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The Last Jedi: Official Review and Opinions Thread ** SPOILERS ** — Page 260

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Plinkett’s Last Jedi review has inspired me to re-evaluate what makes Star Wars work so well, and it lead me to realize that Star Wars '77 has, in many more ways than a normal movie, the form and function of a dream.

Consider that Star Wars perfectly captured a moment in the American zeitgeist of the hippy counterculture rebelling against the establishment machine, using visual references drawn from sources that lingered in the subconscious of that generation. Metropolis, Flash Gordon, WWII propaganda film - all these things were at least a generation out of date when Star Wars premiered, ensuring that while the references would be felt, they would not draw undue attention to themselves.

Consider also the simple and efficient plot populated with archetypal characters that resonate with people of any time. Any specificity in the film is a reference to an unknown, alien technology or knowledge structure, anchoring the film in a timeless void where everything is approachable and everything is endlessly immersive.

Finally and most importantly, consider that the characters and the director construct the myriad conceits of the movie in complete earnest. Nowhere is there a wink to the audience to let them know that they are in a movie, never is a threat taken lightly. When Leia begins to treat her oppressors with mocking disdain, they are quick to destroy her entire planet.

These things all conspire to immerse the audience in what can only be described as a movie equivalent of a dream.

Now compare this to The Last Jedi, which although it goes some way in grounding itself in the visual references of the past, has no interest in generating or sustaining immersion in the audience. This fact above all else is, I believe, why so many in the audience failed to connect with it - The Last Jedi finally awakened them from the seven film dream.

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 (Edited)

Though I obviously disagree that the film “has no interest in generating or sustaining immersion in the audience” (I think there’s more to immersion than lack of “winking” jokes, plus wouldn’t that disqualify TFA as well? Hell even AOTC had at least one winking reference to the original film), I must say you have a well made point in stating that the film is perhaps less earnest than it’s predecessors. Though that doesn’t mean it isn’t earnest at all, and I’m not even sure that gets to the root of many fans issues with it. Some of the most widely criticized elements of the film are Leia in space, Rose Tico, and the Canto Bight escapade, all of which are, for my money, as earnest as anything else in the franchise.

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I’m referring more to the OT in this regard, and yes, TFA really started the trend - ‘Who talks first’ and the joke about Daniel Craig dropping his weapon probably counts here - but overall the characters take the situations seriously and it goes a long way to legitimizing even the more absurd moments of the movie.

In comparison, Boyega has pretty much patented a look of baffled skepticism with regards to TLJ’s dumber moments:

Finn questions the situation

Everyone questions the situation

When your co-lead looks embarrassed with the BS, you’ve got a problem.

You mention Space Leia, Rose, and Canto Bight as being very earnestly implemented and I agree. Rian seems quite interested in being serious in the parts of the story that he likes, while treating the bits he doesn’t like as punchlines. Just little things like Anakin’s lightsaber, Snoke, Maz, Hux…

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NeverarGreat said:

I’m referring more to the OT in this regard, and yes, TFA really started the trend - ‘Who talks first’ and the joke about Daniel Craig dropping his weapon probably counts here - but overall the characters take the situations seriously and it goes a long way to legitimizing even the more absurd moments of the movie.

Reactions to Kylo’s tantrums, the whole shield scene with Phasma, that one line about how the force works, etc. TLJ is just continuing what’s already there.

In comparison, Boyega has pretty much patented a look of baffled skepticism with regards to TLJ’s dumber moments:

Finn questions the situation

Everyone questions the situation

When your co-lead looks embarrassed with the BS, you’ve got a problem.

That’s kind of a warped interpretation of those moments. He’s reacting to Maz implying she been, uh, intimate with the codebreaker in the first, and BB-8 in the walker in the second. Both humorous moments, both reactions there to enhance the humor.

You mention Space Leia, Rose, and Canto Bight as being very earnestly implemented and I agree. Rian seems quite interested in being serious in the parts of the story that he likes, while treating the bits he doesn’t like as punchlines. Just little things like Anakin’s lightsaber, Snoke, Maz, Hux…

I don’t really understand why people have this impression that he’s “making fun” of things from TFA he “didn’t like” or whatever. Injecting humor doesn’t mean he’s disparaging those elements. Rian’s been very forthright about wanting a lot of comedy to keep the film from being too dark. If he “didn’t like” those elements they just wouldn’t be there at all (he easily could have cut Maz out, and given Snoke and Hux roles as small as theirs in TFA). As is he gave us a Snoke that was far more interesting and intimidating than in TFA, a Hux that was far more memorable with a more worthwhile place in the story, and a Maz that wasn’t any goofier than her TFA appearance. As for the lightsaber, Rian made it an integral symbol for Luke and Rey’s journey throughout the film… even as JJ cut and reshot its symbolic importance out of TFA.

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NeverarGreat said:

Plinkett’s Last Jedi review has inspired me to re-evaluate what makes Star Wars work so well, and it lead me to realize that Star Wars '77 has, in many more ways than a normal movie, the form and function of a dream.

Consider that Star Wars perfectly captured a moment in the American zeitgeist of the hippy counterculture rebelling against the establishment machine, using visual references drawn from sources that lingered in the subconscious of that generation. Metropolis, Flash Gordon, WWII propaganda film - all these things were at least a generation out of date when Star Wars premiered, ensuring that while the references would be felt, they would not draw undue attention to themselves.

Consider also the simple and efficient plot populated with archetypal characters that resonate with people of any time. Any specificity in the film is a reference to an unknown, alien technology or knowledge structure, anchoring the film in a timeless void where everything is approachable and everything is endlessly immersive.

Finally and most importantly, consider that the characters and the director construct the myriad conceits of the movie in complete earnest. Nowhere is there a wink to the audience to let them know that they are in a movie, never is a threat taken lightly. When Leia begins to treat her oppressors with mocking disdain, they are quick to destroy her entire planet.

These things all conspire to immerse the audience in what can only be described as a movie equivalent of a dream.

Now compare this to The Last Jedi, which although it goes some way in grounding itself in the visual references of the past, has no interest in generating or sustaining immersion in the audience. This fact above all else is, I believe, why so many in the audience failed to connect with it - The Last Jedi finally awakened them from the seven film dream.

I kind of see what you are trying to say and I’ll have to sit down to watch the Plinkett review sometime soon. That being said, I can honestly say I enjoyed TLJ more than most of ROTJ. Ewoks seriously took me out of the immersion. They are warriors that look like cuddly teddy bears that the main characters see as harmless comedic relief and they are certainly taken lightly in that regard.

For me, SW was a movie very much of the time it was made in, obviously. It was pushing the envelope with visuals and the story was basically the hero myth surrounded by a space western. Many of the facets of SW was a homage but when put together ended up being fresh and new. I liken IV to the Beatles in the sense that their talent came at the right time in the right place. There is no doubt imo that they are one of the greatest bands like SW is one of the greatest movies. But place their birth ten years later and I think things would be quite different. They would still be great but not as unique.

Finally, movies are just made differently now. TLJ is a sign of the current reflection of that in many respects. I am a middle aged male who has seen social media become close to intolerable for me. Outside of well moderated blogs like this is a sea of anonymous hate and personalization of every topic I can think of. SW is treated no differently now. There were those who really did not like ESB when it came out either and there were the vocal critics who were only heard because someone put a microphone in their face when they came out of their theater. I don’t think those folks would be as caustic as today if twitter and Facebook existed then…Maybe I’m naive but I can recall very clearly when my first foray into social media happened and I ran into the first trolls. I was genuinely shocked as if the the person was standing in front of me calling me a “F’n piece of shit” or some other off the cuff insult. Just because I dared to feel differently then they did.

All of this is to say that TLJ and TFA (the latter to a lesser degree because it didn’t even think of breaking the mold) are a sign of the times that have less to do with their respective stories but more to do with us out here watching them and how we communicate (as to your thoughts on why TLJ was less liked than the OT). Social media has become a double edged sword that has changed people in some pretty frightening ways.

Anyway, this post went longer than I first thought it would and in directions I didn’t anticipate. LoL.

Cheers.

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Finally watched Plinkett’s review of TLJ, and it seems to me that his biggest complaint is that the movie is structured like a comedy, and also complains about how characters act like idiots.

Plinkett’s review of TLJ is just hilarious, and I really lost it when the video of Rich Evans as Rian Johnson pours red wine on top of a table next to an empty cup.

Still, my opinion of the movie has not changed at all. Star Wars:The Last Jedi is my favourite of the saga and that’s all that matters to me. Really looking forward to Rian Johnson’s SW Trilogy.

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Isn’t 27B/6 the A/C repair paperwork from Brazil

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originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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I really truly love that moment and nothing you can say will change my mind.

girl

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fmalover said:

Finally watched Plinkett’s review of TLJ, and it seems to me that his biggest complaint is that the movie is structured like a comedy, and also complains about how characters act like idiots.

Plinkett’s review of TLJ is just hilarious, and I really lost it when the video of Rich Evans as Rian Johnson pours red wine on top of a table next to an empty cup.

Still, my opinion of the movie has not changed at all. Star Wars:The Last Jedi is my favourite of the saga and that’s all that matters to me. Really looking forward to Rian Johnson’s SW Trilogy.

I’m truly satisfied with the movie. I loved how they presented the backstory of Kylo & Rey as it hangs the audience with curiosity. Moreover, the use of metaphors in the movie was on point. Overall, I have no complaints.
Peace.

Content Creator @ https://snipon.com

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Rian Johnson Almost Used Anakin’s Force Ghost in The Last Jedi

“Briefly for the tree burning scene, but luke’s relationship was with Vader not really Anakin, which seemed like it would complicate things more than that moment allowed. Yoda felt like the more impactful teacher for that moment.”

LINK: https://www.comingsoon.net/movies/news/1156657-rian-johnson-says-he-contemplated-using-anakins-force-ghost-in-the-last-jedi

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I see a lot of people upset about that because of Luke talking through Vader to his father in Return of the Jedi, but, ever the insufferable Rian Johnson defender, I agree with his decision. The reason Rian included Yoda’s force ghost was because we’ve seen Luke’s relationship with Yoda a lot more and a reunion of the two was much more powerful in that moment; arguably, in the films, Luke never REALLY got to meet his father. I bet Luke has interacted with his father’s force ghost post-original-trilogy, but it’s what the audience has seen that’s important. Yoda, the man of great wisdom, was the best choice for a guiding force for Luke in that scene. And including both Yoda and Anakin in the film would have felt forced and too confused.

Now, in my mind Anakin should have appeared to speak to Ben in TROS no question, but that’s another rant.

“Remember, the Force will be with you. Always.”

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Yoda’s appearance in TLJ was spot-on and served as a emotional book-end to Luke’s Jedi path. Anakin should have appeared to Kylo, not to Luke.

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I dunno, it feels to me like Rey should have been the one to convince Luke to come back. It would be like the ghost of Obi-wan going to Yoda’s hut for a pep talk before helping Luke destroy the Death Star.

If Luke had gone through with burning down the tree, believing that the Texts were still inside, then breaking down in tears alone after realizing what he’d done, that for me would have been far more powerful and kept Rey as the central figure in Luke’s return.

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I agree with him that Yoda is the better mentor for the moment because Obi-Wan tells Luke in Return of the Jedi that Yoda will always be with him. It makes sense that Yoda would be the one to appear to Luke when he’s tapped back into the Force. However I couldn’t disagree more about Luke’s relationship being more with Vader than Anakin.

Let’s rewatch this scene from Return of the Jedi.

https://youtu.be/w-HFv6Ms1lw

Anakin should’ve appeared though to Ben Solo instead of the figment of his imagination. Why didn’t Anakin appear before? Dark Side users can’t see Force Ghost. That’s at least what I think George said once. So it makes sense he’d appear at his moment of redemption. You could have Anakin and Luke communicate after Rey leaves the island for a brief moment and talk about how they’ll both finish what they started all those years ago on Death Star II.

"Pleasure’s fun. It’s great, but you can’t keep it going forever; just accept the fact that it’s here and it’s gone, and maybe then again, it will come back, and you’ll get to do it again. Joy lasts forever. Pleasure is purely self-centered. It’s all about your pleasure: it’s about you. It’s a selfish, self-centered emotion, that is created by a self-centered motive of greed. Joy is compassion. Joy is giving yourself to somebody else, or something else. And it’s a kind of thing that is, in its subtlety and lowness, much more powerful than pleasure. You get hung up on pleasure; you’re doomed. If you pursue joy; you will find everlasting happiness.” - George Lucas

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Anakin showing up in TLJ would have overcomplicated everything. You’d have to touch on Anakin and Luke’s obviously rocky and very complicated relationship, and at least address why Anakin is talking to Luke and not Kylo (not a hard question to answer but it’s still one you’d have to address). Using Yoda is simple and straightforward for the purpose of the scene.

Death of the Author

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So, the internet is filled with hot takes on what is wrong with TLJ, but recently I’ve been thinking about it and realized that there’s a big unifying issue that I haven’t heard brought up before: The new allies in TLJ are introduced as antagonists.

Basically, Luke, Rose, and Holdo all end up helping our three heroes by the end of the film and are characterized in purely heroic ways, yet their introductions portray them as pure antagonists to our heroes.

Luke immediately throws away the lightsaber and shuts himself in his hut, refusing to help Rey or the Resistance.
Rose, despite her initial fangirl attitude, actively thwarts Finn’s escape attempt in the process and then accuses him of being a traitor.
Holdo immediately gives Poe a dressing-down and refuses to let him in on her plans, to the point that he believes that she is an enemy.

Compare this to ESB, where Yoda is introduced as an eccentric neutral character who may or may not help Luke, whereupon he quickly reveals himself as a true ally, who becomes antagonistic only to help train Luke and they part as friends in ROTJ. Lando is similarly portrayed as being of questionable loyalty until he quickly reaffirms his friendship with Han and his desire to help. Granted he has been compromised by the Empire but his intentions are always good and these win out in the end.

The reason for establishing the affability of allies quickly is simple - first impressions matter. It will take only a scene or two for the audience to decide whether or not they like a character, and the easiest way to do this is to have said character help our heroes. Wait too long and even a character with good motives will become annoying or downright antagonistic to the heroes, and by proxy to the audience.

This is where TLJ fails. The average viewer will see the irritation these supposed allies cause our heroes and will be irritated in turn. If left to fester for scene after scene, this will turn into full-blown anger and then whiplash when the antagonistic character is revealed to be ‘good’. This is especially true with Holdo, where the film goes from characterizing her as an antagonist to Poe to having her perform a full-blown heroic sacrifice in the space of a few minutes.

This problem of antagonistic allies could have been fixed fairly easily at the script stage without changing the film too much.

For example, Luke could have pretended to help Rey and even given her an introductory lesson. Then at the end of the lesson he could have said “…and this is why it is time for the Jedi to end.” The audience would be in shock; they have just seen Luke as presumably his old heroic self, allowing themselves to get on board with his character, only to have the rug pulled out from under them in an interesting way. Luke is an ally to Rey since he has already given her instruction, but now he is antagonizing her in order to force her into conflict and growth, just as Yoda did with Luke.

Rose could have met with Finn as he packed to escape the cruiser, someone who wanted to help the great Finn in this presumably secret mission for the Resistance. He tells her that he has to find Rey, as she is in trouble and is the last hope of the Resistance, flashing the binary beacon at Rose. So she helps him, but as they make their way to the escape pod she takes a minute to reflect and asks him how they will find this ship again. Finn says that he and Rey will use the Force, but in a callback to TFA Rose calls his bluff and stuns him. So at this point the viewer has come to consider Rose as a part of the Finn/Rose teamup, and we feel guilt that Finn has misled her instead of annoyance that she is getting in the way of our favorite former Stormtrooper.

Finally, Holdo is made the acting leader of the Resistance. She appreciates Poe’s contribution and asks him how their location was discovered. Poe vows to figure that out, and convenes with Finn and Rose to discuss the problem. In the meantime Holdo learns of Poe’s hasty demotion by Leia as her last act and becomes more cold toward Poe since he failed to mention this demotion, and when he comes to her ranting about ‘impossible’ First Order tech and a harebrained scheme to leave the ship to find a master code breaker, she suspects that Poe could be the spy. Their spiraling mistrust leads to Poe going rogue and initiating the scheme without Holdo’s permission. This structure allows for at least a scene of Poe and Holdo working together before the troubles appear, and since both think they are in the right the audience expects that the misunderstanding will resolve, which it does when Leia awakens.

Well, this turned out longer than I expected. The short of it is that Rian was so enamored with subverting expectations that he forgot to make the allies of the film likeable from the outset.

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This.

Peace is a lie
There is only passion…

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 (Edited)

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.

Luke is there to challenge Rey, Rose is there to challenge Finn, Holdo is there to challenge Poe - they essentially are antagonists for our trio of protagonists from the previous movie. I very much assume you’re supposed to dislike Holdo, because Poe is the audience surrogate for that plotline and he certainly dislikes Holdo at first. Ditto for Luke - many people talk about being shocked and disappointed that Luke is so unlike his old self, but that’s because Rey is your audience surrogate there, and she’s also confused and angry that he’s not the Luke Skywalker she’s heard of in the myths. Perhaps to a lesser extent with Rose because the audience doesn’t necessarily agree with Finn’s plan to escape and save Rey, but later on when he just wants to get the Canto Bight plot line over and done with, whereas she wants to save the fathiers, I think it applies.

I can’t help but feel adding in some positive interactions at the start of each relationship just to then pull the rug out would only add to the feeling that the movie is hyper-obsessed with never doing what the audience expects. I do agree that the way it is in the movie might lead to some people not “forgiving” the antagonists when they redeem themselves later in the film, even though our protagonists do.

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NeverarGreat said:

So, the internet is filled with hot takes on what is wrong with TLJ, but recently I’ve been thinking about it and realized that there’s a big unifying issue that I haven’t heard brought up before: The new allies in TLJ are introduced as antagonists.

Basically, Luke, Rose, and Holdo all end up helping our three heroes by the end of the film and are characterized in purely heroic ways, yet their introductions portray them as pure antagonists to our heroes.

Luke immediately throws away the lightsaber and shuts himself in his hut, refusing to help Rey or the Resistance.
Rose, despite her initial fangirl attitude, actively thwarts Finn’s escape attempt in the process and then accuses him of being a traitor.
Holdo immediately gives Poe a dressing-down and refuses to let him in on her plans, to the point that he believes that she is an enemy.

Compare this to ESB, where Yoda is introduced as an eccentric neutral character who may or may not help Luke, whereupon he quickly reveals himself as a true ally, who becomes antagonistic only to help train Luke and they part as friends in ROTJ. Lando is similarly portrayed as being of questionable loyalty until he quickly reaffirms his friendship with Han and his desire to help. Granted he has been compromised by the Empire but his intentions are always good and these win out in the end.

The reason for establishing the affability of allies quickly is simple - first impressions matter. It will take only a scene or two for the audience to decide whether or not they like a character, and the easiest way to do this is to have said character help our heroes. Wait too long and even a character with good motives will become annoying or downright antagonistic to the heroes, and by proxy to the audience.

This is where TLJ fails. The average viewer will see the irritation these supposed allies cause our heroes and will be irritated in turn. If left to fester for scene after scene, this will turn into full-blown anger and then whiplash when the antagonistic character is revealed to be ‘good’. This is especially true with Holdo, where the film goes from characterizing her as an antagonist to Poe to having her perform a full-blown heroic sacrifice in the space of a few minutes.

This problem of antagonistic allies could have been fixed fairly easily at the script stage without changing the film too much.

For example, Luke could have pretended to help Rey and even given her an introductory lesson. Then at the end of the lesson he could have said “…and this is why it is time for the Jedi to end.” The audience would be in shock; they have just seen Luke as presumably his old heroic self, allowing themselves to get on board with his character, only to have the rug pulled out from under them in an interesting way. Luke is an ally to Rey since he has already given her instruction, but now he is antagonizing her in order to force her into conflict and growth, just as Yoda did with Luke.

Rose could have met with Finn as he packed to escape the cruiser, someone who wanted to help the great Finn in this presumably secret mission for the Resistance. He tells her that he has to find Rey, as she is in trouble and is the last hope of the Resistance, flashing the binary beacon at Rose. So she helps him, but as they make their way to the escape pod she takes a minute to reflect and asks him how they will find this ship again. Finn says that he and Rey will use the Force, but in a callback to TFA Rose calls his bluff and stuns him. So at this point the viewer has come to consider Rose as a part of the Finn/Rose teamup, and we feel guilt that Finn has misled her instead of annoyance that she is getting in the way of our favorite former Stormtrooper.

Finally, Holdo is made the acting leader of the Resistance. She appreciates Poe’s contribution and asks him how their location was discovered. Poe vows to figure that out, and convenes with Finn and Rose to discuss the problem. In the meantime Holdo learns of Poe’s hasty demotion by Leia as her last act and becomes more cold toward Poe since he failed to mention this demotion, and when he comes to her ranting about ‘impossible’ First Order tech and a harebrained scheme to leave the ship to find a master code breaker, she suspects that Poe could be the spy. Their spiraling mistrust leads to Poe going rogue and initiating the scheme without Holdo’s permission. This structure allows for at least a scene of Poe and Holdo working together before the troubles appear, and since both think they are in the right the audience expects that the misunderstanding will resolve, which it does when Leia awakens.

Well, this turned out longer than I expected. The short of it is that Rian was so enamored with subverting expectations that he forgot to make the allies of the film likeable from the outset.

I dunno. Those characterizations worked perfectly fine with me. I must definitely be some sort of extraterrestrial being, because I don’t find any fault with TLJ.