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Star Wars 8 - The Last Jedi - Reviews (SPOILERS!!)

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OK, so saw the midnight release on Wednesday (in a double bill with The Force Awakens), and have had a while to collect my thoughts.

I enjoyed watching it, but it was disappointing.

The rug-pulling moments - Leia's "death", Finn's "sacrifice" and Luke's "deception" - all really annoyed me.  I absolutely despise the "here's a massive, emotional tear-jerking character death BUT WAIT - GOTCHA, THEY'RE STILL ALIVE!" trope really raises my hackles.  I went from loving them to facepalming at them with the bait-and-switch.

When Kylo sensed Leia was on board and hesitated to pull the trigger, only for his wingmen to take the shot instead (**** you Quickdraw) I thought wow - what a shocking but somehow fitting way for Leia to go, this actually helps develop Kylo as a character, gives him some much-needed purpose!

But no.

When BB8 was caught in the hangar explosion and flew out in pieces, I thought great - a grieving Poe might bring something new to the table.

But no.

When Finn finally decided something was worth fighting for, and decided to sacrifice himself for the greater good, I though wow - Finn can actually become a hero here, this is a sacrifice that means something, this is an epic moment.

But no.

When Luke pulled the cleverest Jedi mind trick, taunting Kylo into a confrontation and delaying him long enough for the Resistance to escape, I thought wow - what a move, that's raises the stakes between Luke and Kylo in the next film...

But no.

The trip to Canto Bight was pointless, and everything that happened in the Finn/Rose arc was ridiculous.  The Millennium Falcon asteroid field chase Resistance fleet stroll of doom was cringeworthy.  For some reason, the escape shuttles seemed to be moving slower than the cruiser.  The battle on Crait wasn't actually a battle, it was a massacre.  And there was an audible groan from the audience when Finn said that the big gun was "miniaturized Death Star tech".

All that said, I really enjoyed Rey/Kylo's arc, and I actually enjoyed most of the humour.  The Porgs (and blue milk sea-cows) were great.  The cinematography (Canto Bight excepted) was tremendous, Luke's Island and Crait especially looked beautiful.  The CGI was superb for the most part as well (Canto Bight excepted), and the starfighter combat was pretty good.

But the best part of the film for me - by a clear margin - was the performance of Mark Hamill as Luke.  He brought heart and soul to the role and to the film.  He showed that there's life in the original cast yet, and so much more they can contribute to the new generation of films, and so much more they can offer.

But no.

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5 hours ago, MaxPower said:

I wouldn't agree. The point is that Rogue one was made for the diehard fans - it pleased them. TFA was made for the general audience - it mostly pleased them. Sadly, this film just has a lot of rubbish scenes... why would it please us?

Except they really weren't. At the time people loved R1 and there were a few haters but have you seen how much hate that movie gets now? About the same amount as the Last Jedi.

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When prompted by my family about what I thought of the movie, I answered this: the story was good, the execution, if you pay too much attention or are two knowledgeable of the Star Wars universe or basic physics, was lacking.

 

Story wise, I liked where they took the story.  Kylo was fleshed out, Snoke's death felt like much of what I've read of what happens between Sith (whether Kylo admits it or not), Rebel plans could fail, plot twists that were not 100% expected most of the time.  All of these added up quite well for me.  Some of the missing backstories can be filled out with extended universe books / series, so if someone does those right then Snoke's death will have more meaning.  Now that the positive is done, let's go to the few gripes I had:

 

1) Where are the capital ship shields?  Seriously, is every fighter able to slip underneath them to cause direct damage?  Poe destroying every turret on his own is a bit much.  Why the First Order did not send a crap ton of fighters to finish off the Rebels, especially considering how they are not afraid to sacrifice lives, is a mystery.

2) Former-janitor-stormtrooper Finn had way too much access to Imperial schematics, along with a photographic memory.  Just because you were a Stormtrooper does not mean you know everything there is to know about a ship (actually, it pretty much guarantees that you do not).  Do you think the security personnel at work know which server holds which application?  They know no one without authorization should be there, that's it.

3) AT-ST bumping against something and losing its canopy.  Yeah... I'm not sure heavily reinforced armored plating is supposed to work like that.

4) One cruiser going to lightspeed and taking out half a fleet.  Well, how about destroying the next Death Star this way?  If it was possible, then everyone would do it and everyone chasing a desperate cruiser would assume a fleet position to prevent that kind of damage.  The same scene could have been much more poignant with the cruiser turning around and smashing at normal speed in the fleet (being shot down the whole time with the commander somehow keeping her going).  Same result, more dramatic and plausible.

5) When the first frigate was abandoned: not 100% sure how it works in the military, but I'm pretty sure the code is the captain goes down with the ship (when there's a reason for it) or is the last one to leave.  There was no point in him staying there, not unless he too made a suicide dash (which he could have before fuel ran out).

6) Evil BB-8: he spotted BB-8, but failed to report that it was missing after the Rebels were captured?

7) I know they destroyed the government of the Republic in episode 7, but where are the fleets?  They are not all in one spot and no government would completely discard its armies when even basic spying would reveal that the First Order was building massive fleets.

8) The resistance bomber mechanics felt a bit too much like WW2.  I'm glad that FFG made them look cool compared to the movie.l

 

I'll go with that first.  I think a lot of story elements can be fixed with expanded universe stories and I hope that they are.

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I find it weird (but not surprising) that on both sides there is a massive shout of "if you did/didn't like this you are WRONG!".

In terms of how often, we are starting to get up to Marvel levels with Star Wars now. If you make a film in the same universe every year or more, not every one will land for everyone.

None of the Marvel films are 'terrible', but some are praised highly and some just came and went. I think the first two Thor films are pretty boring and dismal, but I wasn't shouting "I AM DONE WITH MARVEL THEY ARE DEAD TO ME!" afterwards. I just didn't watch them again and waited for the next Marvel films.

I'm like that with this. Did I like it? Not really. Did I hate it? Nope. Am I going to boycott Star Wars or anything like that? Of course not, that's silly.

 

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1 hour ago, Tailsgod said:

A: I don’t recommend people see it a second time to ignore the flaws. I say to see it again and question what those “flaws” mean. Often things you see as flaws at first may actually not be at all. As a point you may get stuck on canto night leading nowhere at first viewing but second viewing you will notice how much it actually focuses on the kids and set up the film more thematically

B: see the last comment. Also Star Wars is pretty big just because you wouldn’t see it in the galaxy doesn’t mean it isn’t.  Times change and filmmaking changes.  

 

C: which characters do you mean in this because the characters remained fairly consistent in this movie from the last they just emphasized their flaws and had their mistakes drive the plot forward (which i appreciate)

A: The flaws I already pointed out (see above):  The very unnecessary side quest and its horrible casino setting, the logic errors (as in hyperspace jump attack, fighters being able to bypass shields when it's convenient, arching turbolaser shots and the fleet managing to stay juuust out of range. That's just lazy writing), Superleia and the bad humor. You bring up the kids, and I agree with you in that this was needed to set up the tone and the hopeful, beautiful end scene. But again, it's how they chose to include this concept that felt just off. So once more, it isn't the 'what' but the 'how' I had a problem with.

B: Yes, but if you are gonna include something that isn't particularly Star-Wars-y, then as a filmmaker you have to think twice if it's really, really necessary. Does it make the film better?

C: There were a couple:

- Holdo. I know now that she is actually a book character. But in the movie as a standalone entity, she didn't work for me. Her appearance was straight out of hunger games (which isn't bad per se, but it just didn't fit. at all.) and we knew absolutely nothing about her. And for that setup, she was pretty lackluster. She goes from weak to strong to maybe bad, then to hero. Her character just changed whenever the movie needed her to. And that's also lazy from a script-writing standpoint.

- the codebreaker. He didn't fit, he was completely unnecessary and Rose and Finn just happened to meet him when it was most convenient. It was literally like a scripted sequence in a video game.

- Rose. I'm sorry, I didn't like her one bit. It could be just a personal thing, but I found her very annoying.

- the caretakers. The creatures themselves looked ridiculous and their clothes certainly didn't improve on that. Also they were the butt of two completely unnecessary, stupid jokes.

- BB-8 and his superpowers. That whole hangar scene with piloting an AT-ST and Phasma being useless yet again was crap.

- Hux and the decision to turn him into an idiot.

 

All of this doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy anything about TLJ. Especially the second time around, I did enjoy about 60-70% of it. But that doesn't mean I can't call out its weaknesses, right?

Here's a couple of things from the top of my head that really stuck with me:

- The throne room fight. Amazing. Although I could have done without the audience cheers when Kylo stabs the last guard through the head.

- R2 showing Luke the hologram. This was nostalgia done perfectly, because it also served the plot.

- The final reveal of Luke being a hologram, Ren's realization, then Luke dies under twin suns. Wonderful. Beautiful. I couldn't breathe.

- The visuals of the hyperspace jump attack. As stupid as it was, it looked stunning and couldn't have been filmed more beautifully.

- Leia being hilarious. "3PO, wipe that nervous look from your face!", "What are you looking at me for? Follow him!"

- Yoda back to his cooky old ways with a bit of wisdom at the end. Although he looked a bit off.

Edited by debiler

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On 12/16/2017 at 4:38 AM, Odanan said:

How do you wanted him to die? Not only the character, but the actor are old. It was the best way.

The actor is only a few years older than me. We’re both well capable of doing more films. 

I’m most upset in the timing of his death. It should have been in Ep 9. He and Kylo should maybe even die at the same time to end the Skywalker line. 

Mark brought so much potential to the movie with Luke and could have done so much more. The Resistance is down to just a handful of people who are looking to re-ignite a spark of rebellion. Think of how fast that spark would grow if the galaxy knew Luke Skywalker was back along with an apprentice stronger than him. 

As an alternate ending, I could see Luke struggle to stand after his force projection. He gathers his strength and stands straight then walks down the stairs to the waters edge. He force lifts his T-65 from the water then opens a compartment to retrieve something. As he turns towards the camera he ignites his green lightsaber then the star wars theme plays as credits roll. Can you imagine the excitement moving forward? I’d already be in line for a ticket to Ep 9 to see him rush into battle with Rey. Instead, I have emptiness and no interest in Ep 9 at this time. 

Edited by drail14me

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2 minutes ago, drail14me said:

As an alternate ending, I could see Luke struggle to stand after his force projection. He gathers his strength and stands straight then walks down the stairs to the waters edge. He force lifts his T-65 from the water then opens a compartment to retrieve something. As he turns towards the camera he ignores his green lightsaber and says “I’m coming Leia!” And the movie ends. Can you imagine the excitement moving forward? I’d already be in line for a ticket to Ep 9 to see him rush into battle with Rey. Instead, I have emptiness and no interest in Ep 9 at this time. 

Would have been nice. Scratch the cheesy "I'm coming, Leia" and it would work. That being said, I think Luke's end was very poetic and satisfying as it was.

Edited by debiler

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4 minutes ago, drail14me said:

As an alternate ending, I could see Luke struggle to stand after his force projection. He gathers his strength and stands straight then walks down the stairs to the waters edge. He force lifts his T-65 from the water then opens a compartment to retrieve something. As he turns towards the camera he ignores his green lightsaber and says “I’m coming Leia!” And the movie ends. Can you imagine the excitement moving forward?

I'm sorry, but that ending would be fan fiction bad level.

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Don't worry, Hammil will be back (ha played multiple characters in this movie). He was finally reunited with the Force and was allowed to become one with the Force. I'm sure his ghost will be back in Episode IX. Although yeah, I agree, keeping him alive would've been nice too.

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6 minutes ago, debiler said:

Would have been nice. Scratch the cheesy "I'm coming, Leia" and it would work. That being said, I think Luke's end was very poetic and satisfying as it was.

Yeah, “I’m coming Leia” is kind of cheesy but I couldn’t think of anything better as I typed. 

His end was poetic and it was sad. It overpowered the movie for me. 

I hate it for Mark Hammil the most. He told Rian he disagreed with it but would do his job to give Rian the best performance he could. I’m sorry, but Mark has been doing Star Wars for only 2 years less than Rian is old. Rian should have taken advice from Mark. 

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9 minutes ago, Kieransi said:

Don't worry, Hammil will be back (ha played multiple characters in this movie). He was finally reunited with the Force and was allowed to become one with the Force. I'm sure his ghost will be back in Episode IX. Although yeah, I agree, keeping him alive would've been nice too.

I’m sure we’ll see Force ghost Luke but probably only in a minor role. Hopefully not. I REALLY wanted to see him fly his T-65 one more time. Maybe his ghost can. LOL

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16 minutes ago, RogueLeader42 said:

In the german version he is voiced by the same voice actor as Howard Wolowitz from The Big Bang Theory. And thats quite hillarious.

Oh god. I am german, and I hate the dubbing for BBT.

Edit: but then again, I hate dubbing in general...

Edited by debiler

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Just now, drail14me said:

I’m sure we’ll see Force ghost Luke but probably only in a minor role. Hopefully not. I REALLY wanted to see him fly his T-65 one more time. Maybe his ghost can. LOL

He's the most powerful Force user in history, so maybe he will be able to bring himself back from the dead?

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2 minutes ago, drail14me said:

Yeah, “I’m coming Leia” is kind of cheesy but I couldn’t think of anything better as I typed. 

His end was poetic and it was sad. It overpowered the movie for me. 

I hate it for Mark Hammil the most. He told Rian he disagreed with it but would do his job to give Rian the best performance he could. I’m sorry, but Mark has been doing Star Wars for only 2 years less than Rian is old. Rian should have taken advice from Mark. 

I think him dying was more or less plot required. Both Kenobi and Yoda had to die before Luke could go forth and save the galaxy, therefore the copying of the OT required him to die. 

It was bad plot, but the manner of his passing was the mos5 powerful moment of the film.

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20 minutes ago, Odanan said:

I'm sorry, but that ending would be fan fiction bad level.

Isn’t fan fiction why they keep making these movies? Isn’t that why people judge the prequels and sequels against the OT? It’s what I’ve wanted since 1983. 

Edited by drail14me

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2 minutes ago, Kieransi said:

He's the most powerful Force user in history, so maybe he will be able to bring himself back from the dead?

...maybe he can bring the franchise back from the dead while he's at it.

Sigh.  As much as I was 'meh' about The Force Awakens, at least I came out of it looking forward to seeing Luke.  Not sure I can think of anything to look forward to in IX at the moment.

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On 12/14/2017 at 4:05 AM, Kentucky Fried Ewok said:

This was pie in the face humour, not suitable for Star Wars. The reviews saying this is as good as ESB baffle me.

Agreed.

In all, I'm not against the humor, but I have enjoyed the last 2 films that were pretty serious.  It was a nice break from all the campiness of the Lucas era.  I wasn't ready for the tongue-in-cheek one-liners, despite the fact that I did laugh.  I just wanted something more. . .dramatic. 

On 12/14/2017 at 4:25 AM, Stay On The Leader said:

6) getting blue-balled by Phasma's return 

I feel like Phasma is going to be SW version of Kenny: she gets killed once in every movie then miraculously is there for the next one.

On 12/14/2017 at 4:25 AM, FlyingToaster said:

What? Why? Firstly, it's in space, so that kind of arc is crazy. Second, nowhere before have we seen laser blasts be affected by gravity.

Or a bombing run. . .you don't "drop" bombs in space.

It is a "flaw" in the SW universe often seen also in the Clone Wars cartoon. . .space battles with the assumption of gravity in play.

On 12/14/2017 at 4:29 AM, Odanan said:

There. For the first time in 30 years we will be in uncharted territory.

It was about time.

Personally, I was left with:

You scrapped the entire EU and Luke's history in that EU for "A grumpy hermit has an out-of-body-experience to save the Resistance then becomes one with the Force." ????!!!!!

So what's left?

You've killed 2 of the 3 mains in movie, and the last can't reprise her role anymore.  We are down to "Kylo vs. Rey" as Episode IX, which really doesn't leave me intrigued about what's next, cuz, ya know, pretty sure the bad guys lose.

If I had to sum up Ep. 8 with one word, it's ANTICLIMACTIC.

 

Edited by Darth Meanie

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one big departure from ESB is that empire made...well, the empire incredibly intimidating

they had a few scenes of incompetence re: the colliding star destroyers and the poor academies in the asteroid field, but nothing on such grand a scale as Snoke and his ship being decimated with ultimately nothing to show for it

Vader had completely dominated Luke and watched on menacingly as the protagonists barely escape with their lives. Here, they sort of seemed to echo it with rose on the falcon with the very same breathything but Luke made an utter fool of Ren and the First Order has been one colossal blunder.

Left the theater kind of wondering how they would make the FO any sort of a threat for the following movie. What really helped ESB, looking back now, is not having to see any of its star destroys come apart like paper mache (apart from that one poor bloke that took an asteroid to the command bridge)

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1 minute ago, FTS Gecko said:

Sigh.  As much as I was 'meh' about The Force Awakens, at least I came out of it looking forward to seeing Luke.  Not sure I can think of anything to look forward to in IX at the moment.

I guess I'm looking forward to seeing Rey get the story that Luke was denied when they changed the extended universe. I kind of got the feeling that she was going to start a Jedi academy, for example. Romance with Hux is not necessary (with the red hair, he would be the new-canon Mara Jade). But the rest of Luke's old storyline being coopted to Rey would be cool. 

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4 minutes ago, ficklegreendice said:

they had a few scenes of incompetence re: the colliding star destroyers and the poor academies in the asteroid field, but nothing on such grand a scale as Snoke and his ship being decimated with ultimately nothing to show for it

I wouldn't say nothing to show for it.  The entire Resistance can now fit in the Millennium Falcon, for example.

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