Author Topic: Star Wars: The Last Jedi discussion  (Read 1867 times)

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Offline cactusfan

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi discussion
« Reply #30 on: January 27, 2018, 03:17:57 AM »

OH, and I completely forgot-- STARTING a Star Wars movie off with a mom joke was sacrilege.
Can you imagine in the first movie as Vader Boards Leia's ship if some rebel trooper stops to tell a mom joke to Vader? seriously...
The first Order was already bordering on parody, but after that snip and then more slapstick banter amongst 'villians' later in the film I felt it really lowered any sense I had of "Hey, these guys are evil"
really... a mom joke? 5 minutes into the film? :|

This sums up the whole movie. If none of the characters take any of it seriously, why should we?

Offline Hicks

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi discussion
« Reply #31 on: January 27, 2018, 10:45:58 AM »
OH, and I completely forgot-- STARTING a Star Wars movie off with a mom joke was sacrilege.
Can you imagine in the first movie as Vader Boards Leia's ship if some rebel trooper stops to tell a mom joke to Vader? seriously...

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Offline VDB

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi discussion
« Reply #32 on: January 27, 2018, 06:35:49 PM »
Slim  :clap:


OK, Hicks, you asked for it. I was going to go super-summary with my comments because I'm not feeling very riled up over this these days, but I do have about 1,800 words sitting in a Word doc from my original attempt at breaking down this film's problems. I kept getting temporarily shut out of the paug (403 "access forbidden") every time I tried to post it last month. Very bizarrely enough, I have now narrowed the issue down, I think, to merely including the word c.a.s.i.n.o. (Seriously. So hence the periods right there.)

------

My annotated Last Jedi hate:


The plot. Atrocious. A slow-speed space pursuit? Like, ships literally sitting there against a black backdrop doing nothing apparent. This is boring AF and presents holes aplenty. Why doesn't the Empire (I'm going to just keep calling them that for brevity's sake because, what the hell, ROTJ seems to have changed little in the political scheme of things) just do a mini jump and get ahead of them or back in range? Why don't they just call in a few other ships to show up from the other direction? This entire pursuit should have been a slam dunk for the Empire. We got a line about how the Resistance ships are lighter and faster. Buuut that's really more dependent upon the ship's propulsive power relative to its mass, and I'm having a hard time believing ships owned by the same people who could afford to build a g.d. hyperspace laser planet that ate stars could not also give their big ships more than enough horsepower to run down scrappy rebel craft. And in space, where there is no friction, we have to continually burn our thrusters in order to maintain a constant speed? I'm sure Neil deGrasse Tyson would have happily tweeted some pointers if the filmmakers had asked. Rian Johnson is said to have scrapped what was given to him and started afresh on the entire story. This is what he came up with? How many people at Lucasfilm signed off on this? I refuse to believe this was the most compelling plot they could have devised. It feels like the plot from some low-rent SyFy Channel series. It's the plot you'd come up with if you didn't have any budget to create actual effects, so you just hung some spaceship models in front of a black curtain and had your characters explain to the audience that, trust us, this is some action-packed shit happening right here.

The c.a.s.i.n.o. world side story. So Finn and his new pal (Rey romance = ixnay? they barely share any screen time) jet off to Monaco to find the one, single person who can save the Resistance. But, oops, they get stopped by security guards because some redneck alien complained about their parking job. So they get tossed in jail, and it's all gonna be over, except – relief! – there's *another* genius codebreaker *right there* in the cell with them. What are the odds! Quick sidebar into some heavy-handed messaging about oppression, then let's save some animals, and then let's go find the magic hyperspace tracking device that of course Finn knows how to identify because as a janitor he has been privy to all of the Empire's most critical warmaking facilities and technologies.

(Oh. Turns out Benicio is little more than an opportunistic hustler, so the whole mission ends up being for naught and this side adventure does absolutely bupkus to advance the plot.)

The hyperspace tracker. Hastily explained and confusingly arbitrary. Some ships (see: gambleland mission) can come and go at will, but the rest of the fleet has to keep it in low gear or get wiped out? So how many ships can the Empire track with this technology, exactly? If it's such a game-changer, why is it housed in a hallway server closet that's so lightly guarded that three strangers in stolen laundry and a bumbling trashcan can just roll right up and start poking at circuits? If being tracked (through hyperspace) was such a problem for the Resistance, what difference does that make since they end up touching down on salt world in full view of the Empire anyway?

Supreme Leader Snoke. Here's a guy whose appearance raised so many questions in Force Awakens and was given such import. Remember when they even spoiled a sweet Han-Leia scene by bringing up his dumb name? (“It was Snoke. He seduced our son to the dark side.” Ugh. So bad. This guy had better be worth it, we're telling ourselves.) Well, turns out the new filmmakers had no idea what to do with the dude so let's just kill him halfway through. In a way that makes no sense given how much real-time intuition he's supposed to have. What was this guy's relationship to the Sith? To the force? To the Empire? To Vader? How did we go from one dead Emperor to someone seemingly just as powerful and then he's out of the picture without any explanation? Why was his face so horribly scarred to the point where he simply *had* to be done as a fake CGI character instead of played by a real person? Never you mind. None of that matters.

Rey's training. Grouchy Luke says go away a lot. Changes his mind. Here's a 15-minute lesson. Boom, all done. (With a quick visit to the house of mirrors for no apparent reason at all.)

Laura Dern's character. Utterly useless. Why keep her heroic plan a secret at all, much less for so long? I literally couldn't tell if she was a secret Empire agent, just an idiot, or what. It prompted an unnecessary mutiny, for god's sake. And when she wasn't being arbitrarily obtuse, she was spouting clichés of the most abominable sort.

Ackbar's death. Mentioned in a quick piece of dialog. OK. Shit. Do the filmmakers realize how beloved that character is? Why not have him go out like Laura Dern and ax her role altogether?

Leia's fake death scene. You know the audience is on edge the whole film over this. So she gets blown out in a quick flash of CGI, and we tighten up, but instead she does some lame CGI skywalking to save herself. A clunky way to handle all of that. (Not to mention, it makes me wonder why she's never used the force to help out all her comrades who are getting blown up left and right. Even force rookie Rey uses it to literally save the whole gang at the end.)

Luke's fake death scene. First, he shows up inside a mountain bunker that we're told has no other ways in or out. He and Leia have a moment. We assume he's real. Probably took his soggy X-wing to get there? How'd he get inside again? (Nevermind, Poe will say something later about it; incidental.) Then Kylo fires a bunch of lasers at him. We have no reason to believe this isn't his most unceremonious end. Hux mutters a quip that seems designed to elicit chuckles. Except we still think Luke Skywalker has just died. Jesus Christ, help us out here, Rian. OK, he's not dead but we still don't know why not. Force hologram. OK, fine. But why does his hologram have a bad haircut? Scruffy Luke looks much better. And then, poof. I don't mind this decision all that much — it's echoes of Obi-Wan — but by this point in the film I was so disheartened and disengaged that the (actual, really though) death of Luke Motherfucking Skywalker had very little impact on me. Even Rey and Leia have an (unintentionally ironic) exchange later about how Luke's death didn't upset them. Uh huh.

Too many attempts at comedy. Comedy at inopportune times. Comedy that lazily called back to Force Awakens jokes. Comedy that undermined semi-important things we've already been told, like how Luke the hermit went to hide by himself in the remotest part of the galaxy, he was so ashamed, except actually he's had maid service the whole time. Whatever, anything for some jokes. And the porgs. So. Many. Porgs.

The dialog. Cheesy, wooden, rushed, disjointed.

Rey's backstory. Hey, remember all those hints we dropped in Force Awakens? Definitely some kind of Skywalker lineage in there, gotta be. Luke dolls, Luke flashbacks, force abilities, Snoke seems to know her, Unkar Plutt is in on it, yadda yadda. Well forget all that. Just some desert orphan. That fits our "the force is universal" message better. And maybe it does. But still, that pesky matter about the film that came just prior... But wait! This info did come from Kylo Ren, after all, and he has an agenda, so who's to say he's even credible? Maybe he was simply lying to Rey. If so, now we're going to string this mystery out over three whole episodes and confuse the audience to hell in the process? Bollocks.

Luke almost murdered a kid. So, at the end of Jedi, Luke learns the Big Important Lesson that there's good in anyone and even the evilest Vaders can be redeemed. But on the other hand, this bratty teen gives me the skeevies, so off with his head. JK! Mind you, this is all done via flashbacks and he-said-he-said. If I'm Rey I have no idea who or what to believe. So Luke could tell back then that Ben was irredeemably evil. But in the last movie we were told it was Snoke who was responsible for his evilness. Step aside folks, Rian has a few story ideas to put out there!

Rey's force intuitions. She literally uses her certainty that she had a true premonition about Kylo pulling a good deed to justify her certainty that there's no such thing as a certain future. But Kylo did kill Snoke. (Good deed? Self-serving deed? You decide!) So, Rey's intuitions = correct while near-murderous Jedi Master Luke = clueless? Yoda, help pls

The thing about arms dealers. If anyone who can snag a parked spaceship is able to saunter over the hologram table and learn how the same guys sell weapons to both the Empire and the Resistance, there's no reason to assume the Empire doesn't have this same information. And there's no way in hell they would abide that. Nice attempt at a message about the military-industrial complex and nihilism and all that, but it's transparently dubious.

Re-filming the final shot of Force Awakens. That Rey-Luke moment atop Jedi Island was visually and emotionally powerful. This time around, though, we need to have a gag, so let's just redo that scene, strip it of its artistic heft, and make way for comedy!

Gravity in space. We've got WWII-style bombers that have to fly directly over a target in order to drop bombs out of a hatch onto them. In space. Then, we have laser blasts that the Empire literally lobs on an arc toward other ships. In space.

Am I crazy or did Yoda's head look flat?

The laser battering ram. (Nitpicking here because I'm on a roll.) Wasn't it already starting to heat up the door when Finn flew right into its path? Shouldn't he have gotten cooked?

Not enough Chewie. More Chewie, less porg. Less porg with Chewie. More just Chewie.


I thought The Force Awakens was far from perfect, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. It felt like a Star Wars film and treated the characters with respect and consistency. I cannot say the same about The Last Jedi. I understand and can appreciate parts of what it was trying to accomplish, but the execution was riddled with problems and the story attempted too many midstream changes given all that had been established ahead of it.

After the travesty of the prequels, Force Awakens felt like a fairly definitive sign that peace and order had been restored to the Star Wars universe. Rogue One was, to me, a stumble, but as a non-canonical entry it didn't put me off too much. Last Jedi represents such a step backwards (plus the fact that Johnson had been awarded an entire new trilogy before management even bothered to hear what people thought of Last Jedi) that I have scant confidence in the brain trust at Lucasfilm. I will see the next episode more out of curiosity than excitement, which is a sad thing to say about my favorite film franchise of all time.

Oh well.
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it's all inside your head


de gustibus non disputandum

Offline VA $l!m

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi discussion
« Reply #33 on: January 27, 2018, 07:41:22 PM »
Slim  :clap:


OK, Hicks, you asked for it. I was going to go super-summary with my comments because I'm not feeling very riled up over this these days, but I do have about 1,800 words sitting in a Word doc from my original attempt at breaking down this film's problems. I kept getting temporarily shut out of the paug (403 "access forbidden") every time I tried to post it last month. Very bizarrely enough, I have now narrowed the issue down, I think, to merely including the word c.a.s.i.n.o. (Seriously. So hence the periods right there.)

------

My annotated Last Jedi hate:


The plot. Atrocious. A slow-speed space pursuit? Like, ships literally sitting there against a black backdrop doing nothing apparent. This is boring AF and presents holes aplenty. Why doesn't the Empire (I'm going to just keep calling them that for brevity's sake because, what the hell, ROTJ seems to have changed little in the political scheme of things) just do a mini jump and get ahead of them or back in range? Why don't they just call in a few other ships to show up from the other direction? This entire pursuit should have been a slam dunk for the Empire. We got a line about how the Resistance ships are lighter and faster. Buuut that's really more dependent upon the ship's propulsive power relative to its mass, and I'm having a hard time believing ships owned by the same people who could afford to build a g.d. hyperspace laser planet that ate stars could not also give their big ships more than enough horsepower to run down scrappy rebel craft. And in space, where there is no friction, we have to continually burn our thrusters in order to maintain a constant speed? I'm sure Neil deGrasse Tyson would have happily tweeted some pointers if the filmmakers had asked. Rian Johnson is said to have scrapped what was given to him and started afresh on the entire story. This is what he came up with? How many people at Lucasfilm signed off on this? I refuse to believe this was the most compelling plot they could have devised. It feels like the plot from some low-rent SyFy Channel series. It's the plot you'd come up with if you didn't have any budget to create actual effects, so you just hung some spaceship models in front of a black curtain and had your characters explain to the audience that, trust us, this is some action-packed shit happening right here.

The c.a.s.i.n.o. world side story. So Finn and his new pal (Rey romance = ixnay? they barely share any screen time) jet off to Monaco to find the one, single person who can save the Resistance. But, oops, they get stopped by security guards because some redneck alien complained about their parking job. So they get tossed in jail, and it's all gonna be over, except – relief! – there's *another* genius codebreaker *right there* in the cell with them. What are the odds! Quick sidebar into some heavy-handed messaging about oppression, then let's save some animals, and then let's go find the magic hyperspace tracking device that of course Finn knows how to identify because as a janitor he has been privy to all of the Empire's most critical warmaking facilities and technologies.

(Oh. Turns out Benicio is little more than an opportunistic hustler, so the whole mission ends up being for naught and this side adventure does absolutely bupkus to advance the plot.)

The hyperspace tracker. Hastily explained and confusingly arbitrary. Some ships (see: gambleland mission) can come and go at will, but the rest of the fleet has to keep it in low gear or get wiped out? So how many ships can the Empire track with this technology, exactly? If it's such a game-changer, why is it housed in a hallway server closet that's so lightly guarded that three strangers in stolen laundry and a bumbling trashcan can just roll right up and start poking at circuits? If being tracked (through hyperspace) was such a problem for the Resistance, what difference does that make since they end up touching down on salt world in full view of the Empire anyway?

Supreme Leader Snoke. Here's a guy whose appearance raised so many questions in Force Awakens and was given such import. Remember when they even spoiled a sweet Han-Leia scene by bringing up his dumb name? (“It was Snoke. He seduced our son to the dark side.” Ugh. So bad. This guy had better be worth it, we're telling ourselves.) Well, turns out the new filmmakers had no idea what to do with the dude so let's just kill him halfway through. In a way that makes no sense given how much real-time intuition he's supposed to have. What was this guy's relationship to the Sith? To the force? To the Empire? To Vader? How did we go from one dead Emperor to someone seemingly just as powerful and then he's out of the picture without any explanation? Why was his face so horribly scarred to the point where he simply *had* to be done as a fake CGI character instead of played by a real person? Never you mind. None of that matters.

Rey's training. Grouchy Luke says go away a lot. Changes his mind. Here's a 15-minute lesson. Boom, all done. (With a quick visit to the house of mirrors for no apparent reason at all.)

Laura Dern's character. Utterly useless. Why keep her heroic plan a secret at all, much less for so long? I literally couldn't tell if she was a secret Empire agent, just an idiot, or what. It prompted an unnecessary mutiny, for god's sake. And when she wasn't being arbitrarily obtuse, she was spouting clichés of the most abominable sort.

Ackbar's death. Mentioned in a quick piece of dialog. OK. Shit. Do the filmmakers realize how beloved that character is? Why not have him go out like Laura Dern and ax her role altogether?

Leia's fake death scene. You know the audience is on edge the whole film over this. So she gets blown out in a quick flash of CGI, and we tighten up, but instead she does some lame CGI skywalking to save herself. A clunky way to handle all of that. (Not to mention, it makes me wonder why she's never used the force to help out all her comrades who are getting blown up left and right. Even force rookie Rey uses it to literally save the whole gang at the end.)

Luke's fake death scene. First, he shows up inside a mountain bunker that we're told has no other ways in or out. He and Leia have a moment. We assume he's real. Probably took his soggy X-wing to get there? How'd he get inside again? (Nevermind, Poe will say something later about it; incidental.) Then Kylo fires a bunch of lasers at him. We have no reason to believe this isn't his most unceremonious end. Hux mutters a quip that seems designed to elicit chuckles. Except we still think Luke Skywalker has just died. Jesus Christ, help us out here, Rian. OK, he's not dead but we still don't know why not. Force hologram. OK, fine. But why does his hologram have a bad haircut? Scruffy Luke looks much better. And then, poof. I don't mind this decision all that much — it's echoes of Obi-Wan — but by this point in the film I was so disheartened and disengaged that the (actual, really though) death of Luke Motherfucking Skywalker had very little impact on me. Even Rey and Leia have an (unintentionally ironic) exchange later about how Luke's death didn't upset them. Uh huh.

Too many attempts at comedy. Comedy at inopportune times. Comedy that lazily called back to Force Awakens jokes. Comedy that undermined semi-important things we've already been told, like how Luke the hermit went to hide by himself in the remotest part of the galaxy, he was so ashamed, except actually he's had maid service the whole time. Whatever, anything for some jokes. And the porgs. So. Many. Porgs.

The dialog. Cheesy, wooden, rushed, disjointed.

Rey's backstory. Hey, remember all those hints we dropped in Force Awakens? Definitely some kind of Skywalker lineage in there, gotta be. Luke dolls, Luke flashbacks, force abilities, Snoke seems to know her, Unkar Plutt is in on it, yadda yadda. Well forget all that. Just some desert orphan. That fits our "the force is universal" message better. And maybe it does. But still, that pesky matter about the film that came just prior... But wait! This info did come from Kylo Ren, after all, and he has an agenda, so who's to say he's even credible? Maybe he was simply lying to Rey. If so, now we're going to string this mystery out over three whole episodes and confuse the audience to hell in the process? Bollocks.

Luke almost murdered a kid. So, at the end of Jedi, Luke learns the Big Important Lesson that there's good in anyone and even the evilest Vaders can be redeemed. But on the other hand, this bratty teen gives me the skeevies, so off with his head. JK! Mind you, this is all done via flashbacks and he-said-he-said. If I'm Rey I have no idea who or what to believe. So Luke could tell back then that Ben was irredeemably evil. But in the last movie we were told it was Snoke who was responsible for his evilness. Step aside folks, Rian has a few story ideas to put out there!

Rey's force intuitions. She literally uses her certainty that she had a true premonition about Kylo pulling a good deed to justify her certainty that there's no such thing as a certain future. But Kylo did kill Snoke. (Good deed? Self-serving deed? You decide!) So, Rey's intuitions = correct while near-murderous Jedi Master Luke = clueless? Yoda, help pls

The thing about arms dealers. If anyone who can snag a parked spaceship is able to saunter over the hologram table and learn how the same guys sell weapons to both the Empire and the Resistance, there's no reason to assume the Empire doesn't have this same information. And there's no way in hell they would abide that. Nice attempt at a message about the military-industrial complex and nihilism and all that, but it's transparently dubious.

Re-filming the final shot of Force Awakens. That Rey-Luke moment atop Jedi Island was visually and emotionally powerful. This time around, though, we need to have a gag, so let's just redo that scene, strip it of its artistic heft, and make way for comedy!

Gravity in space. We've got WWII-style bombers that have to fly directly over a target in order to drop bombs out of a hatch onto them. In space. Then, we have laser blasts that the Empire literally lobs on an arc toward other ships. In space.

Am I crazy or did Yoda's head look flat?

The laser battering ram. (Nitpicking here because I'm on a roll.) Wasn't it already starting to heat up the door when Finn flew right into its path? Shouldn't he have gotten cooked?

Not enough Chewie. More Chewie, less porg. Less porg with Chewie. More just Chewie.


I thought The Force Awakens was far from perfect, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. It felt like a Star Wars film and treated the characters with respect and consistency. I cannot say the same about The Last Jedi. I understand and can appreciate parts of what it was trying to accomplish, but the execution was riddled with problems and the story attempted too many midstream changes given all that had been established ahead of it.

After the travesty of the prequels, Force Awakens felt like a fairly definitive sign that peace and order had been restored to the Star Wars universe. Rogue One was, to me, a stumble, but as a non-canonical entry it didn't put me off too much. Last Jedi represents such a step backwards (plus the fact that Johnson had been awarded an entire new trilogy before management even bothered to hear what people thought of Last Jedi) that I have scant confidence in the brain trust at Lucasfilm. I will see the next episode more out of curiosity than excitement, which is a sad thing to say about my favorite film franchise of all time.

Oh well.
fantastic breakdwon.
you touched on almost everything i was thinking of and couldnt eloquently write up myself.
totally was feeling the same way about Laura Dern's charcter, Yoda's head, and not enough Chewy.
you nailed it all here.


i will say on a positive note the thing that really was this movie's one redeeming grace was the acting. Even through some truely horendous lines at times almost every actor over achieved.
Ridley, Boyega, and Hamil especially, but even Kylo far exceeded his own performance in the first movie.
I would even go as far as to say this could possibly be the reason along with JJ returning for the finale that they could turn things around, but really how hard is it going to be to have any sense of finality for the NINTH episode when there is absolutely nothing to build upon at this point plot wise.
most likely we'll just get some sort of over-action laden lens glare festi-wham bam thank you and onto the spinoffs... ugh.

i havent looked into it myself but emay i think was the one telling me that the press release for han solo's movie was less than well received.
Though there are also rumors of Ewan mcgregor getting an OB1 movie which could be our best hope.
-I'm still walkin', so i'm sure that I can dance-

Offline Hicks

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi discussion
« Reply #34 on: January 29, 2018, 04:41:09 PM »
Finally!   :-D

That is so random about the c.a.s.i.n.o. issue. I was getting the 403 issue as well in another thread, doesn't seem like it's gonna get fixed though. 

Anyway, that's a nice slab of hate you got there, let's rebut!

Slim  :clap:


OK, Hicks, you asked for it. I was going to go super-summary with my comments because I'm not feeling very riled up over this these days, but I do have about 1,800 words sitting in a Word doc from my original attempt at breaking down this film's problems. I kept getting temporarily shut out of the paug (403 "access forbidden") every time I tried to post it last month. Very bizarrely enough, I have now narrowed the issue down, I think, to merely including the word c.a.s.i.n.o. (Seriously. So hence the periods right there.)

------

My annotated Last Jedi hate:


The plot. Atrocious. A slow-speed space pursuit? Like, ships literally sitting there against a black backdrop doing nothing apparent. This is boring AF and presents holes aplenty. Why doesn't the Empire (I'm going to just keep calling them that for brevity's sake because, what the hell, ROTJ seems to have changed little in the political scheme of things) just do a mini jump and get ahead of them or back in range? Why don't they just call in a few other ships to show up from the other direction? This entire pursuit should have been a slam dunk for the Empire. We got a line about how the Resistance ships are lighter and faster. Buuut that's really more dependent upon the ship's propulsive power relative to its mass, and I'm having a hard time believing ships owned by the same people who could afford to build a g.d. hyperspace laser planet that ate stars could not also give their big ships more than enough horsepower to run down scrappy rebel craft. And in space, where there is no friction, we have to continually burn our thrusters in order to maintain a constant speed? I'm sure Neil deGrasse Tyson would have happily tweeted some pointers if the filmmakers had asked. Rian Johnson is said to have scrapped what was given to him and started afresh on the entire story. This is what he came up with? How many people at Lucasfilm signed off on this? I refuse to believe this was the most compelling plot they could have devised. It feels like the plot from some low-rent SyFy Channel series. It's the plot you'd come up with if you didn't have any budget to create actual effects, so you just hung some spaceship models in front of a black curtain and had your characters explain to the audience that, trust us, this is some action-packed shit happening right here.

Eh, yeah a low speed chase is not that exciting, but there was enough other stuff going on, particularly the Rey/Ren connection and showdown with Snoke to get us through to the finale on the salt planet IMO. As for the physics of it, it's Star Wars, it's never been as heavy on the science accuracy as Star Trek or a more serious movie like 2001.
 
The c.a.s.i.n.o. world side story. So Finn and his new pal (Rey romance = ixnay? they barely share any screen time) jet off to Monaco to find the one, single person who can save the Resistance. But, oops, they get stopped by security guards because some redneck alien complained about their parking job. So they get tossed in jail, and it's all gonna be over, except – relief! – there's *another* genius codebreaker *right there* in the cell with them. What are the odds! Quick sidebar into some heavy-handed messaging about oppression, then let's save some animals, and then let's go find the magic hyperspace tracking device that of course Finn knows how to identify because as a janitor he has been privy to all of the Empire's most critical warmaking facilities and technologies.

(Oh. Turns out Benicio is little more than an opportunistic hustler, so the whole mission ends up being for naught and this side adventure does absolutely bupkus to advance the plot.)

The hyperspace tracker. Hastily explained and confusingly arbitrary. Some ships (see: gambleland mission) can come and go at will, but the rest of the fleet has to keep it in low gear or get wiped out? So how many ships can the Empire track with this technology, exactly? If it's such a game-changer, why is it housed in a hallway server closet that's so lightly guarded that three strangers in stolen laundry and a bumbling trashcan can just roll right up and start poking at circuits? If being tracked (through hyperspace) was such a problem for the Resistance, what difference does that make since they end up touching down on salt world in full view of the Empire anyway?

Sure, this whole subplot didn't really go anywhere, but I did like the commentary on war profiteering and criticizing the cesspool of places like Vegas etc was pretty spot on IMO. Plus, they introduced the kid who shows up at the end and maybe he is in the next one? I also enjoyed a classic Benicio scumbag character, seems like he hasn't played one of those in a long time and I thought he was great.

Supreme Leader Snoke. Here's a guy whose appearance raised so many questions in Force Awakens and was given such import. Remember when they even spoiled a sweet Han-Leia scene by bringing up his dumb name? (“It was Snoke. He seduced our son to the dark side.” Ugh. So bad. This guy had better be worth it, we're telling ourselves.) Well, turns out the new filmmakers had no idea what to do with the dude so let's just kill him halfway through. In a way that makes no sense given how much real-time intuition he's supposed to have. What was this guy's relationship to the Sith? To the force? To the Empire? To Vader? How did we go from one dead Emperor to someone seemingly just as powerful and then he's out of the picture without any explanation? Why was his face so horribly scarred to the point where he simply *had* to be done as a fake CGI character instead of played by a real person? Never you mind. None of that matters.

Yeah chucking Snoke in the trash with no backstory bugged me at first too, but is there really anything interesting about this character? Seems like just another generic villain and Kylo Ren is the far more compelling bad guy. Rather than doing script acrobatics in an attempt to flesh out a caricature, I think the decision to kill him off was probably a better choice. 

Rey's training. Grouchy Luke says go away a lot. Changes his mind. Here's a 15-minute lesson. Boom, all done. (With a quick visit to the house of mirrors for no apparent reason at all.)

Well her training wasn't completed, so who knows where that was going, but she cut it short before it got there.

Laura Dern's character. Utterly useless. Why keep her heroic plan a secret at all, much less for so long? I literally couldn't tell if she was a secret Empire agent, just an idiot, or what. It prompted an unnecessary mutiny, for god's sake. And when she wasn't being arbitrarily obtuse, she was spouting clichés of the most abominable sort.

Ackbar's death. Mentioned in a quick piece of dialog. OK. Shit. Do the filmmakers realize how beloved that character is? Why not have him go out like Laura Dern and ax her role altogether?
I love Adm Ackbar, everybody loves Adm Ackbar, but let's be honest, he probably had 2-3 minutes of screentime in ROTJ. While he may be a major character in our minds, he wasn't really that important in the movies themselves.

Leia's fake death scene. You know the audience is on edge the whole film over this. So she gets blown out in a quick flash of CGI, and we tighten up, but instead she does some lame CGI skywalking to save herself. A clunky way to handle all of that. (Not to mention, it makes me wonder why she's never used the force to help out all her comrades who are getting blown up left and right. Even force rookie Rey uses it to literally save the whole gang at the end.)

This seems like one of the biggest points of contention in the whole movie and I personally had no problem with it. They've never fully explained Leia's relationship with the force, she's not a Jedi, not sure why she isn't, yet she is strong with the force. I guess she never really bothered to develop it completely? Doesn't really make sense, but that's a choice that was made for TFA and fully on JJ. It's not unreasonable to assume that moments away from her death she was able to tap into her largely unrealized force connection and utilize it at a higher level.

Luke's fake death scene. First, he shows up inside a mountain bunker that we're told has no other ways in or out. He and Leia have a moment. We assume he's real. Probably took his soggy X-wing to get there? How'd he get inside again? (Nevermind, Poe will say something later about it; incidental.) Then Kylo fires a bunch of lasers at him. We have no reason to believe this isn't his most unceremonious end. Hux mutters a quip that seems designed to elicit chuckles. Except we still think Luke Skywalker has just died. Jesus Christ, help us out here, Rian. OK, he's not dead but we still don't know why not. Force hologram. OK, fine. But why does his hologram have a bad haircut? Scruffy Luke looks much better. And then, poof. I don't mind this decision all that much — it's echoes of Obi-Wan — but by this point in the film I was so disheartened and disengaged that the (actual, really though) death of Luke Motherfucking Skywalker had very little impact on me. Even Rey and Leia have an (unintentionally ironic) exchange later about how Luke's death didn't upset them. Uh huh.

Too many attempts at comedy. Comedy at inopportune times. Comedy that lazily called back to Force Awakens jokes. Comedy that undermined semi-important things we've already been told, like how Luke the hermit went to hide by himself in the remotest part of the galaxy, he was so ashamed, except actually he's had maid service the whole time. Whatever, anything for some jokes. And the porgs. So. Many. Porgs.

The dialog. Cheesy, wooden, rushed, disjointed.

I liked the jokes, although I do think they'll become a little more tiresome upon repeat viewings. There weren't all that many porgs, they didn't take over the movie or anything. As for the dialog, the prequels still make TLJ script look like Reservoir Dogs. 

Rey's backstory. Hey, remember all those hints we dropped in Force Awakens? Definitely some kind of Skywalker lineage in there, gotta be. Luke dolls, Luke flashbacks, force abilities, Snoke seems to know her, Unkar Plutt is in on it, yadda yadda. Well forget all that. Just some desert orphan. That fits our "the force is universal" message better. And maybe it does. But still, that pesky matter about the film that came just prior... But wait! This info did come from Kylo Ren, after all, and he has an agenda, so who's to say he's even credible? Maybe he was simply lying to Rey. If so, now we're going to string this mystery out over three whole episodes and confuse the audience to hell in the process? Bollocks.

Seems to me that this is almost certainly a fake out, which if it is, I'm fine with. Nothing wrong with throwing the audience off the scent with a feint. If they really are nobodies, then yeah, disappointing. 

Luke almost murdered a kid. So, at the end of Jedi, Luke learns the Big Important Lesson that there's good in anyone and even the evilest Vaders can be redeemed. But on the other hand, this bratty teen gives me the skeevies, so off with his head. JK! Mind you, this is all done via flashbacks and he-said-he-said. If I'm Rey I have no idea who or what to believe. So Luke could tell back then that Ben was irredeemably evil. But in the last movie we were told it was Snoke who was responsible for his evilness. Step aside folks, Rian has a few story ideas to put out there!

Another common criticism, LUKE WOULD NEVER DO THAT!!! Well, what do we know about Luke? This is a guy who has lost nearly everything to the dark side: his father, growing up with his sister, his aunt and uncle that were parents to him his whole life, his own hand. So yeah, the guy's been traumatized a bit by the dark side. What else do we know? He's impulsive, reckless, remember this is the guy Yoda never wanted to train in the first place because of these shortcomings! So you combine these two things and when he finds a powerful dark side presence right under his nose, he freaks out and for a moment thinks he needs to snuff it out. He comes to his senses and wasn't actually going to do it, but alas it is too late and he incurs the full wrath of Ben/Kylo Ren. Seems logical to me.
 
Rey's force intuitions. She literally uses her certainty that she had a true premonition about Kylo pulling a good deed to justify her certainty that there's no such thing as a certain future. But Kylo did kill Snoke. (Good deed? Self-serving deed? You decide!) So, Rey's intuitions = correct while near-murderous Jedi Master Luke = clueless? Yoda, help pls

Uh, I can't even parse this one. You may just be overthinking things slightly.

The thing about arms dealers. If anyone who can snag a parked spaceship is able to saunter over the hologram table and learn how the same guys sell weapons to both the Empire and the Resistance, there's no reason to assume the Empire doesn't have this same information. And there's no way in hell they would abide that. Nice attempt at a message about the military-industrial complex and nihilism and all that, but it's transparently dubious.

I mean this type of thing literally happens in real life, so yeah it might also be plausible in a movie with a seven foot tall dog and a green puppet guru master. Did I mention that you may be overthinking things?

Re-filming the final shot of Force Awakens. That Rey-Luke moment atop Jedi Island was visually and emotionally powerful. This time around, though, we need to have a gag, so let's just redo that scene, strip it of its artistic heft, and make way for comedy!

Gravity in space. We've got WWII-style bombers that have to fly directly over a target in order to drop bombs out of a hatch onto them. In space. Then, we have laser blasts that the Empire literally lobs on an arc toward other ships. In space.


Oh no, you went there, the gravity in space argument. I'll let you in on a little secret, there is gravity in space, it's what keeps us in our orbit and from hurtling away from the solar system. And an object as massive as the Dreadnought would absolutely be large enough to have its own gravitational field.

But, regardless of all that, I feel like we've seen WWII style bombers in a Star Wars movie before, hmmm, where was that. . . 

Oh yeah, in the greatest Star Wars movie of all time:




Am I crazy or did Yoda's head look flat?

The laser battering ram. (Nitpicking here because I'm on a roll.) Wasn't it already starting to heat up the door when Finn flew right into its path? Shouldn't he have gotten cooked?

Not enough Chewie. More Chewie, less porg. Less porg with Chewie. More just Chewie.


I thought The Force Awakens was far from perfect, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. It felt like a Star Wars film and treated the characters with respect and consistency. I cannot say the same about The Last Jedi. I understand and can appreciate parts of what it was trying to accomplish, but the execution was riddled with problems and the story attempted too many midstream changes given all that had been established ahead of it.

After the travesty of the prequels, Force Awakens felt like a fairly definitive sign that peace and order had been restored to the Star Wars universe. Rogue One was, to me, a stumble, but as a non-canonical entry it didn't put me off too much. Last Jedi represents such a step backwards (plus the fact that Johnson had been awarded an entire new trilogy before management even bothered to hear what people thought of Last Jedi) that I have scant confidence in the brain trust at Lucasfilm. I will see the next episode more out of curiosity than excitement, which is a sad thing to say about my favorite film franchise of all time.

Oh well.

You didn't like Rogue One? I guess you don't want to see Star Wars movies do anything different than what we've already seen in the OT? I thought Rogue One was the best Star Wars movie since Empire Strikes Back and light years better than The Force Awakens, which was such a cynical rehash with no real inspiration or SW magic.  When I left the theater after Rogue One, I thought "They finally did it, a Star Wars movie for adults! That was gritty and a little more violent and without a happy ending, that's what I've been waiting for!" But also with just the right amount of nostalgia, like throwing in gold leader and red leader into the final battle.

Similarly I like TLJ better than TFA because it's at the very least an attempt to take things in a different direction. Is it a perfect movie? No, not even close, I can't rank it above any of the OT movies, but for me it was far more satisfying than the ultimately pandering and hollow experience that was TFA, especially on repeat viewings. TLJ was bold, it took tons of risks and even changed the very rules that govern the force itself. Even if it fell on its face half the time, which tenacity in the face of failure is another theme of the movie btw, it at least had a coherent message and made you feel something. I think that it's getting such a polarizing reaction shows that it's a great movie, one brave enough to piss off some people and yet speaks to many others.

It is kind of unbelievable that Abrams gave Johnson no outline for this movie and just let him do his own thing. It kind of shows that Abrams really had no overarching vision for these movies and now, well, Episode IX should be interesting given that Johnson has shaken things up the way he did. I have a bad feeling™ JJ doesn't have it in him to tie this all together, but I'm excited to see him give it a shot. 
Quote from: Trey Anastasio
But, I don't think our fans do happily lap it up, I think they go online and talk about how it was a bad show.

Offline VA $l!m

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi discussion
« Reply #35 on: January 29, 2018, 05:11:05 PM »
love Rogue One.







PS: Marry me Felicity Jones!!  :mrgreen:
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Offline emay

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi discussion
« Reply #36 on: January 29, 2018, 05:48:03 PM »
The article about SOLO

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/han-solo-movie-star-wars-story-official-synopsis-plot-summary-a8163311.html

Ron Howard is now the director apparently.

Donald Glover is playing Lando which I missed before and is pretty cool...release date for end of May, no trailer yet though.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2018, 06:16:17 PM by emay »

Offline Bobafett

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi discussion
« Reply #37 on: January 29, 2018, 06:38:03 PM »
I too liked rogue one.  I also liked TLJ better than TFA.  I’m very ready to see the Han Solo story.  Opie ftw.
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Offline VDB

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi discussion
« Reply #38 on: January 29, 2018, 07:08:42 PM »
I shall avoid the temptation to go tit for tat with you Hicks, or else we might be here forever. Suffice to say, I recognize the intensely polarizing effect this film has had and that mine is just one (cough correct cough) reaction to it. I've still only seen TLJ the one time, and I'll get around to seeing it again. Who knows, maybe I'll TOTALLY GET IT now that I'll know what I'm walking into and its myriad shortcomings will not catch me so off guard.

To elaborate on my reaction to Rogue One: I didn't much like it after my initial viewing, mainly because I did not give two shits about any of the characters. A film that utterly fails to make me care about its characters is, by almost any standard, not doing its job. RO also had some story problems (like that nonsense with the pilot and the brain-mushifying alien in the pokey), but mostly my gripes were character-related. Oh, and also fake Peter Cushing didn't do it for me. And Vader's lines were kinda bad. But, I did like the film more on my second viewing.

One quick rebuttal to your rebuttal. I will submit that there's plenty of reason to assume the bombs dropped onto Empire's asteroids may have in fact been propelled downward as opposed to being summoned by gravity. And indeed, some say that's what was happening with the Dreadnaught scene. But if we have to get so deep in the physics weeds to maybe, possibly rationalize a critical element of the opening set piece to the entire film, perhaps a more considerate filmmaker would have spared his audience the immediate confusion of the whole thing. But I can't exactly identify what Rian Johnson was considering when he made this film, apart from his own ideas or ambitions. That's perfectly fine in many cinematic contexts. Not so much when you've been handed the keys to so freighted a franchise as this. I completely share your thoughts and concerns re: J.J. and IX.



The article about SOLO

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/han-solo-movie-star-wars-story-official-synopsis-plot-summary-a8163311.html

Ron Howard is now the director apparently.

Donald Glover is playing Lando which I missed before and is pretty cool...release date for end of May, no trailer yet though.

I'm sorry, this thread is reserved for Last Jedi hate only.
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Offline Hicks

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi discussion
« Reply #39 on: January 29, 2018, 07:22:09 PM »
The article about SOLO

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/han-solo-movie-star-wars-story-official-synopsis-plot-summary-a8163311.html

Ron Howard is now the director apparently.

Donald Glover is playing Lando which I missed before and is pretty cool...release date for end of May, no trailer yet though.

Pretty shocked they haven't pushed that release date back as that was the original date before Howard took over.
Quote from: Trey Anastasio
But, I don't think our fans do happily lap it up, I think they go online and talk about how it was a bad show.

Offline Hicks

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi discussion
« Reply #40 on: January 29, 2018, 07:26:49 PM »
Regardless, an object dropped from the bomber would absolutely be gravitationally attracted to a massive body like the Dreadnought. 
Quote from: Trey Anastasio
But, I don't think our fans do happily lap it up, I think they go online and talk about how it was a bad show.

Offline rowjimmy

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi discussion
« Reply #41 on: January 30, 2018, 08:20:04 AM »
I skimmed the word barf above and I agree with Ikki.

TL;DR
The Last Jedi is a kickass movie.

Offline kellerb

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi discussion
« Reply #42 on: January 30, 2018, 09:10:53 AM »
Regardless, an object dropped from the bomber would absolutely be gravitationally attracted to a massive body like the Dreadnought.

F = G(m1 * m2) / r^2

Is the dreadnought mass large enough to pull bombs straight down? I don't know.

They have tractor beams and also every giant ship with a bay magically keeps its door open to space with nobody getting sucked out.

Some suspension of disbelief in terms of physics has been required since day 1.

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi discussion
« Reply #43 on: January 30, 2018, 09:43:15 AM »
Regardless, an object dropped from the bomber would absolutely be gravitationally attracted to a massive body like the Dreadnought.

F = G(m1 * m2) / r^2

Is the dreadnought mass large enough to pull bombs straight down? I don't know.

They have tractor beams and also every giant ship with a bay magically keeps its door open to space with nobody getting sucked out.

Some suspension of disbelief in terms of physics has been required since day 1.

The bomber complaint is ridiculous.
All it takes is the slightest push out of the artificial gravity environment (which I don't see anyone questioning) of the bomber and the bomb is going to keep going on the same trajectory once it's in space.
Also, the bomb bay doors work just like the massive launch bays: with force fields.

Offline VDB

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Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi discussion
« Reply #44 on: January 30, 2018, 10:20:50 AM »
Shit. If only I had, like, listed the bomber issue, like, 20th or something, in order to, like, indicate its unimportance relative to the other, like, really big problems with the film.
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