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I can't believe this is the controversial opinion, but I liked this film.
"But it's different and challenges you!"
...um, that's good!
Poe has more importance in this film, which is great.
Rose Tico is a maintenance worker who gets roped into the action part of the Resistance. She provides some sloppy morals to the film and it's too late in the trilogy for her to work as a key heroic cast member. Not exactly a highlight.
Holdo is going to be a controversial figure...but that's the point. She's presented as an out-of-place and obstructive substitute leader, and while she makes mistakes, our perceptions of her are manipulated all the way through to constantly evolve. She's fascinating to me.
DJ provides some interesting commentary.
The film, again, really adds a sense of gravitas to the battles that I've never felt before. You can feel the weight on Leia's shoulders, and given the previous film's events, you really do feel more like Anyone Can Die.
The film is expedient in its parallels this time, and gets some interesting turns out of the way that are going to make Episode IX a lot freer and more interesting.
Canto Bight is a great location. It's a clever subversion of the "wretched hive of scum and villainy" we've seen so often in that it's a rich casino city, and the designs of the place and inhabitants are really cool.
Rey's development is interesting, and her relationship with Kylo Ren gets a lot more complex. Even though she never starts behaving in evil ways, there is real tension about her naivete and alignment.
Luke gets to be a character this time, and has a great, complex role.
Rey's past gets a great reveal.
The porgs are welcomely restrained, and serve as annoyances instead of cute creatures, and the character moments and comedy continue to be fantastic.
Points of contention:
"Luke would never!"— Luke was not 100% pure and idealistic, and continually demonstrated hallmarks of the Dark Side before cementing himself in the light. This is just what happens again in a tiny span of time, and the moral greys are what make it so compelling. Kylo Ren's character needed a morally uncomfortable origin.
"Leia Poppins!"— Given the significance of the moment especially after Carrie Fisher's passing, I'll accept it.
"B-plot goes nowhere!"— That's the point. This story is full of failure, with the lesson being to learn from it.
"1% animal-abuse politics overload!"— Fair, too. The fathiers are not a great part of Canto Bight, but we've seen benevolent rich people in these before, so it's nice to see the bad ones.
"Phasma underuse!"— Better than overuse, and Boba did it, too.
Overall, a Jedi approach is wise. Blind yourself to positivity, and you'll miss out on a lot of good.
Um, not sure how I posted two copies of this review, so feel free to just remove one of them.
I agree with you on some points but disagree with you on several others.
Maybe its because of the divisive current political climate, but if the audience complains that Star Wars was not political then they are deluding themselves. George Lucas explicitly said he based Palpatine on Richard Nixon, while the prequels were criticism of the Iraq War, a pointless war based on a lie. The Force Awakens had no political message except maybe Nazis are bad and the whole movie felt rather flat to me. The whole situation seems moot to me, because the majority of the plot is "Das Boot in Space", the plot is too focused on that drama to really delve into the setting politics of the First Order.
Phantasma dying really doesn't matter to me. She was an elite bad guy and Finn showed off what a badass he was by defeating her. Not every character death has to be explicitly mapped out.
Leia using the force was one of the cooler parts of a very dialogue heavy movie. Rose was a fine character. Holdo's role was rather plot oriented but I didn't hate her
From then on, my perspective gets rather mixed. I agree with you that Luke was not an avatar of purity, though I thought the message of his scenes with Kylo Ren was that fear drives people to desperation, rather than the climax of a character arc.
However, Luke is an awful teacher, both in the flashback and after it. Just compare him to Snoke. Snoke is a rude, belligerent, vitriolic, sarcastic, abusive, ill-mannered, oppressive, loud, brazen, jerk that tempts Kylo Ren to the Dark Side. The very fact that Luke is given equivalency to one of the biggest assholes in the galaxy comes off as utterly ridiculous. What did Luke do to make Snoke's offer even considerable? Zap his nephew too many times in the crotch with the lightsaber training probe? Test his anger by showing him a holographic recreation of Jar-Jar? Suggest continuing the family tradition of Jedi with prosthetic limbs? Palpatine didn't have a detailed backstory, but he could be subtle when he wanted to be and he carefully exploited Anakin's feelings of fear and loneliness.
A selling point of the movie is Luke saying he would teach her why the Jedi Order must end. The premise has potential, Luke inadvertently teaching Rey how to be a better Jedi while the two debate over whether it should continue to exist. Only problem is that Luke gives up five minutes into teaching lesson one. I understand it was done to make room for Kylo Ren's backstory, but did they really need to include it in this movie? I was fine with it being a mystery, possibly hinted through the lessons Luke was teaching, but instead the show dropped an exposition bomb and felt it needed to repeat the same plot point three times! The whole arc makes Luke look petty, getting angry when she reaches out to Kylo Ren when he wouldn't follow through on the promises he made her. The reluctance to follow through on any sort of action really killed the pacing. I remember several times in the movie, Rey just stood there and waited for something to happen. This is not how to write a compelling narrative.
Just because Boba sucks doesn\'t mean other helmets guys should be. Curiously, Phasma\'s performance in this film is on par with TR-8R.
How did you get your double-posted review deleted so fast? There are at least ten things I\'ve flagged (of my own making and others\') over the last year and a half that are still just sitting there. Did you catch the mods on the one day a year they\'re doing their jobs or what?
Anyways, yeah, it\'ll be a fascinating read for sure. If their impossible-to-placate entitlement-based disappointment in Last Jedi can trick people into thinking the prequels aren\'t largely generic dullshit just because George Lucas made them, anything can and will happen.
I don\'t think the idea was that Luke was such a bad teacher to Ben that he turned. Snoke was cultivating Ben\'s darkness, apparently even before his birth, and Luke\'s frightened contemplation of murder was just the final straw that created Kylo Ren. The lack of history to Snoke and Ben is actually problematic, I\'ll grant that.
I have no huge problem with historical political parallels in Star Wars, but the generic stance of \"be good to animals\" wasn\'t necessary for this story, and the ensuing sequence was too prequelly when the segment mostly avoided that by not being space-Vegas.
Phasma doesn\'t upset me because I think giving her more of a role would be pandering. TR-8R and the Praetorian Guard fight were already gratuitous to me, so she might have been bloatedly badass if they gave her more focus.
The conflict between the Dark And Light is more focused on greys now. Luke rejects the idea of a new Jedi Order because of how shortsighted the Jedi faith had made its members, and Snoke is interested in Ren because of his light. Luke\'s resistance is borne of fear for Rey. Luke is scared, terrified of what her training may lead her to, and that\'s why he is so reluctant. He\'s finally understood the failure of training a fallen Jedi, and everything about Rey\'s naive behavior and interactions with Ren puts him on high alert. Why not be extra-involved than pass the blame of a fallen Jedi to someone else? Well, Yoda wanted to do just the same. He was convinced Luke would be turned, and wanted no part in the tragedy. Yoda himself has learned from this and talks to Luke, rekindling his faith and letting him see his importance.
The three-perspective circumstances of Kylo Ren\'s creation only make the story more complicated in a good way. Luke himself falls prey to black-and-white morals when describing the scene, and Ren does too with the opposite. Luke finally acknowledges and relates the greys, allowing Rey to understand him better as a person, but it also gives her pause. Who can she trust now, and can she lead herself properly without faith in the others? It\'s another great parallel, to the \"certain point of view\" related by Obi-Wan.
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