Author Topic: The Last Jedi (spoiler thread)  (Read 266 times)

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The Last Jedi (spoiler thread)
« on: December 24, 2017, 11:14:39 am »

Lot to unpack here.

And obviously spoilers, so don't be readin' this thread unless you've seen the movie.

Let's start out with the positives:

It looks amazing.  Especially in IMAX, I imagine 3D would have looked awesome too (I think I'll try to see it in that context), but the cinematography really put you into those worlds, nothing felt fake or matted in.  The spaceship stuff looked amazing too, I think I complained that they weren't in space or spaceships that much in TFA, well now there's a whole thing on a starship.

Oh, and I LOVE Snoke's throne room.  That big red wall?  SO Korusawa.  The Red Guys (who I assume are the other Knights Of Ren, despite being listed as "The Elite Praetorian Guard") and the gold outfit reminded me of the Coppola Dracula in the best possible way.

The Jedi stuff is interesting, they don't just give us new powers (or I would argue new ways of VISUALIZING the powers), but by keeping it so close to nature and so on, they stress the simplicity of it.  You hear of this ancient Jedi temple, but it's an old tree with, what, six books in it.  And doesn't Luke say "there's nothing in here you don't already know?"  I love that.  It reminds me of Dogma, "you took a good idea and you made a RELIGION out of it."  I love the idea that the Force belongs to everyone (how could it not? It connects to ALL LIVING THINGS), but the way Luke described it sounded more like disaffection rather than him finally grasping a simple concept and trying like hell to explain it to another person, like how water is wet.

I really thought we were going to get more of a Force Renaissance because of that, the idea that the whole religion is... well, not false, but a form of control, combined with the idea that the Resistance and the First Order were decimated in the movie (how beautiful was that shot where ALL those ships crack in half?) really made me think we would get a "Golden Compass" sort of thing where we just venture straight into unknown territory.  Except we double back on good vs evil so we can have Luke finally face Kylo.  As much as I like that scene, it doesn't feel like the climax to the movie the throne battle does.

Also, if the idea is tearing down old structures, it seems really weird to me that Snoke is just some guy.  I would have thought he would be an Aeryn Targeryan type, just this overly imbred Jedi from ages past who kept his life extended far past the breaking point so he could maintain control and keep things the way they've always been, doling out approval to Jedi and Sith as the sole arbitrator.  Like, a literal expression of nobility and blood supremacy that's been the hallmark of both Jedi and Sith.  Doubly so when you think about the imagery inherent in destroying that big red wall and seeing all of space behind it.

I thought for sure Rey would join Kylo, or they would unlock some new power (I could see Kylo being able to kill people just by looking at them), something weird and messed up that would throw us all for a loop.  Although again, they did intro a lot of new abilities, I just thought he would go Avatar mode like Thor in Ragnarok.

Oh, and I totally can see where Mark Hamill is coming from with disagreeing with Luke's actions... but at the same time, it still feels like it's true to his character.  He does have darkness in him, he's arrogant... I can see him having a moment of weakness that would bring everything tumbling down.  How could he not?  He's human.  We all do things we disagree with.

The stuff about the stories we tell ourselves and how we fall for our own bulls*t was interesting... I like how Finn still has this reputation that he feels like he has to live up to, it's like a macrocosm of that.  He's not brave, strong, or particularly clever... and he's always trying to run away, but he's still slowly coming around to that because that's the person he wants to be, even if he doesn't know how too yet.

As for the practical movie, I felt it was paced weird... like, I wasn't sure when the first act was over... I don't think that's going to be an issue with rewatches, but I couldn't tell where I was.  There wasn't enough segmentation of the sequences for there to give you a sense of momentum, you know?  The Rose/Finn stuff moved the most places, but it didn't feel like enough because it wasn't the A storyline (it's hard to tell which was the A storyline, actually).  And it felt weird that "we have just a few hours, we can go on TWO missions?"  That felt strange.  It would have made more sense if they weren't with the fleet to start with, if they had been marooned or were bringing up the rear, that might have felt more natural... having to race against time to go in one direction instead of doing a donut.  Or it could have taken place over, I dunno, more than a few days?  Like months, perhaps?

I can't really dissent structure properly b/c it was a one-time viewing with no time bar or anything to refer to, it just felt kind of blob-like to me.  Visually there's a nice progression with the ships, how the Resistance fleet gets smaller and smaller and the First Order ships get bigger and bigger, but it's not enough to sell that progression.

There's an article on Vox about all the backlash the film received, and it's definitely an interesting read, but here's a block of text about the pacing that I thought was worth pointing out.

Quote from: Vox Article
ut when you reach the third act, and the thematic impact of this plot clicks into place (as the Atlanticís David Sims has written about here), it becomes more impressive within the whole of the film. Put simply, Johnsonís film, on a first watch, seems to have a lot of pieces that donít fit, because heís not planning to make them fit until the filmís very end. And that can be taxing to watch.

Also in thoughts to timing, I don't have an issue with "how quickly people learn to use the force" now.  Because I realized just being aware of it and tapping into it is the big breakthrough.  Yeah, there's skill involved in using it or fighting with a lightsaber, but I think it's a "once you hear it, you can't unhear it" type of thing.  "How did I never notice this before?"  The power and balance of the universe suddenly becomes big and obvious, that's the trick, and the ones we've seen learn it are already a little aware of it.

I'm glad to see Phasma back so that she and Fin could physicalize their beef, but it felt like too little.  Underused, just like last time.  And I understand that's due to her working on Game Of Thrones, but man it would have been fun if she had more **** to do.  Like when Rose and Finn are in prison, and she walks in with a couple troopers, that could have been a lot scarier than the beach police, right?  Or if she was like a Captain Bligh figure to the other stormtroopers now, since Finn escaped, ANY hesitation or even HINT of independent thought is wiped out.  Couldn't you see a Trooper trip or something, or fall out of formation, and she just walks up to them and shoots them in the head or whip them or something.  "Let that be a lesson to the rest, any deviation is unacceptable."

The Leia in space thing just looked weird.  The issue is that the stuff that establishes that, being able to pull bodies and sh*t happens AFTER the scene, so you have no idea what's happening.  And given that she survives, what was the point?  It's cool to see her use the force finally, but it feels so out of left field.  Wouldn't it have worked if she could close the breach in the wall with her mind?  Like she's holding onto something and reaching out?  Wouldn't that have the same effect?  I dunno.

I love that Poe got more sh*t to do, but at the same time I wanted him to be put through cr*p on a planet b/c after TFA he was kind of boasting that he got to just chill in London while everyone else was in the desert.  I do like the he finally got to meet Rey at the end, that was cute (although I instantly imagined him saying "we didn't meet in the last movie.")

A little thing, Benicio's ship?  Love it.  I have no real idea what it looks like, but I love that about the tech in these movies, it's almost treated like "yeah, you've seen a starship before, it's no big deal."  There's no establishing beauty shots like a commercial or anything, it's just there.

I thought Laura Dern was going to stick around, she seemed like the natural replacement for Leia... so it's interesting that they didn't go in that direction.  I suppose in the new micro-Resistance there isn't a place for someone like that anyway, so no big deal, I suppose.

I have also no issue with Rey's parents being nobodies who don't matter, they always said it didn't and it's part of the theme of the movie.  If the Force belongs to everyone, it sure as h*ll belongs to a literal no one.

I do wish we would have seen what regular life was like under The First Order, it sounds like they control everything but I want to know what it looks like.  Also do love that they have the writing on their sleeves, very SS.  But I was kind of disappointed by the casting.  Something I liked about TFA was how many of the First Order were young, too young to remember how bad life was under The Empire, so they're making the same mistakes again.  Very timely, I think, with the current resurgence of Nazism and White Supremacism, so I feel like an opportunity was missed there.  The way people were reacting, I thought for sure the movie would be blatant about "these people are total monsters and if you identify with them, you're f*cked up."  Surprised that they didn't do that.

I'm sure there's more, but I can't think of anything else at the moment.  I'm glad I finally saw it (especially on that big big screen) with my family... wish other Efe could have come along, we'd have been geeking out all night, but alas it wasn't to be.  Oh well, a good excuse to come back.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2017, 11:36:53 am by Neumatic »

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Re: The Last Jedi (spoiler thread)
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2017, 03:39:47 pm »
I've already bookmarked this post until I see the flick.
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