Anyone else not really like the film or have critiques?

Discussion in 'The Last Jedi' started by zxthehedgehog, Jan 31, 2018.

  1. JasonA

    JasonA Jedi Master

    Not the same thing. TESB new information/mystery: Vader is Luke's father. That's a pretty big plot point, to say nothing of the character arc Luke goes through. Last Jedi had nothing even close to anything like that going on.
     
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  2. GZK8000

    GZK8000 Jedi Master

    What about finding out why Luke abandoned the entire galaxy and self-exiled, or Rey's story? Or Kylo Ren doing what Vader planned to do in TESB (to overthrow the big bad dude)?
     
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  3. Quattro Bajeena

    Quattro Bajeena Jedi Knight

    Very funny movie, especially the Poe's joke call and the pizza shaped ship, it made me want a 35mm restoration of Space Balls.

    (just joking, sorry but I can't take this movie seriously lol)
     
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  4. zxthehedgehog

    zxthehedgehog Jedi Master

    In Empire, though, there was a significant revelation that changed current character dynamics. Vader being Luke's father completely changed the relations between the two, and its significance was demonstrated by Luke's powerful emotions in that film's ending. The problem is, Rey finding out her parents were "nobody" doesn't change anything fundamental about her character, as we see her in the next scene doing exactly what she was doing before with no real justification in doing so. It completely robs any significance from the rebellion other than following a leader, which just shows them to be as bad as the Empire.

    So what? Snoke did nothing. Rey's parents were no one. That's not interesting information; it gives no payoff for the story so far.

    Luke's betrayal of Kylo is also kind of meaningless. We already know he hated the resistance, so the information doesn't change anything about him significantly. Luke also entirely backs down from his initial stance, so his position for staying on the island was ultimately pointless to know as well.

    The only real character development in the film was with Finn and Rose, whose plot is widely considered to be shoehorned into the movie anyway. But even that is undermined by a forced love angle that isn't well justified to begin with. Her character is very environmental and ethical, which being that it is a fictional world with unrealistic CG creatures gives the viewer very little basis for attachment to her. The film also goes out of its way to introduce shades of grey in the dichotomous world of Star Wars with Benicio Del Toro's DJ, which goes against the very core of the point with the FO/Resistance relationship - that of the Big Bad vs. the Little Guy archetype. If the Rebellion/Resistance is not a good against the Empire/First Order's evil, then that sense of the battle's meaning is lost.

    And I think that this is the ultimate problem with The Last Jedi - it either misses or forgets the essential meaning of the film franchise. It's a battle of good against evil, with classic characters and a distinctive tone. The more of that you take away, the less like a Star Wars film it is.

    I think Rian tried to do too much with the film - he clearly had a direction in mind, but had no idea how he wanted to pursue it. The resulting film was messy and convoluted; it had far too many plot threads and many which contradicted each other morally. In an effort to take the story under his control, he lost a lot of the potential the previous film had built up, creating a directionless middle act that failed to meet fans' expectations.
     
  5. williarob

    williarob Administrator Staff Member

    I think that sums it up nicely.
     
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  6. fmalover

    fmalover Jedi Knight

    I think I should stay away from any online discussion about TLJ because each and every single one of them are all about how the movie ruined SW, pot shots thrown at Johnson and Kennedy, and I'm just sick of all the negative feedback.
     
  7. zxthehedgehog

    zxthehedgehog Jedi Master

    Don’t worry; that’s not the goal here. The film has earned a rather toxic reputation on the Internet recently; the reality is that it was just divisive within the fandom. This is far from the worst thing to come out of the franchise, and certainly didn’t “ruin” it.

    Similarly, I don’t wish to bash Kennedy or Johnson for this film, especially due to its technical merits. Johnson took on a daunting task directing this franchise, and while I disagree with the direction he took with the characters, I still respect him for trying to put his own vision into the property. While the final result left something to be desired, in my opinion, that is neither a personal attack against the man or against Lucasfilm itself. It simply aims to discuss the topic, talking about what could have been improved and where the film’s flaws may lie.

    We also have a thread here discussing positive elements; this thread is mainly dedicated to discussing the negative side of things and what individuals on this forum had problems with in the film. But it’s not at all about demeaning individuals or negativity. It’s about analysis; looking at the film and making sense of it through discussion.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  8. Oswarez

    Oswarez Jedi Master

    I dug it for the most part. It looks amazing and the frame composition is fantastic in the bigger scenes. The designs are all top notch. The humour I felt was a bit miss placed at times and too slap sticky but what bothered me the most were the amount of sentient animals, like the progs and those creepy horse critters, also I felt the casino was too close to what casinos are here on earth, with characters dressing in actual tuxedoes.
     
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  9. benw20

    benw20 Padawan

    I can't decide if I hated it more than the "50s diner" in Episode II.
     
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  10. theS0UND

    theS0UND Jedi Knight

    I know this might not be the most relevant thread for this, but it's the most active thread regarding this movie, so my apologies.

    My favorite story moment in The Last Jedi, that I disliked at first but have come to love, is the significance of Luke wielding his blue lightsaber on Crait. I disliked that it wasn't his RotJ saber because I wanted that visual continuity from the OT. And after all, he had it in the flashback in this movie! However, the meaning behind him choosing to wield that particular lightsaber is so much more impactful and I believe it is absolutely intended as a payoff for what is probably one of the most hated scenes in the movie.

    He tossed it over his shoulder and threw it away. I'll admit, that scene made me a little uncomfortable (mostly because it came across too slapstick, it could've been a little more effective if it wasn't played for laughs). But that lightsaber represented his legacy and his legend, which he resented and disavowed. At this point, that saber has no meaning for him other than being a reminder of his failure. And he refused it from Rey not once, but twice, at two significant moments in their story. Then after a much needed knock on the head and one last lesson from Yoda, he realizes that, yes the galaxy does need him.

    When he chooses to wield that lightsaber at the end it is supposed to be symbolic and represents that he is finally accepting it from Rey. It is the redemption for having tossed it away earlier, and it should be all the more gratifying to the viewers for it, because of how blasphemous that first scene was. I think RJ wanted the fans to feel strongly about that moment, so that seeing him with it at the end would he that much more impactful. But for some reason it just seems this has flown over most people's heads. Although I guess it did mine for the first little while too. In that moment when he wields it against Ben Solo, essentially the physical representation of his failure to uphold his family's legacy, he is reclaiming that legacy and accepting the mantle of "Legend" to spark hope in the galaxy once again. It's possibly my favorite thing in the entire ST so far.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
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  11. zxthehedgehog

    zxthehedgehog Jedi Master

    But he didn't wield it at the end. He just put up a force projection and then died.

    If he was taking the mantle of hero, the way he did it was honestly cowardly - he didn't even come to the battlefield. If the rear exit to the cavern no one knew anything about hadn't been there, and Rey hadn't been there to clear it, his sacrifice would have been for literally nothing.

    As it stands, he saved maybe twenty or thirty people from an army of thousands. That's not redemption. It's suicide, barely any better than what Finn tried to do by driving his ship into the "Death Star cannon" that somehow doesn't make the entire base explode on impact.
     
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  12. theS0UND

    theS0UND Jedi Knight

    I don't think we are on the same page at all. Your response seems to be mostly critiquing the logistics of what physically did/didn't or should/shouldn't have happened at the end with Luke. My post was to meant to discuss the broader thematic elements, represented by that lightsaber, for Luke's characterization in the movie; first having him toss it away, then choosing to appear with it in the end. The lightsaber represents his unwillingness and later acceptance of being what Rey (and us, the audience) expects and needs him to be; "Luke Skywalker, a Legend", in his own words.

    But I can debate a few points you made. I already explained what I meant by Luke "wielding" the saber at the end. As far as him being a coward, is your point that by him not physically being there at the end, he was not doing everything he could? Because I'm 99.99% sure that we are meant to believe he has no way of actually getting there once Rey leaves and he is doing everything he can to help. And in the process, we get to see a cool new Force technique that we've never seen in the movies. It's not illogical or inconsistent with the story, it's just that the story wasn't written the way you would've wanted. My assumption being that you wanted to see Luke physically come save the day. That's fair. But that doesn't mean that what we actually got was poorly written or executed. Again, I'm fairly certain he could not have left Ahch-To even if he wanted. And furthermore, if RJ's intention was for Luke to die, I'm glad it was not like Han's death. He found a way for Luke to have that epic moment, saving the remaining rebels without having to get cut down or blasted away on the battlefield. Instead he peacefully becomes one with the Force under the light of setting twin suns. I personally love it.

    C'mon, look past any unfulfilled expectations you might have and just see what we got for what it is! I think it's still a powerful story for Luke. And again, I didn't feel this way the first time because I had certain expectations just like most people. But after only my second viewing, I have more and more appreciated that Luke wasn't just relegated to "Stoic Jedi Master" that we've already seen several times, and used as a plot device to prop up the new characters. Because let's face it, that's what this new trilogy was apparently always going to be like. Using the "Legacy" characters as anchors to help pass the torch or whatever. We were never going to get a new trilogy that was focused on the original characters while introducing new characters for future adventures, which is what I think we all wanted. So if we weren't going to get that, at least TLJ gave Luke an actual new character arc and gave Mark Hamill some meat to work with as an actor. Instead of just having Luke be another Obi-Wan or Yoda.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
  13. zxthehedgehog

    zxthehedgehog Jedi Master

    Don't get me wrong - I don't disagree with most of your analysis, and I agree that the lightsaber could be interpreted as a symbol for Luke's return. In fact, it could also could be interpreted as a further expression of irony from the "laser sword" dialogue seen earlier in the movie, as he also faces them down with a weapon he directly refused.

    But I don't think knowing about that significantly changes Luke's arc. In terms of a hero's journey, a lot of the characters in TLJ have problems around the Abyss stage of the story circle, which realizes itself most directly with Luke. He lacks a defined revelation after his discussion with Yoda, and thus has a rather awkward transformation stage when arriving at the resistance base. Without a direction being clear, his buildup to the climactic confrontation with the First Order loses a lot of logical development.

    The two points the lightsaber symbol would strengthen would be the Refusal of the Call in the beginning of the film and the Atonement in the climax. The ironic thing is, both of these are already the most well developed sequences in the film. We get a strong justification for why Luke refuses to join the resistance, and we see its antithesis in his one-man challenge in the film's finale. But neither of these feels like it fills that weak point in justification.

    Sorry if my earlier post came off as slightly negative; I was working off about 5 hours of sleep and was a bit out of it. Generally, though, this thread is made to analyze from a more critical view of the film; there is a separate thread dedicated to preferred parts, so I try to respond to commentators defending the film here.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2019
  14. theS0UND

    theS0UND Jedi Knight

    It did come across slightly dismissive, but it's all good. I understand working on 4 or 5 hours of sleep. Anyway I'm going to try to address some of your points later, in another reply, because I'm short on time. But I do feel the need to clarify one key aspect of my original post that seems to have gotten lost.

    My initial point was just to try to explain the reasoning behind Luke appearing with his blue lightsaber on Crait instead of his green one, by pointing out the sabers correlation to his story arc; the deeper significance of him having tossed it away at first and finally accepting it in the end. I mainly meant it as a defense, for the movie, to those that were upset about him not having his green saber at the end. So in that sense, I guess my post is relevant to this thread. Lol But to clarify, I didn't intend to sell the symbolism of the lightsaber as an all-encompassing justification of his story arc.

    And I fully agree about the intended irony of the "laser sword" dialogue near the beginning. I've always enjoyed that element of the final scene.
     
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  15. theS0UND

    theS0UND Jedi Knight

    Sorry it's taken me a while to get back to this. I guess the only other point I didn't comment on was about the characters' story circles, and while you may or may not be right about other characters, I'm focused on Luke.

    So I feel the Luke/Yoda scene was sufficient as a revelation for his story arc. I actually think that any other scenes after the fact that would show him reversing his stance and deciding he wants to help would be unnecessary. And the lack of it makes his arrival on Crait all the more impactful IMO because you don't really know if or how he's even going to show back up after his scene with Yoda. When I first saw the film I thought we just might not see him again until Ep 9. And actually, as I'm writing this out, I'm just realizing that his "transformation" is handled in pretty much exactly the same way as Han's in the original SW. Han has a last interaction with Luke and then the final battle unfolds. It's not until the last moment when Han unexpectedly shows up to save the day. We didn't get any extraneous scenes where he says to Chewie, "You know what, I think the kid was right. We'd better go back and do something."

    I guess I ultimately just feel that yes, there are flaws to this film, but I don't think Luke's story is one of them. It would've been nice to see another kind of story for Luke. Where he and the others were the focus, wrapping up their stories etc. But again, IMO, what we got for Luke is powerful and impactful for the character and I'm still happy that he wasn't just another Obi-Wan or a superhero who served only to fulfill fanboy fantasies.
     
  16. Collipso

    Collipso Jedi Master

    oooh i have to respond to that one!

    i actually liked Luke's character arc in TLJ, and Mark Hamill delivered a superb performance, BUT i find it very hard to believe that that character is the Luke Skywalker from the OT. in the way it was presented, i find it absolutely unbelievable that he'd contemplate murdering his nephew simply for having evil thoughts - the same man that refused to fight his father, one of the most evil persons in the galaxy, just a few years prior to that. it's too much of a 180 on his character and it wasn't developed in the least, we were just told that Luke did that because... (???????????), and i sure don't believe he would ever consider doing anything remotely similar to that, ever.

    that's in line with the rest of the movie, though, since it ignores RotJ completely. another aspect of RotJ Luke that TLJ Luke threw out of the window was the fact that in both TESB and RotJ, Luke went strictly against his masters' will and advice, and did what he thought was right, essentially not adhering to the old jedi's philosophy. and that's how he won his father's heart and the war, by doing what he feels is right, not by following the jedi code or whatever. that's how he became the great OT hero. he's not the last of the old jedi, but the first of the new. that was the point of RotJ. that Luke was right, and his masters were wrong, because they were too blind by their moral code, and Luke wasn't, because Luke wasn't like them. he was to begin a new era for the jedi.

    but. no! it is Rey who has to be the first of the new! so in order for that to work, let's make Luke be the last of the old, instead of his awesome defiant and heroic RotJ character! how do we do that? well, let's act as if nothing in RotJ happened!! let's make Luke blindly believe in everything he didn't, and make him follow his masters' ideas that he KNOWS are wrong, because REY needs to be the new messianic character! hooray!

    not.
     
  17. theS0UND

    theS0UND Jedi Knight

    As you can clearly see and as is narrated by Luke in that scene, it was more than dark or evil thoughts. He said that Snoke had already turned Ben's heart. That he had sensed darkness in him but that it was worse than he ever imagined. He foresaw the death and destruction Ben would bring. Ironically Luke's own action is what caused that death and destruction to come to pass, but the point is that it was inevitably going to happen. He was seeing the future, as we know he can from TESB. And I'm sure in the heat of the moment he feared that. Enough to rashly consider ending it right there. But again, his narration says that he immediately felt shame for igniting his saber and you and I both know he would have put it away and left. Then later he would've talked to Ben and tried to help him. But that's not the story that TLJ wanted to tell and that's not the point.

    The story is that Luke made a mistake in a moment of high emotions. It's no different than when Vader threatened to turn Leia to the Dark Side. Luke may have been attempting to refuse fighting but he still gave into his anger and emotions and attacked his father. And had he not seen Vader's robotic hand and come to his senses, he would've killed him. But he ultimately resisted. Still, Luke is shown to act solely on emotion several times in the OT. Again, almost killing Vader and, like you mentioned, also in disobeying Yoda and Obi-Wan to try and save his friends. That cost him a hand. Consequences. He ultimately wasn't going to kill Ben, but he still made a mistake. Ben seeing Luke holding that saber over him, he didn't know he wouldn't actually go through with it. All he knew was that his Uncle was about to kill him and, presumably, the lies Snoke had been filling his head with were affirmed. So yes Luke had to suffer the consequences for that moment.

    That's the story. The point is that Luke is still Luke. He can still be impulsive and act on emotion. He is still human, still looking to the horizon instead of what's in front of his face. He can still make mistakes. Luke's whole arc in this film was about humanizing him and not playing into the expectation that he was going to be this ridiculously overpowered God. The film rebukes the idea that he's a "Legend" and so does he. Yet, ultimately and satisfyingly, he does finally learn that being a Master is about passing on ALL that he has learned. His strength and mastery, but also his weakness and failures.

    EDIT: And he isnt holding to old ideals of the Jedi at all in this film. Yoda and Obi-Wan would've never agreed that the Jedi needed to end. But even though you say he wasn't, he WAS doing exactly what he did in the OT. Following what he believed was right. And he believed that the Jedi were part of the problem, why the same conflicts keep happening over and over.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
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  18. zxthehedgehog

    zxthehedgehog Jedi Master

    That's what doesn't make sense to me, though. If his realization is that he is human and flawed, isn't that sort of contradictory to what he does in the film? He demonstrates himself as great and powerful in front of the First Order fleet - the exact opposite of his revelation with Yoda. It just doesn't seem like one would lead to the other.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
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  19. theS0UND

    theS0UND Jedi Knight

    Let's examine some of the dialogue between Yoda and Luke.
    L: "I was weak, unwise-"
    Y: "Lost Ben Solo, you did. Lose Rey, we must not."
    L: "I can't be what she needs me to be."
    Y: Heeded my words not, did you. Pass on what you have learned. Strength, mastery; but weakness, folly, failure also. Yes, failure most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is."

    The realization wasn't that Luke was weak in the force or a failure in general. The realization was that he needed to learn from his mistakes and failures, rather than let them define him. That he didn't need to exile himself and wait to die. (And who else better to teach him that but Yoda?) It was the realization was that he could be what Rey needed him to be, what Leia needed him to be, what the galaxy needed him to be. And what we, the fans expected him to be. A legend.

    So yes, of course he showed up at the end to finally fulfill that and show off his power. The film was just trying to give the character some depth before it gave us the payoff. I guess I don't understand why it doesn't make sense to you.
     
  20. theS0UND

    theS0UND Jedi Knight

    Anybody interested in the conversation we've been having about Luke's characterization in TLJ or even fans of the character of Luke Skywalker in general; I encourage you to watch this fantastic, beautiful video.

     
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