I just figured out what was wrong with Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Before any smart-ass says “a lot”, I generally enjoyed the film and am not looking to nitpick it to death. But having just recently re-watched it, there is something that kind of bugged me. And here it is.
The entire Resistance “plan” (such as it was) seemed to be based on the belief that somehow the mere survival of a couple hundred Resistance fighters and their leadership would somehow inspire the galaxy. It’s a nice thought. And maybe that, in and of itself might be enough. Except their philosophical victory of mere escape from the First Order was overshadowed by a couple of very tangible, pretty significant military victories that were sort of glossed over:

The destruction of Starkiller Base in the last film
The destruction of a First Order Mandator IV class dreadnaught (the “Fulminatrix” apparently)
The destruction (or at least crippling) of Snoke’s Mega-class Star Dreadnought the “Supremacy” and some of its escorts.
The death of the Snoke, the First Order’s Supreme Leader

Now maybe the First Order has so many dreadnaughts that the loss of a couple doesn’t matter. But I didn’t get that impression.

Granted, they wouldn’t know about Snoke until they were reunited with Rey. But really any of these events to me would seem like a MAJOR military victory that would inspire anyone who gave a shit about Galactic politics.

Although, Finn and Roses trip to Canto Bight made it pretty clear that a lot of the Galaxy doesn’t give a crap about the feud between the First Order and Resistance.

Victory shmictory, they themselves were so devastated that you could basically fit the entire rebellion (resistance, whatever, even the movie seemed to use them interchangeably this time) forces could fit into the millennium falcon.

Yeah, it wasn’t perfect, but not the dumpster fire smug hoity toity internet jerkwads make it out to be either. Granted, this time I never made it to see in the theater, just on bluray.

I’ve heard people say it’s worse than the prequels.

That, to me, is a sign someone does not have the same tastes as me. The prequels were absolute incompetence. The Last Jedi was a flawed movie, but not a really bad one.

I disagree with many aspects of TLJ. I accept it, though. I don’t really accept the prequels.

I liked The last Jedi. My issue with it was similar to one of my issues with The Force awakens: ironically it needed more politics. The Galaxy was very simple in the original Trilogy. There’s an Empire taht rules and a rebellion against it. In this trilogy you have The First Order, The New Republic and a Resistance being funded and supported by that republic. It isn’t very clear what exactly is happening and what their strength is but it seems the Republic is stronger than the First Order but not strong enough to openly fight them.

The second movie opens not long after the first but the Republic is basically gone and the First Order is now like the Empire. Even given the Republic losing its Capital that doesn’t make a lot of sense.

When Leia started flying through space, I thought the acid was finally kicking in…

It’s not that it was bad…ok, it was bad, but not a dumpster fire as mentioned above…but it was entirely forgettable. No need to see it again.

There are many legitimately good things about the movie… but the bad aspects really are the dumpster fire that people claim. It is mostly not a terrible movie, but it’s so lazily put together that I could not watch without noticing numerous Star-Destroyer-sized plot holes. This is in addition to ample amounts of bad charaterization and poor writing.

Now, I have not seen the raw script and am not familiar with Rian Johnson’s other work, but it seems to have been quite well-received critically, so I am not judging. I also can’t say how many of the problems were due to interference from corporate, as Disney has issues with doing that. (Studio interference probably caused many of the flaws that make Solo a mediocre movie.) What is genuinely honestly good about TLJ is (most) of the acting. I genuinely enjoyed the performances of (almost) the entire cast. But they’re honestly struggling to hold up a weak script. Said script is way too impressed with itself and tries to be clever at the expense of being good.

The movie was trying to avoid fan service in many ways, to go against what we expected or asked for.

Still…I think the should have had Luke light-saber fight Kylo Ren at the end. I don’t just mean light it up and dodge. I mean really go for it and have saber clashing and actual fighting. Yes, Luke would have been mainly defensive, but they should have given us one big awesome fight with Luke.

It’s my main change to the movie. When Luke lit up his light saber, I put my hand my wife’s arm and said, “Oh man, this is happening!”

Then he dodged a bunch and was just stalling.


Ha, that was totally terrible. I forgot about that. She hardly uses the force, then she is able to do that?

On the surface anyway. It actually ends up just doing a sad-sack remix of The Empire Strikes Back with Return of the Jedi. Based on some of the comments from the top people associated with the film, I’m not entierly sure they realized that RotJ aleady was the subversion of expectations, and did not far better.

There are problems with The Last Jedi plot, but the overarching problem IMHO is that Disney gave their directors too much artistic freedom. First, they let JJ Abrams do what JJ Abrams does best, which is popcorn fun and throwback references. The Force Awakens would have been a great one-off remake of a cult classic sci-fi movie from the 70s, and I enjoyed it as such. It felt like Star Wars, gave me goosebumps, and moved fast enough that the wonky politics that Quimby mentions almost don’t matter. But JJ Abrams wasn’t writing a 3 part franchise, potentially the biggest franchise in the history of cinema, and it seems that at no point did anyone from corporate really take a look at it from a business perspective and figure out if what he was setting up made any long term sense.

Then they brought in Rian Johnson, who’s very talented in his own right, and gave him full autonomy to completely trash everything that Abrams had set up, again without any corporate oversight for what it was going to do to the franchise. It took me a while and a lot of reading to appreciate the ideas that Johnson was trying to inject into the series, but at the end of the day it didn’t result in a satisfying movie, and it’s raised so many more questions about wonky politics that I don’t see what they can possibly do with episode 9 that would make any sense.

Yeah, it pretty much exposed that there isn’t any overarching artistic vision for the series (beyond making more Star Wars) and that they are making all of this shit up as they go along. This was excusable for the first movie, as George Lucas couldn’t even have predicted that there would be a sequel let alone a multi-billion dollar franchise. But now there is in fact a multi-billion dollar franchise at stake, you’d think someone would oversee it all (Cf. Kevin Feige and the MCU). Does anyone at Disney know what’s going on?

Heh. You know, thinking it through, I figure one change could’ve done it.

Remember when, as our heroes stride past uniformed personnel on their mission to switch off the tracker, that eeeeevil droid (a) spots BB-8 bopping around and then (b) animatedly figures out what’s going on?

So, picture it: that doesn’t happen, is all; the crook who only seemed interested in dickishky getting that pendant only uses it to get Rose and Finn in place, and so the whole trip to Canto Blight pays off right as Poe — having just led the quick-draw raygun mutiny — says we need to make that jump, it’s now or never.

So that happens: the Poe-led resistance gets away, big ship intact — at pretty much the same time that Kylo Ren kills Snoke and takes over on the other side, so there’s your setup for the next movie — even as Finn and Rose and DJ, on their own, have to get off the enemy ship right then. Which means they’d probably try to make for the abandoned rebel base that’s, y’know, right there.

Given what we saw in the actual movie, figure Kylo Ren would lead the same attack against that base — it’s all he’s really got, right then — and figure that’s when Rey would arrive to get them out the back and into the Millennium Falcon; and figure that’s when Luke Skywalker, having realized she was right, would show up to do his Tiananmen Square act out front with some Alec Guinness genuine class; maybe it even gets broadcast from world to world, I don’t know.

Would the fanboys have rejoiced?

Really it’s lack of back story than politics, per-se. I know there’s a ton of expanded universe stuff out there that explains all this if I’m arsed to go look it up, but the movies essentially skip from where the Rebel Alliance is triumphant after the Battle of Endor, and go right back to the Resistance fighting the First Order with no mention of how things came to this pass.

It seemed to me that it was very bizarre that a force with the capability to defeat the Empire at Endor would in 20 years, be getting its ass handed to it by what was the remnants of the Empire. If nothing else, the New Republic/Rebel Alliance should have had a navy, etc… and the First Order should have been relegated to the backwater periphery and had some issues funding a big navy, etc…

That’s the disconnect that had me most confused; where did the First Order come from? How did they get so powerful? How did the Rebel Alliance/New Republic get so weak? Why are they on the run? And so on…

The destruction of Starkiller Base in the last film]

Although, Finn and Roses trip to Canto Bight made it pretty clear that a lot of the Galaxy doesn’t give a crap about the feud between the First Order and Resistance.

Well, consider Starkiller Base. The First Order builds and uses a doomsday weapon that destroys an entire planet. If the entire galaxy doesn’t rise up then and put them down like rabid dogs (especially after it becomes clear that their new toy has been destroyed), then the survival of a handful of rebels isn’t going to make much of a difference.

Of course I’m still trying to figure out what the First Order’s game plan is. “Be Evil” is a great slogan for a software corporation but it’s not much of an ethos to run a galaxy spanning civilization on.
BTW, my theory on went wrong with The Last Jedi? It was the last Jedi. Luke was the goddamned hero. No one wants to find out that he became a washed up disillusioned failure living in some craphole back corner of the galaxy, and, by the way, it’s all his fault that Kylo Ren hates his daddy.

I mean, what is it with the Jedi? The universe is being ruled by total dickheads so they give up and go hide on their respective desert planets (Obi Wan), swamp planets (Yoda), or craggy Scottish Island planets. Actually, it’s worse than that. They first are instrumental in the creation of some evil dark side of the force worshipping prodigy, and then they go and hide.

I liked the movie when I saw it in theaters, and liked it again when I just rewatched it on Netflix a couple days ago. Certainly it has some flaws, but so did all the Star Wars movies. I can only assume anyone who thinks it’s worse than the prequels must be OK with cringe-inducing dialogue, terrible pacing (Canto Bight has nothing on the whole Pod Race), and way too many instances of “whoops, we somehow wandered into a video game.” Also, fart jokes.

Sure, the whole “wow, you made our heroes sad and old and disillusioned” is not my favorite aspect (I guess “old” was unavoidable), but that was established by The Force Awakens, not The Last Jedi. We already knew Luke had failed to keep Ben Solo from turning to the Dark Side, and he’d gone off to be a hermit and essentially abandoned his friends. His disillusionment in The Last Jedi was a logical continuation of that. The Force Awakens is also what gave us the tragic end to Han and Leia’s relationship, not to mention R2 basically just deciding to shut down because he was sad – which, IMO was the most out of character of any of the things we saw.

(Also, people seem to miss that Luke seems to have had a change of heart by the end. He rubs it in Kylo’s face that his death won’t be the end of the Jedi, because Rey will carry on.)

I don’t mind the “Rey’s parents are nobody” twist, first of all because I don’t like how Star Wars (especially the prequels) tries to make everyone related to everyone else. (Anakin built C-3PO? Seriously?!) And I really felt they were hinting strongly that her parents were Sith (the whole thing where Luke was horrified that she didn’t even try to resist the darkness, and then the bit where Kylo Ren says something like, “I know you’ll be the one who turns, because I saw who your parents were”), so that made it fairly effective as a twist.

But I can understand why some people didn’t find that a satisfying resolution to the mystery. What I really don’t understand is people complaining that the mystery of who Snoke is wasn’t resolved, because that was never established as a mystery! There was nothing in the previous film that suggested there’d be a big Snoke reveal – as far as I can tell that just came from fan theories. And moreover, we never found out anything about Palpatine’s back story in the original trillogy, so how is this any different?

The physics of space combat maybe makes even less sense than in previous Star Wars… but it never made that much sense.

As for the characters making stupid decisions (Holdo freaking out Poe by not being willing to even acknowledge she has a plan, and Poe and friends basically going rogue), and having some of their efforts completely fail to pan out and actually make things worse (Canto Bight), I can see how people wouldn’t like that, but it’s kind of realistic. Sometimes people do make dumb decisions, and sometimes their plans don’t work out. To paraphrase someone on the internet (I forget who), why is it cool in Game of Thrones when plans amount to nothing and major characters die unexpectedly, but not cool in Star Wars?

Honestly, the more I talk about it, I think this movie was way more upbeat than The Force Awakens, in which: (1) We find out Han and Leia didn’t stay together, and their son is evil, (2) We find out R2 is sad and has been basically comatose for some time, (3) We find out Luke has ditched his friends and is off being a hermit, (4) several planets are destroyed, including the Capital of the New Republic, and (5) Han is murdered by his own son.

In The Last Jedi, a bunch of Rebel/Resistance fighters we don’t actually care about died, plus Luke (in a heroic sacrifice), and Admiral Ackbar. And on the flipside, Snoke is killed.

For what it’s worth, the youtube channel “How It Should Have Ended” is right that it should have been Ackbar instead of Holdo getting to do that hyperspace attack. Except, instead of him shouting “It’s a trap!” (which made sense for a parody video but would be too silly for an actual dramatic moment), I would maybe have one of the First Order guys say “It’s a trap” when they realize what’s up, and then cut to Ackbar with just a subtle smile as he punches it into hyperspace.:cool:

I think it was unambiguously better than The Force Awakens, and disagree with a lot of the criticisms. For instance:

A lot of the things that Johnson “trashed” were the only paths forward that Abrams left him. For instance, Rey’s parentage. The first movie ends with Rey meeting Luke, so it’s a given that she’s going to talk with him and learn from him. There are two possibilities for who her parents are: Either she’s Luke’s daughter, or she’s not, and practically speaking, any parents other than Skywalkers would be nobodies. Abrams got a lot of criticism for just revisiting the original movies instead of coming up with anything new. Therefore, Johnson had to go with the “her parents were nobodies” option, and to make it known.

EDIT: Oh, but yeah, I’ll admit that Leia surviving being spaced was bad.


There were plenty of other options. If anything, the one a lot of people seemed to hope for the most was that she was a Kenobi.

FWIW I don’t mind her parents being nobodies at all, and I’m only sorta bothered by the dumping of Snoke, but I am disappointed that the movie ends up in pretty much the same place that we’ve been - Finn/Rey/rebels vs. Kylo/First Order. So it fails at coming up with anything new as well.

If it really bothers people, you can just say that the whole thing is Finn’s coma dream. He still hasn’t woken up yet.
Hell, you could probably get another movie out of it that way.

Anyone else think the guy they were looking for in Space Vegas should’ve been Lando?

Maybe most people, but not me. I far prefer beat-down heroes and anti-heroes. Guess I’m just a creature of these dark and gritty times. Though not entirely, I suppose - I insist on a happy or at the very least ambiguously hopeful endings. I will never go see a faithful adaptation of a China Mieville novel :p.

This might be part of my non-issue with Luke as a Jedi-rejecting crank. I kinda regard the Jedi with contempt, so Luke’s rejection makes me respect him more. They’re just another fanatical cult trying to live by nature-defying ideals. No love, passion or attachments indeed. Not to mention the arrogance.

The only thing that makes them tolerable is that their opposition cult is 10x worse and even more ludicrous. Well, that and from a certain teenage perspective( which I still have ), they kick ass ;).