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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 1:55 am 
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Arrow wrote:
Brian C wrote:
Ribs wrote:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
General Hux didn't die. (Which is good, coz he's plainly the best part of these movies.)

[Reveal] Spoiler:
He didn't? OK, I missed that then. For fuck's sake, did anyone die when the rebel ship slammed into the imperial fleet at light speed?


[Reveal] Spoiler:
That scene was bizarre because the impact caused everyone around Rose and Finn to be killed or knocked unconscious at least, but not Rose and Finn, then Phasma and her group of troopers march in unaffected as if they were hanging out in another room at the time of impact.
That's just how lazy the whole script is : crowds keep getting blasted around but the viewer keep wondering who actually really died in these.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
except for Ackbar of course.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:51 am 
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Obviously thinking about it now I remember that
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Hux was on the surface for the confrontation with Skywalker. I just had the chronology screwy in my head.

Still, that was an act of sacrifice by Dern's character that had shockingly little consequence when all was said and done.

One another thing that annoyed me from a lazy-script standpoint was how the First Order just happened to have whatever weapon they needed when they needed it. It was like the Harry Potter movies, where whatever trouble Potter got into, there just happened to be some highly specific bit of magic that was just-so tailored to the occasion. Until Potter, I always thought of it as the Batman Utility Belt screenwriting method.

But in this film, it was "OK, we just need to jump to light speed and we're good." But then the bad guys just-so happened to be able to track through light speed now. Or "OK, we just need to get to this planet and it's fortified well enough for us to make a stand." Except the bad guys now just happened to have a battering ram laser thing that no one knew about. I mean, I guess it makes sense that the First Order would have the technology to ... well, knock down a door and all, that's not too big of an ask when you think about it, but why was everyone so surprised about it? I guess either way this is just lazy writing, pretending to tell a story when all they're really doing is a half-assed setup for the next action scene.

But the light-speed tracker really annoyed me. I suppose that it's a just-so thing in the previous films that jumping into light speed was an automatic escape, and I can sorta see the appeal to Johnson of wanting to eliminate that narrative shortcut. It's actually kind of subversive in a way. But what does the film actually do with this? It's just a setup for Finn and the new girl to discard any notion of timeline and galavant across the galaxy in what is bar none the biggest waste-of-time subplot in this entire series and maybe any movie ever aside from whatever was going on during the entire middle section of the first Avengers movie. "Hmm, we need a hacker," they say, as if this is 1996. Jesus, that's awful.

This movie just gets worse the more I think about it. I think that it might be worse than any of the prequels in some ways (but certainly not all ways). It's hard to say because my memory of the prequels is pretty hazy, but while I don't think Lucas's stories were all that interesting, they seemed more thought-out and better structured than this.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:28 am 
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The various elements you write about that just different incarnations of the same issue : how inconsequential the whole movie is.
It keeps being inconsequential all along, whether it's with the previous Ep 7 or within itself.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Luke is said to have closed himself to the Force, but actually he's still powerful as hell. Rey gets there to get trained but doesn't but nobody cares. Poe keeps making deadly mistakes and his fellow comrades keep getting anonymously killed but he's still shown in the end as a fair new leader of the Rebellion. Finn and Rose go for nothing in their adventures, come back, and these wasted 90 min pretty much don't change anything to their characters. Yoda shows that now, seemingly, Force holograms can interact with the real world but it's never used again.

Ep 7 placed Snoke as a powerful ominous character : he gets killed in a stupidest way that some stormtroopers.
We were promised more Phasma : it pretty much seems actually worse for her in Ep 8.

We were promised more originaly and less recycling : the OST never has offered so little new stuff, and the whole movie still is copying the OT : Porgs = Ewoks, Poe = Han, Finn & Rose = Luke and Leia's idealism, Luke = Yoda.

And never forget how Hux apologises to Snoke : "Ooh, actually Sir, you probably don't know this despite being so powerful, but we have a brand new Ultimate Practical Tracker, and guess what : it's on you very own ship !"
* twists his moustache and laughs with an English Posh accent *


And don't get me started on the Big Themes vaguely thrown in the movie (winning war is about making peace, failure is the best teacher). They're so superficially treated, the movie would have better off without them at all.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:17 pm 
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Brian C wrote:
Saw this tonight and ... the wheel-spinning is strong with this one.

I don't think this is the worst Star Wars film but of the main line at least, it's easily the most unnecessary. I have no investment in the series, really, so none of the stuff that's been done in terms of being faithful or not faithful to Star Wars legend bothers me at all. It's just that the real appeal of bringing Johnson aboard for me was that he'd be writing the film, and I guess I just expected a lot more from a story standpoint given how beautifully constructed his previous films were.

But this is just a jumbled mess. Finch mentioned that it was too long by a half-hour but I think way more than that. Essentially, after two of the three movies, this series still has no idea what it's doing with either Poe Dameron or Finn, and the film manages something really hard to do: it gives them a lot of screentime while still making them feel like afterthoughts.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
I was disappointed, too, in what was done with Luke's character. Does it make a lot of sense to have him not do much except pout and bitch the whole way through, before making him a deus ex machina at the end?

One thing I will say for the film, though, is that it did bring the character of Kylo Ren into sharper focus. I like the idea that this new trilogy is basically functioning - intentionally on behalf of the filmmakers or otherwise - as a sort of do-over of Anakin's turn to the dark side from the prequels. Lucas botched that so horribly, but this series seems to be taking the same idea and doing it some justice.

I'll say, too, that Rey is an interesting character, but for some reason, the film all but sidelines her during the climactic battle.
I guess she shows up to move some rocks, but that's literally reducing her role to a punchline. That seems dumb from a story standpoint, too.

Johnson really seems to be out for blood, too. Abrams killed Han, but this film manages to kill Snoke, Luke, Laura Dern's character who could have been an interesting addition to the series, Phasma, and Hux, and probably some others I forgot. It feels like there's barely anyone left for Episode IX, especially since we know Leia can't be a big factor, either.

Speaking of, the death of Snoke seems like a big gamble to me. From a story standpoint, it seems odd - here's this supreme, all-powerful character who's gone before we even learn anything about him. What was his deal, anyway? Where and how and from whom did he learn the ways of the force? He just appeared 30 years after Palpatine died and seems more powerful than that dude ever did and he's gone just like that, without even factoring into the story much. Very strange.


Again, this movie seemed mostly like the series spinning its wheels. There's just not much we learned about these characters that justifies the rather excessive length. The filler-to-substance ratio is running at about 2:1, sadly.


[Reveal] Spoiler:
I liked the way Snoke was featured and then killed off in this film. A bit of background may have been interesting, but this upended our expectations and, more importantly, this created the “balance” needed in the force. Snoke was to Ren as Skywalker was to Rey. It seems that, if one dies, then the other must - to keep the balance. In the end, this trilogy seems to be about Ren and Rey. It’s their story - not Luke’s or Snoke’s. I do think that the movie is less “fun” than a lot of the other films, but it’s the smartest about the character arcs.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:23 pm 
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All the Best People wrote:
I found it a good film, and definitely a Rian Johnson film, with film noir references...


I could have sworn I heard "The Long Goodbye" during the Canto Bight scenes. After reading that Johnson worked closely with Williams on the score - I'm pretty sure it's in the movie...

This was a difficult film to process, because I'm pretty much a Star Wars nerd who remembers seeing Return of the Jedi in the theater, so it was an emotional gut punch. But after thinking about it - it feels right to me. It's no longer my Star Wars - it now belongs the next generation, with new stories and characters - it's very much been two sequel films about growing old, at least that's what I've brought to the movies. While I appreciate the development of Luke having difficulty coming to terms with his place in history - I still would have like see him in a stand alone. Because while this one expands upon the Force/Jedi history - it still hasn't fully explored it - at least so far on film. Perhaps a Godfather II like film would work with a Obi Wan/Luke story...crosscutting.

As for the movie itself...it's far from perfect. It has pacing issues. I didn't see a lot of visual beauty that others saw. I could have done without Maz and Phasma being in it - Finn and Rose's journey ends up awkwardly forced. However, Leia's use of the force in the opening was jaw dropping. Benicio gave a quirky performance, and his send off echo'd a chilling observation that Rose makes about "the war machine." I also like Rose pointing out animal abuse. Luke's tossing of the saber was a brilliant pay off to a two year wait - that made me recall Bulle Ogier tossing the nesting doll in L'amour Fou. The Ach-to nuns look like Black Narcissis. I wish we got more of them. R2, 3PO and Chewie have moments but not enough - BB8 had too many (his rescue at the end was the low point of the film - along with Rose and Finn's embrace). Poe got better as well, his business with Hux in the beginning was great.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
I'm okay with Snoke being killed and Rey's parents being nobodies - provided they explore Snoke's past and Rey's mastery of the Force in episode 9. I still don't like the idea of Luke dying - but I get it. I just wish Anakin had joined Yoda when visiting Luke - it would have gave more importance to the prequels and finished the Skywalker arc. Unfortunately Fisher and Driver never share a scene in this series, and that’s tragic. Also, Leia and Rey aren’t given a lot to do in the climax. Finally, the ending - for me, it would have been cool if "broom kid" had been an alien, instead of some generic white boy.


The Force Awakens felt like seeing a long lost friend, this one feels like a goodbye. I look forward to seeing JJ's conclusion.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:11 am 
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A spot-on analysis of the fundamental problem(s) with 'Di$ney Star Wars'


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:54 am 
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Amazing. Every word you just said, is wrong...


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:03 am 
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Yes, The Long Goodbye theme makes a cameo in the casino scene.

Ignatiy is higher on the film than I am, but I found his piece well-observed.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:49 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:53 pm
MoonlitKnight wrote:

Yeah he is pretty spot on. I like the part about Disney aping the aesthetics of Star Wars, and how that basically dictates the kind of story they can tell. There has to be storm troopers, therefore there needs to be an empire, etc. The existing parallels are so cut and dry (Snoke=Emperor, Kylo= Anakin, Rey=Luke, etc.) that they can't really create new stories because they've restricted themselves to this cup game, where the only thing left to do is play with expectations.

The question of "why?" also resonates. The first trilogy was your classic underdog, good vs evil story; the prequels were sort of a greek tragedy, but what is this new trilogy? I kept asking myself: where do they intend to take this? By its conclusion will it have enough of an arc to really justify being a trilogy? Or is Disney once again simply aping the aesthetics of the format?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:03 pm 

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bearcuborg wrote:
Amazing. Every word you just said, is wrong...

That’s going to become very quotable in years to come, I think...

All the Best People wrote:
Yes, The Long Goodbye theme makes a cameo in the casino scene.

Ignatiy is higher on the film than I am, but I found his piece well-observed.

I used to love that site, but I’ve hardly gone there anymore since they switched to Kinja.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:38 pm 
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RIP Film wrote:
MoonlitKnight wrote:

Yeah he is pretty spot on. I like the part about Disney aping the aesthetics of Star Wars, and how that basically dictates the kind of story they can tell. There has to be storm troopers, therefore there needs to be an empire, etc. The existing parallels are so cut and dry (Snoke=Emperor, Kylo= Anakin, Rey=Luke, etc.) that they can't really create new stories because they've restricted themselves to this cup game, where the only thing left to do is play with expectations.

The question of "why?" also resonates. The first trilogy was your classic underdog, good vs evil story; the prequels were sort of a greek tragedy, but what is this new trilogy? I kept asking myself: where do they intend to take this? By its conclusion will it have enough of an arc to really justify being a trilogy? Or is Disney once again simply aping the aesthetics of the format?

The expanded universe had a lot of these things too (Another Empire, moral ambiguity, evil sons etc.). Before Disney struck all of them (Books, games comics) from the canon a lot of this stuff that's being reused/reworked was already there.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:54 pm 
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There seems to be a lot of disagreement about this film, including about those things that make it weak. Any talk of Disneyfication, though, is moot in comparison to the repulsive things Lucas did with his trilogy. Anyway, because my son is 9 and obsessed with Star Wars, I'll be seeing it again in the coming weeks. I can't imagine it will improve, but I'll be able to reflect a little on those parts that--I felt--simply don't work.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:27 am 
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For all the stupid ideas Lucas thrown in the prelogy, it still felt massively more interesting and entertaining that this movie which goes nowhere for 152 minutes but still seems to think it's actually very deep and smart.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:42 am 
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The basic story was NOT the problem with the prequels; rather, the execution of it was. The basic story IS the problem with this trilogy (so far), as far as I'm concerned... which is undeniably problematic when it comes to a movie series that predominantly hinges on story more than anything else. It's completely undone the character arcs of Luke, Han, and Leia as established in the OT (Luke's especially; it's almost akin to someone deciding to write a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird and making Atticus Finch into a pedophile in it :| ). It's told us nothing about how its central conflict came about in the first place given how ROTJ ended. It's given us no good reason to care about its new characters. It's essentially shrunk the galaxy back down after having been expanded in the prequels. And it's pretty apparent there isn't a streamlined singular vision here as there was during the Lucas era. Abrams' stupid, short-term-minded 'mystery box' gimmick didn't suit this series at all. The skeleton of the whole trilogy's story should've been completely hammered out before a single frame was shot; instead, they proceeded with at least half of the bones still missing, so to speak. For many people, Star Wars isn't Star Wars without the Skywalker family, the presence of the Jedi/Sith, the Force, and the presence of the galactic government... and the occasional Rodian in the background :P .


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:26 am 
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I still strongly believe that the main issues with the movie's script isn't as a Star Wars movie but as a movie to begin with. And in this regard, I don't think Abrams is as guilty as many seems to think he is. He certainly seems like a good scapegoat, but I'd tend to think the higher powers within the current Star Wars moviemaking business are the ones to blame. I actually wouldn't be surprised if The Last Jedi emptiness is just the first visible consequence of the Marvelisation of the franchise which has started with Ep VII.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:01 am 

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I actually liked this. More than any other Star Wars movie since Empire Strikes Back. But that's because I found eps 1 (Darth Maul aside) and 2 to be utterly dire, Return of the Jedi to be very average, and both Revenge of the Sith and Force Awakens to be only decent. This IMHO was a very good film, despite all the flaws (and there are many).

Maybe it's just because I dont really care about the Star Wars movies as narratives, even the two great films have hokey narratives (at least to me).


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:58 am 

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What was with all the cinematic weirdness in this one? Abrams may have had a crap script but at least he got that part right. A lot of strange closeups of anthropomorphic animals, and the framing of shots and pacing was all over the place. There's very little rhythm to the whole thing.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:03 pm 
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Well, the high visual points felt better in this last one, which has some truly beautiful shots that almost looked like beautiful concept arts. I don't recall Ep 7 having high points so high.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:11 pm 
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I liked this. For me, it's in the top tier of great Star Wars films, alongside Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back and the most intelligent Star Wars film by far.

I disagree with the idea that this film is inconsequential. It continues and greatly expands upon the major idea of this new trilogy which is a meta examination of what Star Wars is and our relationship to it by having new characters who have to sort that out for themselves. Doing that means engaging with the shortcomings and blind spots of the previous movies critically and all of that is on display here.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
We got the fleshing out of the original characters into actual people, who are not solely defined by the high point in their lives. We do away with the stupid idea that one has to choose between the light and dark and replace that with finding balance between the two. We do away with the stupid idea of good vs evil and replace it with the idea that maybe there are shades of gray to this conflict as well as a world of other conflicts beyond it. We do away with the stupid idea that heroism is succeeding through sheer luck against all odds and replace that with it being about building up leadership in others, while being cautious of needlessly sacrificing them, while being willing to sacrifice yourself for the greater good. We do away with the idea that to use the force you have to be of the right lineage. We do away with the idea that the Jedi have sole ownership over the force. All of the main characters, Finn, Kylo Ren, Poe, and Rey are forced to grow and make major decisions that greatly improve and flesh them out as characters. We acknowledge correctly that as depicted in the films the Jedi are ripe for criticism. We actually expand on the Force and what it can do, since there is no reason to limit it to the actions of the few Jedi/Sith we've seen use it in a handful of films.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Finally, to focus on a few specific things that I really liked. I loved that this is the first Star Wars movie to begin taking anything like a moral attitude toward all the death and suffering going on. I loved Luke throwing away the laser sword. He's literally come to an island to die alone and a stranger shows up saying you owe me/us something and his response is perfect and honest, fuck you. I loved Kylo Ren's anger and how he (wrongly) thinks that he can only find himself by destroying his past. When he orders his men, to shoot down the Millennium Falcon and to fire EVERY gun they have at Luke, I felt like I was watching the actions of an actual character, dealing (poorly) with their emotions instead of just a bad guy in a mask. And Luke's final truly heroic action, again becoming a symbol for the Rebellion, while also acknowledging the fiction behind such symbols, while also allowing Kylo to unleash his anger in a way that doesn't further doom him (since he can't actually strike Luke down) still leaving the door open (however unlikely) for some kind of redemption for Kylo at the cost of Luke's own life (just as he said) was very touching. Again, this improvement of heroism in this series from having been using luck to do the impossible to making a hard/compromised choice of doing your best to help and save those around you is greatly welcome.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:19 pm 
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I understand your points, but I probably could find at least one counter-argument from within the Last Jedi for each one of them, being the fleshing out / growing out of the characters, the less manichaean aspect of the movie, the view on the toll of war, etc etc. It's most of often toying with these ideas, sure, but only to turn away and not do anything with them in the end (or do the opposite of what it just says 30 minutes before).

However, I agree with you about Kylo Ren's character / acting and development. He's without a doubt (for me) the best thing of this movie, and possibly is shaping out to be the best thing of this new trilogy.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:42 pm 

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Kylo Ren is dramatically underdeveloped though in regard to his motivations, hating Luke is one thing, wanting to kill your parents and blow up planets is another. You never feel he is completely committed to the dark side, so this is a very precarious thing to hang an entire trilogy on, since the First Order is the dramatic fulcrum and he's the leader.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:51 pm 
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Quote:
I understand your points, but I probably could find at least one counter-argument from within the Last Jedi for each one of them, being the fleshing out / growing out of the characters, the less manichaean aspect of the movie, the view on the toll of war, etc etc. It's most of often toying with these ideas, sure, but only to turn away and not do anything with them in the end (or do the opposite of what it just says 30 minutes before).


I think these things were done well. I understand that others may not feel the same way. I think the older characters are unarguably fleshed out. We get to see Leia be a leader, to get a sense of her personal leadership style, and the importance she places in building leadership in other people. Based solely on the films, this is 100% new.

We get Luke's particular variation on the recluse that all surviving Jedi masters (Obi-Wan, Yoda) apparently inevitably become. I can understand that some may not like this take, but it is definitely giving the character something to be about beyond a highlight reel of his twenties. Luke was a whiny kid. He's a whiny adult. His character is also nicely consistent with the idea of the older generation letting the newer one down, hence they've got to go on an adventure themselves...

[Reveal] Spoiler:
I think the focus on the loss of life on the Rebel side in the opening battle, the introduction of an economic elite/arms dealers and DJ's philosophy definitely expand on the idea that the sum of all good and evil in the galaxy isn't completely epitomized by the conflict of the Rebels and the Empire/First Order. This is new.

I think the movie is pretty seriously committed to re-imagining the idea of what it means to be heroic in an action movie like this. Every simplistic plan that fits the heroic template of the previous movies, either entails great death and suffering, fails, or fails in a way that leads to extra death and suffering. While all the glimpses of heroism we get are specifically about individuals willing to sacrifice themselves for others (the captains of all the Rebel transports who go down with their ships, but safely evacuate their crews) Holdo's light-speed kamikaze, Finn and Rose destroying Canto Bight/freeing the horses, Rose preventing Finn from needlessly killing himself after the point at which the weapon can no longer be stopped from firing, and finally Luke getting over his own shit and sacrificing himself to revitalize the Rebellion, but doing so in a way that is cleverly thoughtful towards Kylo Ren. We also actually get the promise of The Force being something in the universe that anyone can tap into. Rey is a nobody. The kid at the end is a nobody. In the movies we haven't seen this before. Again, none of this is to say that people are right or wrong to enjoy the movie or that one can't find things wrong about it, but I don't think it's necessary for a movie or anything else to be 100% consistent in order to have a point. The movie does add stuff to Star Wars it does think critically about things that have happened (the Jedi, objectively suck as an organization) and logically asks should this be repeated in exactly the same way? The Rebels keep failing, do we need to think deeper about what they're doing? Will any of these questions, themes be further paid off in the next episode? I don't know, but to me they're present in this movie, I personally found them enjoyable and they're undeniably new (in the context of these movies) and thus they are consequential and do shift the ground in Star Wars quite a lot which is why I think some people are reacting so strongly to this film. And again, none of this is to say that anyone has to like these changes or think they were well executed, but I think they're there and at the very least provide the potential for continuing to go in a different direction.


Quote:
However, I agree with you about Kylo Ren's character / acting and development. He's without a doubt (for me) the best thing of this movie, and possibly is shaping out to be the best thing of this new trilogy.


[Reveal] Spoiler:
I think that Rey and Finn were the most interesting new characters in The Force Awakens, with Kylo being a close third and Poe being a non starter because he had nothing to do. I think that Kylo and Poe get the most to do/grow in this, but did like that Finn had to find his own reasons to leave or join the Rebellion. Rey facing the truth about her parents was dramatic, but her character took a bit of a back seat growth wise compared to everyone else. I was okay with that though because the film is long enough and the real payoff for her (will or wont be in the next film) in seeing how she deals with being and reconstituting the Jedi now that she's on her own.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:26 pm 
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NB : I know my writings can read as if I felt I had the One Real Truth. I don't. It's just my own feelings towards the movie, and they can be perceived as overconfident because I know precisely the elements I really disliked in the movie. They seemed very numerous and very obvious to me, so I just wonder (by expliciting these elements) how some have been able to overcome them.



I think most of the themes you talk about are actually barely touched by the movie.
The best example would be Canto Bight, which is mostly a (poorly CGI-ed) action sequence with barely a short sentence about the context around it :
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Warlords making money out of it and exploiting people

The misery shown in it also isn't much different than what is shown on Tatooine in the Ep I.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Leia ? She spends most of the movie stunned. She has pretty much no authority and doesn't manage to get what seems to be her best pilot to obey her. When he comes back, he's demoted but that doesn't change much for him. Actually, in the end, they're still BFF, everybody likes him, and he's shown as a plausible new leader for the Rebellion.
So which leadership is it showing actually ?

The same goes for DJ, which actually isn't very different from what Lando was achieving. As most "mercenaries", he's just, well, in between. Not really good, not really bad, he's just doing his stuff and that's about it. It's another thing the film barely touches and Del Toro's sums it up in one line, which isn't sending a message of something being very deeply written.

The rebels keeping failing doesn't look vastly new too. By the end of A New Hope, they won. By the end of ESB, they're almost dead. At the end of RotJ, they're having their arse kicked. But all these failures aren't much in The Last Jedi. Poe keeps doing non-sensical Hung-ho stuff, and at the end, that's our new cool hero. Finn and Rose are the ones who gets most of the survivors killed because of their pointless mission, but at the end, they have their love kiss and no other consequence. Nobody tells them "without your stupid mission, all these people would still be alive." Holdo sacrifices herself for almost no reason too : most of the rebel fleet has already been destroyed already when she goes light-speed into the Destroyer - why the Rebels never did that before ? It's so useful ! - and she's not ever named after again, so her sacrifice is again pointless.


It's a 2h32 movie that feels very empty and yet spends his time speeding through events without giving them any gravitas. I never felt this before in a SW movie.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:10 pm 
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Quote:
I know my writings can read as if I felt I had the One Real Truth. I don't. It's just my own feelings towards the movie, and they can be perceived as overconfident because I know precisely the elements I really disliked in the movie. They seemed very numerous and very obvious to me, so I just wonder (by expliciting these elements) how some have been able to overcome them.


No worries. It's hard to express an opinion about art (myself included) and not come across this way.
Quote:
I think most of the themes you talk about are actually barely touched by the movie.


I disagree.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Canto Bight. The galaxy is literally on the verge of conquest by a rejuvenated fascist order and the wealthiest people in the galaxy are... completely indifferent to it. They use child labor, they mistreat animals. This is all visual. Rose in more than one sentence both introduces the idea that these people are profiting off the First Order and that part of the evil of the First Order is specifically its economic exploitation of people and that the proper response to this exploitation is to destroy it. Because of this Finn makes a decision, here and beyond to now fully join the Rebellion for ideological reasons and not just to help out his friend. Furthermore, this scene is later complicated by DJ when they're aboard the stolen ship and he reveals that the same arms dealers that get rich making weapons for the First Order also make the weapons for the Rebellion. This is setting up the idea that a resolution to their conflict maybe can't be achieved through killing each other with these weapons. Furthermore Rose's act of kindness towards the young slaves sets into motion their own connection to the Rebellion, etc.


[Reveal] Spoiler:
Leia. We do in fact get our first sense of Leia as a leader. We see that her preeminent concern is preserving the Rebellion and the lives within it. We get through the Holdo character and the other captains, that she has modeled a modest style of leadership based on self sacrifice and having to make actual hard choices about who will live and die and knowing when to run rather than fight and hope luck and pluck to solve everything. She is also clearly trying to pass these lessons on to Poe and to get him to see the conflict in these terms. It's not about her liking or disliking him, he goes on a journey following his demotion in which every decision he makes is wrong, leads to extra and unnecessary death on the Rebel side until he finally learns at the end that a Rebellion is about more than fighting, it's also about surviving, which sometimes does mean running away and it's only after he's made this realization that he's allowed to take charge.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Quote:
The rebels keeping failing doesn't look vastly new too. By the end of A New Hope, they won. By the end of ESB, they're almost dead. At the end of RotJ, they're having their arse kicked. But all these failures aren't much in The Last Jedi. Poe keeps doing non-sensical Hung-ho stuff, and at the end, that's our new cool hero. Finn and Rose are the ones who gets most of the survivors killed because of their pointless mission, but at the end, they have their love kiss and no other consequence. Nobody tells them "without your stupid mission, all these people would still be alive." Holdo sacrifices herself for almost no reason too : most of the rebel fleet has already been destroyed already when she goes light-speed into the Destroyer - why the Rebels never did that before ? It's so useful ! - and she's not ever named after again, so her sacrifice is again pointless.


[Reveal] Spoiler:
I didn't say that failure or setbacks in general in these movies is something new. I specifically said the kind of things that fail and the kinds of things that succeed and why are new. What Poe does makes perfect sense in that he is modeling the heroism of previous Star Wars movies and this movie is explicitly rejecting it as a model of heroism. Finn and Rose do not get anyone killed. Poe does when he relays the evacuation plan over a radio and DJ hears it, it is specifically his fault and of obvious great consequence to the Rebellion. Holdo's sacrifice prevents the entire Rebel fleet from being destroyed. The Rebellion specifically survives because of her actions, her action is literally not pointless. Why doesn't every army engage in kamikaze attacks at all times on everything? This is not a serious question to pose to this movie. I would also add, that what makes Poe cool, is not that he's a badass. He was boring as a badass, it's that he's matured into a leader and we have a sense of how that was achieved in a very un-glamorous way, through mistakes resulting in lots of unnecessary deaths.


Again, none of this is to say that these things were conveyed perfectly or that people have to enjoy them, but I would argue that they're clearly there and that you have to misinterpret actions in the movie to not see them.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:22 pm 
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who is bobby dylan wrote:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Leia. We do in fact get our first sense of Leia as a leader. We see that her preeminent concern is preserving the Rebellion and the lives within it. We get through the Holdo character and the other captains, that she has modeled a modest style of leadership based on self sacrifice and having to make actual hard choices about who will live and die and knowing when to run rather than fight and hope luck and pluck to solve everything. She is also clearly trying to pass these lessons on to Poe and to get him to see the conflict in these terms. It's not about her liking or disliking him, he goes on a journey following his demotion in which every decision he makes is wrong, leads to extra and unnecessary death on the Rebel side until he finally learns at the end that a Rebellion is about more than fighting, it's also about surviving, which sometimes does mean running away and it's only after he's made this realization that he's allowed to take charge.

This certainly doesn't seem new - Leia was positioned as a leader of the Rebellion from the start of the original trilogy. At least as early as the opening Hoth scenes in Empire we see her giving orders and battle plans. Elsewhere:

Quote:
We get Luke's particular variation on the recluse that all surviving Jedi masters (Obi-Wan, Yoda) apparently inevitably become. I can understand that some may not like this take, but it is definitely giving the character something to be about beyond a highlight reel of his twenties. Luke was a whiny kid. He's a whiny adult. His character is also nicely consistent with the idea of the older generation letting the newer one down, hence they've got to go on an adventure themselves...

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Well, yes and no. I kinda like the idea of this, but Episode III made clear that Obi-Wan was only a recluse because he was secretly keeping an eye on Luke. And I don't have any idea what to make of Luke. We're told that he turned away from the force, and he claims that he went to the most unfindable place in the galaxy to escape his place in it, but it's not like he fled to just anywhere - he went to the heart of Jedi-dom in the galaxy. It'd be like taking up residence in the Vatican and being insulted when people want you to do Catholic stuff.

That choice by him suggests the opposite of what he claims, that he was in fact motivated by a monk-like devotion to the Force. And his abilities in the film's climactic scene suggests that he has indeed become more powerful than anyone suggests. And yet the script up to that point - as you have in this thread - insisted otherwise. I guess to me it just seems like all this was made up as they went along without much thought put into it.

Anyway, I'll stop because I don't really want to pile on, either to you or the movie. Even the original trilogy means less and less to me as time goes on, and it never meant a whole lot in the first place, so the personal stakes I have in going after this movie aren't super high. But I kinda wish I had seen the movie like you did, because the depth that you describe is what I was more or less hoping for from Johnson. Instead, I felt like I saw a movie that any random hack screenwriters could have come up with.


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