Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Spoilers)

WARNING: SPOILERS… if you haven’t watched the movie, proceed at your own risk.

Anybody else see it? Overall I really liked it. Not as much as Rogue One I don’t think, but I need to see it again.

One thing that nagged me afterward was that the “bombers” dropped bombs… in zero G? I can get over the artificial gravity on the ships… and maybe if the bombers shot their payload down, but just drop them into space? Wouldn’t they just float? Small detail.

I liked the overall themes, especially hitting on income inequality, and the power of movements. I think scifi at its best is an allegory for current situations… this was maybe a bit literal, but it worked for me. I think Blade Runner 2049 is still the best SciFi movie of the year though.

My new Star Wars ranking might be something like:

  1. Empire Strikes Back
  2. Rogue One
  3. A New Hope
  4. The Last Jedi?
  5. The Force Awakens
  6. Return of the Jedi
  7. The prequels (all the same to me)

What you have never heard of NFGE? Near Field Gravity Emitters? - ill sketch up a work sheet later :laughing:

and i agree this is in my top 4

Star Wars plays fast and loose with gravity, explosions in space, sound in space, etc. In fact I’m not sure if there’s ever one moment of zero-gravity in the entire series. A primary example: the constant volleys of laser blasts shot at the Resistance fleet throughout the movie arc as if they’re physical shells. It makes no sense whatsoever. For me, though, it worked within the confines of Star Wars physics.

Also, can we take a minute to discuss how unbelievably gorgeous a lot of this movie is? There are a ton of incredibly framed shots, both still and action, and the use of color, mostly red, was unexpected, creative, and mesmerizing.

definetly a pretty movie, and the sound was well designed. I’d say my favorite singular moment was when Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern) jumps that star cruiser (The Raddus) into light sped through several of the first oder ships splitting them into fragments with worm space like white light and the entire movie goes silent for a second or two. The framing, high contrast, and lack of all sound really burned that moment in. not surprisingly I couldn’t find an image of that online!

Probably going to go see TLJ again over the holidays and see if it moves up in my rankings for Star Wars movies :slight_smile:

Agreed. There are a number of examples in TLJ of things that you wouldn’t normally do in a Star Wars movie, or at least in one cut from the same cloth as the originals and TFA. I actually responded surprisingly negatively to TLJ when I saw it Thursday night for exactly that reason. I was carrying around all of this baggage of what I thought a Star Wars movie should be. I went back Saturday night trying to ignore any preconceived expectations and enjoyed myself immensely.

If I don’t think about the plot then it was great. I was happily entertained. Loved the ships, costumes, character details, environment details, etc.

However, there were a few things that bothered me.

  1. The whole “Vegas” town element of the movie. Too many cultural/political/socio-economical elements. It seems like they wrote that whole scene in order to insert these themes…it felt forced. So they planned to find a random guy, take him back, get them into the ship, open the magic room, that houses the giant switch. Really, all that to turn off a switch. They now have hyperspace tracking but they still use a giant switch.

  2. Felt like there were too many inner conflicts just to create more drama. Rey and Luke, Poe and the purple hair lady, Snoke and Solo, etc. It almost felt like a typical teenager movie where the wise older character refuses to help the whiny teenager.

  3. And then the old mighty Snoke gets taken out like a b*&ch with a sideways light saber…lame. He could see everything Solo was thinking…except that! Lame. When I first saw the red soldiers I was pleased and liked the detail that went into each of them. However, when they started the fight scene it felt forced again. The old “insert fight scene here” trick.

  4. And then Finn and Rose being captured inside the ship but not being killed. They had an army of troopers and the great Phasma…again taken out by good old Rebellion Scum Finn.

  5. Was there a climax to the movie?

There’s more but I’ll stop there. My favorite was The force awakens. That one made me feel like a kid again. I felt the same excitement as when I watched the original 3 as a kid.

this is the way i’ve come to appreciate all the star wars flicks…given all the off-shoot stories, i wish they could found a way to show some kylo ren off somewhere flexin some force/lightsaber badassery…

For me it was the transcendence of Luke. Basically Luke retreats from the world, totally blowing it and missing the point, paralyzed by over analyzing what consequence every action he takes could have in the future. Yoda comes back to impart one last lesson, that his weakness is the same, always thinking about the future and not enough focus on the moment. That moment is actually the climax of the movie (though it didn’t hit as hard as it should have). It free’s Luke to reengage with the world and make his last stand, completing his story arc from “A New Hope” culminating with his absorption into the force.

In this way I agree with this Tech Crunch article:
The Last Jedi should be the last Star Wars film

The story of Luke and Han is concluded. The lesson is there is always balance “they shoot you up this time, you shoot them up next time” as benicio del toro’s character puts it. Life is existential futility and we all do the best we can, and just maybe inspire the next generation to do a little better (cut to kind waving broomstick like a light saber and fade out)… but you know, more movies to make.

Ironically this movie was filmed before the last election, but it was definitely riffing on a lot of those themes.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Offers the Harsh Condemnation of Mansplaining We Need in 2017:

Frankly, in every other Star Wars movie the heroes go off half cocked without much of a plan and it magically worked out. In this one Poe does that twice with disastrous results, the first with the bombers, the second by sending Finn and Rose on that mission which basically alerts the First Order to the escape plan. I thought that was a nice twist, but again, maybe didn’t home because there were a lot of themes going on.

As far as Snoke not reading Kylo’s mind… he was reading it. If you think back again, every word Snoke said paralleled what was going on with Rey’s lightsaber. Star Wars has a pretty good track record for killing off villains without much ceremony and without much backstory. We didn’t know much about the Emperor until the prequels… and with all that power Vader just picks him up and throws him over the railing? Similar with Data Mal (oh crap, did I just reference the prequels twice?)… Jaba gets choked out pretty quick. Boba Fett, need I say more :wink:

Another interesting article on making heroism more inclusive, the combination of many small deeds vs big acts:

Well, that’s what it felt like. A bunch of short stories/lessons pieced together and a lot of times forced.

I was waiting for Oprah to show up saying…You are a hero, and you are a hero, and you are a hero, everyone is a hero…

I applaud the efforts of inclusiveness and adding more female roles. However, why not cast a female Asian actress for Laura Dern’s role? Stronger impact than having 2 female Asian pilots/engineers whatever their roles were. Also having a female jedi makes the franchise stronger in terms of merchandising for girls so it is also self serving. That was my first thought when Rey grabbed the light saber on the Force Awakens. As I was watching the scene, all I could think was that it was genius.

Totally, that would have been a good move… also, if Leia is so strong with the force that she can fly back from vacuum, why the heck did she not train to be a Jedi with Luke too? I never got that.

I you were to map it out in your typical exposition > rising action > climax > falling action > denouement, there were two climaxes. In fact there were two third acts. Weird, and to me a bit shoddy in terms of storytelling, but not entirely uncommon these days. During my first watch, after the Snoke-Rey-Kylo throne room/Finn-Phasma/Holdo moments (climax number one) I had two sequential thoughts:

  1. Well, everything is in shambles. Here comes the “The Empire Strikes Back” unhappy but slightly hopeful ending.
  2. Wait, we still haven’t seen the salty red planet. Is that awesome shot from the trailer of the speeders kicking up red smoke and facing down the new AT-ATs going to be a final, cliffhanger shot of the movie?

Turns out we got a second third act with its own separate, second climax.

Seeing and digesting a new SW movie is a 3-stage process for me:

1st viewing = I don’t know that I really “enjoy” the movie at this stage since I’m pretty much always on edge about what is going to happen story-wise and how the movie holds up technically. I usually leave with full mix of emotions and random thoughts/questions that I will slowly begin working through.

2nd viewing = Now that I know what the story is and what will happen, this is the time where I can relax and just enjoy the ride. Often many of the questions I had after the first viewing will get answered, but I usually end up walking out with all new questions to begin sorting through. I leave the 2nd viewing with a clearer idea about how I feel about the movie

3rd viewing = This is where I really begin to focus on details and all the stuff in the background that I might have missed previously. This often resolves most of my remaining questions and where I really lock in on how much I liked the film.

Yes, seeing a silly space-movie three times in the theater is probably overkill and a good indication that I should maybe take a look at how I spend my free time. But who a am I kidding - I’m a Star Wars nut and have been ever since I saw ESB in the theater as a kid when it originally came out. So there it is, for better or for worse…

With that being said, I’m still only working from the 1st viewing (2nd is scheduled for Friday), but even at this stage I can say that I really liked TLJ! To me it was just the perfect cocktail of OT design aesthetic and characters, but at the same time, turning a lot of those conventions on their heads and taking things in a new direction while still tethered to what had already been established.

Of course there are a few things that I would nitpick and no film is ever perfect. But overall I’m pretty stoked about the direction the SW universe is going and I’m very excited to see what is to come!

some interesting theme analysis:

Got tickets to see it again on Saturday!

It is absolutely not overkill. Think of all the things you “should” be doing with your free time. Do any of those provide as much stimulation or joy as sitting down for two-and-a-half uninterrupted hours dissecting a piece of art? I absolutely love watching movies multiple times for exactly the same reasons you mentioned. You can really pay attention to different things each time, and, consequently, you may notice something you never had before. A truly great piece of art will always have something new to give you, even if you’ve seen it 99 times before.

…Also, MoviePass. It’s a wallet saver for those of us that still love the theater experience.

plus, you never know who will be at the next table when your discussing the film after :smiley:

So. We’re sitting in the pub post Star Wars, discussing the film in minute detail as we are wont to do … AND THE WOMAN FROM THE NEXT TABLE TURNS TO US AND SAYS “OH HI, I’M ROSE FROM THE FILM AND I’VE LOVED LISTENING TO YOUR CONVERSATION FOR THE LAST HOUR.” THIS LITERALLY JUST HAPPENED. @kellymarietran you are the loveliest and the coolest. #starwars #starstruck #leicestersquare #thelastjedi #asifthisjusthappened

The movie was confused and messy. There were too many things happening that didn’t push the plot forward. What was the point of the entire side-plot where they go to the Vegas planet? What did we learn from it? How did it help to develop the characters? So after 30 minutes of watching this semi-boring side plot, all that happens is they get betrayed by some guy that we don’t really know or have any emotional investment in? Is the lesson in that whole thing to have blind faith in your purple-haired leaders who won’t tell you anything about their plans? There are many other examples of this, but the Vegas side plot is the most prominent example.

The comedy was poorly timed and inappropriate. The comedic element works in other star wars movies, but not in this one. There’s this emotional moment happening, and then they totally undercut it with some joke that falls flat.

Also, some of the other lines were SO CRINGEY!!! When the girl says to Finn, “We don’t destroy what we hate, we save what we love!” as the battering ram opens the gate, exposing the entire rebellion to imminent danger, I almost laughed out loud.

The most interesting thing in the movie was about what would happen to Kylo and Rey, and they even botched that.

I liked The Force Awakens (episode 7). I fully understand that it was basically a remake of A New Hope, but it served its purpose of introducing new characters and building a world to build new ideas upon. I fully praise Rian Johnson for trying new things and trying to build on the old…but there were just so many things that didn’t make sense. Even though this movie has probably been written and revised for years, it just felt like the plot and characters were half-baked and undeveloped…like he wrote the script in a day or two, and didn’t even bother to revise it.

There was no emotional climax in the entire movie. Just a bunch of space explosions and people dying.

totally agree.

Mark Hamill - MSN

Luke’s role was also a let down and it felt like the typical cookie cutter relationship of wise old character and young impulsive new character. He has given up and refuses to help…but at the end agrees.

I would have rather seen him come back and kick some a&$ leading to a proper climax. Even when he said, “if you strike me in anger I will become more powerful” was a disapointment…If he was going to die anyways, why not do it in person. I will spend all my energy creating this magical illusion just to buy time (like Poe awkwardly had to explain out loud so that everybody understood what was going on) and then when I’m done I will die anyways. Let down.

I totally understand Mark Hamill’s protest of that plot choice. However, I do think that the idea of Luke becoming old and bitter and hesitant is interesting and maybe even plausible. But the way it was executed in the movie seemed weak…maybe because the actor didn’t totally believe in it?

Once again, I see TLJ as a series of really visually dramatic scenes cobbled together rather than a structured movie with a plot and story line. I had very little to no emotional investment in the story, characters or plot. Any investment that I did have in the characters was from the prior movies, rather than anything happening in this specific movie/story.

One positive thing that I do have to say about the movie is that I was at least entertained. Visually beautiful movie, too. As someone else mentioned, that explosion sequence with the purple hair lady was unreal. Really impactful and well done.