*Spoilers* The Last Jedi *Spoilers*
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Dr. SexBot
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:14 am    Post subject: *Spoilers* The Last Jedi *Spoilers* Reply with quote

I was pretty disappointed by the movie. Part of it may have been that I have spent the last 2 years hyping the movie up in my head. I wouldn't say I hated it but there was just something about it that I couldn't quite put my finger on.

I've thought about it a bit and maybe I am crazy, but I feel like every potentially powerful moment was completely undermined and then reversed again for the sake of...well I'm not sure...upsetting expectations? proving just how clever the director is? I could see having a twist or 2 in the movie, but I had some serious twist-fatigue by the end of this; a fatigue so great that no amount of poorly timed comedic relief or cute space animals could cure it.

Here are the main offenders as I see it. Let me know if you think I am over-reacting to any of these or if I missed any:

1) Kylo decides to spare Leia - interesting...wait. No. Two random ships swoop in and kill her anyway. Oh well...wait. No. She does some poorly animated Jedi stuff and she's alive again.

2) Luke won't train Rey. Ok, he'll train her. Here's like 2 sentences worth of training. That's enough, right?

3) Hey it's the code breaker we've been looking for. Oh no, we've been arrested. But hey, look here's a guy who might be just as good. Let's just give up and go back to the Resistance fleet to die instead. Oh it's that bum again, I guess he's good enough.

4) Haldo stays behind because someone has to pilot the ship. She wants to bravely sacrifice herself to save everyone else. Then she just stands on the bridge for a long time not doing any piloting. But wait! The bum from the casino world somehow knew the Resistance's plan. Then, after like 75% of the fleet is destroyed, she's like - Oh, I should fly this ship into that ship.

5) Rey thinks that there is good in Kylo. He betrays her and brings her to Snoke. Then Kylo betrays Snoke. But wait he still wants to be evil. Then he and Rey break Luke's light saber and I guess instead of killing Kylo who is passed out, Rey just leaves him there.

6) We have to stop that cannon, if it breaks through the door, we've lost. There is no other way out of here. OK so now we've almost reached the cannon and several people have already died. Time to retreat, it's not worth sacrificing one person's life to save many. But wait, Finn is going for it anyway. He's going full speed at the cannon. Too bad he wasn't in Rose's ship because she had enough speed to spare to catch back up to Finn from a 90 degree angle after breaking off a minute or so previously. Then almost kills herself trying to keep Finn from killing himself to save everyone. Maybe we should actually check to see if there is another way out. Cool, there is, it's like right around this corner.

7) Luke's here to sacrifice himself to save the day. Nope - Jedi projection. Luke's fine...aaand he's dead.

8) The Jedi order must end. Time to burn down this tree and those ancient Jedi texts. No, I can't. Oh, OK, Yoda did it for me. Wait, no! I have to save those books! Nah. The Jedi must end. - Rey had already taken the books. You get a glimpse of them in the Millennium Falcon near the end.


Last edited by Dr. SexBot on Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:08 am; edited 1 time in total
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Marcus Brody
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Then he and Rey break Luke's light saber and I guess instead of killing Kylo who is passed out, Rey just leaves him there.


Executing a passed-out dude isn't much of a "good guy" move. Also, her lightsaber was gone so I guess she could have picked up his evil red saber and killed him with it, or just like...stomped him to death? Either one seems like a one-way ticket to the dark side.


Other than that, I can't really argue with anything you said. I think the whole thing could be recut into a pretty solid movie (that's also about half an hour shorter).

I guess I just don't expect any piece of fiction that's that big and commercial to exist without cheap toy-selling compromises, so I wasn't that shocked by a lot of it.
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Dr. SexBot
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair point. I still think it's kind of weird that she just left him there, but I suppose capturing him would have been difficult and without a laser sword, there'd be no point to waiting for him to wake up and fighting him fairly. Not much else to do except escape I guess.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Too bad he wasn't in Rose's ship because she had enough speed to spare to catch back up to Finn from a 90 degree angle after breaking off a minute or so previously.


To be fair, they did say that those speeders were old, ill-maintained hunks of junk...hers could have legitimately been much faster than his.

While we're discussing it:

Finn could have been swapped out for literally any other character -- a droid, someone new, whatever, who cares. His inexplicable aptitude with a lightsaber in episode 7 apparently doesn't have anything to do with anything, and his character was given all the personality of a dry washcloth.

Edit: Also he finished his showdown with that shiny chrome stormtrooper officer whose story I really don't remember at all. It was kinda like "oh hey it's you, let's get this small, poorly-explored part of my story out of the way so that I have even less to accomplish in the next movie."
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My take; was it perfect? No, not by any stretch. I totally agree with Mark that it could be re-cut into a better film; 110-120 mins tops. Apparently this happened with episode IV, but gratefully before it was released.



If I had Johnson's personal email, I'd send this to him daily.

In my mind I think that movie was framed by the director as a display of exactly what the film was for him; a stall for time. ie. Poe stalling in the beginning and Luke stalling at the end. I don't think Johnson knew how exactly to write this movie.

Apparently the original treatment of the film was totally thrown out by Johnson once he was brought on board. He rewrote the film and was obviously influenced by the fandom and their expectations. Which is incredibly sad to me. Since now it's obvious that while there might have been an original goal or story for the trilogy, that goal has been derailed by someone who blatantly pandered to the audience in some places and just as blatantly thumbed his nose at others.

Don't get me wrong I definitely smiled when they didn't go the expected route with Snoke or Rey's parents. I was so very tired of the endlessly rehashed theories posted on Polygon and the like.

I even liked the overall premise of the movie; failure. I thought it was a clever way to mirror Empire without suffering the same fate as The Force Awakens, with its stigma as a re-skinned episode IV. However, giving everyone their own plot lines just killed the pacing. There was no reason Poe couldn't have gone with Finn and Rose and been upset when he got back that they were fueling up the escape shuttles. I think I just shaved 10 mins off the time there.

The two main sins of this movie for me was that Johnson made a Star Wars-esque movie, having all the action, style, flash, and pacing of a SW film, but left out the good storytelling. (I'm of course referencing IV-VI, since I-III are guilty of the same sin) The other sin being that there are simply too many main characters, a Game of Thrones style problem. I felt bounced around during the movie. (That and the evident Plot Armor given to the main characters as GoT is guilty of in the later seasons) Did Johnson just decide to save everyone in this film since they offed everyone in Rogue One?

It is my romantic wish that these films would have been written in a vacuum, far away from the influence of the internet or a board of directors or whomever. Once the overall story is written then give the directors that story and let their talent bring the vision to life. Don't let someone throw it out and make a movie that focuses on too many people in order to sell more toys. It's a modern SW flick, it's going to clear a fucking billion as a given. Just give us a good story in under 2 hours.

Still, for all its faults, I still left the theater thinking, shocked, conflicted, but ultimately entertained. If that is not the point of cinemas, I'm not sure I know what is. Was it what I had hoped for? No, but it's the movie we've been given and at least it didn't bring in any bullshit like the Vong.

I can't tell if I've biased myself into liking it since it was a Star Wars movie and my childhood enthrallment for the series wins over every time.

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Viscount
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I realize that I might be coming off a bit critical of a single person and the plot holes and other stylistic choices were not Johnson’s alone. It takes a large army of people to make a movie of this magnitude. So my critique is for them as well.
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Jacob
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
2) Luke won't train Rey. Ok, he'll train her. Here's like 2 sentences worth of training. That's enough, right?


In my opinion this is basically what happened to Luke in Empire. He showed up on planet, Yoda didn't want to train him, then he did, then Luke left early. Now granted he had more running through the swamps montage but how long was he really there?

Quote:
7) Luke's here to sacrifice himself to save the day. Nope - Jedi projection. Luke's fine...aaand he's dead.


I feel like there's going to be a payoff for this in the next film. When Luke said "If you strike me down in anger, I will be with you, always." Then Kylo tried to kill him. I think Luke chose to pass into the Force to make that statement true and talk directly to Kylo to try to turn him. When Rey and Leia talk about his death they say they didn't feel any suffering or fear, "Only peace and purpose. If it's not a setup for something like this though you're right it's totally lame.

Everything else everybody else addressed or I agree with you. Overall I really enjoyed it. It wasn't a rip-off of previous Star Wars and it did some new stuff. Some of it succeeded, some of it failed, but I don't think it's anywhere near the worst entry in Star Wars.

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Dr. SexBot
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul wrote:
Don't get me wrong I definitely smiled when they didn't go the expected route with Snoke or Rey's parents. I was so very tired of the endlessly rehashed theories posted on Polygon and the like.


I didn't mind that Rey's Parents were nobody or that they killed Snoke by surprise in the middle of the film. I don't like that these things were teased to no end in the meantime. Why setup a mystery around Rey's parents and hint that they are important, and then reveal in the next movie that they are not. I don't think that Rey has to be a Kenobi or a Palpentine for her story to be interesting, but if she came from nothing, then establish that in the first movie and explore it. There's no need to setup that mystery. It's too cute. It's not good story telling, it's just griefing. I didn't mind as much about Snoke. I feel like most of the speculation was driven from outside on him. Sure it would have been cool to get his backstory, but I'm sure I'll be able to buy a series of 13 comics, 2 young adult novels, a mobile game, and a 3 episode web series to get those details.

Jacob wrote:
I feel like there's going to be a payoff for this in the next film. When Luke said "If you strike me down in anger, I will be with you, always." Then Kylo tried to kill him. I think Luke chose to pass into the Force to make that statement true and talk directly to Kylo to try to turn him. When Rey and Leia talk about his death they say they didn't feel any suffering or fear, "Only peace and purpose. If it's not a setup for something like this though you're right it's totally lame..


If it's a setup, I hope they follow through because I agree, that could be cool. I feel like a lot of the stuff teased in "The Force Awakens" was swept under the rug in this movie though so we will see.
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Marcus Brody
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel like having the internet figure shit out beforehand is just something you have to accept, especially with something as big as Star Wars. In terms of setting up surprises, your spectrum of options has to be somewhere between:

A. You leave too many (or too strong) hints, and the surprise is weak, but your storytelling is consistent and logical.

B. You leave enough hints that someone could figure out the surprise beforehand, but only if they're putting in the work to sift and sort your fine details. The is the sweet spot, and a well crafted story will probably have its secrets hovering around both sides of this point, so that a few of the more obvious surprises help distract the casual audience member from the more buried ones.

C. You throw out a ton of bait and misdirection, then twist the story away from it. The surprise is strong but cheap, and your other storytelling suffers for it.


I think TLJ spent most of its time too close to point C -- perhaps, as Paul implied, just to avoid having the internet end up predicting everything. However, with a fanbase as engaged as SW fans, it's probably a good sign if the internet ends up figuring out most of your surprises, since it means they arrive feeling consistent and supported by your storytelling, instead of coming out of nowhere.


Dr. Sexbot wrote:
Jacob wrote:
I feel like there's going to be a payoff for this in the next film. When Luke said "If you strike me down in anger, I will be with you, always." Then Kylo tried to kill him. I think Luke chose to pass into the Force to make that statement true and talk directly to Kylo to try to turn him. When Rey and Leia talk about his death they say they didn't feel any suffering or fear, "Only peace and purpose. If it's not a setup for something like this though you're right it's totally lame..


If it's a setup, I hope they follow through because I agree, that could be cool. I feel like a lot of the stuff teased in "The Force Awakens" was swept under the rug in this movie though so we will see.


Yeah, I'm with Jacob. If they don't do something with this, they're fucking clowns. A future conflict between the two of them wasn't even hinted at -- it was stated.

I'd have to rewatch TFA, but I don't remember them abandoning anything that was foreshadowed/announced quite as hard as that? I could certainly be wrong, since I only watched it once, and it was years ago.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, just got done watching it. I agree that it seems to me like the central theme is failure. The line Yoda gives Luke about how failure is the greatest teacher I think is true through all of the arcs. Finn and rose failed at pretty much every point in their mission. Only thing they did right was get off the ship and down to kryat. Rey failed to save Ben. Poe failed in his mutiny. Everyone failed and learned lessons from it and grew.

Seemed like a major character growth film which is good for a middle part of a trilogy but I honestly hav no idea where they go at this point. Empire had the search for Han to contend with. No such plot threads in this.

I’ll have more after I think about it and digest a bit, perhaps a second watching. One thing I noticed though, Luke said to Ben that strike me down in anger and I’ll be with you forever. Like your father. It made me wonder if Ben keeps seeing Han and that is what is giving him pause.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with most of this, I was really disappointed. I didn't hate the movie but I felt like the constant flip flopping was over done.

I had 2 other major issues with the film and both have to do with tone.

1) nearly every moment of seriousness was immediately undermined by a comedic sight gag
2) They set an expectation in 7 of a darker, more realistic work where the good guys don't always win, then immediately ignored it

1: fuck porgs
2: on the gambling planet they set it up and this harsh slaver/war profiteer world whose opulence is a thin mask for cruelty, then they spend 5 minutes wrecking up the place, asking some children for help that will almost certainly get them executed, which the kids, with just the flash of a rebellion symbol they've probably never seen betray their masters? then they ride this heard of prized racing animals gets clear of the city and she pulls the saddle off and we're to believe that they got to roam free for the rest of their lives? those children are dead, those animals are back in captivity and the empire made so many tactical blunders in this movie as to be entirely laughable.

I think that's where it wraps back to the first point, the movie was entirely laughable. With the exception of the sound editing when the dreadnaught is taken out I felt like it was a cheesy block buster that would be easily forgettable if it didn't have Star Wars in the title.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bulkoth wrote:
1) nearly every moment of seriousness was immediately undermined by a comedic sight gag


My favorite was "HOW COULD YOU KILL YOUR FAMILY - OMG could you put on, like, a towel or something *giggle giggle* - BUT HOW COULD YOU KILL YOUR FAMILY?!?!?"

A close runner-up was the 'Poe tricks Admiral Whatshisface into thinking their space-phone is broken to buy time' thing, which could have been pulled from any random episode of The Office; sterling dialogue that definitely didn't feel out of place in the first five minutes of an epic space opera.


Quote:
2) They set an expectation in 7 of a darker, more realistic work where the good guys don't always win, then immediately ignored it


They did kill off like, 80% of the fleeing rebels and take out almost(?) every one of their military ships. I guess they blew up the dreadnought, but, other than that, the good guys didn't seem to manage much beyond basic survival.

Quote:
1: fuck porgs


Fuck porgs.


Quote:
those children are dead, those animals are back in captivity and the empire made so many tactical blunders in this movie as to be entirely laughable.


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Jacob
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

A close runner-up was the 'Poe tricks Admiral Whatshisface into thinking their space-phone is broken to buy time' thing, which could have been pulled from any random episode of The Office; sterling dialogue that definitely didn't feel out of place in the first five minutes of an epic space opera.


Intercom: What's going on down there? Come in!
Han Solo: Uh, everything is under control. Situation normal.
Intercom: What happened?
Han Solo: [flustered] Uh, had a slight weapons malfunction. But, uh, everything's perfectly all right now. We're fine. We're all fine here, now, thank you. How are you?
Intercom: We're sending a squad up.
Han Solo: Uh, uh, negative, negative. We had a reactor leak here now. Give us a few minutes to lock it down. Large leak... very dangerous.
Intercom: Who is this?? What's your operating number?
Han Solo: Uh... [shoots the intercom] Boring conversation anyway. Luke, we're gonna have company!

It's not in the first 5 minutes and is much more improvised than planned but I don't know that I'd agree with you that awkward stalling dialogue is out of place in Star Wars

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Marcus Brody
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My problem isn't with the specific dialogue wording itself, but in where/how it was inserted into the story.

They're similar out of context, but I think there's a world of difference between Han trying and failing to think/lie on his feet and Poe (as "Plan A") wagering the outcome of a major space battle on Earth-1990s-era broken-office-phone trolling.

Han's thing felt natural -- he does what he can, and gets frustrated when he fails. It fits with his character's scruffy charm, and it flows, tonally, with everything else that's happening (fake prisoner Chewie, the heroes needing constant improvisation to stay ahead of the imperials, etc.).

Poe's thing just felt like it was shoehorned into the movie to try for an early laugh.

"Prepare the bomber fleet, lieutenant. I'm going out there to...stall awkwardly!"
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They killed off 90% of the resistance fleet... But not a single named rebel character outside the one they created for this movie.
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