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Post #1401917

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The Last Jedi: Official Review and Opinions Thread ** SPOILERS **
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Date created
11-Jan-2021, 11:54 AM
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11-Jan-2021, 11:55 AM
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While that’s certainly true, I’m pretty sure it’s intentional. I think whether it works for you or not comes down to if you ultimately think Rian was being smart or pretentious.

I’d argue that TLJ is more pretentious than smart in this area.

Consider Lando. In less than twenty minutes of screentime he goes from possibly adversarial to seemingly friendly then traitorous to his friends to repentant and allied with our heroes. It’s a constant rollercoaster of emotion, but it is actually just a more dramatic version of the pattern that exists for each ally in the OT. Lando. Obi-wan. Yoda. The Ewoks. Each of these allies is introduced with a moment of uncertainty, whereupon their friendliness is revealed. After establishing themselves as friends they then inevitably come into conflict with our heroes and then this conflict is resolved with one or both parties learning and growing from the experience.

The TLJ allies, by contrast, don’t have nearly the same movement along this axis. Their movement is merely from antagonist to ally, and even this little movement is sometimes abrupt at the end. Perhaps Rian wanted to get right to the drama of each partnership, but in doing so he ignored the greater reason for the partnership - the fact that these characters are ostensibly on the same side. Without this baseline the drama is all we see, and it risks portraying these characters as dysfunctional.

I keep coming back to the example of Lando. If he could become a three-dimensional character as a secondary addition halfway through a movie, there’s no reason TLJ couldn’t write similarly compelling characters given an entire 2.5 hour runtime.