55 thoughts on “The Last Jedi — Spoilers Welcome

  1. Eric and I saw it yesterday, and we both liked it well enough. One problem is that now that we know the Finn/Rose subplot fails, it would be hard to enjoy watching the movie again since we’d have to sit through all of that knowing it was misguided.

    A bigger point (not necessarily a problem) is that this movie largely clears the decks of material left over from the original six episodes. All of the old characters are gone except Chewie. The Sith and the Jedi are gone. The writers of episode IX have got an almost-clean slate to write on.

  2. Greg Hullender on December 18, 2017 at 10:04 am said:

    Eric and I saw it yesterday, and we both liked it well enough. One problem is that now that we know the Finn/Rose subplot fails, it would be hard to enjoy watching the movie again since we’d have to sit through all of that knowing it was misguided.

    Fair point. I’m interested to see how that plays out on a second viewing knowing that the plan is actually a bad one. Mind you, i think it overall adds to the series that the possibility exists that plans/sub-plots by heroes can be badly misguided…On even further reflection – the whole attack on Death Star 2 was a trap (but which succeeds nonetheless).

  3. I’ve seen it pointed out that pretty much everything Poe does, or proposes to do (including Finn & Rose’s mission, to say nothing of various other foolhardy attacks & mutinies) goes disastrously wrong in this film — even when his plans succeed, they do so at entirely too high of a cost.

  4. The scene where Luke watches the two suns set and then fades away…that’s going to stay with me for a long, long time.

    I think the best option for dealing with Leia’s death would be to begin the next film with her funeral. But it should be a few years later, with a new generation starting to join the Resistance, just as she had forseen.

  5. I loved it that Rey’s parents turned out to be ‘nobody’ – that there is no enforced aristocracy leaving the ability to know the Force in the hands of a genetically priviledged few.

    Also loved my favorite line in the movie: “Page turners, they were not.”

  6. Definitely enjoyed the movie. Even if there were places where the plot could be picked apart, I had no problems handwaving those places away and the main thread (Luke, Rey, and Kylo) more than made up for any other problems.

  7. I brave this thread to ask a question to those who have seen the movie: Should I watch it in 3D, or 2D?

  8. Perhaps…but Rey seemed to concede that he was right, that it was a truth she’d been in denial about. And I don’t think Ren was ever stronger than she was, that he could impose her belief in a falsehood.

  9. I just think they left the door open for whatever the heck they want to do with it. Not that I think you’re wrong, per se. Especially given the closing scene.

  10. @Johan P. — I think you’ll be fine either way. I saw it in 3D, and the 3D was reasonably well-executed, but I don’t think it would have suffered for being 2D. (TBH, all other things being equal I’m starting to prefer seeing movies in 2D, but I’ll go 3D if that’s what I need to do to see it in IMAX.)

  11. Saw it and enjoyed it immensely. Loved how it stuck with the “failure is the greatest teacher” theme to the bitter end.

  12. Something else that was remarkable was the way this episode used humor. By comparison, all the previous episodes were essentially humorless. There were things in previous episodes that made the audience laugh, but those rarely (if ever) amounted to one of the characters deliberately using humor.

    For example in “The Empire Strikes Back” when Solo come back from being tortured and he says, “I feel terrible” it’s such an understatement that the audience laughs at what’s actually a pretty horrible situation; Solo is not trying to make a joke. But in “The Last Jedi” when Yoda says “Page-turners they were not,” Yoda definitely is making a joke.

  13. Liked it a lot, still not sure whether I love it. What’s left in my brain several days later is the idea this is a strangely humanist installment of Star Wars, featuring no memorable aliens or neato gadgets or weapons that make kewl sounds, and not a whole lot of dramatic plot-driven tension either. There are a few routine fights, but mostly it’s about humans interacting with each other, and I’m still not sure whether that’s an improvement.

  14. @jayn

    Also loved my favorite line in the movie: “Page turners, they were not.”

    I will now be tempted to quote Yoda every time I talk about a boring book.

  15. The movie was definitely better on the second viewing, because the first time through, it was a rollercoaster of expectations repeatedly subverted. The second time i knew that they weren’t going to recreate the Hoth story beat, see Kylo turn, kill Leia, have Luke join up, have something scary in the Dark Side hole, etc. So I was just able to enjoy it. And wow, there were some amazing moments. I wrote up my thoughts here:

    http://www.haibane.info/2017/12/15/opening-night-the-penultimate-jedi/

  16. While I agree with Gary about how bad the movie is, I think he makes several key errors.

    Firstly, he says all SW movies must be a small band of plucky rebels vs. the Empire – clearly he has forgotten that the Prequels are the exact opposite, a small plucky band of Sith against the might of the Republic. The prequels are not good, not even as good as The Last Jedi, but they show that this generalization is wrong.

    Abrams and now Johnson took this path because it was easy, not because it was necessary.

    Secondly, he says Lucas’s world is Manichean Good vs. Evil and Ren must choose (obviously Rey is still pure good, but not Ren).

    But the Original Trilogy is a good bit subtler – Vader is appallingly evil, but still contains good. Luke gives way to anger which Yoda tells him means his doom, but retains control. Yoda and Obiwan are the old wise Jedi Masters, but are also barefaced liars and often wrong.

    Leaving Return of the Jedi, I imagined Luke training a new jedi order without the lies and the mistakes, having actually learned more than Yoda and Ben knew.

    Instead, we get Luke nearly murdering his own nephew, and then running away to Ireland, apparently knowing Snoke is still out there corrupting that nephew.

    Say, what???

  17. With all that I loved in the movie (specifically including the incredibly diverse cast, the subverting of “the insubordinate space jockey saves the day”, and the fact that chases and shoot-em-ups didn’t overwhelm the story) the image that struck most deeply with me was that the Resistance has been whittled down from an entire fleet to a small enough handful that they can all fit on the Millennium Falcon. It may make for great “plucky band of heroes against overwhelming odds” dynamics, but it feels kind of bleak and full of despair.

  18. The parts of the movie I like involve character growth. If not for Luke Skywalker’s scenes at the end of the movie, I would have a very different opinion of it. He has his own “If you strike me down….” moment, despite having scoffed at his own legend. Also, the Rey/Kylo Ren exchanges satisfied my need to be told a story, even if it was a painful one.

    Otherwise I sat through whole stretches thinking, “Wow this is beautiful photography and incredible editing — why are we doing this?” By which I mean, I doubted much of the moment-by-moment action (itself easily understood on the level of a chase or fight scene) was advancing an overall story.

    I enjoyed all the characters and creatures — though I’ve seen criticism there were too many with not enough to do, that wasn’t a problem to me. Except for the porgs. Shouldn’t there have been more porg screentime?

  19. Greg Hullender on December 18, 2017 at 1:19 pm said:
    But in “The Last Jedi” when Yoda says “Page-turners they were not,” Yoda definitely is making a joke.

    It’s great that we’re being reminded that as a character Yoda contains multitudes: after the stark seriousness of the Jedi master and the doughty warrior in the prequels (which somehow works despite how horrible those movies were in other ways; it says something that a puppet was one of the best characters) we have here the original trickster and clown that we saw when first meeting him so many years ago. And then he goes all-out Coyote/Shiva and gleefully destroys the Jedi temple — fantastic!

  20. We may yet find out that there is something more to Rey’s origin, and that Kylo Ren’s revelations may be deliberate misdirection.
    He’s becoming good at that. Snoke could tell that he hadn’t been turned, but couldn’t tell that Kylo had decided to supplant him
    OTOH, the last scene showing the stable boy back on Canto Bight who is strong with the Force says just as much, if not more. Shades of child Anakin, who was born a slave. Because it’s from THAT movie, it’s easy to forget that the vaunted, legendary Skywalker lineage in the Force itself had a humble origin; it can crop up anywhere.

  21. Lest we forget, the official story from the Prequels was that Anakin was the result of a virgin birth and believed to be the Chosen One of prophecy, so not just some guy.

  22. Late to the party ‘cuz I just saw it Friday night!

    My theater applauded when Kylo teamed up with Rey . . . PSYCH! They tricked us. Both halves of that were great – the high of that scene, then the low as we found out what was really going on. Then at the end of the movie, the theater applauded again – and that was really great. 🙂 Clearly folks liked it a lot, as did I! It wasn’t perfect, but IMHO it was very good. A very character-driven story, which in this case, I liked.

    It was a little depressing, though, to basically be told “this is the Resistance, whoops, 99.9% of them are dead now.” Yeah, it’ll grow from the ashes, they have friends in the outer rim or whatever (allies who are not Resistance? huh? isn’t everything in the galaxy Empire/First Order?), etc. Still, pretty dire.

    @Heather Rose Jones: I think I could’ve just removed my previous paragraph and said “What HRJ said.” 😉

    @Greg Hullender: There’s been a bit of humor (and banter, which I count as humor) in previous films (at least, 4-5-6). But yeah, the humor surprised me and mostly I liked it. I think they could’ve done with a little less, just because some of it felt a little too present day, and Poe and the “on hold” stuff was over-the-top, almost farcical. Still, mostly I liked the humor – but it was more . . . obvious? blunt? something . . . than in previous films.

    @Mike Glyer: The whole Rey/Kylo Ren series, meet-up, culminating with what happened with Snoke and after – some of the best parts of the movie, for sure!

    @Aziz: Great post about the movie; thanks for linking to it. 🙂

  23. I must disagree with the statement that the only old character left is Chewie; there are also C-3PO, R2 and the Millennium Falcon. As for the movie I liked it very much.

  24. I enjoyed it a lot. I need to see it again.
    I put a few thoughts on my blog:
    http://skyseastone.net/jvstin/?p=4724

    Some more thoughts not contained there:

    The very last scene of the movie, with the boy and the broom, seemed to me to be the *point* of the movie, to evolve and unfold the SW universe to the point where we could have that scene and make it work.

    The “Leia is dead…oh wait she isn’t” feels REALLY weird with her passing just after filming was completed.

    As much as Poe was built up in the first movie, he really got his whole ethos turned topsy turvy in this one. I still think that the Holdo-Dameron conflict could have been handled better than just doing it for plot reasons.

  25. Why didn’t the first ship on the Rebel Convoy turn around and go lightspeed through that New Order ship right off the bat? They had to know they were going to die anyway.

    For that matter, why hasn’t any other ship in existence done that? Go at lightspeed through the Deathstar, go at lightspeed through any other Bad Guy ship that was pummeling a rebel position.

  26. @ ULTRAGOTHA

    They needed time to reach Crait, so they couldn’t pull any surprises until they were ready to abandon ship. Also, pulling a stunt like that would encourage the First Order to stop toying with its prey and kill them all at once.

  27. ULTRAGOTHA:

    For that matter, why hasn’t any other ship in existence done that? Go at lightspeed through the Deathstar, go at lightspeed through any other Bad Guy ship that was pummeling a rebel position.

    Hey, don’t come here an be all logical about things.

    But yes, that was my thought as well. And they don’t even need to do it with manned ships – the implication of the final scene is that lightspeed torpedoes are more effective weapons than anything we’ve seen previously in the Star Wars saga.

  28. @ULTRAGOTHA & @Johan P: Maybe it just seemed so completely horrible that no one ever did it before – it was just unthinkable. There’s a first time for everything.

    @JJ: Thanks, I really liked that post from Bertschy.

  29. Late to the party, I am.
    Just watched it yesterday. Took my wife and me s while to get a babysitter.

    Our screening had a break in the middle (after Benicio del Toro stole the ship out of Monaco). Everything after the break was really, really good Star Wars. I loved it! It was just the right tone, speed etc.
    It would be possible to cut out an hour off the part before the break and the movi would have been better for it. My wife said during the break “Its a biut slow, isnt it?” and yes, it was. Even more: A lot was not really necessary. The whole subplot of going to casino-planet? Could have been scrapped, if you do the “infiltrate Starship” part a bit longer. The attack on the dreadnought? Way too long (and you really can drop off bombs just with that one single device?) etc.
    Sometimes less is more.

    If anyobe reads this, perhaps you can answer some questions I missed:
    1) How does Benicio del Toro (I guess the new Landro?) knew about the cloaked ships? Even Finn didnt know about those.
    2) Why did the Semi-General (forgot her name) didnt tell anybody, that she does, in fact have a plan, but it requires to play possum for a while? Less drama.
    3) Was Del Toro supposed to be the master hacker, but gambled off his rose? Or is that just my interpretation?

  30. @ Peer

    Question No. 1: Poe and Finn talked about the Resistance’s plans while they were traveling from Canto Bight back to the fleet, and del Toro’s character was eavesdropping.

    Question No. 2: The General was limiting who knew about the plan to minimize leaks.

    Question No. 3: Not sure what you meant here. 🙂

  31. 1) But by that point Poe didnt know about the plan to cloak ships, didnt he? Or else they could have just abondon the mission.

    3) Finn and Rose went off to get the “master hacker” which was wearing a red thingie. They saw someone with that rose jewellery but were thrown in jail before they could talk to him. I somehow assumed that Del toro was the master hacker (since supposingly the master hacker was “the only onbe who can do it!”), that has lost his rose to a different gambler. But I guess, that was just my interpretation and I was waiting for that to be explained 😉

  32. 1) According to this Vanity Fair article (“Star Wars: The Last Jedi Offers the Harsh Condemnation of Mansplaining We Need in 2017”), Poe tells Finn after he learns about the Admiral’s plans:

    https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2017/12/star-wars-last-jedi-laura-dern-admiral-holdo-listen-to-women

    3) I don’t think that DJ had anything to do with the rose-wearer. But it turned out that he could do the job. If he could have held out, that would have been nice.

  33. I’m faceblind enough that I just assumed that the Del Toro character was the guy with the rose. He wasn’t?

  34. Poe tells Finn after he learns about the Admiral’s plans

    OK, then I missed that.

    I’m faceblind enough that I just assumed that the Del Toro character was the guy with the rose. He wasn’t?

    No, it was someone else.
    My guess is that Del Toro is the new Lando in the next part. Might be wrong though.

  35. @ Cassy B

    Honestly I can’t be sure since I’m not too hot with faces either. Most sources assume that DJ and the Master Codebreaker are different people, though some fans contest it.

  36. The master codebreaker was played by Justin Theroux (according to IMDB). So its someone else.

  37. Page-turners they were not, but Rey has the Jedi books. I saw a screenshot of them in a drawer in the Falcon. So when Yoda says she has everything she needs, he probably knows she took them with her.

  38. 2) Why did the Semi-General (forgot her name) didnt tell anybody, that she does, in fact have a plan, but it requires to play possum for a while? Less drama.

    Poe tells you when he concocts his plan – its on a need to know basis and she determined that Poe didn’t need to know. She was proven correct on that score, since as soon as Poe knew her plan, he told Finn and the information ended up being leaked to the First Order.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *