Continuing discussion from this thread.
As to [Hux’s] seriousness, I’d say it’s about the same in both. He’s not making jokes in TLJ, he’s the butt of them.
Every moment he has in the film is undercut with him being made a joke. The only actual serious moment he has is when he almost shoots Ren and that was an improvised moment from Gleeson.
Snoke has a far bigger role with much greater relevance to the plot at hand in TLJ than TFA. Just because you expected him to survive TLJ because of his role in the lore pre-TFA doesn’t mean his death undermines TFA. In any way.
I don’t care at all that he died in TLJ. It was a good moment of character growth for Ben. What is inexcusable is that Snoke was not expounded upon AT ALL before his death.
Are we talking about the same character who crawls across a crowded table to stare at Finn in TFA?
Come on. You very well know there’s a galaxy of difference between crawling across a table and literally flying around like a video game character taking out hordes of off-screen enemies.
TFA was the film that sent [Luke] into hiding in the first goddamn place. I’m honestly baffled that anyone expected anything else of his character other than reluctance.
The very nature of his originally intended introduction says otherwise. Here are just a few alternative explanations for why he disappeared:
- As explained in TFA he went off looking for the first Jedi temple. Why? Perhaps in hopes of learning how to defeat Snoke. Why? What if Snoke was an ancient evil of some kind that Luke was unprepared to deal with.
- After finding the temple he crashes and is stranded. Perhaps the nature of the planet is such that it blocks anyone from reaching out or being reached out to in the Force. Which is why the temple was built there in the first place.
- Perhaps there were other survivors from his original academy that he secreted away to continue teaching. Hiding so that they can continue in peace without fear of Kylo returning to finish what he started.
- Perhaps Luke knew he wasn’t meant to be the one to stop Snoke and so he shuts himself off and devotes himself to preparing to train the one who is. Waiting for the Force to bring them to him.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. TLJ didn’t contradict TFA at all.
TFA ends with a clear setup for the sequel that TLJ completely ignores. “Leave the base at once and come to me with Kylo Ren. It is time to complete his training.”
The start of TLJ should have been the mirroring of Rey and Ben through their simultaneous training. You can even keep the “Forcetime” plot device so that they can communicate with each other throughout this time.
The Kylo training segments would also be an opportunity to expound on Snoke.
Mostly with you on these points:
Poe’s whole “prank call” bit was just maximum cringe in which Hux (and by extension the entire First Order [with the exception of Captain Canady]) becomes a complete joke with absolutely no menace whatsoever.
I have to say don’t care that Snoke died in TLJ at all and without much backstory (in fact, I thought it was pretty interesting that he did, it’s one of the few things that actually got me to sit up in the theater). It would have been nice to know where he came from and how he became so powerful right under Palpatine’s nose, but eh. Maybe it’s just an overall apathy towards the ST that has made Snoke’s backstory a low priority.
Maz was okay in TFA, but her inclusion in TLJ came off as pretty pointless to me… She has nothing to do, so they just throw her into a weird off-screen hologram fight. It just feels so shoehorned in.
Luke being reluctant is fine and I was okay with the hermit in exile thing, but never to completely give up hope and go off to die alone on an island. TFA felt like it was pointing in a definite direction, and TLJ felt like it was acknowledging that direction and purposefully going the other way (Johnson says as much in pretty much every interview about it: “subverting expectations”) while staring you dead in the eye like a cat pushing a priceless Ming vase off of a high shelf.
I like Rian Johnson and I think he’s a cool, genuine dude and a good director (some of the performances in TLJ are fantastic), but he just didn’t write a very good sequel to TFA. Interesting? Sure. Just not very good.