59 thoughts on “The Last Jedi — Spoilers Welcome

  1. I feel the story would have been improved if Holdo had told Poe she didn’t believe his theory that the First Order could track them through warp; that SHE believed instead there was a spy among the rebels feeding the First Order their location. It would explain her subsequent uncommicativeness, and IMO is a more plausible theory than the supposedly correct one about a technogical breakthrough that nonscientists Poe and Co. attained with no clues.

  2. While watching the movie I was expecting that the First Order was homing in on the beacon the Resistance had set up for Rey. After all, we know there was a beacon aboard the ship; what makes more sense, that the First Order had invented a whole new technology that nobody had ever heard of before, or that they had found/stumbled across the frequency of a beacon that was already there?

  3. @Cally, yes, and it seemed like every time someone said “how are they tracking us?!?” they immediately cut to a shot of the beacon….

  4. The beacon was a complete red herring. It was very clumsy misdirection & poor storytelling because it didn’t make sense within the framework of the story.

    Also, with the Holdo/Dameron sub-plot, they could have gone:
    The First Order tracked us through hyperspace. Either we have a spy in our midst or they have hyperspace tracking technology. For now we are keeping our strategy on a strict need-to-know basis, and you Captain (not Commander) Dameron, do not have a need to know.

    As it was, it made Admiral Holdo come across as callous & incompetent, which was inconsistent with the high regard she was held in by General Leia & also given the bit we learned in-movie about her past heroic action.

  5. What Soon Lee said.
    Thats part if what made the first part unnecessary long. I also didnt understand why they didnt transfer all fuel to the main ship and let the smaller ships die much sooner (especially since they were evacuated already). I guess it was misdirection, but it added frustration.
    This whole thing was somehow effective from a movie.standpoint (i.e. creating drama and a surprise), but you better dont think too long about it!

  6. @Dann

    In Kenobi’s case, he was also on Tatooine to keep an eye on Luke as he grew up; a sort of reticent guardian.

    Neither Kenobi nor Yoda sought to destroy whatever was left of the Jedi religion. Contemplating their personal shortcomings within the context of their religion is a different critter than deciding that their religion needs to be burned to the ground. The former contains a certain sense of personal responsibility. The latter…not so much.

    I’m pretty sure most of the fans who objected to Luke’s characterization in the Last Jedi were objecting more to everything that happened before he went to burn the Jedi books, not that particular act. But if we take that particular act as the measure of his irresponsibility, well, we kind of have to see from his point of view what that impulsive attempt means.

    He thinks that the Jedi have brought their own destruction on themselves, and brought it also upon the galaxy due to their hubris. I think he has a bit of a point. The Jedi created Vader, and after their defeat did nothing covertly or otherwise to impede his rise to power. Their religion emphasizes passiveness as a virtue. They enacted it when they were out of power. And they enacted it when they were in power. They had power and moral authority before the Republic fell, and we see them accept the existence of slavery, take a small boy away from his mother (leaving her enslaved), then judge him bad and unfit for their order because he missed her. He is considered ‘too old’ for the training, which seems to convey the impression that any strong emotional ties other than to the Jedi system are unacceptable, and that they value pliability to their system above all.

    And unfortunately that makes their system exclusive to most, rigid, and unadapting to challenge, and incapable of dealing with it when it arises. They couldn’t figure out what to do with a powerful nine year old who insisted on having emotional needs outside what they considered permissable. They had no conception that they could be more flexible; that was unthinkable. Anakin was the whole problem to them, and their failure with him was the galaxy’s suffering, and instead of doing something about him, they fled into hiding for twenty years.

    Luke goes for training with Yoda, and is ALSO initially turned down for training on the ‘too old’ grounds. He learns what he can, which turns out to be enough to become a Jedi – but he didn’t turn Vader back to the light through anything he learned as a Jedi. The Jedi gave up on Vader years ago, Luke won him over by appeal to the strong emotional ties that the Jedi frown upon.

    Luke, however, doesn’t take this as a mandate to change the Jedi. He still venerates their ways. And when his sister and best friend bring their nephew for training he tries to use those ways to help him – but the rigid, complacent old Jedi system has left him no means to do so. Their system is to simply reject what will not conform – they have no tools to bring back someone tempted to the dark side. He tries with what they gave him, and fails. His impulse to destroy the venerated, mostly unread books in the shrine (which the movie shows he probably wouldn’t have carried out) is understandable.

    I think it’s important that the last glimpse we have of those books is tossed in a mundane drawer. I’m sure Yoda knew the books had been removed from the shrine before he destroyed it. His destruction of the shrine is a symbolic gesture…something to say that the old ways have to change at this point; that they cannot be venerated as infallible and above reproach. He’s had longer than Luke to contemplate his failures, and knows that the drawer on the Falcon is the place for those books, where they will be read and criticized by living people, copied, shared, argued about and disagreed with, and used as part of a synthesis of needed new ways which include more people and allow more emotional ties as a means to guide people to the light, not set on an altar to be uncritically worshipped, unread.

    I liked this article about some of the failures that led to that: https://www.themarysue.com/star-wars-internalized-sexism-luke-skywalker/

  7. I just want to voice my objection to calling Benicio del Toro, herein referred to as not-the-codebreaker guy, as ‘the new Lando.’

    Lando betrayed our heroes in an effort to save his people and their home. He even tried to negotiate for the safety of most of our heros. OTOH he learned pretty quickly that negotiations from a place of weakness with bad guys rarely work out well.

    Not-the-codebreaker guy wanted money and out. Many, many people died because of his actions. That is not a redeemable position as far as I am concerned. Plus the giant pause while everyone else has to wait for the actor to decide to participate in the scene was extremely annoying. I would rather not ever see the character again unless they can drop a building on him.

  8. Elisa: Not-the-codebreaker guy wanted money and out. Many, many people died because of his actions. That is not a redeemable position as far as I am concerned. Plus the giant pause while everyone else has to wait for the actor to decide to participate in the scene was extremely annoying. I would rather not ever see the character again unless they can drop a building on him.

    Well, thank you for saying that. I thought that the role was very much a “we are going to insert this charming, double-crossing, mustache-twirler in the story as a way to shoehorn in a new conflict character”. The character seemed very obvious and trite and over-acted — and I heartily endorse the building sentiment.

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