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Milkfred E. Moore
Aug 27, 2006

The fate of destruction is also the joy of rebirth.

Let's do this then.

The Last Jedi is a mess of a film. While some part of that lies on the bizarre first part Johnson inherited from Abrams, Johnson's film makes enough of its own mistakes that it can't be all pinned on Abrams and his love of mystery boxes. The Last Jedi was so poor that it taught me to appreciate the prequels -- and, really, I came out of TLJ with the exact same weird, unreal disappointment that I remembered having after seeing Attack of the Clones. The film abandons not just Abrams' mystery boxes but also several aspects of TFA's worldbuilding and characterization to create its story. This is a film that, at times, feels like it was obsessed with throwing jabs at the Star Wars fanbase in the name of that odious Internet trope of 'deconstruction' or, as Johnson puts it, subverting expectations.

The problem is, TFA had very little going for it outside of the mystery box speculation. The entire film, from character names to locations to plot points to worldbuilding, was set up to engender speculation. This was apparent from even before the film was released. TFA was one big mystery box from the very start. So, while it's liberating that TLJ sets fire to all of the mystery boxes, it's bizarre that it has no plan to replace them with anything. TLJ isn't so much a sequel to TFA as it is a conclusion to TFA. Even the closing shot of TLJ feels like something that you'd close out a trilogy with, not have at the halfway point.

Daisy Ridley acts her heart out as Rey, managing to bring a bit of an edge to the rather bland character... if only the script would give her something to do. Adam Driver nails Kylo Ren and is the standout of this film and, almost certainly, the one good thing in the whole sequel trilogy. Mark Hamill gives a great performance as Luke, regardless of what you think about the state of the character. On the other hand, the film is clearly only concerned with Rey, Ren, and Luke. The expansive, unwieldy secondary cast is put on treadmill for their part of the runtime. Oscar Isaac has a bizarre journey as Poe, alongside Laura Dern's Admiral Holdo. Finn and Rose fare no better. Maz Kanata shows up for some reason, too. What's also unfortunate is that Carrie Fisher's last role as Leia is of her as a failure, waiting to die in a desolate, forgotten base. The film paints a picture of a galaxy that doesn't seem to care about the First Order and, perhaps, even welcomes their rule.

Some of the direction and cinematography is rather striking, but some of it is bland and clearly added later in reshoots. There are also issues with some of the shots that actually made it into the final film -- knives being edited out between shots, actors mouthing 'pew pew' as they fire their guns, actors missing cues in fight choreography -- that makes you wonder how no one noticed them.

Williams' score is lacking, and the re-usage of music from the OT (often during similar sequences) feels like cheap nostalgia bait. The nostalgia bait is true of the writing, too, where the film frequently alludes to moments from the OT but never commits to actually doing anything differently. And that's when the script isn't just flat out bad (opening with a Yo Mama joke is a very strange decision). In the end, for all the talk of TLJ 'killing the past', it circles back to a status quo of 'plucky underdogs VS monolithic evil space empire' far more firmly than TFA did.

It'll be somewhat interesting to see what Abrams does to try and write a conclusion to the sequel trilogy given the mess TLJ leaves him with. But after the blandness of TFA, and the lacking quality of TLJ, I won't be seeing it. I'm actually kind of pleased that TLJ freed me of my interest in any more Star Wars.


Milkfred E. Moore fucked around with this message at 11:24 on Aug 26, 2018


Jul 22, 2007

Battler, the literal stupidest man on earth. Why are you even here, Battler, why did you come back to this place so you could fuck literally everything up?

I really wanted to like this movie... and I just don't.

(I actually love it. A lot. It might actually be my second favorite SW movie behind Empire. It's really, really good.)

Mar 7, 2010



College Slice

I also wanted to like this movie, but I can't. It sucks. Rian Johnson must have some kind of hatred towards JJ Abrams because it felt like almost every plot point made in the movie was done to reverse something he had done in TFA. I was a blind fanboy who had loved The Force Awakens until I finally watched this movie. Now I can't stop thinking about every lame plot point made. What was the point of hiding where they were fleeing to? What was the point of introducing the Codebreaker dude for five seconds? Why did Poe lose all characterization from the last movie?

This movie wanted to be the Empire Strikes Back so bad. In fact, it pretty much felt like it was meant to take place between IV and V with all the plot and location similarities. Ultimately the sixth movie will determine how well this trilogy fare against the other two, but so far I'm starting to appreciate the prequel trilogies for at least trying new things.


Sep 16, 2002


Over a year has passed and we now know that apparently R.Johnson wrote this trainwreck well ahead of the force awakens. Why Kathleen Kennedy and Disney saw fit to greenlight it knowing this is an absurd that might just never go answered. It did one good thing, in that maybe now people will really get tired of seeing Star Wars plastered everywhere on everything.


Apr 14, 2006


I donít think the director watched the other Star Wars movies 1/5

Nov 27, 2006

Don't get your pen, son, you won't be needing that. My order's simple, a shitload of dim sims. And I want a bucket of soya sauce.

Easily the best thing to come out of the franchise since Empire Strikes back. 5/5

May 29, 2002

No. It's necessary.

Yam Slacker

This movie has everything going against it. It's clear that Rian Johnson took the "let's do the opposite of whatever people wanted to SUBVERT IT" concept too far, breaking many rules of the SW universe in the process. The plot has threads that go nowhere and I think that's totally intentional just to gently caress with us. Having the Resistance as such a small entity feels weak and robs a lot of the triumph from earlier movies, again probably for the same reason.

In spite of all that, I actually love this movie. I really enjoyed the revelations about Rey, I enjoyed how Snoke was handled, and I thought Kylo's arc made sense and had some great set pieces to tie it together. The environments were imaginative (minus obnoxious exposition like "it's SALT!") and I thought the strange storytelling created an interestingly frustrating tension that felt fresh and enjoyable as long as I was able to keep my fanboy brain from tying in a knot. The Yoda scenes were especially fun for me. The lightspeed attack especially irritates people but the sound and visuals were so amazing to me that I can't help but love it.

I get why many (most [nearly all]) big fans of Star Wars loathe this movie. I also really enjoyed it, and I hope the challenge of its setup makes JJ's finale less by-the-numbers than TFA. I think if you know it's going to piss you off going into it and just relax, you might just really enjoy the ride.



Dec 14, 2004

This movie doesn't seem made by someone who fulfills any single one of the following requirements:
1) Likes Star Wars
2) Understands Star Wars
3) Knows Star Wars' origins and inspirations
4) Likes Star Wars' fans
5) Had a vision

And while some may joke that not liking Star Wars' fans is a blessing, the fact that there is nothing going other than Rian Johnson's very personal goal makes this movie a disjointed mess.

There are so many problems with this movie, it is very hard to start. The most glaring is the very often pointed-out notion that every plot element in this movie seems to be there for the sake of subverting fans expectations. This is letting the external world enter a script and I'm generally against it: If fans figured out a plot or a fan theory is true and it is good, it is not your job as a writer or director to subvert expectations for the sake of it. And while it may be the case that some stories may benefit from subverting what the people watching it expects, you certainly shouldn't do it if you don't have a clear overarching vision. The middle part of the movie is a B-Plot that goes nowhere.

Mark Hamill's open dissatisfaction at Luke's character makes a lot of sense. Quick checklist of Luke's character:
* Is free-spirited. Wants to explore and break free from routine. Is very extroverted. He wants to break free from his family in Episode IV (and does). He goes off on his own in episode V to train (and he does). He goes off on his own separate mission in episode VI. Luke is a man of action.
* Is a firm believer that there is good in people. This is essentially the crux of not only his character, but the entire Star Wars Saga up until this point. Even if you treat SW 1 through 6 as the story of Anakin, that story is only possible because Luke believes in good. Luke refuses to kill his father, and he disarms himself when facing the emperor. Even when confronting Jabba he gives his enemy every chance to give up until the very last moment. This is not a character who would try to kill his friend's child in his sleep. Speaking of which:
* Is unafraid. Yoda warns him that he will be afraid, but Luke's superhuman trait is how unafraid he is. He rushes to save his friends, and after understanding that that risked everything, he openly accepted that his death ("Soon I will be dead, and I'l take you with me" or something like that in Ep VI) as well as his friends' death for a bigger cause.

While there may be some nuances, Luke is a somewhat one-dimensional character who embodies something that no one else does. Altering that for no real reason is missing the point spectacularly.

From an overarching perspective, this movie also seems disrespectful towards the trilogy and the brand as a whole. This movie tries to undo as much as it can from the first one, which renders a movie that could be used for development null and void: Instead of a trilogy, only the third movie matters when it comes down to the overarching story. There's the protagonist, there is the antagonist. Everything that was setup before had no purpose. Han could have died of old age, Snoke could have never existed, the Republic could have been destroyed off-screen and that would have made as much sense as the fact that the opposition is a super-armed fleet the which official government refuses to engage. I would hate to be the person taking mantle of writing or directing the third movie, as I would want to make the trilogy as a whole coherent and satisfying in some sense, and this movie makes really, really hard for that to happen.


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