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    • Jay

      Donation time at JWFan   01/16/18

      Hello!

      For those who may not know, JWFan relies entirely on donations to keep running.  Donations pay for our server bills, as well as keeping our domain and Invision Powerboard fees.
      As an incentive to donate, I am offering a series of free CDS to anyone who donates over a certain amount!   Last time this was a modest success, where I raised $500 of our desired $1,000 and mailed out 3 free CDs to lucky JWFanners.  This time I'll be doing the raffling a littler different!   Our goal is $1000 once again, and I will have four tiers of free CDs you can win once again.  But this time, the more you donate, the more entries into each raffle you'll get!   Each $10 you donate gets your name put into the raffle mug once for the $10 pool, twice for the $20 pool, thrice for the $30 pool, and five times into the $50 pool.  Here is the list of CDs you can win - and I have more to add at a later time when I get a little more organized (I'll post what they are by Friday at the latest)   The $10 pool (Every $10 you donate gets you one ticket into this pool) - will be drawn as soon as we hit $250 donated Tyler Bates - God of War; Ascension (OST, La La Land Records) Danny Elfman - Planet of the Apes (OST, Sony) Danny Elfman - Taking Woodstock (OST, La La Land Records) Christopher Lennertz - Identity Thief (OST, La La Land Records) Christopher Lennertz - Medal of Honor: Rising Sun (OST) Michael Giacchino - Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (OST, Varese Sarabande) Dave Holmes & Various - Ocean's 11 (OST, WB Records) Joel McNeely & Various - Hollywood '94 (Varese Sarabande) Joe Kraemer - Jack Reacher (OST, La La Land Records) John Williams - Born on the Fourth of July (OST, MCA Records)   The $20 pool (Every $10 you donate gets you two ticket into this pool, must donate at least $20 to be eligible) - will be drawn as soon as we hit $500 donated John Barry - First Love (La La Land) Jerry Goldsmith - The Challenge (La La Land) Jerry Goldsmith - In Harm's Way (2009 Intrada edition) Jerry Goldsmith - The Red Pony (Varese) Alan Silvestri - Dutch (La La Land) Shirley Walker - Willard (La La Land) John Williams - Family Plot (Varese Sarabande) or, any of the above CDs if you prefer   The $30 pool (Every $10 you donate gets you three ticket into this pool, must donate at least $30 to be eligible) - will be drawn as soon as we hit $750 donated James Horner - Gorky Park (OOP Kritzerland Edition) James Newton Howard - Outbreak (2CD, Varese Deluxe Edition) Laurence Rosenthal - Clash of the Titans (2CD, Intrada) John Williams - The Fury (2CD, La La Land) John Williams - Jane Eyre (OOP, La La Land) or, any of the above CDs if you prefer   The $50 pool (Every $10 you donate gets you five ticket into this pool, must donate at least $50 to be eligible) - will be drawn as soon as we hit $1,000 donated Jerry Fielding - The Wild Bunch (3CD, FSM) Ira Newborn - The Naked Gun trilogy (3CD, La La Land) Shirley Walker and Various - Batman: The Animated Series Volume 3 (4CD, La La Land) or, any of the above CDs if you prefer     All shipping will be paid by me to anywhere in the world!   I will pull names from a hat for each pool, and you get to pick whatever CD set you want if I pull your name!   To be eligible, leave your JWFan username in the comments area of your donation.  If you want to donate but not be in the running for a free CD, mention that in the comment.   Use this link or the link on the mainpage.       Thank you!   Jason, Ricard, and Andreas.
Jay

SPOILER TALK - The Last Jedi (open spoilers allowed!!!)

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I have to say I'm amazed with what seems like a backlash forming against this film. Not that I think it will be remembered as a bad movie, nor underperform, but so far Disney's Star Wars properties were extremely well received, and - critically speaking - The Last Jedi is, too. But it's RT audience score? Wow.

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Some fans are really against the major turns and choices the movie took concerning the characters. I really don't get why. 

 

I might agree or understand some of the complaints or how certain plot threads slow the movie down. But I am totally onboard with all the major choices and paths taken by this movie. All the scenes with either Rey, Kylo Ren or Luke were absolute gold for me

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I think a lot of it stems from the pacing, and maybe some of the uses of humor in the film.

 

If you dislike an entire subplot (as many seem to with the Finn storyline) of a film, that's not something to be taken lightly.

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11 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

I have to say I'm amazed with what seems like a backlash forming against this film. Not that I think it will be remembered as a bad movie, nor underperform, but so far Disney's Star Wars properties were extremely well received, and - critically speaking - The Last Jedi is, too. But it's RT audience score? Wow.

 

Probably made up of a lot of "Rey=Luke's Daughter" fanatics who feel cheated that their favourite fanfics don't fit canon.

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Fair play to Rian Johnson for actually trying something a bit different. It's not perfect by any means, but I'm glad he backed himself and didn't make a safe, generic, fan appeasing film (words that could potentially be used to describe TFA).

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38 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

I think a lot of it stems from the pacing, and maybe some of the uses of humor in the film.

 

If you dislike an entire subplot (as many seem to with the Finn storyline) of a film, that's not something to be taken lightly.

 

Honestly I don't even get the humor complaints. Aside from intentionally "silly quips", it didn't seem any less funny then your average Star Wars film. In fact there were some really laugh-out-loud moments. That scene with Chewy cooking, and him scaring off the porg had my theater laughing ridiculously. 

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I don't mind the plot trajectories for Rey, Luke, and Kylo. I ended up liking The Last Jedi, but the pacing was off in places (like the Finn and Rose subplot to Canto Bight) and some of the humor was forced (like Luke tossing the lightsaber away after Rey gives it to him). The porgs were irritating, and why did we need to see Luke milking an alien cow? That was odd, very prequel-ish.

 

It's nothing like The Empire Strikes Back and that's a relief. And Rian Johnson thankfully didn't write himself into the corner regarding Leia. I ended up enjoying the movie, but had the editing been tighter (like 10-20 minutes cut) it would've come off better. Cutting most of that silly nonsense about Luke's hermit ways on Ahch-To, for one.

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I didn’t like the way Luke’s story finished.

 

I thought it was a poor choice and it felt like it was thrown in at the last moment.  I don’t think it’s neccessary to kill everyone from the original trilogy.

 

The film should have ended when Rey turning down Kylo. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, El Jefe said:

I didn’t like the way Luke’s story finished.

 

I thought it was a poor choice and it felt like it was thrown in at the last moment.  I don’t think it’s neccessary to kill everyone from the original trilogy.

 

The film should have ended when Rey turning down Kylo. 

 

We don't know if Leia was fated to die in the next one. 

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I'm very conflicted about this film.

 

On one hand, the music and production design are brilliant. 

 

Yet the story just doesn't sit well with me in numerous respects. And like most Star Wars films, it's kinda boring, really.

 

In regard to the story: What Johnson did with Luke really bothered me. I knew he would be reluctant, but I was shocked by how apathetic he was. I was desperately hoping he had become a pacifist or something, or discovered important new things about the Force. Instead, he was a sad, beaten, cranky man. It almost seemed like Johnson was trying to make fun of him. That's how extreme it was. I mean, throwing the lightsaber over the head? Is this kindergarten? :lol:

 

Johnson makes some other characters too goofy. And he hurts my image of Poe and the Resistance by creating that dark mutiny plot. 

 

Then there's Snoke's death. Suddenly the trilogy feels completely directionless (Kylo and Hux don't seem like very good characters without a master). I'm barely excited for the next one. I'm not even really sure what to speculate about. Also, the design of the Throne Room is pretty bad (whereas almost everything else in the film is incredible). Looks like a cheap set. And, perhaps in part for that reason, Kylo and Rey's confrontation after the fight seems almost fan-fic-ish. Also all those "Force connection" things ... Kinda weird and it felt like they got too "close" too quickly. 

 

Of course, to Johnson's credit, Abrams had left the trilogy in a very difficult position. Figuring out what to do with Luke was always going to be very difficult. Also, it would kinda have been hard for Johnson to play it safe given the criticism TFA got on that respect.

 

Now, I will say I liked Luke's return at the end. It had a wonderful dream-like quality (and, then, of course it ended up being something like a dream, albeit pretty different!) And I suppose that hopeful but melancholy ending for Luke, alone yet at peace, was nice. Plus we got the reunion with Leia! (Although I will say that even the ending was a bit unsatisfying since Luke was portrayed as somewhat arrogant right before he supposedly found "peace and purpose.") 

 

I suppose this film was meant to be dark and challenging. But I guess I don't go to Star Wars films to be challenged. In any event, I can definitely see why the Rotten Tomatoes fan score is so low. To most critics and many of you, Star Wars is just a fun diversion. Yet to me and at least a few other fans, it's a saga whose story we really cherish for its poetry and beauty. J.J. Abrams may not have done anything too new, but his story felt right. I'm still not sure if I can say the same about this one. 

 

Challenge can be good. But there's no real substance here; only surprise. I was expecting, and hoping for, a philosophical exploration of the Force. I was hoping Luke would open up the Journal of the Whills. Instead he tried to burn it. And his one explanation of the Force was, while nice, not nearly as interesting or in-depth as I'd hoped for. I have to agree with Mark Hamill -- I wish George Lucas had been more involved. Huge missed opportunity here to explore the balance of the Force, the possibility of "in-between," etc.

 

Now, I will end with a positive: While a lot of the film really shocked and unsettled me, the Canto Bight intro was awesome (although the stuff out on the cliff was kinda weird). Really felt like Star Wars. And so cool to go back to a prequel-esque location. Sure it dragged a bit, but it felt lived in, and grand. Somehow the rest of the film felt too intimate. I just didn't get that sense of "epic-ness," really -- despite Johnson doing some things on a much bigger scale. It's somewhat counter-intuitive, but that's just my gut feeling. 

 

I agree with BloodBoal that the final scene was pretty bizarre and corny, although in hindsight I do like it since it took us back to Canto Bight (a planet whose concept art I'm very excited to dig into when the book arrives!)

 

Of course, despite its flaws I loved this film. But when I left the theater I knew that, at the very least, I'd have to give it some time to settle. And when I heard about the RT score earlier, I knew I wasn't alone. So I decided to talk a bit about those negatives. ;)

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While, I am a fanboy. ;)

 

In any event, I'm merely disagreeing with the way some characters were handled. And those two sentences are pretty minor gripes that I just threw in there "because." It's the Luke stuff that's a bit more difficult to grapple with. 

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2 minutes ago, Will said:

While, I am a fanboy. ;)

 

In any event, I'm merely disagreeing with the way some characters were handled. And those two sentences are pretty minor gripes that I just threw in there "because." It's the Luke stuff that's a bit more difficult to grapple with. 

 

Its a BS bit of criticism.

Poe is being groomed for leadership in this film. He learned some important lessons here.

All the main TFA characters undergo considerable development.

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7 hours ago, crocodile said:

I am fine with almost all of what is actually in the movie. What I'm not so sure about is how it is all put together (writing, editing etc). There seems to be a lot of small tiny weird things.

 

Actually the single worst thing about the film is Rey's "I need your help because Kylo Ren is strong with the dark side" line. It made me laugh for some reason. First of all, she's already said it something like this earlier and, second, the delivery. Very prequel-worthy.

 

Karol

 

That specific line was a big WTF for me, too. I'm like, how did that get kept? Awful delivery and completely redunant; we (the audience) and Luke already know what's at stake.

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This is definitely a bold Star Wars picture - atraditional and more in the vein of Rogue One in terms of the relentless peril style of narrative.

 

The movie is certainly interesting in terms of the ground it covers but also a bit boring. 

 

The movie ends with what I will call and anti-cliffhanger which is a bold albeit perplexing choice. The movie essentially finishes the arc that began in Ep VII and this almost feels like a duology instead of a trilogy.

 

Prima facie - there are no open questions remaining at the end of this film at all. All questions posed by VII are answered one way or another. Who is Snoke? What has Luke been up to? Who were the Knights of Ren? Who are Rey's parents? What is Luke and Rey's interaction going to be like?

 

This movie clears all of these initial conflicts. So much so that the 3rd film could be absolutely anything. Like it could be a two decade plus time jump and it will be fine. Ep VIII sets up no pressing questions or conflicts that need to be resolved asap.

 

That's a bold choice. But storytelling wise a strange one. It will essentially require marketing to sell the final conflict of the finale film since this movie does not set up the final conflict in any way. We just know who the remaining good guys and bad guys. But we don't know the stakes or anything besides that.

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8 hours ago, Chen G. said:

I have to say I'm amazed with what seems like a backlash forming against this film. Not that I think it will be remembered as a bad movie, nor underperform, but so far Disney's Star Wars properties were extremely well received, and - critically speaking - The Last Jedi is, too. But it's RT audience score? Wow.

 

I'd say TLJ shares a lot in common with one of the mid series Harry Potter movies. It's just scenes filmed from a shooting script. Those later Potters didn't have Williams to help out though. 

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20 minutes ago, Quintus said:

I'd say TLJ shares a lot in common with one of the mid series Harry Potter movies. It's just scenes filmed from a shooting script.

 

To me it feels more like latter day Peter Jackson, unable to restrain his worst impulses. Johnson could have toned down the fan wanking a bit.

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13 hours ago, YoYoMama said:

The only thing that was weird was the milking of the tits, which is growing on me.

 

source.gif

 

10 hours ago, Fancyarcher said:

Honestly I don't even get the humor complaints. Aside from intentionally "silly quips", it didn't seem any less funny then your average Star Wars film.

 

Again: the problem is not that there is humor in the film, the problem is the kind of humor used here. In the previous SW films, it was mostly banter between the characters (think Han Solo's lines to Luke or Leia, for example) quickly thrown like that and not heavily emphasized or you had a character whose main purpose was to be a comic relief (think Jar-Jar): basically, it was humor based on the characters' reactions ot the situation they were in.

 

But here, we have Marvel humor, that is to say humor used to make the villains look like buffoons ("Genera Hux? General Hux? Can I speak to General Hux" or when both Hux and Ren give the same order: "Fire at will on those speeders", followed by Ren and the ship pilot looking at each other awkwardly...) which undermines the threat, or humor meants to undercut a dramatic/serious moment (Luke throwing the lightsaber above his shoulder, Leia's line about her haircut...) or even humor that borders on parody, with jokes whose main purpose is well, just the joke in and for itself (that fucking clothes iron joke... I mean, fuck's sake!). Basically, it's humor that feels like the filmmakers winking at the audience: "Hey, look, we're cool, we don't take any of this seriously! We're acknowledging this is all a bit silly!". It's symptomatic of the current blockbusters syndrome: films and filmmakers that are afraid to take the story they're telling seriously. They think they always need to throw humor from time to time to say: "Yeah, yeah, let's not be too serious. Serious is no cool", because they're afraid they'll lose the audience otherwise...

 

8 hours ago, Will said:

And like most Star Wars films, it's kinda boring, really.

 

[...]

 

Yet to me and at least a few other fans, it's a saga whose story we really cherish for its poetry and beauty.

 

Hmmm...

 

It is interesting to read your post, as it feels like a few of those reviews/comments by some SW fans, who say: "Yeah, wasn't a huge fan of it but I need some time to let it all sink in, and then I'm sure I'll like it more!", basically almost forcing themselves to love it, because it's SW and you mustn't hate a SW film (mind you, I'm sure/I hope (;)) you're not quite like that, but I do get that feeling from some stuff I've read online).

 

4 hours ago, crumbs said:

That specific line was a big WTF for me, too. I'm like, how did that get kept? Awful delivery and completely redunant; we (the audience) and Luke already know what's at stake.

 

There were quite a few lines throughout the film (most delivered by Rey) that felt quite Prequel-worthy (and unsurprisingly, their delivery wasn't convincing).

 

3 hours ago, TheUlyssesian said:

Prima facie - there are no open questions remaining at the end of this film at all. All questions posed by VIII are answered one way or another. Who is Snoke? What has Luke been up to? Who were the Knights of Ren? Who are Rey's parents? What is Luke and Rey's interaction going to be like?

 

We still don't know anything about that, to be honest.

 

I agree with you that it is a strange choice to give a conclusive feeling to the end of that episode, the second chapter of a trilogy. While the end of the second act of a story should make you feel pumped for the third act, where all the storylines will reach their climax, where all questions will be answered, here it feels like all has pretty much been resolved (minus a few loose ends). As a result you don't feel pumped about the last chapter. Instead of thinking: "Can't wait to see what's going to happen next!" you're just left wondering: "What more is there to tell?"

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I have to say, I really liked the scene in which Yoda turned up, though his initial entrace did look a bit fake (like they tried doing the transparent Force ghost thing) but when he started conversing with Luke, I thought he looked just like he did in TESB. And I have to say, his dialogue was very much OT Yoda. I even thought Frank Oz (who must have been feeling really nostalgic doing Yoda via a puppet instead of CGI) made Yoda's voice sound a lot closer to the OT than the Prequels.

 

As for Luke's death, I fully expect him to carry out his threat/promise to Kylo and appear as a Force Ghost in IX.

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36 minutes ago, BloodBoal said:

 

source.gif

 

 

Again: the problem is not that there is humor in the film, the problem is the kind of humor used here. In the previous SW films, it was mostly banter between the characters (think Han Solo's lines to Luke or Leia, for example) quickly thrown like that and not heavily emphasized or you had a character whose main purpose was to be a comic relief (think Jar-Jar): basically, it was humor based on the characters' reactions ot the situation they were in.

 

But here, we have Marvel humor, that is to say humor used to make the villains look like buffoons ("Genera Hux? General Hux? Can I speak to General Hux" or when both Hux and Ren give the same order: "Fire at will on those speeders", followed by Ren and the AT-AT pilot looking at each other awkwardly...) which undermines the threat, or humor meants to undercut a dramatic/serious moment (Luke throwing the lightsaber above his shoulder, Leia's line about her haircut...) or even humor that borders on parody, with jokes whose main purpose is well, just the joke in and for itself (that fucking clothes iron joke... I mean, fuck's sake!). Basically, it's humor that feels like the filmmakers winking at the audience: "Hey, look, we're cool, we don't take any of this seriously! We're acknowledging this is all a bit silly!". It's symptomatic of the current blockbusters syndrome: films and filmmakers that are afraid to take the story they're telling seriously. They think they always need to throw humor from time to time to say: "Yeah, yeah, let's not be too serious. Serious is no cool", because they're afraid they'll lose the audience otherwise...

 

 

Hmmm...

 

It is interesting to read your post, as it feels like a few of those reviews/comments by some SW fans, who say: "Yeah, wasn't a huge fan of it but I need some time to let it all sink in, and then I'm sure I'll like it more!", basically almost forcing themselves to love it, because it's SW and you mustn't hate a SW film (mind you, I'm sure/I hope (;)) you're not quite like that, but I do get that feeling from some stuff I've read online).

 

 

There were quite a few lines throughout the film (most delivered by Rey) that felt quite Prequel-worthy (and unsurprisingly, their delivery wasn't convincing).

 

 

We still don't know anything about that, to be honest.

 

I agree with you that it is a strange choice to give a conclusive feeling to the end of that episode, the second chapter of a trilogy. While the end of the second act of a story should make you feel pumped for the third act, where all the storylines will reach their climax, where all questions will be answered, here it feels like all has pretty much been resolved (minus a few loose ends). As a result you don't feel pumped about the last chapter. Instead of thinking: "Can't wait to see what's going to happen next!" you're just left wondering: "What more is there to tell?"

 

You have learnt as much about Knights of Ren as you are ever going to. A band of students from Luke's academy who were turned by Snoke. That's it. Nothing more.

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1 minute ago, Quintus said:

Is it even possible to make a Star Wars movie without making the hardcore fans wank off? (I'm one of these guys apparently)

 

No.

 

Thats the difference between the previous 2 trilogies and all these new ones.

 

Irvin Kersher and Marquant werent directors who are lifelong Star Wars who became film makers in part because they grew up loving Star Wars.

 

And say what you will about Lucas, his Prequels have very little nostalgia for nostalgia sake or fan wanking.

 

JJ, Gareth Edwards, Johnson all got a huge boner after being hired to do one of these, I'm sure of it. 

 

That's one of the issues I noticed very early on in TLJ. This project was a nerdgasm for Johnson, and it has far too much stuff in it that doesn't need to be there. 

Lee, you said it just felt like a studio picture assembled by a committee, i think? I disagree. It feels like a 200+ million dollar dream project from a die hard fan.

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Agreed. Is Ron Howard a huge SW buff? I don't think so. He might be to take a more reasonable approach on his Star Wars film, and asses what the film needs rather than just put in what he wants to put in.

 

Perhaps a skilled hired hand is what they need. It worked for TESB.

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27 minutes ago, Stefancos said:

Are you kidding? The whole film is a gigantic fan wank!

 

Compared to TFA, hardly.

 

Apart from Yoda, Leia's old message and maybe Leia's line about her haircut, I can barely remember stuff that truly felt like cheap fan service (I'm not going to talk about plot points rehashed from previous films: I consider that to be less fan service and more lazy writing/simple fear of alienating the fans).

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They actually thought outside of the box when they hired Johnson to begin with. I honestly feel like the only name out there capable of making a cohesive, focused and satisfying entry into the Star Wars series and who is someone who would understand how to deal with the pressure involved and keep it managed, is Spielberg. 

 

Oh and James Cameron. 

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I don't mind the occasional wink or even a plot point. Its a long series, so those things are bound to happen.

 

As long as I'm not treading the same ground, I'm fine.

 

Oh, and the series is filled with fan service from Return of the Jedi going forward.

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I'm sure no true auteur director has any interest in doing a Star Wars film. It's someone else's vision afterall.

 

 

9 minutes ago, BloodBoal said:

 

Compared to TFA, hardly.

 

Apart from Yoda, Leia's old message and maybe Leia's line about her haircut, I can barely remember stuff that truly felt like cheap fan service (I'm not going to talk about plot points rehashed from previous films: I consider that to be less fan service and more lazy writing/simple fear of alienating the fans).

 

You don't think Luke Skywalker rocking up in the most desperate hour, giving his sister a kiss in the forehead before walking out to the First Order army and basically put his shit down is a massive dose of wish fullfillment?

 

Hamill sells it, and so does John Williams. But its a ridiculous scene really.

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7 minutes ago, Stefancos said:

You don't think Luke Skywalker rocking up in the most desperate hour, giving his sister a kiss in the forehead before walking out to the First Order army and basically put his shit down is a massive dose of wish fullfillment?

 

I don't see how the hero coming to save the day at the most desperate hour is fan service. It's storytelling 101.

 

The one moment that does feel like fan service is when all the AT-AT start shooting at him and he comes out unscathed, acting like it's no big deal. I'll give you that. But then, unlike what fans would want, it isn't followed by a big badass lightsaber duel between him and Kylo Ren, so...

 

Anyway, even if we consider that, it's like 4 examples of fan service. Hardly the gigantic fan wank you claim it is. Compared to some of the previous SW entries, TLJ is pretty tame when it comes to fan service.

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Disagreed.

 

Luke isn't even the hero in this film. Or he shouldn't be.

 

Rey actually practically disapears in that point of the film. Isnt she supposed to be this trilogies central hero?

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