The fact is RJ went out of his way to make a Star Wars film that challenged everything we know about star wars. About the force, the Jedi, the roles of heroes and villains, politics and economics. It’s very deliberate. And for that reason some people hate it, others think its the best film since Empire.
I think all these nit picks about Jedi training and power levels and admirals not sharing plans with captains are kind of missing the big picture.
Yes, RJ deliberately went out of his way to challenge established canon. The fact that there is a large portion of the fan base arguing about it doesn’t mean they don’t get it, it means they don’t like it.
It’s this condescension that I have a problem with. “You just don’t get it.” No, I get it, especially since you’ve kindly explained it to me many times over. I just think it’s crap.
For a great many fans, adding to the story is preferable to rewriting it.
Which as absolutly not what TLJ does. Nothing is rewriten.
We’re just looking at it from a different perspective. It’s the film that finally says Hey maybe the Jedi were wrong. Maybe the status quo of the galaxy needs to change if we need to truly stop the empire. Maybe the way to win is not through heroes and warriors but ordinary people like Rose and Finn and that kid with the broom. And the film ends with both sides being right, yes the Jedi sucked but they dont have to. Yeah one guy swinging a laser sword cant bring down the First order, but the idea or the legend of him could.
I liken it to Captain America Civil war, which challenges the ideas around Heros and their place in society. Should Superhero’s be able to do what they want in order to solve the worlds problems or should they be accountable as part of society. And it ends not on a Definitive answer but more of a “Yes, but”. Like all good questions there are no black and white answers.
If you think TLJ is the first film to suggest maybe the Jedi were on the wrong path, you’ve forgotten some key scenes in the prequels. Yoda made his concerns about the state of the Jedi Order clear in AotC—particularly as it relates to the cockiness/arrogance of the younger Jedi—and comes right out and says the prophecy may have been misread.
After the fall of the Jedi due to their own arrogance, Yoda spends decades on Degobah meditating. After hesitating to train Luke, what does he teach Luke to do with his powers? Pass on what you have learned. He didn’t say “rebuild the Jedi” or “start recruiting kids”. It’s the sequels that brought us the idea of Luke starting a school and kicking off a new Jedi Order based on some sacred Jedi texts. If anything, by the end of RotJ, Luke learned there were different ways to approach problems aside from those his masters espoused. That’s why I find TLJ’s take on Luke so disappointing. There was no reason he had to represent the old way of doing things; he could’ve just as easily been the start of the new way you describe. Maybe Rey comes into it with a bunch of crazy Jedi stories in her head and Luke sits her down and says, look kid, regardless of the stories you’ve heard, the Jedi got some things wrong, and we need to try something different this time.
In the end, despite all the questions you raise about classical heroes and their roles, they did stop the Empire. The Rebellion won the war and Luke saved his father. And yet, for reasons nobody has explained, the galaxy ends up with Empire II—excuse me, the First Order—and they’re right back in the same situation again. The Jedi Order had been wiped out decades before and Luke had barely started training new Jedi, so clearly the Jedi “sucking” weren’t the issue this time. So where did it all come from? Maybe ordinary, everyday people get it wrong sometimes and they occasionally need a hero to come in and clean up the mess. And maybe audiences find that more compelling than Broom Boy.
Part of creativity comes from dealing with constraints, and when telling a story, the constraints include the rules of the world you’ve built. TLJ tosses many of those constraints aside, and while it may have resulted in an interesting exercise in filmmaking and storytelling, it resulted in a Star Wars movie that many of us find unrecognizable and unpalatable.
I wish Johnson had just been given his trilogy without touching the original saga. He could’ve told his own story about characters on the other side of the galaxy in some unexplored region who developed their own way of using the Force, minus all the Jedi and Sith baggage.