Thank you everybody for your responses!
Are you actually streaming it in 4k right now? Every other account I’ve read from the Netherlands is that they’re marking things as being available in 4K but none of the content is actually encoded at that level. If you’re getting an actual 4k stream and not a 1080 stream marked as 4K, it means they’re already starting to update/upgrade the files they’re serving since the platform went live.
Also, I’m guessing the Ewok movies and show isn’t up there? I have yet to see anyone say they’ve watched them, and considering people are finding stuff like the '90s X-Men and Gargoyles episodes, Ewoks should have turned up by now.
I love that it’s Father Roderick doing the walk through
I also noticed that in the D23 trailer, they made sure to go through the saga in chronological order. Which makes sense, as the saga really only works in that order. Watching them in episode order really handicaps the prequels more than they’re already handicapped, since there are things in the prequels that basically don’t work at all unless you have a working knowledge of the three movies that preceded them. not just from a plotting perspective, but a tone and feeling POV. A lot of those movies rely on you knowing what’s being referenced, or what’s coming down the road in the original trilogy.
it seems like they haven’t made any sort of official announcement (I don’t think they ever would, either) but based on their platform, their pages on other platforms, and general practices like in the D23 trailer, Disney now believes the best way to work through the Star Wars saga is in chronological/release order, and not episode order.
I’m feeling comfy that most of the general stuff we’ve heard in the last couple weeks is more or less right, myself. It’s weird as hell in a lot of ways, but weird in ways that sound pretty likely, considering the motivations of the characters, and the history of the people in control behind the scenes. I’m certain a good third of it is off somehow, with some of that being completely wrong and/or deleted from earlier in production, but the big bullet points of who is doing what and why seem sound, to me.
I honestly think a opening night screening where people are primed to let out that huge cheer for the main title card and then it… doesn’t come? That could be great.
It seems like the last couple weeks have essentially gotten us to a pretty solid place in terms of basic plotting and motivation for the movie.
The most intriguing thing to me, honestly, is the idea that the movie might not start with the main title and scroll, but a flashback following the “A long time ago” card, and then smash cut to the main title at the end of the flashback, like Rogue One.
Just went through the thread and for a topic titled “box office predictions and expectations” I believe only 3 people in 8 pages have actually made ANY prediction with a definite number attached, and I’m one of them.
You guys gonna put your calls on the line? We’re a few months out, time is getting short…
I think it’s because the episode numbers becoming a prominent part of the marketing and labeling really only happened for the prequels. Before (and after) that point, the focus was less on the episode number (which we know was mostly a gimmick) and more on the title itself.
I’m curious as to whether Empire of Dreams has at least been upscaled. I remember hearing they were working on making as much of that HD as possible, so when it appeared on Amazon Prime I checked it out and it seems to be a straight DVD rip.
Also interesting to get confirmation that the files being used for Star Wars are the digital masters, complete with that weirdly cut-up fanfare over the Lucasfilm logo and the 20th Century Fox logo only appearing on Star Wars. I wonder if they’re only using those for this test, or if that’s going to be what’s rolled out for the rest of us in November. I was pretty curious as to whether they were going to reinstate the logos for the entire OT/PT, or cut them all off entirely. But if this holds through for official launch, it’ll basically just be blu-ray rips.
I don’t entirely agree this is the case. To some sure, but to many others the disrespect is not in the humiliation, or punitive act against the hero, it is in the fact that they feel it has not been properly motivated or set up. To them it’s like the story telling them, Luke’s different now, deal with it, and if you can’t, that’s your problem.
While harsher than I’d phrase it… that’s basically it. Either you can make that leap, or you can’t.
There’s nothing wrong with you as a viewer or a consumer of entertainment if you can’t, it’s not a personal failing or anything like that. But Luke is different now. He HAS to be different, and maybe he’s now different in a way you don’t like CONCEPTUALLY. And at that point, if you’re already firmly disagreeing with the very notion that he HAS to be different, and even more strongly disagreeing with HOW he’s become different - it’s going to be very hard for any story to keep hold of you, because you’re going to need convincing this idea is justified, and you’re automatically disinclined to buy it. It’s a relationship between movie and viewer that is instantly confrontational. The movie wants you to accept this is how he’s different, and this is why he’s different, and there’s only so much time (even with two and a half hours) to get into how that happened. And you want the movie to convince you that the premise isn’t mean-spirited, or stupid, or capriciously punitive. You want reassurance from the filmmakers that they’re not just doing it to do it, to be disrespectful to this character as a means to make these other characters (that you don’t really like much anyway) stronger. It’s seen as a transaction, not a story. “Oh, so you make my guy (note the possessive) into a big loser so these other people get to be winners at his expense. No thanks.”
There are limits for many viewers as to what “Luke Skywalker” can be, and should represent, and those limits are broken from jump the second The Force Awakens says Luke has disappeared for ten years. Because he’s not around in that movie it’s easy to not wrestle with the idea too much, but The Last Jedi has to dig into why those limits have been transgressed. Viewers willing to accept the idea that “Luke Skywalker” is a vessel for ideas and concepts that don’t line up precisely with what we’d seen in prior movies seem to be enjoying The Last Jedi more than those who essentially reject the notion out of hand.
“Luke wouldn’t do that” is a very strong statement, and definitely a valid one. I think he would, because I think Luke is capable of doing a lot of things depending on what ideas need to be expressed by the writers and creators in charge of the stories he’s in. I get why people would balk at his whole situation in this movie. But I don’t balk at it, and I in fact love what happened because it made him a richer, more interesting, more empathetic, and more lovable character. His failures didn’t ruin him. They eventually made him even greater. That’s inspiring to me. Even good people fall down. That doesn’t make them bad people. It just means they need to work harder at remembering who they can be, and moving back towards that light.
If the only way you approach the argument that Luke has been characterized improperly is by saying that the audience is merely blinded by their emotion, insofar as to say they should be ashamed of being impassioned by their connection to the films, the conversation doesn’t last much longer afterwards.
I’m not saying the audience is blinded by their emotion, simply that they choose instead to not move past that reaction to the decision having been made at all. This depiction of their fictional hero bothers them very, very much, to the point where their deconstruction of why it doesn’t work goes very, very deep in many ways, some intentional, some unintentional.
It honestly doesn’t need to be justified any farther beyond “I don’t like it, and I don’t like how it happened, I don’t like that it happened, and it bothers me that my fictional hero of choice was written to behave that way.” That’s honest, and true, and there’s not really any counter-argument to it. It’s rooted precisely in how you feel, and you don’t need to justify it beyond that, and you don’t need to respond to people who unfairly ask you to justify it beyond that point, really. If you simply don’t like that Luke Skywalker was put in that position and did the things he did, there’s nothing more anyone can say, honestly. You didn’t like it. There’s not really a way to “fix” that or talk you out of it. I can share why it worked for me, though. But that’s not being done as a means to convince you of your wrongness or anything like that. It’s just part of the conversation, and a desire to be understood.
I enjoyed it a lot. It’s likely I’m inclined to enjoy it, not just because I recognize and empathize with depictions of depression and struggle, and not just because I enjoy watching people figure themselves out and triumph accordingly, but because I don’t really hold these characters as sacred? Star Wars is for messing with. While this whole place was borne out of a notion that disagrees strongly, it’s also a place that has come to nurture and promote that specific notion. Star Wars is for messing with. It’s malleable. You can do things with it, and many of the best things that have happened with the property have happened precisely because people wanted to mess with it, to make the characters do things they otherwise wouldn’t do, and then see how they react, how they grow (or don’t) and what that might say about US, here in the present.
The idea that Luke Skywalker became a depressive old hermit who checked out for a decade because he was so ashamed of himself and angry at losing touch with what made him “a legend” in the first place? That’s not blasphemy to me. That’s interesting. And the way it was done was not just sad, but charming, too. To a lesser extent, a similar thing was done with Thor in Endgame. And to a lesser extent, some of his fans reacted much the same as Luke’s fans have reacted: The decision to do it was, in and of itself, unforgiveable, and so anything built upon that (to them) broken foundation isn’t worth giving over to. All they see is the humiliation and the “disrespect” to such a strong character. They see that as a punitive act against their hero, and they basically just… stop there.
I don’t think it’s disrespectful at its core to do things like that to beloved characters. They’re not people, they’re ideas being explored. And I think if you nail the execution, you’ve almost always managed to make that character even BETTER than they were before. I feel like the Luke Skywalker I saw in The Last Jedi was maybe the best he’s ever been, and it’s certainly the best performance Hamill’s ever given, and it seems messed up to me that he wasn’t seriously considered for a best supporting actor Oscar. But he couldn’t have been that great, I don’t think, if Luke hadn’t been put through those trials and tribulations.
It really does seem as if the people upset that Luke is like this in the story are judging him (and his creators/performers) as harshly as LUKE HIMSELF is IN the story. Only the difference is that Luke learns to allow himself empathy, sympathy, and forgiveness, whereas some of his fans aren’t willing to go that far.
There’s a legitimate anger that this fictional hero was shown to be flawed again, and none of those folks wants to forgive that. People seem to prefer INVALIDATING it entirely, rather than simply disagreeing with it. “Luke makes ONE mistake,” you say. Sure. I’d say he probably makes a bunch of little ones on the way to that big one, much like many relationships don’t fail because of the one big act-out, but the tiny trail of screw-ups that led to it. But even if we account for the idea he only made the one mistake, which was sensing Ben’s slip to the darkside and responding like “oh no, I have to stop him before he kills everybody” for one second - that mistake was a very big one. And it led to his having an entire building dropped on him while this kid went off and slaughtered half his temple, took a bunch of students with him (suggesting to me he’d been making small mistakes up to that point if Ben could so easily convince those students to swing his way) and joined not only the dark side, but wound up running the First Order. The kid became a homicidal maniac like his grandfather. Did Luke spark that? It’s hard to say no. Is Luke responsible for that reaction? A little. But it’s not like Ben Solo is a wind-up toy. He could have chosen, at any point along the way, to stop fighting the light and allow himself the forgiveness and empathy he keeps denying himself. But he doesn’t. And in a lesser, but still hurtful way, neither does Luke. Neither did Anakin. It’s a Skywalker thing, apparently. A stubborn, hurtful, unneccessary Skywalker thing.
Imagine the indignation you have at the idea of your hero failing despite your not wanting him to fail, not imagining he could even do it, and knowing how frustrating and helpless it would make you feel, to have your notions of greatness bruised and even broken. Now imagine you’re the hero. The guy who actually MESSED UP. The man who understands what that pressure means, and still broke under it despite your best efforts, you know for a fact that screw up cost untold number of horrors and deaths. You’d be upset, right? You’d be unforgiving. You’d be angry and disappointed. You’d be, funnily enough, in the exact same headspace Luke is in for much of The Last Jedi.
And by the end of the movie, Luke comes around. But many of his fans can’t. They’re still focused on the failure, and the unfairness of it having happened AT ALL, and that focus prevents them from going on Luke’s journey. The whole thing is forgone because it’s flat out illegitimate, to them. In a way, they never got off Ahch-To island. Their resentment and disgust with Luke is keeping them there, just like it kept HIM there. It prevents them from joining him as he projects his way to Crait for the most impressive single act of Force mastery in all the films.
The Last Jedi is a great empathy test, honestly. It asks the audience how willing they are to forgive people, to look for the good in people despite their biggest flaws. Can you recognize the potential in people, greater and lesser, accomplished and inexeprienced? Can you give part of yourself to those people despite all that, because you know there’s more to them than their failings? It’s not really a bad thing if you can’t do it for all the characters, either. Or that you’re willing to offer more of that empathy and sympathy to Poe, or Rose, than you are to Kylo, or Luke. But the movie takes great care to explain why these people are all acting like this, even if you don’t agree with the actions themselves.
It’s one of the more stubborn contradictions in the myriad responses to The Last Jedi that the people least willing to go where the film wants to go are fans of the man who best embodies the full emotional/mythological journey the film takes.
Has anything further come from this project, or are there any other similar projects? At this point a 35mm fan-preservation in 1080 is, for me, the OriginalTrilogy holy grail, simply because I think Star Wars will eventually get a hi-def official release at some point, but it’s no guarantee THX 1138 will ever be restored to what it was, and I’d love to be able to put that original version of this movie on in a resolution better than Laserdisc.
I disagree. To me watching Luke rise above himself only to be kicked back in the dirt, or watching the rebels beating the Empire only to have it all destroyed with a blast from a super weapon to have to do it all over again, or watch Han become a responsible leader, only to then abandon his friends and family, and become a smuggler again, is not all that satisfying. It may be satisfying in the moment, but in the long run it seems pretty pointless.
I don’t think the presentation of perserverance and goodness in the face of oppression and hardship is pointless. Wins don’t lose value simply because losses might follow. Championships still count even if the team ends up sucking 15 years later. All the good things a person did in their life don’t suddenly disappear when they die. But again, that’s kind of the philosophical divide I think we keep butting up against here: There’s a sense of score-keeping being applied to the OT characters in the ST, that certain things just shouldn’t have happened because look at this record! Look at X, Y, and Z, now you’re telling me all that grinding and leveling up doesn’t matter - and now this person over here that only JUST started playing gets a fully loaded sheet? There’s almost a gamification being applied to the story and I just don’t look at character or story in that way, and I don’t think characters in fiction are best served by keeping them boxed in.
If you only focus on the fact a failure happened at all, and not on the way everyone rose above that failure, (Everyone - the new characters too - that they’re learning from the past as well as learning on their own isn’t a negative thing, I don’t think) then it feels to me like you’re willfully missing the point. If you refuse to accept that a failure could have happened in the first place, you’re not meeting the story on its own level. And of course a failure could have happened. It’s not out of bounds, it’s not out of the question. I believe that stories work because they have the freedom to examine those sorts of scenarios. “What if a hero never truly reckoned with his own insecurities and succumbed to depression after a preventable tragedy?” I understand the knee-jerk response of “That would suck and I wouldn’t like that” but that’s a starting point, not the final answer. You can do things with fictional characters that you’d never want to see in real life, and the inspiration comes in showing ways out of that darkness. I understand the impulse to say “but they should never go into the darkness in the first place” and you’re right to feel that way, but I don’t think that makes for affecting drama or potent myth, either.
edit: completely off topic, but I want to say I’m a big fan of your color grading work on the fan preservations and I seriously cannot wait for you to finish that work and see it applied to the OT. It’s amazing stuff and I’m very appreciative. Thank you for dedicating so much time and energy to it.
I disagree, I thought it sold his POV really well. His “solution” to the problem is a bad one, but it’s bad in very understandable ways. When you unfairly come down on yourself, hard, for not living up to ideals you keep pushing out of reach for yourself, you’ll make punitive decisions that are less about making amends and more about getting the hell out of the way, because you honestly believe, at that point, that’s the best option. Just leave. Everyone else is better off without you, because all you do is mess things up for everyone you love. Depression is a liar, it’s said. He’s acting the way he’s acting in no small part because he probably knows in some place what he’s doing is the wrong thing, but he can’t see how anything else could possibly work. The judgment you’re casting is exactly the judgment he’s already applied to himself. He’s being selfish and petulant. But that’s also a part of who he is, and you can struggle to overcome those aspects of yourself, but most people never truly eradicate them. They’ve got to work to keep them at bay, all the time.
I get the feeling behind “But Luke Skywalker shouldn’t have to keep failing in order to be interesting” or even more simply “I don’t WANT Luke Skywalker to fail anymore.” I absolutely understand that emotion behind the complaints. Nobody wants to see their hero succumb to depression and spiral out into self-loathing and self-destruction, right? Nobody wants their friend to cop out. But Luke doesn’t get to be that trapped in amber happily-ever-after hero once the decision is made to make Episodes 7, 8, and 9. And my counter to “I don’t want Luke to fail anymore” is that Luke Skywalker’s victories are as satisfying as they are BECAUSE he fails at first. And fails again! The best he’s ever been as a character is when he’s struggling to overcome his own self-doubts about what is possible, and whether or not he can do it. Luke is at his best as a character, and as a key component of Star Wars storytelling, when he’s in a low place, and through his goodness, his will, and his sense of right and wrong, he not only gets out of that low place, he finds himself standing in a much higher one, and he brought his friends with him, too.
The Last Jedi does that for him. You can be mad at him (or mad at the people who wrote him) for making him un-perfect as a means to move the story forward, but I’m not mad at Luke, or the people who remembered how interesting and relatable and INSPIRING he is when you trip him up and bring him low. I’m empathetic towards him. I’m sympathetic, and I’m pulling for him to realize he’s made bad decisions, even if it takes Yoda showing up and zapping a tree to finally get the light to spark in his eyes. I want my friend to get it, and I’m relieved and happy when he does, because I know what he can do when he finally gets it, and it’s something to see.
Luke’s story in ROTJ is not one of becoming successful in spite of his flaws. It’s overcoming those flaws, losing self doubt, and insecurity that make him successful, that make him a Jedi.
And people don’t just overcome things once and then they’re never a problem again, either. If a story has to continue, then drama must ensue. And Luke is a focal point of that drama. Nobody becomes a perfect person at age 30, no matter how fantastical the story is. There’s still a lot of learning and overcoming to be done, backsliding and correcting that has to be accounted for. Our heroes are still people, and people are inherently flawed. That they triumph over their flaws is inspiring. But triumph doesn’t erase everything. But that speaks to your next point:
To me that’s kind of the point of myths, and fantasies, that it isn’t reality. That we do not find out our hero is secretly a drunk, beats up on his loved ones, neglects his or her children, is afraid of hights, suffers from all sorts of compulsions, etc, etc. I don’t get the idea, that making the Star Wars characters more realistic automatically makes them better.
It doesn’t “automatically” make them better, but it does make them more sympathetic and more relatable IF the execution is done well. It’s not a math problem, really. There’s no simple equasion to be applied to get Luke Skywalker in the W column and keep him there forever no matter what. He’s a fictional character in a myth. Myths aren’t reality, but they reflect it, and the best storytelling, even when it’s escapist, makes sure to not just reflect the foibles of the people reading and watching those fantasies play out, but to provide them inspiration that you can take out into the world with you. If even someone like Luke is still unsure of himself despite all the things he’s done, it’s not so bad when you’re unsure of yourself. Luke is not only providing the positive example of what to do in the face of failure, he’s a preventative warning of what NOT to do. You don’t have to make the same mistakes a great person made. You’ve seen what happened when he made them, so now you don’t have to go down that path. You’ll make your OWN mistakes though, and now through the power of myth, and the escapism of fantasy, you have an example (among, hopefully, more real life examples you can measure against as well) of what you can do when you make those mistakes.
If you want to look at Star Wars as an aspirational fable, you can still do that even if one of its heroes (or most of them, if not all of them) have character flaws. It doesn’t make them “losers.” It DOES make them failures, but some of the most successful, happy, accomplished, and upstanding people this world has ever turned out were also failures. It’s what they did in the face of those repeated failures that made them role models and legends. That’s a big part of The Last Jedi’s storytelling. The biggest part, really.
That’s what I meant by rejection, that he rejects it at all is confusing. You cite a criticism from Yoda in Empire to explain his lack of resolve, as if the following film didn’t go to great lengths to demonstrate that Luke had grown beyond that. He became less of a doubter than the master who once called him the same, when he thought he could redeem a murderer through love for his father alone, and succeeded in doing so. For what reason would he have to doubt himself at that point? For what reason is there to parse from the remainder of that film that he’d remain a doubter? It’s less a character assassination than it is a character regression; that you have to compare TLJ Luke to ESB Luke is telling of exactly what’s wrong with the writing.
People don’t just magically lose self doubt and insecurity when they become successful though. In many successful people, their fears of their own failures only get amplified. They don’t see it as having won, or having bettered themselves. They see it as having a harder fall when they inevitably screw it all up again. Sometimes our heroes don’t think of themselves as heroes, and their struggles with insecurity and self-doubt are doing things to them we’d never suspect looking from the outside.
Granted, the characterization of Luke in the sequel trilogy is, on a behind-the-scenes level separate from the larger storytelling, prompted by the fact they needed a reason to keep him out of The Force Awakens. But when it came time to personalize that reason, to make it make sense, Rian Johnson and Mark Hamill worked together to come up with a version that not only makes sense, but is very emotionally resonant. I don’t think it’s confusing at all that a person as innately good as Luke would react with self-doubt, insecurity, and hesitancy in response to having the mantle of Legend placed upon him, and he’d definitely be mad at himself for allowing himself to believe he was one, even for a second, especially when, in that second, it led to his losing Ben.
The reason “happily ever after” works so well in fantasies is because you don’t have to go into the parts after THE END where nothing ever ends, and the people, despite the things they learned and the change they’ve affected, still wrestle with who they are, and why they do the things they do. Politicians are like this. Teachers are like this. Athletes, artists - any sort of role model you can think of, all you have to do is check out a biography from the library and read the parts that come after any other story would have stopped and “Happily ever after’d” and see similar struggles.
This is where the case for Luke in TLJ breaks down for me. That his legacy was enacted behind closed doors made no difference to the universe of The Force Awakens, wherein every character’s motivation was dictated by a quest to find Luke, specifically because of the actions he committed to 30 years prior. Rejection of his legendary status would be much more plausible had it been an overexaggerated or a falsified one.
But it’s Luke doing the rejecting of his legendary status, not the universe. It’s a question of Luke never quite believing in himself, and even when he did, he did it the wrong way. He is being ruthless towards himself in that confession to Rey, and it shows that he never quite believed in himself the way others did, and when he tried to, he did it with reservations and a lack of conviction.
That’s very much in character for Luke Skywalker. “Always with you, it can not be done.” That’s the part of the legend Luke sees that nobody else in the larger universe has ever even heard of, and that’s the part that scares him the most, and haunts him the hardest. The Last Jedi is a movie that is consistently about discovering who you REALLY are, and the only way you can do that is when you are brought low by your biggest fear, and you decide you have to move beyond it. HOW you do that is what defines you. That happens with Poe, it happens with Finn, it happens with Rey, it happens with Kylo, and it happens with Luke.
I think the Daldry hiring pointed pretty clearly towards making it more of a low-key drama than anything else Star Wars has been. The Mos Eisley elements don’t need to be action packed or blockbustery if they do get introduced, either.
I don’t think it should be deathly serious, because Ben Kenobi is a wry sort of guy, and the show should have a sense of humor that matches. Basically, a Star Wars show that feels a little like Justified would be pitch perfect, to me.
I was thinking that too, that it would be weird to have Chewie and not have Han around, but I believe the notion of a “life debt” or anything like that has been wiped from canon, hasn’t it? Chewie doesn’t have to be tethered to Han all the time. A one or two-episode guest stint could work, I think.
I wonder if this show is going to be the melding of two different Star Wars Story ideas that got mooted when the decision was ultimately made to turn spinoff movies into Disney+ content instead. There was a Mos Eisley/Fett movie being worked on with James Mangold, and Stephen Daldry’s Kenobi movie. I wonder if those two projects are now going to become this one. A Kenobi-centered show, set in the hive of scum and villainy, about a crazy old wizard bumping into low-rent criminals while trying to maintain a low profile.
Chewie’s gonna be in this, I bet. The fact Ben seems very familiar with him in A New Hope seems like something a little too good to pass up in a miniseries format.
Also, wasn’t one of the early rumors that his “co-star” was going to be Artoo? Or maybe it’ll be R5-D4.
Mythology and some meta narrative celebrating the power of mythology is not the same thing.
It can be, though. A blend of the two can be achieved. A metatextual celebration of mythology within a mythology doesn’t disqualify its status AS mythology, and it further doesn’t disqualify the storytelling using that as its engine from being good, either. The Princess Bride is a great example of this.
A lot of your arguments seem focused primarily on that impulse towards disqualification, specifically of the film’s storytelling conceits as not being “Star Wars” in and of itself. Which is limiting, to me. Those limits weren’t applied to Empire, thankfully, and the film that came out of that willingness to experiment and metatextually comment on what came before was all the richer for it. A lot of my favorite things in Star Wars are things that weren’t really “Star Wars” until they were introduced to it.
Some people have a really hard time processing these films AS films in and of themselves, and can’t help but looking at them solely through the perspective of their place in the larger saga. Not that it’s an invalid way to process the movies at all, I’m not saying that. But it also means that interfacing with what these movies are doing AS movies becomes a lot harder when they’re not pre-canonized for analysis and consumption. When something as adventurous and rule-breaking as Empire is already decades old and fully accepted for what it is before you ever clap eyes on it, a lot of the arguments that could be applied as equally as they are to Last Jedi or Force Awakens simply don’t get applied, or are only applied as an academic concern at best, a fun “what if” that is almost beside the point.
Granted, it’s almost impossible not to take into account the movie’s place in a larger series, but I think it’s also unfair to act like movies that safely color within the lines of what “Star Wars IS” are inherently better as cinema than the ones that don’t. Not only are those “rules” often arbitrary and more in the eye of the beholder than in the eye of the storytellers in question, but adherence to those rules aren’t necessarily any sort of real roadmap to successful storytelling.
As much as I dislike Attack of the Clones as cinema, and as storytelling, I wouldn’t consider disqualifying any individual aspect (or the film as a whole) as Star Wars simply because it’s a bad movie. And if I can allow that Star Wars by the numbers can lead to something being a massive turd, then I have to allow for the idea that Star Wars outside the box can be brilliant, if not necessarily adherent to traditional ideas of what “Star Wars IS.” Essentially - that rigidity stunts potential, and can stunt appreciation, and if primary complaints about the Last Jedi tend to center on it’s decision to not maintain that percieved rigidity, and doesn’t take into account how well those elements were actually EXECUTED… those complaints read to me as self-minimizing. Because what’s more important to me in a movie isn’t necessarily what’s being done, but why it’s being done, and how it was executed.
In the case of the Last Jedi, I have a hard time finding fault with why things are happening in that movie and how they’re being pulled off. The history of the series its a part of serves as a good contrast point, but I also don’t believe it NEEDS to be SO beholden to that history. Which is, itself, one of the lessons the film puts forth.
The movie is building to such a crazy emotional pitch at that point that the lightsaber isn’t even really the biggest WTF. As soon as he shows up, you’re off-kilter in a dreamlike way. Did he shave and get a haircut? Did he de-age? And the conversation between him and Leia with the Luke & Leia theme playing is just so good that you don’t even really have time to think of what any of that really means, and then he winks at Threepio and I feel like even IF alarm bells are going off at that point, they get muted by Luke winking at Threepio and a lot of viewers just give up trying to tune into why this all seems weird and dreamlike, and roll with it. It doesn’t hurt that The Spark is so propulsive as a piece of music that you really are just firmly shoved into believing what you’re seeing and feeling no matter how odd it seems.
Was it predictable? Probably. Star Wars movies aren’t that difficult to figure out. There was really only the one time Star Wars really surprised anyone, and that was 1980, and that twist absolutely came out of nowhere both in concept and execution. But even if it was predictable, the way the movie presented it nullified that predictability. The scene had the punch it had whether you knew it was coming or not.
I think the inability to allow Star Wars to be more than one thing at a time is pretty limiting, and the strictness by which people are outlining limits and borders as to what the definition of “Star Wars” is or can be tends be one of the most stubborn roots in a lot of Last Jedi conversations. It seems to be part of a desire to justify a dislike of what happens in the movie by going the extra step towards invalidating the product as not being “really” Star Wars.
The Last Jedi uses postmodernism to reaffirm the mythology, and - nakedly, earnestly - celebrates not just the mythology, but the power and majesty of it in its ending. Was the Force Awakens postmodern when it made Ben Solo/Kylo Ren an on-the-nose stand-in for toxic Star Wars fans? I’d say so. Is the Last Jedi postmodern by essentially putting about 40 years of composite Star Wars fan in the film via Broom Kid (hence my user-name)? Absolutely. Short of fans managing to climb the fandom ladder and get industry jobs that put them on camera, Temiri Blagg is probably the single best chance for a large segment of Star Wars fandom to see themselves AS themselves in a Star Wars film. But I don’t see that as a negative thing, or even necessarily against the “rules” of Star Wars. Star Wars was considered “post-modern” at the time, as has already been pointed out. For a lot of people (myself included) the grasp on the concept is inherently slippery due to the ever-shifting idea of what “modernity” even is depending on when the claim is being made. Modernity in the '60s isn’t the same as it is in 2020.
I don’t see Favreau or Filoni really being at odds though. So long as Filoni has a good idea for why Ahsoka (and/or Sabine) might show up in that time period on the outer rim, I don’t know why Favreau would shoot it down or veto it on general principle. It would have to be a bad idea or a bad pitch first. A big part of why Favreau is even part of this whole thing is due to Filoni hiring him to be a voice in Clone Wars.
Mandalorian’s already got a second season, will likely get a third. I think chances are more than good that Hondo, Ahsoka, Sabine, and Bo-Katan might all appear before the run is over. Maybe even Hera. I also think if that happens, they’ll put Tiya Sircar, Ashley Eckstein, Katee Sackhoff, and Vanessa Marshall in their corresponding roles.