Star Wars: Goddamnit that’s fucking it!

A Long Massive Intro

“If Hollywood isn’t going to risk telling new stories, the least they could do is not fuck up the old ones.”

I tried.  I tried with considerable effort to avoid getting back into discussing this film.  I did a review of this film months ago, and I may have left a couple things out, but I had my say.

But no.  Nope.  Nuh-uh.  Social media, youtube, review sites, blog sites, articles, all of them just wouldn’t let me let it go.  The shit they kept saying, the clashes, the responses and backlashes from those who liked the movie, and those who didn’t.  And on top of all that shit, the goddamn movie studios paying off critics and websites to take down or altogether prevent the publishing of negative criticism.  Rotten Tomatoes is the holy grail, the end-all-be-all of opinions that everyone must live by or be damned (because it’s always safe to throw all your eggs into one basket).

Jesus Christ.  So much bullshit that keeps building up, and just made me despise the movie, and the studio and those behind-the-scenes who made the film, even more.  They’ve done more damage than the plot holes and logical fallacies ever could have.  And I…

am…

PISSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But first a word from guys who love slasher/gory/rapey movies who are some of the more sane people that are making online podcasts online right now.  You see what we have to work with here?

“There’s so much hu-bub about a movie that other people made in [Rome?].  Why not pour that much passion into making your own goddamn movie?”

[…]

“From a creative standpoint, make your own thing.  Don’t make a fucking fan film.  Don’t rip-off, not that it’s a rip-off ’cause you’re making your own story, but like, come up with something original.  Make it work.”

[…]

“To us, we care about films ’cause we want to see good ones.  But at the end of the day for us anyway, they’re just movies.  And for some of you […] who are very upset about The Last Jedi, and it’s really affecting your life, maybe you should just talk to a therapist.  And I know I said that, and I try not to laugh ’cause I’m actually being serious, but it sounds funny.  ‘Cause what the fuck?”

[…]

“People getting this mad over something?  I feel like there’s like bigger issues that need addressed.”

[…]

“Obviously it has something to do with being passionate about something you can’t control.  But, if you step away from something that’s owned by a giant company and you focus all that energy on yourself; you can control you much better.  Develop yourself to the way you want to be.”

[…]

“They’re getting so angry at Star Wars is their attempt to find something in their lives that they think they can control.  It’s really tough.  Is the Star Wars thing just a bigger issue of what’s happening in the world today?”

[…]

“You’re so trapped, and it’s like all we have is our entertainment, and now our entertainment is pissing us off.  And now it’s like, ‘Just let us have this one thing.'”

[…]

“It’s just a movie is the simplest thing you can say.”

There’s truth to those words, said with the best of intentions of calming people like me (and people who are worse than me) down.  However, those same truths stated in Slaughterfilm’s dialogue exchange (or preaching, whatever you want to call it) also hint at the reasons why one shouldn’t be calm, why The Last Jedi is not just a movie.  Because it’s not that simple.  There are bigger issues at work here.

While it is true that a movie in of itself isn’t a political movement (as in it’s possible to watch a film and not read anything into it), there are films that are designed to add voice to public outrage, and usually succeed in that, especially in this day and age (it was more rational in the 70s).  And make no mistake, Star Wars: The Last Jedi was designed from the top-down to be a political movement.  It would be unfair to state it shouldn’t be criticized as such.

“But Sir, is that legal?”  “I will make it legal.”

That being said, there is such a thing as taking criticism too far.  It’s one thing to say a movie sucks cock, or that the characters (not the actors, the characters the actors portray) suck cock.  It’s another to say the actors themselves should suck cock (or even the director, or the individuals who worked on the film).  They’re just doing their jobs, and it’s usually impossible to determine how responsible they are for making a shitty movie.  The responsibility of failure is usually shared by many involved, as an accumulation of bad decisions, not just one person making several bad decisions.  We don’t know the whole story, we will never know the whole story, and it’s bad to try and make their personal lives suffer because of our displeasure.  If you want to attack someone on a personal level and harass them, there needs to be a better reason for it than just making a shitty movie. On that note…

The picture above is worth addressing.  First statement, I have never bullied/harrassed any of the above people in-person or online.  My harassment begins and ends with big blogs like these, and I haven’t attacked any of these individuals to contribute towards their life being an endless hell (except for Mickey Mouse, I hope that little pipsqueak gets violated in 7 different direction in Kingdom Hearts III).  That being said, this picture is misleading, and is filled with a few lies.  Not to mention, in this day and age, people are going to face backlash over something popular/trendy no matter what it is, whether it’s widely praised or widely criticized.  They need to have tough skin for it.

angry joe tlj tweet1

Jake Lloyd (played Anakin Skywalker) quit acting due to bullying/harassment.  Let’s face it, he was going to get bullied/harassed at school for being in the movie no matter what, whether his acting was great or terrible, whether the movie was great/terrible.  A lot of child actors tend to get all fucked up because they’re usually too young to take this kind of pressure.  And it could’ve been worse.  He could’ve turned out like Jonathan Brandis.  Bottom line, if you’re a child actor in a popular movie, your life is going to be rough for a long time.

Ahmed Best nearly committing suicide due to backlash over being Jar Jar Binks.  And guess what?  The mainstream media was in-part responsible for that, not just angry fans (most of which were probably too dumb to know who the guy behind the CG character was anyway).  The same media that is attacking critics of The Last Jedi.  Guess it’s not just the fans that have to be careful with their words of criticism.

John Boyega (played Fin in episode VII and VIII) caused a boycott because he was a black stormtrooper.  While there was some backlash over this, it didn’t amount to much, especially considering The Force Awakens brought in more dough than The Last Jedi did.  The media blew this one out of proportion (surprise).  Besides, some people are pissed about his reduced role in The Last Jedi, claiming that much of his potential was lost in that entry.

Kelley Marie Tran deleted her Instagram account due to online harassment.  Honestly, there’s something suspicious about this story.  There hasn’t been any legit evidence to show that this was the reason she left Instagram.  But considering the blowup of news articles saying she did leave due to backlash of fans after VIII was released, this leaves a few possibilities.  Either she was harassed to the point where she felt she had to leave, or she wasn’t.  If she wasn’t, then she either ditched Instagram for other reasons, or because someone told her to ditch Instagram.  Also rumored she wasn’t all that active on social media anyway.  Some speculate that some Disney officials told her to quit so they could run with the fan backlash narrative.  Considering how crazy Rian Johnson and Kathleen Kennedy have been in reaction to fans (not all of which are assholes, but people with legit gripes), and how crazy some of these pro-Episode VIII articles have been, I honestly wouldn’t put it past the Disney people at this point.  But even if it is true that a bunch of assholes harassed her online because of her role in Star Wars, that doesn’t excuse the dismissal of valid criticism (especially when considering that critics on youtube and twitter who’s involvement with the films begins and ends with praise or criticism, deal with just as much trolling and harassment as these celebrities do, on a more consistent basis).  One can still be critical of the character she played in the film and why it was weak.

Daisey Ridley deleting her Instagram account due to harassment.  That is true, but it wasn’t because of Star Wars.  She made an anti-gun post which received considerable backlash.  If you make a political statement, you have to be able to take that heat when you enter that kind of kitchen.

Reason why George Lucas sold the franchise.  I’ll just go with what the above picture says.  He claims it’s because he didn’t feel it was his story anymore, and that he wanted others to tell it (even though he showed some regret over this later on).  Because he was tired of the fan backlash.  On this, I’ll agree, and fuck him for not giving a high-def release of the original versions of the first Star Wars films.

As for the villain Kylo Ren being a “great villain” because “he’s a whiny selfish old-school worshiping cosplayer that throws tantrums,” and that represents the Star Wars fans who are critical of The Last Jedi…  Man do I love the irony of this.  They can’t even get away with the, “Do as I say, not as I do!” excuse at this point.

angry joe tlj tweet5
Oh, I’ll be bringing this line up again.

Not to mention, there seems to be evidence that Ryan Johnson intentionally wanted to divide the fandom.

These people are the biggest hypocrites I have ever seen.  They chastise viewers for doing the same exact shit they do, except they have more money and influence and are more able to get away with it.

“But just because Disney and their shills do it doesn’t make it right for the fans to do it!”

You’re right, it doesn’t.  But there’s a lot of generalizing going on to give the illusion that most of the fans are this vile/evil/toxic/salty/puppy-raping, when really it’s just a small portion of the fandom, at best.  A larger portion has valid criticisms that Disney does not want under any circumstances to acknowledge, and will bring up any tangent to derail the conversation away from the valid criticism by attacking the critics themselves, on a personal level, by labeling them as sexists/bigots/nazis/racists/homophobes/pink-pussy-hat-haters.  Again, giant fucking hypocrites, saying we shouldn’t harass the actors online (which we shouldn’t) while harassing the fans online and in articles and news outlets (which they shouldn’t).  They don’t want constructive criticism, they want money.  But as they’re finding out, not taking criticism into account is a fast way towards not getting any of our money.  And they fucking deserve it.  I’ve got other forms of entertainment I can spend my money on than this horseshit they put out, like old tv shows, videogames, movies from pre-2010, anime, and hentai and porno (not to mention the board games; and don’t think there aren’t hentai/porno board games out there).

It’s not so bad being labelled a sexist sometimes.

Which brings me back to the quote made earlier, “Is the Star Wars thing just a bigger issue of what’s happening in the world today?”  Well, if it wasn’t an issue before The Last Jedi (though in all fairness, the original trilogy and prequel trilogy could also be argued to contain elements of what’s happening in the world today, or back when they were made, albeit they were more subtle about it), it sure as shit is one now.

So with that all out of the way, I’ll get to the thematic issues as to why that is the case…

 

Retarding the Subversion of Expectations

For STAR WARS to live, STAR WARS must die. Rian Johnson’s STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI is a thrilling, layered and goddamned fun meditation on the tension between our need for legends and myths and the ways those legends and myth constrain and reduce us.  […]  The mythology of STAR WARS had become so restricted that it was choking us. The vision of what a Star War IS was so tight that it led JJ Abrams to remake A NEW HOPE. We were too reverent, too in love with the thing to allow it to be real, to be alive, to try and be new and fresh. We didn’t want new and fresh, we wanted the same feeling it gave us the first time we saw it. And all else would be failure.  […]  In fact, the only heroism that really works in THE LAST JEDI is quiet heroism. It’s the self-sacrifice of Paige Tico and Vice-Admiral Holdo. It’s Luke defeating Kylo Ren with strategy, not violence. Most of all it’s Rose Tico letting the fathier free, and later saving Finn from a big, stupid and pointless suicide.  “That’s how we’re gonna win, not fighting what we hate, but saving what we love,” she tells him. It’s perhaps the wisest thing ever said in a saga that is, frankly, filled with low-key wisdom. devincf

It’s worth reading this review by David Ehrlich from IndieWire.  While I disagree with much that is in it (it is an article that praises the film after all), he/she/it does point out clearly what Rian Johnson was going for with this movie.  An insurrection against an industry fueled by nostalgia.  That if you love something, you have to let it go.  Let the past die so that we can give in to the inevitability of change.  Utilize what J.J. Abrams setup in episode VII, setting up potential and mythology only to toss it off a cliff.  Because this is ultimately necessary to bring balance to the franchise.  For too long has it been wrapped up in its own mythology, its own traditions, its own expectations, to the point where the franchise is being smothered.  That mythology must be discarded in order to make something new and fresh in order to revitalize the franchise.  But make sure something of the past remains so as not to throw away everything good there was about it, hence those texts stowed away on the Falcon at the end of the film.  Then, it will be ready for the new generation to appreciate, to grow up and love.

Admirable.  Too bad Johnson wasn’t intelligent enough to pull it off successfully.  And it’s very difficult to pull something like that off successfully.  The Cabin in the Woods was a movie I thought fell apart during the last 20 minutes, but even I can admit it did a decent job as subverting expectations in the slasher/horror genre.  Alien 3 tried that, destroying all that was setup in Aliens for something a bit new and mixing up the formula a bit; and while it failed, it was closer to succeeding than this film was.  The Dark Knight was more successful at something like this, destroying much of what was setup in Batman Begins (the hero falls and becomes isolated, the villains cause much damage, the girlfriend dies).  But when it comes down to it, nothing tops The Godfather II when it comes to subverting expectations.  Differently paced than the previous film, darker, the protagonist from the previous entry goes down a much darker and nonredeemable path, family once being sacred and forever is now torn apart and lost (letting old traditions die for the sake of new traditions; though ironically this is shown to be a bad thing in that movie).

And what do all those movies have in common that The Last Jedi doesn’t?  Respect for the films they subvert.  Respect enough to at least watch them, study them, understand the characters/story/lore, consider where they may be headed, and no matter which direction they take they stay true to the characters/story/lore.  The Cabin in the Woods stayed true to the slasher/horror genre and had fun twisting it around.  Alien 3 had Ripley stay in character, someone who had evolved from a scaredy cat to a tough as nails woman who’s hopes for the future have been dashed by a creature she has been fighting for most of her life.  The Dark Knight demonstrated that the heroes don’t always win, and they must salvage what they can from their losses even at the expense of themselves and how others view them, tarnishing how heroes are viewed, but knowing that sacrificing their image is the right thing to do.  And The Godfather, while the first film setup being the most powerful in the family, that nothing was more important than family, that everything the mafia does must be for the family business; the family was still dying off, and by the end of the film it’s the head of the family who finally does his own family in with a bullet because all the betrayals and distrust had clouded his mind and priorities, ultimately leaving him alone; yet the film pulled it off as a natural progression from the previous film.

The Last Jedi never gives us viewers the opportunity to see Luke Skywalker progress from a hero of the Rebel Alliance to an old bitter recluse, and the reasons they give for it don’t make much sense.  It doesn’t come off as a natural evolution of the character.  Even Mark Hamill himself was dumbfounded as to how his character would turn out this way, as it contradicts the actions and attitudes of his character in all 3 original trilogy films.  And I have recently rewatched the original trilogy (non-special edition version) and studied them more closely than I had before; I know what I’m talking about.  Luke is the most optimistic character in the entire original trilogy, was willing to try and save Vader despite him being one of the most evil people in the galaxy, and his optimism even proved Yoda and Kenobi wrong; yet just sensing evil in a nephew, and he doesn’t want to try and persuade him from that path?  He doesn’t even want to try and confront Snoke?  The only thing that comes to mind is, “Maybe I should kill him?”  You just can’t do that.  You got to at least show the conversations he’s had, other attempts at a better outcome, before putting him down a path like that.  And that whole, “I felt the darkness inside of him, how overwhelming it was, the destruction it would cause, that it would grow too powerful even for me,” is bullshit for a number of reasons.  In The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda states that the dark side isn’t stronger, just easier and more seductive (and Rey seems to fall towards that, though the film won’t admit it).  And in any case, the stronger doesn’t always win, sometimes courage is enough in spite of the odds (you know, like how the entire fucking original trilogy went).  And shouldn’t fear be something Luke has overcome at this point, given the message of it given in Empire Strikes Back?  Not saying it isn’t possible for Luke to do some evil, as Return of the Jedi showed he was capable of that, and some EU books delved into that (I just know of their existence, haven’t read them), but it needed to be executed far better than was done here.

And that’s just Luke.  The problems don’t end there.  There’s also the Leia pulling a Mary Poppins in space sequence, which at first I was ho-hum about, but now I’m irritated.  All I can think of that bit is, well, what Han said in the last film.  Because let’s face it, this is starting to make people who aren’t even well-trained in the force to be god-like (even Snoke’s powers got on my tits in this film; the whole thing just does the Dragon Ball Z formula, where the only way to keep things interesting is by making everyone more powerful, and it’s the laziest route to take, and puts a bad light on all that came before).  It’s the point where it stopped being a Star Wars flick and turned into a Marvel superhero flick.  First, using the force to survive an explosion and then getting pulled into space, and seeming to be getting knocked unconscious.  Then, holding your breathe while your skin freezes over (what kind of force protection is this?).  Then, force-floating/pulling herself back into the ship, and defying even more laws of physics by not getting herself and everyone else sucked out of the airlock and back into space, with everyone shouting, “You biiiiiiiiitch!” while suffocating to death (I know that’s not possible, but I’ll be fucked if that’s not more believable than what was just witnessed).  And don’t give me that shit of “physics don’t matter in a space fantasy.”  Fuck you, this film established air-space compression with the explosion on the ship that already sucked Leia and the others + the wreckage out into space.  Nevermind what caused Luke to fly out that window during the finale in Empire Strikes Back.  Jedi aren’t exactly shown to be this capable during the time of the Republic, when they were supposed to be in their prime.  And even if we disregard that, we don’t get any buildup, or any discussion afterwards, as to how/why Leia is capable of this.  Being “force sensitive” doesn’t fucking mean you get to fucking become a fucking Jedi master, especially when you’re busy organizing the fucking Resistance and having other better things to do that fucking train with fucking Luke on whatever-the-fuck-planet he and the Knights of Ren were at before Kylo turned to the dark side.

The best moment in The Force Awakens (critiquing its own title).

Let’s exclude the fact that Rian Johnson, by his own admission, didn’t watch The Force Awakens nor consult with J.J. Abrams prior to starting production and filming (I know, that’s a lot to take in, but the evidence is all there, like C-3PO’s arm being back to normal all of a sudden, just for starters), just for the sake of argument on this next point, mainly because it’s as critical of episode VII just as much as it is episode VIII.  Consider the overall plot in the previous trilogies.  Going in episodic order (as opposed to the order they were made).  The prequel trilogy is about the fall of the Republic and of the Jedi, and the rise of the Empire under the rule of a Sith dictator.  It exposes the dangers as to how a democracy can fall, how the Jedi can become blinded from their own faults and the troubles around them when they’re more concerned with their own position in the Republic rather than concerned with whether or not they’re staying true to the Jedi code.  How fear and internal conflict can lead to such downfalls.

The original trilogy is more simple, in just showing that oppressive rules are bound to cause rebellion, and sooner or later, rebellions will topple oppressive Empires.  Because oppression encourages many to resist, thus adding to the numbers.

So what should come after?  One would think the rise of a new Republic, and determining a way to keep and maintain peace and order for a new time, and highlighting the struggles and difficulties of this process, while attempting to avoid the pitfalls that led the Republic to fall previously.  Determining the best kind of rule to use.  But that’s not what’s happening here.  Rather, this trilogy is just doing a repeat of what the original trilogy did, except having the Empire be the ones doing a rebellion against this new Republic (whatever that’s supposed to entail, as we’re never given any insight as to how this new Republic functions); it may be simplistic, but it’s nothing new either.  Plus we’re to believe that over the course of these two films, without any information in the background as to the developing status of what’s ruling the galaxy, we’re to buy that The First Order (of Business) not only threatens to establish complete control of the galaxy after blowing up 4-5 planets, but faces no backlash outside of the Resistance (why the Resistance should be so small against the First Order is something I haven’t figured out, considering it’s established in the opening text crawl of Episode VII that the First Order was supposed to be more of a small rebellion who’s trump card is an uber-powerful Jedi, his apprentice, and a planet-sized Death Star, one of which got obliterated, the other got beaten; come to think of it, how the fuck is the First Order so fucking big with so many troops and ships?).  You would think the Resistance (dumb name, given the situation; what are they resisting when they are on the side of the ruling government in the galaxy?) would have much more backing from the Republic (or whatever it should be called) against the First Order, especially after a stunt like that.  Unless we’re to assume the entire Republic was based around those four to five fucking planets (there’s no fucking way the Republic is that small).  Even so, how the fuck does The First Order not only recover from losing a shitload of men along with their uber-Death Star, but immediately become capable of taking over what remains of the Republic?  It just doesn’t make much sense.  The original trilogy was straightforward enough to where it didn’t need to expand that much into these details.  The prequel trilogy was all about those details.  This trilogy is begging for those details to be known, but they’re not.  And the reason why is simple.  Because the movies are fucking dumb and they have fucking dumb screenwriters.

And speaking of fucking dumb, going back to the subversion of expectations, consider what was subverted.  Already dealt with Luke and why that was bullshit.  Faking out Leia’s death and why that was bullshit (though I should also add the whole thing with her getting blown into space and being put into a coma was fucking pointless when you really think about it).  There’s psyching us out with Snoke’s death.  Because he doesn’t matter anymore than Rey’s backstory does.  I consider that a lazy copout regarding Snoke.  Regardless, I would almost be fine with it except for how powerful they make him out to be.  I mean, I get it, he’s too focused on his ambitions and how he believes things will turn out, not paying attention to the present (which one could argue is a callback to Yoda lecturing Luke on that in Empire Strikes Back), and it sets up Kylo as the ruler, while showcasing how Sith destroy each other along with the non-Sith so long as they can gain from it (which is a theme built from The Knights of the Old Republic game, even if Disney doesn’t consider it canon).  Even so, at best, I’m conflicted about it.  Someone like him with a scar on his forehead to give him the appearance of a dickhead doesn’t come to a position of power because he was careless.  Plus, I guess we’re to assume that his final training for Kylo was to taunt him, and try to convince him to kill another individual he cares about, because apparently killing his daddy wasn’t good enough.  So killing someone he hardly knows (I guess, though this sort of conflicts with the novelization of The Force Awakens; it’s a bit of a mess) while they’re defenseless is supposed to help with the training.  Hey, it makes sense to Rian Johnson and whoever the fuck else wrote this shit.

And the subversion of Rey being a nobody, her parents were nothing special.  That would’ve been ok if not for three things.  1.) She doesn’t seem to have much of a past; not having a purpose, not having any ambitions (other than wanting to see her deadbeat parents again for some fucking reason), not having any independent purpose in her life.  2.) Why would the vision she got in Episode VII even show her parents abandoning her on Tatooine (ok, it’s Jakku, but that doesn’t make it anymore original) if it’s nothing significant (was the vision insignificant)?  3.) It completely, shamelessly reinforces her Mary Sue trait.

But there is a point to these subversions.  It doesn’t negate how stupid they turn out, but the point is worth pointing out.  Rian Johnson wanted to send a message about how imperfect legends, heroes, villains, traditional methods are.  Snoke is an all powerful villain whose overconfidence makes him go out like a wimp.  Luke is considered a legend but legends are bound to disappoint because they are only human.  Poe and Fin and Rose’s plan for screwing up the Supremacy goes in line with what Luke, Han, Leia, Chewie, Kenobi did on the Death Star in A New Hope, but it fails because it was a longshot anyway (something that was setup by making Admiral Holdo completely unreasonable and idiotic as a leader; nice strategy, not telling anyone what the plan is).  Blowing up the dreadnought, while seeming like a victory, proved pointless in the end and only cost them more lives (even though it seemed like the dreadnought was going to wipe out those transportation ships if they didn’t blow it up, which kind of negates the thematic purpose).  Doing a suicide run at the canon on the salt planet echoed a valiant fight on Hoth in Empire Strikes Back, but it was a waste of troops and wasn’t going to change a thing.  Sending out a signal to others in the outer rim would get allies to show up out of nowhere to save the day because they all look up to Leia (seriously, Fin says that line deliberately, not saying something about believing in the Resistance), only to have no one come because no one cares (how the fuck is that possible after learning of what the First Order did in the last film?).  Rey was going to learn from the master Luke, only to find she is already stronger than him and knows all she needs to know (because she’s a Mary Sue).  It’s all to deconstruct heroism and legends, breaking free of the traditional cycle of heroes and legends, of light and dark.  In addition, there’s also the theme that you don’t need to rely on bloodlines of heroes in order to become a hero yourself (this assuming of bloodlines is referenced by both Luke and Snoke).  But it is executed so poorly, and it has been done better in better films with lower budgets, at least one of which was done by Disney (see Enchanted).

There’s other subversions, but I think I’ve done enough to show how those subversions are just being done more for the sake of subverting expectations in order to surprise the audience which is also supposed to delight them (and it’s working for a lot of dumbass film-goers who have no critical thinking skills whatsoever).  They’re not being done in a well thought-out manner.  They may be somewhat ambitious with its themes of anti-heroism and failure, but they do more harm than good.  If you want to see subverting expectations done right in the Star Wars universe, go play Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords (with the content restoration mod).  If you don’t want to play it, there’s a couple 6+ hour movie versions on youtube.  They tell a far better story regarding how the light side and dark side isn’t as black and white of a concept as you may think when put under various circumstances, and challenges established beliefs far better than this film does.

Besides, if it really wanted to subvert expectations in a more intelligent manner, it would’ve had Rey turn to the dark side, or at least fail in a way more impactful than, “I was wrong to believe I could turn you from the dark side.”  All the signs were there that she had dark side traits.  But the film doesn’t want to utilize them.  There’s a reason for that.

 

Yay Feminism!

When [Luke] dies in “The Last Jedi,” he really dies. Everything else is just fan fiction.

Source

In spite of that little jab at Leia being the one to unite the Resistance only for no one to heed the call in the end, this is a feminist film.  Anyone in their right mind would see that Rey is a bona-fide Mary Sue.  Women don’t need to earn their way up to greatness, they can just be given these powers (again, one would think this would cause her to struggle with the dark side, but she’s never anywhere near such danger of being lured into it, despite her lashing out in anger several times).  And then there’s Rose Tico who is just some maintenance technician, for the lower levels (I don’t remember her role exactly, something similar to what Fin was prior to becoming a stormtrooper).  Doesn’t seem to stop her from knowing everything there is to know about tracking ships through hyperspace (which is something entirely new in the way it’s handled here), or from knowing how to pilot a ship better than Fin (especially during the finale).  Or how to ride one of those chocahoes even though she had never seen one before.  Leia having force powers that strong.  Admiral Holdo being placed in a position of command, while having purple hair and some pajama suit that looks nothing like what anyone else on the ship is wearing, and talking down to Poe (who is demoted for his supposed irrational decision for helping to blow up the dreadnought by Leia, even though it seemed to be the right call considering that the dreadnought nearly decimated the fleet before the film really got going).  Rey besting Luke (in more ways than one).  Most of the people on the Resistance ship being females.  The noble sacrifice of Rose’s sister.

And if that isn’t enough to sell you on the idea that this is a feminist film, then this sure as hell should.  Snoke representing not just Hugh Hefner, but toxic white male supremacy (as I said earlier, the scar on his head makes his head represent phallic symbolism).  In fact, Snoke’s ship is called the Supremacy.  And the Supremacy is being foreshadowed as being destroyed by feminism first by having Leia float through a hologram of it early on, and then by having Holdo lightspeed through it (that lightspeed trick in of itself is bullshit, but I’m trying to stay focused the thematic/symbolic aspects of the film here).  And when she dashes through it, white light erupts out of the ship.  I suspect similar symbolism on the salt planet with red dust (symbolizing blood) erupting from the white salt whenever it is blasted or scraped (symbolizing white flesh), but that’s reaching a bit too far in my opinion.  Plus all the major villains left standing have been glorified white manbabies (told you I would get back to that).  This isn’t randomness, this is methodical.

Because this has a feminist message being preached, it can’t have the major female characters look bad, they all have to be heroic (with the exception of Phasma, but that’s the one exception).  And by the end of it, Poe has been tamed by the females to be less gun-ho and less macho, even when that gun-ho macho attitude is what is needed under many circumstances.  But in trying to make all the women look so great and have all the men look so bad (by comparison), it unintentionally fucks that up, mainly because the writers, directors, and producers aren’t as smart as they think.  The women were largely in charge, and the Resistance got decimated and fucked up in ways that were avoidable; but Holdo had to act like she was better than and above everyone, particularly Poe, causing them to work against each other rather than with each other.

The point is, it gets to the point where it’s distracting and annoying.

And thinking outside the box, the majority of Star Wars fans are male, and that’s going to turn off a lot of them.  Don’t get me wrong, I know there are plenty of female Star Wars fans out there, just as there are female fans of Conan the Barbarian, and videogames (that aren’t light quickie games or glorified smartphone apps), and board games, and card games.  But even some of the female fans can see all the bullshit that’s in this film.

There’s also the whole diversity thing, but I’m going to leave that alone.  I think I’ve done enough damage.

Yoda-Boobs-Yellow
Ok, now I’ve done enough damage.

 

 

We Won’t Win By Killing Those We Hate

So Luke is about to blow up the Death Star to save everyone on the planet, but then Han Solo grows a conscience because he felt bad about shooting Greedo first, thinking he should’ve given Greedo a bit of a chance, and then flies in, disabling the tie fighters with well-placed shots, and then disabling Luke’s X-Wing in the same way, and rescues Luke and gets him aboard the Falcon, then proceeds to tell him, “Let’s not shoot first kid, let’s see if they’ll change their mind,” right before the Death Star blows up the planet.

So Holdo attempts to lightspeed kamikaze into the (white) Supremacy, which would also destroys several other Empire, I mean First Order Star Destroyers (now that I think about it, shouldn’t the Death Star have been called a Star Destroyer?).  But instead Rose Tico (who has a guilty conscience over fucking up the casinos and cars and rich people by using their racehorses against them) went berserk when she found out what Holdo was doing, miraculously escapes the Supremacy in time to hijack the Millennium Falcon (knocking Chewy unconcious in the process, because diverse women power! [and Chewy isn’t very significant in this film]), get outside the Supremacy, turn towards Holdo’s ship, then lightspeed smashes into her as she starts to jump to lightspeed, thus saving the Supremacy and leaving Fin to die (even though he should’ve fucking died with the shit she pulled on salt planet later on, so same difference in this scenario I guess), and killing herself and Holdo in the process, while saying this faster than the speed of light, “We win not by killing those we hate, but saving the ones we love.”  And then the Supremacy proceeds to finish off blowing up all the other ships, including the one Poe and Leia were on, which it saved for last for convenience sake.  Because, you know, doing an insane stunt like that which kills yourself and the one you smashed into equals LOVE to the extreme!

It makes about as much sense as what really happened.

 

 

Questions That Will (Probably) Never Be Answered Even Though An Answer Is Needed

How is it that Luke managed to get a hold of “all that remains” of the ancient Jedi texts?  I sure as shit don’t recall those ever being a thing in the original or prequel trilogies.  Speaking of which, don’t they have the technology to put those into an electronic format?  What was up with C3PO’s arm?  What’s Snoke’s story, and how did he manage to seduce Ben Solo to the dark side?  How did he come into power?  How is it the Resistance has the blueprints to the Supremacy?  How did they get the number for Maz Kanata?  How did Maz Kanata get Luke’s/Vader’s lightsaber which she gave to Rey who tried to give it to Luke which then got ripped apart in the end?  Why would Luke have parts to a map leading to his location if he didn’t want to be found (and how did R2D2 come to have a portion of it)?  Would George Lucas have done a better job at this trilogy?

 

The Extent of the Damage Is Only As Bad As You Make It Out To Be

“They ruined the franchise!”

No they didn’t.  The thing about a franchise is that fans can take from it what they will.  For example, me, personally, I have no problem stating that The Last Jedi (or The Force Awakens for that matter, nevermind the upcoming Episode IX film) isn’t canon.  Just because Disney says it’s canon doesn’t make it canon.  It has to be accepted as canon by a large majority of the fans.  People disregard Roland Emmerich’s 1998 Godzilla film for similar reasons (it may be called Godzilla, but that’s not Godzilla).  Some disregard The Godfather Part III for other reasons (including the director, since he primarily made that movie as a pure-cash grab because the studios demanded it).  Hell, sometimes directors disown their own movies.  David Lynch disowned Dune, David Fincher disowned and Alien 3, and Alan Moore wants nothing to do with the film adaptation of Watchmen (let alone League of Extraordinary Gentlemen).  If a film/comic/book/episode/series comes along that fucks things up (and there’s valid points made showing how it’s fucking things up), then the fan-base of that franchise can opt to ignore it, not spend any money on it, and move along.  Hell, that might encourage a reboot, like they did with Spiderman, twice.

Yoda - The Last Jedi | Star Wars | Pinterest | Star, Starwars and Fandom

Besides, it’s not as if some directors aren’t fans of the films themselves to the point where they make their own fan edits.  The Star Wars special editions are easy examples.  There’s what Steven Spielberg did to E.T. and Jaws (altering sound effects for the latter).  There’s also what Michael Mann did with various versions of Last of the Mohicans and Heat.  What Ridley Scott did with Blade Runner.  James Cameron with The Terminator (SFX alterations).  The versions of Brazil.  What some non-David Fincher people did with Alien 3.  Loving a film enough to want to go back and improve upon it.  Fans can love a film in that way just as much as these film-makers can.  Hence why there’s this pledge to remake The Last Jedi that’s raised (more as a proxy than anything else, just in case this goes anywhere meaningful) over $400 million dollars as of this writing.  I seriously doubt something like this will succeed (Disney has become too SJW, let alone has always been serious control freaks about their shit, to ever let something like this happen; you’d be better off bargaining with George Lucas).

Bottom line, the fans can’t hate something this much unless they’re also capable of loving it on the same level.  And when fans love something, they can do wonders with it, turning something that was bad into something that is good, turning something that is good into something that is great, turning something that is great to something that is legendary.  Consider, for instance, Mass Effect 3.  Many thought the ending was shitty, and for good reason; so some fans set out to correct it and make their own ending thanks to the power of the modding community.  It’s for that reason that I decided to purchase the 2nd and 3rd games, precisely because of the modding community, finding that lost potential and putting it back in.  Similar case for Knights of the Old Republic: The Sith Lords, with the Content Restoration Mod.  And don’t even get me started with how much the replay value has increased with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim thanks to the modding community.  Stuff like that has convinced me in the most steadfast manner possible that the fans are not to be so easily disregarded as partial owners of a product.  Their input, their fan-fiction, their additions; it can all encourage others to get into it, to purchase a copy, and potentially follow suit.  Even if they don’t, that’s ok, because it’s all there for them to partake.  It’s why I’m not one to quickly dismiss fan edits of films (some do make the films better), or fan fiction (ie the extended universe).  The power of the fans shouldn’t be underestimated anymore than the power of the Force should be (but don’t push it, there are limits).

…so that’s one opportunity missed to expand the use of the Force; thank God.

Just in case you needed reminding, but I’m sure some porno will come out that thinks otherwise.

So while I don’t enjoy some aspects of the Star Wars franchise (especially the latest aspects), that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty out there to enjoy.  Stuff in the EU, the older games, revisiting the movies, checking out fan videos (there are other things out there that aren’t just fan edits).  And having fun in the past, not giving any funds to the rubbish being put out in the present, until something nice comes along in the future.  And look at the positives, we’re the rebels now, and eventually the Empire will tumble and we’ll eventually get a golden age again.  And when that happens, we’ll look back and laugh.

 




 

And one last thing.  A few months ago, I told someone I would make a post like this, and I would copy-paste a discussion/argument we’ve had over The Last Jedi being a good or terrible film, so that we might continue the discussion from where we left off.  Not sure if he’ll respond, especially considering how long it’s been.  But I gave my word, and better late then never.  Note that some of my retorts are a bit different compared to my positions given up to this point. Opinions can evolve overtime.

 

To seize [control of the galaxy] is an action, they have not yet taken over

Ok, fair enough. Still, the film is suffering from the same problem that Return of the Jedi did (at least the non-Special-Edition version). It’s keeping the focus maintained solely on The Resistance, it’s members, and the First Order’s attack on The Resistance. It could’ve broadened the scope a bit to show the plight of the galaxy, which would’ve been more effective than what came of the casino planet side-story (and even with that, they could’ve used that to shed to light on the state of the galaxy, with the state of the Republic and the state of the First Order). We, the audience, are kept in the dark when it comes to the Republic and the First Order. We aren’t really given much information, which raises too many questions. Not necessary for there to be an explanation in the original trilogy because they explain it simply as the galaxy is under totalitarian control of the Empire, and the Rebel Alliance is fighting against it and trying to rally others to join their cause to overthrow the Emperor. And it works, as many come to their side during the finale. Stating that we should wait for the next film to shine light on this isn’t going to be much of an excuse since each film shouldn’t leave such things up in the air for us to guess.

It is a battle ship meant to take out other capital ships, not small fighters. Despite many years of experience the US military’s battleships have a hard time with aircraft, it’s the whole reason aircraft carriers were invented, to protect their ships from other aircraft.

That basically makes my point doesn’t it? They don’t have tie fighters deployed just in case. You know, considering how much damage X-Wings have done to them in the past, including blowing up a planet-sized space station, 3 times (1 time in the previous film). The only reasonable conclusion is incompetence, which makes them come off as less intimidating. And there’s nothing worse for films like this than villains who don’t come off as threatening. But even all that aside, the Death Star was still capable of blowing X-Wings out of space even though it was built for destroying planets, never mind a ship capable of destroying other large space ships.

[Poe’s piloting skills are too good] First of all, False. Secondly, you don’t like that the character who single-handedly destroys the power converter on Starkiller base and who is basically only described as “that really good pilot guy” can out fly automated turrets in a customized Starfighter?

First of all, true. Second of all, no, I don’t like it. In episode 7 at least he was getting assistance from other fighters and from people within the Starkiller base to allow him to successfully fly in (I can buy that he can fly through tight spaces) and shoot up all the major spots and fly out. In this film, he’s become a one-man-army for that intro scene where he’s capable of decimating all the major guns on the ship by himself with no assistance other than his droid. It not only makes him become too god-like, but it also gives us less reason to fear the bad guys if they can get beaten back so easily by just one guy.

They drop magnetized bombs in space. Also it’s a space fantasy, science is irrelevant.

Science is irrelevant, even though you just used science to make logical sense out of this scene? I think not. All fantasy films follow some sense of chemistry/physics/biology, whether it’s supposed to replicate science as we know it, or create its own science rules and follow them. It has to follow some set of rules to make the audience feel that this is real. It failed to inform us on the rules of this, especially when we’ve seen different bomber types in the past, which seemed more practical considering they’re less big and move faster. But anyway, if they were magnetized, why didn’t they stick onto the ship they were dropped from?

If the complaint is that Leia has force powers then its foolish. It would be a farce to think that the Skywalker blood would make Kylo Ren incredibly powerful in the force without manifesting in Leia as well. And I know you’re going to say, “When did she train?” Well there is a 30 year gap between movies where it would be completely reasonable to assume that her twin brother showed her the basics.

Return of the Jedi indicated she had force potential, and it’s not much of a stretch to believe Luke could’ve helped her develop her powers. But to assume that he taught her well enough to survive something like that is ridiculous. Surviving an explosion and shrapnel, surviving atmospheric pressure change, no oxygen, and freezing, and allowing her to fly back into the ship.

It’s space fantasy, science is irrelevant. More over the same thing occurs in Rogue One when Vader watches the Tantive IV escape from a busted up drop bay. So there’s precedence.

You could use that “space fantasy” excuse for anything then, no matter how outlandish. That being said, it contradicts science set up in Empire Strikes Back when Luke was facing off with Vader, which clearly demonstrates that this universe follows some laws regarding pressure change, when Luke flies out the broken window. Also, I believe the drop bay was already depressurized by the time Vader walked out onto it in Rogue One. Plus, if pressure-change wasn’t a thing, then how did Leia originally get sucked out after the missiles hit in the first place? It contradicts the science by breaking rules established 2 minutes ago!

For the first part of that [Luke leaving map behind and not wanting to be found], Ach’to was a planet removed from star maps, the only way Luke found it was with a lot of searching, so he would definitely had to chart a course to get there. So it’s that he had a map and more that R2 sold him out. I’m not sure what your issue is with the second half of that question. Yes, he went there to die.

That’s not what they indicated at the beginning of Episode VII when they exchanged the map. “This will begin to make things right. […] Without the Jedi there can be no balance in the force.” There were 2 pieces to the map. How is it everyone came to know about that piece? How is it that R2 only ended up carrying one half of the piece? How did the other half get around? This film doesn’t answer questions the first film raises, including how Moss got a hold of Luke’s lightsaber. And I believe it goes against a different intended answer J.J. Abrahms set up in the previous film.

As for him going there to die, I’ll address that in a different response.

You’re right [Knight’s of Ren] aren’t in this movie, but this movie also takes place over only four locations and we already established the First Order was busy taking over the galaxy, so it’s easy to say we just didn’t see them or that they were somewhere else.

Just find it strange that they’re not with Snoke, unless those Pretorian Guards were supposed to be the Knights of Ren.

What Rey sees on Takodana is basically the entire reason the force needs her, it’s the fall of Luke’s temple and murder of it’s students by Kylo Ren. The force is explaining to her what it needs her for. In the same vein, Rey is by this point chosen by the force, shes drawn to the lightsaber because it was the weapon wielded by the previous individual chosen by the force, her parentage is irrelevant.

Except it wasn’t due to the drawing of the force that caused Luke to get that lightsaber. His jedi friend from the desert, Ben Kenobi, had been watching over him and keeping a hold of that lightsaber, since he not only knew of Luke’s origin but of his father and his father’s lightsaber. Not the same vein in that regard in terms of force drawing. But the main thing that bothers me about it is, if her parents really are nobodies, and had no real bearing on the plot, then why were they in the vision? Because it was something of the past tying her down and restricting her future, and telling her to let it go? Not so sure that would be “need-to-know” information for Rey if she already knows it, as supposedly indicated by most of episode VIII.

Vice Admiral Holdo is the highest-ranking officer of a military organization. She is under no obligation to explain herself, her plan, or her orders, to anyone much less a demoted captain just because they disagreed with her. Imagine if that happened in the U.S. navy. Poe would be thrown in Leavinworth faster than he could blink.

But nobody seemed to know the plan but her. There’s no reason given for this, and no good reason I can think of by not sharing it with the general populace on the ship. Not even when Poe asks her in legit desperation what the plan is. “Say you have a plan.” Even then she doesn’t tell the plan, even though everyone else around her seems legitimately concerned. I have a hard time believing Poe would’ve been the only one to ask. One excuse could be that they believed a First Order spy was on the ship, but the film never gives indication that that was the case. At the very least, explaining the plan would’ve kept everyone calm, which seems like the best tactical thing to do.

To your first point, the fathier were a means of escape not a philanthropic choice, moreover once they got out the fathiers can run off and live in the wild, what are the kids gonna do in the wild besides die. To your second point, children are easier to exploit than adults, simple as that.

First, you would think robots would be easier to exploit, especially since they’re on a rich casino planet. Second, ok, fair point about that kids not surviving in the wild, though I seriously doubt those fathiers would stay free for long, which makes that line “now it was worth it” ring hollow. Third, saying “It felt good to make them hurt,” seems pretty harsh unless we’re to believe everyone on that planet is a rich person. Because if that’s not the case, I doubt they hurt the rich folks as much as they did the middle/lower class folks on that planet. If the film had shown that, then it would’ve been more consistent with the message of there being grey areas between good and evil, light and dark.

Rey has a lightsaber while Luke has an antenna and he’s still trolling her until she gets one lucky hit, then we close up to his hand showing that he is holding himself up with the force and still very much in the fight. Its only after Rey backs up a bit that Luke actually lowers his ground and touches the ground. In Snokes throne room Rey beats 2 Pretorean guard, Kylo Ren beats 4, and if memory serves the second guard has her on the ropes until Kylo Ren intervenes.

She actually beats 4 Pretorean guards, and Kylo was on the ropes with his 5th kill until Rey intervened.

As for Luke, you’re telling me that a woman who picked up a lightsaber for the first time a few days ago beats a man who’s been wielding it since before she was born, and has mastered the ways of the force (one of those ways involves seeing things just before they happen), gets bested by a newbie because he was taking it easy on her? A jedi master? You would think a jedi master would know better than to let their guard down that much, and know when to stop trolling. But assuming we’re to believe that’s not the case, that he can let his guard down that much, than this either makes jedi masters in general seem fairly weak, or this solidifies the argument that Rey is a Mary Sue, and is given too much power too fast as opposed to earning it. And considering how much more she can do than Luke (from what we’ve seen of him in Return of the Jedi), I believe the excuse leans more towards the latter. That she is like Luke from Return of the Jedi, only better (stronger and faster). This all leads to another problem many sequels tend to have, to make it like the original except bigger, with more more more. That leading to the excuse of having Jedi (one without any training, another including Snoke) is not only stronger than the other Jedi of the original trilogy, but also stronger than those in the prequel trilogy, when jedi were supposed to be in their prime. That’s the sort of thing that made the Dragon Ball franchise terrible in the long run.

I don’t really see the issue here, if a Sith can shoot force lightning out of their fingers, why can a being that is literally part of the force cause a lightning bolt to strike the tree.

Because you’re assuming that jedi ghosts are still capable of interacting with the realm of the living in ways that go beyond communication with those they knew. An assumption that is shared by the writers/director of this film, which is where much of the Star Wars fanbase disagrees. Many also disagreed with the midi-chlorians in the prequel trilogy for a similar reason, as quoted by Han Solo, “That’s not how the force works!” Granted, the force can be considered a mystical life force, and Obi-Wan describes it as “an energy field created by all living things,” which has a light side and a dark side, and according to the new film a grey side as well (a theme carried over from Rogue One). But it’s always been vague with the description, open to some interpretation (at least within the films). Plus it makes one wonder how the dead can communicate by use of the force if the force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together, though Obi-Wan seems to know that being struck down will make him stronger than you could imagine, which implies living things have a soul which can live on in the afterlife, especially if you die while being on the light side of the force.

Going outside the films it is explained that there’s a cosmic force (which energy from living beings feeds into) which communicates to the living through dreams, visions, meditation, etc. It can also be used to see things before they happen. While the force is within all living things, only some are force-sensitive, and thus may potentially become wielders of the force.

The bottom line is that debating what the force is and how force ghosts can interact with the living is something that can debated long enough to fill a book. But establishing that ghosts can influence physical things beyond just communicating opens up a lot of issues, the main one being, “Why not have a bunch of ghosts just attack all the enemies and make it easier for the good guys to win?” Because if they’re capable of doing something like that, you would think this would be some tactic utilized in the past. You know, like during the Old Republic or something.

[the grey area] could have done more with the war profiteering angle but the movie already had so many subplots and I think it was meant more to just be a concept that got the audience thinking.

The main reason I believe it to be particularly weak is because the subplot had no affect on the characters or their actions later on, not even Finn who was the main recipient of this message (along with the audience).

The lightspeed ram is one of the best expansions on the lore that the sequel trilogy has given us. In a New Hope, Han tells Luke that, “Without the right calculations we could bounce off a star or fly into a supernova.” Then in Force Awakens we see that Han jumps to lightspeed from inside a hanger, effectively shooting from the hip and in Last Jedi the First Order has developed technology to track ships through hyperspace. So with these three examples we get the difficulty, consequences, and gradual progression of hyperspace technology culminating in the insane hail mary decision to use a ships traveling at immense speed as a bullet. Finally, The Raddus is a very large capital ship and it merely cracks the ships that its depris impacts, the idea that a small fighter traveling at the same speed could do enough damage to destroy an enemy battleship is foolish.

Guess science is relevant in the space fantasy then, since it can be used to defend and attack views within the film. Anyway, just because the older films established that there were dangers to hyperspace travel doesn’t mean the dangers are implemented in that way. For all we know, this could mean that you could come out of hyperspace into a star or supernova (indicating it’s where you come out of hyperspace that’s the danger rather than what is there between point A and B, which makes sense considering all the potential stuff that the ship could run into in hyperspace, debris, asteroids, other ships traveling around in or out of hyperspace, etc.). Second, you’re telling me no one considered this possibility at any other time in the past (let alone did it by accident)? That’s like saying no one figured out that guns could get jammed until World War II. Third, considering how panicked the First Order seemed to be when the ship was turning for this maneuver, they seemed to know this was a possibility, which means they should’ve been prepared for it or were at least capable of doing it themselves, which raises other questions as to why the first order wasn’t doing this with kamikaze ships piloted by droids or something. Because this new tactic can completely rewrite space battles as we know it in the Star Wars universe, raising questions of why it wasn’t used in the past, and why others wouldn’t utilize it in the future films (assuming they don’t use it). The main reason it’s bad is because it wasn’t used in the original films when there were plenty of opportunities for them to use that tactic, especially during Hoth. And even if this tactic can be used, shields don’t work against it apparently, and no shields were ever developed to counter this. There’s other stuff I could throw at this, but I’ll leave it there.

However [in regards to BB-8 being an ex-machina], the same could be said of R2, particularly in the prequels.

Yet another reason why audiences consider the prequels to be inferior to the original trilogy.

Well it’s a movie, of course its gonna pull that trope. And I’ll grant you it’s a dumb trope but it neither uncommon of nor a big enough deal to consider a flaw.

I consider it a flaw if the resistance is supposed to have great tacticians for pulling off the stunts they’ve managed up until now, yet they decide to leave the doors open just enough to allow them to fly in (nevermind just having common sense). When they could’ve closed the door, had the ship crash land just outside, and have Finn and Rose come out and bang on the door saying, “Hey, let us in!” But maybe it’s because their standards of safety have been lowered considering how dumb the First Order is.

However if your gonna make the claim that [Rose’s] statement is contradicted in “not only just about all other films, but in this very movie” your gonna need examples. On the subject of the AT-M6 walkers, if you were piloting one of them and saw a speeder crash, you would assume the occupants are dead and not bother shooting them.

On that last note, kinda makes you wonder why they weren’t blasting away at Finn and Rose prior to the crash, consider they were the only 2 speeders still coming towards them. Nevermind not noticing Finn getting out of the speeder and running to the next one, considering how close he is. As for Rose’s statement contradicting stuff with the line, “We win not by killing those we hate, but saving those we love.” Alright, how about when the Raddus kamikazed into the Supremacy (and virtually all the other ships behind it)? How about Obi-Wan against Darth Vader in A New Hope? How about the suicide missions they’ve gone on in the past in Rogue One, attacking the Death Star in New Hope, and again in Return of the Jedi? Vader taking out the Emperor in Return of the Jedi? Virtually everything the rebels/resistance have done in the past to keep the rebellion alive and defeat the bad guys to keep the light side strong and to free others from totalitarian rule has involved killing those they hate! Or at the very least killing their enemies. The only real exception is with Luke not killing Vader in Return of the Jedi, but even then Vader ended up killing the Emperor to save Luke. So yes, that line is contradicted numerous times throughout the franchise, let alone at least once in the very film the line was uttered in (maybe twice if you consider the actions of her sister, which is the polar opposite of Rose’s actions to the point of hilarity). Plus, because of Rose’s actions, this caused the First Order to break through the door barrier.

And while on the subject of them surviving the crash, it should make you wonder how Finn was supposed to drag her fat ass all the way back to the base, across salt (after crashing), which should’ve been messing up her clothes and cutting up her body considering the distance (it’s got to be at least a mile, minimum).

The Sith never tell you to follow you feelings/heart, they tell you to give into your anger and that pain grants power, they focus on negative emotions. The Jedi of the Old Republic did purport that the best way to avoid he dark side was emotional detachment but still encouraged compassion, and it is heavily implied and possibly outright stated that the Jedi Order of the Old Republic was wrong. Positive feelings like compassion, kindness, and love are very powerful fonts of lightside power, as exhibited by Lukes love and compassion bringing Vader back to the light. Moreover, Yoda states in the Clone Wars series that the Jedi may lost their way.

Fair enough, but I should clarify where I was coming from. Fear, anger, aggression leads to the dark side. Emotions that flow more easily than others, that can threaten to consume you. The dark side isn’t stronger than the light side, but easier, quicker, more seductive. A jedi uses the force for knowledge and defense, not for attack. All concepts brought up by Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back. The main concept being that it’s easy to turn to the dark side to get quick results and power, while the light side requires more self-discipline, more work, more effort, more control. A concept that is contradicted by Rey’s very existence, where she is given all her powers, she doesn’t earn any of them through training. Sure she learns how to fight with a staff on her own, though it’s questionable as to how often she had to fight, and against how many others and of what skill level, with a weapon that isn’t a lightsaber. Her path to ascendancy is so easy that it makes one wonder why she isn’t using the dark side to get it. While the film does hint that there is some darkness within her, or that she’s using (potential) dark side powers in such a care-free manner, we never see any dark side within her, no personality traits or flaws to indicate she is at least partly on that path. Sure there are times where she is shown to have fear, anger, and aggression, but nothing comes of it that has lasting consequences, as if she’s never been on the path to the dark side at any point in any of the films. One could forgive her Mary Sue traits if the film exploited this, which granted is an expectation I set for the film before seeing it, but it’s a legit expectation just as one should expect a film they’re about to see to be entertaining and logically consistent. And just consider Kylo Ren’s journey, how much work and effort he put in, yet eventually chose the dark side path, has been at training in the ways of the force for far longer than Rey, yet gets bested by her on multiple occasions.

As we already established the First Order was “dispatched to seize military control of the galaxy” they are actively taking it over during the film and therefor unable to help the Supremacy with their pursuit. More to the point though, even if the rest of the First Oder could aid the Supremacy, there’s no need. The Resistance has no way to fight and only limited time to run, Genral Hux is toying with the Resistance while simultaneously flaunting the First Orders power to the galaxy. “These freedom fighter do absolutely everything they can to escape and yet none of it works against the might of the First Order” It’s meant as a message to the galaxy that not even their boldest heroes can withstand the First Orders power.

Regarding the first point, that still raises 2 issues. 1.) The ships that are there can still hyperspace around the Resistance, cut them off, and finish them off quickly. Because, 2.) They may need these ships to continue assisting the others with taking control of the rest of the Republic (how much remains or how intense the fighting is, we don’t know, but it can’t be all that bad if Snoke decides his presence is more needed here to squash what’s left of the Resistance). So you would think they would want this wrapped up quickly. Especially if they know about the whole lightspeed kamikaze trick, which they seem to be aware of just before it happens. Then again, they didn’t seem to know ahead of time that the turrets on the dreadnought couldn’t shoot down Poe (whom they know is the Resistance’s top pilot, as stated at the beginning of episode VII by Kylo himself) and should thus deploy tie fighters out ahead of time, which means the only other justification is incompetence and having villains that are difficult to take seriously, regardless of the damage they are causing.

Rey isn’t who became somebody. She’s a nobody who is chosen as a vessel for the living force. Just as Anakin is comparable to Christ, Rey is comparable to a prophet.

Yeah, and is stronger than Anakin in every way (or at the very least just as strong), even in his prime, within the first week of learning she’s got force powers. What she can do in a few days it took Anakin years. Mary Sue problem, which is definitely something to fault a film like this for.

First, that’s a broad statement [about villains not being able to be taken seriously], you gotta give me examples. Second, that’s an opinion. As an adult, Darth Maul isn’t threatening; as a child he was scary as hell.

Aside from all the other examples given earlier, a villain is only threatening if they are shown to be capable of destroying the main characters (as in anyone who has at least 10 minutes of screen time). Sure we had Kylo kill Solo in episode VII, but Solo comes to him defenseless and with his guard completely down, practically asking for it. Everyone else who dies are too minor for anyone to reasonably care about, or die via self-sacrifice. They don’t even leave any lasting injuries on anyone. For instance, getting cut in the back doesn’t seem to leave any lasting impact on Finn from one film to another, Rey doesn’t have any lasting scars and ends the film in practically the same state as she began it (except more strong and skilled), Poe is changed more from Holdo than from the enemy, etc. Consider all the other Star Wars films, even the prequel trilogy, where something always happened that left scars on the protagonists (whether mental or physical) which ultimately evolved their character either within the film, or from one film to the next. Scars caused by the enemy. Obi-Wan gets struck down, only to help guide Luke on the path as he recovers from Ben’s death; Luke loses his hand due to overconfidence and has his character shaken to the core at a revelation, plus they lose Han for a while; Vader saves Luke at the cost of his own life, though it saves his soul, and Luke manages to resist the lure of the dark side partly by seeing the sins of the past, the sins of the father, and how they are affecting him now; Qui-Gon killed by Darth Maul, encouraging Obi-Wan to set out on a certain path by taking on Anakin as an apprentice, something Obi-Wan may not be ready for; Anakin’s overconfidence and anger causing him to lose both his hands and allow a villain to get away; Sidious killing off several Jedi that have made appearances over the span of the entire prequel trilogy, and turning Anakin to the dark side. There’s several examples.

I’m fairly sure that Poe tells Finn and Rose the plan while DJ is present.

You were right on that. Point to you.

Again, I don’t think you get Star Wars lore, but let’s start with the obvious. If a Jedi can manifest themselves after death, with complete memories, personality, and cognitive functions, they’ve basically achieved immortality. Now, if you really believe that projecting your image to a few hundred people at the expense of your life more far-fetched than that, than you are lying to yourself. Back to the lore, this isn’t an original idea. Ryan Johnson took this power from a legends book called “The Jedi Path” published in 2010. It was an official power until the canon reset.

Just because it’s considered lore doesn’t mean fans have to accept it (ex: Han doesn’t shoot first, midi-chlorians, other inconsistencies between the prequel trilogy and the original trilogy). Just because a creator considers something cannon doesn’t mean there aren’t faults to be had with it. But even if we are to accept this as cannon, that raises the question of why we didn’t see it in the earlier films (mainly the prequel trilogy). And all that doesn’t even raise the question of what the point was of showing Luke’s X-Wing in the ocean if it wasn’t going to come into play later (such as Luke force-lifting it up, powering it up, and flying it to the Resistance base). Or even why using it would cause Luke to die when Snoke was sort of doing the same thing with Rey and Kylo.

All that aside, this would be easier to swallow if it was explained a bit, such as something learned from the ancient texts, powers that come at a cost. But we never get that, not even a mention of anything Luke learned from the texts, or if he even read them or learned anything from them.

You said yourself that it has been “At most an hour” since Force Awakens. What significant improvement to you expect to see in any student after one hour of advanced training. The reason Snoke stresses killing Rey is because she is the current vessel of the light, killing her would make finishing Kylo Rens training irrelevant because there would be no one else to oppose them.

The other way of looking at it is Ryan Johnson retconning that aspect of episode VII, which I believe is the case, which makes having the film take place so soon after the events of the previous film a mistake. Because, yeah, there shouldn’t be significant improvement in any student after one hour of training, except for Rey because she seems to be the exception to that rule. And if Snoke wanted her killed so badly, why not order Kylo to do so in the previous film as opposed to saying, “Bring her to me.”? Besides, apparently killing a defenseless person isn’t enough to make Kylo better as Snoke pointed out in this very movie when referring to how his mind went after killing his father. As for Kylo’s training being irrelevant after killing Rey, that’s clearly not the case since Snoke is obsessed with finding and killing Luke, one of their main goals since episode VII. Contradictions in motivations.

First of all, is that a problem [Rey teaching Luke rather than the other way around]? Luke needed to be reminded of the importance of “light” in the galaxy, Rey does that. Secondly, Rey learns how to feel the force and listen to its will, a very important lesson for someone that romanticized and that the reality of this light versus dark struggle is much more violent. Finally she learns that the Jedi she (and the fans) have revered were flawed and how not to repeat their mistakes.

So Luke repeats the same mistake Obi-Wan did, except he becomes more pessimistic as a result while Obi-Wan maintained a sense of optimism for others? No lesson to be taught there? No guidance from Obi-Wan or Vader’s ghost as a reminder of the past, especially if they seem to know what Luke is about to do (like how ghost Yoda knew he was about to burn the Jedi texts)? Anyway, yes, it is a problem with Luke not teaching Rey hardly anything and her teaching him. Considering how new she is to all of this, indicating that she has nothing to learn just reinforces the Mary Sue trait, which is a huge negative. As for her learning how to feel the force, that’s really not all that different from when she felt it when facing Kylo at the end of episode VII (which makes that joke of her trying to literally reach out and touch the force kind of stupid when taking that into account). Not to mention the anger she felt at Kylo during that time in episode VII (nevermind the fear up to then; you know, the emotions that could lead to the dark side). It’s just retreading stuff that’s already been done, except making her powers so great they scare Luke (another symptom of “more more more”). It also seemed to indicate that her power surge and carelessness could lead her to the dark side, but nothing ever comes of that. As for learning that the Jedi are flawed and how not to repeat their mistakes, aren’t we already supposed to see that in Kylo? How about with Obi-Wan Kenobi? How about Luke talking about how he failed Kylo and mentioning how similar that is to what Obi-Wan told him with regards to training Vader in the past? Why not have Luke just straight up tell her about the failures of the Jedi in the past? Do all of that as opposed to betraying his character. This leads to another topic that will be covered later, about Luke’s character.

[The lightsaber] is just a sword, an elegant and powerful sword, but a sword. In the Star Wars comic books (the new canon ones) we have seen Han, Chewie, Leia, and even a stormtrooper, wield lightsabers reasonably well, they don’t require any special training to operate effectively and you admit yourself that Rey has combat experience. Lets assume for a moment that Rey is a Mary Sue, so are fan favorites Yoda, Obi-Wan, and Mace Windu, yet all those characters are excepted for the fact that they are “awesome”. However, Rey is not a Mary Sue, her character arc is nearly identical to Lukes from the prequels (a fact I’m sure you complained about when Force Awakens came out).

Haven’t read the comics, but assuming they are canon, that isn’t exactly reasonable to expect average movie-goers to read that stuff prior to seeing the film. Comics shouldn’t be mandatory to fill in plot holes in a film, it’s up to the film to provide all the necessary information. Plus that would open up another can of worms, such as what if there are those who have reasonable disagreements with the content provided in the comics, much like how there are people who have reasonable grievances with the film? But even if we are to go along with the idea that anyone can handle a lightsaber well (and for the record, stormtroopers didn’t wield lightsabers in either movie, just weapons capable of going against lightsabers), then why is it that those with at least as much combat experience (let alone those with more) as Rey always get beaten by her? Like the Pretorean guards (more on that later)? Or how about the tie fighters and how many she’s capable of taking out after flying on the Millennium Falcon in a combat situation for only the second time in her life (not to mention getting three kills with one shot, her first shot)? Piloting the Millennium Falcon as well as Solo could in episode VII? Understanding Wookie language (and assuming Luke doesn’t)? Shooting a gun better than the average stormtrooper in Episode VII? Everything they can do she can do better, and she’s has less experience than all of them!

As for Yoda, rubbish to him being a Gary Stu. He got beaten by Palpatine. Obi-Wan get bested by Jengo Fett and Count Dooku, and failed Anakin Skywalker, and got beaten by Vader. Mace Windu failed to initially kill Dooku, and he failed to kill Sidius. They pay a price when they fail, Rey doesn’t pay anything.

And Rey being similar to Luke from the original trilogy, yeah, except that he lost his first lightsaber duel, got owned in a fight in a bar on Tatooine, had to struggle with taking out Tie Fighters (and even then he had the excuse of taking out wamp rats for target practice), and took a long time to get good with the force, with and without guidance, and didn’t know how to do mind control or telekinesis right away, let alone blow his master’s mind when training as an apprentice. Plus not everyone trusted and/or liked him when they first met him.

Here’s the biggest problem with Rey being a Mary Sue. Aside from becoming too powerful too fast without training for or earning those powers, the core of the problem is that her character by her very nature of being a non-self-aware Mary Sue is a directionless character, and a liar, whether it’s because of what she claims or because of how she’s presented to us. A goddess (or prophet) who pretends not to be. Stating she is no one special when she clearly is special (compared to, well, everyone else). She says she is plain, when she is sought after by many in high important positions. She “suffers” from the scars of her backstory, when they only serve to make her more beautiful and confident than everyone else. She feigns weakness, when the plot gutshots all her enemies. She pretends to want and desire, when she does the right thing simply because it’s the right thing to do. It’s not just because of her powers, but because of her very character.

I’m not sure why or how Rey got the Sacred Texts onto the Millennium Falcon, honestly its such a small detail that I’m not sure it matters why or how, simply that she did. I will say though that for each Star Wars film that’s made a novelization is released, so I’m sure they will address that question. On the more relevant question though, why does their need to be a counter argument for preserving the past? If everyone is on the same page about it not mattering, whats the problem?

Well that’s the thing. Since Rey chose to take them with her, she’s clearly not on the same page as Yoda and Kylo about the past not mattering. And this ties into one of the major themes of the film, that the past shouldn’t define who you are and what you can become. Seeing someone go against that theme without offering any sort of explanation/motivation whatsoever (to the point where the viewer may even start to wonder if that was the right thing to do) seems to contradict the message of the film. It would’ve flowed much better if any sort of justification was given, by anyone, as to why the texts ended up being preserved on the Falcon. It may be a small detail, but due to the themes and the deal made over those texts and their purpose and the lessons for the youth, that small detail matters in a large way within the context of the film.

Yoda was Luke’s teacher, and yes Obi-wan started him on the path, but Yoda was the one that actually trained him. Having Vader or Obi-Wan council Luke on accepting his failings as a teacher and move forward wouldn’t carry nearly as much weight as the same lesson coming from the individual that actually taught him. We don’t know that Vader or Obi-Wan didn’t appear to Luke after Kylo Rens fall, its never explicitly stated. However, assuming no one did appear to him, when Rey is training on Ach-to she states that she couldn’t feel Luke through the force, he had cut himself off from it. If Luke cut himself off from the force after Kylo Rens fall, then it makes sense that they couldn’t (or wouldn’t) appear until he was more receptive to talking with them.

So we’re to assume he cut himself off from the force immediately after Kylo’s fall? That he gave up that quickly? And if that’s the case, why bother reconnecting after getting beaten by Rey if he’s such a pessimist? This will tie in to a later question regarding Luke’s character.

Snoke was never a focal point of the story any more than Palpatine was and we learned nothing about him in the films. His death cements Kylo Ren as the Heir to Vader and true villain of the story and if anything the First Order is more dangerous with Kylo Ren at the helm because he is young, passionate, and driven.

Palpatine was a focal point of the story by the time Return of the Jedi came around (after some build up in Empire Strikes Back) because of what he represented. Not just tyranny, but one fully enveloped in the dark side of the force. His big reveal was demonstrating force lightning, which was made to demonstrate what the dark side is fully capable of. Capable of giving one the power to kill anyone without the need of a weapon, including a Jedi who could normally force-block the force-choke. A power that even Vader feared and respected, as indicated by his line in Empire Strikes Back, “If only you knew the power of the dark side!” Palpatine didn’t need to be expanded anymore than that, because of what he thematically represented (his frail look indicating that his way isn’t a healthy one, despite the powers he’s gained), and enough implications of what he had done in the past was given.

As for Snoke, there’s more going on with him. He’s not ruling over the galaxy like Palpatine was, he was preparing to rule, mustering forces around the Republic to prepare to rule. How is he accomplishing this? How great are his numbers? How can he muster so many forces that are this strong from the ashes of the Empire, especially after their Starkiller Base got blown up? Why isn’t the rest of the Republic standing against him after the events of VII, unless we’re to assume the Republic put all their eggs into a basket on those 5 planets that got blown up, in the same system, very close to one another? How is it that he’s stronger than Sidius when Sidius was supposed to represent the true power of the dark side (“more more more”)? The scar on his forehead? It raises too many questions that demand answers we’re not going to get, unless the next film pulls a “Psych!” moment and shows that he’s still alive somehow.

I’m not sure what you’re saying [about the theme of anybody can be a Jedi]?

I’m saying that the theme the film was going for, about how a nobody can be a somebody, even those with no special lineage, is a waste of a theme since it’s been clearly shown with Episode I. Thus the subplot of that kid with Jedi powers (again, getting them too fast, faster even than Rey, “more more more”) is pointless, even if it is supposed to tie into the sequel somehow.

Who cares [about Ackbar?]

Never mind.

Mark Hamill is not an authority on Star Wars. He has admitted that on multiple occassions fans have corrected him at conventions when he will misname a droid or mistate a trivia fact, his word is not gospel, rather its irrelevant. Further more, in the disagreement you’re referring to, Hamill approached Ryan Johnson after reading the script and said, “I pretty much fundamentally disagree with the direction you’ve taken this character. Now that I have that off my chest, this is your vision and it’s my job to bring it to life.” So he clearly didn’t disagree enough to leave the film or even halt production a little until the made Luke more heroic. Now to the main point, Luke is not a saint. I think its rather ironic that Rey finds Luke, this legend of the galaxy, expecting him to be all that is truly good and amazing in the galaxy and he simply disappoints her. Because that is exactly what the fans of the series have done. They expected Lukes return to be something amazing and fantastical like a white knight emerging victorious from the gates of hell, because that’s how they remember him from the 70s-80s. The fans are wrong. Luke is not a white knight, he is not a monk, he is not a Christ figure. He is a fighter with a purpose. The entire original trilogy has Luke fighting and killing people efficiently and without second thought on his quest to destroy the darkness in the galaxy. So wen this darkness suddenly and unexpectedly reemerges within his nephew, the instinctual response from this fighter is to snuff it out. But he doesn’t, he sees in Ben Solo a reflection of his father and the struggle that he won, so he deactivates his lightsaber and immediately feels ashamed of his instinctive action.

Hamill may not be an authority on Star Wars, but neither are we. One could even argue that not even George Lucas is an authority for that matter, just as one can argue that Ryan Johnson isn’t an expert (especially him). But he can be considered an authority on the character of Luke Skywalker, especially with his understanding of what a Jedi is. For instance, could one disagree with these lines of his?:

“Luke was the most optimistic hopeful character, and now he’s this miserable despondent hermit.”

“I said, ‘Ryan, a Jedi doesn’t give up!’ A Jedi, if he does something wrong, he makes it right, even if he’s traumatized and goes away he would regroup within, like, 6 months.”

“A Jedi would never give up. Even if he makes a mistake he would double down and does the right thing, regardless of the magnitude of his mistake.”

That aside, there’s also Luke’s motivations. Sure he’s a fighter with a purpose, but that purpose has always been to help his friends and loved ones. Helping the princess in episode IV (who he didn’t know at all at the time), helping his friends in episode V, and helping his father in episode VI (attempting to turn him from the dark side, despite Obi-Wan basically saying that’s not going to happen). Even the attempt to turn him to the dark side involved using those emotions of wanting to help his friends against him, in a similar way Sidious used Anakin’s emotions of wanting to save his loved one against him. Turning a positive into a negative, yet still maintaining that purpose that drives him. Here, that purpose is gone, is dead, is nothing. He has given up on friends he saved in the past, has given up on the galaxy he has saved in the past. Anything recognizable about Luke is gone in this movie. Unwilling to help anyone, including those he once knew and loved, until the last 20 minutes because ghost Yoda somehow convinced him to do so. You would think his motivations for helping others would go beyond just Kylo Ren, yet this film would have us believe Kylo was the make or break moment for Luke, that even if Kylo was beyond saving he wouldn’t want to go out to protect others from Kylo. That Luke would become a coward just from that one failure. Luke’s character has been gutted and poached so that he can act as a springboard for Rey’s character. Making him a pathetic coward and a hermit so that Rey can come off as superior to him in every way (more powerful/morally righteous/thoughtful/kinder, without earning those traits though any real tests or tribulations).

With all that taken into consideration, it makes his impulse to kill off Ben Solo, even if for a brief moment, far-fetched at best. But even if we are to believe that he would do that, despite how much that goes against his character, what’s even worse is that he doesn’t try to right the wrong, that he doesn’t bother trying to go after Snoke (and he mentioned that he was aware Snoke was influencing Kylo, which should make one wonder why he didn’t go off to confront Snoke sooner before the incident with Kylo), that he doesn’t bother trying to reunite with Han and Leia to try and right the wrong. That’s more contradictory to his character than the “near-impulse-kill” moment.

[Ryan Johnson subverting expectations rather then meeting them, resulting in disaster] is another opinion, not a fact; one that majority of critics disagree with I might add. I will say that Ryan Johnson successfully subverted your expectations; otherwise, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

No, if he subverted expectations in a positive way that didn’t contradict the past, then we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Hopefully everything provided prior to this explains that quite clearly. He subverted expectations just for the sake of shock and awe rather without being intelligent about it. Oh, and please don’t bring the whole “majority of critics disagree with you” angle into this. There’s a disconnect between audiences and critics, and critics usually only watch a film once without digging too much into it (that’s what fans are for), and a portion of the critics were likely paid off by Disney anyway. It opens up a can of worms and a wild tangent bringing this subject up. I’d like to leave it at that when it comes to the critics.

 

One thought on “Star Wars: Goddamnit that’s fucking it!

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