Broom Kid said:
It’s gotta be, but the flat-out refusal to consider an option where she’s not in the movie just… I know retrospect makes geniuses out of the biggest dummies (hi there!) but she shouldn’t have been in this movie. The idea shouldn’t have been pursued, and that maybe would have freed them up to pursue different storytelling avenues.
I also was resistant to the idea that Abrams was actively going out of his way to “retcon” what Johnson did but there are actually two or three moments on the level of “This will begin to make things right” where it’s beyond obvious Abrams is breaking the fourth wall to comment on what came before. The most notable is Luke solemnly talking about “disrespecting” the weapon of a Jedi. And if that was meant to be a self-deprecating joke at Luke’s expense, (like a ha-ha smartass “remember when I did that? LOL what a dummy I was” sort of thing) it wasn’t acted, shot, or cut like that at all, so that interpretation is almost impossible to make. Luke (whose hair was trash! Why did it LOOK like that?) was essentially a platitude machine. The only part of that whole scene that works? The part of the scene that is riffing on the infinitely better scene from Empire Strikes Back.
Again, I know Abrams isn’t the most graceful director, but there is so much that is structurally FUCKED about this movie and its characterization and arcs that I have a hard time believing this was actually what he wanted to make. Just going from TFA to this, it’s such a MESS comparatively - I believe PARTS of what he actually wanted to make are IN here, but they’re stitched and glued together very, very sloppily.
I actually didn’t read the saber catch that way at all; I just took it as an acknowledgement of the fact that Luke wasn’t down on the whole Jedi project anymore. The Force ghost effects were definitely weirdly bad, though. Is it because they were in broad daylight? If so, why didn’t they stage the Luke scene at night?
My main issue was the fact that everything that really needed an explanation just got hand-waved. Palpatine’s back! How, you ask? Sith cultists, don’t worry about it. Why is Lando on Pasana? Doesn’t matter, just roll with it. Why does Kylo turn back to the light this time after we’ve seen him go the other way at least twice? I dunno, the comics will probably fix it. They just kept putting down plot points because they needed to happen, and then never even attempted to provide any amount of context that would make it make sense.