…you’ve literally cherry-picked examples that support your argument and ignored everything that doesn’t. It isn’t “exactly the opposite.” Paige releasing the bombers payload: heroic and the right thing to do. Holdo sacrificing herself: heroic and the right thing to do. Rose crashing into Finn: heroic and the right thing to do. Luke force projecting himself across the galaxy, sacrificing himself in the process, heroic, and the right thing to do.
Its just a movie. You don’t have to like it. But inventing reasons not to like it just seems rather silly to me.
A lot of the negative stuff on Twitter, perhaps. And maybe even a lot of negative comments about it on the web in aggregate. But I recall from the Cafe Society threads that there were a number of people disappointed who I’m guessing weren’t Russian bots.
As I recall, I was disappointed by much of it but, at the same time, had no issue with the ramming bit so got to split my TLJ time between disliking it and also defending the climax. Basically every non-Kylo, non-Casino part I liked and every Kylo Ren/Casino part was a drag (which made up a lot of the movie)
I absolutely adored TLJ and everything about it aside from the much too Earth-like casino planet (which wasn’t terrible, but more like one of the just okay action sequences from the prequel trilogy, IMO). And what I liked best (along with Kylo Ren’s characterization) is that Johnson found the only good reason for Luke Skywalker to have abandoned the galaxy even while the First Order is murdering billions and billions.
There’s no way such a heroic character would have gone into exile (as was established in TFA) for a small reason, and there’s no way he would have come out of exile quickly or easily. He literally had to be demoralized to the point of abandoning the Force – otherwise the character would have been entirely false… there’s no way Luke Skywalker stands by and lets billions be murdered unless his psyche and sense of self has been utterly devastated.
ITRchampion has a good point about the difference between TLJ and ESB. Yeah, both movies are about the good guys losing, but in Empire, the good guys are making the best possible choices in situations where there are no real good outcomes. They lose the base on Hoth because the Empire is too big and powerful to reliably hide from. They didn’t lose it because one of the protagonists accidentally told an Imperial sympathizer where to find it. Everything on Cloud City goes wrong, but they didn’t have a choice about going to Cloud City - they’d have died otherwise. Going to Canto Blight was a mistake from the beginning, and everything would have turned out better if they’d never gone.
He’s wrong about Luke going to Cloud City though, and that’s the closest fuck up the heroes make in Empire that’s comparable to TLJ. Luke didn’t accomplish anything by going to Cloud City except get his hand cut off and give Vader a foothold on turning him to the Dark Side. Lando was already planning to help Leia, Chewie, and the droids escape, and they get out without interacting with Luke’s rescue attempt at all, except for saving his ass from the weather vane at the end - forcing them to turn back to get him after they’d already got away.
Interesting that three of your four examples are suicide runs, which isn’t a terribly uplifting or inspiring concept especially when overused like this. And the one that isn’t, involves a character being thwarted in his attempt at same, because suddenly now suicide runs aren’t good things.
It’s poor storytelling.
I’ve summed up my objections to TLJ like this. I enjoy Star Wars for the mythology, the fairy tale, and wanted to see it expanded. What was offered was a deconstruction of the myth.
The same criticism holds true for the DCEU movies. If that’s what you like, fine, but it’s pretty clear where the line is drawn, and I’m not going to feel bad for not liking something on this basis.
Oh come on, you guys need to make up your minds. Most of the cliffhangers in the original series were suicide runs. Piloting your ship through an asteroid field at odds of 729 to 1 is suicidal. Attacking the exhaust port of a planet-sized battlestation is suicidal.
I thought the big gripe here was that TLJ had too few suicide runs, not too many.
Seems like the only difference is the element of taking huge gambles and being really lucky over and over without having to make a real sacrifice. That seems like the worst and laziest storytelling there is, but it seems like what you guys really want.
The original series was simply spaghetti westerns in space, which were just reboots Kurosawa samurai movies set in the old west.
The effects were awesome, but the reason the story wasn’t as strong later is they had to write new material vs adapt it. Some people may not like the results but IMHO most people mistake nostalgia with good film making. Samurai movie plots are entertaining but the acting was really, really bad and those old themes are pretty overused at this point. You can only rework the plot for The Hidden Fortress so many times in one universe and massive improvements in special effects carry less weight these days.
That said as someone who really likes Rogue One I am obviously not a part of the core fan base.
There’s a pretty significant difference between “suicidal” (I might die doing this but if I pull it off we’ll win and I might even see tomorrow) and “suicide” (I’m going to martyr myself for this cause). Making a run against the odds isn’t the same thing as literally throwing your life at the problem.
…the examples I chose were cherry picked examples to counter the cherry picked examples that were offered up as evidence for the claim that “every courageous and heroic action by the main characters turns out to be exactly the wrong thing to do.” I could have picked others.
That you found them to be “not terribly uplifting or inspiring” is countered by the fact that I yelled “fuck yeah” and punched my fist in the air when Rose rescued Finn or when Luke played Kylo Ren for a fool. Some people hated it. Some people, including me, loved it. Life goes on.
My assumption is that this is a given when discussing anything on this forum.
As I said, the divide I have noticed is whether one takes a deconstructionist view toward the franchise (really, any franchise) or not. If you want more of the same, you were inclined to dislike it, if you wanted something ‘fresh’ or wanted to be surprised, you were a fan. We can quibble all day about the storytelling merits, but depending on which camp you are in, most of what the other side cites will be features, not bugs.
For my part, subversion for the sake of subversion isn’t clever, and by making named characters disposable, you’ve trained me to not care about any of them. Others’ mileage may vary.
rat avatar, I thought that pretty much everyone thought that Rogue 1 was good.
And Paige’s release of the bombs wasn’t done with the intent of suicide. She knew that it was risky, yes, but right up until she pushed the button, she hoped to live through it. And by the time that she did push the button, she was already past the point where survival was a possibility.
I barely know what the word “deconstructionist” means, let alone how it relates to a movie franchise.
But I got “more of the same.” That should be me on the side of the people that “disliked it.” I’m in the camp that enjoyed the movie. If you want to understand why I enjoyed it maybe ask why I enjoyed it: don’t put me into some “theoretical camp.”
“Named characters?” You mean like Finn and Poe? They had names. Or you mean legacy characters like Han and Luke? I genuinely don’t know what you are talking about.
These were ‘last stand’ scenarios, and it’s dishonest to shade them in the same light as suicide-bomber martyrdom. Nobody went into the engagement expecting or wishing to die. As all tactics were exhausted, people realized the only ways to make the mission succeed were either incredibly risky or fatal, they put the mission ahead of themselves. If they were in the US Military we’d give them posthumous medals of honor for duty and heroism, but I guess if they’re women in Star Wars then we have to see them as fanatical suicide bombers.
…this is the direction you want to go? :dubious: One of the three examples was Luke Skywalker draining out his Jedi Life Batteries to stall Kylo Ren (and I think it’s obvious that he knew he was killing himself for this). You, uh, know that Luke Skywalker is a dude, right?
Saying “But this was the scenario” is meaningless because those scenarios were written and directed by filmmakers and the complaint was about the script and film making. We’re not giving the real life story of Admiral Holdo, here. Someone consciously decided that Holdo would say “Huh, guess I’ll save the day by smashing our spaceships together with me in it” and, regardless of whether or not it bothers you to call it martyrdom, it’s still significantly different than “This is hella risky but if we can pull it off, we’ll win and still be able to get pancakes after”.
For the record, I don’t really care how anyone died in the film. I only commented because your comparison was so off base that it deserved correction.
Actually, my OP did cover the first two. The point I made is that in the plot as a whole, the heroic decisions turn out to be bad decisions. Attacking the Dreadnought turns out to be a bad decision; we are explicitly told as much. So the fact that one character sacrificed herself during that attack does not make the scene capture the mood of the great action sequences in the original trilogy.
Similarly, the entire set of actions taken by the main Resistance group in the middle part of the movie turns out badly. Most of them get blown to smithereens, unnecessarily. That’s the central point. Admiral Holdo’s self-sacrifice doesn’t change that fact.
However, there’s another point that’s probably more important: style matters. In the original trilogy, it’s not just that the plots are built around heroes charging into battle and being successful when the odds are a-million-to-one against them. It’s that everything in the movies is designed to play that up. Acting, dialogue, cinematography, and everything else. It all works together to play up the idea of heroism.
For example, look at the scene in Return of the Jedi where Luke & co defeat Jabba the Hutt. Han insults Jabba; then Luke threatens Jabba; then Luke jumps into the pit, grabs the diving board, somersaults back onto the ship, and stands with arm outstretched, completely confident that his light-saber will drop into his hand and that he’ll be able to totally kick ass. That’s prototypical Star Wars. Nothing in The Last Jedi comes close to matching the smoothly executed awesomeness of that scene.
I don’t think the argument “no it wasn’t” is any stronger than “yes it was” frankly. I think there was a vocal minority of very annoying trolls mixed in with a quiet majority of fans with legitimate-ish gripes (even if I could argue most of those gripes come from a flawed misreading of the original trilogy), and the rest filled with either people who loved it (quite a few) or don’t care either way to voice their opinion - i.e. saw it, liked it, moved on (most regular folk).
Whatever. If you didn’t like the movie, nobody’s going to change your mind. I hope Episode IX is more to your taste, but if it isn’t, I won’t miss you if you fall off the fandom radar.
So prototypical Star Wars is Boba Fett getting comically killed when he got accidentally hit by Han Solo, going out with an embarrassing scream and a very loud burp?
IMHO nothing in the original trilogy matches the smoothly executed awesomeness of this scene. And I loved Return of the Jedi, Ewoks and all.
Star Wars doesn’t need gatekeepers. I can love the new movies and I can love the old. Nothing beats the original “A New Hope” for me. Its always been the perfect movie (one that was saved in the edit) that is economical with its story and told a timeless tale. But this isn’t a competition.
So I don’t get what you are trying to do here. You didn’t like The Last Jedi. We get it. But you won’t be able to **prove **it was a bad movie. There isn’t an objective standard for that.
I stood in a huge line on the opening day of “Star Wars”, and had to sit in the first row, staring up at a huge screen of a vintage movie palace where the seats went all the way up to the screen. And I was blown away. Loved the crisper dialog in Empire, was disappointed in Return of the Jedi, but then more disappointed in The Phantom Menace… until the fight with Darth Maul.
But even at their lowest ebb, I was still entertained. I switched off my internal critic and engaged “11-year-old-at-the-movies mode”.
And that persisted. I loved Rey, thought Luke finally got some depth, cared about the Rogue One characters… and I actually liked SOLO *(WHY does no one believe me when I say this? Is it because of those film classes I teach? Well, pffft!) *
For some reason I love this universe more than other franchises. Someone mentioned Transformers… I really don’t give a Citroën-that-turns-into-a-rat’s ass about any of those characters. But I already care about a random Mandalorian… or Broom Boy!