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Re: BriarThrone Reviews: The Last Jedi (SPOILERS)

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:05 pm
by L-Space
FuzzyBoots wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:23 pm
BriarThrone wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:59 pm
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.
Not much for me to say, Fuzzy keeps nailing it on the head and is putting it better than I could :lol:.

I do find it funny that you (Briar) call Luke literally Christ the Redeemer, a pretty high mantle, when in The Last Jedi Luke states: “I failed because I was Luke Skywalker, Jedi Master; a legend." and has a whole bit about believing too hard in legends is a dangerous thing.

Re: BriarThrone Reviews: The Last Jedi (SPOILERS)

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:00 am
by BriarThrone
L-Space wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:05 pm
FuzzyBoots wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:23 pm
BriarThrone wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:59 pm
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.
Not much for me to say, Fuzzy keeps nailing it on the head and is putting it better than I could :lol:.

I do find it funny that you (Briar) call Luke literally Christ the Redeemer, a pretty high mantle, when in The Last Jedi Luke states: “I failed because I was Luke Skywalker, Jedi Master; a legend." and has a whole bit about believing too hard in legends is a dangerous thing.
Except that he wasn't. Nothing about the character we saw Mark Hamill playing was authentically Luke Skywalker, which Hamill openly and publicly declared. They needed to shove the fall of Ben Solo and Luke's retreat to Yoda-like hermitage into the script, so we get this awful mess of a backstory that has no respect for any of the characters that came before. All the commentary says that this movie is an effort to break from the bonds of old continuity and move forward. While I do give credit for not being a rehash of Movie n-3, like Episode 7 was, this goes too far in the other direction and rejects everything that made Star Wars great. It has some familiar set pieces and that's it.

I haven't been much of a Star Wars fan in a long time, and even I am a little aggrieved that people think you can draw a straight line between RotJ Luke and Luke as he's presented in the current trilogy. Actual fans are hurt and angry.

Re: BriarThrone Reviews: The Last Jedi (SPOILERS)

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:07 am
by FuzzyBoots
BriarThrone wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:00 am
Except that he wasn't. Nothing about the character we saw Mark Hamill playing was authentically Luke Skywalker, which Hamill openly and publicly declared. They needed to shove the fall of Ben Solo and Luke's retreat to Yoda-like hermitage into the script, so we get this awful mess of a backstory that has no respect for any of the characters that came before. All the commentary says that this movie is an effort to break from the bonds of old continuity and move forward. While I do give credit for not being a rehash of Movie n-3, like Episode 7 was, this goes too far in the other direction and rejects everything that made Star Wars great. It has some familiar set pieces and that's it.
Eh, early on, Mark Hamill expressed concerns, but he came around.
Mark Hamill wrote:I was quoted as saying to Rian that I fundamentally disagree with everything you decided about Luke, and it was inartfully phrased. What I was, was surprised at how he saw Luke. And it took me a while to get around to his way of thinking, but once I was there it was a thrilling experience. I hope it will be for the audience too.
Now one could probably see that cynically as "Mark Hamill was required to change his stance by the Powers that Be" or "Money, dear boy," but his concerns seemed to be before he actually started filming the script. As an actor, I can say that's a pretty common thing, where a scene doesn't make sense until you start rehearsing and performing it.

I of course won't deny that there are fans who were disappointed and you have every right to feel how you do about the film — I myself thought that it suffered on pacing and plot arc — but my experience has been that fan reactions are simply mixed with some people loving it, some people hating it, and others thinking it was good, but not great. I'm in the third camp, personally. And, of course, there are people who enjoyed it, but didn't like it as a Star Wars movie.

Re: BriarThrone Reviews: The Last Jedi (SPOILERS)

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:23 pm
by L-Space
BriarThrone wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:00 am
Except that he wasn't. Nothing about the character we saw Mark Hamill playing was authentically Luke Skywalker, which Hamill openly and publicly declared. They needed to shove the fall of Ben Solo and Luke's retreat to Yoda-like hermitage into the script, so we get this awful mess of a backstory that has no respect for any of the characters that came before. All the commentary says that this movie is an effort to break from the bonds of old continuity and move forward. While I do give credit for not being a rehash of Movie n-3, like Episode 7 was, this goes too far in the other direction and rejects everything that made Star Wars great. It has some familiar set pieces and that's it.

I haven't been much of a Star Wars fan in a long time, and even I am a little aggrieved that people think you can draw a straight line between RotJ Luke and Luke as he's presented in the current trilogy. Actual fans are hurt and angry.
I highly disagree. This movie felt like a Star Wars and did it without having to rehash old tropes and everything that happened to Luke felt like a natural reaction for what happened to him.

And you may not have meant it this way, but I'm getting real sick and tired of people acting like they get to decide who is and isn't a Star Wars fan based off whether or not they liked The Last Jedi. Some real fans liked it and some real fans hated it. Either way the only person who gets to decide whether or not you're a fan of something is you.

Re: BriarThrone Reviews: The Last Jedi (SPOILERS)

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:01 pm
by BriarThrone
L-Space wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:23 pm
BriarThrone wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:00 am
Except that he wasn't. Nothing about the character we saw Mark Hamill playing was authentically Luke Skywalker, which Hamill openly and publicly declared. They needed to shove the fall of Ben Solo and Luke's retreat to Yoda-like hermitage into the script, so we get this awful mess of a backstory that has no respect for any of the characters that came before. All the commentary says that this movie is an effort to break from the bonds of old continuity and move forward. While I do give credit for not being a rehash of Movie n-3, like Episode 7 was, this goes too far in the other direction and rejects everything that made Star Wars great. It has some familiar set pieces and that's it.

I haven't been much of a Star Wars fan in a long time, and even I am a little aggrieved that people think you can draw a straight line between RotJ Luke and Luke as he's presented in the current trilogy. Actual fans are hurt and angry.
I highly disagree. This movie felt like a Star Wars and did it without having to rehash old tropes and everything that happened to Luke felt like a natural reaction for what happened to him.

And you may not have meant it this way, but I'm getting real sick and tired of people acting like they get to decide who is and isn't a Star Wars fan based off whether or not they liked The Last Jedi. Some real fans liked it and some real fans hated it. Either way the only person who gets to decide whether or not you're a fan of something is you.
And that's fine. Everything we're discussing here is subjective. It's art interpretation. You can disagree with me and not be wrong. Technically. Sort of.

The Last Jedi had X-Wings and TIE Fighters and Star Destroyers and AN EVEN BIGGER SHIP and a new bomber that has a pretty Star Wars-like design engaging in a couple pretty sweet space battles. It had lightsabers and the old familiar Force powers and some... adequate, I guess... battles with those too. (Adequate-I-guess personal battles are definitely a hallmark of Star Wars.) It had Chewie being Chewie, other familiar faces responding to familiar names, and R2 doing a sweet callback to ANH by playing that original recording of Leia. It had an aspiring Jedi begging a reluctant old hermit for training. If that all adds up to a Star Wars movie to you, then by all means, enjoy.

To me, the whole movie felt too busy doing nothing but getting lost in itself. It opens with Poe doing Marvel Movie Humor, which is... ugh. Then, yeah, okay, cool space battle, and then we split into three plots:
1) incompetent good guys running from incompetent bad guys, because their ships are all EXACTLY AS FAST AS EACH OTHER, for some reason, and the good guys have no apparent goal except DO AS YOU'RE TOLD I AM THE BOSS OF YOU, for... reasons... which pointlessly spawns -

2) desperate mutiny sidequest that wastes a ton of time and accomplishes nothing except allow DISNEYCORP to lecture me on the evils of capitalism and completely fails to build the romantic subplot they're going to pretend at the end was totally there the whole time.

Then there's 3) Rey begging for training. Which would feel like Star Wars - because this part they did rip straight off of ESB - if they didn't fuck it all to Hell and back, with Rey spending all her training time telling Luke he's wrong, Yoda showing up to do the "trust your heart" thing that completely contradicts everything he's ever said ever, etc. We learn that our hero, who has been a larger-than-life ideal to many of us our entire lives, reaches some sort of decision point in a struggle we don't really see or understand, but instead of being the larger-than-life ideal we were all hoping to see, he turns out to be a shitty little coward, for... reasons. Fucking wonderful. See, the movie has other flaws, but this, right here, encapsulates it all to me. Rian Johnson clearly hates Star Wars, its lore, its legacy, and its fans. This plot point says, loud and clear, "FUCK YOUR HEROES, AND FUCK YOUR FRANCHISE." Regardless of if you think it's a believable human reaction, it's not what we expect, not what we NEED from Luke Skywalker. Star Wars was a story about mythic heroes. The Last Jedi is a DECONSTRUCTION of that.

To me, plot 1 didn't feel like Star Wars, because it was a slow tension plot in a space opera series. That's certainly new and different, but... is it appropriate? It certainly wasn't effective, because if you're building slow tension, you have to keep it up. You don't cut away to a filler plot. Plot 2 felt like... well, it actually felt more like Star Wars, because the prequels are part of the canon, and the Finn/Rose casino arc was very prequel-feeling. Plot 3 was the meat of the story, by far the most evocative of classic Star Wars, but it used that to REJECT everything people loved about the original trilogy, and... it really hurt fans' feelings, for reasons you really should be able to understand.

I could go on to cover the conclusion, where it all ties back together, but... meh. Instead, I'll just point out that in the Original Trilogy, the Force was something that could act through you as you harmonized with it, through training and great effort. In the modern trilogy, the Force is constantly acting on its own through untrained or barely-trained agents, or just causing things to be so. It creates an entirely different type of story. A more Disney one.

Re: BriarThrone Reviews: The Last Jedi (SPOILERS)

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:37 pm
by FuzzyBoots
I agree with you that Plot 1 and Plot 2 were the weakest parts of the film. It makes sense that overthrowing "The Empire" in the original Trilogy wasn't going to stick. It was one victory, but you had a lot of people out there with powerful weaponry and years of chafing to take the reins. It was a recipe for warlords more than anything else, which is why I wasn't really a fan of the First Order setup. It would make sense for them to be a powerful group since someone was bound to wind up with a larger share, and there's bound to be superweapons (reminds me of how, when the U.S.S.R. collapsed, people were talking about how we were going to wind up with Russian gangs and warlords with nuclear weapons) but it feels more like they assumed that everyone would flock under the same flag and leader. Eh... I guess it could still work if you assume that the First Order were the upstarts and them demonstrating their superweapon (and decapitating the government) led to others joining up to be on the winning side. And the Republic collapsing in the wake of the attack also makes sense because, well, they were kind of a ragtag group to start with, and a lot of people were probably standing on the sidelines, waiting to see how it all turned out before taking sides. Anyhow, yeah, the slow-motion chase worked in the sense of "The rebellion is short on resources and on the run, but the actual mechanic didn't work, and they did too good of a job of making Admiral Holdo unlikeable without actually providing the justification (in one of the canonical books, they cover where she got her reputation from... and that many of her forces were among the bombers that Poe sacrificed for his glorious victory over the Dreadnaughts. Honestly, part of the problem with it all was that it was indecisive on the important part, of whether it was justifiable to secure a great victory at great loss, particularly when they are the small guerilla force.

Plot 2... yeah, we didn't need that. Best commentary I've seen of it was that the plot was summed up in the original trilogy as "Many Bothans died for this information". Because of how they're handling the the continuity as a relay race, I can't say how the ninth movie will handle the "romance" you're mentioning, but the movie makes it out to be a one-sided hero worship crush that Finn really isn't all that into.

As regards Plot 3, I liked their time on the planet. Yes, this was not the "rush into things and trust that the good guys will always win" Luke from the original trilogy. It was a Luke who had put all of his trust into the future and felt that he'd lost it all due to his own weakness. And, like Obi-Wan and Yoda before him, he reacted by running away, and cutting himself off from everything that made his life good because he felt he didn't deserve it. He's spent years marinating in his own guilt, probably running the scene over and over in his head, imagining what he could have done better. Then, Rey shows up, throwing in his face his great reputation and insisting that it's all up to him again (side note, part of the "Relay Race" plotting involved Abrams originally having the final shot with Luke having massive boulders floating behind him to show he was still the Jedi Macdaddy, just resting in his tent). Rey shook him up, not convincing him by the strength of her argument, but impressing him enough to start to pull out from his funk a bit before she started behaving in a way that touched on his trauma and he withdrew again. When they finally fought, he had no access to his Force abilities (or was at least very rusty) and he was up against someone who has been fighting most of her life, but he nonetheless managed to rally until she pulled in superior firepower, the lightsaber he'd thrown away. And, well, we know how he ended it all.

Overall, it was a poorly plotted movie, but I think Ach-To was the best part of it.