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Post #1295864

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Episode VIII : The Last Jedi - Discussion * SPOILER THREAD *
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Date created
8-Sep-2019, 8:43 PM

DrDre said:

DominicCobb said:

DrDre said:

Well, I would say modernism and postmodernism are opposing philosophies, much like capitalism, and socialism, and so they clash by default. I would also say RJ quite deliberately set out to create a work, that clashes with past perceptions in a great many ways. My interpretation of TLJ is, that it first rejects and deconstructs the concepts of legends, and heroism, as presented in the first 7 parts of the story, and then reframes it in a postmodern context by the end. I think this clashing of opposing views, is at the heart of the fan division, where many fans view the film as refreshing, and a necessary step in the future development of the franchise, whereas others view it as a betrayal of what came before. For this reason, even if I dislike the direction chosen by RJ, I still believe TLJ is one of the most interesting Star Wars films, and blockbusters in general to date.

I don’t have the time for a lengthy response right now but I don’t think modernism and postmodernism are exclusively opposing philosophies in general (both ideas can exist within a single work) and certainly not in the context of those two films, nor do I think the two films specifically align with those two movements (I actually don’t think TLJ is a very good example of a postmodern work). Even back to my comparison, I think one could easily make a similar argument about SW and TESB. Point ultimately being, such an analysis is subjective, and the idea that the two films objectively clash with each other is silly, as is the suggestion that anyone who disagrees is doing so in bad faith.

Who suggested the two films objectively clash with each other, or suggested that anyone who disagrees is doing so in bad faith? You may disagree, but consider this. A great many critics consider RJ’s latest film Knives Out to be a postmodern work:

It seems RJ takes great interest in postmodernism, and I personally see a pattern. You may feel TLJ is not a good example of a postmodern work, but I would say it is not for lack of trying. I would classify it as being a flawed postmodern work, as RJ struggled to fit his postmodern concepts to the largely modern myth that is Star Wars.

I would say that RJ used postmodernism as a way to frame Luke’s doubts about himself and the Jedi, but ultimately Luke’s doubts and Kylo’s entire philosophy fall in the face of the traditional Star Wars outlook that Leia, Rey, and Poe support and that Luke comes back to after talking to Yoda. I agree that postmodernism is entirely about questioning and doubting myths, but the entire focus of TLJ, at least as it related to that part of the story, is that doubting Luke and Kylo Ren are both wrong. The end of the film very much supports the return to myth and hope. Luke does not just fake the battle, he instantly elevates himself to mythic status. That is what the broom boy clip at the end means. He and his friends are replaying that fake battle without considering that it is fake. That is type of myth and legend and what it means in the Star Wars universe is against the postmodern goal of tearing down such myths. Luke’s part of TLJ is entirely about how far he has fallen and lifting him back up. Contrary to how many see the TLJ depiction of Luke, RJ was taking the Luke that Lucas and Abrams had created and giving him a path back. But not as the hero of the story (for his time as hero has passed), but as the myth and legend that gives hope to the galaxy and a tool and Leia can use to save the New Republic and that Rey can use to rebuild the Jedi. I get the feeling that you take the doubting Luke and Kylo Ren to be the voice of the story without truly considering what the end of the film means for where they were in the middle. Luke is playing the role of the Mentor redeemed. A little more eccentric take on the typical hero’s journey, but found often enough to not be too strange. TLJ takes him from that old fallen hero role and lifts him up to be the mentor that Rey needs to complete her journey. The end of TLJ really contradicts just about everything you keep trying to claim the movie means.