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Star Wars
01-09-2018 11:06 PM
Dope Man .


Posts: 3,533
Joined: Mar 2010
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Post: #1051
RE: Star Wars

(12-16-2017 06:48 AM)MF STORM Wrote:  Saw it last night, won't spoil til I know people have seen. This movie has me like conflicted-where I enjoyed a good amount of it but a good portion made me feel let down/underwhelmed I guess? IDK but reactions are all over the place for this one. Gotta say stark contrast in final scenes between this and Force Awakens though.

Caught it last night, enjoyed the visuals/effects and still assessing it.

The critics and pros support it strongly, but a lot of the audience is angered and the backlash has been brutal.

Rian Johnson is going down as the guy who got a blank cheque on SW and burned up every thing that came before.

[Image: 140521163157-04-disney-scary-villians-ho...allery.jpg]

The hate out there for RJ is strong and Disney just signed him up for a whole new SW trilogy! Fun times ahead.

Go ahead and drop the spoilers.

Quote:George Lucas the godfather of the galaxy far, far away has seen the new film, and according to his representative, after the screening, he told director Rian Johnson it was "beautifully made."

Hilariously tears it apart -

Quote:The Last Jedi and the New Aesthetic of Star Wars

Upon leaving the theater from The Last Jedi, I was immediately struck by two questions – 1.) Did Star Wars change or did I change? And 2.) Did people feel the same way about The Empire Strikes Back in 1980?

I’ll admit, my expectations for this movie were enormous, especially after 2016’s masterful Rogue One. The epic title, the crimson-hewn poster art, the badass trailers– all implied a sense of hugeness and gravity. Given the events of Episode IX have yet to occur, my opinion of this movie could completely change; and I wholeheartedly commend Rian Johnson for attempting to sate our desire for a “unique” movie. However The Last Jedi underwhelms because it fails to capture the tonally mature, carefully-paced elegance of the originals – which I contend is the subconscious reason people, including children, fell in love with Star Wars in the first place. Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of things I liked about the movie; however The Last Jedi is ultimately a double letdown of both story and storytelling. The film is marred by too many awkward moments of humor and goofy plot beats, while severely lacking in exposition, character development and artful dialogue – the latter two being the hallmarks of a great second act. It was alike and different from the classics in all the wrong ways. The fundamental reason why so many sequels fail (which is a whole new discussion) is because the new creators fail to understand what made the originals so great. Disney appears to be no different.

The Story
Before touching on aesthetics, let’s first discuss some structural problems with the plot. First, the story feels fundamentally hollow due to a lack of exposition for the good guys (The Force Awakens is partially to blame). We’ve seen Return of the Jedi, and are owed some explanation. Without it, the good guys just feel like carbon copies from the original trilogy (and no, the originals owed us nothing because no prior canon existed to Star Wars in 1977). We can’t empathize with the Rebellion “Resistance” because we still have no (literally zero) explanation of their origin or motive. Why was a resistance even necessary after, just 30 years prior, pulling off the most kick-ass guerilla military operation in the galaxy? What was the New Republic government even like and why is it worth fighting for? Where the hell were the mighty fleets of the New Republic and why were they concentrated so finely that they could be wholly destroyed by a few superlasers from The Deathstar Starkiller Base? The easy answer is that the New Republic was a pacifist government that dismantled its weapons and only kept a token fleet for defense (and apparently a worthless intelligence agency). Such naïve rationale would make even the peace-loving Captain Picard facepalm himself in dismay. Disney could have at least honored the legacy of Return of the Jedi by giving us a 5-minute flashback (Lord of the Rings style) on the post-war events following Episode VI. Doing so would have provided some critical weight in helping us believe in that “spark” to ignite this new rebellion (or is it resistance?).

Problem Number Two – There is basically zero relationship between Luke and Rey. She shows up, Mark Hamill plays a cynical version of himself (which is sort of entertaining for a while but awkward for the movie), she swings a lightsaber at a rock, force-skypes with Kylo and leaves. This feels more like reality TV than epic storytelling. Most criminal of all, the movie completely omits any semblance of the “hero’s journey” for young Rey. After ditching Luke, she cordially meets bad-guy Kylo with whom she teams up to defeat a Sith master with little more than a scratch (although the lightsaber battle is really cool and the movie’s highlight). This narrative would have been far, far more satisfying had they been brother and sister, but I digress. She then heroically flies the Millennium Falcon into battle and rescues the surviving Resistance fighters by force-lifting a ton of rocks (a feat even Luke would have struggled with as a trained apprentice).

Wow. Disney, I get you’re trying to be “different”, but there is nothing epic about telling a story of a kid who, unchallenged, “figures it out on their own”. It is neither inspiring nor relatable, and does a disservice to young viewers. And while I vehemently maintain that “relatability” is not a prerequisite for good art, it is a very powerful storytelling element whose omission is painfully absent in Rey’s development. Aside from an apparently painful mind-meld with Snoke and receiving some bad parental news (which she already knew), Rey achieves success without any suffering or catharsis (could this be Disney’s cruel play to the “entitled millennial” stereotype?). She better be the second-coming of Yoda or Jesus Christ to be this adept in The Force without a teacher. In fact, doesn’t Yoda even say that “failure is the greatest teacher” in the movie?! While Rey’s competence with a lightsaber is conceivable given her skill with a staff, her self-mastery of the Force is uninspired, unrelatable and ultimately detracts from the beauty of the story. Daisy Ridley is a dynamite actress and her portrayal of Rey is fantastic. Her character deserves far more complexity from the script.

Supporters of the movie will likely celebrate its “punk” sensibility– how it seems to push the confines of epic storytelling (the three act structure, the hero’s journey, etc). However I would argue that these inspirational elements are hardly a “limitations” at all, but fundamental ingredients like sugar and salt, from which thousands of recipes can be made. It is still possible to craft a unique story without sacrificing these classic themes, and to think otherwise just seems intellectually lazy. Yes the story was different, but not in a satisfying way. Looks like Disney is saving the heavy-lifting for Episode IX!

Even despite these annoying plot issues, I would argue The Last Jedi still could have been a great movie had Disney simply been more respectful of the tone of the classics. While lighthearted at times, the originals were fundamentally serious movies about suffering, faith, warfare and heroism. Perhaps a product of the post-Vietnam milieu, Lucas masterfully blended dark and adult themes with tasteful moments of humor (a skill he apparently lost for the prequels). The solemnity of The Last Jedi is beleaguered by far too many awkward, ill-timed moments of slapstick that rob the film of any sense of tonal majesty. For example, the scene on the cliff where Rey is practicing her hot lightsaber moves started swelling up as this gorgeous scene of badassery and focus…and then stalls when she accidentally cuts the stone in half, nearly hitting two of those goofy bipedal bird aliens. *facepalm*. Let’s not forget that classy montage where “Jeremiah Johnson” Luke awkwardly milks the teat of a dopey-looking sea cow with Rey watching in confusion. And of course the scene where Mark Hamill (playing himself) tickles Rey’s hand as she “reaches out to The Force” (which is actually really funny but robs the scene of the dignity it deserves). What should be a movie rich with meaty, elegant dialogue discussing the complexity of The Force, is reduced to a classless litany of hipster rants and lame jokes. Granted, as a young child watching The Empire Strikes Back I remember getting bored with all the Yoda training scenes on Dagobah. However as I grew up, those scenes quickly became my favorite part of the entire trilogy. Those philosophical exchanges between Hamill and Oz in the misty Dagobah jungle reign as some of the most artful and transcendent lines of dialogue I’ve ever witnessed from science fiction.

And it wasn’t just the Luke and Rey scenes, but countless more off-color distractions such as the General Hux phone prank scene, gravity-falling bombs (in space), Finn dumbly walking around in a leaking suit, Rey scolding a shirtless Kylo, and the cringe-worthy horse-alien rescue on Canto Bight (a scene that felt more befitting the disastrous Episode I). And of course the watered-down battle of Hoth Krayt that seemed more concerned with promoting the weird narrative of Finn and Rose than depicting the realities of combat.

However I will grant that the final Luke Skywalker scenes were pretty cool and befitting the grandeur of his character. Also, the Snoke and Kylo scenes were fantastic, and I loved how Snoke (brilliantly voiced) immediately addresses the “elephant in the room” by rightfully eschewing Kylo for being defeated by an untrained girl, not to mention mocking his Vader-wannabe mask. The Leia resurrection scene was also masterfully done, and a heartbreaking ode to Carrie Fisher’s famous request to “die in the moonlight strangled by my own bra.” (I held back tears on all three viewings).

Chuck Klosterman, in his book of “Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs”, fascinatingly deconstructs the symbolic importance of The Empire Strikes Backas the cultural moment that marked the ascendance of Generation X. The rebellion is in retreat, the fate of the galaxy uncertain, and our hero forced to cope with a major identity crisis (sound familiar?). Emotionally heavy, cynical and bleak, Empire masterfully tells a coming-of-age tale that mirrors the Gen-X aesthetic with chilling accuracy. However there’s a frustrating irony in that the Gen X-ers helming the New Star Wars seem incapable of replicating the weightier tone of the classics they grew up with, Rogue One’s Gareth Edwards notwithstanding – but maybe they deliberately don’t want to? As a millennial myself (who identifies as Boomer), I can’t help but wonder if The Last Jedi is serving the same cultural purpose for my generation as Empire did for Gen-X? A movie coddled by cutesy jokes, emo entitlement (Kylo) and effortless success (Rey), could The Last Jedibe Disney’s cruel affirmation (or mockery) of the millennial stereotype? Its nihilistic motif of “letting the past die” also seems eerily reminiscent of our “post-truth” Trump moment and its crusade against old institutions of media, politics and government.

But maybe the haters just don’t understand The Last Jedi? Maybe it’s just too artsy, too intellectual? Or maybe our adult-centric view of Star Wars is wrong and that it really is meant to be nothing more than lightweight children’s fare? Who are we to demand more substance from the new stories? Maybe it will be us millennials who will triumphantly bring Star Wars back to its roots? But seeing as we’ve nearly killed rock ‘n roll, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Vega will like this -

Quote:Kojima: 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' and the Reinvention of the Hero

Hideo Kojima discusses the evolution, not revolution, of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'

SPOILER ALERT: This article reveals several key plot points from the movie Star Wars: The Last Jedi. If you haven't seen the movie, please beware.

In 1977, George Lucas revolutionized not only film but the entire entertainment industry with Star Wars.

But, 40 years later, Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) isn't a revolution. A revolution is when the oppressed overthrow the oppressor, the old are replaced by the new, giving rise to new countries and concepts. The Last Jedi doesn't change the boundaries established by Star Wars in its story, expression (technique and design) nor how its business operates.

However, rather than this being something negative about the film, it is proof that The Last Jedi is indeed the right kind of Star Wars for the 21st century.

Lucas' original Star Wars is a story of revolution, where the rebellion led by Princess Leia along with Han Solo and Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker stand against the Galactic Empire. The Last Jedi depicts the battles between the heavily armed First Order and the Resistance fighters. This structure is inherited from The Force Awakens, an "Empire versus Rebellion" theme that is persistent throughout the Star Wars series.

Near the end of The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren kills Snoke, the Supreme Leader of the First Order. This is a coup d'état by Kylo, and should be considered an internal structural revolution. However, while Kylo invites Rey to create a new order along with him, he never actually attempts to do so. Instead of destroying the First Order, he merely occupies the now vacant position of Supreme Leader. It seems that only the leadership in the organization changes, while its objective and power structure are left intact. What happens next might be portrayed in future episodes, but at this point, the First Order has only undergone a succession in administration, rather than an actual revolution.

The motif of succession is present throughout the film: Vice Admiral Holdo takes command when Leia is incapacitated, and Poe Dameron is demoted for disobeying General Leia's orders. And most importantly, there is the succession from Luke to Rey.

This is not a revolution. And just as the story isn't about revolution, its themes and portrayals aren't revolutionary either. This is only natural, though, as the film is but one piece of the continuous, eternal kingdom of Star Wars.

Star Wars and New American Cinema
Let's first look back at the revolution that George Lucas started in 1977.

My first encounter with Star Wars was through a metallic sticker included in a movie magazine. It featured Luke Skywalker using binoculars while standing next to C-3PO, and that alone was enough to transmit how groundbreaking Star Wars was. However, it would take more than a year after its release in the US for the movie to be released in Japan. Actually, Star Wars ended up being released in Japan after Close Encounters of the Third Kind. At the time, there was no internet, and the speed at which information from overseas came to Japan can't begin to compare to the flow of information we have today. Even then, though, there was a daily influx of Star Wars news and reviews: a blockbuster science fiction epic that sparked a global SF frenzy. Fueled by the SF craze, Japanese Star Wars-like movies such as The War In Space and Message from Space were rushed into production so that they could be released before Star Wars in Japan.

I was one of those kids excited about watching Star Wars, but even I felt something odd about this movie being categorized as science fiction. Back then, to me, science fiction was not restricted to just movies or novels, but any expression that portrayed problems and contradictions in today's society and brought them under examination by presenting them from a different angle. 2001: A Space Odyssey, Planet of the Apes, Soylent Green, Z.P.G., Godzilla; their social commentary and philosophical perspective made them SF. At the time Star Wars was criticized in some corners for having no philosophy, and for being preposterous and childish.

Star Wars wasn't science fiction per se; it was more of a fairy tale set in space. However, it wasn't a superficial, childish soap opera either. It was a revolutionary film, set to change films altogether: a work that created a genre and a culture of its own.

It may not directly tackle themes that afflict modern society, and some might brush it off as a shallow popcorn flick, but that's not the case. It is well known that Lucas used mythologist Joseph Campbell's The Hero With a Thousand Faces as a base, and through Star Wars Lucas expanded on timeless themes such as father and son relationship and the journey into adulthood.

On top of that, by introducing ideas based on Eastern mysticism such as the Force and Jedis, he brought non-western religious and philosophical elements into the realm of science fiction (or better put: to space opera). One of those elements is how the Force extends beyond good and evil, diving into the idea of the duality persistent across all things (perhaps some of this thinking was influenced by Lucas' affection in his youth towards Akira Kurosawa's work).

There are those who claim that the success of Star Wars ended the New American Cinema, but that's not the case. George Lucas, who stood up to make films in the 1960s, had an aversion to Hollywood's system and created his own indie development company along with Francis Ford Coppola (Lucas’ debut film with the studio being THX1138). Lucas didn't end New American Cinema: he created a new way of making films.

Tech, Merch and Process
Star Wars also revolutionized the technology and business of movies. The trilogy, consisting of episodes four to six, utilized analog special effects (SFX) such as filming miniature sets with motion control cameras, while episodes one to three created aliens, droids and environmental art mostly through digital effects (VFX), always creating its worlds with state of the art technology.

Companies such as ILM, THX and Skywalker Sound were created to pursue further research and development of these technologies, and the knowledge they accumulated would go on to significantly transform the film industry on a global scale (you may remember that Pixar was also born from the CG division of Lucas Films).

Star Wars and George Lucas blazed a new path for VFX, CG, sound systems and other film technologies, and took their development to new heights. James Cameron, a few generations younger than George Lucas, would make similar contributions down the line.

Lucas continues to use the latest technologies to edit the films on each subsequent release, whether it’s the 1997 Trilogy Special Edition or other releases on DVD and Blu-ray. This was a foreshadowing of the transformation from movies as finished theatrical products to continuously morphing entities, much like social games and TV series.

On the business side, by acquiring the merchandising rights, Lucas was ahead of his time in acknowledging the potential movies had as a royalty driven business. All the merchandise born from the movies - toys, figures, games, comics, animations, etc. - helped form the Star Wars universe. And each of those provides a form of entertainment different from a movie. I can't even begin to count how many Lego sets and figures I've bought over the years!

Lucas' Star Wars movie revolution gave rise to a creative process mimicked by all films since, and established the current movie business model. Of course, The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi are no exceptions. Even though The Last Jedi utilizes the latest VFX to deliver ever more astounding visuals, it's just an extension of the revolution of some 40 years past. A case in point: A lot of attention has been brought to the fact that a life-size mock-up of the Millennium Falcon was created to lend an authentic atmosphere, but the very same thing, albeit only the right half, was created way back in Episode IV. We are, in fact, not in the midst of a real technical revolution.

For each new Star Wars movie, the world setting, characters, mechanical creations and other designs must fit within the Star Wars framework, which of course makes it difficult to deliver an experience as all together new and fresh as the original. In addition, with mainline and spin-off films coming out every other year, it's impossible for a single creator to control all aspects of production. Instead, multiple directors must create films that keep fans continuously engaged, while staying within the confines of the Star Wars universe.

The Last Jedi is a movie that gallantly confronts this challenge. In fact, it is on this point that writer and director Rian Johnson really shines. Faced with the questions of how to build upon the back of an already successful revolution, and just what is the right course of action to take, Johnson chose to portray a modern, 21st century Star Wars story of succession and replacement.

The Last Jedi
Despite coming in at a new Star Wars record running time of roughly 152 min., the story of The Last Jedi is actually quite simple. Over the course of the film the resistance is constantly on the run from the dogged pursuit of the First Order. During that time Luke and Rey's succession, Kylo Ren and Supreme Leader Snoke's showdown, Rey and Kylo's Force-enabled communication, not to mention Finn and Rose's infiltration mission all play out.

As far as the story is concerned, little waves are made and there are no space-shattering conflicts. Although, to be fair this may be an inescapable result of being the second act of three parts.

In any case, the story immediately reminded me of Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk. Both are only one part of a larger story, and focus almost exclusively on the theme of escape. Like Dunkirk, The Last Jedi largely sets aside any questions about the causes of conflict and what effects the outcome may yield. Rather than tell a story, it's more concerned with effectively presenting characters and situations.

This method, akin to the portrayal of TV series characters, eschews plot progression in favor of deeper character development. Significant effort is applied to diving into and increasing the allure of characters from the previous episode: Rey, Finn, Poe, Kylo, as well as a host of new characters. However, failure to follow through with these character developments yields regrettable results. Poe gets kicked to the side early on and never finds a place to shine, and Rey and Luke's interactions fail to reach a satisfying conclusion.

The Last Jedi does boast a series of striking scenes, from Kylo and Rey's intense battle with the Elite Praetorian Guard (featuring backhanded lightsaber action!), to the final showdown on the blood-like red plumes of the white salt flats.

The Force
Conversely, unlike previous episodes, there is no mention of the trade federation that initially sparked the war for the Republic or other deeper political machinations. Instead, a great deal of care is paid to the positioning of characters. This is evident in Leia's role as a female general, the heroine Rey, and Finn's Asian female compatriot Rose. The film is conscious of gender and minorities in a way that could surely not have been seen in the era of Lucas' Star Wars.

The film doesn't waste its breath on bold revolutionary or political declarations, but instead sets its gaze upon social problems the audience experiences on a daily basis. Women are not princesses waiting to be rescued, but warriors who take up arms in their own fight. This fits the trend of Disney movies as well, where the once common theme of a princess waiting for her prince has all but become the ancient past.

The revelation behind the mystery of Rey's birth also brings another of the trilogy's central social themes to light.

Rey is one of the, if not the most powerful conduits of the Force, but her parents were not Jedi - just commoners (note: this truth may very well change in the next episode). This is directly opposed to Kylo Ren, who is the son of Leia and Han Solo, and Luke Skywalker, whose father is Darth Vader. Anakin's birth is also veiled in mystery. It's said he is without father, and an abnormally large quantity of midi-chlorians in his body grant him remarkable Force powers. So, just like the others, his birth has a mysterious mythological and privileged air about it.

Until now, the Force has always been something that only the chosen can come to possess, but this assumption is turned on its head. As we learn from Luke's lesson, the Force is, in fact, omnipresent, there for everyone.

The Democratization of the Hero
Episodes one through six center around the Force and the story of Luke Skywalker and his father Darth Vader. The heroes in these episodes are all special carriers of the Force. Indeed, episodes one to three are almost exclusively focused on the birth of Darth Vader.

(As a bit of an aside, it is sometimes hypothesized that perhaps due to Metal Gear Solid 3's position as a prequel and its focus on the birth of Big Boss, it was influenced by Star Wars. Darth Vader = Big Boss, or something like that. This is wrong. I was actually referencing the structure of Planet of the Apes and Stephen Hunter's Swagger Saga.)

Just as the power of kings is passed to their lineage, so too the Force is passed to the chosen few. At least that's how we've viewed Star Wars until now. The Last Jedi throws this concept out the window. Anyone can awaken to the Force. Anyone can be the hero. The spotlight isn't reserved for those special few, it can shine on anyone. Princess Leia is no longer a princess, but a general, a position that can be replaced by another.

The same movement has happened within the world of games. Previously the hero was an elite, a chosen figure coming from a unique background or possessing special powers, but from the time of Grand Theft Auto and the like, minorities and oppressed members of society have become the heroes. In this day and age, the leading role isn't reserved just for the chosen, but anyone can become the hero = the player.

The Last Jedi may be the first attempt to free Star Wars from its era of mythology, and propel it into the present. The closing scene of the young boy hopefully gazing up at the stars is as fitting an indication of this intent as any.

In Star Wars, anyone can be the hero. That's what The Last Jedi tells us. It's a new era, starting in a kingdom without a king.

The revolutionary age of toppling kings is past. Star "Wars" has entered a new era of festivity, welcome to one and all. The "all flash and no blood" red plumes on the salt planet signify this change of stance. To ensure the stability and prosperity of the kingdom, a festival is held each year as part of a never-ending celebration. This is what it means for Disney, not George Lucas, to helm the Star Wars franchise. In the magic kingdom anyone can become prince or princess, no blood is spilled and there are no revolutions.

The Last Jedi is just the prologue.

Dope editing -

Hitler vids never fail with the lols -

Quote:Star Wars: The Last Jedi

This is an ALL SPOILER review, written assuming that everybody has seen THE LAST JEDI before reading.

* * *

If you’re not familiar with my take on the Star Wars, I’m a devout follower, but a heretic. I’m out of step with the mainstream because I hold George Lucas in high regard and I prefer the innovation, ideas and idiosyncrasies of his prequels to Disney’s more polished and socially acceptable continuations (though I like those too).

I’ve also been pretty alone in my skepticism about director Rian Johnson. That might be overstating it – I thought BRICK was very well made and I did like LOOPER – but some of the ideas are a little corny to me, and I never related to the effusive praise from my friends and colleagues. So I wasn’t over-the-forest-moon about him doing a Star War.

After THE LAST JEDI, though, I’m sold. And worried about him not doing the next one. In his capacity as the first sole-writer-and-director on a Star War since Lucas, Johnson succeeds in so much more than I could’ve hoped: continuing and deepening the characters from THE FORCE AWAKENS, bringing back Luke Skywalker for a powerful completion to his arc, thrillingly upending some of our expectations, putting a personal mark on the world of Star Wars, and saying new things about the meaning of the saga as a whole and its application to the world. Also there are some weird new creatures, and Luke milks one of them.

My favorite part is all the stuff on the island. You know I love a good training movie. As Luke rejects Rey and she waits outside his door it feels to me like some Shaw Brothers shit. In EIGHT DIAGRAM POLE FIGHTER, for example, the fifth Yang is turned away from the monastery because he’s too crazy, but he stubbornly persists and belligerently forces his way into the ceremony, eventually proving himself worthy of training. His background is in spear fighting, which he adapts into pole fighting, much like Rey with her staff.

When Luke ignores Rey all day and she follows him up mountains, I felt he was training or testing her without her realizing it. Ultimately this does not seem to be his intention, but she receives schooling nevertheless: she follows in his footsteps, does what he does, proving she can hang until she’s drawn to the ancient Jedi texts.

During production, Johnson told Empire that some samurai shit was an inspiration: “THREE OUTLAW SAMURAI for the feel of the sword-fighting, and the general sense of pulpy fun.” I’d never have noticed that, but Hideo Gosha’s film does have some thematic overlap with THE LAST JEDI, with its samurai helping peasants in a rebellion against their corrupt oppressors.

I noticed a more direct reference to Kurosawa. Finn and Rose are in a jail cell trying to figure out how the hell they’re gonna break into the First Order ship to jam the tracker, and they have no idea Benicio Del Toro is in the cell with them until he wakes up and offers his expertise. This has got to be a nod to SANJURO, where Toshiro Mifune wakes up in a barn, overhears the planning of a conspiracy and butts in. Like Yojimbo/Sanjuro, Del Toro plays a weird, impulsive trickster who’s willing to mess around with either side of the conflict because he’s on neither. He does end up being more of a scoundrel than Sanjuro, though – unless we see him again and he redeems himself.

That’s part of what made this feel like true Star Wars to me – it has deeper influences and references than just previous Star Wars pictures. I never felt like it was stoking my nostalgia (even when it was – god damn it Yoda it’s good to see you a puppet again), it really felt like it was telling us a new story in the language of Star Wars. In J.J. Abrams’ enjoyable but backward-looking chapter, Kylo Ren is a Darth Vader fanboy who wears a mask inspired by him and even lugs his remains around like Norman Bates or Ed Gein would. In Johnson’s forward-looking chapter Kylo crushes that mask at the beginning, never wears it again, and sets out to destroy all the old shit (the Sith, the Jedi, the Rebellion, possibly podracing but that is not specifically stated). As mechanic turned hero Rose puts it, the good guys try to save what they love, the bad guys destroy what they hate. That was a corny thing to say about blowing up a cannon, but I’ll allow it because of its larger implications about the story of THE LAST JEDI, and Star Wars as a whole, and our country today, and the world.

I love Rey and Kylo’s telepathic conversations. This is a good example of an ability we’ve seen in previous Star Warses, but expanded into something entirely new and used in a very different, dramatic way. Instead of two heroes warning each other from afar it’s the hero and villain corresponding. At first Rey is telling Kylo he’s going to pay for what he’s done, eventually she’s confiding in him about the deep pain of not knowing her parents. They’re relating to each other, becoming confidants while still at war. Of course I love that shit. It’s John Woo, it’s HEAT, it’s OUT OF SIGHT. But it also builds off of Star Wars, the idea of Anakin turning to the dark side, Luke being tempted by it, Vader coming back from it, the great reversal that Abrams set up where Kylo is tempted by the light side. It expands Lucas’ idea that despite the seemingly binary terms of the Force, heroes can turn into fascists and villains can redeem themselves. And in this case it’s more complicated. Kylo saves Rey and kills Snoke, but not in the service of good.

Star Wars often asks you to consider things “from a certain point of view,” and here Luke and Kylo tell different versions of the Jedi school massacre. The revelation that Luke pulled a light saber on his sleeping nephew is a shock. (By the way, Director trademark: older actor wears goofy wig in scene that takes place earlier.) But I think Luke’s explanation makes sense when we remember that he was tempted by the dark side all through his journey. As was his father, his nephew, his new student. A moment of instinct tells him to take a short cut, to kill Baby Hitler. He thinks better of it, but just the idea has already set disaster in motion.

The match cuts between Rey and Kylo show how much they are sides of the same coin, and when they fight they even combine their power into some kind of Force blast that splits in half multiple Star Destroyers and the storied light saber that Anakin fought the Clone Wars with, that he was using when he got burnt and chopped, that Obi Wan passed on to Luke, that Luke dropped when he lost his hand and found out Darth Vader was his father, that Rey used after the Force awakened in her (and Finn got a turn too), that entitled brat Kylo said “belongs to me.”

[UPDATE: Okay, I guess I misunderstood the cause of that blast. Sorry!]

I read somewhere that every time the Jedi kill someone in the Lucas movies it makes things worse. They seem to be following that here, and I’m really curious how they can resolve everything in the next one. Now that it’s Kylo on top they can’t win just by killing the bad guy, and that’s great! Two dramatic moments here are Luke fighting Kylo in the flashback and Luke fighting Rey in the present – both fights we don’t want to happen. The Resistance space battles have a similar sense of morality. When Poe goes on insanely dangerous missions we cheer his audacity and humiliation of the sniveling General Hux (who is a hilarious foil throughout this funnier-than-usual Star War), but so many other ships get tragically mowed down that it’s upsetting in a way none of the other Star Wars space battles have been. So when Leia chews him out we gotta side with the boss over the flying ace. What do you think this is, Poe Dameron – TOP GUN?

I learned from Twitter that many people hate THE LAST JEDI. I’m holding off on reading reviews until I finish this one, but I know some people don’t like the answers Johnson provides to the two biggest questions people asked after FORCE AWAKENS.

Which is fucking crazy! The answers are much better, and in one case much more meaningful, than the obvious ones we assumed.

Q: Who is Snoke?

A: Why do I give a shit. He’s Snoke. Was Snoke.

Okay, this was kinda pulling the rug out from under us, to make him mysterious and then abruptly render his background irrelevant by chopping him in two so soon in the movie. Maybe people prefer to know what’s gonna happen and not have something nobody expected to happen happen, and it makes them sad. But I’m glad that’s not my instinct. I fucking loved it. Was I surprised? Yes. Did I involuntarily blurt out “Oh shit!” in the theater? Yes. Was this delightful unpredictability better than if it turned out Snoke was a deformed version of some character that appeared in Star Wars before, as theorized in an entire cottage industry of Youtube videos? Absofuckinglutely of course yes, are you kidding me? That sounds dumb, you’re really disappointed it wasn’t that?

(And if it’s so important to know then just hold your horses dude, you know there will be a comic book or some shit.)

Q: Who are Rey’s parents? She’s a Skywalker, right? She’s Luke’s daughter! She’s Kylo’s twin! She’s a Kenobi! She’s a Sebulba! She’s definitely somebody special!

A: No, she’s just Rey. Her parents are Rey’s parents.

Now, that people don’t like this one, that’s more of a problem ’cause it’s pretty much the key point of the movie. If it had turned out she was a Skywalker, that would be the most obvious shit in the world, the thing that every one of us expected, the thing that every fan fiction Episode VII would’ve been about, the most predictable possible rehash. I think you’re fooling yourself if you really believe you would’ve been satisfied by that. You know you better than I do, but call me skeptical.

More importantly, the true answer gives her story, this trilogy, its meaning. That Rey comes from “nobody” is exactly why Kylo was so pissed that she beat him before. He thinks because he’s Darth Vader’s grandson and you’re not that he’s better than you. It even stumped Luke. “Who are you?” He figured she must be some VIP to have been sent on this important mission. But Rey is special because she’s Rey, not because of where she came from. You don’t have to be royalty. You don’t have to be The Chosen One. You might not even need a high midicholorian count – this goes wisely unaddressed. (I think I said before, that whole thing was probly debunked. People who still believe in it are like the anti-vaxxers of the Star Wars universe.)

Maybe nobody carted you off to a remote planet to hide you because you were so important. Maybe your parents literally sold you off for beer money. Nobody ever though you would amount to shit. Nobody. But that doesn’t have to stop you. You can make your own destiny.

That egalitarian theme rolls off of the island to the rest of the movie, including Canto Bight. It’s the most prequely section with all the clunkiest parts, but it’s not a random tangent. Rose describes it as a disgusting, evil place, and we picture the wretched hives of scum and villainy we’ve seen in other Star Warses – bars and palaces full of bounty hunters, vile gangsters, musicians and weirdos. Instead we cut to a luxurious casino for the galaxy’s super-rich. We learn that the well-off are the war profiteers, their prurient excess built on suffering and the backs of the poor and child and animal labor. And here come a couple of ham and eggers who made a choice to buck the system and join the Resistance, and they get to share a moment of joy thinking that even if they failed their mission at least they got to fuck up some assholes’ gambling night.

An ex-stormtrooper and a mechanic. Some kids forced to work in a barn. All the downtrodden of the universe, who will be inspired by the rebel insignia to rise up. This triumph-of-the-little-guy theme comes from Lucas too. Luke was a farm boy who dreamed of adventure, Anakin was a slave who loved to build things, the Ewoks were physically small, technologically crude natives who smashed the fucking Empire with rocks and logs, the Gungans were taller and less cool but had similar achievements. (And you could throw in THX 1138 and WILLOW if you wanted.)

Luke spent his youth dreaming of getting off that damn moisture farm, and his old age waiting to die on a tiny island. I was nervous about bringing back this iconic character decades later (RETURN OF THE JEDI, theatrical cut, was a perfect ending as far as I was concerned) and specifically that they might do some cheap stunt of turning him to the dark side. I think they handled him great, though. He gets a full arc, from grouchy abstainer to reluctant teacher. He got to grow into Old Man Skywalker and still learn new things from Yoda like he’s still a padawan. He got to have a moving reunion with his sister. And best of all he got to exhibit badass Jedi powers beyond any we’ve seen before. “See you around, kid” had me pounding my knee and cheering like a goon. That was partly because I thought they were gonna let him live to fight another day, and we quickly learn otherwise, but his death is so beautiful and mythical that it’s hard to be sad about it. And I’m sure he’ll look good in transparent blue.

Everything with Leia was, of course, more emotional. It’s hard at this point not to get sad about the loss of Carrie Fisher, and the disappointment that Leia won’t be able to have an ending like Han and Luke. But we at least got my one big wish that she would in some way fulfill the “there is another” prophecy, and I couldn’t have asked for a more spectacular way for her to exhibit her strength with the Force. The excitement may dim after repeat viewings, but for now it reminds me of seeing ATTACK OF THE CLONES for the first time and finally confirming our decades of speculation that if Yoda is a Jedi Master he must use a light saber.
When this happened I started to get more confident in Johnson directing this

Before Artoo and Yoda get him to change his mind, Luke points out one of the less acknowledged ideas of the prequels, one that Mr. Subtlety has written of eloquently in the comments here before: that the Jedi orthodoxy and hubris shown in the prequels was their downfall. That it was when they were at their strongest that they fell. That “a Jedi Master trained and created Darth Vader.” So he and Yoda burn it all down (or most of it – I think Yoda knows Rey has the books) because those things are not the religion. They’re just things. The future of the Jedi is in the combination of Rey’s raw potential and Luke’s beautiful explanation of the Force. It’s talent mixed with ideas and relationships and influences.

The Jedi stuff is my favorite stuff in Star Wars, just as I prefer kung fu movies to war ones. Jedi stuff and martial arts are about movement, myth, discipline and philosophy. They combine action with poetry – metaphors that can be interpreted in different ways and applied to your life. The Jedi Order is like the Shaolin Temple – a sect that brought great wisdom and power, and had legendary adventures, and is not the end-all-be-all. By the time Luke was around there was no Temple, no Jedi, but he was able to take the lessons passed down and apply them to his circumstances, reinventing what it meant to be a Jedi Master. And now Rey will do the same. As Yoda says in one of the best moments of the movie, “We are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters.”

And that’s also true of George Lucas. He presented us his teachings, and they have been applied by direct students, in the case of the guy making the Star Wars animated shows and other people still working at Lucasfilm, and now by indirect students like Abrams, Edwards and Johnson. To me, treating Star Wars merely as an intellectual property to regurgitate and fetishize and nostalge all over, without trying to reinvent and evolve and surprise, without a basis in ideas and wisdom, would be the dark side. THE LAST JEDI, I’m so happy to say, is drawn to the light.

In loving memory of Admiral Ackbar

edit -

I think Luke’s showdown with Kylo is the coolest thing he ever did. He seems to do the impossible, completely awes the rebels and flabbergasts Kylo and the First Order troops. As of episode VII he was a mythical character that people had heard of and didn’t know if he was real. After this scene he’s a legend told throughout the galaxy, especially by the downtrodden, inspiring them to stand up to their oppressors and aspire to greatness. He had given up but after the new lessons from meeting Rey and talking to Yoda he has become a new hope again, or a “spark” as they call it in this movie.

And just on the surface coolness level, this astral projection is a new and amazing Force power that makes him seem like the most badass Jedi ever, just liked we’d always imagined/hoped he’d be. A hell of a way to go out. That it goes so quickly from him having tricked Kylo to becoming one with the Force is an emotional rollercoaster, but that’s okay because in death I believe he’s making good on the threat he made to Kylo about being with him forever. He really will “see you around kid” because he is gonna haunt the shit out of that motherfucker.

Obviously we’ll see in time, but I really believe he’ll be blue-ghosting Kylo to redeem both the kid and himself as a teacher. And that Kylo didn’t kill him will make his redemption more possible. (I mean we have a hard time forgiving FAST AND FURIOUS Statham for killing a Han – imagine if he also killed a Luke.)

I don’t expect them to use this, but it also occurs to me that as far as anyone not connected to the Force knows, Luke survived that encounter.

As for the Snoke thing, this keeps reminding me of Abram’s MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 3 and the rabbit’s foot. If you read my review of that you can see my big rant about people not liking that the never specifically explain to us what type of deadly weapon that McMuffin is. This strikes me as a similar case because this is a deliberate gimmick they use to tell the story in a more interesting way, and people are treating it like some kind of oversight. YES, OF COURSE we expected that Snoke’s identity was going to be a big reveal that would explain everything. That’s exactly the idea. When it turns out to be totally irrelevant, this is a thrilling moment, the drop on the rollercoaster when suddenly we don’t know where the bottom is. Enjoy that feeling! We don’t know which directions the tracks are headed now. To me, that’s worth ten complicated explanations of how Snoke got where he was (which we will still probly find out in some form, especially if Abrams knows the answer.

Quote:Mark Hamill, Rian Johnson Talk Skywalker Differences & More Star Wars News

It’s been a source of constant debate and infighting among Star Wars fans ever since The Last Jedi came out. When certain corners of the fandom were disappointed by director Rian Johnson’s take on Luke Skywalker, they pointed to an old comment from Mark Hamill. The original quote came from a Vanity Fair feature back in May 2017. Hamill told a story about how he “fundamentally disagreed” with everything Johnson did with Luke. Out of frustration with how The Last Jedi turned out, some people started spreading the quote around again, claiming it to be proof that Hamill hated the movie too. This belief requires them to ignore two things. One: It was a story of a conversation that took place before filming had begun. Making a movie is a huge, collaborative process, and disagreements happen. Compromises are made, people come to see others’ opinions, a lot can change in the time between those initial conversations and the movie actually coming out. Two: He never once said he didn’t like the movie. Now, the actor and director have come together to talk about that disagreement. Hopefully this puts the matter to rest for good.

During a Q&A session during the BAFTAs, the pair shed some light on what exactly those disagreements were. Hamill even began with some nice words about his initial reaction. “I was amazed at the complexity of it. That it was so challenging in the range of the range of emotions, every color in the pallet. Mine happened to be of a darker hue,” Hamill said.

Johnson went on to clarify exactly why he took Luke to the places he did. “That was part of the challenge with the character of Luke. It felt like I couldn’t have him on the island because he’s a coward or he’s giving up. He had to have an active reason he was there,” Johnson said. “His reason is, he genuinely believes the Jedi are a hindrance to the galaxy. And so he actually turns it into this kind of heroic act he’s taken on his shoulders of, he knows his friends are suffering and he’s making the choice to do the most painful, difficult thing for him, which is take himself out of the fight.”\

Hamill described the process of having to put aside what he wanted and concentrate on Johnson’s vision. Because that’s an actor’s job. “Well, you have to trust someone. As long as I was able to express my reservations about Luke, because you can’t help but feel some measure of ownership like ‘Luke wouldn’t say that,’ or ‘Luke wouldn’t do this.’ But once we had that conversation, my job was to wipe out what Mark Hamill wants and do my best to realize Rian’s vision,” Hamill said. “And I thought I’m going to turn over everything. I usually have an inner mechanism that says, ‘this feels right, this doesn’t feel right,’ but all throughout the process, he’d say, ‘we got it.’ I’d say ‘shouldn’t we do one more?’ and he’d say ‘no, we got it.’ I said, well, Rian, if you’re happy, I’m happy. He was my seeing-eye dog, so if I’ve succeeded in any way, it’s all because of Rian. And also if I fail, it’s also because of Rian. See, a Jedi never takes responsibility.”

As great and hilarious a burn on the Jedi as that last line was, if you go back and watch the movies, it’s true. The Jedi aren’t the all-good, all-knowing force they pretend to be. They essentially become a sovereign military that never questions their own methods. To the point where the assume “bringing balance to The Force” means wiping out the Sith for good. Instead, it means wiping out all but a very small few Jedi while two Sith Lord rule the galaxy. And when things go wrong, they exile themselves in deserts and swamps. Jedi never take responsibility and the reality is always different from the myth. Which, you know, was the whole point of The Last Jedi.

In other, funnier Star Wars news from the BAFTA Q&A, Luke Skywalker isn’t the only character Hamill played in the new trilogy. A talented voice actor, Hamill did motion capture and voice work for CGI characters in both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. He wouldn’t reveal exactly who he played in The Force Awakens, and his role is entirely uncredited. All we know is it’s a CG alien, so it’s probably someone in Maz’s bar. So next time you rewatch that movie, listen extra close to any of the aliens who have spoken lines. One of them could be Mark Hamill.

As for Hamill’s role in The Last Jedi, Johnson happily revealed who Hamill plays. If you read all the credits at the end of the movie, you’ll see Hamill is credited as Dobbu Scray. That name is never once mentioned in the movie. During the Q&A, Hamill revealed exactly who that was. “So, he picked out that character in the casino; you know, this drunk feeding coins into BB-8,” Hamill said. That is a hilarious second part for Hamill to play. The actor initially wanted to keep his role a secret, much like he did with The Force Awakens, but Johnson billed him in the credits, so we guess he figured he might as well go public with it.

Finally, we’ve known for a while that Lucasfilm wants to make an Obi-Wan Kenobi movie after the current trilogy is done. There are no details other than that, but many fans have wondered when that movie would take place. If it’s set between Episodes III and VI, it would only make sense for Ewan McGregor to reprise his role. After his Golden Globe win for Fargo last night, McGregor talked about the possibility of returning to the role of Obi Wan Kenobi, Entertainment Weekly reports.

“There’s a lot of talk. I’d be happy to play him again. But I don’t know any more about it than you do. There’s no plan at the moment,” he said.

So basically, he’d be down for it if Disney and Lucasfilm wanted him. It seems like an easy enough casting decision, but Disney has almost entirely ignored the prequels since they bought Lucasfilm. Given the series’s bad reputation, they may not want to make any decisions that remind fans of how much they disliked those movies. It’s easy to see why they’d be nervous about bringing McGregor back, but it would be a shame if they didn’t. McGregor is a very good actor, and was not at all the problem with those movies. In fact, he might have been the best thing about them. Fans did notice the beard he wore at the awards did make him look very much like old Ben. Then this morning, this image of McGregor training for… something started making the rounds on Twitter.

Tony Horton posted this image of Ewan McGregor training on Facebook.

Hello Obi-Wan Kenobi, we've missed you

[Image: tumblr_oivj3nkw851r7sijxo1_500.gif]
(This post was last modified: 01-10-2018 02:11 AM by Dope Man.)
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01-10-2018 09:43 PM
MF STORM Above The Clouds


Posts: 3,143
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Post: #1052
RE: Star Wars
What angered me the most bout the movie was Luke's portrayal in it, not Hammill's performance cause he saves the movie, but they made Luke look like a bitch, who really is going to ignite his lightsaber in fear of his nephew's 'darkness' after tossing his lightsaber aside in ROTJ when he could've just taken out his father. Then the whole death scene, like give me 2 movies with Luke in it man you built up an entire movie up just to find his whereabouts just to kill him off on a rock on an island alone? WTF and fuck BROOM KID FUCK BROOM KID FUCK THAT KID!
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01-12-2018 01:45 PM
Dope Man .


Posts: 3,533
Joined: Mar 2010
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Post: #1053
RE: Star Wars
Got so much to say, ill be brief for now:

Let me get some negatives out of the way first...

Disney wanted to distance themselves from the prequels and EU, now it's the OT being ripped up.
Hell, RJ couldn't wait to get started on his vision for SW and trashed everything that JJ set up in F.A. too!
Wanted to have the final say on Skywalker and all things SW, Ego trippin.
Hammil called them out on RJs Skywalker interpretation, but they shut him down.
What in the hell material is JJ going to work with in the next one?
He must of co-signed it surely? Emperor Ren Vs Rey the rebel is the only thing that comes to mind.
Killed off all the TLJ fan theories and speculation forever with a nuke, people will lose their you-tube jobs!
Fuck you too Mickey Mouse!
KK is also overdoing it a bit with the girl power.

Now on to the movie itself...

Skywalker -

Yew, Luke already passed his dark-side tests with flying colours in ESB and ROTJ.
He will return for the next one as a force-ghost, probably in the smallest cameo they can fit in or just pop up before the credits.
The ending of FA had one of the most iconic and touching SW scenes ever, RJ abruptly changes the tone by having Luke just chuck the light-sabre over his shoulders.

My idea of what would of been woah...

Luke had raised his X-wing from the coastal sea, had R2 hop in shotgun paired up with Poe and BB8 to wreck the 'Supremacy' and show Dameron who the real rebel top-gun no1 ace is.
Then save the Falcon from Ren's Tie in a reverse to how Han saved Luke from Vader's Tie in the trench run all those years ago.
Add a ''Yee-Haw'' in there for effect too.
After being blasted by the AT-M6s...Luke uses force sprint/push/pull/lift to obliterate them!
Have a burned up Ren hobble out of a fallen smouldering AT, then Luke gets all Bruce Lee with a light-sabre hacks and cripples Ren before being called off the final kill by Leia.
At that moment have a dreadnought enter the sky suddenly and Luke force-smashes it into the ground.
Skywalker the jedi god!
In the chaos Ren is saved by the First Order and makes his escape like a true mustache twirling movie villain does.
In episode IX Kylo could of got his wish and be a twisted up dark-side cyborg, more machine then man! A Vader for real who now also has real reason to wear that mask and sit on the throne till Rey finally topples him.

But RJ/KK/Disney had more mystical plans -

[Image: db7.gif]

At the start Luke is totally disconnected to the force?! RJ trolling.
Luke's send off was kinda of grand and royal the more i think about it, but my version is better!
The sloth AT-M6s blasting him with overkill and then Luke responding by brushing dirt off his shoulder Bruce Lee like, was kinda cool.
It's the new unseen before force power that Luke uses that kills him, not Ren's cross-sabre.
Dying on the rock with the two suns looking down, might get better appreciated in time.
''See ya around kid'' was a really cool throwback to Han.

Snoke -

[Image: johnson-snokejpeg.jpeg]

Snoke's throne chamber scenes were ill, not as wicked as Emperors throne room though.
Snoke showing off his dark skills and was grooving into his evil character, boasting about the ace he played with the mind trick connecting Rey/Rens thoughts to each other.
Didn't catch that one, but once the light-sabre rattled next to him saw his death being served up early.
But it's feels too sudden in the story-line along with a lot of other things...left to the books/comic to explain background.
Ancient dark force sucking Dracula, Windu, Ezra, Sidous and Plaguies were all interesting theories, but RJ gave us nothing.
Them red Praetorians based on Ceasers bodyguards got busy with all those Shaolin style weapons.

Capt Holdo - Girl-power character is purple hair chick from Jurassic Park 1 blowing holes in the plot.

Finn - They lumbered him with Rose, she is the new unfunny annoying chubby Jar-Jar.
Another girl-power character also aimed to appeal (like a lot of modern Holly-Wood block-busters) at the China box office where TLJ still flopped...Nelson Muntz - haha.
Finn worked well as comedy relief tagging along with Poe and Rey in FA, now he's in Rose's shadow..maybe be that's the same case for IX.

DJ - He needs to appear again in the next one or it's a bit of a waste of a top actor like Del Toro.

Phasma - Chrome bucket-head got trashed again with the quickness! RJ added another one to his kill list.

Akbar - didn't even get to say his punchline, R.I.P. and salute General

Porgs and Chewie - Why Chewie spit roasting them butt naked whilst the others look on trembling in fear crying?
They supposed to appeal and sell to the kids, for fucks sake Disney.
Was suprised it was Chewie that blasted open the door to Luke's hut and not Rey.
''Where's Han?''...cut scene! Typical RJ.

R2D2 - Charming scene that he has with his old master Luke, good nostalgic throwback that one.

CP30 - Got his gold arm back which will be covered in a 6 series mini-comic, no doubt.
Him and R2D2 need to play a part in an actual mission of some sort in IX.

Rey - Love the character, but KK has had her turned into a Jedi goddess with no training...cheat codes added!.
Knew she would overpower Luke in their lil fight (girl power).
Her parents? Skywalker? Kenobi? Sidous? They were drunk toothless space meth-head rednecks who sold her for beer and crack money. This one and all the other mysteries JJ set up, RJ ruthlessly ripped them out.
The dark-cave-pit she entered and saw mirror visions of herself, boring, show a reflection of her in a lady Vader suit or something surprisingly dark.
Her 'crazy visions' from FA have been totally discarded, RJ at again.

Ren - Put a damn shirt on!
Forget Vader, he is now Emperor Supreme Leader!
When he smashes his Vader prototype helmet, ''forget the past etc..'' that's RJ talking to us there.

Leia - When she got sucked out of space, it was like '' oh shit'' it's on now! Would of been happy with just that, don't mind (even though it's a bit Mary Poppins/Superman II) her force moment (there's another!).
Maybe they let her save the day somehow in episode IX.

Maz Katana -
I liked the quick holo cameo whilst she is in battle.
Rey and the rebels will probably seek her out in the next one, Rey for wisdom and rebels to hangout...who else is left?
Maybe RJ aint got no time for her either though.

Knights of Ren - Leave that one also for the books/comics/t.v shows shall we.

Poe - His early screen-time when he's actually in his black X-Wing is cool, but just like in FA they ground him by blowing up his wings.
Gets slapped by Leia cause of a plot-hole?

BB8 - All though he's stolen our boys R2s spot, liked the scene he's mistaken for a slot machine, then firing off the same change.
The one in the Walker could of been handled better, the nod to Chewie and the Ewoks.
Showdown with BB-9E upcoming.

General Hux -
He went full panto!
The cartoon caper Ls he took were comedy gold, pranked by Poe ''He's tooling with you sir!'', mopped around the floor in-front of his deck crew by Snoke even though he hadn't fucked up.
His wink @ Ren, compliment later returned with a backhanded force slap, haha.

Yoda - Strangely they went for crazy Yoda, but i enjoyed seeing him bantering with Luke again, another good throw back.

Ach-To - Beautifully shot.

Cato Blight - Casino City, this was prequels territory, there's a new book based on the characters in that. Including 'Turbo' broom-stick kid, i think.

The Dreadnought - looked really intimidating on the big screen, right in ya face.

Snoke's Supremacy - biggest baddest ship yet.
The Rebel ships kinda sucked apart from Poe's bad-ass black X-Wing and of the course the Falcon, always a star.

The light-side, dark-side, balance all over the place at the moment.
Can it be it was all so simple back then [Image: 1WU.gif]

One thing i noticed missing which i have not seen mentioned anywhere, but been in every SW until now...Monsters!
Either escaping beasts or battling them.
We got goofy horse/camel breeds instead if that counts.
No Huts either.

Had a good time a time at the movies watching this, the eye-candy action has got a lot of replay to it.
Maybe Lucas's vision for the story-line of the NT was way better.
Cant wait to watch it again! Story aside at least it's technically brilliant to look at.

Reading and watching all the reactions to TLJ has had me howling, good times.
Where do you rank it? Early days for me before i call it.

For episode IX...bring back the Jedi, the Sith, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader and even the Ewoks...make Star Wars great again!

Han Solo trailer out this week and i wonder what Lou made of the Last Jedi?

Original Star Wars broom-stick kid -

[Image: giphy-downsized-large.gif]


Quote: When wild theories don't pan out, excitement can quickly turn to disgust.

[Warning: This story contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi]

Some Star Wars fans are mad, furious even.

Since The Last Jedi opened Thursday night, a portion of moviegoers made it clear via social media and through audience scores that there is a deep divide over the Disney film, which stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Adam Driver.

While the Rian Johnson film was overwhelmingly praised by critics, holding a 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, it has only a 56 percent audience score on the movie aggregator — putting it in the territory of George Lucas' controversial prequel films.

So, what makes this film so polarizing? Points of disgust seem to run the gamut, but perhaps the underlying factor can be traced back to expectations borne out of wild theories stoked by fan sites and YouTube channels.

After being purchased by Disney, Lucasfilm in 2014 clarified that previous tie-in novels and comics that made up the Expanded Universe were not considered canon. As fans no longer could look to that material for clues as to what would happen in The Last Jedi, they turned to dissecting previous films and new trailers like they were the Zapruder film the moment they posted.

And some theories — about Rey's parents or the origins of Snoke — became so ingrained in fan consciousness that when they didn't play out, many fans seem to feel like they were cheated out of something.

To try and untangle this web of fan ire spoilers need to be addressed, so be warned. And, full disclosure: Heat Vision certainly plays a role in that some theories are put forth based off trailers. And there's nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with any site, outlet or YouTube channel putting out theories. It is just a shame some of those theories become so beloved that when they don't pan out, they can ruin the film for some.

A prime example of wild expectations not met is a fan-made video on YouTube titled "Film Theory: Rey's Parents SOLVED!" It was posted a month before Last Jedi opened. It currently has almost 3 million views.

The fan video, more than 12 minutes long, deconstructs dialogue, looks between characters and even the seating arrangement for the table read of The Force Awakens. The end result is the theory that Rey has to be Han and Leia's daughter.

Then there is another fan video that points to all the reasons why Rey has to be Obi-Wan Kenobi's daughter. That video, posted in January, has more than 2.4 million views.

And fans who loved those theories and found the reasons for their favorite to be correct were likely devastated when it was revealed Rey's parents were nothing more than just a couple of deceased drunken junkers who sold her off for booze money. Meanwhile, other viewers who didn't fall down the theory rabbit hole were likely surprised by the reveal, and not necessarily let down by it.

Another controversial plot development among fans is Snoke's early exit from the franchise. The character's demise did not build in a grandiose fashion akin to that of Emperor Palpatine in the original trilogy. Not only that, there is also the fact that not much is revealed about the character, played by Andy Serkis, before he is unexpectedly cut in half by Kylo Ren.

So, the more than 6.4 million people who watched the YouTube fan video "Snoke is Mace Windu - Star Wars Theory," were likely irate some huge twist about this Sith lord was not put forth.

Fans expect shocking secrets in these films, but because some simply cannot wait to just go and enjoy the experience of the film when it opens, they try to out-guess plot and twists from the onset.

More than 2 million people watched The Last Jedi trailer breakdown posted by the YouTube channel New Rockstars in April.

The channel — which breaks down a lot of nerd fodder, including The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones and other superhero films — warns every time that there may be spoilers because they make guesses as to what will happen in the film based off the trailer and previous films.

If they guess right, any surprise is ruined. It they are wrong, and their guess was well received by the viewer, there is disappointment when the film doesn't deliver. Seems like a no-win situation, which would likely result in a disappointing moviegoing experience.

Quote:Dissecting 'The Last Jedi' Twists and Its Biggest Moments
Rian Johnson's film has awoken a number of opinions about what's next for 'Star Wars.'

[Warning: This story contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Do not read further unless you have seen the film.]

For a normal movie, the dust might already be settling the Monday after its release, but Star Wars: The Last Jedi is no ordinary movie.

The film has been a huge commercial and critical hit, with twists and turns that have left fans with plenty to argue about. It's also proven somewhat divisive: Its current Rotten Tomatoes audience score of (56 percent) is more in line with the prequels than with The Force Awakens or the original trilogy. It's time for the team at Heat Vision to take a closer look at everything Last Jedi ...

Aaron Couch: There's a narrative that the response has been divided, but we should note The Last Jedi received an A CinemaScore. Audiences really did like this movie (and perhaps the vocal minority who didn't are the ones going to Rotten Tomatoes to complain). While there was a bit of a backlash to Force Awakens after people had time to digest it, I could see this being one where its stock rises as people have time to sit with it and give it repeat viewings. This is a movie that isn't just for opening weekend — it's part of a legacy and is one of the few films that will come out this decade that you can guarantee people will still be watching 50 years from now. So what's up with the fan complaints?

Graeme McMillan: I get it, actually. I enjoyed the movie a lot, but it’s … kind of a mess? A lot of what I liked about it — it doesn’t play by the rules! it’s surprising! — also turned out to be things I didn’t like about it. (Some rules probably should be played by, it turns out.) I’m seeing more and more people have reactions that are essentially, “It’s not a good movie, but it’s good Star Wars,” and I think that’s probably a really good way of putting it, for me at least.

Ryan Parker: I am shocked some fans loath this film as much as they do. Honestly, I suspect those with the most bitter rage are the same ones who said The Force Awakens was nothing more than a knockoff of A New Hope. There is just no pleasing some. What did they want? I feel like part of the problem is there are so many sites and YouTube channels now that give their two cents on what might happen that some fans expect far too much, and when, for instance, Snoke doesn't turn out to be Darth Maul or Mace Wendu and Rey doesn't turn out to be a Skywalker, they get all bent out of shape. Give me a break.

Katie Kilkenny: The difficult thing about being a Star Wars movie now — or any reboot, really — is that you have to both fulfill expectations for fans and also subvert them. This movie tried to pack a lot of both in and, yes, became way too long and had some weak plotlines because of it. But one difference I really enjoyed in this film was the original stamp Rian Johnson put on it (as opposed to J.J. Abrams, who added in a few lens flares but ultimately was very respectful of the two former trilogies). I can only imagine that we're going to appreciate his take on the story more in a few years, once we've seen other younger, promising directors try their hands at the Star Wars franchise.

Patrick Shanley: I can understand unreasonable expectations from super fans, but let me say, as someone who was never a diehard Star Wars geek, this simply doesn't work as a film. I am shocked I am the only negative voice here. There are multiple, glaring issues in plotting and character, the B plot is a complete waste of the audience's time, the film is at least 20 minutes too long and the mistakes made by certain main characters (cough, Poe Dameron, cough) are so grievous and impactful in terms of the future of the story and the sheer collateral death and damage they caused that the repercussions should be exile or worse.

Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Couch: OK, Patrick, someone is as grumpy an old man as Luke Skywalker. Speaking of which ... let's talk about Mark Hamill, who has honed his craft over the decades and delivered his best performance of Luke ever. As magical as it was to see Han Solo back in Force Awakens, he didn't have the weighty moments that Luke was given here (Han's pre-death speech aside). Hamill's work reminds me of Harrison Ford's work in Blade Runner 2049, which was his best in years. There are moments that will stick with me for a long time (the look on Luke's face as he slashes at Ben Solo with a light saber; Luke telling Kylo, "I'll be seeing you around, kid," — and most of all, Luke dying alone).

Kimberly Nordyke: My son, Braden, a huge fan of these films (he's reviewed two of the original movies for The Hollywood Reporter), made a poignant observation about the similarities in Luke's and Darth Vader's deaths. When you break it down to an 8-year-old, they both essentially died exerting all their energy and everything in their power by saving others (in Darth's case, he saved his son, Luke; in Luke's case, he saved his sister, Leia, and the resistance fighters). It all comes full circle for the Skywalkers. And I think this was the first time I'd ever cried while watching a Star Wars movie.

McMillan: Hamill was great, and had one of the more fun roles in the movie — old Luke being a bit of an unfriendly, untrustworthy dick was one of the most enjoyable surprises in the whole thing. I’m kind of sad he was limited in his interactions so much, however, especially when Daisy Ridley was clearly struggling with some of the expeditionary dialogue she was saddled with. Was it just me, or was she surprisingly bad when forced to deliver the “The First Order is bad and we need you, Jedi Master” dialogue? I was cringing in my seat. What’s the Harrison Ford line? “You can write it but you sure can’t say it” ...?

Kilkenny: It absolutely wasn't just you that felt her dialogue on Ahch-To was weak. Rey seemed to have a prepped statement for Luke that could have been used for comic effect but was ultimately dropped (maybe something was left on the cutting-room floor?). But Ridley turned out to be a great foil for Luke, who was himself so often a foil in the original trilogy. It was nice to see Hamill get to play a grumpy type here, and an occasionally mischievous one at that. That scene where he's tickling Rey's fingers with the leaf to make her think she's feeling the force was a great touch.

Shanley: I thought the leaf bit was one of the few cases in which the humor in this film actually hit the mark. That said, Rey is a far less interesting character than Kylo Ren. I still don't fully understand her motivations or the source of her power (though, judging by the kid in the end scene, I guess anyone can be Force sensitive if they have hope? Cool, guess midi-chlorians officially mean nothing in canon).

Couch: Huh? Who says that kid doesn't have midi-chlorians? But do continue ...

Shanley: Well, the film itself, for starters ... Regardless, what I found most egregious about this film was what it did with Luke. Not that he can't be a deeper character who has evolved since the end of Return of the Jedi, but rather that, when I go to watch the original trilogy again in the future, I will know when my heroes are celebrating with Ewoks after defeating the Empire that they then go on to break up (Han and Leia), contemplate murdering a child on a whim (Luke), and simply give up and run away (Han and Luke, the latter allowing the murder of literally millions because he's sad and wants to commiserate with space puffins on a secret island while his sister battles the second coming of an evil Empire).

Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Couch: OK, Patrick, let's try to find something you like. The hype was real about Kelly Marie Tran, an actress Rian Johnson has been saying for months will be people's favorite. Her line to Finn that the Resistance needs to be about fighting for what they love, not what they hate, had people in the audience wiping away tears. And while it's not immediately apparent for those complaining about their Canto Bight interlude not accomplishing anything, don't forget about Johnson's final shot of the film — a Force-sensitive slave boy sporting a resistance signet. The Force really has awoken.

Parker: Kelly was awesome! And, slightly off topic, she was so incredibly grateful for the experience. We were working the premiere, talking to producer Ram Bergman when she came over and gave him the biggest hug and tearfully thanked him for everything. It was touching to see that pure joy and pride.

Shanley: Gotta go against the grain again and say I found Rose to be a pointless addition. Here's what she does in the film: gushes about how great Finn is and how he's her hero then immediately shocks him into a comatose state without listening to her hero's reasoning for needing a pod (he was trying to flee for a good reason. Sure, she didn't know that and you'd think she'd give her "hero" the benefit of the doubt or at least time to lie); she wastes everyone's time on Poe Dameron's idiotic and treasonous plan to fly to space Monte Carlo to break into the First Order's ship; she fails as the duo can't even find a parking spot (an offense that gets you locked in prison on Canto Bight, apparently); she stops Finn from making the ultimate sacrifice to save hundreds of rebels who have already risked their lives multiple times because she apparently loves Finn, which was news to not only the audience but also Finn himself. But, hey, it was "worth it," according to Finn, because they rescued some space horses who were undoubtedly recaptured 12 minutes later and forced the slave children who were guarding their cages to almost certainly be severely punished after Finn and Rose peaced off the planet to go get hundreds of their friends killed.

McMillan: I’ve got to say, I don’t get the hate that the Rose/Finn plot is getting. Not only is Tran delightful, but I got more out of Finn getting over his cowardice — with the “rebel scum” payoff — than I did the Poe thread. It feels like there’s much more there than Poe’s opposite journey. Plus, you know, Benicio Del Toro wandered in from another movie altogether with hair so good that even Laura Dern should be jealous.

Kilkenny: Well, I don't know if Del Toro's hair was that good. I similarly thought Tran was great, though I was occasionally annoyed with the hammy dialogue she was given, especially her overly expositional speech on Cantonica about hating the planet for its arm-dealer one-percent population. Then again, that speech — and Tran's character overall — introduced an element to me that was salient, and I thought, brilliant, about this film: This trilogy seems to be doing away with the weird bloodline elitism of the first and second trilogies and turns its eye to ordinary people who become heroes. Speaking of which, what did you think of the reveal about Rey's parents? And do we trust it?

Couch: Maybe I'm gullible, but I read this as the truth and my guess is that's what Johnson intended. Again, look at what the last shot of the movie is.

Nordyke: I thought it was so obvious that Kylo was lying that I was shocked to hear that so many people believe he was telling the truth. The moment wasn't given enough weight for me to believe it's true. (Just as nobody believed that Luke was dead once Kylo ordered every gun to shoot him down in front of the old Rebel hideout on the world of Crait.) There is clearly some strong connection between Kylo, a Skywalker spawn, and Rey. And if she is a Skywalker, why would Kylo tell her that? His only goal was to get her to join forces with him; he told her the one thing that he thought would accomplish that. Kylo killed his father; what's a little white lie to him?

McMillan: I know that Johnson has said that he thinks Kylo is telling the truth, but it's notable that the movie literally builds in a get-out clause for the reveal before it happens: Snoke outright tells Kylo and Rey that what they saw when they touched was his invention. If J.J. Abrams wants to undo the reveal, that's all he needs to point to. That said, I hope Rey isn't a Skywalker; it's a bit too on-the-nose to have two of the three trilogies focus on relatives who don't realize they're related, isn't it?

Nordyke: Speaking of Kylo and his lineage, it's disappointing we won't get to see him and Leia reunite onscreen. How do you think Episode IX will deal with her death? Do you feel like Episode VIII was an appropriate sendoff for Leia and, more importantly, for Carrie Fisher?

Couch: Johnson has said he did not change the film in light of Carrie Fisher's passing, noting she gave a complete, beautiful performance that he wanted audiences to see. And Lucasfilm has said it won't use CGI or old footage to have Leia appear in IX. I was so happy that Luke and Leia got their scene together in this movie, because we'd heard that before Fisher's death, Leia was to have a bigger role in IX. I feared that perhaps a reunion scene might be held until then.

Parker: I thought that moment was perfect. I have seen it twice now, and I would be willing to be bet there wasn't a dry eye in the audience at that moment. So many sniffles. It spoke to something so much deeper in fans. It was beautiful.

McMillan: Fisher being absent from Episode IX makes me very curious about where it's going to go next, because everything is set up for it to be the Leia movie. I don't envy everyone working out how to fill the void she's left right now.

Couch: After seeing The Last Jedi, I have even more sympathy for Colin Trevorrow, who exited as Episode IX director in September. Truly, how do you follow up this movie? I loved how Star Trek Beyond paid tribute to Leonard Nimoy and Spock. It was so respectful and could be a guidepost for how to handle it.

Quote:The Reinvention of Luke Skywalker
Mark Hamill goes to new depths in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi.'

[Warning: This story contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi]

Star War: The Last Jedi delivers a Luke Skywalker unlike the galaxy has never seen.

Gone is his resolve and his youthful idealism, replaced by bitter, jaded cynicism found only in those who have seen their idealism crumble like so much plaster over the passage of years. Once upon a time, Mark Hamill's Luke stood as a symbol of hope: for characters inhabiting the Star Wars universe, and for fans of the series. In The Last Jedi, he’s a cautionary tale for allowing your own hype to go straight to your head. Hope shouldn’t have an ego. Neither should a Jedi, for that matter.

Maybe that’s unfair. Luke, after all, is pretty much the savior of the Rebellion and of every free person in the galaxy at risk of subjugation under the heel of the Galactic Empire. Anybody would end up with an overinflated sense of self after putting that kind of notch on their belt, and besides that: We like Luke. For a percentage of The Last Jedi’s audience, seeing Luke grizzled on the outside, battered on the inside, cuts deep. His pessimism clangs against the optimism he taught us growing up on the original Star Wars trilogy; tracing the change in his spirit between Return of the Jedi and The Last Jedi demonstrates a harsh lesson of growing up, or better put, growing old.

Luke is a survivor of a sort. He doesn’t know it until he reunites with Chewbacca, Rey’s companion on her journey to Ahch-To, but he has outlived Han Solo, one of his dearest friends; he has outlived his own students following the tragic incident that turned his favorite pupil, Han's and Leia’s son Ben Solo, to the dark side. In a manner of speaking, Luke has outlived the Rebellion, too, which as The Last Jedi opens is stumbling forward on its last legs while the First Order closes in with cannons ready and fuel tanks stocked. Describing his lifestyle as a form of self-imposed exile only scratches the surface of where life has led Luke.

His fate is worse than that by far. He isn’t just a hermit. He’s a witness to the end of everything he knew, loved and fought for, which signifies a very specific and very lonesome kind of pain. He isn’t alone on his island home on Ahch-To in the strictest sense possible — he’s surrounded by porgs and by neighboring caretakers of the first Jedi temple, cradled in the island’s embrace — but spiritually, emotionally, he’s in an alienated state. During his studies with Rey, she realizes that he’s cut himself off from the Force, too, which is perhaps the most dramatic demonstration of his fostered isolation. Disentangling from your loved ones and from people who rely on you for hope is a drastic enough gesture, but Luke has essentially turned his back on his fundamental belief structure. He has abandoned his faith.

But Luke’s narrative in The Last Jedi isn’t entirely doom and gloom. There’s a bright spot illuminating his path, a palliative light to redeem him and relieve him of his anguish: Rey, who, while green as a practitioner of the Force, understands the empathy and humanity central to Jedi tenets. There’s a lot going on in The Last Jedi plot wise, but one of the ideas pushing it forward is succession. Its plot and its purpose hinge on the series’ old guard passing the torch to its new protagonists. Leia grooms Poe for leadership, teaching him the value and necessity of patience (as well as sacrifice). Snoke tries, to his peril, to goad Kylo into becoming the next great Sith lord. And Luke, with determined prodding from Chewie, R2-D2, and especially Rey, hands down his wisdom, wrought by failure, to Rey. He accepts his role as her mentor and recovers a piece of his soul in the process. He accepts her ascension as a Jedi, too, and through this act of validation he’s able to find peace at last.

We ache as we watch Luke’s send-off scene in The Last Jedi, but the ache is well earned. Unlike Han’s death in The Force Awakens, a hollow echo of Obi-wan’s demise in A New Hope, Luke’s passing here is an appropriate capstone to his journey throughout the Star Wars saga. He has finally reconciled his conflict with himself and with the Jedi, and passed on fully into legend alongside his erstwhile master, Yoda (who puts in an appearance on Ahch-To to teach Luke one last lesson in what it means to be a Jedi).

If we begin our viewing experience with The Last Jedi aggrieved to see Luke brought so low by his vanity and his fear, we walk away from the film with affirmation that he’s still the hero we always knew him to be.

Quote:The 'Last Jedi' Moment That Defined Luke Skywalker
This quiet moment may not go down as fans' favorite, but it's perhaps the most essential.

[Warning: This story contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi]

The Last Jedi is already being heralded as one of the best Star Wars movies ever made, and it’s no mind trick. Thanks to director Rian Johnson, the action, acting and stakes are some of the best the series has ever had. However, he gets some help in establishing the film’s complex, exciting tone from a few characters appearing early in the series’ history.

Before diving into any specifics, please be warned once again: these are spoilers. Perhaps as spoilery as spoilers get. See the movie before you read this. Please.

Now that all the lookie-loos have departed, let’s talk about the return of the series’ most goofy, legendary and vocally iconic Jedi.

Yoda (Frank Oz) may be a force ghost, but he is back all the same when Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) needs him most. Like Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) discovered in the prequels, if you’re strong enough in the Force, you can basically live forever as a spirit. There were hints of Yoda’s return when Rey (Daisy Ridley) touched the lightsaber in The Force Awakens and his voice could be heard, but we've never seen a force ghost like this.

Despite a glowing outline, the green riddle-talking Jedi seems as lively and physically influential as when he passed in Return of the Jedi — summoning lightning down from the heavens to burn the last of the Jedi's sacred texts. The Jedi weren’t lying when they said they’d become more powerful than we could possibly imagine.

In addition to raising questions about future installments (does this mean Luke can physically affect the world in Episode IX?), Yoda's appearance gave a little fun and lightness to a film which, at that moment, desperately needed it.

This is the moment where we’ve just seen Rey run off to confront Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) in hopes of converting him to the light side of the force. Only the most optimistic of people would predict her victory as she traveled to Supreme Leader Snoke's (Andy Serkis) ship, so Luke is utterly disheartened.

Yoda's main point in his speech to Luke? There's nothing in the sacred texts that Luke doesn’t already know, so why cling to them? Even if those texts burn, even if he tries to obliterate all traces of the Jedi, the force and the Jedi will live on. There is truly no last Jedi, as Rey is waiting to pick up his mantle. It's the message Luke needed, and while viewers will undoubtedly count his final stand against Kylo as the Luke moment of the movie, it wouldn't have happened without this earlier, sweeter moment with Yoda.

Here, Johnson and crew decided to return Yoda to his Muppet-like impishness from the original, eschewing the CGI version from the prequels and allowing him to be a physical puppet.

Yoda undercuts Luke’s seriousness, right when he's struggling with the entire fate of the Jedi, can also be read as commentary on fandom in general. We fans are often too self-serious in our reverence for canon, for things being just like they were in the past. Yoda's is arguably the most powerful Jedi we’ve seen in the series, and yet he is wise enough not to be over serious about himself. (After all, Empire Strikes Back introduced him as someone Luke saw as an annoying old hermit — a strange alien stealing and rummaging through Skywalker's belongings.)

Luke learns to honor a past that is inside of him — not in old texts. And Yoda returning to pop his final apprentice with a ghost cane, then burn down the sacred Jedi texts, is the perfect piece of anarchy to help Luke out of his funk.

Yoda's last lesson didn't need to solve a major problem, it just needed to give Luke a spark of hope.
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Quote:Star Wars: The Last Jedi Empire Podcast Spoiler Special With Rian Johnson

It's taken a while, but here it is at last — our Star Wars: The Last Jedi spoiler special podcast, ready to go down as smooth as a green milkshake.

Rian Johnson

In this two-hour behemoth, the Empire Podcast team — Chris Hewitt, Helen O'Hara, James Dyer, and Ian Freer — have a good old spoiler-heavy chat about the ups and downs, and the ins and outs of Episode VIII, and tackle a whole bunch of listeners' questions. Let's just say this is not going to go the way you think.

First up, though, is Chris' chat with the film's writer/director, Rian Johnson, who was in great form as he expounded on some of the film's most shocking revelations, as well as shedding more light on his love of Adrian Edmondson. Which is, perhaps, the most shocking revelation of them all.

We hope you enjoy it. Live long and prosper.

You can listen to the Empire Podcast via our iTunes page, our SoundCloud page, this RSS feed or by pressing play below.

Quote:Star Wars: The Last Jedi – 10 Revelations From Director Rian Johnson

Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been spurring conversation and debate ever since it came out. We sat down with writer/director Rian Johnson for the latest Empire Podcast Spoiler Special, and revealed plenty. Here are 10 secrets from the conversation.

MAJOR SPOILERS from the start.
1. Luke and Kylo's views are built to mirror each other

Star Wars The Last Jedi

With Kylo Ren ready to burn everything down and Luke Skywalker choosing to hide away, there was a lot to explore in their different philosophies.

"From the very start, there is the theme of 'let the past die,' expressed through Kylo very strongly. And to some extent, for much of the movie by Luke – it's one of the interesting things of the movie that these two opposite poles have come to the same conclusion," explains the director. "I always think if you're cutting off the past, you're fooling yourself, just burying it in a place where it'll come back. The only way forward is where Rey actually lands, which is to build on the past, not necessarily to wallow in it in the way Luke is doing. Yoda's lesson to him, with the Jedi books, not to wallow in it or wallow in its destruction, but to take what's best from it, build on it and appreciate it and move forward."
2. Luke's death had to have resonance

The Last Jedi

Luke's end is very different from that of Han Solo in The Force Awakens, but no less impactful. There's a reason for that, and his journey in the film leads to that point.

"He's taken himself out of the fight, he's sitting on that island in exile. I know the Luke I grew up with is not a coward, he's not sitting out there hiding, so I had to come up with a reason he was there that was active and positive, and something I could genuinely believe I could think in his shoes," says Johnson. "And the thing that came to me that seemed to make sense to me is this notion that he seems this hero worship of him and of the Jedi that is detrimental to the galaxy. The universe has put its faith in its false god of the Jedi and they need to forget the religion so they can get back to god, that light can rise from a worthier source. And because he's the last Jedi and a symbol of that, it then becomes this self-sacrifice he has to do to take himself out of it when he knows his friends are dying, when he knows the thing he'd like to do is get back in the fight. He's taken the weight of the world on his shoulders by taking himself out of the equation so that the Jedi can die out. The end of the movie is him embracing the part of the past that the present needs, which right now is the legend of Luke Skywalker, they need something to believe in, they need that action figure of Luke Skywalker to grab on to, that inspiration to stare up at the stars and believe that you can be a hero."

"I wanted Luke's death to be peaceful, to be on his terms I wanted it to be a victory. I wanted it to be that he's done this huge grand act that has restored the spark of hope to the galaxy. I'm hesitant to put into words what he does in the end, but it is completed."
3. The stable boy ending almost wasn't the last scene

The Last Jedi

While Star Wars films often end focused on our heroes in victory or defeat, Johnson chose instead to focus on the young workers of Canto Bight. Inspired by the story of Luke, Rey and co, they find their own path to heroism. So why the switch?

"That was something I really stuck to, and believe me, we went back and forth in the editing room. In the script, when I wrote that scene in the Falcon, I wrote the words, 'this seems like the perfect image to end on,'" Johnson reveals. "To me, it was really important to have that final scene, because it turns what Luke did from an act that saves 20 people into an act that inspires the galaxy. The notion that what we're setting up here is something big in the next chapter. And when Leia says, 'we have everything we need,' she's talking about everyone on the Falcon, but also about what we see next, which is we now have a galaxy that has seen this beacon of hope and is getting inspired to fight the good fight."
4. Kylo and Rey's connection is complicated for a reason

The Last Jedi

The complicated relationship between Kylo Ren and Rey is one of the biggest strands of the film, for good reason. How does Johnson fall on how it affects them both?

"To write these characters, I always have to get inside their heads. I tend to step inside and have the most generous reading of any character's motivation possible," says Johnson. "I'll say this – the moment when Kylo makes his appeal for her to join him, and Adam captured it so well in his little please, it was important to me that it wasn't a chess game, it wasn't just a manipulation. It's unhealthy, and there's much that is awful about the way that he is manipulative. From his point of view, it's a very naked, open, emotional appeal. It's his version of, 'I'm just a girl standing in front of a guy'... The same way as when he tells his version of the story with Luke, that's his experience of his moment.
5. Rey's parentage was a clear choice

Star Wars The Last Jedi

While there had been many theories about who Rey's parents might be – could she be a Skywalker? Related to Snoke - Johnson chose to go a very different route, choosing to label them, in Kylo Ren's words, "nobodies".

Says the director, "I went through all the possibilities of who her parents could be. I made a list, with the upsides and downsides. There were two things about this option that made it feel right to me. Firstly. I like the idea that we're breaking out from the notion that the force is this genetic thing that you have to be tied to somebody to have. It's the 'anybody can be president' idea. Which I liked introducing. The foremost thing was just dramatically, storytelling-wise. The way I like to put it is, in The Empire Strikes Back, the big revelation is 'I am your father.' It's a big surprise, but I think the reason it lands is not because of that, but because it's the hardest possible thing that Luke, and hence the audience, could hear at that moment. You've had a bad guy that you can hate, that you can project your shadow on to cleanly, he's evil. It's simple. With that one line, suddenly that easy answer gets taken away from you, and he's something our protagonist has a relationship to and has to think in more complex terms, in terms of layers of redemption. For me, if Rey had gotten the answer that she's related to so-and-so, had learned her place in the story, that would be the easiest thing she can here. The hardest thing to hear is, 'nope, this not going to define you.' And in fact, Kylo is going to use this to try and undercut your confidence so you'll feel you have to lean on him for your identity. And you're going to have to make the choice to find your own identity in this story."
6. Carrie Fisher's death did not affect the story

Star Wars The Last Jedi

Fisher tragically died in between the film's shoot and its release, and, at time of writing, there are no plans to have her in the next movie, whether through unused material or digital trickery. Johnson faced some storytelling challenges around that. Did anything change to reflect the real-world events?

"Nothing changed," confirms Johnson. "We discussed it briefly, and I spoke with Kathy (Kennedy, producer and Lucasfilm boss) when we came back after New Year's. We watched through her scenes and there was briefly talk of, 'god, do we adjust something so that we give her some kind of end in this movie?' I felt strongly that we shouldn't do that for a couple of reasons. We have a beautiful, complete performance from her, and that final moment is so powerful for her, and for us saying goodbye to her. And also, I can't imagine anything that we would be able to manufacture without having Carrie that would've been emotionally satisfying. I definitely I have no idea what would maintain that scene between her and Luke, or the scene in the Falcon. So we just decided to let it lie. I know JJ's going to come up with a way to resolve her in the next movie.
7. Holdo's hyperspace attack reaches back to a line from the past

Last Jedi Laura Dern as Holdo

Laura Dern's Vice Admiral Holdo stages an audacious, devastating attack on the First Order's ships in a massively dramatic moment from the movie. It was important for Johnson to get in.

"I'm sure that a lot of fans had thought ever since Han was talking about if you don't get the calculations right you could go through a star...," Johnson explains. "I always wanted to see what that would look like, and at some point, one of the guys at ILM hit upon that exposure idea of everything going silent. We were struggling with how do we make this visually impressive and when we hit on that, we loved it.
8. Snoke's unceremonious death allowed for a new paradigm

Star Wars The Last Jedi

Johnson has previously told Empire that he's not particularly interested in where Snoke comes from, and he dispatches the villain in The Last Jedi. What was behind that thinking?

"I like Snoke as a character as Andy (Serkis) plays him," the director clarifies. "He's delicious, evil and fun. But Kylo to me is where the interesting stuff is. And the notion of clearing the deck of the Vader/Emperor dynamic so that all bets are off in terms of how the villainy is going to play out, that to me seemed like a much more interesting thing. And it just seemed natural. If he had stopped in the middle of a scene and given a monologue, it would've stopped it dead in its tracks, and we would've cut it out in the editing room. This is not Snoke's story.
9. Luke and co.'s expanded Force powers had to compete with what we've seen before

The Last Jedi

The likes of Leia, Luke and Snoke all display incredible Force powers in the film. Johnson acknowledges that this was something he wanted to tackle.

"It was twofold," Johnson explains. "First of all, it's tough, because at this point between The Force Awakens and even the video games, the level of Force powers has slowly come up. I feel like we still offered a modicum of restraint, because we didn't have anyone pulling Star Destroyers out of the sky. And believe me, it came up when Luke came out on to the field, I was, like, 'should he wave his hand and all the walkers blow off like dust?' The things that are in there that are Force moments largely came out of the dramatic moments. But the Leia thing is an interesting example. It's something that Kathy kept bringing up, which I thought was interesting. She said, 'I've always been intrigued by what Luke says to Leia in Jedi in that she has the power inside her also, and why haven't we seen that?' And the idea behind Leia's big moment was that it was not incredibly powerful, because she's in space and that doesn't offer much resistance, it doesn't take much to pull her back in. But also, that it's instinctual. It's like when you hear parents that have a toddler trapped under a car, and they lift the car up with Hulk strength. The idea that it's not going to end today, that she's not finished yet."
10. Johnson had to resist being a fanboy around Adrian Edmondson

The Last Jedi

The comedy legend has a cameo as a First Order officer. So how exactly did Eddie Hitler end up joining the fray?

"I had been a huge fan of The Young Ones when I was in high school, and Bottom, I was an even bigger fan of. I thought it was the funniest thing in the world, and actually filmed the opening scene of the Bottom pilot for a student film. When I was out of film school, I shot a 16mmm version of it with my friends," admits Johnson. "The whole time he was on set, I was just trying to play it cool." Edmondson brought his own energy to the movie. "If you just keep your eyes on him during any scene he's in, it's an entirely different movie, because he's always doing some kind of eye roll..."
(This post was last modified: 01-19-2018 02:15 PM by Dope Man.)
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02-16-2018 05:04 PM
Dope Man .


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RE: Star Wars
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