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I didn't like The Force Awakens. Should I see The Last Jedi in theaters? (NO SPOILERS)

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I love the original trilogy. I cringed at the prequel trilogy. But I was so disgusted with The Force Awakens that I haven’t been able to bring myself to re-watch it even once.

For those of you who dislike TFA and have seen The Last Jedi, should I see The Last Jedi in theaters? Or should I wait for the home video release? Or should I avoid the movie entirely?

If you can limit your answer to a simple yes, no, or never, that would be safest, as I am hardcore when it comes to spoilers, and even consider it a spoiler when expectations are spoiled.

For convenience, you can also take the poll here, but if you take it and post your answer to this thread, please specify you have taken the poll so I don’t count your answer twice:
http://www.strawpoll.me/14646756

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I think it’s safe to say if you didn’t like TFA to begin with, that means you don’t care about these new characters, which are very much present in TLJ. I personally loved TFA, even with some of its cringe humor, but my hunch is that turned you away even more from this ST. So if that’s case, if you didn’t like the new characters and didn’t care for the humor, I say that many people, even those that claimed to like TLJ, do find the humor even more forced and a total tone killer compared to TFA.

I’ll vouch for “no” for you in that case.

The Hope Awakens

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Depends on why you didn’t like TFA.

The PT is the greatest thing that’s happened to Star Wars if you don’t count everything else. – Collipso

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I’d recommend checking out TFA again, preferably the Gentle Restructure fan edit.

Help back SPACE COMMAND!

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Tobar said:

I’d recommend checking out TFA again, preferably the Gentle Restructure fan edit.

This. Get Restructured V2 (check the /r/fanedits subreddit) and give it a whirl.

The PT is the greatest thing that’s happened to Star Wars if you don’t count everything else. – Collipso

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I say go see it. Your attitude towards TFA shouldn’t really be a factor here, as pretty much everybody here feels differently about these new movies (and the old ones as well). Unless you can’t afford the ticket or the time, you shouldn’t miss out on seeing this film on the big screen and making up your own mind about it.

Having said all that, even though I personally enjoyed TFA despite its MANY flaws, after TLJ I’m just not really interested in seeing episode 9 (or that Solo movie) in theatres or elsewhere. 😃

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ChainsawAsh said:

Depends on why you didn’t like TFA.

Yes, on my second go round I went with a friend who didn’t like TFA, but ended up quite enjoying TLJ.

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I dislike most of TFA and I love TLJ. I have a hard time investing in Darth Temper Tantrum, however I am able to overlook a lot of the weakness of that character in this movie. I already have some fanedit ideas for this one that largely revolve arond the structure of the first 45 min or so and eliminating SOME humor.

I’ve noticed two trends with folks who dislike R1 and TLJ, the big one is resistance to moving away from legacy characters (Luke/Han/Leia) and the other is the Mary Sue/I don’t like minorities crowd. I don’t see a lot of the latter here but see a lot of it elsewhere onliine.

I seriously dislike TFA and saw this to financially support the franchise if it offers more like Rogue 1, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this one.

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regularjoe said:
I’ve noticed two trends with folks who dislike R1 and TLJ, the big one is resistance to moving away from legacy characters (Luke/Han/Leia) and the other is the Mary Sue/I don’t like minorities crowd. I don’t see a lot of the latter here but see a lot of it elsewhere onliine.

Guess I’ll remain that outliner fan then. Loved TFA and felt let down by R1, but only slightly dismayed by TLJ. I totally fell in love with the new characters like Rey, Kylo, and Finn. I loved how Han was handled and didn’t mind Leia in TFA. However, TLJ felt like it dropped the ball with the main characters, which I find fault in how it picks up so shortly after TFA, so there’s little room for greater character growth. For some reason I’m less excited to find out what happens next to these characters, which is a complete 180 from the excitement felt after TFA ended.

The Hope Awakens

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If you didn’t like TFA because you didn’t think it was original enough but you liked the characters and thought the series had potential, yes you should see it. I’m somewhat in that position; I wouldn’t say I disliked TFA, but I didn’t love it either yet I did love this one because every problem I had with TFA was essentially corrected here.

If you didn’t like TFA because you hated the characters and thought everything about the set=up of the new trilogy was irredeemably bad, odds are you won’t like this one either though.

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The main reason I don’t like TFA is this:

If the filmmakers want to add something to the sequel trilogy that changes the original trilogy, that’s fine as long as it enhances the original trilogy. But if it neither enhances nor weakens the original trilogy, it may or may not be the right choice. And if the new addition even goes so far as to weaken the original trilogy, that is an unequivocal sign that the change should not be made, and that a different approach should be taken to the narrative. And there are too many places in TFA that weaken the original trilogy.

Specifically why I don’t like it (The Force Awakens SPOILERS):

  • Rey’s rapid mastery of the Force undermines the hard work that was put in to make Luke’s transition from novice to master a believable one in the original trilogy, and it diminishes his accomplishments.
  • Rey learning the Force with little to no guidance undermines the purpose of having a mentor in both the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy.
  • New Force abilities break continuity with the way the Force is portrayed in the original trilogy:
    • Paralyzing a person.
    • Freezing a blaster beam in mid-flight.
    • Walking while using the Force.
    • Reading the memories of an inanimate object.
  • Lack of originality. The filmmakers played it far too safe by duplicating too many narrative elements from previous Star Wars films.
  • Having Han revert back to smuggling undermines all of the hard work that was done to develop his character in the original trilogy. I would have preferred to see him continue to evolve as a character rather than regress.
  • The circumstances of Han’s death should be more dramatic or more exciting than a talk. Especially considering that the Star Wars series is a space opera.
  • As a character, Kylo Ren is a weak villain. And the comic relief in his scenes doesn’t help.
  • Rey is overpowered even if we pretend for a moment that the original trilogy doesn’t exist. As a novice with the Force, she is somehow able to overpower a trained Sith at telekinesis.
  • The shift in humor to a satirical sitcom style is out of place for Star Wars. It’s the kind of humor that makes me roll my eyes when it’s not in a sitcom like Friends.
  • Maz Kanata is out of place. Just because Disney owns Star Wars is no reason to put a Disney character in a Star Wars movie. I was actually surprised when she didn’t break into song to explain the Force to Rey.
  • The film feels incomplete because there are too many important narrative threads that remain unresolved by the end of it. Key words: “too many.” I’m fine with being given a puzzle to solve, but the problem is that we aren’t given enough of the jigsaw pieces—or that we are given ones that should have been saved for later. And anyway, Star Wars is supposed to be a space opera, not a mind-bender.
  • Luke’s part in the film isn’t right. It would be better if he intervenes in the fight at the end to save Rey and Finn (preferably against an uninjured Kylo Ren). But if it has to be Rey who defeats Kylo Ren, there should be no cameo with Luke at the end. It achieves nothing more than the creation of an offbeat ending. They should have saved that scene for the beginning of The Last Jedi. It’s like ending The Empire Strikes Back with R2-D2 and C-3PO arriving at Jabba’s palace—it just doesn’t make any sense in the episodic format of Star Wars (to compare, The Lord of the Rings is a single story split into three parts, as opposed to three episodes that make up a story). The only reason for Luke’s cameo that I can come up with is that Disney wanted to sell more tickets by having Mark Hamill’s name in the billing—and that’s an insidious incentive when it comes at the cost of the narrative.

And that brings me to another point. There are too many decisions that appear to be made for the sake of making more money at the box office, but at the expense of the narrative: duplicating proven story elements from previous movies to play it safe, reverting Han’s character back to what it was in movies that have proven to be successful, and tacking on the appearance of Luke. Even Han’s death felt like it was tacked on to check the drama checkbox on the Star Wars checklist, rather than to tell a good story.

Nitpicks:

  • The decision to change Force terminology by replacing the word “good” with “light” proves to be problematic in certain sentences. It’s better to use either of the two words depending on context, rather than rigidly sticking to just one.
  • Changing the design of the lightsaber for Kylo Ren is fiddling with perfection. The original lighsaber beam is a perfect design, both visually and sonically. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And having cross-guard beams on a lightsaber is just stupid.
  • It was predictable, and I mean well beyond the fact that the good guys are going to blow up the “Deathstar.”
  • Kylo Ren doesn’t need a mask. Cosplaying villains aren’t intimidating.
  • Han Solo is too old to be gun slinging. And he’s definitely too old to be shooting without even looking what he’s aiming at.
  • The hologram technology is too advanced.
  • There are gaps in the worldbuilding logic of the narrative, such as the storm trooper’s melee weapon, or Finn’s fencing skills.
  • The transition from the final scene into the credits music was not smooth.
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Yeah, I don’t think you’ll like TLJ very much either.

The PT is the greatest thing that’s happened to Star Wars if you don’t count everything else. – Collipso

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30 minutes of TLJ is prequels bad, 1 hour is solid, and another hour is pure gold.

You’ll probably hate it but, imo, THE fight is worth the price of admission. Pick a matinee show if you don’t want to feel too cheated.

I thought TFA was good, but not great. I watched it again after TLJ and found myself really liking it, probably because TLJ made me care about the characters more than I used to.

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I hated TFA, but enjoyed TLJ. It wasn’t a perfect movie by any stretch of the imagination, but I thought it had much better pacing and didn’t repeat many of the mistakes of the TFA. I didn’t like that it was a bit over the top (they keep trying to go bigger and better and this is about the limit of what is somewhat believable).

I’ll go over your list and say what problems I think are and aren’t shared with TFA, and hopefully that helps you decide. I’ll keep it spoiler free (but spoiler free might mean something different to me than to you–at any rate, you won’t be able to figure out what the movie is about by reading my post).

Mjolnir Mark IV said:

Specifically why I don’t like it (The Force Awakens SPOILERS):

  • Rey’s rapid mastery of the Force undermines the hard work that was put in to make Luke’s transition from novice to master a believable one in the original trilogy, and it diminishes his accomplishments.
  • Rey learning the Force with little to no guidance undermines the purpose of having a mentor in both the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy.

I agree completely. This is acknowledged but not really addressed or explained in TLJ.

  • New Force abilities break continuity with the way the Force is portrayed in the original trilogy:
    • Paralyzing a person.
    • Freezing a blaster beam in mid-flight.
    • Walking while using the Force.
    • Reading the memories of an inanimate object.

Personally, this didn’t bother me because it has some precedent in the OT (the Emperor used force lightning in ROTJ, and that hadn’t been introduced before; I see no reason why we should have seen every force power used). If it bothers you though, you will be bothered again in TLJ.

  • Lack of originality. The filmmakers played it far too safe by duplicating too many narrative elements from previous Star Wars films.

This was ridiculously overdone in TFA and is why I hated it the most. There are scenes in TLJ that are clearly modelled after scenes in the OT, but plot-wise I enjoyed it and it’s its own thing. Although it would be too strong to say that it’s completely original (at least the plot details it takes from other movies are not obviously rehashed).

  • Having Han revert back to smuggling undermines all of the hard work that was done to develop his character in the original trilogy. I would have preferred to see him continue to evolve as a character rather than regress.

Very true. I think this is less of an issue in TLJ though.

  • As a character, Kylo Ren is a weak villain. And the comic relief in his scenes doesn’t help.

This is acknowledged in TLJ, although I’m still not a fan of him.

  • Rey is overpowered even if we pretend for a moment that the original trilogy doesn’t exist. As a novice with the Force, she is somehow able to overpower a trained Sith at telekinesis.

I don’t think Kylo Ren is supposed to be fully trained, but I definitely agree that this was a weak point, and it continues to be (less noticably, however).

  • The shift in humor to a satirical sitcom style is out of place for Star Wars. It’s the kind of humor that makes me roll my eyes when it’s not in a sitcom like Friends.

Ugh, there’s some really cringey humour in TLJ. Not enough that it ruined the movie for me, but there were some moments I hated…

  • The film feels incomplete because there are too many important narrative threads that remain unresolved by the end of it. Key words: “too many.” I’m fine with being given a puzzle to solve, but the problem is that we aren’t given enough of the jigsaw pieces—or that we are given ones that should have been saved for later. And anyway, Star Wars is supposed to be a space opera, not a mind-bender.

I don’t think there’s anything more left unresolved with TLJ than there was with ESB. ANH was nicely wrapped up because they weren’t sure if they would be able to make a sequel; the loose ends in ROTJ were tied up because it was the last movie. TLJ resolves some questions raised in TFA and doesn’t leave too much hanging (it’s clearly identifiable as the middle episode of a trilogy, however). It answers some things far more satisfactorily than I expected (though other people strongly disagree…personality differences maybe?).

  • Luke’s part in the film isn’t right. It would be better if he intervenes in the fight at the end to save Rey and Finn (preferably against an uninjured Kylo Ren). But if it has to be Rey who defeats Kylo Ren, there should be no cameo with Luke at the end. It achieves nothing more than the creation of an offbeat ending. They should have saved that scene for the beginning of The Last Jedi. It’s like ending The Empire Strikes Back with R2-D2 and C-3PO arriving at Jabba’s palace—it just doesn’t make any sense in the episodic format of Star Wars (to compare, The Lord of the Rings is a single story split into three parts, as opposed to three episodes that make up a story). The only reason for Luke’s cameo that I can come up with is that Disney wanted to sell more tickets by having Mark Hamill’s name in the billing—and that’s an insidious incentive when it comes at the cost of the narrative.

I’m not a fan of the way they used Luke in TFA, but now that I’ve seen TLJ, I’m willing to forgive it, because TLJ couldn’t have worked as is if they treated him differently.

And that brings me to another point. There are too many decisions that appear to be made for the sake of making more money at the box office, but at the expense of the narrative: duplicating proven story elements from previous movies to play it safe, reverting Han’s character back to what it was in movies that have proven to be successful, and tacking on the appearance of Luke. Even Han’s death felt like it was tacked on to check the drama checkbox on the Star Wars checklist, rather than to tell a good story.

There’s some of this in TLJ, but not enough to bother me, and much, much less than in TFA.

Nitpicks:

  • Changing the design of the lightsaber for Kylo Ren is fiddling with perfection. The original lighsaber beam is a perfect design, both visually and sonically. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And having cross-guard beams on a lightsaber is just stupid.

No improvement here, but thankfully no new lightsaber designs showed up…

  • It was predictable, and I mean well beyond the fact that the good guys are going to blow up the “Deathstar.”

Much less predictable than the last one. About as predictable as ESB, I’d say, or less so.

  • Kylo Ren doesn’t need a mask. Cosplaying villains aren’t intimidating.

This is acknowledged in TLJ.

  • The hologram technology is too advanced.

Look at how much our cellphone technology has advanced in the past 30 years…I see no reason why holograms shouldn’t also be slightly more advanced in the ST. They aren’t really that much better anyway.

  • There are gaps in the worldbuilding logic of the narrative, such as the storm trooper’s melee weapon, or Finn’s fencing skills.

I think there was plenty of that in the OT too. I think whether you take issue with similar things in TLJ depends on how you see Star Wars in general.

I didn’t address a couple of your points to avoid spoilers, but hopefully the above is helpful without giving anything away. I left TFA feeling very disappointed. I did not feel at all the same way about TLJ (perhaps in part because of lower expectations), but I also did not leave completely satisfied like I did with Rogue One. I say it’s worth a shot, but be prepared to strongly dislike some elements even if you might enjoy it overall.

If anyone thinks any of the above is spoilery, I’ll remove it.

This post has been edited.

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The Last Jedi feels like it’s a delibirate “screw you” to The Force Awakens, in the way that it handles the big mysteries it set up, and the fact that it’s not even remotely derivative of TESB. I say go see it. It’s a very different experience.

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Anakin Starkiller said:

The Last Jedi feels like it’s a delibirate “screw you” to The Force Awakens, in the way that it handles the big mysteries it set up, and the fact that it’s not even remotely derivative of TESB. I say go see it. It’s a very different experience.

I think it was a big “screw you” to all of Star Wars, not just TFA. This movie was a mix of prequel trilogy with burn everything down because we want you to watch 100 other Star Wars movies that have nothing to do with the OT. It was an abomination. 😦

But you can’t ever really say you like or hate a film unless you saw it. So I don’t know.

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Thanks everyone for the replies. Keep them coming, and the poll voting too if you want, because I’m still pretty torn about whether to go see it or not.

@RicOlie
Thanks for such a thoughtful reply. I sincerely appreciate your effort to both help me reach a decision and protect me from spoilers. And while normally it would be more than I’d want to hear, I’m so conflicted about seeing the movie that the info you’ve given me is helpful in managing my expectations.

I just want to say a few things to set the record straight about the logic behind what I said about TFA. I realize we’re on the same side about the OT and TFA and that you’re trying to help, so don’t take this as an attack.

RicOlie_2 said:

Mjolnir Mark IV said:

  • New Force abilities break continuity with the way the Force is portrayed in the original trilogy:
    • Paralyzing a person.
    • Freezing a blaster beam in mid-flight.
    • Walking while using the Force.
    • Reading the memories of an inanimate object.

Personally, this didn’t bother me because it has some precedent in the OT (the Emperor used force lightning in ROTJ, and that hadn’t been introduced before;

It’s never explained, but it would make sense if the reason we don’t see Force lightning until ROTJ is because Vader can’t use it, because the mechanical parts of his body would act as a conduit and make the lightning backfire, perhaps even frying the mechanical components of his prosthetic limbs and his breathing apparatus.

But let’s say you’re right. I’m not saying the original trilogy is infallible. But the continuity breaks in the OT are significantly smaller than those in TFA, and even more importantly, the presence of a continuity break in the OT is no excuse to continue creating new continuity breaks in the sequel trilogy.

RicOlie_2 said:
I see no reason why we should have seen every force power used).

I agree. But the problem is not simply adding something new we haven’t seen before. It’s adding something new that contradicts what we have seen.

  • Paralyzing a person. If this is possible, then why wouldn’t Vader paralyze Luke in TESB? Since his goal is to capture Luke alive, paralyzing him at the carbon freeze chamber would have been the perfect opportunity, especially since he’s clearly stronger than Luke in TESB.

  • Freezing a blaster beam in mid-flight. If this is possible, then why wouldn’t Vader do this to the blaster shot that Han fires in the Cloud City dining hall in TESB? There’s no use risking a deflection going willy-nilly in a confined space if you don’t need it to, especially when you want Han Solo alive to use as bait to lure Luke.

  • Walking while using the Force. If this is possible, Vader surely would have done it when hurling wall fixtures and random objects at Luke in TESB.

  • Reading the memories of an inanimate object. If this is the way the Force works, then why isn’t Luke assaulted by a montage of his father’s memories when he receives Anakin’s lightsaber from Obi-Wan in ANH?

Some of these inconsistencies also combine to create continuity breaks. For example, if one’s undivided attention is not required to use telekinesis, and if paralysis is possible, why wouldn’t Luke paralyze the last stormtrooper on the speeder bike in ROTJ, rather than opting for the more risky maneuver of slamming his speeder into the stormtrooper’s?

There are many ways to create an exciting sequel without violating the limitations that have been established in previous films. In fact, limitations can even act as a guide and expedite the creative process by increasing the speed of decision making. Creating a story that breaks the continuity of previous material means one of two things about the flimmakers, neither of which are good:

  1. They’ve taken the easy way out of solving a problem with the story. This means someone is either lazy, careless, or incompetent.
  2. They’re arrogant enough to think they can re-write the rules, which is just plain disrespectful to the filmmakers who worked hard to establish a set of consistent rules in the original trilogy. Anyone who dismantles well-crafted continuity because of an oversized ego is…well, an asshole.

RicOlie_2 said:

Mjolnir Mark IV said:

  • The hologram technology is too advanced.

Look at how much our cellphone technology has advanced in the past 30 years…I see no reason why holograms shouldn’t also be slightly more advanced in the ST.

Demonstrating how the galaxy has flourished in the absence of the Empire is a good concept if that’s the idea, but using the hologram as an example is problematic because the more realistic you make a hologram, the more you run the risk of losing the distinction between characters that are actually present and characters that are projected holograms. I think in this case, what communicates clearly on screen is more important than how far technology would logically advance over time. And since nobody’s going to complain about the hologram technology not advancing, I find the choice that was made somewhat baffling.

What fits the creative vision of the universe is also important to consider. The more polished you make the technology, the more you risk the world not feeling like the Star Wars universe.

RicOlie_2 said:
They aren’t really that much better anyway.

Well, it’s a nitpick. And I’ll admit my memory isn’t particularly clear with this detail anyway (it has been two years), so you could be right. I’d have to go back and check to be sure, but to be honest, I’m afraid that simply scanning through the movie will cause a relapse in the PTSD I’m still battling.

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