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12/30/2017 23:25:33 •••

It's Really Not About Jedi

The Last Jedi is the second best Star Wars movie in the series, but only if you see the Empire Strikes Back as the only other good thing about the franchise. If you appreciate the canon of Star Wars whether it be from the movies' continuities or concepts explored by the Expanded Universe this movie will disappoint you.

Some people complain that Luke has been reduced to a crabby, bitter, old man. I'm not upset about that as much as he's a crabby, bitter, old man that doesn't do anything. The whole island story arc with him and Rey feels like several drafts stitched together and then never edited. Luke says he's going to teach her three lessons about why the Jedi should end. He gives up halfway through one and then complains when she tries to seek answers from other sources. Rey visits the residential Dark Side sinkhole and makes a rad finger snapping concert but doesn't get anything else out of it. Luke tries to destroy the old Jedi relics, gives up, then ghost Yoda destroys them anyway, saying Rey already has the wisdom of a Jedi. Really? Because she came here for that reason and Luke has barely taught her a thing.

This is the second film that has a title that implies there is going to be a discussion about the Force and once again the topic is skimmed before being abandoned. Kylo Ren's fall to the Dark Side is a great example of this. Kylo Ren had a loving family took tutelage under Luke who was known as a galactic hero but somehow becomes corrupted by Snoke simply reaching out to him. Compare this abrupt change to the prequels, where Anakin's fall was a series of tragic events that made him feel inadequate and helpless, with the Dark Side promising him the power to change his weakness. The Dark Side is individualism in contrast to Light Side's collectivism, neither are inherently bad, and the prequels showed that both could be morally grey. However, the J. J. Abrams films simply chooses to stick with the simplistic good vs evil cliche, with the Dark Side having super corrupting powers that act on contact.

My complaints about the Rebel storyline is that the film retreads old ground. Once again the Rebels are the underdog. Only instead of it being just a David vs Goliath fight, David is hooked to a respirator and suffers musclular dystrophy in all his limbs. The Rebels say they are "the spark that will burn down the New Order". The New Order infrastructure better be more explosive than Psychlo because by the end of the film there aren't enough Rebels to organize a city paper route let alone defeat a galaxy wide empire.

The characters are actually surprisingly solid. Kylo Ren and Finn both receive significant character exploration and depth. Rose is a new addition that is fun and charismatic. Even Rey is a bit more complex as a protagonist. Its just a shame they are stuck with this wierd and ultimately disappointing plot.

12/24/2017 00:00:00

Luke tries to destroy the old Jedi relics, gives up, then ghost Yoda destroys them anyway, saying Rey already has the wisdom of a Jedi. Really?

At the end of the film we see Rey stole the Jedi books and took them with her aboard the Falcon. Yoda knew of this, saying "there is nothing in there that she does not already have."

The Rebels say they are "the spark that will burn down the New Order". The New Order infrastructure better be more explosive than Psychlo because by the end of the film there aren't enough Rebels to organize a city paper route let alone defeat a galaxy wide empire.

Poe says: "We are the spark that will light the fire that will burn the First Order down." He means they are not the fire because they are currently too weak to defeat the Order by themselves, but will escape and do what they can while word of their exploits and Luke's spread across the galaxy and rally others to their cause. We then see at the end the children becoming inspired by Luke's legend. They are the fire that's beginning to grow.

Rey visits the residential Dark Side sinkhole and makes a rad finger snapping concert but doesn't get anything else out of it.

It's foreshadowing of her admittance later in the film that there's no point to her trying to learn "the truth" about her parents. She already knows that they were jerks who suck and that she needs to move past them and focus on what she will do.

12/26/2017 00:00:00

I\'ll cop to Rey learning about her parents. However, if the Dark Side corrupts people to the point of actually touching it makes people prone to falling, why doesn\'t it affect Rey? I mean she goes in seeking knowledge she never had and the Dark Side freely gives it to her. If the Dark Side is evil, why give the information so easily?

The Rebels may rebuild themselves, but I fail to see how this changes anything. The Rebels defeated Palpatine and then collapsed before the New Order\'s might. The Rebels could win again, and then collapse to whatever new incarnation of the Empire rises from the ashes. The plot just keeps recycling itself.

12/30/2017 00:00:00

I agree with a lot of your review. I was fine with Luke being old and unsure of himself but he doesn't do much in this movie, they completely abandon the three lessons structure, Kylo's reasons for going Dark felt incredibly weak. And why is a Galactic Republic reduced to like twenty people?

But it's still a strong film besides the disjointed plot. Positives: lots of exciting space battle scenes, Rose gives Finn a much-needed love interest so it's not another two hours of him chasing Rey around the galaxy, a lightsaber duel with an interesting twist, Snoke was kind of pointless anyways, and I actually liked how they handle the final confrontation between Luke and Kylo - it felt like a good synthesis of the lessons Luke learned from Obi-Wan and Yoda in the original trilogy (especially the "luminous beings" Yoda quote from Empire)

However, Tuckerscreator is correct that Rey took the Jedi Order books with her.

12/30/2017 00:00:00

Oh and I couldn't believe the cutaway from Luke's reaction to Han's death. How is that not a pivotal scene? Instead we get "Where's Han?" then it's never mentioned again.

12/30/2017 00:00:00

If the Dark Side corrupts people to the point of actually touching it makes people prone to falling, why doesn\'t it affect Rey?

As we saw in The Empire Strikes Back, entering a dark side cave once doesn\'t automatically make you evil. It\'s the start of temptation, but it\'s no guarantee for what you do next.

The Rebels may rebuild themselves, but I fail to see how this changes anything. The Rebels defeated Palpatine and then collapsed before the New Order\'s might. The Rebels could win again, and then collapse to whatever new incarnation of the Empire rises from the ashes. The plot just keeps recycling itself.

Nobody\'s said the plot\'s going to recycle itself twice. I doubt it will. One reset after 30 years does not guarantee another after 6.

12/30/2017 00:00:00

\"Once again the Rebels are the underdog.\"

If they weren\'t underdogs, they wouldn\'t be \"rebels.\" Anyway, the odds aren\'t quite as lopsided as it seems. The Resistance may have a depleted army, but on the opposite side the First Order\'s leadership is pretty much broken: The architect of the whole thing is dead, leaving it all in the hands of his two squabbling minions, who command no real respect and have no clear vision. Also, it looked like Holdo\'s lightspeed kamikaze move destroyed at least half of the First Order\'s fleet.


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