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STAR WARS: LAST JEDI DISCUSSION (OH SO MANY SPOILERS HERE)

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I think if James Bond can show up in a helmet and get owned by a member of the Resistance, they can get about anyone to do it. 

 

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14 minutes ago, EVA said:

Gwendoline Christie isn't even that big of a star.  People are acting like they put Emma Stone or Brie Larson under that helmet.  She will show up with bells on if she gets the call to say 2 lines and get chumped again in Episode IX.  

Which would be hilarious and MUST happen.

NO DUDE, SHE'S BRIENNE ON GAME OF THRONES, SHE'S WAY BIGGER THAN THAT! Star Wars is LUCKY to have her and they stick her under a helmet anyway. And why?!

TO SELL TOYS

And I'm here like, get the fuck over yourself, jesus.

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32 minutes ago, Craig H said:

Why would Phasma be the person to buy arms for the First Order? That seems dumb. It would wind up being a proxy for Hux or some other First Order office type guy.

People really want to stick so much mythology on characters like Phasma and Snoke and elevate them far beyond what their importance was. The talking point of, "why cast Gwendolyn Christie as Phasma if she isn't going to do anything" is dumb. By that logic, why cast anyone into any role? Does it not cross anyone's mind that maybe, just maybe they weren't supposed to be as big as people thought they were going to be and if that's the case then that isn't on the movie or the director or the writer, that's on the viewer for over-inflating someone's importance. 

*WHOOSH*

Because "you parked illegally" wasn't dumb?

Finn didn't do anything of importance in this movie - not just "his plan failed" level of non-importance but "he could have just not been in the movie and it would be the same movie" non-importance. That's one of the movie's biggest shortcomings. If his entire plotline is going to be a distraction, then it could at least be a more interesting distraction by giving him someone to put the screws to him who's more than a cardboard cutout. Just a scene where Finn's captured and Phasma gets in his face, rips her own mask off, spitting mad and finally happy to execute him (remember how she was supposed to have ended up down a garbage chute?), would have been something more engaging and enjoyable, instead of the nothing they did. So it isn't just about Gwendoline Christie - it's about making the third-most important member of the new group matter a little more, because hey, news flash, that's what happens when you make smaller characters more believable and relatable, too. You elevate the people they interact with.

But hey, enjoy your mediocrity and its accompanying rationalizations.

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Man, it's a good thing we have you here to set all of us plebs straight.

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By the way, I don't see many people defending Finn or speaking to how necessary he was. Something that's very glaring about Finn is how pointless he is. I wondered if that's because Poe was originally going to die when they crashed on Jakku. Then when everyone loved Oscar Isaac, his role became bigger and now you have a character who is basically on the same level as Finn. If Poe is dead, perhaps Finn isn't as pointless and Rian Johnson doesn't need to find an adventure to shoehorn into the movie to make use of this extra character. With Poe alive, you're basically doing just that to justify having this other important character to maintain their importance. 

Then again, Rian Johnson supposedly had this written before TFA even came out. Even still, if that's the case, it still feels like trying to find something for Finn to do.

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I'm reminded of a certain archeologist who tried very hard to be relevant to the plot of his own movie and failed. 

I don't think it's about shoehorning in elements or characters. It really comes down to Johnson making a movie about failing and learning from that failure. We get the expected Star Wars beats on our way there, but I think the futility and even stupidity of the characters' actions is there by design. 

I totally get if that's not what someone wanted to see or they didn't like it. I just don't think the structure of the plot was incidental or not thought out. 

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The best part of Star Wars is definitely the obstreperous dorks telling you you're enjoying it the wrong way.

I am genuinely curious if they had a bigger plan for Phasma originally or if they just thought "You know what would be cool? A shiny stormtrooper" and figuring they'd fill the rest in later.

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Phasma was originally a rejected design for Kylo Ren, who would've been "lord of the stormtroopers."  JJ Abrams rejected the design, but Kathleen Kennedy liked it, so had a new female stormtrooper character created in Phasma.

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Here's the thing about the Canto Bight sequence:  You can certainly argue that it's not the most interesting use of anyone's time or all that relevant to the plot of the movie in end, but it's also HIGHLY relevant to Finn's story thematically.

Canto Bight is a gray area in the galaxy where they get fat and rich off playing both sides of the conflict.  The one significant character we meet there is a spin on the Rogue with a Heart of Gold who ends up not having a heart, who sells his services to both the Resistance and the First Order in his short time on screen.

Well, Finn is a gray area of a character.  Yes, he ends up on the side of the angels at the end of TFA, but he gets there almost by happenstance and his own self-interest, not because of any calling to the greater good.  Running away to save himself is what this dude does.  Remember, he checked out on the Resistance at Takodana in TFA.  He only returned to the fray (and ultimately got swept up into the attack on Starkiller Base and became a "hero") because Rey, his friend and maybe more, was in trouble.  And in the beginning of TLJ, we see Finn, again, ready to tuck and run on the Resistance, ostensibly to save Rey (again) but just as much to save himself.  If not for his feelings for Rey, he wouldn't be anywhere near a star war.  Later, we see how easily he's dazzled by the glamour of Canto Bight -- gray area recognize gray area.

Every good story confronts its heroes with their own weaknesses, and that's what Canto Bight does for Finn.

In this light, DJ becomes a much more relevant character, because you realize he's a mirror version of Finn taken to the extreme, a character motivated entirely by self-interest without any of his redeeming or likeable qualities.  DJ turning on Finn and Rose is a huge moment for Finn, because it shows just how ugly operating in the gray area really is.  He feels betrayed in the same way Rose felt betrayed when she caught him trying to board the escape pod.  It's the slap in the face, the wake-up call, that it's time for Finn to be all in or all out.

When Finn declares to Phasma that he's "REBEL scum" it's not just a cute nostalgia line, it's Finn making a choice -- he's declaring himself all in for the Resistance cause, not just himself anymore.  And then we see his willingness to follow through on that claim with his attempted suicide run on Crait.

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1 hour ago, (BP) said:

I don't think it's about shoehorning in elements or characters. It really comes down to Johnson making a movie about failing and learning from that failure. We get the expected Star Wars beats on our way there, but I think the futility and even stupidity of the characters' actions is there by design.

Except nobody in the movie seemed to realize just how utterly fucked the Resistance was because of how badly Finn, Poe, and Rose fucked shit up.  Leia should have thrown Poe's ass in the brig when she woke up; instead, she acted like Mr. Wilson does at the end of every episode of Dennis the Menace.

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3 minutes ago, mattdangerously said:

Except nobody in the movie seemed to realize just how utterly fucked the Resistance was because of how badly Finn, Poe, and Rose fucked shit up.  Leia should have thrown Poe's ass in the brig when she woke up; instead, she acted like Mr. Wilson does at the end of every episode of Dennis the Menace.

Leia was indisposed at a critical and perilous point where the leadership vacuum was filled with someone Poe didn't know who wasn't showing all of her cards to the crew. He learns a lesson, but he's also working with the information he has, so he's seemingly given the benefit of doubt. She's certainly more patient than can be expected in most scenarios, but Poe's still a huge asset to a resistance now comprised of like two dozen people. She's also known to be predisposed to having a soft spot for asshole fly boys. 

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1 hour ago, (BP) said:

Leia was indisposed at a critical and perilous point where the leadership vacuum was filled with someone Poe didn't know who wasn't showing all of her cards to the crew. He learns a lesson, but he's also working with the information he has, so he's seemingly given the benefit of doubt. She's certainly more patient than can be expected in most scenarios, but Poe's still a huge asset to a resistance now comprised of like two dozen people. She's also known to be predisposed to having a soft spot for asshole fly boys. 

The resistance still has friends throughout the galaxy. Obvious guess, but they'll probably time jump for Episode 9 and in that time the resistance will have consolidated their base and increased their power beyond whatever it is now.

I would actually like to see some sort of a Ocean's 11 caper movie with the resistance pulling off some kind of galactic heist where they wind up securing vehicles and weapons to fight the First Order.

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21 minutes ago, mattdangerously said:

He is directly responsible for there only being a dozen people in the resistance, though 

I'm just arguing for Leia's response to it. The scheme was exactly like something she'd pull with Luke and Han in the original trilogy. There's no doubt that she learned the possible human cost of such brashness in the subsequent decades as a leader, and she was forgiving because she saw her younger self and her compatriots in Poe (and the young Resistance members.) Almost everything the Resistance does in any of these movies is a Hail Mary that would have far reaching and dire outcomes if the plan doesn't work. 

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On 12/15/2017 at 6:46 AM, happjack said:

I really wish they would have not done the Finn and Rose ride the CG horse things, those type of scenes always look silly. I was kind of expecting Leia to go Force Ghost at the end, really interested in how they handle Carrie Fisher's death in the next one. The ending scene with the kid and the broom was perfect and I hope that's the seeds of the next trilogy.

 

See I thought the last scene was the weakest part of the movie by a mile.

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1 hour ago, Craig H said:

The resistance still has friends throughout the galaxy. Obvious guess, but they'll probably time jump for Episode 9 and in that time the resistance will have consolidated their base and increased their power beyond whatever it is now.

I would actually like to see some sort of a Ocean's 11 caper movie with the resistance pulling off some kind of galactic heist where they wind up securing vehicles and weapons to fight the First Order.

I suspect you’re trending the right way, and I’m curious what the goal of said espionage might be. TLJ seems to make quite clear that destroying a weapon or a base would barely inconvenience the First Order, and Killing Kylo just means we get another evil rising to take his place in a few years. Sure, new heroes will rise too; but is perpetual war the best we can hope for? They need a different kind of victory.

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I thought it was a bullshit move to kill off Luke unless you are going to go Obi Wan treatment in EP IX. I liked it, but it stole from Empire as much as TFA stole from the original, it just was a little subtler about it. Hopefully they will do more with Rey's back story, because the write off was bullshit. My inital response is best since empire, but I'll have to sit on it a bit and think it over. Frankly they should have killed Finn off in the crash in TFA, and they REALLY should have let him take one for the team on cannon. Boyega was better in this one, but Finn is the definition of superflous. Would have rather had Ewan Mcgregor's Obi Wan than yoda as well. Part of the problem was letting the First Order get TOO big and bad, and cutting the rebels nuts off at every turn. 

 

All that is pretty much picking nits, though it would have been nice for them to explain why LUKE didn't try to go after Snoke with he Jedi trainees. . .

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Was Finn sacrificing himself for the Resistance or was he doing it to get back at the First Order? He said "I'm not letting them win" ...  I still think he's sort of a loner who beats to his own drum.  

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On 12/14/2017 at 7:20 PM, lostinube said:
Felt very busy and maybe disjointed but I liked all the different things going on individually.

I'm going to grab quotes as I go but this is where I am, generally. Boy did it ever need one more edit but I liked a lot of what I saw.

On 12/15/2017 at 1:29 AM, lostinube said:

I enjoyed that Poe/Finn/Rose's crazy plan didn't end up working unlike most of the time in the series until I realized that their plan led to the loss of all those ships. I mean, Holdo could have told Poe what they were planning to do in the first place too but the direct actions of the heroes leading to the deaths of countless others generally gets overlooked.

Surprised and glad that Billie Lourd got so much screen time.

Hey! Me and @lostinube are totally on the same page here. That's the message which I thought was most muddled. Poe has to learn not to be a reckless hero while Finn has to learn to be a brave hero and Rose has to learn not to lead with hate but with love but Luke has to reconnect with the force and face his mistakes and Leia HAS hope but then she realizes she has to BE hope but not until after her hope in Luke pays off but her hope in everyone else fails. Messages are all over the place and oft contradictory. (That said, the biggest problem is probably that Finn/Rose go on a BIG ADVENTURE somewhere else really just to make things far, far worse).

On 12/16/2017 at 9:34 AM, Ultimo Necro said:

That was almost like a survival horror movie at times with the good guys continually decreasing in numbers and the bad guys always being on step ahead. It really needed the humour to lighten the film or it would have been incredibly dark. 

Definitly my favourite since the original trilogy. 

There's this, certainly. It was exhausting in that regard, even with the humor (which hit wonderfully and, I think, is what Rian really brought to the table). Every one of those shuttles that got blown up hurt, just like the ENTIRE CENTER OF THE NEW REPUBLIC getting blown up in the last one hurt. They're basically down to a team the size of the Rogue One crew at the end. I think there needs to be a time jump between this and the next one.

On 12/17/2017 at 12:39 AM, lostinube said:

Is there any info (books or comics) that explain Snoke's guards? In the next movie will we see Kylo's classmates? Luke did say that he took some of the students with him when he left, right? I initially thought the guards were the Knights of Ren but they didn't seem to be force sensitive, more highly skilled fighters like Donnie Yen's Rogue One character.

Also, the beginning, with Paige's death (Veronica Ngo who was also in the Crouching Tiger Netflix sequel), felt more Rogue One like than the rest of the film.

More from @lostinube here. My head canon absolutely had them being the Knights of Ren. Also, am I the only one who was a little bit crushed right from the get go with the death of perky A-Wing pilot?

----

Ok, Luke.

So I was very, very frustrated in TFA (and you can go find my posts on it) by the fact the good guys from the original trilogy so thoroughly lost the peace. I think a lot of that is that I'm a 1981 kid instead of a 1977 (or 1974 or maybe even 1991) kid. I skewed a bit younger. I was 2 when Jedi came out and I caught all of these on video as a pretty young kid but while they were still very big and a cultural force. That means I lean towards Luke and not Han, you know? I think that primed me for this though. When Luke gives his side of what happened that night with Ben, I was actually sort of ready for Luke's dark side to somehow be projected as Snoke or for him to end the movie as the Big Bad. I was resigned to that. When Ben gave his side, I realized they were going another direction with it. 

At the end of the day, Star Wars was Space Opera, but it's 2017 and the characters were always made by their flaws and the strengths. You couldn't have one without the other and the Luke in this movie is very much the Luke that ran off to save his friends instead of completing his training in Empire or the one who clung to hope that he could save his dad when there were more responsible decisions to be made. They sensed fear in him. He was impatient. He may have gotten more competent but at the end of the day, he was always Luke, for good and ill, and this was that Luke. I actually think Hamill overplayed him to a degree. Luke was as they wrote him. But Mark Hamill has grown into someone way cooler than Luke could ever be. 

One big difference between now and a few years ago is that I've come to grips with the fact that the fictional heroes I grew up with (broom in hand, sure) lost the peace. It reminds me of the difference between the book and the movie versions of Princess Bride. I'm glad I had the movie version of Princess Bride when I was younger, but I can handle the book's ending now. Hell, I live it every day. We all do.

Movie was a bit of a mess, needed another edit, and got a bit too cute at times, but I enjoyed it. I bet there's a whole generation of 10 year olds out there who enjoyed it even more. Good.

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Rather than another edit, I think Kasdan needed to do some passes on the script before they went into production.  

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Kasdan worked on TFA, so he's clearly not much of a panacea at this point.

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24 minutes ago, EVA said:

Kasdan worked on TFA, so he's clearly not much of a panacea at this point.

Considering that The Force Awakens was a better movie and they had to rewrite the movie from scratch to meet their deadlines, he was a huge panacea for that movie. 

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Characters makings mistakes is about as Star Wars as it gets. The 3rd act of Empire is built on a mistake.  

The one thing that really felt off about TFA to me was how overpowered Rey was. We don't need to rehash all the mary sue talk/nonsense, but she seemed to pick up the Jedi stuff so quickly. It almost cheapened some of those moments in my eyes.

When she moves the boulders at the end of TLJ, it felt a little more earned. Same goes with all the other characters in some way or another. More depth.

I really enjoyed how they built Kylo back up after the ass whooping he took in TFA.  The Luke/Kylo flashback worked for me, but I understand why some hated it. Kylo turning the lightsaber, while Snoke was droning on about how he could read his mind, was the highlight of the film.

It's interesting that Snoke underestimated Kylo's power while Luke, on the other hand, briefly tried to kill him because of it.  

 

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I think ultimately a lot of these things come down to what this movie was fundamentally about: the ceaseless march of war, the failures of the past haunting the present, noble mistakes damaging your cause, and somehow still finding hope in the sight of all these.

And, if nothing else, Kylo Ren is the most complex and interesting character this franchise has ever had by a huge margin. Johnson picked up the threads JJ tossed out and wove something truly remarkable. 

As far as Kasdan goes, I think he at least could've punched up the dialogue a bit. I know that bad lines are kinda part of what Star Wars is, but yeesh. 

So I'm thinking the franchise for me goes something like this (Ewok movies not ranked)

10 Ep II Attack of the Clones

9. The Clone Wars (movie)

8. Ep 1 The Phantom Menace

7. Ep III Revenge of the Sith

6. Ep VII The Force Awakens

5. Ep VIII The Last Jedi

4. Ep VI Return of the Jedi

3. Rogue One

2. Star Wars (aka Ep I A New Hope)

1. Ep IV The Empire Strikes Back

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