BriarThrone Reviews: The Last Jedi (SPOILERS)

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Re: BriarThrone Reviews: The Last Jedi (SPOILERS)

Post by Shock » Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:01 pm

bsdigitalq wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:51 pm
Ares wrote: ↑
Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:29 am
The other part was that the questions raised in The Force Awakens were not written with answers in mind. Who Snoke was, who the Knights of Ren were, the origins of the First Order, who Rey's parents were, how Maz got Anakin/Luke's lightsaber, all of these things were brought up to be expanded on in later films, but there was no PLAN for how these were going to be incorporated in. Basically it was "here's some questions, it's up to the next person to figure it out".

Gotta love good ole JJ Abrams and his "mystery box" mentality to just about everything in storytelling. :roll:
That's all background info. It's not really important to the plot.

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Re: BriarThrone Reviews: The Last Jedi (SPOILERS)

Post by bsdigitalq » Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:55 pm

Shock wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:01 pm
That's all background info. It's not really important to the plot.
It's not really the info that makes the "mystery box" style so infuriating, so much as the mentality of "throw random stuff and names into a story without any regard; yeah sure, it might mean something, but there's no plan, let the next guy figure it out." It's this careless use of random names and characters, plot devices, locations, and history that is absolutely awful, and naturally Abrams and his entourage stuck it all over Force Awakens, heedless of what would come after.

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Re: BriarThrone Reviews: The Last Jedi (SPOILERS)

Post by Shock » Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:59 pm

The original trilogy had its share of random name-dropping too. Dantooine. The bounty hunter on Ord Mantell. Spice mines of Kessel. Adding names for things not on screen gives you a sense that the universe is bigger than just what you can see.

Abrams may or may not have intended any of his things to be explained later. It's up to whoever's writing the next movie to determine if they're important or not. The real thing that should be worrisome is that they intended to make a trilogy from the start but never actually plotted out all three movies.

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Re: BriarThrone Reviews: The Last Jedi (SPOILERS)

Post by Ares » Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:35 pm

bsdigitalq wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:51 pm
When Finn asks why she did that, she says, "We aren't going to win by killing what we hate. We're going to win by saving what we love." And then plants a kiss on him before passing out.

I just . . . WAT? The pair showed absolutely no romantic chemistry throughout the film. And "saving what we love"? You mean the way Finn was heroically trying to do just now? Rose, you realize you would have just doomed the entire Resistance if Luke hadn't decided to finally get off of his ass and do something.
What impeccable logic from Rose. Justin Trudeau would be so proud.

Image
I mean, I can understand the idea of "if we sink to our enemies level, we become our enemies and they win" and can even respect the notion that killing your enemies can just perpetuate an ugly cycle of revenge. But unless your enemies is specifically The Joker, then no, 9 times out of 10, your enemies do not win if you kill them.

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Re: BriarThrone Reviews: The Last Jedi (SPOILERS)

Post by Ares » Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:52 pm

Shock wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:01 pm
bsdigitalq wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:51 pm
Ares wrote: ↑
Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:29 am
The other part was that the questions raised in The Force Awakens were not written with answers in mind. Who Snoke was, who the Knights of Ren were, the origins of the First Order, who Rey's parents were, how Maz got Anakin/Luke's lightsaber, all of these things were brought up to be expanded on in later films, but there was no PLAN for how these were going to be incorporated in. Basically it was "here's some questions, it's up to the next person to figure it out".

Gotta love good ole JJ Abrams and his "mystery box" mentality to just about everything in storytelling. :roll:
That's all background info. It's not really important to the plot.
Well, yes and no. Those elements weren't important to the plot, but only because the director decided not to do anything with them. They were clearly set up to be important, and took up time in the previous film in a way that implied they were important. Instead, they wind up becoming a waste of time.
Shock wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:59 pm
The original trilogy had its share of random name-dropping too. Dantooine. The bounty hunter on Ord Mantell. Spice mines of Kessel. Adding names for things not on screen gives you a sense that the universe is bigger than just what you can see.
This isn't the same thing. Name-dropping people, places and events in a work just make the setting bigger. Talking about the Clone Wars that Luke's father fought in was meant to help establish Luke's father as a heroic individual, and is never touched on again. The Clone Wars later got expanded on, but it was there just to add flavor to the universe.

Things like Rey's parents, Snoke, Kylo Ren's corruption and betrayal, how Maz got Luke's lightsaber, all of those are PLOT POINTS. Casually mentioning the Clones Wars and moving on these things aren't. The Force Awakens and Last Jedi spend screen time focusing on Rey's parents, it's a big part of her motivation. Snoke isn't the Emperor, who is established over the course of three films as being in charge of the Empire, nothing is explained about him. The characters specifically ask Maz more than once "where did you get this lightsaber", and she responds with "A good question, for another time". This woman has an epic lightsaber that was lost in Cloud City, her having it and giving it to Finn so he can give it to Rey is a major plot point of the film. The Knights of Ren are mentioned and shown, but we never see any of them again in either film.

The original trilogy handled these things so much more elegantly. Obi-Wan has Anakin's lightsaber because they were friends and becomes a plot point for later. The history of Luke's father is touched on and set up future developments that paid off spectacularly well. Han owing Jabba money becomes a major plot point that drives a lot of his actions across three films. There is set up and pay off. Here, I'm not sure you can reasonably say there's either.

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Re: BriarThrone Reviews: The Last Jedi (SPOILERS)

Post by bsdigitalq » Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:53 pm

Shock wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:59 pm
The original trilogy had its share of random name-dropping too. Dantooine. The bounty hunter on Ord Mantell. Spice mines of Kessel. Adding names for things not on screen gives you a sense that the universe is bigger than just what you can see.
That's not really what I mean by the random names and stuff. That's incidental stuff. I'm more talking about how Abrams and co. treat so much of the stuff they throw around like a mystery box, without giving a care or thought as to what it actually means. It's like a kid trying to build something with legos...but instead of actually building something, they just throw it on the ground while acting like it's something important. There's no real foresight or true planning, it's "we got a trilogy...eh, screw figuring out this stuff, let's just throw some vaguely familiar stuff out there and hope people go 'ooh, shiny!'"

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Re: BriarThrone Reviews: The Last Jedi (SPOILERS)

Post by Jabroniville » Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:43 pm

For all the movie's flaws (and there are a bunch, don't get me wrong), it can't possibly be worse than the one that actually contained dialogue like "I hate SAND" :).

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Re: BriarThrone Reviews: The Last Jedi (SPOILERS)

Post by BriarThrone » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:10 pm

Jabroniville wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:43 pm
For all the movie's flaws (and there are a bunch, don't get me wrong), it can't possibly be worse than the one that actually contained dialogue like "I hate SAND" :).
At least that was an attempt at creating some character-building dialogue, which we don't get much at all of in the new movies. I mean, it was horrible, and I feel terrible for the prequel actors, who were quite good as actors but working with garbage... but at least the prequels were trying.

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Re: BriarThrone Reviews: The Last Jedi (SPOILERS)

Post by bsdigitalq » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:14 pm

BriarThrone wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:10 pm
At least that was an attempt at creating some character-building dialogue, which we don't get much at all of in the new movies. I mean, it was horrible, and I feel terrible for the prequel actors, who were quite good as actors but working with garbage... but at least the prequels were trying.
That's the feeling I've been getting, especially thanks to SFDebris "Hermit's Journey" series covering the making of the prequels.

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Re: BriarThrone Reviews: The Last Jedi (SPOILERS)

Post by Ares » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:36 am

What's funny to me was that, before The Last Jedi, I felt the Prequels and the Force Awakens had the exact opposite problems.

From a lore and story perspective, the Prequels were actually amazing. We got to see the Old Republic just before it fell, the Jedi Order at the height of its authority (if not its power), the fall of Anakin Skywalker, the Clone Wars, the fall of the Jedi, the rise of the Empire. In terms of expanding the setting and having interesting storylines, the Prequels were fairly solid, and shows like The Clone Wars just reinforces that.

But in terms of all of the technical aspects of what went into making a movie, the Prequels were a mess. You had amazing actors giving sub-par performances, an over-reliance on green screens and CGI, bad directing, bad dialogue, zero chemistry, etc.

Conversely, The Force Awakens was much better in terms of the technical aspects of film making. There was a solid mix of practical and computer effects, the actors generally did a solid job, the camera work was good, the directing was good, in all of those film making techniques, the film was fine. From a lore perspective, the Force Awakens was terrible. Say what you will about the Prequels, at least they didn't come off as a re-hash of the original trilogy. Instead of the story really moving forward, the Force Awakens basically looped things around so that we were more or less right back where we started in A New Hope.

The Last Jedi combines the problems of both, continuing the re-tread and the lack of new lore with a lot of poor directing, painful padding, and just a lot of baffling choices all together. I hate to say it, but the only Prequel film I'd honestly have a hard time deciding if I'd watch over The Last Jedi is The Phantom Menace. And while that movie did have Jar Jar Binks being painfully unfunny with really bad physical comedy, at least it had Liam Neson as a frickin Jedi and Darth Maul.

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Re: BriarThrone Reviews: The Last Jedi (SPOILERS)

Post by FuzzyBoots » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:05 pm

bsdigitalq wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:51 pm
What impeccable logic from Rose. Justin Trudeau would be so proud.

Image
In Trudeau's defense, there's no evidence he ever said that kind of like people posting quotes that Pence stated homosexual people should be electrocuted or that Michelle Bachman said that we could stop illegal immigrants by banning Mexican food.

As regards the movie, I liked it. It was definitely not without its faults, from being a little too cute about references to the prior films to a fair amount of plot incoherence, but overall, it was enjoyable, and it was not a bad movie. Not great, but not bad. My biggest issue was too many endings. As I think someone else put it, about 90 minutes in, we get the end of the film... then something else happens and we get the end... then something else happens, and so on. The plot didn't really arc so much as it leapfrogged. Similarly, several of the subplots could have been handled by simply not filming them (one criticism I saw about the film was that the whole "find the codebreaker" plot existed as one line in the original trilogy, "Many Bothans died for this information.")

I'm not bothered by Luke's BSOD because, as others have pointed out, most of the powerful Jedi have reacted to grand mistakes by shutting down and moving somewhere remote. I'm not bothered by Kylo Ren and Rey's power levels and feats because the former was being tutored by someone in the ways of the force and the latter spent a childhood of learning how to fight, and both had huge reserves of power for whatever reason (Kylo has the benefit of being a Skywalker. One of the fan theories about the Jedi bloodlines is that one of the reasons the Light Side banned romantic relationships was because their children tended to be even more powerful to the point where it overwhelmed their sense or morality). Rose's crush on Finn is completely one-sided, a matter of hero-worship, and it makes sense that it keeps messing things up, including that climactic last charge.

And I thought the Porgs were cute, and not too obtrusive. :) Which is nice, when compared to Jar-Jar and the Ewoks...

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Re: BriarThrone Reviews: The Last Jedi (SPOILERS)

Post by Woodclaw » Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:40 pm

Ares wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:29 am
When Finn asks why she did that, she says, "We aren't going to win by killing what we hate. We're going to win by saving what we love." And then plants a kiss on him before passing out.

I just . . . WAT? The pair showed absolutely no romantic chemistry throughout the film. And "saving what we love"? You mean the way Finn was heroically trying to do just now? Rose, you realize you would have just doomed the entire Resistance if Luke hadn't decided to finally get off of his ass and do something.
That was a massive WTF moment for me as well, not just because the entire "preventing the sacrifice" moment was really terribly timed, but also because what Rose said felt like the worst possible rework of what G.K. Chesterton said: "The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him."
"You're right. Sorry. Holy shit," I breathed, "heckhounds.”

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Re: BriarThrone Reviews: The Last Jedi (SPOILERS)

Post by L-Space » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:21 pm

FuzzyBoots wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:05 pm
I'm not bothered by Luke's BSOD because, as others have pointed out, most of the powerful Jedi have reacted to grand mistakes by shutting down and moving somewhere remote. I'm not bothered by Kylo Ren and Rey's power levels and feats because the former was being tutored by someone in the ways of the force and the latter spent a childhood of learning how to fight, and both had huge reserves of power for whatever reason (Kylo has the benefit of being a Skywalker. One of the fan theories about the Jedi bloodlines is that one of the reasons the Light Side banned romantic relationships was because their children tended to be even more powerful to the point where it overwhelmed their sense or morality). Rose's crush on Finn is completely one-sided, a matter of hero-worship, and it makes sense that it keeps messing things up, including that climactic last charge.

And I thought the Porgs were cute, and not too obtrusive. :) Which is nice, when compared to Jar-Jar and the Ewoks...
Completely agree. I feel like it makes perfect sense for Luke to turn out how he did. 30+ years, losing your nephew to the Dark-side, and having your school and students be burned down is bound to change a person.

Snoke hints in the movie that Rey's ability awakening when it did and at such intensity, was the Force's way of finding balance in response to Kylo Ren's power.

Funnily enough the Porgs came to be because the island they were shooting on was inhabited by a large amount of puffins and instead of just digitally removing them they decided to turn them into a new Star Wars creatures. Hence Porgs = Space Puffins.
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Re: BriarThrone Reviews: The Last Jedi (SPOILERS)

Post by BriarThrone » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:59 pm

L-Space wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:21 pm
FuzzyBoots wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:05 pm
I'm not bothered by Luke's BSOD because, as others have pointed out, most of the powerful Jedi have reacted to grand mistakes by shutting down and moving somewhere remote. I'm not bothered by Kylo Ren and Rey's power levels and feats because the former was being tutored by someone in the ways of the force and the latter spent a childhood of learning how to fight, and both had huge reserves of power for whatever reason (Kylo has the benefit of being a Skywalker. One of the fan theories about the Jedi bloodlines is that one of the reasons the Light Side banned romantic relationships was because their children tended to be even more powerful to the point where it overwhelmed their sense or morality). Rose's crush on Finn is completely one-sided, a matter of hero-worship, and it makes sense that it keeps messing things up, including that climactic last charge.

And I thought the Porgs were cute, and not too obtrusive. :) Which is nice, when compared to Jar-Jar and the Ewoks...
Completely agree. I feel like it makes perfect sense for Luke to turn out how he did. 30+ years, losing your nephew to the Dark-side, and having your school and students be burned down is bound to change a person.
I think a lot of the fan anger is directed at that bit, actually. Where the guy who is literally Christ the Redeemer, who found the good in a psychotic mass murderer, finds out that his nephew picked up a few naughty ideas from a bad guy and is instantly overcome by his ancestral love of playing with defenseless children with lightsabers. "I know there is still good in you. The Emperor has not driven it from you fully." vs "Nip it in the bud."
L-Space wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:21 pm
Snoke hints in the movie that Rey's ability awakening when it did and at such intensity, was the Force's way of finding balance in response to Kylo Ren's power.
An attempt to handwave away clumsy storytelling with a weak in-setting excuse. In the original trilogy, Luke spent months training under Yoda on Dagobah. In this movie, Rey spends a couple days telling Luke he's wrong. The Emperor and Vader were not lesser threats than Darth Cancer Victim and Emo Ren.
L-Space wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:21 pm
Funnily enough the Porgs came to be because the island they were shooting on was inhabited by a large amount of puffins and instead of just digitally removing them they decided to turn them into a new Star Wars creatures. Hence Porgs = Space Puffins.
That part is pretty funny, yes. The porgs, despite being a very Disney addition, didn't bother me as much. The critter-related element that bothered me was how the crystal fox things clearly liked and trusted the Resistance, because they have universally recognizeable Good Guy flags.

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Re: BriarThrone Reviews: The Last Jedi (SPOILERS)

Post by FuzzyBoots » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:23 pm

BriarThrone wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:59 pm
L-Space wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:21 pm
Completely agree. I feel like it makes perfect sense for Luke to turn out how he did. 30+ years, losing your nephew to the Dark-side, and having your school and students be burned down is bound to change a person.
I think a lot of the fan anger is directed at that bit, actually. Where the guy who is literally Christ the Redeemer, who found the good in a psychotic mass murderer, finds out that his nephew picked up a few naughty ideas from a bad guy and is instantly overcome by his ancestral love of playing with defenseless children with lightsabers. "I know there is still good in you. The Emperor has not driven it from you fully." vs "Nip it in the bud."
Well, to be frank, people tend to think differently when they're sixteen versus sixty. Insert any number of jokes about the shift from voting Democrat to Republican, Liberal to Conservative, etc. Also, the movie establishes that it was a moment of doubt that he then quashed (assuming, of course, Luke was telling the truth there. We have unreliable narrators, of course). Funnily enough, this fits with the younger Luke, who kept saying "I see good in you", then started attacking when he got angry enough, only relenting late in the battle when Darth Vader was at his mercy and Palpatine overplayed his hand.

So we get a Luke who, in a moment of fear, ignited his lightsaber (possibly, as he stated, because it was comforting as a symbol of the Jedi), then changed his mind, only for Kylo Ren to assume that his worst fears were real and lash out. Luke, realizing what a mistake he made and thinking himself unworthy of continuing the line of the Jedi, shuts down and runs off. It's not a heroic action, but he is literally despairing.

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