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The Last Jedi Review: SPOILERS ABOUND

warren42
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12/23/2017 11:55:36 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
***IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE MOVIE, THERE ARE A TON OF SPOILERS AHEAD. STOP READING NOW.***

I will start by saying that I actually think that The Last Jedi is the best installment in the Star Wars series. This is in large part due to the plot and characters. However, I believe the cinematography is phenomenal, and there are some minor things I like too. However, there were also flaws, obviously. I"ll discuss what I believe to be the biggest flaws (as well as minor ones that seriously irked me) but I am more than open to discussing other ones.

At the time I write this, I have seen the movie one and a half times. I saw it on opening night, and again with friends who had not yet seen it about a week later. The second time was after a long day of fishing, so I was exhausted. We went to a showing at 11:30, and the theater had leather reclining seats (and the tickets were only $11!) Because of this, I fell asleep. I watched the first half hour, the final battle on Crait, and intermittent parts in between where I"d wake up for a few minutes at a time.
I apologize that the scenes I discuss may not be in chronological order when talking about a certain character, I decided to organize them in terms of how they related to certain aspects of the character.

1.Rey
Rey is an excellent character. She is gorgeous, but not sexualized. She is a strong role and not reduced to sex appeal in the same way Padme and Leia were. Rey"s humble beginnings and parents being nobodies make her the perfect female character. Rather than being a Skywalker, a Kenobi, or a Solo, Rey is a powerful young woman who is going to create her own destiny within the Star Wars universe. Her determination to become a powerful Jedi and defeat The First Order makes her admirable, and continuing to pursue this despite her teacher not being willing to help amplifies this. We see her working on her lightsaber skills on her own, working to hone her already well-developed aptitude with the weapon. Her frustration with Luke not being willing to help her in a cause she so strongly believes in, and a cause that he, too, once believed in, feels so genuine. Rey is an interesting twist on the "All-American boy" archetype. This is one of my favorite types of characters, and throw it into Star Wars with a powerful and beautiful young woman playing the part and I like it even more.

2.The Cave Scene
This is the scene where Rey goes into the "dark" part of Luke"s island, and it"s probably my favorite scene in the entire movie. The first reason I like this scene is the nostalgia factor. It"s reminiscent of the scene where Luke goes into a cave and "fights" Vader in Episode V. The second, more important reason, is that we are given a very intriguing and open-ended scene. When she asks the mirror who her parents were, she is given no response. Though we don"t realize it at the time, this is an answer in and of itself. Her parents are nobodies, just as the lack of answer indicates. It also may hint at something dark within Rey. During the initial training session, Luke senses darkness within her. When she ventures into the dark cave, the evil balancing force of the island, she sees nothing but her own reflection. Though we don"t see much "evil" out of her, she struggles to make the decision regarding joining Kylo Ren in ruling the galaxy. It"s entirely possible that this scene hinted at a greater battle Rey may end up fighting internally, and she was so enthusiastically denying this because she had to convince herself just as much as she did Luke and everyone else.

3.The Casino Scene
For whatever reason, this scene seems to be universally hated. My best guess is that it was slow, but there were some benefits to it. The first is that it serves as a critique of the military-industrial complex. The second is that it introduced DJ, who I believe is an excellent character.

4.DJ

DJ is the apathetic, self centered douche of Episode VIII. He thinks everything is pointless and that there is not much difference between The Rebellion and The First Order. He is stubbornly apathetic despite being presented some very concrete examples of what "good" and "evil" are. He looks out for nobody but himself, and doesn"t care who he has to work with or against to further his own plans. His apathy and selfish nature are very relatable to most viewers, however, and implores us to ask ourselves: "What would I do for a price?" How much would I have to be paid to betray someone"s trust? Especially when that betrayal will inevitably result in the execution of those individuals and the death of dozens more? He is also an "anti-Solo" in my opinion. Han Solo is a self-centered prick (save undying loyalty to Chewbacca) who eventually decided to dedicate his life toward helping a cause greater than himself. Though in The Force Awakens (TFA) we see that he has fallen into his old ways, there are external factors at play. DJ, like Solo, was a self-centered prick. However, when presented with the same decision between continuing with his current life or contributing to a greater cause, he made the opposite decision.

5.Luke
We see a very different side of Luke. The same Jedi who led the war against The Empire has now cut himself off from The Force. In his flashback to the night he nearly killed Ben Solo, he recalls how his fear of Solo"s power nearly drove him to kill, before realizing his mistake. It was too late, however, and Solo fought back, in the end destroying everything Luke had built. The character development created by this relationship is excellent with both of them. It takes Luke, the ambitious and valiant Jedi master, and turns him into a shell of his former self. I believe that Luke cutting himself off from The Force was a selfish decision. He was afraid of Kylo Ren"s power. He was afraid of losing. He was afraid of himself. And he was afraid of the mistakes that he"d made. There is evidence enough of the first and last ones when Luke begins to train Rey and sees her darkness, then rescinds his offer to further her training. He clearly fears the power and fears failing another apprentice. This "grouchy old man" archetype continues into the final scene. I was actually beginning to think Luke was really going to leave them to their own devices. However, he returns and fights Kylo in an incredible final battle. I think that may have been the single best lightsaber duel I had ever seen in the Star Wars universe. Then, I thought he had sacrificed himself, Obi-Wan Kenobi style. But no. He was back on his island, projecting his life force onto a completely different planet, and going toe-to-toe with (allegedly) one of the greatest masters to ever wield a lightsaber. In the end, we can assume he dies due to exhaustion, and having exerted so much power after being cut off from The Force for so long. I like this, because it shows that even though he was one of the (or the) most powerful Jedi of all time, he, too, is mortal.

Continued in next post.
warren42
Posts: 4,456
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12/24/2017 12:00:04 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
6.Kylo Ren

I said it after TFA, and I believe it even more so now. Kylo Ren is by far and away the best villain in the Star Wars universe. He very clearly has an internal struggle, but there is enough ambiguity around what exactly plagues him that he is still mysterious. In Episode VIII we learn that he is still struggling with having killed his father. Snoke calls him out, and we can tell that Kylo is definitely haunted by it. Further proof of his internal struggle is the scene that directly precedes the "Super Leia" scene, where he hesitates and ends up not pulling the trigger to end his mother"s life. This continuation from TFA is strong character development, but I find the things that arise in The Last Jedi to be even more compelling. I"ll start with the character development related to Luke. Obviously nearly being killed by your uncle and mentor will shake any young man to the core. The fear propelled him and fundamentally changed him. We can assume he is trying to prove something, both to himself and to Luke. It"s easy to dismiss these superhumans as characters in a fictional world as very unlike us. However, just like Rey and DJ, Kylo Ren is incredibly human. He is broken, and killing his father tormented him even further. He blames Luke for betraying him, and also likely blames Luke for indirectly forcing him to kill Han Solo. If Luke had not attempted to kill the young Ben Solo, he never would"ve been forced to flee and start a new life with The First Order. He"d have been fighting alongside Han rather than against him. We know that they need (at most) a handful of guns trained on Luke. Kylo Ren knows this, too. Despite that, Kylo orders every ounce of firepower on Luke. The look in his eyes and pain in his voice as he screams "MORE!" at his inferiors was quite possibly the most humanizing scene I"ve ever watched. He shows his raw emotions. The same conflict he"s been attempting to hide the past two movies comes to the forefront. Yet, when the guns shut off and he believes Luke dead, there"s something about the expression on his face that makes it very clear to me that he isn"t truly satisfied with the result. Then, obviously, when he fights Luke, we know that he is undoubtedly making an attempt to prove to both himself and Luke that he"s better than the uncle that tried to kill him in his sleep. The next three reasons are all inter-connected. Despite what many people thought, I actually thoroughly enjoyed Snoke"s death being so anti-climactic. Snoke was never the real villain. Kylo Ren was all along. Snoke"s death was really just a springboard to further develop Kylo Ren. We were shown impressive command of The Force when Snoke connects Kylo and Rey"s minds, throws them about like rag dolls, and uses the lightning like Palpatine did. Despite this, Kylo Ren was strong enough to conceal just enough of his intentions. He kills Snoke, and the battle against the guards ensues. During the battle, Kylo Ren seems conflicted as to whether he should help Rey or look out for only himself. Even after killing his leader, he doesn"t know why. Was it for the good of the galaxy? Or was it for personal gain? At different points in the fight, he seems to lean toward each. In the end, they kill all the guards, and Kylo Ren asks Rey to join him in leading a new order. She considers it, but eventually seems to deny the proposition because of her distrust of Kylo Ren. The shattered lightsaber is a phenomenal climax, and a wonderful point to leave off as far as the character development for each.

7.Cinematography

a.Kylo Ren and Rey
The scenes where Kylo Ren and Rey were having seemingly conversations via The Force were excellent. I felt as if I were a part of the conversation. Particularly when it was a close up of their faces, I felt like there was a very intimate connection between the characters and the audience.

b.Luke on Crait
Luke not leaving red marks on the surface of Crait was a minor detail that made me very excited. I was thrilled with the attention paid to detail here.

c.Luke"s Death
The dual suns were the perfect setting for Luke"s death. Obviously, it is an homage to A New Hope, but it also symbolizes the death of the "last Jedi" while Rey and the rest of the surviving rebels are the rising sun. A new day begins.

d.Admiral Holdo Scene
This is without a doubt my favorite scene in the entire series. Some people I"ve talked to took issue with the idea of her being able to do this. I didn"t mind it. What really made me love it was the complete silence during the scene. To me, it felt like a moment of silence for Holdo and all the other heroes of The Rebellion. The silence was powerful.

8.Miscellaneous Things I Liked

a.Porgs
Something about the Porgs seemed off, and it was a good thing. I can"t decide exactly what it was, but I think that it was their motion being slightly off. It seemed jerky, and it reminded me of the characters from the OT.

b.Phasma"s Final Moments
When Captain Phasma (presumably) died and she made eye contact with Finn, I found it to be a very nice touch. Not really much of a reason for it. I just liked it.

9.Miscellaneous Issues I Had


a.Super Leia
This scene was utter bullshit. I have yet to meet anyone who disagrees, so I feel no need to explain.

b.Yoda
I felt that Yoda"s reappearance was generally pointless, and was really just an excuse to put him in the movie. If they were just going to throw him in there, they should"ve at least made it good.

c.Luke on Crait
I know, I just praised the detail with regard to Luke on Crait"s surface. However, him coming into the base and nobody blinking an eye (this after they said there was only way in and out) bothered me quite a bit.

d.Phasma
She was a wasted character. She should"ve been less important or she should"ve had a more profound impact on the storyline.

e.Finn and Rose
How the hell did they make it back inside the base?

f.Arc blasts
This is really nitpicky and obviously it"s a fantasy world, but the fact that LASERS arced in a VACCUUM when The First Order was barraging The Rebellion"s ships was incredibly bothersome to me.
Unstobbaple
Posts: 4,060
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12/24/2017 11:51:48 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 12/23/2017 11:55:36 PM, warren42 wrote:
I just saw it. It was worth watching but I wasn't a huge fan compared to the first one.
Devilry
Posts: 5,093
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12/30/2017 9:15:12 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
I saw this yesterday and it was bad. I don't know why movies are all doing that Fast and the Furious thing now, where they're just non-f*cking-stop. If I could've fallen asleep in the cinema I would have, but it was too uncomfortable, for 2 and half long f*cking hours.

The ending was tasteful, that was about it. Otherwise it was all a dumb frenzy. Rogue One is the only recent, decent Star Wars movie.
: : : At 11/15/2016 6:22:17 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
: That's not racism. Thats economics.
Devilry
Posts: 5,093
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12/30/2017 9:19:11 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
Sci-fi movies should give you a minute just to sit the f*ck down in the worlds they're creating, IMO.
: : : At 11/15/2016 6:22:17 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
: That's not racism. Thats economics.
Devilry
Posts: 5,093
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12/30/2017 9:20:44 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
Like the new Blade Runner wasn't great either, but it's a thousand times prettier a movie because it knew to take it slow. Even if the story left something to be desired, the climate of it was great.
: : : At 11/15/2016 6:22:17 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
: That's not racism. Thats economics.