Just forget the words and sing along

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin, where I watch a movie I own and blog about it.  This week it's...oh.  Oh my.  Star Wars: The Last Jedi.  This is originally in my notes at April 8, 2018.

So...The Last Jedi.  What to say about it?

I liked it.  The end.

Sorry, but I'm reluctant to say much more, as it wound up being one of the most divisive Star Wars films since...well, the prequels.  People seem to be decrying a lot of the choices that Rian Johnson made. 

But me?  I kinda like what became of Luke Skywalker.  Turns out the pressure of being the last Jedi kinda crushed him, and when his star pupil turned to the dark side, he just couldn't take it anymore.  So he exiled himself.  Luke grew up to be kind of mean and bitter, and it works for him.  And it's also nice that the smarmy Mark Hamill I've come to see in interviews over the years got some moments to shine through.  Like when Rey gets her first lesson in the Force from Luke, and he starts tickling her hand with that leaf.  "Do you feel it?  That's the Force!"  Or his parting shot to Kylo Ren.  "See ya around, kid."  That sounded more like a Han Solo bit than a Luke Skywalker bit, but maybe Luke was just hammering home his point, "If you strike me down in anger, I'll be with you forever...just like your father." 

I know there was a lot of displeasure at the humour, but I enjoyed it.  It was definitely needed to help lighten the mood a little bit.  That opening bit, where our heroic pilot Poe Dameron, full of his swagger, roasts the evil General Hux over the comms.  To me, it felt like a natural extension of Poe taunting Kylo Ren during Poe's interrogation in The Force Awakens

But I know there was great displeasure over how Rian Johnson didn't pick up any of the dangling plot threads that JJ Abrams left out.  So, we didn't get to see the rest of the Knights of Ren, the new order of Dark Side wielders upon which Kylo Ren is the leader.  We never found out Supreme Leader Snoke's backstory.  I agree with Johnson there.  If they gave Snoke a monologue explaining how he was Darth Plagius or something like that, it would have only been fan service, and not really needed for the plot.  Hell, it's been 16 years since Attack of the Clones, and I still don't know who Syfo Dias is.  As Lucas said about the Syfo Dias situation, let's let the Expanded Universe answer that. 

There are those who complain that the Finn and Rose subplot went to nowhere.  Well, to them, all I have to say is, perhaps you've forgotten the first two-thirds of Rogue One:

"We can't steal the Death Star plans without proof that it shows a weakness!"

"Oops.  We left it behind when that city blew up."

"Well, then, let's go rescue the guy who sent us the proof!"

"Oops.  We killed him in an airstrike."

"Huh.  Well, then...let's go steal the Death Star plans anyway, because something something hope." 

I liked the Finn and Rose subplot.  On that casino planet, we got to see how Star Wars' 1% lives.  And let's be honest, the character of Rose is just adorable.  The way she looks up to Finn and the stories she's already heard legends of his exploits...they put a Star Wars fangirl in Star Wars!

Ultimately, the Finn, Rose and Poe stuff is all about maturing.  They're young and ambitious and think they have all the answers.  And they learn the hard way that no, they don't, and they have to start looking at the bigger picture. 

I mean, there is a lot to love in the film.  I love Snoke's throne room set.  The theatricality of it.  And it becomes the setting for that spectacular lightsaber battle between Rey and Kylo Ren against the Praetorian Guards.  Got to admit, that's a great lightsaber battle. 

And really, Rey and Kylo Ren are great characters.  Kylo Ren especially.  He's son conflicted about his choices and becoming this great warrior, especially if it means killing of his father and his mentor. 

I never know what to say when it comes to a Star Wars movie, because you know a zillion bloggers are going to say it all.  So I'll just finish off by again saying, I liked it. 

Well, some other random thoughts:

- Dang it, Disney, stop making Star Wars movies that make me cry.  First it was nostalgic tears of joy when we saw Luke at the end of Force Awakens, and then it was the Luke and Leia scene in The Last Jedi.  Of course, it took on a whole new subtext when we lost Carrie Fisher, but still.

- Vice Admiral Holdo going out in that literal blaze of glory.  Oh my God.  And dropping the sound for that moment...genius.  When I saw it in the theatres, at least three people let out a "Holy fuck," and thanks to the silence, the whole theatre heard it. 

- I also liked Holdo.  Still pissed they haven't made her into a 3.75" figure it.  Need one for my collection!

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