Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (SPOILERS)

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Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (SPOILERS)

Postby ArcticFox » Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:59 pm

Yep, it was good.

Better than Episode VII, better than the prequels. I'd rank it #4 overall.

As someone who has seen every single Star Wars movie in the theater when it was first released:
Spoiler:
My heart broke watching Luke Skywalker die, and his vision of the twin suns of Tatooine just before he passed was a nice reference to the scene back when his character was first introduced in 1977.

I wept, and I'm not ashamed.

Star Wars is becoming something new, something different. This isn't a bad thing. It's just that the world is changing and entertainment must change with it. This was a gentle way to say good-bye to Star Wars as it was, for those of us in my generation who grew up with it. We can now exit gracefully if we want. I suspect the plan was to complete the transition in Episode IX with Princess Leia passing, and how they'll do that now with Carrie Fisher gone I don't know but it will probably be the last Star Wars movie to touch on the themes and characters from the original.
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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Postby Deepfreeze32 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:14 am

So I finally saw this.

If you had to ask me for the short version, I'd say "Better than The Force Awakens in every conceivable way"

Although as you may know, I think TFA is at best depressingly mediocre, so let's unpack this a little, and why that short version doesn't really do it justice. The following is from a Facebook post I made, and it's a bit long, but here are my thoughts.

Spoiler:
First: The cinematography was distinctly Star Wars. Whereas TFA relied on basic, run-of-the-mill shots and rapid-fire editing, TLJ takes a more expressive approach. Yes, there are shots that hold for a while and really beautiful wide shots, but more than anything, the editing flows so much more elegantly than in TFA. The use of color (especially on the salt planet and the casino planet) is top notch, and the overall look feels a little more matte (which is what I expected from Star Wars). While TFA was pretty much just another Hollywood movie, TLJ looks so good. Even though the Prequels were a mess, the cinematography was distinctly Lucas; and even if nothing good was happening in the shot, it at least looked impressive. I also liked a lot of the visual homages in this movie. They sometimes stray a bit too much into the outright copying territory (much like TFA), but the overall direction of these sequences is much more impressive. To that end, TLJ feels more like the work of a proficient filmmaker and someone who cares about the craft than TFA.

Second: The soundtrack (and I guess I'll talk about sound in general here). The Force Awakens had what I would describe as an "adequate" soundtrack. It fit the movie well enough, but it never really felt like it was improving the movie, it was just playing in the background. In TLJ the soundtrack feels almost magical. I'm not going to lie, hearing a certain piece of the original A New Hope soundtrack in the final battle (It's one of those copied sequences I mention above) was one of the most exciting moments in Star Wars. I'll also just lump in here that the overall sound direction was exceedingly impressive. Top marks.

Third: The characters. I've been vocally critical of TFA's characters because the movie seemed hellbent on not letting them get any room to grow. Rey's characterization was mostly confined to the early scenes on Jakku, and then the movie was moving too fast for her to really do anything other than further the plot. Finn had an interesting conceit, but the execution left some things so ambiguous that on subsequent re-watchings I am actually kind of angered at how confused his character motivations are in the film (For the record, the novelization fixes this niggle, but it is inexcusable that the movie leaves this in doubt). Poe just kind of...was. In this movie, all three get improvements, but not to the same extent. Rey is given more depth in her scenes, and I am actually a fan of her now. Whereas TFA moved the plot forward so fast we never really got to know who she is, we actually kind of get to know her better in this movie (More on this in a bit). Good on TLJ for making this character interesting. Finn, where to begin. His entire arc in this movie is basically pure character development and I love it. I love it all. I love Rose, I love their interplay, I love the casino planet, I just love this entire arc to death because it makes Finn an actually awesome character and I'm so happy. Finally, we have Poe. Poe is...well, he's still not where I'd want him to be, but he actually has things to do in this movie. His dialog still reads like a modern sitcom more than a space opera, but I can't be mad at Oscar Isaac because he's just so cool.

From this point on, I will mostly avoid talking about TFA because the movie gives me so much to talk about on its own.

Fourth: The story and story beats. This was the aspect I heard the most conflicted things about. Some seemed to love it. Some seemed to hate it. Some seemed to think some aspects of the story were great while others were unneeded. I say that anyone who thinks aspects of this story (particularly the Finn/Rose story) were unneeded are wrong. Scenes do not need to wholly tie back into the main plot to be relevant or interesting. Character development can be an end unto itself. While I will admit this is usually better accomplished with TV shows than in movies, I think it works to great effect here. But there's another key thing here that I really liked. Last year, I played a game called Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony. The ending of that game was, shall we say, divisive. Without spoiling it, the game upends most of what you know about the game and the franchise at large. A Kotaku editor said the message of the game was "burn the sacred texts" and I can agree with that. TLJ has a similar type of message here. With Rey in particular, the revelation of her parents being nobodies was a gutsy move. Star Wars movies have always had what I will call a "Clockwork Narrative" problem. The "Clockwork Narrative" is one where everything must be interconnected, X turns Y gear which reveals Z gear which turns Q. In Star Wars, everybody is somebody. Senator Palpatine? He's a sith lord and the emperor! Luke? He's the son of Darth Vader, and heir to a major bloodline! Leia? His sister, AND the adopted daughter of the senator from Alderaan! Han Solo? Well, he's not got the same kind of connection, but he is friends with Chewbacca (who faught on Kashyyk with Yoda) and has tons of contacts around the galaxy to conveniently help in times of need (Such as Lando. And who is Lando? The administrator of Cloud City! He sells the group to the Empire...Ok I'll stop). Basically, there's a sense that in Star Wars, if a person is this important to be a focal character, they must be a somebody, or related to a somebody we knew. By making Rey's parents nobody, Johnson has more or less burned a sacred text of Star Wars. Rose is even more crucial an example of this: Not only is she a nobody, she's an orphan who lost her sister in battle and has no particular talents (by which I mean she's not a master gunfighter or a force user) outside of a strong sense of good. She's one of the "normal" people in Star Wars. And we so rarely see that perspective that it was frankly refreshing to see a "normal" character take center stage alongside one of our heroes. The last thing I want to address here is the notion of failure, and the heroes not seeing the forest for the trees. I thought the story with Poe in particular was great at deconstructing the Star Wars trope of "the hero sees the danger but no one will listen!" Poe actively fights against Admiral Holdo, but in the end Leia has supported her plan all along, and Poe has actually hurt a plan that would have saved the rebels.

Five: The notion of the Jedi. One of the things this movie did, which I loved, was engage with a message the prequels were trying to tell. Namely: The Jedi are full of hubris, and blinded by commitments to ancient rules that they have let bureaucracy prevent them from being a force for good or justice. Anakin's fall is one of hearing of the fabled Jedi, being disappointed in the fabled Jedi because of their bureaucratic overhead preventing them from helping him, and being swayed by someone who won't feed him bureaucratic BS. Luke's complaints about the Jedi order are more or less what the prequels were trying to show. Luke even says as much when he talks about the events of those movies. I know people get hung up on stuff like Midichlorians, but those were trying to show just how bloated the Jedi order has become (I mean, it's like an IQ test, but that's the only metric by which the Jedi judge who they will train. Well, that and they have to be young enough that they won't remember their parents. Which is really messed up). So top marks to TLJ for telling that story better.

Now, there were a few things I wasn't super hot on. There's a scene involving the bridge of the main rebel ship (which by the way, that whole plot was very reminiscent of Battlestar Galactica and I loved it) which made me just groan (NOTE: This is the "Mary Poppins" scene, I tried to avoid major spoilers on Facebook because it doesn't have spoiler tags). Some of the dialog (Namely the Poe and Hux exchange in the beginning of the movie) reads more like a sitcom than a space opera, and I am really not down with that. Most of the space battles were just...ok. They were better than what we got in TFA, but they don't compare to the Battle of Scarif in Rogue One or really any of the Original Trilogy battles. Some of the effects work is questionable at best. I don't really know how I feel about the plot with Rey and Kylo, at least near the end of that arc. Snoke is kind of a disappointingly do-nothing character, but I don't know what else you could do with him that wouldn't further bloat the movie's runtime.

But on the whole, The Last Jedi was not only a wonderful Star Wars film, it was a wonderful film, full stop. I would probably have to re-watch it to properly place it in a ranking of Star Wars movies, but where TFA is near the bottom and Rogue One is just kind of middling, TLJ has a solid chance of taking some of the top spots. Highly recommended, do not regret it.

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Postby Chozon1 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:16 am

Spoiler:
I gotta be honest...I don't think Snoke is actually dead. Or at least, I think his death worked in accordance to his plans somehow. We've seen that Yoda is capable of manipulating the living world, so I'm kinda thinking he went the 'IF YOU STRIKE ME DOWN, I WILL BECOME MORE POWERFUL THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE" route.

Thing is, if he actually did die in cliched` super villain style...I'm going to be genuinely disappointed. That's just bad writing. I mean, he's an incredibly powerful force user capable of reaching beyond solar systems without perception...but he's apparently too deaf to hear the lightsaber sliding around beside him? For that matter, what kind of genius intentionally puts a pointy laser sword right beside themselves with two force users in the room? He was *literally* asking for it.

And I realize, yes, that hubris has been the downfall of pretty much every Sith ever as their apprentices stab them in the back...but he already knew Kylo was half insane, and wobbling around on the inside. I don't buy that he could magically not realize he was about to get a split personality.
It worked with Palpatine. I mean, the dude did manage to wrap Anakin around his little finger, start several wars and control the whole galaxy just by political machinations. He earned his ''I'm to awesome to be kill--DANGIIIIIIIIIT'' moment. But I don't see how someone who presumably served under Palpatine could make the exact same mistake.

I also cried when Luke died, and I cried when Yoda showed up. I also screamed like a little girl and knocked my cousins chee-to's and soda askew.
>_> I squee'd a little when Leia used the Force to save herself, as her being force-trained has been in books for years, but never canon. :P

Honestly, I loved the whole thing. I'm just conflicted because Luke died, and that intrinsically makes me sad. I loved the 'dual' at the end though.
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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Postby Starfire11 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:21 pm

Spoiler:
The movie was great, and I would totally see it again in theaters. I felt like it ended on kind of a weird note—the entire resistance can fit into the millennium falcon, nobody has any idea what they’re doing, somehow the ancient Jedi books made it onto the ship, some kid floats a broom to his hand, and there’s lot of questions to be answered. Curious to see how Episode 9 will clear everything up.

I gotta be honest...I don't think Snoke is actually dead. Or at least, I think his death worked in accordance to his plans somehow. We've seen that Yoda is capable of manipulating the living world, so I'm kinda thinking he went the 'IF YOU STRIKE ME DOWN, I WILL BECOME MORE POWERFUL THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE" route.

Thing is, if he actually did die in cliched` super villain style...I'm going to be genuinely disappointed. That's just bad writing. I mean, he's an incredibly powerful force user capable of reaching beyond solar systems without perception...but he's apparently too deaf to hear the lightsaber sliding around beside him? For that matter, what kind of genius intentionally puts a pointy laser sword right beside themselves with two force users in the room? He was *literally* asking for it.
I’m pretty sure he’s dead. I mean, he was sliced in half then blew up with his ship, and didn’t move for 20 mins. Although it was pretty anticlimactic that here’s this oh so powerful sith lord who we can’t wait to find out who he is, and then he’s dead. I agree that it could probably be part of his master plan or something.

So who do we think Rey's parents are? Kylo said they were basically nobody, but seeing that was her weakness I wouldn’t be surprised if he lied to her. If she’s not Luke’s kid, then who else? Maybe they really are nobody..


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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Postby Deepfreeze32 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:30 pm

Spoiler:
So who do we think Rey's parents are? Kylo said they were basically nobody, but seeing that was her weakness I wouldn’t be surprised if he lied to her. If she’s not Luke’s kid, then who else? Maybe they really are nobody..
I think truthfully they are nobodies, or at the very least not one of the major players. I would be a little disappointed if Rey was connected by blood to one of the major Star Wars bloodlines, if only because I think that trope is kind of tired. I think the greatest strength of TLJ was showing how "normal" people are capable of being heroic, and Rey being a force-sensitive nobody would be the ultimate way to strengthen that theme (even though her power is far from normal). I dunno, I've grown tired of the "everybody has to be somebody" trend in fiction, so it's really nice to see a major character break with that trend.


My 2 cents, anyway.

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Postby Starfire11 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:05 pm

Spoiler:
So who do we think Rey's parents are? Kylo said they were basically nobody, but seeing that was her weakness I wouldn’t be surprised if he lied to her. If she’s not Luke’s kid, then who else? Maybe they really are nobody..
I think truthfully they are nobodies, or at the very least not one of the major players. I would be a little disappointed if Rey was connected by blood to one of the major Star Wars bloodlines, if only because I think that trope is kind of tired. I think the greatest strength of TLJ was showing how "normal" people are capable of being heroic, and Rey being a force-sensitive nobody would be the ultimate way to strengthen that theme (even though her power is far from normal). I dunno, I've grown tired of the "everybody has to be somebody" trend in fiction, so it's really nice to see a major character break with that trend.


My 2 cents, anyway.
That makes a lot of sense, actually :). Like Finn and Rose for instance, just a former stormtrooper and a random member of the resistance. I guess we've all (or at least I have) assumed someone has to be related to a Jedi or something to be force sensitive. Maybe it’s the high midichlorian count then :wink:.
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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Postby ArcticFox » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:58 am

Ok so I hate to be a party pooper but... the more I think about this movie, the less good it seems.

I'd still rank it #4, but mostly because it still edges Episode 7, and the prequels... Ugh.
Spoiler:

Bad Stuff:

I can't get over the pointlessness of the casino planet and the ham fisted, anvillicious "be nice to animals, mmkay?" Moral message that is NOT Star Wars. "NOW It's worth it!" Said Rose... What a stupid line. The Resistance is on the brink of annihilation but saving it wouldn't have made the trip worthy without freeing the kangaroo horses?

That whole side plot was utterly and completely pointless. Finn and Rose's quest failed. They didn't bring back the codebreaker that Maz told them to get, all because of an idiotic decision to park their ship on the beach instead of whatever designated landing pads the place had. It isn't like they were going in disguise, and don't try to tell me they did that to be sneaky. It's precisely what attracted attention. They came back with a dude whose sole purpose in the film was to put a little ambiguity into the good vs. evil narrative that's been the core of Star Wars from the beginning. He turned them over to the First Order and did NOT disable the tracking device... so Finn/Rose's quest literally changed NOTHING in the movie. In fact, if you remove those two characters from the film entirely, nothing at all changes. The one chance to avert that was when Finn tried to sacrifice himself to destroy the laser battering ram... but Rose nixed that.

And how useless is Captain Fasma? Holy smoke she's the most overrated Star Wars villain since Boba Fett. She is just terrible at her job. Worst of all, she fell into one of the classic villain mistakes so well known that it actually ranks at #4 on the Evil Overlord List.

I didn't like the Leia/Mary Poppins thing. Ugh. What was the purpose of that? If they just needed to take the character out of the story for a while they could have just had her injured during the battle. Having her blown into space, unconscious for a while, then using the Force to get back was a stupid plot contrivance to show her using the Force.


Good Stuff:

I liked the throne room scene, and it doesn't bother me that they offed Snoke. People complain a lot about a lack of development of Snoke but why? It's not like the Emperor had any more development than that in the original trilogy. We were okay with that because it didn't matter for narrative purposes, and Snoke's back story doesn't matter in this narrative.

I didn't mind Luke's portrayal here. I don't know why people are complaining.

I also didn't mind Rey. She wasn't a Mary Sue. She had character flaws, and had to overcome them. She got an actual story arc.

Poe was fine.

I really loved the Hyperdrive as a weapon thing. Of course, people will start asking "If that was an option, why didn't they ever do that before, like when fighting the Death Star?" Bah. Just let it be cool.
My biggest issue was that this movie felt heavily influenced by corporate screenwriting. It had nowhere near the depth of the originals and relied too heavily on fast pacing and gimmicks.
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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Postby Chozon1 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:59 am

Spoiler:
The cat horse thing, I think, was to tie in Rose's point at the end; they weren't fighting the rebellion to kill the bad people, but to save what they loved. It kinds ties in with Rogue One. There comes a point in fighting evil where, if you aren't careful, you can become just as bad as the bad guys. You have to fight for something, not against something--which is why Rose saved Finn. His sacrifice at that point would have meant nothing. The Empire at their throats, they just would have brought in another big gun in like twenty minutes.

Don't forget that their stop at that planet also planted the seeds of rebellion there. Something that only happened because they showed that they were the definitive good guys. If they had shot, blown up, and fought their way through the casino--pulling a Rogue One, basically--little Timmy the jedi would not have wanted to join the rebellion when he grew up. Also, what changed was Finn. In the first movie he's constantly trying to escape. He's not a rebel; he wants to hide. Live on the fringes and let the First Order do whatever they want, as long as he and his friends are safe. He starts off this movie that way, actually.

Now...he's a rebel. Dedicated to saving the galaxy, even at the cost of his own life. It's a complete character shift. Comparable, perhaps, to Han's heart change in A New Hope. Just took Finn longer.

Phasma, too, I don't think is dead. :P Not because she's useless as a villain--though she is. Comedically so, in fact--but because she is Finn's nemesis. Not just a baddie he wants to stop, but a personal nemesis. I could be wrong there, though. Snoke I'm pretty confident on; being cut in half is surprisingly unlethal in the Star Wars universe. Less because I think he needs to be alive, more because...Kylo is an idiot, the other guy has the severe crazies, and without Snoke there's not really a super-evil bad guy.

I would also argue the idea that Snoke's backstory doesn't matter. Thing is, he somehow managed to turn the son of Leia and Han--die hard anti-empire rebels who saved the universe--to the dark side. There's got to be a reason--a temptation or something--that he was able to do that. Some way he was able to convince one of the most powerful force users under the direct tutelage of the ultimate Jedi to go dark side. Granted, they could play they 'Babby Ben was an idiot' card. Or blame Luke's teaching somehow for being stodgy. But I'd rather they didn't. If they go the 'my parents were so awesome and never loved me' route, I'ma walk out of the theater. XD
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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Postby Deepfreeze32 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:14 pm

Spoiler:
The cat horse thing, I think, was to tie in Rose's point at the end; they weren't fighting the rebellion to kill the bad people, but to save what they loved. It kinds ties in with Rogue One. There comes a point in fighting evil where, if you aren't careful, you can become just as bad as the bad guys. You have to fight for something, not against something--which is why Rose saved Finn. His sacrifice at that point would have meant nothing. The Empire at their throats, they just would have brought in another big gun in like twenty minutes.

Don't forget that their stop at that planet also planted the seeds of rebellion there. Something that only happened because they showed that they were the definitive good guys. If they had shot, blown up, and fought their way through the casino--pulling a Rogue One, basically--little Timmy the jedi would not have wanted to join the rebellion when he grew up. Also, what changed was Finn. In the first movie he's constantly trying to escape. He's not a rebel; he wants to hide. Live on the fringes and let the First Order do whatever they want, as long as he and his friends are safe. He starts off this movie that way, actually.

Now...he's a rebel. Dedicated to saving the galaxy, even at the cost of his own life. It's a complete character shift. Comparable, perhaps, to Han's heart change in A New Hope. Just took Finn longer.
I very much agree with this. The point of that side story was to develop Finn as a character, and I think on those ground it succeeded smashingly. The change from TFA Finn is very noticeable (he's no longer being a coward, but in fact being as not-cowardly as he can be), and I agree with the assessment that he's a rebel now. Sure, we can quibble about whether or not it focused too much on them, but I don't think character development has to be a net-positive-plot-movement thing. By the same token you could argue that the Poe mutiny (again, reminded me a little of BSG) is wasted time because it doesn't really progress the plot, and in fact ruins the Resistance plan. However I think both of these side stories are crucial to the development of Finn and Poe. We can argue if splitting them up like this was a good idea, sure. I think you could probably cut Poe and Finn out of this movie and you have a very solid story with Rey, Luke, Leia, and Kylo. But Poe and Finn got introduced in TFA, so I guess we have to give them something to do here. And I think what they gave them was good.

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Postby ArcticFox » Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:55 am

Good points guys, but I offer a dissenting opinion.

Oh, and since it's time to start quoting, I think we can lose the spoiler tags now?

***************************SPOILERS BELOW. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED*********************************
The cat horse thing, I think, was to tie in Rose's point at the end; they weren't fighting the rebellion to kill the bad people, but to save what they loved. It kinds ties in with Rogue One. There comes a point in fighting evil where, if you aren't careful, you can become just as bad as the bad guys. You have to fight for something, not against something--which is why Rose saved Finn. His sacrifice at that point would have meant nothing. The Empire at their throats, they just would have brought in another big gun in like twenty minutes.
A good point that's completely undermined by Holdo engaging the hyperdrive to disable the First Order fleet. What Rose did makes zero sense to me, because she basically handed the base over to the 1st Order. Could they have brought another big gun? Maybe, but that's more time the Resistance would have had to get away.

Don't forget that their stop at that planet also planted the seeds of rebellion there. Something that only happened because they showed that they were the definitive good guys. If they had shot, blown up, and fought their way through the casino--pulling a Rogue One, basically--little Timmy the jedi would not have wanted to join the rebellion when he grew up. Also, what changed was Finn. In the first movie he's constantly trying to escape. He's not a rebel; he wants to hide. Live on the fringes and let the First Order do whatever they want, as long as he and his friends are safe. He starts off this movie that way, actually.

Now...he's a rebel. Dedicated to saving the galaxy, even at the cost of his own life. It's a complete character shift. Comparable, perhaps, to Han's heart change in A New Hope. Just took Finn longer.
The attempted self sacrifice at the end his was Finn's chance to actually DO something and bring his arc to a great close, but nope. Finn's presence in the movie had -zero- net effect on the story. Yes, he had an arc, but ultimately his efforts were completely pointless.
Phasma, too, I don't think is dead. :P Not because she's useless as a villain--though she is. Comedically so, in fact--but because she is Finn's nemesis. Not just a baddie he wants to stop, but a personal nemesis. I could be wrong there, though. Snoke I'm pretty confident on; being cut in half is surprisingly unlethal in the Star Wars universe. Less because I think he needs to be alive, more because...Kylo is an idiot, the other guy has the severe crazies, and without Snoke there's not really a super-evil bad guy.
You're probably right about Phasma, but her fails are adding up FAST. At this point if she comes back she won't be perceived as much of a threat by the audience.
I would also argue the idea that Snoke's backstory doesn't matter. Thing is, he somehow managed to turn the son of Leia and Han--die hard anti-empire rebels who saved the universe--to the dark side. There's got to be a reason--a temptation or something--that he was able to do that. Some way he was able to convince one of the most powerful force users under the direct tutelage of the ultimate Jedi to go dark side. Granted, they could play they 'Babby Ben was an idiot' card. Or blame Luke's teaching somehow for being stodgy. But I'd rather they didn't. If they go the 'my parents were so awesome and never loved me' route, I'ma walk out of the theater. XD
I don't think it was Snoke that turned Ben Solo to the dark side. Did they say that and I just missed it?
Now...he's a rebel. Dedicated to saving the galaxy, even at the cost of his own life. It's a complete character shift. Comparable, perhaps, to Han's heart change in A New Hope. Just took Finn longer.
I very much agree with this. The point of that side story was to develop Finn as a character, and I think on those ground it succeeded smashingly. The change from TFA Finn is very noticeable (he's no longer being a coward, but in fact being as not-cowardly as he can be), and I agree with the assessment that he's a rebel now. Sure, we can quibble about whether or not it focused too much on them, but I don't think character development has to be a net-positive-plot-movement thing. By the same token you could argue that the Poe mutiny (again, reminded me a little of BSG) is wasted time because it doesn't really progress the plot, and in fact ruins the Resistance plan. However I think both of these side stories are crucial to the development of Finn and Poe. We can argue if splitting them up like this was a good idea, sure. I think you could probably cut Poe and Finn out of this movie and you have a very solid story with Rey, Luke, Leia, and Kylo. But Poe and Finn got introduced in TFA, so I guess we have to give them something to do here. And I think what they gave them was good.
See, that's the problem. If a character is doing something that doesn't serve the plot just to give them something to do, then you're better off cutting the character. This movie would have been much better if they'd completely cut Poe, Finn and Rose out of it because literally NOTHING any of them did served the plot. Well, Poe did lead the attack on the Star Destroyer at the beginning so it made sense to have him there, but Poe was never meant to be a big character. He was actually supposed to die in the crash on Jaku in Episode 7 but Abrams liked the actor's performance and had him written in more later.

Having a side story to develop a character can make sense but the Casino planet was almost a third of the film and contributed NOTHING... and these weren't even the main characters.

The part I found actually more annoying the more I think about it is the introduction of moral ambiguity by showing these arms dealers doing business with both the good guys and the bad guys. This was a COMPLETE disservice to the themes in Star Wars.

Star Wars has always been a very clear epic allegory. Good vs. evil. Light vs. dark. The Force was not gray. (No, I don't give a fig about "grey Jedi" or any of that nonsense from non-canon sources.) This is what Yoda taught Luke way back on Dagobah. Introducing the moral ambiguity angle doesn't make Star Wars more sophisticated or complex. It just waters it down and makes it more mundane.

Speaking of watered down, you can really feel the corporate influence in this film. Remember when Yoda taught us about The Force on Dagobah?

"Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it. Makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter! You must feel the Force around you.. Between you, me, the rock. Everywhere. Even between the land and the ship."

Compare that with the FEEBLE way Luke tries to teach Rey. Rapping her on the knuckles with a reed. Saying nothing deep or meaningful about the Force but ranting about Jedi hubris... I mean, I get that Luke is bitter and broken by the betrayal and I'm okay with all that... but that doesn't excuse such watered down material. It's like the film is moving away from the spirituality that made the early Star Wars films great.

"I don't believe it..."
"That is why you fail."
Last edited by ArcticFox on Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Postby J.K. Riki » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:14 am

SPOILERS, as the whole thread has now become.

I made a conscious choice upon leaving the theater after seeing The Last Jedi to focus on the good parts and ignore the bad. There was plenty of bad, but I realized it wouldn't make my life any better to sit and dwell on those bits. I have plenty of other films to analyze for film-making purposes, so I could let this one be and just enjoy it. So I did enjoy it, quite a bit. Mostly Yoda's scene, which I would watch 90 more times (and will, when it released on DVD and arrives at my local library). And compared to The Force Awakens, which I hated more than most movies I've ever watched (it was creatively bankrupt), Last Jedi was a joy.

It could have been far better, but whatevs. Yoda. GOOD PUPPET YODA, too, not just cute CG one.
His sacrifice at that point would have meant nothing. The Empire at their throats, they just would have brought in another big gun in like twenty minutes.
Then ALL the fighters who went out in that scene made a pointless sacrifice, no?
The attempted self sacrifice at the end his was Finn's chance to actually DO something and bring his arc to a great close, but nope. Finn's presence in the movie had -zero- net effect on the story. Yes, he had an arc, but ultimately his efforts were completely pointless.
No way they would have done that from a PR standpoint, but yes, it would have made the film so much better. What an incredible thing that would have been. I don't think we'll ever get a Star Wars film with that kind of hutzpah ever again, though. CERTAINLY not with a token character.

See, that's the problem. If a character is doing something that doesn't serve the plot just to give them something to do, then you're better off cutting the character. This movie would have been much better if they'd completely cut Poe, Finn and Rose out of it because literally NOTHING any of them did served the plot. Well, Poe did lead the attack on the Star Destroyer at the beginning so it made sense to have him there, but Poe was never meant to be a big character. He was actually supposed to die in the crash on Jaku in Episode 7 but Abrams liked the actor's performance and had him written in more later.
I would totally agree with your assessment, but also add that rather than cutting them you could write them a useful story. I mean, people (not me, but many) now love these characters. Give them something to DO. So little happened in the whole film, to be honest, that you could have cut it down to about an hour and it would have lost almost nothing. My (second) biggest gripe of the whole thing was the editing, actually. That plot had zero reason to last three hours. There was/is plenty of room to write a great, useful story line for all the characters. Because let's face it, you cut (rather than rewrite) Poe, Finn, and Rose, and you have what, a half hour of film left in its current form? I don't need another hour and a half of Rey being pouty on Luke's island.
It's like the film is moving away from the spirituality that made the early Star Wars films great.
Considering how much of the new films have pandered to a very particular (and outspoken) audience, that's hardly a surprise. It's sad, but it's very in line with Public Relations of today. The past two SW films have been essentially giant PR attempts (successful ones, too). As I said, I enjoyed TLJ, but I'm not going to pretend Porgs weren't created to sell toys or that the last scene with the kid with the broom wasn't a giant In-Film Star Wars commercial meant to manipulate people. They are telling a story less for story reasons and more for commercial purposes at this point. Otherwise we wouldn't have stuff like Rogue One and Solo (and the inevitable 12 other spin-offs coming soon to a theater near you). And Finn would definitely have died as a hero.

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Postby Chozon1 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:39 am

OH MY GOSH I HAD A SUPER LONG REPLY AND THE FORUM DELETED IT BECAUSE IT TOOK ME SO LONG TO WRITE.

/hatred

It was super awesome. Would have had people backing away from their keyboards, lives changed forever.

>_> You'll have to settle for this one, I'm afraid.
A good point that's completely undermined by Holdo engaging the hyperdrive to disable the First Order fleet. What Rose did makes zero sense to me, because she basically handed the base over to the 1st Order. Could they have brought another big gun? Maybe, but that's more time the Resistance would have had to get away.
Thing is, nobody knew about that plan (perhaps even that it was possible) except Holdo (Baggins) and Leia. For all Finn, Rey, Rose, and Poe knew, the Rebels escaped on the large transport or the rebellion died. This was, in fact, essentially preached to them by Leia and Holdo.

Also, as soon as the First Order knew the rebels were there...there was no escape. That facility had one entrance and was incredibly fortified. That's why the rebels went there, in the hopes they could use it as a new secret base after the FO thought they were destroyed. Buying time was worth beans. Even if they escaped to the planets surface, no one replied to their hails. They had no ships. They would have needed a magnificent MacGuffin to survive.

Honestly, I think they went out in ships just to die fighting in the name of hope. I need to see the movie again, as I don't quite remember their rational. Either was, what Rose did makes sense to me, Instead of watching Finn make a worthless sacrifice...she could make one that would be worth something, even if only for awhile.
The attempted self sacrifice at the end his was Finn's chance to actually DO something and bring his arc to a great close, but nope. Finn's presence in the movie had -zero- net effect on the story. Yes, he had an arc, but ultimately his efforts were completely pointless.
Not really. It was a longshot, but the only shot they saw (without being smart and talking to Holdo). In one go, Finn could save the rebellion, Rey, and allow himself an escape.

Actually—given that the FO would not have been able to shoot down the Rebels ships without Rose and Finn screwing up and bringing back the wrong guy, who messed up the cloaking device transponder things—the story kind of hinges on them. In a negative way though. XD
I don't think it was Snoke that turned Ben Solo to the dark side. Did they say that and I just missed it?
Luke said something to the effect of 'Snoke got to him first' in reference as to why Baby Ben had so much darkness in his heart. I could be misreading the intent, I guess.
Star Wars has always been a very clear epic allegory. Good vs. evil. Light vs. dark. The Force was not gray. (No, I don't give a fig about "grey Jedi" or any of that nonsense from non-canon sources.) This is what Yoda taught Luke way back on Dagobah. Introducing the moral ambiguity angle doesn't make Star Wars more sophisticated or complex. It just waters it down and makes it more mundane.
Part of me would like to argue this, as the very idea of balanced spirituality suggests light and dark in equal mix, which could be gray.

Problem is, I don't remember if Yoda said this in the OG, or the more questionable prequels. :P Which are, I would not argue, more influenced by modern morals. I understand what you mean, though.

Personally...I also took that to mean that the moral failing was on the part of the weapons dealers, not the rebellion (who probably didn't know). Finn and Rose both looked horrified, at any rate.
"Look at me. Judge me by my side, do you? And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it. Makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter! You must feel the Force around you.. Between you, me, the rock. Everywhere. Even between the land and the ship."

Compare that with the FEEBLE way Luke tries to teach Rey. Rapping her on the knuckles with a reed. Saying nothing deep or meaningful about the Force but ranting about Jedi hubris... I mean, I get that Luke is bitter and broken by the betrayal and I'm okay with all that... but that doesn't excuse such watered down material. It's like the film is moving away from the spirituality that made the early Star Wars films great.
Dang that's a great quote. <3 Nothing from the newer movies comes close.

However, at the risk of sounding like a super fan...to this too, I have an answer.

For one, Yoda had like...twenty years to learn the spiritual sides of the force. I don't know if you've seen the Clone Wars cartoon (which is canon now, as characters are referenced within the movies), but there are actually several episodes that deal with this. Yoda is basically warned from beyond the grave that there is a lot he doesn't know about the Living Force, and he must learn it if the future is to have any hope. He goes on a spiritual quest and stuff, which timeline wise takes places just before the third prequel.

Ostensibly, this explains the differences between “Wise and powerful” OG Yoda and “I'ma flip around like a pixie and lightsaber you” prequel Yoda. But that's just a super-fan's defense and I know it. :P

Secondly...the movie was about Luke's redemption too. When Renny went darkside, Luke blamed himself. It broke his faith. Everything he believed, everything he had learned about the Force, Luke taught Ben, and—in Luke's mind—it caused him to go Darkside.

Mind, both Yoda and Rey chastised him for this wrong belief (which is, in a world of media filled with 'I went evil but it's not my fault', incredibly cool), and said it was Kylo's own decisions which lead him to evil.

But at this point Luke had cut himself off from the force. He had hidden himself away in the farthest corner of the galaxy so the knowledge would die with him. It had spawned Kylo Ren. It had spawned Vader. It had spawned the Emperor.

He didn't teach Rey about the spiritual elements because he didn't believe them anymore. He taught Rey the atheistic force, basically. How to move rocks and feels the world, but not the important (dangerous) spiritual elements. “You saw the dark, and went right towards it. It offered you something you needed, and you didn't even try to resist.”

Then Yoda showed up and basically told Luke to get over himself. Yes, pride was the downfall of the Jedi, and perhaps even himself. But that was a personal fault. Not a flaw in the Jedi belief system.

Which is why there's a sea-change between grumpy Luke in the beginning of the movie, and return of the Jedi at the end. Luke had regained his faith by reopening himself to the Force. It's why he pulled an Obi-Wan instead of just dying. “I will not be the last Jedi”. Gave me the shivers. <3

Strange as it sounds coming from a Christian, it's my hope that Rey will actually be taught from beyond the grave by Luke, Yoda, Obi-Wan, and Vader in the final movie. Either way, I was actually pleased at the spirituality in this.
Then ALL the fighters who went out in that scene made a pointless sacrifice, no?
Perhaps so. In hindsight, no. As it bought Rey time. In foresight...yes. There was no real purpose to the battle.
Considering how much of the new films have pandered to a very particular (and outspoken) audience, that's hardly a surprise. It's sad, but it's very in line with Public Relations of today. The past two SW films have been essentially giant PR attempts (successful ones, too). As I said, I enjoyed TLJ, but I'm not going to pretend Porgs weren't created to sell toys or that the last scene with the kid with the broom wasn't a giant In-Film Star Wars commercial meant to manipulate people. They are telling a story less for story reasons and more for commercial purposes at this point. Otherwise we wouldn't have stuff like Rogue One and Solo (and the inevitable 12 other spin-offs coming soon to a theater near you). And Finn would definitely have died as a hero.
OK. At the risk of being offensive, I'm going to be brutally honest for a moment.

You and Arctic both suggest that the new SW movies are gravely influenced by modern moral bankruptcy and corporate gluttony.

I would suggest this does a disservice to the film makers. They were showed remarkable restraint, from a moral standpoint. I would suggest that, if your posits were true:

Finn would remain Rey's love interest, with a Kylo triangle.

The darkside, instead of being composed of evil people doing evil things for their own greedy purposes, would be revealed to be misunderstood and abused; with evil jedi's—not sith. But 'good' jedi's are actually evil—who forced people into the darkside from a spirit of dogma.

Rose would not have lost her sister, but her wife.

The real bad guys would not be an evil army of mind-wiped soldiers, but the corporate businessmen who created that army to make more money. Also, Snoke would be revealed to be Donald Trump's clone, with the real Trump using funds filched from the unfortunate to build a Death Star (the actual size of a star).

Thing is...this is Disney. Their cartoons and kid shows affirm homosexuality. The MCU is increasingly morally ambiguous, and fatalistically humanistic.

And then there's Star Wars. An equitably ancient franchise loved for almost 40 years. And the good guys are good, and encouraged to be good. The bad guys are bad, and encouraged towards redemption. In the midst of a soul-sucking life-breaking universe, ruled by an empire smushing happiness, creativity, and niceness in general under size-13 fascist boots, you have good people fighting for hope, and freedom, and a new dawn. And willing to pay for that freedom with their own blood, even though they may never see it.

That's a crazy positive attitude.
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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Postby ArcticFox » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:16 pm

I would totally agree with your assessment, but also add that rather than cutting them you could write them a useful story. I mean, people (not me, but many) now love these characters. Give them something to DO. So little happened in the whole film, to be honest, that you could have cut it down to about an hour and it would have lost almost nothing. My (second) biggest gripe of the whole thing was the editing, actually. That plot had zero reason to last three hours. There was/is plenty of room to write a great, useful story line for all the characters. Because let's face it, you cut (rather than rewrite) Poe, Finn, and Rose, and you have what, a half hour of film left in its current form? I don't need another hour and a half of Rey being pouty on Luke's island.
You're not wrong, and I'd definitely have liked a tighter story where Finn, Rose and Poe actually did have actions that impacted the plot. I just suggested they be cut because the movie was so long. If they could've been worked in and kept the runtime under 2 hours, I'd have been thrilled.
Considering how much of the new films have pandered to a very particular (and outspoken) audience, that's hardly a surprise. It's sad, but it's very in line with Public Relations of today. The past two SW films have been essentially giant PR attempts (successful ones, too). As I said, I enjoyed TLJ, but I'm not going to pretend Porgs weren't created to sell toys or that the last scene with the kid with the broom wasn't a giant In-Film Star Wars commercial meant to manipulate people. They are telling a story less for story reasons and more for commercial purposes at this point. Otherwise we wouldn't have stuff like Rogue One and Solo (and the inevitable 12 other spin-offs coming soon to a theater near you). And Finn would definitely have died as a hero.
I'm not inclined to be fully on board with the political pandering, since I didn't really see any elements that struck me as particularly left of center per se. Female leaders in the Rebellion are nothing new (Mon Mothma, Leia Organa, Padme Amidalla) so that wasn't a switch, and so far Finn's relationship with Poe seems perfectly normal, despite efforts by some fans to ship them together. That said, I agree that the Porgs were meant to sell toys but that isn't really new either. Read up sometime on the story of how Kenner got the license to make Star Wars toys (There's a show on Netflix that goes into th at). Star Wars marketing toys has been a thing since 1977.
OH MY GOSH I HAD A SUPER LONG REPLY AND THE FORUM DELETED IT BECAUSE IT TOOK ME SO LONG TO WRITE.
I really hate it when that happens... and my mouse has a back button on the side that sometimes my thumb bumps and causes the same problem.

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Thing is, nobody knew about that plan (perhaps even that it was possible) except Holdo (Baggins) and Leia. For all Finn, Rey, Rose, and Poe knew, the Rebels escaped on the large transport or the rebellion died. This was, in fact, essentially preached to them by Leia and Holdo.
That's true, but they did see her perform the maneuver on their way to the planet. Actually, I didn't get the impression that the hyperdrive strike was part of the plan all along. I had the impression that she just came up with it on the spur of the moment, but I could be wrong.
Also, as soon as the First Order knew the rebels were there...there was no escape. That facility had one entrance and was incredibly fortified. That's why the rebels went there, in the hopes they could use it as a new secret base after the FO thought they were destroyed. Buying time was worth beans. Even if they escaped to the planets surface, no one replied to their hails. They had no ships. They would have needed a magnificent MacGuffin to survive.
Well remember, they were trying to buy time because they were hoping to receive help from other Resistance cells. At that point they were still hopeful.
Not really. It was a longshot, but the only shot they saw (without being smart and talking to Holdo). In one go, Finn could save the rebellion, Rey, and allow himself an escape.

Actually—given that the FO would not have been able to shoot down the Rebels ships without Rose and Finn screwing up and bringing back the wrong guy, who messed up the cloaking device transponder things—the story kind of hinges on them. In a negative way though. XD
But that's just it: What is the net difference to the story having had Finn and Rose go on the mission? Imagine they'd just stayed on the ship the whole time and waited. What would be different? Well, DJ doesn't get the payoff. That's IT. They all still wind up in the old Rebel base on Crait, the ships are all still destroyed, Holdo would still have done the hyperdrive attack. I mean, you could argue that it sets up Rose's feelings for Finn leading her to save him form his suicide run, but that's an awfully small narrative payoff for such a huge amount of time spent on it. If it was just a mechanism for getting the two of them together, that could have been done in any number of other, more efficient, ways.
Luke said something to the effect of 'Snoke got to him first' in reference as to why Baby Ben had so much darkness in his heart. I could be misreading the intent, I guess.
Ah ok I'd forgotten that line. Not sure how it fits into Ben's story but I'll need to watch the movie again.
Personally...I also took that to mean that the moral failing was on the part of the weapons dealers, not the rebellion (who probably didn't know). Finn and Rose both looked horrified, at any rate.
True, and it was satisfying to see them knocked off of the moral pedestal they were standing on, being all judgy as they were... but it doesn't really let the Resistance off the hook, since the idea is that they were dealing with shady characters to get their equipment. What I liked about the original trilogy is that they strongly implied that the corporations and entities who produced the Rebels' equipment were actual companies that had joined up against the Empire. The X-wing was the Incom T-65 X-Wing fighter, and it was not in use by the Empire. That's just one example.
However, at the risk of sounding like a super fan...to this too, I have an answer.
Of course you do. Otherwise this conversation would be boring!
For one, Yoda had like...twenty years to learn the spiritual sides of the force. I don't know if you've seen the Clone Wars cartoon (which is canon now, as characters are referenced within the movies), but there are actually several episodes that deal with this. Yoda is basically warned from beyond the grave that there is a lot he doesn't know about the Living Force, and he must learn it if the future is to have any hope. He goes on a spiritual quest and stuff, which timeline wise takes places just before the third prequel.

Ostensibly, this explains the differences between “Wise and powerful” OG Yoda and “I'ma flip around like a pixie and lightsaber you” prequel Yoda. But that's just a super-fan's defense and I know it. :P
Haha fair enough. I haven't seen much of the Clone Wars material so I can't comment on that either way.
Secondly...the movie was about Luke's redemption too. When Renny went darkside, Luke blamed himself. It broke his faith. Everything he believed, everything he had learned about the Force, Luke taught Ben, and—in Luke's mind—it caused him to go Darkside.
Like ACTUAL dark side? I didn't get that impression...
Mind, both Yoda and Rey chastised him for this wrong belief (which is, in a world of media filled with 'I went evil but it's not my fault', incredibly cool), and said it was Kylo's own decisions which lead him to evil.
That's a good point, and it's a good moral lesson. My gripe is with the overall depth though.
But at this point Luke had cut himself off from the force. He had hidden himself away in the farthest corner of the galaxy so the knowledge would die with him. It had spawned Kylo Ren. It had spawned Vader. It had spawned the Emperor.

He didn't teach Rey about the spiritual elements because he didn't believe them anymore. He taught Rey the atheistic force, basically. How to move rocks and feels the world, but not the important (dangerous) spiritual elements. “You saw the dark, and went right towards it. It offered you something you needed, and you didn't even try to resist.”

Then Yoda showed up and basically told Luke to get over himself. Yes, pride was the downfall of the Jedi, and perhaps even himself. But that was a personal fault. Not a flaw in the Jedi belief system.
Yeah I'm completely cool with Luke's story arc here. I know a lot of people complain about it (including Mark Hamil himself) but it made sense to me.
Which is why there's a sea-change between grumpy Luke in the beginning of the movie, and return of the Jedi at the end. Luke had regained his faith by reopening himself to the Force. It's why he pulled an Obi-Wan instead of just dying. “I will not be the last Jedi”. Gave me the shivers. <3

Strange as it sounds coming from a Christian, it's my hope that Rey will actually be taught from beyond the grave by Luke, Yoda, Obi-Wan, and Vader in the final movie. Either way, I was actually pleased at the spirituality in this.
See, for me the original story made Jedi feel like Space Clerics. Even Tarkin once referred to the Jedi Order as a religion. The new approach makes it feel a lot more like Space Wizards. It's a power, but not spiritual.
You and Arctic both suggest that the new SW movies are gravely influenced by modern moral bankruptcy and corporate gluttony.

I would suggest this does a disservice to the film makers. They were showed remarkable restraint, from a moral standpoint. I would suggest that, if your posits were true:

Finn would remain Rey's love interest, with a Kylo triangle.

The darkside, instead of being composed of evil people doing evil things for their own greedy purposes, would be revealed to be misunderstood and abused; with evil jedi's—not sith. But 'good' jedi's are actually evil—who forced people into the darkside from a spirit of dogma.

Rose would not have lost her sister, but her wife.

The real bad guys would not be an evil army of mind-wiped soldiers, but the corporate businessmen who created that army to make more money. Also, Snoke would be revealed to be Donald Trump's clone, with the real Trump using funds filched from the unfortunate to build a Death Star (the actual size of a star).

Thing is...this is Disney. Their cartoons and kid shows affirm homosexuality. The MCU is increasingly morally ambiguous, and fatalistically humanistic.

And then there's Star Wars. An equitably ancient franchise loved for almost 40 years. And the good guys are good, and encouraged to be good. The bad guys are bad, and encouraged towards redemption. In the midst of a soul-sucking life-breaking universe, ruled by an empire smushing happiness, creativity, and niceness in general under size-13 fascist boots, you have good people fighting for hope, and freedom, and a new dawn. And willing to pay for that freedom with their own blood, even though they may never see it.

That's a crazy positive attitude.
Fair point, but it's my contention that you'll start seeing all of those kinds of things going forward. I'm willing to bet better than even odds that Finn and Poe get together in the next film. I don't want that, but a part of me is surprised, (albeit pleasantly) that it didn't happen in Episode 8.

Episode 8 was, for me, Star Wars saying good-bye to my generation of fans and letting us know that we're parting as friends, no hard feelings, but Star Wars can't remain what it was before. What worked in the '70s and what worked in the '90s isn't what works now. They can't please everybody, so they're gonna move on to those they CAN please, which is modern audiences, for better or for worse.

I'm not mad at Star Wars for this. I just feel like we had our divorce and we're gonna stay friends.
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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (SPOILERS)

Postby Chozon1 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:27 am

That's true, but they did see her perform the maneuver on their way to the planet. Actually, I didn't get the impression that the hyperdrive strike was part of the plan all along. I had the impression that she just came up with it on the spur of the moment, but I could be wrong.
I feel like it was the plan after they learned they were running out of fuel. As they had to rig the ships up to be cloaked and all. Neither of them seemed surprised by it...but it could have been something Holdo came up with on the spot to try and save the rebellion.

The problem with that, though, is...At some point it has to be asked: Why on earth didn't they just do that in the first place? O_o One of the other frigates, once it became apparent they were going to get blown up, could've flipped in reverse and taken a nice chunk out of the ship.

This, I will say, bothers me far more than the Rose/Finn plot issue. If I was going to take issue with something it would be the vaguely Star Trek-ish warp core detonation. I realize it was a ship 'reaching hyper speed just as it contacted the enemy ship', but I'm almost positive Kirk or Picard pulled something similar. :P
Well remember, they were trying to buy time because they were hoping to receive help from other Resistance cells. At that point they were still hopeful.
I need to see the movie again, I think. Because I remember them basically getting a 'No U' in return hails, when they got anything. No one wanted to touch them after the Death Planet incident.
But that's just it: What is the net difference to the story having had Finn and Rose go on the mission? Imagine they'd just stayed on the ship the whole time and waited. What would be different? Well, DJ doesn't get the payoff. That's IT. They all still wind up in the old Rebel base on Crait, the ships are all still destroyed, Holdo would still have done the hyperdrive attack. I mean, you could argue that it sets up Rose's feelings for Finn leading her to save him form his suicide run, but that's an awfully small narrative payoff for such a huge amount of time spent on it. If it was just a mechanism for getting the two of them together, that could have been done in any number of other, more efficient, ways.
Efficiency is not always effective when crafting a narrative. Nor is it always the way reality works, as anyone who has ever gone to the DMV knows. :P

But...I'm thinking it was actually something the shifty guy did that allowed the FO to see the rebel ships in the first place? By not disabling something or enabling something. In which case, if Rose and Finn had stayed put, the ships would have never been in trouble at all, the rebellion would have been lessened, but happy.

But that's not what a rebel does, right? Inaction is death, according to Poe. And Finn, and Rose. And nobody bothered to correct them. So long shot or not, I still think it was reasonable to take it even if it didn't pay off how they wanted.
Like ACTUAL dark side? I didn't get that impression...
I meant Luke thought it caused Ben to go darkside. Not Luke. Heck no. I would have left the theater if they had turned Luke darkside. Not even kidding.
Fair point, but it's my contention that you'll start seeing all of those kinds of things going forward. I'm willing to bet better than even odds that Finn and Poe get together in the next film. I don't want that, but a part of me is surprised, (albeit pleasantly) that it didn't happen in Episode 8.

Episode 8 was, for me, Star Wars saying good-bye to my generation of fans and letting us know that we're parting as friends, no hard feelings, but Star Wars can't remain what it was before. What worked in the '70s and what worked in the '90s isn't what works now. They can't please everybody, so they're gonna move on to those they CAN please, which is modern audiences, for better or for worse.

I'm not mad at Star Wars for this. I just feel like we had our divorce and we're gonna stay friends.
I hope not, honestly. I'd not keep watching the series. I don't need another agenda pushed on me, especially in the hollow shell of a once beloved franchise.

But...As much as Disney likes to push their agenda, they aren't stupid. Even in the modern era, I am hesitant to think they would alienate such a large portion of their audience on a film that would otherwise, literally, print money. I think they lost money on Beauty and The Beast because of all the hype surrounding it.
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