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Author Topic: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi  (Read 75338 times)

Muon

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #285 on: 16 December, 2017, 04:42:58 am »
Definitely didn't hate it but weirdly unsure if I liked it either. The flashes of Pythonesque/knowing humour were really jarring for me. Also, the tone was different to the Star Wars I grew up with. They seemed to be trying to frame the nature of the struggle in a more complex way than in the past, but at the same time they kept a lot of the characters mysterious and offered few insights into them. That was clearly on purpose, but it made it less satisfying for me.

Having said all that, it's possible my objections as a baldie who was born around the time the first one came out will actually be seen as this film's strengths in future years. This is the point at which this new series of films has broken away from the past and found its new voice. It's reframing the struggle between good and evil and giving it a bit more complexity that's more fitting for the world we're in now. Also it's asking more questions of how the rebellion can be sustained. These things are still jarring for me, but I can accept the need to move away from the fan service of old and establish a new tone for the whole thing.

Krakajac

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #286 on: 16 December, 2017, 08:05:07 am »
A couple of my issues with TLJ...

Yoda's appearance. Wow - this was monumentally stuffed up. Remember when Yoda first meets Luke in ESB? He takes on the character of a simple 'denizen of the swamp', cracking jokes and trying to steal Luke's food. All a cunning ruse. You then get that beautiful moment when Luke gets angry and impatient - and immediately Yoda's character becomes serious/gruff. He sighs and says something along the lines of, "I cannot train him". Luke joins the dots and suddenly realises he's in the presence of the great master. Great stuff.

So why...in sweet Jesus' name, does Yoda fall back into this character in TLJ? There's absolutely no need for it. Yoda spends the majority of TPM, AOTC, ROTS, ESB and ROTJ - as a serious character - with the exception of the small part in ESB where he is trying to deceive Luke. Why on earth would he fall back into this character in TLJ? Arrgh. It does my head in. Yoda's reappearance as a force ghost should have been a majestic, ethereal moment. Nup, the writers just weren't interested.

I loved the introduction of the black BB-8 unit (or whatever his/her designation was). Surely what would follow would be a nifty showdown between the two droids - a la 'The Black Hole'? Nup, they don't even meet face-to-face. I know it wasn't feasible plot-wise - but imagine these two droids battling against each other, with the black BB-8 unit getting the upper hand - only for R2 to show up and save the day - or something along those lines (yes, I know R2 was elsewhere in TLJ).

Sigh...Chewbacca, Threepio and R2 - much loved original-trilogy characters with great backstories - all brushed aside and given bit parts.

Luke. Oh man. If I was Mark Hamill, I'd be miffed with how my character was developed in TLJ. At the end of TFA, we have the greatest of reveals - the legendary LUKE SKYWALKER, standing there, in the flesh. There's a reason the writers did this - he's an epic, respected character within the canon. And then the writers of TLJ, in their wisdom, decide to dismantle all of that. Again, just lazy. And I'm calling shoddy writing on the whole 'force projection' thing that Luke pulls at the end.

By my understanding, Admiral Ackbar dies in TLJ. He wasn't given any kind of honourable death - just a vague reference to his passing by another character. But Laura Dern's purple-haired under-developed character - whom we have NEVER met before - gets to go out with a bang. Do any of us really care about her demise? I didn't. However, if it had been Ackbar at the controls of that ship when it went to light-speed. Epic...

Same goes for Benicio Del Toro's character - a fantastic actor - absolutely wasted in TLJ. More slopping writing - Finn and Rose travel to the casino planet, trying to track down the 'code-breaker'. They get arrested and thrown into a cell - where they just happen to meet another 'code-breaker' - who then deceives them any way. As someone pointed out on another forum - this would have provided the perfect reintroduction of Lando - casinos, gambling, etc. And after all of that - Rose and Finn's efforts still don't pay off.

I could go on...

Leia's 'force-pull' in the vacuum of space.

Rebellion soldiers falling into trenches to battle walkers. Oh gawd...

The strange premise of the 'race in space' at sub-light speeds.

Snoke...who was he? How does (did) he fit into the whole story?

The First Order - a laughably, inept enemy - who were completely smashed in TFA - only to 'reign' by the start of TLJ - remembering that TLJ follows directly on from TFA. After their Starkiller Base was destroyed in TFA - the First Order should have been in complete disarray. Nup - apparently they 'reign'. The Empire would be rolling in it's grave.


That'll do me before my brain implodes.

I loved Rogue One - and greatly enjoyed TFA. So I'm not 'hating' on TLJ simply because it's the trendy thing to do. And I always try to find the good in a movie I desperately want to enjoy. No such luck with TLJ.

I'll be very surprised if Rian Johnson gets the new SW trilogy that Disney have offered him.

And yes - all of the above is from the perspective of a card-carrying SW geek who expects these movies to be GREAT and EPIC. They don't need to be perfect - but they need to be memorable for the right reasons.


TordelBack

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #288 on: 16 December, 2017, 11:38:18 am »
Still on the phone, so I'll keep it to a few observations.

Can't quite get over how many twists and surprises TLJ managed to deliver without resorting to annoying cameos (Maz is always welcome). Most of the callbacks to the OT were with a deliberate view to subverting expectations, and a great deal of time was spent building up to shocking reversals - which makes me wonder how re-watchable this will be now I know the outcomes.

OTOH I've been demanding new stuff, and complaining that TFA was just too spare in terms of plot, and this film delivered buckets of new, while blasting trough what felt like several films worth of story.

I'd definitely have had the original slicer/gambler be Lando, just for giggles, but I thought Beinicio's DJ was terrific, and important. Howevery I could make no sense of Vice Admiral Holdo or indeed Dern's acting, and wish that Ackbar had done the final deed.

I did think the way Luke's power was handled was superb, a very neat solution.



Mattofthespurs

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #290 on: 16 December, 2017, 11:42:55 am »
I shall keep that in mind for future reference  :lol:

TordelBack

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SIP

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #292 on: 16 December, 2017, 04:48:06 pm »
On reflection, I'm grateful that Lando was not included in the last jedi. At this point he remains the only lead character from the original trilogy that "new" star wars hasn't brought to their knees.

He's all I've got left to hold on to from Return of the Jedi.....please God don't let them shoe horn him into Episode 9 just so that they can show me what a complete failure he turned out to be.

TordelBack

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #293 on: 16 December, 2017, 04:54:31 pm »
That is indeed the central problem with the Sequels, and given the time frame, an inescapable one.

Steve Green

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #294 on: 16 December, 2017, 04:56:23 pm »
On reflection, I'm grateful that Lando was not included in the last jedi. At this point he remains the only lead character from the original trilogy that "new" star wars hasn't brought to their knees.

He's all I've got left to hold on to from Return of the Jedi.....please God don't let them shoe horn him into Episode 9 just so that they can show me what a complete failure he turned out to be.

Well they've not done an awful lot with the droids, and to a lesser extent, Chewie either.

SIP

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #295 on: 16 December, 2017, 05:37:25 pm »
I feel chewie got over the han thing too easily. He's very fickle 😂

Steve Green

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #296 on: 16 December, 2017, 06:29:03 pm »
Having him dress one of the Porgs in a little Han waistcoat might have been a bit much.

TordelBack

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #297 on: 16 December, 2017, 08:31:15 pm »
A missed oppirtunity to be sure!

Finally twigged where I'd seen the main Falthier sequence before - Company of Wolves!

Now trying to think of any metaphorical (or other) significance to the locations of the three sympathetic 'animal' species - Porgs, Falthier and Crystal Critters.

This movie has got deep into my head.

radiator

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #298 on: 16 December, 2017, 09:26:35 pm »
I've been trying to work out why Snoke is such a big fat nothing of a character when he's basically a carbon copy of the Emperor.

Ever since TFA came out, people online have been trying to theorise as to Snoke's back story, much as they have with Rey*, and for similar reasons. Why do they feel there is something missing about this character, or some mystery that needs solving, when no one has that issue with the Emperor? I mean, all we know about the Emperor in RotJ is that he's an evil wizard, and both characters share about the same amount of screen time and character development.

So why then is the Emperor such a memorable character and Snoke such a shit one?

And I think I've worked it out.

It's because the Emperor isn't really a character, he's just a cipher - a conduit for Luke and Vader's relationship. That's what makes him interesting. Transpose that to the sequel films where it's the relationship between Rey and Ren standing in for that of Luke and Vader, and let's face it, Rey is such a blank slate of a character compared to Luke. We saw Luke struggle, and fail, and grow, and totally transform from boy to man over the course of three films. His decision to confront Vader and the Emperor is the natural culmination of his storyline. Rey on the other hand is still basically exactly who she is when we met her at the beginning of TFA. We never really see her fail, or even really lose her cool. She doesn't really have any character flaws. And don't even try to dispute that - it's a fact.

And this is why the whole Throne Room scene in TLJ is so hollow and devoid of real drama. In the equivalent scene in Jedi, we understand the dynamics totally. Luke wants to redeem his father. Vader wants Luke to help him overthrow the Emperor. The Emperor wants Luke to turn to the Dark Side and replace Vader as his lieutenant. It's a complex dance that still feels tense even when you know the outcome. By contrast, I didn't really understand why Snoke was doing what he was doing in TLJ. Was he trying to turn Rey? Kill her? It wasn't really clear or obvious other than the film outright telling us via some pretty dopey exposition. In any case, why make such a meal of it? The whole thing felt so drawn out and contrived - not organic at all. What's the connection between Rey and Ren that makes their relationship interesting? The Force? It's hardly gripping stuff.

For similar reasons, Snoke showing Rey the rebel fleet getting destroyed has no impact, because Rey has hung out with those guys for what? Five minutes at the end of the last film? You don't get the same sense of desperation of Luke watching his friends be destroyed.

It's like they just copy all of the dramatic beats from the original trilogy without really understanding the underpinnings of character drama that made them work the first time round.

Quote
Most of the callbacks to the OT were with a deliberate view to subverting expectations, and a great deal of time was spent building up to shocking reversals...

People keep saying stuff like this, and I feel like I'm going crazy, because the film I saw was a fairly hackneyed and predictable hodgepodge of recycled scenes from Empire and Jedi.

*btw, I find it hilarious that so many people still think there's more to Rey's story than we're being told, even though this film came right out and told us directly that there isn't. I've seen so many comments online of people trying to argue that Ren was lying about the identity of Rey's parents.

radiator

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Re: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
« Reply #299 on: 16 December, 2017, 09:38:29 pm »
On reflection, I'm grateful that Lando was not included in the last jedi. At this point he remains the only lead character from the original trilogy that "new" star wars hasn't brought to their knees.

He's all I've got left to hold on to from Return of the Jedi.....please God don't let them shoe horn him into Episode 9 just so that they can show me what a complete failure he turned out to be.

Said it before and I'll say it again: Luke should have been dead before this new trilogy began (murdered by Kylo Ren) and he should have only appeared in the new films in the form of a ghost.

It would have been a tough pill to swallow for long term fans, but I would argue less of one than turning Luke into a coward the way these films have.

And like it or not, Luke had to die at some point. He's just too powerful a chess piece to remain on the board. At least this way would have allowed him to go out with a little more dignity, and it would, imo, also have a made a great, genuinely unexpected twist.