NFB is right in everything he says so this is completely unnecessary, but I thought I’d nitpick some of your points, Wanderer.
You have your relationship between the Emperor/Snoke and their puppet Kylo/Vader… except Kylo rebels against his master (subverted expectations)
Vader also does this. I think it would’ve subverted my expectations more if Kylo had actually beheaded Rey.
You have Luke skywalker, a proven hero from the OT, passed around like this fake Legend whose heroic acts never happened. This point comes across in that line where he says “do you expect me to face the entire First Order feel with a laser sword?” … yes dude, we do. Because thats what you did before! (subverted expectations)
Where’s the suggestions Luke’s heroic acts never happened? The point is he is that legend - and the movie ends with him renewing it - but more than that he’s fundamentally a human being. Rey wants just Luke the legend, but she gets Luke the human. That’s because it’s Luke the human who creates Luke the legend; the two can’t be separated.
I just pointed out a key line from the movie. That line was very jarring and this theme is subtle but carried across the movie. Luke isnt who Rey thinks he is, Luke isnt the person to help her in this quest. Luke isnt the one who can help her defeat the New Order… while us as viewers are thinking to ourselves ‘Why not? thats what he did before!’ Luke in that island almost felt that he had amnesia. Does he not remember what rebels do? does he not remember he went up against a fleet of ATAT’s himself? with a ‘laser sword’ no less? Does he not remember his friends are in need?
Again, Luke, probably the most generous and kind hearted character in the OT. Becomes this bitter old man who left his friends to die after considering to murder his nephew in his sleep. (subverted expectations)
If, after Han told the audience in TFA that “Luke felt responsible. He just walked away from everything.”, you were still expecting Luke to be a cheerful chap who had just isolated himself on an island for a quick vacation, then I don’t know what to tell you. It’s certainly tough to see Luke struggling mentally like that, but it’s extremely human, and I think it’s very inspiring how he overcomes it by the end of the movie.
I dont know where you got that from my writing. Luke is kind hearted and generous, i said nothing about being cheerful after someone’s death.
Luke’s character would not let his friends to die, everyone fails and Luke himself has failed before in TESB. He is not attached to the Jedi code as demonstrated in the OT. He isnt Yoda or Obi Wan. He is a rebel that has the force, and he did what he needed even if that mean going against the Jedi way. Thats what made him special.
I dont mind Luke’s struggle in the movie, i can understand its hard to feel responsible for the loss of your legacy. But he isnt stranger to loss, and i felt it was weird to see TLJ focus so much on his losses and victories instead of the lead character -Rey.
TFA plays with the idea Luke went away to get away from it all, but it also suggests he went after ancient Jedi knowledge…for a reason. At the very least TLJ owed Ray the proper development she needed, and Luke should have been the role for that. Guidance, inspiration, not to leave her still in search of a father figure at the end of TLJ.
Lukes over the shoulders saber throw like a cheap comedy movie, instead of realizing how important the passage of that Saber is (subverted expectations)
I’ll concede that TLJ plays a lot of things for comedy at odd times (see also: Rose kisses Finn; base immediately gets shot) but the idea that that saber is important was one that was only really created by TFA in the first place. No one cared much about it when it’d just fallen into Bespin, never to be seen again, right? Luke just made his own new saber and carried on with his life.
I dont care about the Sabre, its the way that its done that represents the tone of TLJ. Its a parody. TLJ is Spaceballs II. From ‘yo momma’ jokes, every major character being comedic relief.
Rey, whose past is unknown but she clearly has had training in the force before since she can do everything. No, she’s a nobody and her powers and skill are of unknown origin (Potential in the force without training is a blunt knife) (subverted expectations)
Yes, potential in the force without training is imprecise - a blunt instrument. Luke makes this exact point about how dangerous her raw strength is, and the movie demonstrates it visually when Rey accidentally chops the rock in half because she’s not controlled or disciplined in her usage of a lightsaber. Star Wars has, for better or worse, pretty solidly established at this point that some people are just randomly born with a whole load of midichlorians. The origin of her powers is that she’s very force sensitive.
Its not the force amount that telegraphs her past training, its her abilities in everything. Padawans dont start off great at everything, whether you’re Luke, anakin, or some random dude with a broom. This was even made worse in ROTS.
Rey, this beacon of light. Unwavering and pure hearted starts falling in love with a man who murdered the closest thing to a father figure she ever had in front of her own eyes (subverted expectations)
Yes, she finds a connection with Ben. That’s the plot of the movie. Rey isn’t ‘unwavering and pure hearted’ - she’s a good person, but like all of us she craves human connection, a sense of belonging, a sense of purpose. Ben gives her that when Luke doesn’t.
First of all, this goes to show my point above, the movie failed Rey by going on a quest to yet again only develop Luke as a character. Second of all this is still not an excuse for her to latch on to Ben (and dont even get me started on that juvenile scene where gets the hots from looking at him without the shirt on…)
Kylo is a manchild, who has no real motifs to turn to the dark side and he is clearly a murderer. She craves human connection? she has Finn, Poe, Leia, an entire rebellion legion trying to survive and escape from his murderous bastard. Yet she acts like he is the only dude in the movie.
Calling this one “subverted expectations” is a bit of a stretch; because you’d need to have extremely rigid and cliched expectations to begin with - did you think she’d just kill him, because she’s a goodie and he’s a baddie? That’s not even what happens between Luke and Vader in the OT!
I dont think its rigid to not expect stockholms syndrome from a main character that just a few days before TLJ saw this guy Murder hands and slash Finn in front of her. This is absolute mental. She didnt have to kill him because she is good, she would want to kill him for revenge, ethics, loyalty to the cause. You name it, she had plenty of reasons to be against Kylo, and none to fall for him. Other of his muscular torso. Great writing! It’s like we are Twilight now.
Additionally, Vader and Kylo are very different. Vader turned to the dark side for love, it was a tragic tale of someone who went too far for love. And that love was the catalyst for anger, hatred and suffering. He became a puppet, he was in many ways a kind person than many of the sterile force users in that order. He became a monster, but its easy to see the human element in him thanks to Luke. People dont feel sorry for Vader at the end of ROTJ, they feel sorry for Luke.
Kylo was turning evil even before the scene with Luke in his hut. Till this day, even with comics, its not clearly explained why Ben turned to the dark side. Only that is a mentally ill punk.
Continuity from The Force Awakens. No continuity, entire potential plot threads thrown out of the window. (subverted expectations)
There’s something of a thematic/tonal discontinuity, sure. You can tell they’re movies by different directors and writers. But the only ‘plot thread’ that’s explicitly thrown away is the Knights of Ren, and RJ confessed he just couldn’t work out what to do with them - TROS demonstrates that, actually, neither could JJ; they were just there to look cool. Kylo Ren ‘completing his training’ is not really explicitly followed up on, only sort-of alluded to, but again, like the KoR, there was no substance to that to really build upon to begin with.
RJ could continue them, he just didnt want it. Its very clear from the comedic tones in the movie, and how detached it is in tone that RJ wanted to do something of his own. TFA plot threads were incredibly easy to follow. Luke went away in search of the first jedi temple, for guidance, for knowledge. Rey needs training as the main character of the trilogy, she needs to become someone of her own but she cant do that without a foundation. Kylo ren needed to finish his training, as he is unhinged and clearly unprepared mentally or physically (his duelist skills are trash) Finn needed to play a bigger role to give some deeper meaning to his insurgency to the Rebellion not to be sent on a meaningless sidequest. And so on.
Above all, the movie shouldn’t be a comedy where it undermines its darker moments with cheap laughs in every single sequence.
Theres a lot more, but yeah, TLJ definitely does try too hard to subvert everyone’s expectations. In fact it sacrifices narrative and character development in order to do so.
I think most of your points are pretty questionable, and just writing “(subverted expectations)” after them doesn’t really explain what expectations you had or how they were subverted.
I don’t think they are. I just don’t think you are looking at TLJ objectively. You need to really want to like it to overlook its many narrative dissonance moments. Ive seen TLJ 4 times in the theaters, the more i watched the more confused i became with some decisions.
TLJ is above all a star wars parody, its about flipping things inside out, every dark moment is followed with a cheap comedic one, this in of itself is subverting expectations too. Nobody expects this kind of silliness and goofiness in Star wars. The OT movies had fun in there, but they were mostly heartfelt movies that took each revelation seriously. I dont remember laughing to any particular scene of the OT, just some grins here and there. TFA was spot on with its humour, as it never undermines itself. TLJ does. Nobody needs to see BB8 shooting slots like a machine gun, or driving an ATAT (!)
Finally, another expectation subverted was the whole ‘Jedi must end’ theme of the movie. Its in the marketing, its in the trailer, and the movie starts off that way. Only to flip 180 degrees at the final moment. I do believe Luke was right, and i was genuinely excited to see what would come of it. Luke was never a real Jedi, he was more of a Grey Jedi that uses both dark and light. Luke was never afraid of dabbling into dark powers. In the ROTJ he uses force choke, a skill reserved to dark side users for example. The Jedi failed, they held on to power and they allowed themselves to fail. I was excited to see Luke show us a new order in things, to show us how different force users can be. Rian had the chance to kick the door wide open for all kinds of branching paths… yet he didn’t. Yoda showed up to tell Luke he is wrong once more, and that the JEdi must carry on through Rey. And in his last scene Luke conforms to the fact the Jedi will continue… unfortunately i guess.
That was the movie biggest failure. Not to Luke, but to the mythology. Rian had a prime chance to use Luke and Rey as a catalyst for a new way of looking at he force. But he chickens out and turns back to the same old Jedi vs Sith/dark.