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The Last Jedi - Thoughts and Reactions
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Whill
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:33 pm    Post subject: The Last Jedi - Thoughts and Reactions Reply with quote

Quote:
STAR WARS

Episode VIII
THE LAST JEDI

The FIRST ORDER reigns. Having decimated the peaceful Republic, Supreme Leader Snoke now deploys the merciless legions to seize military control of the galaxy.

Only General Leia Organa's band of RESISTANCE fighters stand against the rising tyranny, certain that Jedi Master Luke Skywalker will return and restore a spark of hope to the fight.

But the Resistance has been exposed. As the First Order speeds toward the rebel base, the brave heroes mount a desperate escape....

So far I've mainly been replying to others and I've wanted to share my 'initial' reactions/impressions like others have. But it's a lot of material and some of my feelings are a bit complex. And I've been busy with family/holiday activities and working on the website. I've been working on this movie response off and on for the last week and it has turned into a mega-content review of sorts. So this is a 'two weeks later' response.

I've talked to some friends and family about the film but not in-depth. I've read very little other articles and reactions online so this is almost entirely my original thought with very little inspiration/influence outside of the Pit. It is broken up into three posts:
Agree, disagree? I welcome replies to any of it.

(And come on! Isn’t anyone the slightest bit impressed I publicly predicted Luke’s death on the day the title of the movie was announced?)
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:40 pm    Post subject: TLJ similarities with prior Star Wars films Reply with quote

TFA was an unabashed reprise of ANH and love letter to the classic trilogy. The First Order is like the Sith-lead Empire and the Resistance is like the Rebel Alliance. Kylo Ren had betrayed the Jedi order and turned to the Dark Side after being influenced by the malformed Snoke, a reprise of Vader and the Emperor.

While TLJ brings new things into Star Wars, let’s not dismiss the continued and new similarities. TLJ captures many of the same story beats as prior episodes. The following list of similarities is not completely in chronological order:
    Luke’s consideration on preemptively killing Ben Solo for his foreseen future evils is a dark twist on the debate of training Anakin as a Jedi in TPM and Obi-Wan not killing a maimed Vader in RotS.

    Continuing from TFA, Luke is “the last Jedi” as Yoda advised he would be in RotJ.

    The Resistance Mon Calamari star cruiser like Home One in RotJ. (And the ship is named Raddus after the rebel admiral in RO.)

    The evacuation of the Resistance base on D’Qar felt like Hoth in TESB. There was even a ‘the last transport is away’ type of announcement like the first one being announced on Hoth.

    Snoke appears to Hux as a large headshot hologram on his star destroyer as the Emperor appeared to Vader on The Executor in TESB.

    Snoke remotely uses the Force on General Hux like Vader does with Admiral Ozzel in TESB.

    Snoke tells Kylo Ren he has too much of his father in him not unlike something Yoda said about Luke in TESB.

    Ren’s destroyed helmet is somewhat reminiscent to Vader’s melted helmet in TFA.

    Finn wants to run away from the First Order-Resistance conflict like in TFA.

    Continuing from TFA, we have Rey on a backwater planet full of life to seek out Luke, the Jedi Master in hiding, just like Luke went to Yoda on Dagobah in TESB. Also, the Jedi Master is reluctant to train the seeker but relents to do some training.

    Luke refers to lightsabers by the term “laser sword” like Anakin did in TPM.

    The ultimate throw-back, Artoo showing Luke the actual Leia hologram from ANH!

    Luke expressed that in his hubris he thought he could handle training Ben Solo, just like in RotJ Obi-Wan expressed he thought he could handle training Anakin “just as well as Yoda.” They were wrong.

    Ahch-To has a “dark cave” in the ground like Dagobah in TESB, and Rey goes in and experiences an internal confrontation like Luke did. (Luke saw something about his parentage, while Rey asked to see her parents.)

    Rey expressed optimism to Luke that she could turn Kylo back to the good side like Luke said to Leia of Vader in RotJ.

    Yoda told Luke that Rey already possesses that which she needs, like Yoda told Luke that he already knew what he needed in RotJ.

    Yoda’s Force ghost is a mischievous little imp (who destroyed the tree that had housed ancient Jedi texts, with Luke unaware that Rey had already take the books) not unlike how Yoda acted when Luke first met him in TESB. The ghost of Yoda also berated Luke about not focusing on the present, like living-bodied Yoda had in TESB (which was echoed by Qui-Gon to Obi-Wan in TPM).

    Poe mutinies against his own rebel organization like Cassian and the rebels in RO.

    Finn has inside knowledge of First Order technology and uses it for Resistance plans like he did in TFA.

    The casino city was an urban environment with wealthy gamblers and businessmen, not unlike Cloud City in the TESB.

    DJ is a scoundrel with questionable morals somewhat like Lando in TESB (except DJ didn’t finally choose the rebel side like Lando).

    Rey surrendered to the First Order like Luke surrendered to the Empire. Kylo Ren brought Rey to Snoke in cuffs and Snoke released them with the Force, just like Vader, Luke and the Emperor in RotJ.

    Snoke said “It was I…” who connected Ren and Rey as a trap to lead her to go there, just like the Emperor told Luke it was he who allowed the Alliance to know the location of the shield generator for the trap in RotJ.

    Snoke had Rey look out a view port to see the Rebel ships who are about to suffer an impending doom like the Emperor did with Luke in RotJ.

    Snoke told Ren to ‘complete his training and fulfill his destiny’ by killing Rey like the Emperor told Luke about killing Vader in RotJ.

    Ren and Rey asked each other to join their side against Snoke, not unlike Vader and Luke asked each other in TESB and RotJ. Of course, Ren’s offer to Rey is also reminiscent of Vader’s to Padme in RotS which was like Vader’s original offer to Luke in TESB.

    Ren kills his dark master Snoke as Vader killed the Emperor in RotJ.

    Rey gets injured on her right shoulder as Vader did in his battle with Luke in TESB.

    Ren and Rey telekinetically fight over the Skywalker lightsaber like they did in TFA.

    Ren Force chokes Hux like Vader Force choked characters in other films.

    Snoke’s command ship (many times larger than star destroyers) is like The Executor in TESB and RotJ, and Snoke’s ship was destroyed by direction of a rebel admiral on a Mon Calamari star cruiser like in RotJ.

    The Battle of Crait is reminiscent of Hoth in TESB. Crait has salt that’s white like snow. The First Order can’t bombard the Rebel base from orbit (not sure why in TLJ) so they send walkers to the planet.

    The old Rebel speeders with the skis down in the sand kicking up the red crystal layer is reminiscent to the Resistance X-Wings on Takodana creating a wake in the water in TFA.

    Rey on the Falcon being chased by TIE Fighters into a structure on a planet recalls Jakku in TFA.

    Luke’s final encounter with Kylo Ren was like Obi-Wan’s with Vader in ANH, a final confrontation of blue-bladed Jedi Master and red-bladed former apprentice which served as a distraction/delay which allowed Leia, Chewie, Threepio, Artoo, and the other protagonists to escape on the Falcon after the Jedi Master disappeared and his empty cloak falls down to the ground.

    The “Binary Sunset”, apparently experienced by Luke due to his consciousness existing in two single star systems simultaneously (musically scored with the Force Theme), recalls Luke looking off into the actual binary sunset on Tatooine in ANH (the original appearance of The Force theme), and Owen and Beru looking off into the binary sunset on Tatooine when they first received Luke as a baby at the end of RotS (also scored with The Force theme).

    When Luke in transformed into the Force, a low budget special effect similar to when Yoda died in RotJ is used, where there is a time overlap between the full cloak/blanket fade out and the empty cloak/blanket fade in.

    And then wind catches the Luke’s empty cloak so it falls down similar to Yoda’s cloak after his duel with the Emperor in RotS.

    The Resistance is defeated and decimated, barely escaping the First Order, even more drastically than the state of Rebels in TESB.

    Finn is concerned with a wounded Rose, just like Rey was concerned with a wounded Finn at the end of TFA.

    An alien slave master tells a Force-sensitive slave boy to sweep up like Watto and Anakin in TPM.
Perhaps Rian Johnson may have taken to heart that his film was the Star Wars 40th anniversary release and wanted to pay tribute to the film franchise. Are there any other similarities?
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:45 pm    Post subject: TLJ discontinuities with TFA? Reply with quote

Through several iterations, George Lucas had a story for a movie. Then he expanded it into a trilogy of movies with the possibility of more trilogies. The second and third episodes of the first trilogy changed as they developed, but from early preproduction of the second episode there were specific ideas in his mind as to who Luke, Vader, and the Emperor were. Lucas had complete creative control throughout.

Quote:
KYLO REN: It's time to let old things die. Snoke, Skywalker. The Sith, the Jedi, the Rebels... Let it all die.

TFA famously ends with Rey holding Anakin’s lightsaber out to him on a mountain. The lightsaber is symbolic of Disney’s process for making Star Wars movies. JJ Abrams was hired to direct Episode VII and given complete creative control over it, then “pass the saber” to the next director. Rian Johnson was hired to direct Episode VIII (likewise with full creative control), and also to write a story treatment for Episode IX who would be directed by someone else. While I’m sure JJ Abrams had very specific ideas about the backgrounds and story arcs of the TFA characters, Abrams was only laying down a groundwork of possibilities and Johnson was not beholden to continue in the same direction. Somewhere in the process of making TLJ, Johnson was no longer involved with Episode IX, so the saber was going to be completely passed again to someone else for Episode IX. To allow for maximum creativity of each individual director, main saga Star Wars trilogies apparently do not have any preplanned trilogy story arc, for better or worse. It’s just one movie at a time. When the story of TLJ gets back to Luke and Rey on the mountain, Luke unexpectedly tosses the lightsaber over his back.

Quote:
SNOKE: Take that ridiculous thing off.

As much as I enjoyed TFA I’m all for new and fresh Star Wars, but it seems like Rian Johnson went a tad bit too far in and TLJ introduced a few discontinuities with TFA. In TFA, Kylo Ren spoke to Snoke’s hologram with his mask on both with Hux present and without. Ren later spoke with Snoke without his helmet, with Hux present. Abrams approved the helmet for TFA. The first time Ren spoke to Hux in TLJ, Snoke tells Ren to take that “ridiculous” mask off. If the helmet was ridiculous, why would Snoke have allowed Ren to wear it when they spoke previously? After his encounter with Snoke, Ren smashed the helmet in a fit of rage and it is never seen again. It seems clear that Johnson is the one that feels the mask is ridiculous so it was “written out” of the story.

Quote:
HAN SOLO: He was training a new generation of Jedi. One boy, and apprentice, turned against him and destroyed all. Luke felt responsible. He just walked away from everything… People that knew him best think he went looking for the first Jedi temple.

It seems clear that Johnson had a different concept for old Luke than JJ Abrams had. In TLJ Luke had turned his back on the Jedi so refused to train Rey. However, Luke was waiting for Rey in his Jedi robes, and then TLJ made it a point to show Luke had changed his clothes and he put his Jedi robes away (not to be seen again until his death scene). It does not seem to me that Johnson’s Luke would have been wearing the Jedi robes in the first place when Rey showed up.

Quote:
SNOKE: Leave the base at once and come to me with Kylo Ren. It is time to complete his training.

Right after Rey defeated Ren in TFA, Snoke declared a decision that it was time to complete Ren’s training, but TLJ overlaps with TFA so there is no time for any off-screen training. In TLJ Snoke tells Kylo to complete his training by killing Rey. Seriously, Snoke? Killing Rey was completing his training? So right after Ren lost to Rey, it was time for Ren to kill Rey? Yes, it has been established in Star Wars that evil apprentices have to kill someone good to prove their loyalty to the Dark Side. Dooku killed Sifo-Dyas. Vader slaughtered a lot of Jedi. Kylo slaughtered Jedi students and had to kill Solo. Then to “complete” his training on top of that, all he had to do was kill Rey? Abrams obviously had something else in mind and Johnson’s answer doesn’t make sense. Right after Ren unexpectedly got his @ss kicked by Rey was not the “time” to kill Rey.

Quote:
REY: I’m Rey.
POE: I know.

TLJ shows that Disney SW novelizations are exempt from Disney’s everything-is-canon policy. At most we’re back to the old canon rule where novelizations are canon except where they are contradicted by film continuity. In the TFA novel, Rey and Poe met after the Starkiller destruction when they returned to the D’Qar Resistance base, before Rey left to find Luke. Now they don’t meet until the old Rebel base on Crait in TLJ. I think it’s silly that they wouldn’t have met off-screen back on D’Qar, but that wasn’t shown in TFA so this isn’t actually a discontinuity. Also, in the TFA novelization Luke knew who Rey was when she held out the lightsaber, but in TLJ he asks her repeatedly who she is. My impression from the film is that Luke is being honest and not just pretending to not know her.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:23 pm    Post subject: * My Personal Response to TLJ * Reply with quote

The Humor

Quote:
POE: Look, I can't hold forever. If you reach him, tell him Leia has an urgent message for him... about his mother.

The humor in TLJ was unprecedented for Star Wars so a bit jarring at first, but I find that I do not feel that any of it is really out of place so I have no problems with it. I don’t feel any need to go into any detail about it here.


Score Notes

I just received TLJ soundtrack this week. The John Williams musical score uses motifs from the classic films (and interestingly recalls Revenge of the Sith scoring in a few moments). The Force Theme from ANH is used throughout the film. Princess Leia’s theme from ANH and Yoda’s Theme from TESB were used for those characters. Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme) from TESB makes an appearance. Rebel Fanfare is again used to score the Falcon, and TIE Fighter Attack for Falcon/TIE action is my favorite scoring moment in TLJ. Luke and Leia’s theme from RotJ appears for their “reunion”. Han and the Princess from TESB is used to score certain Kylo Ren moments and Force-projection-Luke giving the projected-Falcon-dice to Leia. Luke Skywalker’s theme from ANH is actually used very little in the film (outside of the opening crawl and end credits). There seems to be a couple new themes in the film, like for Rose. I’ll have to see the film and listen to the soundtrack more for a more in-depth response.


THE GOOD – Things I particularly enjoyed in TLJ

The whole Battle of D'Qar was awesome, including…

…A-Wings and Tallie Lintra, Blue Leader (A-Wing pilot), and…

…Paige Tico and her “Force Point” kick to knock the bomb release control down to her, and…

…Dreadnaught down!

The character of Poe.

I like that Snoke told Ren to take off his ridiculous mask (despite the discontinuity it created with TFA), and that Ren destroyed it afterwards. The helmet is ridiculous and I agree with Snoke!

Kylo Ren’s rage (continued from TFA) and general character.

A Resistance Mon Calamari star cruiser like Home One from RotJ, named The Raddus after the RO admiral…

The character of Rose Tico (Paige Tico’s sister) and the Yin-Yangish necklaces the sisters wore.

Fathiers, the casino city racing creatures and the stampede sequence. Someone please stat these creatures, stat!

Chewie busting Luke’s door in.

I loved Artoo showing the actual Leia hologram from ANH!

Rey reaching out with her feelings to divine what the Force was, the sequence showing life and death cycles, etc.
Luke referring to Darth Sidious and the Sith.

Yoda’s Force ghost showing up to talk to Luke…

…including, “The greatest teacher, failure is. Luke, we are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters.” This message is extremely applicable to the Star Wars saga.

Kylo Ren and Rey’s relationship, and wishing to convert each other (despite its unoriginally in the saga).

Ren killing Snoke and assuming command of the First Order. “The Supreme Leader is dead. Long live the Supreme Leader!” *

Ren’s relationship with General Hux.

Ren and Rey vs Snoke’s red guards was a cool action sequence. *

Ren and Rey telekinetically fighting over the Skywalker lightsaber, but this time it is evenly matched. *

The Hardware Wars iron easter egg!

Leia stunning Poe.

The Raddus hyperspace kamikaze attack on The Supremacy (and some star destroyers) was awesome! *

BB-8 in AT-ST scene.

Captain Phasma is finally in action. *

The story beats of the heroic Resistance speeder assault on the cannon and Finn’s choice to sacrifice himself for the Resistance cause. *

In the Battle of Crait, Rey and Chewie in the Falcon was all awesome! Tie Fighter Attack! (The only bad part was it was too brief.)

Leia and Luke’s (Force projection) reunion, which was scored with the only use of the “Luke and Leia” theme outside of RotJ. (It was not used in RotS because John Williams had forgotten of its existence at the time!)

LUKE SKYWALKER: “The Rebellion is reborn today. The war is just beginning. And I will not be the last Jedi.” – Yes! This rocks!

Luke Skywalker’s sacrifice, giving his life to distract Kylo Ren while the Resistance escaped from the rebel base, was a noble and worthy death for the character whose theme plays at the beginning of every episodic Star Wars film.

The “Binary Sunset”, apparently experienced by Luke due to his consciousness existing in two single star systems simultaneously (scored with the Force Theme) was pure genius and very fitting for the death of Luke Skywalker.

Rey moving rocks to rescue the Resistance and the Rey-Finn reunion was sweet.

* However, see next section below for more on these points.


THE BAD – Things I didn’t like about TLJ

Timeline/Actor Age Discrepancy – This is technically a continued complaint about TFA that has been made worse by TLJ. Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill were always older than the characters they played. Carrie Fisher was by RotJ, and all three of them hadn’t aged extremely well since then. In 2015, I disagreed with JJ Abrams setting TFA only 30 years after RotJ because the trinity actors all looked older than their characters. With Ben Solo being 29 going on 30, Han and Leia basically had to have had Logray marry them on Endor so they could conceive Ben at the victory celebration. Unless Abram’s backstory requires Ben to have been conceived on the still warm ashes of Anakin’s funeral pyre, there doesn’t seem to be any reason TFA couldn’t have been set later (and Kylo Ren could still be a little older anyway). This age discrepancy is even acknowledged in the TFA and TLJ Visual Guides where these characters are de-aged by photoshop to appear truer to the character ages. Now with TLJ being filmed two years later but taking place during and immediately after TFA, the problem is worsened. (Even the General Hux actor looks visibly older when we see him literally later the same day as in TFA.) I think TFA (and thus TLJ) should have been set 35-36 years after RotJ, then for TLJ Carrie Fisher would have been about 40 years older than when she filmed ANH. (Even though we no longer have to worry about Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill’s apparent ages, hopefully Episode IX will be set at least 4 years later from TLJ for the sake of the rest of the actors.)

A Vast Multitude of New Aliens, Again – Although JJ Abrams and Rian Johnson profess to be longtime Star Wars fans, I swear one thing they think that makes Star Wars look visually interesting is all the new aliens in every film. With the exception of TESB, George Lucas clearly felt it was important to show a balance of aliens from previous episodes and new aliens. Then with TFA, Abrams was clearly trying to recapture the feeling of the first Star Wars which obviously had all new aliens. Thankfully we did had Chewbacca, Ackbar and Nien Nunb return for TFA and TLJ. In TFA we even got a new version of Ithorians as a background alien, but I thought for sure with TLJ we would see a few old franchise aliens return as at least background characters. No. (And they even killed off Ackbar in TLJ so there goes our Mon Calamari quota for Episode IX.) Just give us a frickin’ Ewok, Jawa, Nautolan, Neimoidian, or Ugnaught in the background even. Throw us a freakin’ bone, please! It would go a long way to help the Disney films feel more like they are in the same universe as the Lucas films. (At least TLJ did canonize WEG’s Xi’Dec, right? Rolling Eyes )

New Planets, Again – By the same token, would it kill them to show a planet from the Lucas film saga? Again, it would help the Disney films feel more like they are in the same universe as the Lucas films, which is important if they want existing fans to accept these new films as an expansion of the existing Star Wars film universe.

New Yoda Muppet – The original Yoda muppet from TESB and RotJ was too deteriorated and fragile to use in TPM so a new muppet was created. The original muppet was sealed in a glass tube to preserve it for all posterity (I’ve seen it in person). In TLJ Yoda’s Force ghost is played by a new muppet to cater to all the prequel bashers who hated the CG-Yoda. Well, the TLJ muppet does look better than the awful TPM muppet, but the new muppet still looks off to me. Based on these two inadequate muppet recreation attempts, it is now my belief that the closest possible approximation to original physical muppet is the prequel CG model - The new muppet suspends my disbelief more. It may be a minor beef but Yoda is important to me.

Luke Fade Away Effect – Another throwback to RotJ is the cheap effect used for Luke’s death which mimics Yoda’s passing into the Force. That effect was already on my anti-purist laundry list of things that Lucas should have corrected but never did, and now they are repeating the effect 34 years later for… nostalgia maybe? But sure, this is only a minor gripe.

Skywalker Lightsaber Destroyed – Ren and Rey’s telekinetic struggle over Anakin and Luke’s blue lightsaber was cool, but Rian Johnson had to take the saber pass, throw it over the shoulder, and rip it in half. After thinking this blue saber was lost on Cloud City, it being brought back and thrust into importance in TFA has not prepared me for accepting its loss. Hopefully in Episode IX it will dramatically be reforged, or…

Luke’s Green Lightsaber? – This saber only appeared in the Ben Solo flashback scene. Not even the hilt was visible in TLJ, and Luke’s Force projection had the blue saber. Where was the green lightsaber? The green saber didn’t ever belong to Anakin Skywalker but it was involved in Luke becoming a Jedi and Anakin returning to the light. I miss the green saber. Maybe Rey stole the green saber from Luke too. Maybe the crystal cracked or something, but the lightsaber mechanisms are still good so Rey can use the blue crystal and parts from Luke’s second lightsaber to create her own lightsaber.

Ski Speeder Sequence – Although the against-all-odds Resistance last stand is a good dramatic story beat, I still had a couple problems with it. The ski dragging down to “stabilize” the speeder just seemed silly. And Finn’s refusal to abort the attack didn’t make sense to me because the super base-busting ray was pointed at the base door so all Finn had to do was fly to the left or right of the ray and then keep on flying forward without his speeder melting, and he still could have been saved from Rose (who could have had to dramatically cross the beam to do so).

Phasma Rescued and Unpunished? – In TLJ there is absolutely no hint as to how Phasma had escaped Snoke’s wrath for lowering the shield to the Starkiller base which allowed the Resistance attack and the ultimate weapon’s destruction in TPA. It doesn’t make sense that they wouldn’t know who did it because they wouldn’t just let anyone in the First Order have access to that (Finn didn’t). Access likely would have only been given to Hux, Ren and maybe senior officers. Surely Phasma would have to use her system log-in credentials or something that allowed access to the shield controls. So I don’t see how they wouldn’t know who did it while Phasma was still trapped in the garbage masher. There was also no indication given in either film for how Phasma escaped - She must have also been rescued by Hux. I can only assume that the reason for her being rescued and forgiven is that she is Snoke’s personal love slave, and that’s just… ew.

Snoke – The First Order Supreme Leader was fine as a hologram in TFA, but seeing his grotesque live-action visage in TLJ bothered me. Snoke shall henceforth be known as… Barf Hideous. Sure, the Emperor was melty-faced, but Snoke being a larger and asymmetrically deformed rip-off of Palpatine does not at all make him “out-emperor” the Emperor. I was disappointed we didn’t learn anything about Snoke’s background, but even more than that I find that I am relieved he is dead (and pray that is not undone in IX). And as it stands now, the mysterious Barf Hideous was introduced in a film and killed off in the next one with none of his background revealed, so this freakish emperor-wannabe is dramatically weaker than even Count Dooku.

Snoke’s Elite Red Guards – Although the Ren-Rey team-up against Snoke’s guards was a cool action sequence, Barf Hideous was dead so the guards fought for nothing. I’m not saying they wouldn’t have brainwashed loyalty, preprogramed to avenge their master’s death, but it still feels dramatically weak.

No Lightsaber Duel! – The first seven films all have lightsaber duels (lightsaber vs lightsaber). Rogue One understandably didn’t have one, but The Last Jedi not having one is a travesty. And Solo presumably won’t have one, so that will mean at least three Star Wars movies in a row without one. If Episode IX doesn’t have an epic lightsaber duel, I’ll be p!ssed. This and below are my biggest issues with TLJ.

Leia’s Injury/Holdo/Ackbar’s Death – The point of Leia’s injury in TLJ seemed to be to put Admiral Holdo in command, but I don’t get the purpose of Holdo in the plot in the first place. It had already been established that Poe was already rebellious against Leia’s authority, so why couldn’t Leia have not been injured? Were they going for a new character to question if Holdo was somehow a traitor? If so, that was weak. Why wouldn’t Holdo just tell Poe the plan? Just to give Poe something to do in the second act? I do understand if they didn’t want to have Leia be the one to sacrifice herself because that would be too emotional for that part of the movie and upset the dramatic flow to Luke’s later sacrifice, but as it stands Admiral Ackbar’s death is empty and they created a new character only to sacrifice herself. The way I see it, Holdo could have not existed, an uninjured Leia could have stayed in command, and Ackbar could have been the one to sacrifice his life to kamikaze The Supremacy. And as cool as it is that they included a Home One type of Mon Cal star cruiser and named it after a RO character, with Ackbar in command of its destruction they could have had it be the actual Home One ship that had been refitted for Resistance use after being decommissioned by the New Republic. And as much as I hate to sound like a basher, I just didn’t like Leia getting blown out into space Guardians-of-the-Galaxy style, and then flying back to the ship. “I’m Mary Poppins, y’all!”

The preceding “bad” aspects of TLJ are my issues and they may not be issues for other people. I’m open to positive perspectives on these things and possible solutions.


SPECULATION

Rey’s experience in the Dark Cave is very interesting. When Luke had gone to the dark cave on Dagobah he saw himself in Vader (who was later revealed to be his parent). When Rey looked into the Mirror of Erised and longed for her parents, she instead saw herself. Then there was a long line of her “selves” behind and ahead, all facing the same direction, and the selves in front of her mimicked her but were increasingly on a delay. My impression was that this represented time, and the selves in front of her were “future selves” while the selves behind her were “past selves”. She snapped her fingers and a domino effect happened in front of her, but eventually it came back around from behind her and when it got back to the “present” self she snapped her fingers again and it continued on as before. This seems to represent a cycle. The immediate thing that jumped out at me is that this may be symbolism of reincarnation.

Looking for Rey’s parents is in part looking for her origins, which are in her past. If her parents are nobodies, then she could have seen past them into her own soul’s past. But then why did Anakin’s saber call out to her in TFA? When Rey touched the saber and had that vision, why did she see a reconstruction of a TESB shot of a cloud city corridor with Vader looking at Luke holding the Anakin’s blue lightsaber, but in her vision Rey is standing in Vader’s position? A possible answer is that Rey is a reincarnation of Anakin Skywalker, who had been conceived by the Force instead of conventionally by parents, born to a slave on a remote desert world. Anakin Skywalker could have been the reincarnation of a soul existing for millennia, who had possibly even been the first Jedi. Rey could now need to become the first of the new Jedi. And reincarnation would not require any genetic relationship to Skywalkers because the soul’s parents could be anyone. If someone’s identity can survive beyond physical death as a Force ghost, then a possible next step would be for a Force ghost to reincarnate. In RotJ Anakin was shown to become a Force ghost without ever having been trained in the power to do so. One possible explanation is that his soul already knew how to because he was special and had done it before.

In TFA, Rey already had similarities to Anakin in TMP. Rian Johnson could have stayed true to JJ Abram’s concept for Rey and showed us another weird vision Rey had with inexplicit meaning to help set up a future reveal. With Rey present, Snoke referred to Ren as the “heir apparent to Darth Vader.” What does that even mean? Vader’s political authority in the old Empire? Vader as the last Sith? What if Rey is Vader? In Episode IX, what if Ren finds out about Rey’s spiritual identity? I can really see Ren becoming enraged because he feels it should be him! And for those who say that Ren could have been lying to Rey about her parents, that’s possible but consider that in AotC Dooku told Obi-Wan part of the truth about Darth Sidious, and in TESB Vader told Luke the truth about being his father.

Abrams has stated that Episode IX will be “the film which unites all three trilogies and brings everything together.” Rey being Anakin Skywalker could help do that. It’s probably a good thing that Johnson hit the snooze button on the Knights of Ren and the origins of the Snoke, the First Order, and the Starkiller. Now that the saber is being passed back to Abrams, he can now realize some of his original concepts.


CONCLUSION

I love The Force Awakens, one of my favorite films. Like all the Star Wars movies, there was a lot to like about The Last Jedi. I’m ok with Luke having become cynical to then dramatically embrace his destiny as a legend, save the Resistance, and give hope to the galaxy again. His sacrifice and death were a noble fitting end for Luke Skywalker. I enjoyed Poe. I like Rose and that Finn finally committed to the Resistance cause. I liked Rey and Ren’s relationship and character development. I like Hux and Ren’s relationship, and Ren is more interesting as the First Order Supreme Leader (who can still fly off the handle in a rage). However, I’m disappointed with the use of Leia whose primary purpose in the plot seems to be to just to show Ren’s hesitance to kill her. I’m disappointed with Ackbar’s empty death, and Holdo seems unnecessary. I’m upset there were no lightsaber duels. A few of my positives had negatives aspects to them. The John Williams score for TLJ is good but so far it seems less inspired and not quite up to par with the first seven SW scores. My favorite part of TLJ was probably the Battle of D’Qar at the beginning. I’ll see it again in the theater and buy it on blu-ray, but I’m feeling that TLJ will tentatively be ranked somewhere with the other two middle trilogy episodes, which are at the bottom of my rankings. I’m still optimistic that Episode IX can still make the sequel trilogy a truly worthy expansion of Lucas’ film saga.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:04 am    Post subject: Re: * My Personal Response to TLJ * Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
The Humor

Quote:
POE: Look, I can't hold forever. If you reach him, tell him Leia has an urgent message for him... about his mother.

The humor in TLJ was unprecedented for Star Wars so a bit jarring at first, but I find that I do not feel that any of it is really out of place so I have no problems with it. I don’t feel any need to go into any detail about it here.


Am I the only person who was certain that Poe was increasingly mispronouncing "Hux" as "Hugs"?"
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:04 pm    Post subject: Re: * My Personal Response to TLJ * Reply with quote

MrNexx wrote:
Whill wrote:
The Humor

Quote:
POE: Look, I can't hold forever. If you reach him, tell him Leia has an urgent message for him... about his mother.

The humor in TLJ was unprecedented for Star Wars so a bit jarring at first, but I find that I do not feel that any of it is really out of place so I have no problems with it. I don’t feel any need to go into any detail about it here.

Am I the only person who was certain that Poe was increasingly mispronouncing "Hux" as "Hugs"?"

I didn't notice that on my first viewing but did on my second. And then I found the webpage above which says every time Poe said his name he replaced Hux with Hugs.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:04 pm    Post subject: Re: TLJ discontinuities with TFA? Reply with quote

Whill wrote:


Quote:
SNOKE: Take that ridiculous thing off.

As much as I enjoyed TFA I’m all for new and fresh Star Wars, but it seems like Rian Johnson went a tad bit too far in and TLJ introduced a few discontinuities with TFA. In TFA, Kylo Ren spoke to Snoke’s hologram with his mask on both with Hux present and without. Ren later spoke with Snoke without his helmet, with Hux present. Abrams approved the helmet for TFA. The first time Ren spoke to Hux in TLJ, Snoke tells Ren to take that “ridiculous” mask off. If the helmet was ridiculous, why would Snoke have allowed Ren to wear it when they spoke previously? After his encounter with Snoke, Ren smashed the helmet in a fit of rage and it is never seen again. It seems clear that Johnson is the one that feels the mask is ridiculous so it was “written out” of the story.



The impression I had was that Snoke was willing to allow his apprentice Ren to play Vader dress-up because it helped his self esteem. The way a conservative minded parent will allow a teen child to dress as a goth or get a wild punk hair style or multiple face piercings etc. A mild form of rebellion that doesn't do any real harm.

For the parent it's annoying, but they can console themselves that its 'just a phase'.

But at that moment when they've done something really disappointing, the style choice becomes something easy to focus on.

Snoke is exasperated (or pretending to be) and berates the helmet along with Kylo's fantasies about living up to Vader's legacy.

I'm half surprised he didn't call him 'Ben' just to really rub it in.

It's along the lines as the hypothetical parent finally telling their kid to 'Get a haircut and get a real job!"
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I still feel that Rian Johnson probably thought the mask was ridiculous so got rid of it (which I agree with), but I really appreciate your in-universe solution for the apparent discontinuity. Thanks, Dredwulf60!
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:22 pm    Post subject: Re: * My Personal Response to TLJ * Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
MrNexx wrote:

Am I the only person who was certain that Poe was increasingly mispronouncing "Hux" as "Hugs"?"

I didn't notice that on my first viewing but did on my second. And then I found the webpage above which says every time Poe said his name he replaced Hux with Hugs.


Maybe he was doing it deliberately!
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill, reviewing your comments again, I can't help but observe that you and I have diametrically opposed opinions on 2 points.

Planets and Aliens.

Personally I am delighted to see them using a plethora of new aliens and planets.

In a galaxy of millions of systems I feel we can never have enough of seeing new and weird inhabitants and planets.

For every alien or planet they re-use in a Star Wars movie, to me, it seems like they make the galaxy a little smaller and less grand.

Yes, I agree that seeing the occaisional Rodian in the background helps tie it to the other movies. But I rather like the idea that Greedo might have belonged to a species we might never see again on the big screen because the galaxy really is that vast.

It's like all the aliens in the Cantina in A New Hope have gained a foothold in the galaxy consciousness because for so long they were the only aliens known in Star Wars.

Expand the 'Gene' pool!!!
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dredwulf60 wrote:
Whill, reviewing your comments again, I can't help but observe that you and I have diametrically opposed opinions on 2 points.

Planets and Aliens.

Personally I am delighted to see them using a plethora of new aliens and planets.

In a galaxy of millions of systems I feel we can never have enough of seeing new and weird inhabitants and planets.

For every alien or planet they re-use in a Star Wars movie, to me, it seems like they make the galaxy a little smaller and less grand.

Yes, I agree that seeing the occaisional Rodian in the background helps tie it to the other movies. But I rather like the idea that Greedo might have belonged to a species we might never see again on the big screen because the galaxy really is that vast.

It's like all the aliens in the Cantina in A New Hope have gained a foothold in the galaxy consciousness because for so long they were the only aliens known in Star Wars.

Expand the 'Gene' pool!!!

Dredwulf, that's a good point. In Lucas' defense, he always included new aliens in every single film for this very reason. But a lot of fans would argue a lot more than me that the prequels seem to not take place in the same universe as the classic films. Some classic aliens appearing in the prequels help with that. By the same token, the sequel trilogy suffers from the same kinds of views from fans.

And there are explanations for some of the aliens seeming so common in the galaxy. One is because some, like Twi'leks, are. Another is that many of the classic aliens seen in the prequels are senators. And there are over a thousand pods in the senate chamber with a very small fraction of them shown, so you can assume there is an intention of showing select background aliens we already know as fan service. Seeing Ithorians and Quarren senators in a sea of thousands of Senators did not at all make me feel that that it's a small universe. It brought a smile to my face because, out of all those senate pods, Lucas showed me some aliens that appealed to my sense of nostalgia. Most of the senate pods would have aliens I've never seen and I am ok with not seeing all the new aliens. And let me assure you that any aliens species that is shown as a senator is, in my SWU, one of the most important species in the sector the represent, so I am not above amending a species' fluff text to support its appearance. But I don't know why Rodians are so popular other than Hutts are a major power in the galaxy and Hutts are fond of employing Rodians for some reason. Maybe Chancellor Palptine's Rodian aide is a spy for the Hutts that Palpatine knows about and uses to spread misinformations to manipulate the Hutts.

I'm not expecting a lot of existing aliens in these new films. Just a couple old aliens in the background would be wonderful. Would it have killed them to just put one lone Ewok in a sea of other species in the Hosnian system before it got destroyed? And I think this criticism of mine would be lessened if there were some interesting looking new aliens in these films but to me there hasn't been for the most part.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:49 am    Post subject: Re: * My Personal Response to TLJ * Reply with quote

I split the above December posts from TLJ original spoiler thread because I didn't want it to seem like I was dominating the conversation there.

We watched TLJ again today. My wife and son still love it (but my son has a couple criticisms). I noticed more similarities with other films.

Whill wrote:
New Yoda Muppet – The original Yoda muppet from TESB and RotJ was too deteriorated and fragile to use in TPM so a new muppet was created. The original muppet was sealed in a glass tube to preserve it for all posterity (I’ve seen it in person). In TLJ Yoda’s Force ghost is played by a new muppet to cater to all the prequel bashers who hated the CG-Yoda. Well, the TLJ muppet does look better than the awful TPM muppet, but the new muppet still looks off to me. Based on these two inadequate muppet recreation attempts, it is now my belief that the closest possible approximation to original physical muppet is the prequel CG model - The new muppet suspends my disbelief more. It may be a minor beef but Yoda is important to me.

On my third viewing I find my minor issue with this has lessened. I still like the prequel CG Yoda better, but the new muppet is very close to the original muppet so this is probably more of an issue of me just liking the CG Yoda better than any muppet Yoda (visually). TESB and RotJ have always gotten a pass on this because that is the original Yoda, so the only significant difference with this muppet is that TLJ is not TESB or RotJ.

Whill wrote:
THE BAD – Things I didn’t like about TLJ...

However I'm afraid I'm going to have to add something here.

The Chase - I'm all for technobabble explanations for things but the whole chase premise just doesn't make sense. The Resistance ships were going "full" speed. The First Order said that the Rebel fleet is, and I quote, "faster", but somehow that meant that the First Order fleet would be able to stay a constant distance behind them. Does Rian Johnson think that we don't know what the word "faster" means? I'm pretty sure that virtually all 7th graders know this which means your average adult American should know this. If the Resistance fleet was actually faster, that would mean that the First Order would fall further and further behind. Sure, for my SWU I can pretend they didn't say "faster" and invent some Star Wars gobbledygook to explain the chase, but at the risk of sounding overly dramatic this is a little insulting to our intelligence.

Whill wrote:
SPECULATION

Rey’s experience in the Dark Cave is very interesting. When Luke had gone to the dark cave on Dagobah he saw himself in Vader (who was later revealed to be his parent). When Rey looked into the Mirror of Erised and longed for her parents, she instead saw herself. Then there was a long line of her “selves” behind and ahead, all facing the same direction, and the selves in front of her mimicked her but were increasingly on a delay. My impression was that this represented time, and the selves in front of her were “future selves” while the selves behind her were “past selves”. She snapped her fingers and a domino effect happened in front of her, but eventually it came back around from behind her and when it got back to the “present” self she snapped her fingers again and it continued on as before. This seems to represent a cycle. The immediate thing that jumped out at me is that this may be symbolism of reincarnation.

Looking for Rey’s parents is in part looking for her origins, which are in her past. If her parents are nobodies, then she could have seen past them into her own soul’s past. But then why did Anakin’s saber call out to her in TFA? When Rey touched the saber and had that vision, why did she see a reconstruction of a TESB shot of a cloud city corridor with Vader looking at Luke holding the Anakin’s blue lightsaber, but in her vision Rey is standing in Vader’s position? A possible answer is that Rey is a reincarnation of Anakin Skywalker, who had been conceived by the Force instead of conventionally by parents, born to a slave on a remote desert world. Anakin Skywalker could have been the reincarnation of a soul existing for millennia, who had possibly even been the first Jedi. Rey could now need to become the first of the new Jedi. And reincarnation would not require any genetic relationship to Skywalkers because the soul’s parents could be anyone. If someone’s identity can survive beyond physical death as a Force ghost, then a possible next step would be for a Force ghost to reincarnate. In RotJ Anakin was shown to become a Force ghost without ever having been trained in the power to do so. One possible explanation is that his soul already knew how to because he was special and had done it before.

In TFA, Rey already had similarities to Anakin in TMP. Rian Johnson could have stayed true to JJ Abram’s concept for Rey and showed us another weird vision Rey had with inexplicit meaning to help set up a future reveal. With Rey present, Snoke referred to Ren as the “heir apparent to Darth Vader.” What does that even mean? Vader’s political authority in the old Empire? Vader as the last Sith? What if Rey is Vader? In Episode IX, what if Ren finds out about Rey’s spiritual identity? I can really see Ren becoming enraged because he feels it should be him! And for those who say that Ren could have been lying to Rey about her parents, that’s possible but consider that in AotC Dooku told Obi-Wan part of the truth about Darth Sidious, and in TESB Vader told Luke the truth about being his father.

Abrams has stated that Episode IX will be “the film which unites all three trilogies and brings everything together.” Rey being Anakin Skywalker could help do that. It’s probably a good thing that Johnson hit the snooze button on the Knights of Ren and the origins of the Snoke, the First Order, and the Starkiller. Now that the saber is being passed back to Abrams, he can now realize some of his original concepts.

I thought of another possibility with the reincarnation theory. Perhaps Rey and Ren are both reincarnated from Anakin Vader. Perhaps Anakin was a reincarnation of two souls in one person, one light and one dark, or that his soul was split. Either way, Ren and Rey are now in conflict again, but not within the same person. So Anakin destroyed the Sith, Ren destroyed whatever Barf Hideous was, but now Anakin still has to destroy Vader, once and for all.

Whill wrote:
CONCLUSION

At this time I have to rank TLJ as my second least favorite Star Wars film, right above AotC. Of course that means I still derive a lot of enjoyment out of it. I teared up a bit at Luke's "reunion" with Leia, the Falcon soaring into the final battle, and Luke's sacrifice, which means these things really moved me. My overall ranking is disappointing but I'm truly happy that I seem to be in a minority of fans here (and that I know elsewhere) who absolutely love it and/or feel TLJ one of their favorite SW films. I still welcome any positive responses that counter anything negative I've said about it. Thanks.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm reminded of a couple precedents in science fiction films...

Alien was iconic space horror, yet Aliens repackaged that horror into something new and interesting while retaining many of the key elements that had made the first film so iconic. Alien 3, on the other hand, reverted back to the much the same formula, of humans with improvised weapons facing off against a single Alien. While some of the circumstances had changed, the general premise was a copy of the first film.

Pitch Black gave us Vin Diesel's Riddick, arguably one of his more interesting character, as part of a group of crash survivors stranded on a planet being hunted by hostile critters. The Chronicles of Riddick, however, took that character and expanded the universe in new and interesting ways (love it or hate it, the film was noticeably divergent from Pitch Black). And then they reverted to copycatting the basic theme of Pitch Black for the 3rd film: Riddick.

In both circumstances, film makers took risks by breaking with a successful formula to try and tell a different sort of story within the same universe as the previous story, a pattern not followed by subsequent film makers.

For Star Wars, the issue is an order of magnitude greater, because the first two trilogies follow a similar pattern. While each film in the classic trilogy told a different story, the central theme of the underdog Rebel Alliance fighting the all-powerful Empire was a constant. The prequels, however poorly realized they may have been, told a completely different story, of a different time, and each film also told its own separate story, as well.

And now we come to the new trilogy. Where so much of what we see is a thematic rehash of the concepts and plot lines of the OT. Which would be more tolerable if didn't feel so clumsily done.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:18 am    Post subject: Re: * My Personal Response to TLJ * Reply with quote

Whill wrote:


The Chase - I'm all for technobabble explanations for things but the whole chase premise just doesn't make sense. The Resistance ships were going "full" speed. The First Order said that the Rebel fleet is, and I quote, "faster", but somehow that meant that the First Order fleet would be able to stay a constant distance behind them. Does Rian Johnson think that we don't know what the word "faster" means? I'm pretty sure that virtually all 7th graders know this which means your average adult American should know this. If the Resistance fleet was actually faster, that would mean that the First Order would fall further and further behind. Sure, for my SWU I can pretend they didn't say "faster" and invent some Star Wars gobbledygook to explain the chase, but at the risk of sounding overly dramatic this is a little insulting to our intelligence.


Exactly.


dredwulf60 wrote:


They really want us to believe that all of the rebel support ships and the cruiser are all faster than all of the Imperial ships. Just fast enough to stay out of effective range...but not fast enough to really increase the range....for what seems to be days? (edit: 18 hours as CR pointed out)

AND that range reduces the power of the incoming turbolaser blasts to the point they can't penetrate the shields??

AND for some reason they don't send 200,000 TIEs and bomber variants to cripple the fleeing ships?


They mentioned that they wanted the fighters to pull back because they were outside of the range that the Star Destroyers could support them.
But, when you think about it...what does that even mean?
What kind of support would the Star Destroyers have to provide to a swarm of attack fighters and bombers?
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haven't read through the thread yet, just gonna put this up here to express myself. Cool

I will begin by saying that I thoroughly enjoyed VII. The previews of Rogue 1 did not impress me... I got a very "political agenda" feeling from the previews, and upon seeing the movie for free on Netflix, turns out I was right. The movie was okay as a production... lame as a Star Wars film.

I'm actually quite underwhelmed by VIII, which is a shame because for the first time ever, we actually get to see my number one favorite archetype front and center in my favorite nerd flick: a female Jedi. Don't ask me why, but I have a thing for female Jedi. Just something potentially "cooler" when a Jedi is a female, all other things being equal.

That said, I feel that Rey is a weak character, even though the actress plays her well... she's just not written in a way that I find compelling. Too cliche, I suppose, very predictable according to the political agenda that Disney is working very hard to promote. She is also the same archetype as Jyn, which is unfortunate, because they could have gone a different direction with either character in order to bring some variety, but... alas, they didn't.

I wish they would leave the politics out of Star Wars (or, entertainment in general; not saying it can't ever be present, but I feel that in this case, they poured it on way too thick and the movie... in fact, the whole franchise just reeks of politics to the point that it gets in the way of just enjoying an epic story).

I'm sure everyone here is aware enough to pick up on the specific issues being politicized, so I won't bother to discuss them (not here to argue whether the agenda is "good" or "bad," only saying that I wish there was not one in the first place).

Also, I feel as though this movie is sending a clear creative message as well: "Let Go!" Disney is doing their honest best to kill off any remnants of the "old" Star Wars so they can start on a fresh canvas (I presume).

My biggest beef with this is the way they handled Luke. The go through all the trouble to trick us (along with Kylo) into thinking that Luke is so powerful that he can withstand a million blaster cannons and being cut in half by a lightsaber, and then finish with the eye-wink taunt and the "see you around, kid" line, only to have him disappear afterward. So lame. They might as well have just had him do like Kenobi did, but with an epic duel to end the movie. Net result would have been the same. But instead, they show that he can astral project across the whole galaxy to save the day, and we think, "yay! Luke one-upped the bad guys." And then POOF! So weak... anti-climatic.

Snoke? What a waste. He was basically the Darth Maul of the new SW: his only purpose for existing in the script was to validate the main character. Defeating him didn't cost anyone anything. There was no "risk" involved when Kylo did his thing. It was a plot twist that, honestly, was way over-foreshadowed. As soon as Snoke started talking about "where I sensed weakness I now sense resolve" (but lacking the specifics on what exactly Kylo had "resolved" to do) I knew it was Snoke who was done for because of the previous conversations with Rey (and with Snoke).

What would have been EPIC would have been if Kylo had failed because Snoke figured it out (or knew all along), and then both he and Rey were thrown into a torture chamber or some such after the attempt on Snoke's life and tortured for Luke's whereabouts. Would have given us a truly powerful and wretched villain to hate. As it sits, Snoke falls dreadfully short of Palpatine (so the threat the First Order poses seems limp and un-scary), and Kylo falls WAY WAY WAY short of Palpatine (and Vader, but, the movie seemed to at least address that issue), so now, with no Palpatine, no Snoke, and Kylo bickering with Hux or Hucks or whatever his name is, we have a joke of a threat looming over the remnants of the Rebellion.

The biggest problem I have with the Dinesy interpretation, though, is that they are reinventing the force: the notion of light and dark side is supposed to be clear cut. The only reason there is "gray area" is to seduce people to the dark side (reference Palpatine's discussions with Anakin). In other words, there is no room for compromise. Disney is beginning to blur that line, and I frankly don't like it.

The most satisfying moment for me, as an RPG nerd, was when Laura Dern jumped to lightspeed through the other ships. It reinforces my interpretation of lightspeed travel: it's just super fast travel through real space... no "hyperspace portal" or extra dimensional poppycock to try and explain or figure out.

I'm trying to come up with a "favorite part" of the movie... but I'm just not able to find one... everything is so heavy with politics that I just can't get emotionally involved in the film.

Quick question: since when in the world can people breathe in space???????!!!!!! That Asian gal in the beginning... totally exposed to the vacuum of space, and she just sits there heaving and panting and stuff (yes, Leiah, too, but for obvious reasons, we can make a brief exception).
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