for Snoke to have led some sort of "Outer Rim" military to take over while the Empire was in chaos and the Republic was fledgling.  It'd give the filmmakers the ability to redesign scary-looking new ships that could terrorize both the Republic and the remnants of the Empire.  Maybe the Resistance would be a combination of imperial forces and the rebels - working together to try and defend themselves.  Imagine the Resistance having a Star Destroyer that's easily destroyed by one of Snoke's new ships.

But what's clear to me is that Abrams just wanted to remake a New Hope and didn't care about drawing a line between the Force Awakens and Return of the Jedi.  Like ireactions said, he wanted the Empire and the Rebels.  And he got it....except he renamed it the First Order and the Resistance.  For some reason.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

It's crazy the polarization of this movie - Rian Johnson saw what people said about the Force Awakens and tried to take Star Wars in a new direction.  He tried new things.  And the theme of his movie is "forget the past.  It doesn't matter.  This is our adventure now."  If Disney is really going to make a new Star Wars movie every year, the series needs to grow beyond what's there.  He tried....and people are rejecting it.

Disney is pretty reactionary.  Going back to Abrams, I think, is going to lead to another Force Awakens: a movie that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside but contains almost no real substance.

137 (edited by chaser9 2017-12-23 13:37:07)

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

It’s crazy the spectrum on this thing.

I have a friend who went with 7 other people and they all hated it. 

I thought it was okay.  Not the movie I would have made.

One of my other friends liked it, but said it ranks above the prequels and that’s as high as he would put it.

Another friend loved it.  He has an answer for every complaint anyone has with it.  Will quote what’s cannon from the books as explanations for things.

He also doesn’t believe that anyone actually hates the movie and that the rotten tomatoes score is the work of a small group of disgruntled fans.

The one friend who hated it told me it made him wish George Lucas was still in control.

—Chaser9

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

I mean, I get some of it.  Luke Skywalker, as much as almost any character made in the last 100 years, means something to people.  And he almost murdered a child in his sleep.  Luke saw so much good in his father when no one else did, and Luke couldn't see any good in his nephew.

It's a really weird part in the movie, using the series' ultimate good guy to make a new character's motivations work.  When I first watched it, I thought it might've been a Rashomon situation and a complete misunderstanding.  While it was that, in a sense, Luke fully admits he was going to murder the kid in his sleep.

It's a betrayal of the character, and even Mark Hamill has been forced to admit it.  At the same time, it's a much more human universe than we'd seen in Star Wars.  Even if he was never going to go through with it, even good guys have bad thoughts.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

I don't think Luke would have killed Kylo Ren. He sensed the dark side and instinctively triggered his lightsaber. But then he held back -- except the boy woke up before Luke could switch off the blade. I don't think Luke was really admitting that he would have killed Kylo Ren, just that it was his instinct to do so and not one he would have followed through on. And I think Mark Hamill is just flat out wrong to say it's out of character because Luke has been a killer from his first appearance to now. I think Mark Hamill doesn't quite understand the Luke Skywalker character.

In the original STAR WARS, Luke sees his uncle and aunt incinerated. He watches Obi-Wan slice off a man's arm. He's aboard the Falcon when it comes out into Alderaan's orbit and they find scattered rubble where there were once several billion people. Luke shoots at least 50 stormtroopers. There is no reaction that you'd expect for a boy making his first kill. Later, Luke sees all his comrades in Rogue Squadron aside from Wedge killed by TIE Fighters; Luke then blows up the Death Star, presumably killing about 800,000 to 1 million people.

And there is no trauma, no survivor's guilt, no discomfort with taking life. On one level, Luke was very thinly written. He wasn't a character in STAR WARS; he was an audience surrogate and that audience, as envisioned by Lucas writing STAR WARS as a FLASH GORDON knockoff, was adolescent boys who wanted to imagine themselves having all these adventures and engaging in all these battles. But looking at Luke more seriously, the simplest explanation is: Luke is a killer.

More specifically: Luke grew up in a desert wasteland with little law enforcement, predatory wildlife and people looking to rob, steal and kill their victims. So, at an early age, Luke probably had to learn to defend himself. He had to learn how to hunt, how to fight, how to carry a weapon and how to survive -- and, living in the desert, Luke also became acclimatized to violence and death and accepted it as the cycle and circle of life. Luke probably had to kill people who attacked the farm for its equipment. He must have seen friends and neighbours die. Luke specifically says he used to "bullseye womprats," which could have been for sport -- but I think it's more likely that Luke was hunting for food. Luke must have killed people long before he shot his first stormtrooper.

However, because none of that is in the scripts and George Lucas does not direct actors, Mark Hamill couldn't and doesn't see any of that. Luke Skywalker was a blank slate in the scripts, so Hamill's attitude was to project his own personality into the role. Mark Hamill is a gentle, thoughtful, sweet-natured Californian, so he played Luke as himself. And the result is a fascinatingly multi-faceted character because through Mark's performance, Luke becomes this young survivalist who has developed combat and piloting skills simply to stay alive, but his innate personality is the warmth and tenderness of the actor playing the character. The warrior is who he had to become, but the vegetarian charity worker is who he is inside.

We have an interesting conflict in EMPIRE STRIKES BACK where Luke severs the arm of the wampa with his lightsaber. Mark Hamill was furious when he saw the movie; he'd been told on set that the lightsaber would merely scare the animal away. But the slashed-off-arm was added in editing to liven up the scene. "Luke would never do this!" Hamill protested, worrying that the poor wampa would be maimed, die of an infection or worse, be unable to hunt for food or defend itself against other predators. But Hamill's wrong; Mark Hamill would never hurt a wild animal. Luke would. Luke has had to kill to survive and STAR WARS would indicate he killed people long before he brought the droids to Obi-Wan.

And Hamill not really being in tune with the Luke Skywalker character is precisely why he's the best actor to play him. He's a very nice man in conflict with a very violent role and that, onscreen, produces a fascinating personality conflict between the farmer and the soldier inside Luke and it's what made him so iconic and memorable.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

I've had a week to process.  It's a fun movie as I said, probably moreso than TFA, but it was lacking.  Something about the plot and the script, I don't know, it just seemed very hackneyed.  Edited badly?  Simply too much going on.  If anything, I think it was just too damn Disney.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

ireactions wrote:

I think Mark Hamill doesn't quite understand the Luke Skywalker character.

Really great analysis, but that seems to also apply to Star Wars fans as a whole.

What's funny to me is my idea of Luke as a fringe fan of Star Wars.  I've seen every movie, and I appreciate them all.  But they're not movies I've seen a ton of.  I've seen A New Hope a couple dozen times, but I'm not sure I've seen Empire or Jedi more than a couple times each all the way through (I've seen pieces of them a lot since they're always on TV).  In a recent discussion about the quality of the prequels, I realized that I think I've only seen episodes II and III once each (again, aside from scenes here and there on TV).

But, for some reason, Luke holds a place in my heart.  And as Episode VIII approached, I started to worry that Luke could die.  Or, possibly even worse, go to the dark side.  I felt that, in some way, my heart would break a little for him to not be alive.  After all, he'd been alive and young my whole life.

The movie actually handles Luke, for the most part, in a way where I was okay with him going.  After all, we know Luke will live on in the Force so he's not really gone.  And even as someone who's a fan of Luke, I wasn't really bothered by the Luke stuff in the moment.  I was surprised, but I wasn't offended.

I agree with everything you said.  Luke is, on paper, a cold-blooded killer.  I watched "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang" the other night, and Robert Downey Jr. gives a great performance when his character shoots and kills a bad guy in the middle of the movie.  He breaks down at the idea of shooting someone....even as a career criminal who killed a truly bad guy in self defense.  As you said, Luke killed millions of innocent people but doesn't really seem bothered by it.

And yet....killing a child in his sleep?  At least Anakin did it to the younglings when they were awake and could, at least theoretically, defend themselves.

The only thing I can really think is that they wanted Kylo to have this tragic backstory.  And it really does make him a truly interesting character.  Kylo is this kid who romanticizes his grandfather (who had his own tragic backstory) and feels this pull to the Dark Side.  He has this mother who cares so much about her Rebellion and a father who's not really built for fatherhood.  Then his parents sent him away to live with his cooky uncle, while this other dude is pouring propaganda in his ear from across the galaxy.

Then, one night as he's as conflicted as ever, his uncle tries to kill him.  Whether or not Luke meant to do it or not, that's Kylo's backstory.  He truly believes his uncle tried to kill him.  And then he starts to wonder....wait, did my parents send me to die?  Is all the love I had as a child a lie?  Is the only one who has truly cared about me....Snoke?

It happens all the time.  Kid gets betrayed by his/her family and falls into the arms of an abusive relationship.

The problem with the Last Jedi is that it doesn't really excuse any of it.  Even with all the talking from Kylo and Luke, there's still not enough context to understand what really happened.  What did Kylo really do that scared Luke so much?  What did he do where Luke would even consider that Kylo couldn't be saved?

You say that Luke was working off instinct, but that's not really what Luke says.  If he'd explained it that way, I think there's a chance they could've sold it.  When I watched it, it seemed like Luke was saying that he *did* want to kill him, but it was just for a moment.  Because he definitely walks in, thinks about it, and then ignites the saber.  It didn't seem, at least to me, that he got caught up in the moment.

So to me, and to a lot of people in the audience....they turned Luke into a guy who'd consider murdering kids.  And, yes, I agree that he's probably killed kids in the past (you'd gotta think that some families were on the Death Star).  But this was so much different that that that, I think, it really bothers people.  Thus the hate.

And so I wondered, was there a way to give Kylo this cool backstory without harming Luke's legacy?  Some ideas:

1. I like the idea that he's working off instinct.  I also love the idea that Luke, flat out disagrees with the teachings of the Jedi.  So what if you combined those two things?  Luke goes to the Jedi Temple and learns an old Jedi technique for defeating evil - Force Meditation (name can be workshopped).  As a Jedi Master, Luke can meditate and enter a sort of trance where he becomes one with the light side of the Force and can seek out true evil.

Luke enters one of these trances in an attempt to find Snoke.  And in a sleepwalking state, he finds a strong Dark Side presence, and the Force Meditation draws him to it.  And draws him to destroy it.  Maybe it's Ben himself or maybe it's Snoke's Force projection.....but either way, Luke (still "sleepwalking") ignites his lightsaber.  Ben wakes up....and so does Luke.

So Luke isn't doing it...this flawed Jedi artifact did it.  The Jedi aren't interested in saving people - they're interested in killing bad people.  If the Jedi had been around to fight Vader and Palpatine in A New Hope, they'd have killed Vader and then lost to Palpatine.  It took seeing the good in Vader to save the galaxy, and that's why the Jedi are flawed.

2. Do the twin brothers.  I know in the (abandoned) expanded universe, the Solos had twins.  So maybe you bring that back.  Ben and Lando Solo are twins that are sent to train with Luke.  Ben is a quiet boy with a strong love for his family.  Lando is a wild and rebellious son with an obsession with his grandfather Anakin.  At the Jedi Temple, Lando keeps asking about the Dark Side.  He starts experimenting.  He builds a....red lightsaber.  Ben tries to talk to him, but he loves his brother.  He wants to save him from these dark thoughts.  Lando is drawn away from Ben to a new father figure - Snoke.  And through Lando, Snoke starts telling Ben that their family abandoned them.  Han and Leia don't love them.   And, one day, Luke will try and kill them.

At training, there's a tragic accident.  Lando is sparring with another student and accidentally maims/kills him.  Ben is horrified - Lando doesn't seem bothered by it.  Luke keeps an eye on him....and, yet, it happens again.  So Luke, in the middle of the night, goes to take Lando away from the Academy.  Lando defends himself with his lightsaber.  Ben wakes up, Luke loses his concentration, and Luke slices through Lando.

Luke has no time to explain.  Ben simply sees Luke kill his brother, and Snoke's prophecy is coming true.

Luke does kill a Solo twin - but it was one who was definitely a Dark Side user.  But it still drives him to exile, and it still drives Ben to become Kylo.

3. Just make it the Dark Side.  What if Snoke was influencing them both?  What if Luke starts seeing all the students turning evil....not just Ben?  Meanwhile, Ben is getting the same sort of influence?  Luke doesn't sense it, but Snoke starts feeding the lies to Luke.  "Your nephew is evil."  "Your uncle will try and kill you."

And Luke falls for it.  He lets his hate and his fear and his jealousy turn him to the Dark Side....and he tries to kill his nephew.

Mark Hamill wanted this as far back as Episode VI.  He thought it was where the saga was going and pitched it to George Lucas - so it would've been interesting to see that come true on the screen.  It wouldn't be a full Dark Luke - just enough Dark Luke to try and kill Ben.

Luke snaps out of it, but it's too late.  So he does go into isolation and close himself off from the Force - he can't trust it again, and it keeps him safe from Snoke's influence.

I think if you do something like that, you protect Hamill's vision of Luke.  Which, it seems, is a lot of Star Wars' fans visions of Luke.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

... once again, I don't think you understand how the Force works. Luke crept into Kylo Ren's room and telepathically scanned him. He sensed the dark side, could feel Snoke's mentally projected influence inside Kylo Ren's mind. Instinctively, he triggered the lightsaber, reacting to the presence of the dark side and Snoke within the boy's psyche. Luke didn't walk into that room with the intention to kill his student.

**

I don't know if Luke killed any innocent people. Everyone aboard the Death Star was a willing, complicit staff member on a planet destroying genocide machine that had blown up an unarmed and defenseless world just earlier that afternoon. I can't see Luke killing innocent people in his life on Tatooine, just raiders, thieves, bandits and predatory animals. I wouldn't call Luke cold-blooded; he killed to survive and protect. Judging from his comfort level with doing it in STAR WARS, he'd done it before, but he didn't enjoy it. However, he had accepted it as a part of his life and come to terms with people living and dying -- which is why Uncle Owen, Aunt Beru and Obi-Wan's deaths were given approximately two minutes of grief before he seemed to forget all about it.

From a writing standpoint, STAR WARS was essentially an escapist children's film where the audience surrogate was not to dwell on emotions that would be too upsetting for a young audience.

**

My preference for writing Luke would be to remember that he is both a civilian farmer and a soldier and see these two sides of his personality as a fascinating conflict. The 'vision' of Luke carried by Mark Hamill and by fans at large, I think, is that Luke is a blank template and they project themselves into the character.

One of the toughest parts of the novels: because Luke is so vaguely defined, none of the writers were entirely on the same page. Even questions like how Luke handles himself romantically and sexually were written in valid but contradictory ways.

One writer wrote Luke as being rather oblivious of romance until he had his first date and sexual experience ever with the Force ghost of a dead Jedi Knight. One writer wrote Luke as perpetually crushing on a woman who once worked for the Empire and perpetually and awkwardly distancing himself despite their mutual attraction. One writer wrote Luke as so ridiculously repressed he didn't realize he was in love with Mara Jade for 14 years and asking her to marry him without so much as a first date (although they'd worked together a lot). And you can't really say any of the three interpretations are wrong.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

ireactions wrote:

... once again, I don't think you understand how the Force works. Luke crept into Kylo Ren's room and telepathically scanned him. He sensed the dark side, could feel Snoke's mentally projected influence inside Kylo Ren's mind. Instinctively, he triggered the lightsaber, reacting to the presence of the dark side and Snoke within the boy's psyche. Luke didn't walk into that room with the intention to kill his student.

Ha, well having just admitted to only seeing the OT movies a handful of times (and the prequels less) and admitting to not being a big fan, I'm not surprised that I don't understand how the Force works. smile

The problem with that scene is a lack of clarity and context.  I definitely don't remember exact details, but my memory tells me that Kylo was asleep.  Maybe they could've shown Kylo to be awake and having a discussion with Snoke (like he does when he catches Rey and Kylo talking).  Or maybe they could've shown flashbacks to show more of what other dark side stuff Kylo was dealing with.  I think I remember Luke saying that he had darkness inside him, but I don't remember him saying anything specific.  Maybe there's more flashbacks in the deleted scenes - it sounds like there were plenty.  And since the movie was already too long, I think it's probably a bad idea to recommend adding more.

Whether or not he intended on killing Kylo, it does seem that Luke thinks he did.  And I think people are feeding off that in their complaints.

What's funny, to me, is that Luke raising a new school is actually a very interesting premise.  And since the movie's plot amounts to "the Resistance goes a little distance and ends up escaping on the Falcon", I might've enjoyed an entire movie focusing on Luke/Rey and flashbacks of Luke/Kylo.  It would've been an even more unusual Star Wars movie, but I think it could've been great.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

ireactions wrote:

Everyone aboard the Death Star was a willing, complicit staff member on a planet destroying genocide machine that had blown up an unarmed and defenseless world just earlier that afternoon.

I keep thinking about the scene from Clerks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQdDRrcAOjA

Does the canon have an explanation for this?  Or does their acceptance of the job take away their innocence?  Were there any families on the Death Star?  Were there any rebel scouts or spies?  I agree that Stormtroopers are probably not innocent (although there could easily be people like Finn that didn't use their weapons and didn't agree with the cause), but some people probably didn't work on that station (slaves, indentured servants, people like chefs/janitors/service people that needed to earn a living).

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

In the commentary for REVENGE OF THE SITH, Lucas says that droids did most of the work that in our world would be assigned to servants, janitors, chefs, etc.. I guess, even though he sold the franchise and presented Yoda in the prequels as a humourless bureaucrat and incompetent and had all the Jedi wearing Tatooine costumes and had Leia's mother die at childbirth and declared that a broken heart is a reasonable cause of death... we still have to take his word for it?

Regrettably, the prequels remain canonical as Ewan McGregor had a voiceover in THE FORCE AWAKENS and Luke in THE LAST JEDI refers to Darth Sidious (a name only used in the prequels) and also describes the prequels' events as why he considers the Jedi to be the most useless band of incompetents in history who are best allowed to go extinct.

**

Luke specifically says he felt Snoke in Kylo Ren's mind and the dark side and saw all the people Kylo Ren would kill, hence his igniting the blade. If you didn't understand that Force users are Professor Xavier-level telepathic, you may have misunderstood the scene and the dialogue.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

ireactions wrote:

Luke specifically says he felt Snoke in Kylo Ren's mind and the dark side and saw all the people Kylo Ren would kill, hence his igniting the blade. If you didn't understand that Force users are Professor Xavier-level telepathic, you may have misunderstood the scene and the dialogue.

No doubt about it.  I understand the Xavier reference better than the Force one so that helps smile

(For the record, I'm not one of the people who didn't like Last Jedi.  I liked it significantly better than Force Awakens and more than Rogue One.  I don't think the movie ruined Luke, but I'm simply speaking as someone who understands where they're coming from because of my fondness for the character.)

My only rebuttal for Luke feeling Snoke in Kylo Ren's mind is this:

1. Visually, I think it might've helped if Snoke had appeared to Luke in Kylo's room.  Especially since this is something that Luke sees with Kylo and Rey.  In fact, I think (again, visually), it would have been a nice parallel that confirms Luke's greatest fears.  It also would've given Luke a bit of an excuse for some people because it could be explained that Luke thought he physically saw Snoke as opposed to Force-feel him (I don't know if Luke could immediately tell the difference or not).

2. There's a disconnect between Luke's unending patience with Vader and his seeming lack of patience with Kylo.  I understand that you affirm that Luke never intended on killing Ben, and that he simply ignited his lightsaber out of instinct.  But I'm still not 100% sure that's clearly played (and we're another night's sleep from my viewing of the movie and my memory is continuing to fuzz on specific dialogue) - because I do remember Luke feeling ashamed at the idea that, for a second, he was going to kill a child.

Now there's definitely a time, in Jedi, when Luke wants to kill Vader.  And, like in Last Jedi, he comes to his senses and doesn't do it.  But I think people (and like you said, a blank-slate character) see Luke as a person who will always see the best in people.  That Luke was the only one in the galaxy that saw humanity in Vader, and that his willingness to see the best in people is what people love about him.  So to have him, even for a moment, think "this kid is going to be a monster, and I have to destroy him" goes against the character (in their eyes).

I don't necessarily buy that because 1) Luke definitely could've killed Vader in RotJ and 2) Luke didn't kill (or even try to kill) Ben.

***************

I'm seeing a couple of really weird criticisms of this movie from people who liked the Force Awakens.

1. Luke throwing away the lightsaber at the beginning was a slap in the face because of all the buildup from Force Awakens.  Because of how that movie ended, we were led to believe that something epic was going to happen, and it was played off as a joke.

Well, yes.  It was played off as a joke because there was no way that they could've done anything as epic as JJ Abrams wanted us to believe that we could've done.  Any line of dialogue (I'm Luke Skywalker, and I'll train you to be a Jedi....like my father before me) or action (Luke ignites a red lightsaber, signifying his fall to the Dark Side, and starts an epic lightsaber battle) would have disappointed someone. 

JJ Abrams created a ton of buzz with all his mysteries, but knowing him, he didn't really have any ideas to pay them off.  He's great at setting up a cliffhanger (oh no, all our protagonists are on a boat!  And the boat is on fire!  And sinking!  And there's a hydrophobic bomb that will blow up if it touches water!  And the president's daughter has been kidnapped!) without really worrying about a way to resolve it (that character you thought was dead flies in to save everyone with the helicopter you thought was destroyed, and the daughter saved herself because she's been taking secret karate lessons).

Sam Esmail (writer/director/creator of Mr. Robot) wrote a fun little twist into season 2 of the show (no spoilers to the twist).  He expected that some people would figure it out before the reveal halfway through the season, but he was wrong.  They figured it out the night the premiere aired.  The fans crowdsourced the answer, the answer went to bloggers and reviewers, and all the loyal fans knew the twist for weeks before the reveal.

Esmail said he wrote the twist so that it didn't matter whether or not people figured it out - the twist wasn't the point of the season and was a bigger shock to the main character than the audience - but that he was still surprised at how quickly they figured it out.  But when you have hundreds/thousands/millions of people working to solve the same equation, eventually someone's going to crack it.  And that's why twists are so dangerous in movies (and why I felt Force Awakens' incompleteness was a major issue) - because TV shows can do a cliffhanger and resolve it in a week (normal episode) or maybe a few months (season finale).  But if you treat a movie like a TV show, you're giving your fans years to work out the puzzle.

So when you set up "WHO ARE REY'S PARENTS" and then give people years to write articles about how her parents could be Kenobis or Skywalkers or Solos or whoever.....people are going to be disappointed when their favorite answer isn't the correct one.  Same thing with "WHO IS SNOKE" and "HOW DID THE LIGHTSABER GET THERE"

I know Abrams wanted to remake Star Wars and he did a pretty good job doing that.  And he wanted to set up some potential "I am your father" moments in his trilogy's Empire.  But "I am your father" was special because 1. it sorta came out of left field, even for the people making the movie and 2. there wasn't Reddit to create a thousand theories about Luke's parentage.  I'm sure there were Star Wars fans who figured out Vader was Luke's father, but there wasn't any way to get that across to people.  Now, there is.

2. People are mad about Rey's training being short.  But these are the same people who didn't seem to care that Rey was already pretty powerful in Force Awakens.  She learned to use a lightsaber on her own - she learned to defend her mind on her own - she learned the Jedi Mind Trick on her own - she was essentially a Jedi by the end of Force Awakens.  She didn't need training.

Luke took a pretty powerful blade, sharpened it a tad, and pointed it in the direction of the light.  That's all he really had to do.  It took 3 lessons because that's all that was left.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

It's very interesting to watch THE FORCE AWAKENS now because it's very obvious -- at least to me? -- that Rey is meant to be Luke's daughter.

Kylo Ren goes ballistic when he hears that there was a girl who made off with the map to Luke. The implication of the scene as performed: he knows who she is and he's afraid of her. The lightsaber imbued with Anakin Skywalker's Force presence calls to Rey twice, once in the underground chamber and once in the forest when Kylo Ren tries to claim it for himself. Rey also has flashbacks of the night Kylo Ren burned down the temple. And the final scene of Rey reaching out to Luke is meant to mirror Han reaching out to Ben earlier -- the child at a distance from the parent, one reaching out to the other.

However, what was implied was not stated outright and left THE LAST JEDI with a lot of room to dismiss the implications as misdirection without contradicting any outright declarations of fact. Why did Kylo Ren go nuts hearing about "a girl"? He sensed the involvement of a Force user. Why does the lightsaber call to Rey? Because it's really calling to Luke thorugh Rey. The flashbacks aren't flashbacks; they're Force visions of events for which Rey wasn't present. Why is Rey approaching Luke meant to mirror Han reaching out to Ben? THE LAST JEDI actually cuts that, having Rey approach an unmoving Luke with the lightsaber and putting it in his hands -- only for him to throw it over his shoulder.

**

I liked THE LAST JEDI well enough, but there was stuff I didn't. I didn't like Rose's musical theme; it seemed awkwardly out of place with the militaristic and somber tone of the film.

In addition, the First Order being able to track the Resistance ship through lightspeed is declared as an impossibility; then immediately understood as a technological concept by those who moments ago called it impossible. It's arbitrary and forced.

A lot of people hate the movie for a very simple reason: the heroes didn't really accomplish much of anything. Rey going to see Luke didn't lead to the Resistance winning; Finn and Rose's mission didn't lead to saving the fleet; Poe's big revelation is that they have been defeated and need to flee; Luke's return saved a small number of Resistance fighters, a complement so small they can all fit aboard the Falcon.

This isn't what modern blockbusters have taught audiences to expect; a film where history has put our heroes on the losing side and all they can do is get by without affecting events significantly is confusing when you have Captain America and Ant Man outgunned, underpowered and saving the day. THE LAST JEDI was an attempt to do something different and to also point out that THE FORCE AWAKENS, in returning to the Rebels vs. Empire dynamic, basically declared that the good guys lost and THE LAST JEDI showed what THE FORCE AWAKENS didn't: defeat and what happens next.

The Canto Bright sequence was very awkward and I totally understood why they wanted some comic relief in the middle of the film, but when the Resistance ships are being picked off one by one, this wandering through a different setting felt clumsily mismatched to the rest of the film. In fact, the idea that one vessel could flee without notice even as as the First Order's fleet pounds away at the remaining Resistance ships was confusing to me: if one can get away, why not more? Admittedly, this sets up how Vice Admiral Holdo is planning to do exactly that with the escape pods, but it's distracting.

Another problem with Canto Bright: it is ridiculous to have Rose and Finn coincidentally imprisoned with a codebreaker, DJ, who is exactly the person they need to do exactly what their mission entails. The level of happenstance is absurd. The only way such a scene could have worked: DJ needed to be a character we'd met before, a character whose familiarity would make his appearance so pleasing the viewer would ignore the implausibility of his presence. Basically, DJ shouldn't have been DJ; DJ should have been Lando Calrissian.

Johnson had meant for Lando to be the codebreaker. But then he realized he didn't want a beloved original trilogy character to sell out Rose and Finn and the Resistance, especially when Lando was the only significant person of colour to be found in the original films. He put in another character. A new character. But he seems to have kept the same introduction and it's a problem.

I don't know what pre-existing character could have replaced Lando. I might have suggested Lobot, Lando's silent aide from EMPIRE, but the actor is dead. Perhaps it should have been Wedge Antilles (Denis Lawson), but you wouldn't recognize him as Wedge at this point (in fact, can you recognize Wedge if he's not in his X-Wing pilot suit and helmet?).

The only other character I can think of whose actor might be available and who might have been recongizable is General Crix Madine (Dermot Crowley) who delivered a mission briefing in RETURN OF THE JEDI and I don't know if anyone outside of obsessive fans would remember him. And I don't know how you rewrite DJ's introduction because the Canto Bright sequence is already too long despite being made as short as possible.

Maybe it should have just been Lando, but he'd also do something to help Holdo target the Star Destroyer and hit it in precisely the right spot and leave Rose and Finn a way to escape? I dunno. It's a flaw and I don't know how to fix it because Johnson's reasons for replacing Lando were very understandable.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

ireactions wrote:

the First Order being able to track the Resistance ship through lightspeed is declared as an impossibility; then immediately understood as a technological concept by those who moments ago called it impossible. It's arbitrary and forced.

Not to mention that people have been tracking ships through lightspeed since the first movie.

"You're sure the homing beacon is secure aboard their ship? I'm taking an awful risk, Vader. This had better work."

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

Seeing this again today.  Gonna focus on the Luke stuff and see how it comes across.

Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi *Here be spoilers!*

Well, I was wrong.  Maybe very wrong.  The scene is pretty clear - Luke is reaching out (like Xavier) into Kylo's mind.  He definitely says it was on instinct that he drew his saber, and he's immediately filled with shame at the idea.

It's crazy, though.  Maybe it's sorta like the Mandela Effect, but I could've sworn it played out a little different.  Either way, I think it plays out in a pretty fair way to all the characters.  Presented as it is, it's very Rashomon.  To Luke, he was just sitting there peacefully when the boy attacked.  To Kylo, he was about to strike and he had to defend himself.  And the truth is somewhere in the middle.

The only question I have is about some of Luke's wording.  He says he was going to "confront" Ben - I don't really know what he means by that.  It's obviously late at night and Ben is asleep - why was the confrontation not done during the day?  What was the confrontation about?  What was Luke hoping would happen by confronting him?

And if he went there to confront him and found him asleep, was it there that he decided to reach into his mind?  And with all we know about Ben being torn between the light and the dark (as Rey sees), then how was Luke so horrified by what he saw?  Did he misread it?  Did he read Snoke's darkness and not Ben's?  Or, since there were no dark side users after Luke became a Jedi Master, was this simply Luke's first experience with a true dark side user and it was overwhelming?

I'm also wondering about Kylo's abilities.  Luke says that he slaughters the children and took some of them with him.  He also said that there were only 13 students at first.  So.....how'd that really go down?  Remember that we've seen Kylo in a handful of lightsaber battles, and none of them have been all that decisive.  He barely beats Finn, loses to Rey, defeats a couple of Imperial guards but needs Rey's help with the last one, and sorta draws with Luke.  So did the "dark" students overwhelm the good ones, and that's why they were slaughtered?  Were the other students, comparatively speaking, just weaker/younger?

Was Snoke in the minds of the other "dark" students as well?  Or did they join Kylo out of fear?  How is it possible that at least 25% of Luke's school was under Snoke's influence and he didn't realize it?  Or even if they weren't, was Luke such a bad teacher that the students were *very* easily convinced to slaughter each other and join Kylo?

****************

All that being said, I really appreciated the movie a lot more than I did the first time.  It flows a lot better when you know the pacing, and I think a lot of the characterization is really well done.  I might actually rank it above Return of the Jedi.