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TV & Other Media > [SPOILERS] Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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message 1: by Jay (new)

Jay (okay_jay) | 135 comments Cool. I'm sure there won't be any divided opinions over this movie.
Will be cool to hear everybody's take on it.


message 2: by Jay (new)

Jay (okay_jay) | 135 comments I'll start the ball rolling. I loved Last Jedi, better than Force Awakens, though not as much as Rogue One. I loved the chances it took, even if some of the execution was lacking and/or cartoonish. Some felt Force Awakens hewed too closely to SW's past, and this one deviated too wildly. I disagree, but I see how these films could bracket a fan's Goldilocks zone.
It will be interesting to see what Abrams does with Ep. IX, considering where Johnson left him.


message 3: by Becky, Modderific (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 2997 comments Hmm... I really really should have done a re-watch of the previous movies before seeing this, but as I didn't, you'll all have to forgive me for any memory lapses I may have. (And I'm sure that there will be many.)

I think for me, as a viewing experience, this one ranks slightly below Rogue One and The Force Awakens. (I'm not going to rank against the older movies until I've had a chance to rewatch them.) There were a few stilted acting moments, I felt, and a few overly silly moments that could have been subtler... BUT, I did actually enjoy the brief moments of levity they brought, even while inwardly being like "Come on, really?"

What sealed the deal for me was the characters, particularly Kylo Ren. I feel like this is obvious, and intended to parallel Grampa Vader, but Kylo is so much more interesting and nuanced and just fucking awesome in general than Anakin ever even hoped he could be. By far my favorite character of this new set... and possibly of all of them. But I'll reserve that call until the full rewatch.

On the drive home from the theater, the Boy and I had an interesting discussion about Luke and Ben. Boy didn't agree with me, but here's my take, and I fully acknowledge that I am reading a WHOLE LOT into very little at this point...

I think that teenaged Ben, like ANY teenager, was just beginning to learn who he was and what he could do, and what the world is like. I think, having grown up in a family of resistance fighters, he felt conflicted there - it would be a lot of pressure to 1) grow up in the most famous resistance family in the galaxy and 2) ALSO have a very strong natural inclination to the Force, and I think that he didn't know what to do with any of that at... 14? 15?

Regular teens in our world rebel against familial expectation pressure all of the time. What, Ben was supposed to be different?

Anyway, So... THAT exploration of self and purpose is what I think Luke sensed in Ben that night.

And I think that Luke is the one who actually embraced the dark side that night. He forgot what it was like to be young and curious. He let his fear push him to a hasty and mistaken decision and that moment, more than anything else, made Kylo Ren.

Imagine you're a teenager waking up to see your uncle standing over you with a live lightsaber and fear in his eyes... How would you react? I think, in that moment, Ben panicked, defended himself against his perceived killer uncle, and got the hell out of dodge. I think that he thought he'd killed him, and the knowledge of having killed his uncle, even if it was untrue, was a defining point for him, a line he felt he could never uncross, and so he had nothing left to lose.

After that, the self-recriminations and blame would cause a huge amount of anger and hatred and fear, and it's only natural that he would ostracize himself from the family he felt he'd already betrayed and ruined, and turn to the only family member that he thinks would've understood him.

In that state, it would be so easy to manipulate him. And of course Snoke did. And when Kylo realized it, he hated him as much as anyone.

I feel like Ben/Kylo is STILL that boy who feels uncertain of who he is and who he should be, and feels pushed in every direction and resents it and wants revenge for being forced to be what he is now. It's clear in his reaction to seeing Luke that he blames him for everything (and IMO, rightly so). It's also clear in his reaction to sensing his mother that he wishes things could have been different, but again... he feels like the line is uncrossable. And at this point, I think he is tired of being the pawn in other people's power game.

I also think that he and Rey were starting to forge a connection, and when she rejected him, it added more hurt and anger to the mix, and he's like "Fuck it. I don't need anyone then. Let's do this."

Man, I love him. I just want to hug him. Poor Ben.

Also, I think he lied about Rey's parents.

Furthermore, I love how deliciously evil General Hux is.

The bad boys in this movie were so great. :D


message 4: by Chris , cookie guilt (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 2450 comments I agree with you on the Ben Teen thing, Becky. And maybe along with that teenage angst and pressure, there was some dark side moments sneaking in. Luke had them, so why was he surprised when Ben did as well? Ben was also younger than Luke when he started his training.


message 5: by Becky, Modderific (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 2997 comments Right, because EVERY teen has dark thoughts from time to time. Shit, I am WELL out of my teens and I still do.

Luke fucked up and made one of the galaxy's most formidable enemies.


message 6: by Becky, Modderific (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 2997 comments Right, because EVERY teen has dark thoughts from time to time. Shit, I am WELL out of my teens and I still do.

Luke fucked up and made one of the galaxy's most formidable enemies.


message 7: by Jay (new)

Jay (okay_jay) | 135 comments Ben may have lied about Rey's parents, but she helped; he may have misled her, but she said they were nothing, then he confirmed it. I desperately hope they don't retcon that; the jedi weren't supposed to breed in the first place, and yet force users proliferated the galaxy, and Rey discovering the Force as a balance to Kylo makes perfect sense. Besides, we have a Skywalker/Solo in this trilogy, let's expand not contract.
I think the whole Ben/Luke thing was a self-fulfilling prophecy, and while I may not be sure Luke did full penance, the Force accepted him in the end.


message 8: by Chris , cookie guilt (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 2450 comments Darth Nilofer...;)

I'm on board with the Kylo love though, Becky. I didn't care much for him in TFA, but in this one he has truly become a complex and interesting character. I am really looking forward to seeing what they do with him and Rey in the next one.


message 9: by Becky, Modderific (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 2997 comments That's a good point, James. And her parents being just regular, non-Jedi people actually lends a bit of credence to her natural ability... Like the Force chose her to balance Kylo's ability.


message 10: by Becky, Modderific (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 2997 comments Chris wrote: "Darth Nilofer...;)

I'm on board with the Kylo love though, Becky. I didn't care much for him in TFA, but in this one he has truly become a complex and interesting character. I am really looking fo..."


Curses!

And me too!!


message 11: by Chris , cookie guilt (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 2450 comments I can't help but wonder...

"Your parents were nobody"

"There is no father"

Don't hurt me ;)


message 12: by Becky, Modderific (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 2997 comments Exactly!


message 13: by Jay (new)

Jay (okay_jay) | 135 comments NOOOOO!


message 14: by Becky, Modderific (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 2997 comments LOL


message 15: by Jay (new)

Jay (okay_jay) | 135 comments Chris wrote: "I can't help but wonder...

"Your parents were nobody"

"There is no father"

Don't hurt me ;)"


(Hand pulled back menacingly)
You take that back!

Seriously, though, her parents just being a couple of drunks adds pathos to Rey. Yes, there is room for JJ to retcon this and make her Space Jesus 2.0, but I would be pissed.


message 16: by colleen the convivial curmudgeon, Not a book hipster! (new)

colleen the convivial curmudgeon (blackrose13) | 2976 comments I don't really get the complaints that people have because this is "so different" or didn't really feel like Star Wars to them. It felt perfectly Star Warsy to me.

And some of the people who are complaining about how Luke would never be this much of a prat or make this huge of a mistake - some of those people also complain about the EU not being canon anymore and, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Luke go full Dark Side in some of the EU stories?

Anyway -

Overall, I liked the movie, though I wasn't blown away or gaga about it. I still think Force Awakens is my favorite of the new set, followed by Rogue One, and Last Jedi coming in the rear.

My biggest issue with the movie, though, was the pacing. The whole casino side trip was badly paced and, ultimately, pointless, despite how cool Benicio del Toro is at being Benicio del Toro. The bit with them racing on the animal things reminded me way too much of the pod race from the first movie - pretty scenery, an interesting enough scene on its own - but ultimately an overlong set-piece that adds nothing to the actual story.

And the Finn/Rose thing felt forced to me - though I get Rose being all fan-girly at first.

The other big thing that annoyed me was how they handled Poe. Poe was one of my favorite characters in the first movie, and I felt like they forced the whole "irresponsible flyboy" thing. The whole "let's not tell anyone the plan so that Poe can learn a valuable moral lesson" was painfully anvilicious. Like, seriously. I don't care that he was demoted so he doesn't get to know your super secret plan. Every single fucking person on those ships had a right to know that there was an actual fucking plan. Period.

Also, while Jurassic Park lady did have an awesome finale, finally, I did wonder how many ships she was going to watch get blown up before she remembered that she was in a fully functioning ship[ or her own and could maybe do something. I mean, she's gonna die anyway - at least make your death relevant.

So, yeah...

There were definitely parts of the movie which annoyed me - but not Luke acting the way he did, because Luke acting the way he did makes sense to me. I mean, he was never a perfect Jedi master - not that we ever saw. He always had issues dealing with his emotions, and he never did the whole non-attachment thing.

(Of course, I actually think the Jedi code is stupid and I'm all for the Grey Jedi idea, and I was really, really hoping that's where this story was headed, and when Rey and Kylo were fighting together I was like, "Yes, this is it... this is my moment", and then, boom, Kylo had to be all like, "Let's rule the Universe together!" Damnit, Kylo.

I still have hope that it could go that way in the last movie... but a lot less than I did before.)

Anyway - so, yeah, it makes sense to me that Luke would have a moment of dread when sensing darkness in Ben and overreact, ultimately creating Kylo... and then running away from his failures and the family he doomed. Because Luke was always a flawed hero - and that's totally ok. Better than ok.

I agree with Becky's analysis of Ben-lo, so I won't go too much into that.

And I agree that it's kind of awesome that Rey is a nobody, and I hope they don't ret-con it, too. I mean, sure, she's a bit of a Mary Sue - but so what? So was Anakin, really. And, actually, like JAmes said, it's kind of perfect that these two "chosen one" characters were nobody slaves on some backwater desert planet. It's a neat little circle - which is such a Star Wars thing.

Everyone just wanted it to be a Skywalker or a Kenobi or whatever because she was so powerful... but why was Anakin special in the first place? There was nothing special about his bloodline before it became his bloodline.

Anyway -

So, yeah...

I loved Rey and Kylo in this movie. I love Rey's sort of exploration of the dark side and not automatically shunning it, because I'm still hoping for Grey Jedi, but I also like how she's not really conflicted about "doing the right thing" because we've done that with Anakin and Luke and Kylo, and she was conflicted in the first movie, but more in the "this is too big, take it away" kind of way.

But I think the movie could've been tighter and better paced, and I hate, hate, HATE the whole "we'll keep vital information to manufacture pointless drama and learn valuable life lessons" schtick.

But I continue to love BB-8 and the vulptex were cute as hell and I want one. (Yeah, yeah... porgs were cute, too... but the vulptex were adorable AND played a small but pivotal role in the plot.) :P

***

Also, I totally don't get the whole "there is no father" thing. GoT?


message 17: by colleen the convivial curmudgeon, Not a book hipster! (new)

colleen the convivial curmudgeon (blackrose13) | 2976 comments Forgot something -

Phasma.

I don't believe that that's the last we'll see of Phasma. But. If it is. I'll be SO pissed.

Not that Star Wars doesn't have a history of building up and then badly using bad guys (*cough*Darth Maul*cough*), or of the fandom building up the awesomeness of kind of useless characters (*cough*Boba Fett*cough*) - but, still, with all the build-up around her character, that better not be the end of her.


message 18: by Chris , cookie guilt (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 2450 comments Agreed, I hoped to see more of our Big Woman....(that's GoT)

The "no father" thing goes back to Phantom Menace when Qui Gon asked Shmi about Anakin's father and she answered, "there is no father".


message 19: by Becky, Modderific (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 2997 comments colleen the convivial curmudgeon wrote: "The other big thing that annoyed me was how they handled Poe. Poe was one of my favorite characters in the first movie, and I felt like they forced the whole "irresponsible flyboy" thing. The whole "let's not tell anyone the plan so that Poe can learn a valuable moral lesson" was painfully anvilicious. Like, seriously. I don't care that he was demoted so he doesn't get to know your super secret plan. Every single fucking person on those ships had a right to know that there was an actual fucking plan. Period.

Also, while Jurassic Park lady did have an awesome finale, finally, I did wonder how many ships she was going to watch get blown up before she remembered that she was in a fully functioning ship[ or her own and could maybe do something. I mean, she's gonna die anyway - at least make your death relevant."


1000% agree with this. All of it. Like, why did half of the resistance fleet's ships have to be destroyed before the person already voluntarily sacrificing themself so that the FLEET CAN GET AWAY UNDETECTED AND UNFUCKING KILLLED, will step in to do something about it?

A good leader communicates the plan so that there's an understanding that there actually is one and that they aren't just deer-in-the-headlights panic-freezing, and so that there's NOT a mutiny when other people feel like they need to step in.

At the VERY least she should have been prepping the people for their evacuation to the pods. I mean, COME ON.

--------

At this point, after the discussion we had here about Rey's parents, I am fine either way. I wouldn't be upset if it turned out that she had important parents, but I also would be fine if they left it with her being an anomaly.


message 20: by Becky, Modderific (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 2997 comments I hope we get to see more of Phasma also. I felt like she had been built up over the course of TFA and pre-TLJ stuff, and then I was like "Meh, that's it?" when she finally appeared in TLJ. I wanted more, dammit!


message 21: by Jay (new)

Jay (okay_jay) | 135 comments Absolutely agree on Phasma.
Got the reference, Chris. Space Jesus 1.0 was Anakin.


message 22: by Chris , cookie guilt (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 2450 comments Becky wrote: "I hope we get to see more of Phasma also. I felt like she had been built up over the course of TFA and pre-TLJ stuff, and then I was like "Meh, that's it?" when she finally appeared in TLJ. I wante..."

Same way I felt when that Sarlak (sp?) burped in RotJ...


message 23: by Jay (new)

Jay (okay_jay) | 135 comments I think it's Sarlacc, and the burp was silly and cartoonish, just like...
(awesome segue)
Luke tossing the iconic saber over his shoulder. I got the point, but that was OTT.
A lot of jokes in TLJ landed, but some ended up hurting the moment. I laughed when Poe's foot went through the speeder, but felt it took away from the epic feel of the showdown, for example.
At least Darth Maul got an awesome saber battle (backed by an awesome score) in PM. Also, I hear he's gotten a fair bit of love in Rebels.


message 24: by Becky, Modderific (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 2997 comments The moment that was too over the top to me was Yoda giggling. I get that he's got a sense of humor and that sometimes he makes his point that way, but the feet-kicking giggling just felt wrong, like he was senile/batty rather than just enjoying a laugh at his student's expense.


message 25: by Becky, Modderific (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 2997 comments Also, is Chewie vegan now? O_O


message 26: by Jay (new)

Jay (okay_jay) | 135 comments I hope not, but that moment was hilarious, imo.


message 27: by Becky, Modderific (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 2997 comments Quite! I love how they just kind of moved in to the Millennium Falcon. LOL So cute.


message 28: by colleen the convivial curmudgeon, Not a book hipster! (new)

colleen the convivial curmudgeon (blackrose13) | 2976 comments Chris wrote: "The "no father" thing goes back to Phantom Menace when Qui Gon asked Shmi about Anakin's father and she answered, "there is no father"."

Oh. Yeah. Totally forgot about that nonsense.


message 29: by colleen the convivial curmudgeon, Not a book hipster! (new)

colleen the convivial curmudgeon (blackrose13) | 2976 comments Becky wrote: "The moment that was too over the top to me was Yoda giggling. I get that he's got a sense of humor and that sometimes he makes his point that way, but the feet-kicking giggling just felt wrong, lik..."

I actually liked the Yoda bit. It was fitting he was there for it, and he laughed at Luke a lot when he was training him.

I thought it was interesting they returned to puppet Yoda. Good call, I thought.


message 30: by colleen the convivial curmudgeon, Not a book hipster! (new)

colleen the convivial curmudgeon (blackrose13) | 2976 comments Becky wrote: "Quite! I love how they just kind of moved in to the Millennium Falcon. LOL So cute."

That was cute.


message 33: by Becky, Modderific (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 2997 comments That is adorable, and yay for puffins!


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