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Rat13

Star Wars: What's going on? (SPOILERS)

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Before posting I searched this section to see if there was already a discussion going on but didn't find anything. I could be wrong though. I think it also goes without saying this post and any subsequent posts will include spoilers.

 

I finally got around to seeing The Last Jedi, I was waiting for the crowds to die down. So I ended up in a noon showing with only five other people (mostly older folks who I can only assume also waited for the crowds to die down).  

 

Right off the bat I want to say I'm not impressed with the new film. Rather than go on a rant about what I liked and hated though I'd prefer to start a discussion of the new film. 

 

What did you like? What did you hate? Were you happy with the final product?

Edited by OneBoot
Added Spoiler note to title
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So, my .02 on Last Jedi. It was not a bad movie, but I disagree with most of the choices they made for the characters. 

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I don't have many gripes with the general characters or with the acting. I am disappointed in the movie overall though. It is like the tweetstorm of movies. Little tidbits of interesting stuff that are there but are barely satisfying. Sure, together they made a plot. They made a collage of a plot, not a well woven tapestry. I was severely disappointed in the storytelling. 

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I enjoyed it although it wasn’t the film I’d hoped for. If they lift out the Rose character completely and every scene she’s in, then you have a much tighter, more focused film. 

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Currently, I'm in the "didn't hate it" camp.

 

I haven't looked at the gajillion articles online commenting the movies, but the events covered in the given time frame, or reasons for certain decisions, didn't seem to make sense. I'm still bothered by how quickly Rey becomes powerful, or some of those weird new Jedi powers. Yoda felt out of character (though I liked that he went back to being a puppet). Both Luke and Snoke, for such powerful force users, felt a bit too oblivious to the obvious.

 

The Porgs (space puffins) were all right as they didn't overdo them. But the crystal foxes were too much of a Mcguffin. The turtle nuns were nice and had little impact. And the green milk walrus-cow was... unexpected?

 

Not enough Lando.

 

I'll need a second viewing of it. Maybe once Ep. IX is out everything will make more sense, but right now there are too many little incomplete annoyances.


The big battle scenes themselves, no major problem. But at the character level it felt uneven. The red Power Rangers elite guards looked hyper competent, except weren't. And Captain Phasma barely got any time to show just how badass she was (unless she survives again).

 

P.S. I would've shot Poe too. (hashtag#IShotPoeFirst!)

Edited by Cranky Dog
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Yoda seemed really out of place, I understand what they were going for but it just felt wrong. He also seemed really muppetie (in that he seemed too playful, like when Like first met him and hadn't figured out who he was yet). He was so playful it almost felt like a green Fonzie was giving Luke advice, wokka wokka.

 

The Rey power scale is a bit of a sore part for me too. As for the new powers I almost don't even want to get into it. Then you have Snoke, all that buildup for that, what was that?

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I didn't hate it but thought they made some downright weird choices and didn't have good focus.  Also, they tried to force too much humor with Luke being downright slapstick at times.  I don't mind humor in my Star Wars but I prefer it to arise more naturally.

 

One thing that bugged the stuff out of me is the bombers at the beginning.  I don't expect Star Wars to be particularly realistic but come on at least show them being launched rather than dropped.  I can ignore the open bomb bay not suffocating everybody since they have those force fields on all the hanger doors anyway but ignoring the lack of gravity just took me out of the  moment.  Also, I hope they aren't building up Poe to run the Rebellion cause he's terrible at tactics.

1 minute ago, Rat13 said:

The Rey power scale is a bit of a sore part for me too. As for the new powers I almost don't even want to get into it. Then you have Snoke, all that buildup for that, what was that?

Terrible use of villains is pretty typical of Star Wars but yeah that bugged me as well.

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I did like the new bomber design. It looks like the rebellion's version of the Slave One. Which makes me wonder what was wrong with the old bombers other than payload?

9 minutes ago, Erifnogard said:

Terrible use of villains is pretty typical of Star Wars but yeah that bugged me as well.

I didn't really understand the guards weapons either. Were they vibroblades? They did work against lightsabers but at the same time a couple of them actually held the beam to their own armor and nothing happened. So what were they that they could go toe to toe with a lightsaber but did nothing to their armor?

Edited by Rat13
Dang autocorrect.

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Overall, I liked it.

 

I don't think it felt like a Star Wars movie, though.  All the trappings were there, but something, that I haven't been able to put my finger on, is just off about it.

 

I liked many things: Grumpy Old Luke, the interaction between Rey and Luke, Yoda, that last bit between Kylo Ren and Snoke, and some other moments.  I like that Phasma got an actual ending, although I'm still not sure why we needed a faceless Stormtrooper Captain in shiny armor.

 

I didn't hate any part of it, but there were a couple parts I didn't exactly like.  I didn't care for the opening bombing run, it felt clunky and out of place in a universe that has TIE Bombers running through asteroid fields.  I'm still not fond of BB-8, it still feels like an unnecessary gimmick.  Every time I see Benicio Del Toro I get a little more annoyed with his presence (across movies and commercials, it's a slowly building thing).

 

And there are plenty of things that leave me just trying to figure out where, when, how, and why they fit into the process.  I'm still not sure what to think of Finn--other than this guy must be the Force-luckiest S.O.B. in existence.  I'm not sure what to think of Rose other than she feels shoe-horned in to the whole process, but, then again it's not like you can count on Finn to do anything by himself that doesn't involve immediate mortal danger(?) or cleaning up.

 

I did have a problem with the Admiral--I get that she didn't like being questioned by a hot-head like Poe.  But this is a guy who obviously has some juice--He doesn't think twice about approaching General Organa and speaking his mind--and she let's him.  Why would you not let him in on the plan, even just a little?

 

Given the way that things happened in real life with Carrie Fisher's passing, I would have preferred to have the ending switched up.  Either swap Holdo and Organa's places at the end (which sets up Holdo learning to trust Poe a little bit as he learns to lead and quit being a "hero"), or have Organa collapse and disappear into the Force (because reasons--Princess Leia doesn't need our permission to become a Force ghost!) and have "General" Skywalker come back to help lead The Resistance for a while (until he gets killed midway through Episode IX).

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7 minutes ago, Rat13 said:

I didn't really understand the guards weapons either. Were they vibroblades? They did work against lightsabers but at the same time a couple of them actually held the beam to their own armor and nothing happened. So what were they that they could go toe to toe with a lightsaber but did nothing to their armor?

Yeah I thought they were weird as well.  Also found their choice to attack after Snoke was dead a bit odd given that it was pretty obvious who was going to be in charge from that point on. 

 

 

One thing that I liked a lot was the trick Luke played on Kylo at the end.  Totally fooled me too.  I was so busy thinking about how powerful Luke had gotten that I didn't figure it out till Kylo did.

Edited by Erifnogard
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I loved this movie. It is definitely, hands-down, my favorite of the non-OT Star Wars...and it might be in my top 3 SW movies, period.

 

I grant, there are some weird things going on. I don't like the slow-motion chase across space very much, as the First Order seemed to have soooo many more resources than they used. I thought Holdo was pretty tacked-on, which is sad because I think the relationships the character has are really interesting. And I would've liked less of the Benicio Del Toro character and more Maz Kanata. I am a little worried about the directorial continuity, because what I've heard (and seen, between TFA and TLJ) makes it seem each director has been able to just go wherever with it...so I hope the last movie wraps things up as well as it should.

 

But! The actual experience of watching this movie? I haven't had so much fun in a movie theater in years. The dogfights are amazing (I cannot wait to hear they're making a Rogue Squadron V video game) and the fight in the Red Room is totally cool (as a fight choreographer, I think this movie has the best fights of all SW movies). I have wanted for years to see more exploration of what the force can do, and this installment delivers. I love bitter old coot Luke and his sarcasm and his arrogance and the guilt hiding behind it. I like porgs, and weird person-faced horse-beasts and sparklefoxes. I like the dreadnought and chunky B-wing bombers and giant ape-knuckled AT-ATs. I love Leia using the force (not how I'd have done it, but I love it anyway). I love the mancrush/just-plain-old-crush Poe has on Finn and the shade he throws at Rey ("I'm Rey." "I know because he never shuts up about you would you step off!"). I love Luke's ultimate display of force-master badassery. And I LOVE YODA being back to a whimsical wise old elf...I hated the unabated seriousness of Yoda in the prequels, I love seeing his pragmatism tempered with optimism.

 

Ultimately, the movie is flawed...but I really, really liked it.

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1 hour ago, strawhat said:

Given the way that things happened in real life with Carrie Fisher's passing, I would have preferred to have the ending switched up.  Either swap Holdo and Organa's places at the end

I completely agree. Even just letting her die in space would have been fine, seeing as we also lost everyone's favorite Admiral. #AckbarRules

 

I can't help thinking that Leia's death would have helped Poe grow as a character. It would also help the story focus on the new crop of heroes instead of the old guard.

 

Luke may be dead, but I have no doubt he'll show up again. Maybe he'll be more useful as a force ghost. Guess we just have to wait and see.

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2 hours ago, Erifnogard said:

One thing that I liked a lot was the trick Luke played on Kylo at the end.  Totally fooled me too.  I was so busy thinking about how powerful Luke had gotten that I didn't figure it out till Kylo did.

 

I missed the enjoyment of the Kylo/Luke confrontation because I noticed something was up as soon as Luke drew his saber.  Luke's saber from Jedi had a green blade and a funky conical emitter that reminds me of the foot of a school chair.  When he drew his saber against Kylo, it was a blue blade and had Anakin's old emitter shroud that Kylo and Rey just trashed.

 

But I hadn't expected it to be a "mere" projection, I just wasn't sure what was going on.

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I have plenty of gripes about the last jedi, which I'm not going to laundry list here but they all spring from the same source. Disney seems to have no clue as to how to tell a story in three parts. There were things I liked and disliked about the force awakens, and I felt that it was far closer to a remake of a new hope than it should have been, but it did leave some intresting questions I wanted to see answered and using the whole movie to build up to luke's return was a nice starting point to episode 8. It wasn't the best star wars movie, nor was it the worst and so I witheld judgement thinking that there was an actual story here.

So when Rian Johnson decided to throw out this workable base that Abrahms had left for him to build on, and replace it with....this I was to say the least confused and disappointed. Subverting an audience's expectations is not in and of itself a bad thing, except where it becomes overused and devolves into nihilism as was the case here. The reason I refer to it like this is because from here there is really nowhere for episode 9 to go that will make much coherent sense. So in a manner of speaking this was scorched earth burning of the seed corn.

What I cannot understand is how and why anyone at disney thought this was a good idea. They spent quite a bit of money to acquire star wars and so one would think that a valuable franchise like this would be handled with a great deal more care, rather than let thier directors sabotoge each other. At the very least that there would be an overarching outline as to what the overall story of this trilogy was to be. I thought the reason they were doing the stand alone movies was to allow directors to have a space for different and radical interpetations of the source material. (Rogue One wasn't bad it just needed better editing and perhaps someone speaking up that switching directors and scripts halfway through is not a good idea.)

And if any of the minions of the Mouse should ever read this, I'll throw in an opening for espiode 9 that will salvage at least part of this.

Opening scene show Luke's death. Except it was not the effort of what he had just done that killed him. While he was meditating, one or more porgs crept up and detached the light saber from his belt and cut him down. (how's that for subverting expectations?) Have it become known that the Porgs are the original users of the darkside and that they were the hidden hand behind everything that happened since phantom menace. Which also would explain why luke didn't get involved until now as either they had been mentally influencing him or he was trying to redeem them. Kylo fell because he was given one as a pet before luke figured out the score and snoke is what a porg transforms into once it has truely mastered the darkside. Or if this makes too much sense, just have the next big bad be Darth Ringo, Mr. Conductor hat and all. "'Ello children, we're 'ere to kill the jedi!" Maybe Darth Bono as a sidekick. (everytime he goes WHHOOOHOO!, force lighting shoots out his fingers.)

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