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

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10 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

I don't think Luke is an arsehole in this. I appreciate that he's old and weary. I still think his contemplating killing his own nephew where, even under much greater duress, he refused to kill his father, is out-of-character, but otherwise I really like Luke in this, although to speak again to the film's pacing issues, I really didn't need to see as much of his daily routine as we got.

 

The pacing issue is very obvious and I would say along with useless secondary plots/secondary characters is the worst aspect of this film.  I am ok with the treatment of Luke and don't see him as arsehole either.  He sensed good in vader where with kylo ren, he senses full evil.  This was the same debate Luke had with yoda in ESB with luke playing the the wiser of the two in TLJ.  In ESB, yoda warned luke that he is getting played by the dark side because his feelings were getting involved.  Remember, Rey is very junior in her knowledge of the force though she has so much potential.  It is a totally fine plot decision.

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Yes, really the main issues with this film are ones of pace and character, and I feel its subversive for the sake of it. Think back to your favorite films: how many twists and turns are there in those movies? not everything has to be a complete surprise to the audience.

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9 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

I don't think Luke is an arsehole in this. I appreciate that he's old and weary. I still think his contemplating killing his own nephew where, even under much greater duress, he refused to kill his father, is out-of-character, but otherwise I really like Luke in this, although to speak again to the film's pacing issues, I really didn't need to see as much of his daily routine as we got.

 

Well, throwing your lightsabre, that some nice girl returned to you and who has obviously gone through some stuff to get it to you, over your shoulder like that pretty much says arsehole to me.

 

On another note, if Luke is so over the Jedi and their ways, why does he want to end his days at the place they began? And why bother wearing the Jedi robes? So what was the point of the map? And why does Artoo have the rest of it? Why did Artoo activate? Clueless Rian Johnson, that's why.

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Yes, really the main issues with this film are ones of pace and character, and I feel its subversive for the sake of it. Think back to your favorite films: how many twists and turns are there in those movies? not everything has to be a complete surprise to the audience.

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40 minutes ago, JTWfan77 said:

 

Well, throwing your lightsabre, that some nice girl, who has obviously gone through some stuff to get it to you, over your shoulder like that pretty much says arsehole to me.

 

On another note, if Luke is so over the Jedi and their ways, why does he want to end his days at the place they began? And why bother wearing the Jedi robes? Clueless Rian Johnson, that's why.

No, not really.  Think of it like this.  In mid 1960's America, a very idealistic serviceman joins the military and through his heroism and exemplary service, becomes a hero and ultimately a legend to his fellow servicemen.  Though through his experiences, he finds the cause to be ultimately unjust and full of deception, corruption, unjustifiable losses, etc.  Disillusioned, he ultimately throws away his metal of honor and valor and wants nothing to do with the code he once truly believed in.  Then a young idealist tracks him down when he clearly doesn't want to be found and gives him these discarded reminders of the hero he once was.   He makes it clear he wants nothing more to do with the "legend" of who he was to this idealistic young warrior who is still inspired by his now mythical heroics and code of honor until he bumps in to his original commander who was an even greater legend.  He learns what he has become does not serve his intentions as well as he thought.  What makes this story so compelling is that he ultimately comes to terms with his status as legend and joins the fight for a cause he does find purpose and meaning in thereby guaranteeing the legend status he sought to avoid.  Luke's story is still very interesting and deep.  Now the problem comes down to execution in the film. 

 

JTWfan77, how would you have preferred the luke story to have gone in TLJ?

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Thank you for your considered response. I just find it hard to believe that Luke would be so jaded that he would treat someone so disrespectfully at their first meeting. It's just feels so out of character. 

 

I have no problem with Luke not wanting to accept the sabre, it's just they way he does it (execution as you said). It feels to me that RJ was trying to be audacious for shock appeal (a la Tarantino).

 

The plot threads set up by JJ are completely disregarded (the map, artoo's reactivation, the sabre calling to Rey, Rey's vision). 

 

 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, JTWfan77 said:

Thank you for your considered response. I just find it hard to believe that Luke would be so jaded that he would treat someone so disrespectfully at their first meeting. It's just feels so out of character. 

 

I have no problem with Luke not wanting to accept the sabre, it's just they way he does it (execution as you said). It feels to me that RJ was trying to be audacious for shock appeal (a la Tarantino).

 

 

This I can understand and agree with but characterize it as a failure of execution of that idea which I openly agree is one of the faults of this film.

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42 minutes ago, karelm said:

Though through his experiences, he finds the cause to be ultimately unjust and full of deception, corruption, unjustifiable losses, etc. 

43 minutes ago, karelm said:

he ultimately comes to terms with his status as legend and joins the fight for a cause he does find purpose and meaning in

Luke thinks the cause he fought for in the OT was wrong? No, he just criticized the prequel Jedi. Also, someone lied to him about that since he thinks they were at the height of their powers, when clearly they were weakening.
Why would he think that there's more purpose in helping the Resistance than the Rebellion?

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24 minutes ago, moviefan1138 said:

Luke thinks the cause he fought for in the OT was wrong? No, he just criticized the prequel Jedi. Also, someone lied to him about that since he thinks they were at the height of their powers, when clearly they were weakening.
Why would he think that there's more purpose in helping the Resistance than the Rebellion?

 

More accurately, Luke thinks the jedi order is flawed because it was full of pride and overconfidence and caused much more problems to the balance of the force than it solved.  I forget his exact quote but about the hubris of the jedi (excessive pride or self-confidence ultimately causing the hero's ruin.)

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8 hours ago, Chen G. said:

Nevertheless, the criticism of this film isn't without reason. It has pacing issues in all parts of all three acts, some of the characters aren't fully realized, parts of the film lack polish, the comedy - while funny - doesn't always feel in place, and the film feels subversive to a fault.

 

That's a lot of (admittedly small) things wrong with a film that people were hoping would be excellent, and that has excellent parts. Makes it all the more jarring.

 

I do agree the pacing could have been a lot better. Rogue One certainly was better in that regards.

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3 minutes ago, Trent B said:

 

I do agree the pacing could have been a lot better. Rogue One certainly was better in that regards.

 

I think Rogue one was much better paced in the second half but the first half is a mess of poor pacing and superfluous sub plot/secondary characters.  It is certainly not the model of pacing and structure at least not the first half.

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Empire Strikes Back is impeccably paced. That's the model to aspire to.

 

The issue that The Last Jedi and Rogue One share is a lack of action in the second act: The only good action setpiece in Rogue One is at the very end, and the action scenes in The Last Jedi are at the beginning (a-la James Bond), the midpoint (the praetorian guard, Phasma and Holdo's suicide run) and the climax, so you go through the entire first half of the second act with no action to speak of.

 

Originally, there was going to be a lot more of Canto Bight nonesense which would have satisfied this need, but at the cost of an even slower pace, so it was a lose-lose situation.

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12 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

Empire Strikes Back is impeccably paced. That's the model to aspire to.

 

The issue that The Last Jedi and Rogue One share is a lack of action in the second act: The only good action setpiece in Rogue One is at the very end, and the action scenes in The Last Jedi are at the beginning (a-la James Bond), the midpoint (the praetorian guard, Phasma and Holdo's suicide run) and the climax, so you go through the entire first half of the second act with no action to speak of.

 

Originally, there was going to be a lot more of Canto Bight nonesense which would have satisfied this need, but at the cost of an even slower pace, so it was a lose-lose situation.

 

Agreed with ESB pacing.  ANH is pitch perfect pacing too because it's a build that gets more and more exciting as it moves along.  I don't think it is just a lack of action that causes the pacing flaws of TLJ and RO.  It is that the slow plot line is insignificant to the plot so adds nothing and can be fully removed to tighten the films.  If they were slow but added to the story that would be forgivable.  But the fact that they are slow AND add nothing relevant makes it a big structural and pacing flaw (horse race, horse escape, looking for someone at Canto Bight they didn't really need, etc., etc.), Holdo having only one important act that should have been Leia's otherwise we see nothing about her character that warrants her reputation other than we are told through exposition that she is a great leader, etc.  There are surely flaws with this film, but not to the extent to warrant the misjudged backlash.

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I wouldn't necessarily call the original Star Wars impeccably paced, because its got a long (45 minutes) first act. What saves it is a big action opening that:

Gives the audience a fill for their appetite of action early on.

Promises more such action at the second and third acts.

 

Also, the film cleverly cuts back to the stormtroopers to let us know they are on the trail of the droids through the first act, and there's some suspense to be milked out of R2's roaming the desert and the introduction of the sand people.

 

 

Nevertheless, if I ever fell asleep while watching a film, I'd hesitate to call it impeccably paced, and that has happened to me with the original Star Wars.

 

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The ADHD folks who take issue with things like a 45 minute first act are funny to me sometimes. Particularly if the film discussed doesn't follow a three act structure.

 

What I remember as pacing torture is the Hobbit fucking movies. Like torture.

 

A nitpick: I don't think action in specific places is what improves pacing, to be honest.

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Star Wars follows the three-act structure, so a long first act isn't something to be dismissed. Again, its a very, very small issue because you're getting action within your first act, but still: could have been tighter.

 

And yes, I fell asleep once watching An Unexpected Journey, too, so that's also an example of a badly paced film, obviously. But two wrongs don't make a right.

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I think I enjoy very long adventure movies with a lot of stuff in them that are never boring, but they don't make many of them.

 

In the case of TLJ, it felt a bit like a rolling ball that accelerated towards the end.

 

I remember not liking how some special effects looked, though. The composition of some shots of the fathiers looked off to me, and also other moments in the film

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That's the strange thing for me. My most beloved movies are long: The Lord of the Rings (extended editions), especially Return of the King; Braveheart. I also really enjoy Titanic and Jackson's King Kong and The Hobbit - all long movies.

 

I guess that because The Last Jedi tries to be pensive and yet keep us on the edge by having the First Order just on the tail of the Ressistance throughout, made the entire thing feel more urgent: Braveheart doesn't feel urgent until Murron's death; The Lord of the Rings doesn't feel that urgent until the Dark Rider approaches. If your film is that urgent throughout, at some point during the run time one would just be exhausted.

 

Really, its something that I need to get to watch on the small screen.

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So saw it for the second time tonight. Enjoyed it more this time, but still don't like what was done with Luke's character.

 

However, I did notice one thing with that kid at the end that i didn't the first time.  He uses the force to pick up the broom.  That changes my opinion of that final scene.  Still a little weird for a Star Wars film final scene, but gives me an indication that IX might be set several years in the future.

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9 hours ago, stewdog1 said:

So saw it for the second time tonight. Enjoyed it more this time, but still don't like what was done with Luke's character.

 

However, I did notice one thing with that kid at the end that i didn't the first time.  He uses the force to pick up the broom.  That changes my opinion of that final scene.  Still a little weird for a Star Wars film final scene, but gives me an indication that IX might be set several years in the future.

 

Apparently, in this trilogy, anyone has the capability of using the force without training. Unless there's some underground Jedi school in Canto Bight!

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19 minutes ago, LOTRHobbitFan said:

 

Apparently, in this trilogy, anyone has the capability of using the force without training. Unless there's some underground Jedi school in Canto Bight!

Surely, if you have the Force and nobody trains you, eventually you'll notice "something is up" on your own and might even figure out a way to use it.

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In this respect, the backlash is missing the point because it focuses too much on what this film does with the "mechanics", so to speak, of this fictional world, where it should be focusing on the dramatic development of the story arcs.

 

This is why I think people who are criticising the backlash and saying that, when the dust settles this film will be considered great, are also missing the point: this film has NARRATIVE issues. Not just fandom-related ones. Its too long, it has at least one subplot which is entirely useless, and some of the characters don't feel fulfilled. Those are not petty criticisms, they are important drawbacks that this film unfortunately suffers from.

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Exactly I care Jack Rodham Squat for Jedi powers and shit and power levels and stuff like that. I will give any film a lot leverage to establish their own rules and internal logic and how their fantasy concepts work.

 

But the storytelling issues are a weakness in the foundation of the film. And this film has a very shaky foundation threatening to topple over the film anytime.

 

I would again say that 9 will let us reassess what 8's true merits are. On first blush it is an extremely problematic film albeit a bold one.

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2 hours ago, LOTRHobbitFan said:

 

Apparently, in this trilogy, anyone has the capability of using the force without training. Unless there's some underground Jedi school in Canto Bight!

 

I remember reading an article discussing that those who able to be mind tricked are sensitive to the force.  That doesn't mean they are force users but they have the potential to use it.  Of course, not everyone is force sensitive (such as Watto who couldn't be tricked).  But who knows how and why someone becomes force sensitive but it doesn't seem to be because of blood relation.

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22 minutes ago, TheUlyssesian said:

I would again say that 9 will let us reassess what 8's true merits are. On first blush it is an extremely problematic film albeit a bold one.

 

Personally, I don't subscribe to the idea that one film can retcon another. I've heard this excuse being made for The Force Awakens, but because these films are concieved and made one at a time, its not an argument that I put much stock in.

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39 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

 

Personally, I don't subscribe to the idea that one film can retcon another. I've heard this excuse being made for The Force Awakens, but because these films are concieved and made one at a time, its not an argument that I put much stock in.

 

It can provide context for 8. We have an incomplete picture currently. Seeing 9 might lend perspective.

 

These movies are kind of like serials on the big screen. Much like marvel films. The films inform each other and each is a part of the puzzle.

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Yeah, even the ones with similar names (Winter Soldier, Civil War, Ragnarok, Fox's Days of Future Past) really only take a basic idea and play with it - no specific plot points or character beats.  I would expect the same from Infinity War.

 

The Marvel movies are done in a similar way as Star Wars has been, although maybe more haphazardly because there are so many of them.  They seed little easter eggs and ideas, and depending on the whims of Feige and the filmmakers, maybe they'll be used in a sincere/major way (the Infinity Stones), and maybe they'll be used but subverted (the first Iron Man hinting at the Mandarin), and maybe they won't (James Gunn dropping Howard the Duck and Cosmo the Space Dog into his Guardians movies).

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9 hours ago, Stefancos said:

Anakin used the Force subconsciously, while podracing, and without training.

 

Good point! Was he not a unique person though thanks to his midichlorian count?

8 hours ago, Chen G. said:

In this respect, the backlash is missing the point because it focuses too much on what this film does with the "mechanics", so to speak, of this fictional world, where it should be focusing on the dramatic development of the story arcs.

 

This is why I think people who are criticising the backlash and saying that, when the dust settles this film will be considered great, are also missing the point: this film has NARRATIVE issues. Not just fandom-related ones. Its too long, it has at least one subplot which is entirely useless, and some of the characters don't feel fulfilled. Those are not petty criticisms, they are important drawbacks that this film unfortunately suffers from.

 

It still amazes me that Disney signed off on the simple, main storyline featuring a ship chasing another ship for a majority of the film.

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Yes. You can't stay at that level of intensity throughout a two and a-half hour film.

 

Chris Hartwell, a huge Star Wars fan which I expected to overlook any and all flaws of this film, was ironically the one who said it best:

 

 

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2 hours ago, LOTRHobbitFan said:

 

Good point! Was he not a unique person though thanks to his midichlorian count?

 

It still amazes me that Disney signed off on the simple, main storyline featuring a ship chasing another ship for a majority of the film.

 

The plot ain't the problem. Mad Max is essentially a 2 hr chase sequence. Rogue One's entire second half is about trying to do a data upload. The Post's second half is about trying to print a newspaper article.

 

The plot is fine. The way it is realized is questionable. 

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The problem is that we have four narratives happening simultaneously, and three of them do not add anything to the rhythm of the movie. On the contrary, they tire the viewer. I spent the whole movie interested on how Rey would solve his situation with Luke.

 

The whole story of the decoder could have settled more easily, all the escape of the rebels across space lost importance because it was treated secondarily. even Snoke's entire plan was subtended and only displayed openly at the end of the film. Not to mention our disappointments with Luke.

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7 hours ago, JTWfan77 said:

Could someone please explain the scene where Rey sees mirror images of herself in the cave to me? I'm still scratching my head over that, probably because I was expecting a much darker scene (akin to the ESB one where Luke decapitates the Vader force vision).

Rian explains this scene specifically in the directors guild screening.  When she is looking for her true identity, she sees herself where it looks like it would have been her parents approaching the mirror wall.  The point being there is no one more she can rely on but herself which is what Ren told her as well regarding her origin.  Her lineage is not special and that is what her vision alluded to.

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4 hours ago, karelm said:

Rian explains this scene specifically in the directors guild screening.  When she is looking for her true identity, she sees herself where it looks like it would have been her parents approaching the mirror wall.  The point being there is no one more she can rely on but herself which is what Ren told her as well regarding her origin.  Her lineage is not special and that is what her vision alluded to.

 

Okay, but what was the point of seeing hundreds of images of herself? What was supposedly so evil about the cave (alluded to in the firsy lesson)?

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