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Episode VIII : The Last Jedi - Discussion * SPOILER THREAD * — Page 175

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Yeah, I think the scene could’ve used an extra line, like Finn saying, “If we fire one good shot down the barrel of that cannon, it’ll overload!”

Then when we see his guns melt, we know that what he is doing is pointless by that point.

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There’s already a ton of lines, plus the music, plus the editing, plus the visual information, that show the audience that his run isn’t going to work.

The movie is also asking you to remember what a “successful” suicide run would look like - i.e. the beginning of the movie, where Rose’s sister died helping destroy the dreadnought, but that destruction didn’t actually help the resistance, and in fact hurt it immensely. A lot of the same visual and audio cues are there in Finn’s run, and the movie is hoping you’ll remember that, and remember that it ended up being a bad idea, poorly executed, that wasn’t worth the cost.

So you’ve got:

Poe saying they need to get to the cannon
Poe saying it won’t work once the cannon is charged
The AT-AT’s killing everything on the way to the cannon.
The cannon visibly being charged
Finn angrily waving everyone off for the sake of not letting them win (despite the fact they’re going to win even if he does blow up the cannon)
Poe saying the cannon is charged and it’s not going to work
Rose saying it’s not going to work
The ship, which was introduced as being a rattletrap hunk of trash, literally melting and falling apart the closer it gets
The rapid cutting showing how quickly it’s melting the closer it gets.
The music rising and getting more desperate/despairing the closer he gets.

here’s another question - since most of the criticism is coming from an “In the moment” POV, what do you think happens AFTER this scene, where Finn kills himself flying his speeder into the cannon - or the ship fails out and just smashes into the front of it, or goes in and explodes, and now the front of the cannon is blackened/charred but still spinning, or the cannon actually explodes and takes out a couple AT-AT’s on either side but there are still a bunch of walkers and Kylo’s ship (a larger version of which we just saw with the Holdo maneuver) - and the ability to call for reinforcements to just bring another one of those things down and continue the siege: What’s the story after this point? What is happening after the momentary “Yes, Finn is the suicidal hero like Paige was” that is adding to the overarching themes of the story? Why, after seeing two not particularly successful suicide missions complete themselves already in this movie, would the third time be the charm especially considering the tons of evidence being spoken/shown/heard that it 100% wouldn’t work and would be easily the least successful suicide mission of the film, and how would it’s hypothetical “working” make this movie’s aims and thematic strengths stronger than if Finn is stopped?

That scene isn’t happening in a vaccuum, and I don’t know how much more clear the movie needs to be about communicating the futility of Finn’s intent. The scene only works because of it’s obviously tragic nature: He’s going to kill himself, it’s not going to matter, and it’s a damn shame. You empathize with him, you understand why he’s doing it, but you know it’s doomed to fail. Nothing in the sequence there is suggesting his potential success (which isn’t even really a potential outcome at all) will benefit anyone.

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Enter major plothole:

The film tries to make a fuss about Poe being reckless and endangering the fleet by destroying the dreadnought when in reality his actions saved the fleet from certain death.
If the resistance escaped without destroying the dreadnought(a fleet killer) the first order would have traced them through lightspeed and the resistance would have been at a dead end.

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That’s not a plothole, and it doesn’t really have anything to do with the point I’m making regarding Finn’s suicide run.

Poe was reckless, and did endanger the fleet. Again, this is very clearly shown to us through visuals and dialog. He also reduced the number of threats that followed them through hyperspace, yes - but considering Snoke’s flagship showed up anyway, (a giant ship that literally dwarfed the dreadnought, and brought its own set of Star Destroyers with it) the idea that losing all those pilots and ships to destroy the one dreadnought was “worth it” in the way Poe thought it was is very clearly shown by the film to be not true.

But again: What happens to the story if that “plot hole” is patched up? What is that saying in the context of the larger story, and where is it pointing? If you’re “fixing” stuff without keeping any of that in mind, what are you actually “fixing?”

Poe’s arc is started by Paige’s sacrifice, and how that sacrifice wasn’t quite in vain, but was definitely unneccessary in the larger scheme. Having Poe be in charge of a similar situation on Crait, and recognizing his mistake this time, goes a long way towards resolving that arc later in the cave when Finn is, emotionally and character-wise, where Poe was.

And that’s how you wind up with Finn wanting to make Paige’s sacrifice, but this time even less effectively, with even more on the line, and being stopped by Paige’s sister from doing that so that both Finn and Poe can complete their character arcs in this story. That’s not a plot-hole.

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If we are talking technicalities Snokes ship had very short range and so did the star destroyers, the dreadnought on the other hand is a different beast, it obliterated the resistance base at a long distance and has the capability to destroy a fleet.

I like TLJ as a hole but for this instance I have to say RJ wrote himself into a cul-de-sac.

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We’re not talking technicalities at all, though. Nothing I mentioned is a “technicality.”

And that “technicality” you are trying to mention in regards to a plot hole that isn’t, doesn’t address or even begin to engage with any of the larger thematic or character questions I brought up, either.

Poe basically led a charge, against orders, based on his own personal feeling, to destroy a big weapon that could be used against the Resistance, that got a bunch of valuable resources (and even more importantly, human lives) eradicated for little gain, and that gain was even more solidly dwarfed by the fact his “positive” outcome ended up not mattering because the second they dropped out of lightspeed a bigger, more deadly, more threatening ship greeted them. The dreadnought doesn’t matter in comparison to Snoke himself being on the scene - and that scenario gets paralleled at the end of the film on Crait to highlight the futility of pursuing that sort of “heroic” action without paying attention to what it really means in the larger scheme.

Again, that’s not a plot-hole. And where does “fixing” that “plot hole” even leave you in the context of that story and what it’s doing?

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If the basis upon which you build these large themes and character arcs is weak the hole thing collapses, you completely ignored what I said concerning the fire range of these ships and their capabilities which I’m afraid is officially canon.

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I didn’t ignore what you said concerning the fire range - the movie also establishes that the First Order probably could have, at any point, jumped ahead and just wiped them out, but Hux instead chose to just follow behind and essentially torture them instead of just getting it over with. He’s being sadistic and awful and enjoying it instead of putting in the work.

Which is ALSO a thematic element that keeps getting referenced and paid off later in the movie - the villains’ hubris and arrogance gets them ruined. Had Hux been as ruthless as he pretends he is, the movie would have ended after 30 minutes. Had Snoke been paying attention instead of feeling himself, he wouldn’t have gotten bisected. If Kylo had been paying attention instead of raging out on Crait, he would have figured out what was really going on before it was too late.

Here’s a larger point that I’m trying to make - aside from the fact these “plot holes” aren’t really plot holes at all, if your deconstruction of the story is being done solely to point out how there are ways to effectively end the story after 30 minutes because the bad guys “could have” done something else that they didn’t do and it would wipe out the good guys, then you’re not really worried about the story or the plot-holes, you’re basically trying to invalidate the movie, period. That’s not fixing a story, that’s anti-storytelling. That’s suggesting that our heroes need to be so pigeonholed BY the plot that the course of action they take is the only possible course of action they COULD take. That’s video-game routing, not large-scale movie storytelling. What’s the end goal of this criticism, and what is it that it’s saying about the story and the characters and the themes and ideas they represent?

The rate of cannon fire and the distance on that cannon fire isn’t important enough to invalidate whole themes and arcs, and suggesting the story needs to work that way in order to be successful doesn’t make any sense to me. Especially not in the face of how clearly the film DOES communicate all its ideas and details as they’re happening.

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Broom Kid said:

The movie also establishes that the First Order probably could have, at any point, jumped ahead and just wiped them out, but Hux instead chose to just follow behind and essentially torture them instead of just getting it over with.

Where does it establish that? Are you sure we are watching the same film?

Which is ALSO a thematic element that keeps getting referenced and paid off later in the movie - the villains’ hubris and arrogance gets them ruined. Had Hux been as ruthless as he pretends he is, the movie would have ended after 30 minutes. Had Snoke been paying attention instead of feeling himself, he wouldn’t have gotten bisected. If Kylo had been paying attention instead of raging out on Crait, he would have figured out what was really going on before it was too late.

Well since the dreadnought was aiming to fire at the resistance cruiser at the start of the film I’m sure had it survived Poe’s attack it would have done the same thing.

Here’s a larger point that I’m trying to make - aside from the fact these “plot holes” aren’t really plot holes at all, if your deconstruction of the story is being done solely to point out how there are ways to effectively end the story after 30 minutes because the bad guys “could have” done something else that they didn’t do and it would wipe out the good guys, then you’re not really worried about the story or the plot-holes, you’re basically trying to invalidate the movie, period. That’s not fixing a story, that’s anti-storytelling. That’s suggesting that our heroes need to be so pigeonholed BY the plot that the course of action they take is the only possible course of action they COULD take. That’s video-game routing, not large-scale movie storytelling. What’s the end goal of this criticism, and what is it that it’s saying about the story and the characters and the themes and ideas they represent?

No I am not trying to invalidate the film, in fact I enjoyed the film and I like the themes and character ercs in a broad sense, but when put under close inspection, the way things are set just don’t add up and it takes away from the overall experience.

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Just realized a plot hole that has something to do with The Rise of Skywalker:

Why would Luke Skywalker keep Leia’s lightsaber if he wanted the Jedi Order to end?

The unfortunate reality of the Star Wars prequel and Disney trilogies is that they will always be around. Forever. They will never go away. It can never be undone.

I also prefer to be referred to as “TNT”, not “Freezing”.

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He also kept his Jedi robes. And when he went to go burn the tree - he couldn’t burn it. Yoda had to do it for him. Luke didn’t really want the Jedi to end, (“I will not be the last Jedi” are some of the last words he ever speaks") and he couldn’t make himself do it. That he kept Leia’s lightsaber as a memento isn’t a “plot hole” because it doesn’t undo or mess up anything from a plotting perspective, much less a thematic or character one. It’s absolutely in keeping with the Luke from The Last Jedi. Luke was being dishonest to both himself and Rey about why he was really on that island, and it wasn’t some big noble aspiration. He was depressed and scared and ashamed.

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I don’t like how Luke’s reason to secluded himself changed from wanting to stop the endless cycle of Sith and Jedi and wanting the force to choose someone worthier, to him suddenly being there out of fear which Rian Johnson explicitly said he was not.

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When did Rian Johnson say that? He’s obviously afraid - it’s in Hamill’s performance, it’s in Luke’s behavior, it’s definitely present in the moment where he talks a good game about burning down the tree and then doesn’t do it because he’s scared to.

Yes, he wants to stop the cycle, but he’s also scared to do it. And eventually he learns that his method of stopping the cycle is a bad one anyway, because while his intent was good, the way he went about it wasn’t.

He’s not “suddenly” on Ahch-To because of fear, it was always a part of why he went there. Fear, Shame, Anger, Sadness… all of that is mixed together in his motivations to cut himself off and stay cut off.

Him having Leia’s saber stashed away in there isn’t a “plot hole.”

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Broom Kid said:

He also kept his Jedi robes. And when he went to go burn the tree - he couldn’t burn it. Yoda had to do it for him. Luke didn’t really want the Jedi to end, (“I will not be the last Jedi” are some of the last words he ever speaks") and he couldn’t make himself do it. That he kept Leia’s lightsaber as a memento isn’t a “plot hole” because it doesn’t undo or mess up anything from a plotting perspective, much less a thematic or character one. It’s absolutely in keeping with the Luke from The Last Jedi. Luke was being dishonest to both himself and Rey about why he was really on that island, and it wasn’t some big noble aspiration. He was depressed and scared and ashamed.

Wish they made it clear within the film itself that he didn’t really want the Jedi to end.

The unfortunate reality of the Star Wars prequel and Disney trilogies is that they will always be around. Forever. They will never go away. It can never be undone.

I also prefer to be referred to as “TNT”, not “Freezing”.

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FreezingTNT2 said:

Wish they made it clear within the film itself that he didn’t really want the Jedi to end.

They did. He literally says it to Kylo at the close of their duel.

He’s angry and upset and he’s got an audience to vent to in Rey, so he’s trying to convince himself as much as he is trying to convince her that the last few years of his solitary life on this rock mean more than they actually do. His behaviors are saying just as much as any line of dialog would (and even then, he gets an actual line of dialog that makes it explicit later in the movie)

But it’s not an accident we see him carefully folding his Jedi robes, or that he’s still got a shrine with the Sacred Jedi Texts up and standing, or that he can’t make himself destroy the tree, and that he’s very upset at the possibility of Yoda having burned those books. All of those things are clear evidence that he’s not really dedicated to letting the Jedi end. He’s talking a good game but he hasn’t convinced himself, and every time push comes to shove he chooses to PROTECT the Jedi way, not destroy it. The very fact he chooses to train her at all speaks to the idea that he’s not convinced that it’s really “time for the Jedi to end.”

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Broom Kid said:

FreezingTNT2 said:

Wish they made it clear within the film itself that he didn’t really want the Jedi to end.

They did. He literally says it to Kylo at the close of their duel.

He’s angry and upset and he’s got an audience to vent to in Rey, so he’s trying to convince himself as much as he is trying to convince her that the last few years of his solitary life on this rock mean more than they actually do. His behaviors are saying just as much as any line of dialog would (and even then, he gets an actual line of dialog that makes it explicit later in the movie)

But it’s not an accident we see him carefully folding his Jedi robes, or that he’s still got a shrine with the Sacred Jedi Texts up and standing, or that he can’t make himself destroy the tree, and that he’s very upset at the possibility of Yoda having burned those books. All of those things are clear evidence that he’s not really dedicated to letting the Jedi end. He’s talking a good game but he hasn’t convinced himself, and every time push comes to shove he chooses to PROTECT the Jedi way, not destroy it. The very fact he chooses to train her at all speaks to the idea that he’s not convinced that it’s really “time for the Jedi to end.”

I mean before the duel, where he fully realizes that the Jedi shouldn’t come to an end after Yoda shows up and talks to him.

The unfortunate reality of the Star Wars prequel and Disney trilogies is that they will always be around. Forever. They will never go away. It can never be undone.

I also prefer to be referred to as “TNT”, not “Freezing”.

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That last two paragraphs of mine that you just quoted are speaking directly to that, though. It’s a big part of Hamill’s performance, and why that performance is so good.

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FreezingTNT2 said:

Just realized a plot hole that has something to do with The Rise of Skywalker:

Why would Luke Skywalker keep Leia’s lightsaber if he wanted the Jedi Order to end?

It isn’t his to destroy. He got rid of his own saber and parked his Xwing in the water and closed himself off from the force. If Leia did find him and wanted her saber back… would you really want her mad at you for that when she entrusted it to you? I wouldn’t wan Leia mad at me… scary.

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Broom Kid said:

That last two paragraphs of mine that you just quoted are speaking directly to that, though. It’s a big part of Hamill’s performance, and why that performance is so good.

I think your analysis in your last few posts nails it.

Hux is quite content to let them run out of fuel and then kill them. He is savoring the moment.

Finn was defintely on a suicide mission and he might have damaged the weapon, but not likely. Remember in Independence Day he has weapons to fire. Finn has nothing. He is trying to run into a Locomotive with a Citroen. It isn’t going to do more than scratch it. The angles they show to make it clear how small the speeder is, the parts crumpling from the power, Poe’s earlier comment about how flimsy and decrepit the speeders are (when he puts his foot through the side). It is all story telling to indicate that Finn’s run is hopeless so we are relieved when Rose stops him.

Poe acted reckless when he destroyed the Dreadnaught. That it later turned out to be the right thing to do is immaterial. They had no way of knowing that they would be tracked through lightspeed. It was the wrong thing to do from a leadership perspective and that is what Poe’s journey in TLJ is all about. You have to follow the plot in the moment and not let yourself have 20/20 hindsight interfere in what came before. You can’t do that in life and you can’t do that in fiction.

I’m not sure I totally agree about Luke, but it does make sense. But what is clear is that where Luke is at the beginning is a dark place and you really can’t take any of what he says as being indicative of the themes of the film (my biggest complaint about some opinions of the movie). Luke is suffering from his failure and mourning the dead (and Ben) and hiding from Leia and Han. What he says about the Jedi from the PT I agree with (and I feel the PT makes that very clear). But when he says the Jedi have to end, he is really saying the old Republic Jedi, not the idea of the Jedi or where they came from. He does not want to be responsible for another student falling to the dark side or being killed. When Yoda destroys the tree and forces him to face his failure, he is able to clear away all the instability and regain his own balance. Then he is able to face Kylo in the most iconic Jedi saber duel ever. He gives hope and becomes legend.

A plot hole is something that doesn’t make sense in the moment. That the film doesn’t address in ANY way. Star Wars is filled with coincidences and perfect setups because it is myth. It takes shortcuts with the plot to move the story along and keep it flowing. There are things we don’t know because it isn’t important to the moment. That has been the case since 1977. It is how Lucas created the series. He wanted iconic characters in a mythic serial. He made the characters relateable and took them on familiar journeys. Anakin faces fear, failure, and anger. Luke faces his lack of faith and his yearning for adventure. Rey faces her abandonment and her need to belong. The other characters have their own journeys. Sometimes not even shown on screen (Lando going from a pirate and smuggler to running Bespin). I think the ST has done this as well and I think RJ did the most heavy lifting at it. Rey, Finn, and Poe have the most growth in TLJ.

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yotsuya said:

Poe acted reckless when he destroyed the Dreadnaught. That it later turned out to be the right thing to do is immaterial. They had no way of knowing that they would be tracked through lightspeed. It was the wrong thing to do from a leadership perspective and that is what Poe’s journey in TLJ is all about. You have to follow the plot in the moment and not let yourself have 20/20 hindsight interfere in what came before. You can’t do that in life and you can’t do that in fiction.

Keep in mind that given that the bomber ships were slow and if Poe had listened to Leia’s orders, the bomber ships would’ve been shot down by the dreadnought while trying to head back to the Raddus. I guess the filmmakers should’ve included Y-Wings instead.

The unfortunate reality of the Star Wars prequel and Disney trilogies is that they will always be around. Forever. They will never go away. It can never be undone.

I also prefer to be referred to as “TNT”, not “Freezing”.

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yotsuya said:

Finn was defintely on a suicide mission and he might have damaged the weapon, but not likely. Remember in Independence Day he has weapons to fire. Finn has nothing. He is trying to run into a Locomotive with a Citroen. It isn’t going to do more than scratch it. The angles they show to make it clear how small the speeder is, the parts crumpling from the power, Poe’s earlier comment about how flimsy and decrepit the speeders are (when he puts his foot through the side). It is all story telling to indicate that Finn’s run is hopeless so we are relieved when Rose stops him.

“Never underestimate a Citroen”

I still disagree that the movie is clearly telling us that his suicide run would not disable the cannon. For me it’s not made abundantly clear either way and maybe that’s intentional. As you said about Poe’s decision at the beginning of the film, whether or not Finn damages the cannon is immaterial to the point that the movie is trying to make, so it seems entirely appropriate for it to be kind of ambiguous.

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pleasehello said:

yotsuya said:

Finn was defintely on a suicide mission and he might have damaged the weapon, but not likely. Remember in Independence Day he has weapons to fire. Finn has nothing. He is trying to run into a Locomotive with a Citroen. It isn’t going to do more than scratch it. The angles they show to make it clear how small the speeder is, the parts crumpling from the power, Poe’s earlier comment about how flimsy and decrepit the speeders are (when he puts his foot through the side). It is all story telling to indicate that Finn’s run is hopeless so we are relieved when Rose stops him.

“Never underestimate a Citroen”

I still disagree that the movie is clearly telling us that his suicide run would not disable the cannon. For me it’s not made abundantly clear either way and maybe that’s intentional. As you said about Poe’s decision at the beginning of the film, whether or not Finn damages the cannon is immaterial to the point that the movie is trying to make, so it seems entirely appropriate for it to be kind of ambiguous.

Exactly. If it was clear that he wasn’t going to be able to destroy it Poe should have said something like ‘It can’t be destroyed now!’ or ‘Don’t throw your life away for nothing!’ But instead he specifically says that it is a suicide run, just like Rose’s sister and the bomber at the beginning. The whole point seems to be that whether or not the weapon is destroyed it isn’t worth the lives spent in taking it down. The problem of course is that in both the opening battle and in this one, taking down the weapon will save the Resistance based on the facts at the time, and not doing so dooms them.

But this discussion has been had and nobody is changing their minds now.

What a grand and intoxicating innocence. How could you be so naive? There is no escape. Come, lay down your weapons. It is not too late for my mercy.
A New Hope Technicolor Recreation (Released!)
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NeverarGreat said:

But this discussion has been had and nobody is changing their minds now.

Might as well keep going for a couple more pages though, right? At least until someone asks why Holdo didn’t tell Poe her plan.

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As long as I get to be snarky about it so I come out on top!

“The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.” - DV