Tag Archives: the last jedi

After a Second Viewing, The Last Jedi Doesn’t Suck as Much as I Thought

Hey 3.5 readers.  BQB here.

SPOILERS, although if you haven’t seen it yet, you don’t really care that much, do you?

As you 3.5 are aware, I really laid into The Last Jedi when it came out, calling it the stinkburger to end all stinkburgers.  In particularly, it bugged me that the Force Awakens set us up for hopes of awesome Luke/Rey Jedi training montages and possibility Luke is Rey’s father.  Instead, we got a bitter old Luke who just whines about all his problems to Rey.  Our hero, who we assumed would go on to be a lifelong badass just gave up on life and stared at the ceiling of a cave for 30 years.  Just didn’t seem like a good life for Star Wars’ most beloved hero.

But after watching it a second time and without the “WTF are they doing to Luke?” lens I watched it with the first time, I get it.

Two main points:

#1 – Lack of Communication and Assuming the Worst

There’s an ongoing subplot in which Poe challenges Admiral Holdo’s leadership.  When he learns she is evacuating the ship, he is angry, telling her that the First Order will just blow the escape transports up and she’s a coward who refuses to fight.

SPOILER – as it turns out, Holdo had a plan.  Once the ship was evacuated, she rammed the First Order ship at light speed, sacrificing herself but making a cool scene in the process.

A lack of communication is tearing us apart.  When we hear disagreement, we immediately assume the disagreeing person is an enemy.  We shut down attempts for the disagreeing party to explain their point of view.  We assume the worst and we assume any explanations offered are really just attempts to mask evil intent.

Holdo might have told Poe to shut up and trust her and avoided a mutiny.  Poe might have assumed his commanding officer had learned a thing or two in her movement up the ranks and trusted her.

In the real world, we see Democrats and Republicans assume the worst about each other every day when they could try to reach common ground and make some deals that might be beneficial to all.

#2 – We are Hopelessly Stuck in the Past and This is Ruining Our Future

Luke is stuck in the past.  He is paralyzed by the Jedi’s past mistakes.  The Jedi trained his father, Anakin, and in doing so, unleashed Darth Vader on the world.  When Luke sees the same evil lurking in Ben Solo, he thinks about killing Ben to avoid repeating the mistake that was made with Vader.  He doesn’t, but this display sets Ben down a bad path, turning him into Kylo Ren.

Was Luke wrong in not killing Ben?  Perhaps he did not learn from the Jedi’s past mistake.  Perhaps emotion made him avoid reason – i.e. ignoring the hard learned via Vader lesson that if evil is spotted in a Jedi trainee, said trainee should be sliced and diced with a lightsaber ASAP.

Or maybe Luke chose not to be beholden to the past.  A past failure with Vader doesn’t mean a future failure with Ben.  By being stuck in the past, Luke caved into past fears and raised his lightsaber toward Ben in anger.  Ben had done nothing wrong and was pre-judged based on a past he didn’t live.  Assuming the worst in people before they have even had a chance to become the worst might just turn them into the worst as a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Ben informs Rey she can drop her past, let it go and become stronger.  Forget about her parents.  There was nothing special about them.  Stop clinging to a hope that they’ll swoop in and save her and offer an epic story of why they had to abandon her.

Perhaps the real world advice there on a personal level is to stop trying to make your parents happy and make yourself happy.

On a generational level, it might be that everyone needs to hug it out and get a long.  Stop looking at each other as enemies just because our parents did.  Stop repeating the mistakes made by past generations and stop carrying their biases and mistakes into the next generation.

There was a part where Rey had a chance to join Kylo Ren.  Maybe the Resistance and the First Order are just two sides of the same coin – zealots who can’t let the past go, who are bent on carrying past grudges into the future forever, even if they must tear the galaxy apart forever.

I think it would have been a real coup if Rey and Ben had teamed up.  It would have been a fabulous cliffhanger, though I don’t know what a Rey and Ren vs. the First Order and the Resistance film looks like.

In reality, we don’t have to hate each other because our parents did.  We don’t have to repeat our parents’ mistakes because we fear change.  We don’t have to be stuck in ruts forever because of mistakes we made in our personal lives.

Conclusion – Don’t Throw the Baby Out with the Bath Water

Luke, and to my surprise, Ghost Yoda, decide that the Jedi should go the way of the dodo because of mistakes they made.  This seems rather Draconian and ignores all the good the Jedi did…and it also assumes that it is possible for any organization to exist with a perfect track record and that organizations should only exist if they only never, ever, ever make a mistake.  The second a mistake is made, the organization must disband.

Yes, the Jedi made Vader but they also defeated Vader.  Rey points this out so maybe in a way she is a voice of reason.

Real world application?  There seems to be a disturbing sentiment out there that because of America’s bad history, it can never have any kind of a good future.  Slavery.  The killing of Native Americans.  The list goes on and on.

Do we wish that equal rights for all had been established on Day One?  Yes.  But luckily, the mechanisms needed to bring about change via various legal and governmental process.  Today, we aren’t perfect, but surely we’ve come along way, even in the past 50 years.

America isn’t perfect but like an imperfect body, wounds heal.  The develop scars to remind us of past mistakes, scars which serve as reminders to not repeat past errors and to keep on a path that doesn’t open up new wounds.

America and Jedi have both made mistakes but to get rid of either because of past mistakes is to assume any and all replacements of America and/or Jedi will offer complete 100 percent perfection.

Plus, I just don’t think anyone wants to see a Star Wars movie with Jedi.  If the Jedi are gone altogether or are renamed the Knights of Gawooby Dooby or something, I think that will be the point where Star Wars jumps the shark.

Your thoughts?

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Top Ten Things Wrong With Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Ahh, nerds.  We do love to bitch and moan about our nerd movies.

Oh well.  Let me add to the bitch fest.

From BQB HQ in fabulous East Randomtown, here are the Top Ten Things Wrong With Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

SPOILERS ABOUND!!!

#10 – A Lost Opportunity for Rey and Ren

There’s a scene where Kylo Ren turns on Snoke, then offers Rey an opportunity to join with him.  Screw the First Order.  Screw the Resistance.  Perhaps they are just two opposing forces who live to destroy.  Together, they could unite and bring peace to the galaxy.

Rey refuses but maybe that would have been more interesting if she had accepted?  The franchise does eventually need to go off in a new direction.  This could have been it.  Perhaps some gray area of who the bad guy is would be a cool development.  Would Finn have to fight his friend?

#9 – Luke Was a Whiny Bitch

He always was, but there was too much whining and not enough training.  Rey and Luke never bond or form a master/trainee relationship.

#8 – Who the Hell is Snoke?

Snoke is basically a poor man’s Emperor.  Sounds like him.  Acts like him.  Who is he?  What’s his background?  Where did he come from?  We never learn much about him.  For an all-powerful being, he is dispatched a little too easily.

#7 – The Force Belongs to All of Us

An appeal to modern sensibilities but it forgets rules.  I mean, the mitochlorian thing was always stupid, but once a rule is made, i.e. Jedis have special blood, then the rule is made.  Or forgetting mitochlorians, because it always was stupid, there was always at least the idea that only special people can control the Force.  Now Luke accuses the Jedi of hoarding Force power that should have been used by all?  Sigh.

#6 – Stick with the Rules

Speaking of rule breaking – the Force requires training.  Some discover they can use it, but to use it to a large degree has always required training.  Did Leia train to pull herself out of space?  Cool scene, but without an explanation of her training, it’s breaking a rule.

#5 – Casino Planet

Seemed like a weak attempt to blend Star Wars and James Bond.

#4 – Why Project?

Why did they have Luke project his form if he was just going to die anyway?  Lame.

#3 – I Hope Rey Isn’t the Last Jedi

In the years to come, the franchise can go in all sorts of directions.  Perhaps there will be stories that branch off from the original trilogy, the original characters, etc.  New heroes rise, new villains and new threats emerge.  At any rate, you’ll always need Jedis.  Sorry, but to the average Joe, “Jedi” is a word that means “person who uses the Force.”  Gotta have Jedis.  No one wants to see uh, I don’t know, the uh “Kadoobie Doobie Warriors” or what have you.

#2 – Rey Has No Training

Remember how Luke had to train with Obi Wan?  How Anakin had to train with Obi Wan?

Remember when Rey got training and…oh wait, no she just picked up a lightsaber one day and was a master at it.  Huh.  Odd.  Sounds like a rule break.

#1 – Master/Apprentice

Speaking of, the Master and Apprentice roles have served Star Wars well.  Kylo’s master is Snoke.  Rey has no Master but could use one.

YOUR THOUGHTS

Did you see something wrong with Star Wars?  Discuss in the comments.

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Real Movie Review – Star Wars: Episode 8: The Last Jedi

To quote Jon Lovitz’ “The Critic” – “it stinks.”

BQB here with a real review of the new Star Wars flick.  Be forewarned of SPOILERS.

At the outset, I must say that I don’t think the magic of the original films, now dubbed “Episodes 4-6,” will ever recreated.  You see, from the early days of cinema in the 1930s up until like, 1970, films were basically recorded plays.  Then the young baby boomers took over and directors like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg upped the special effects game.

“Star Wars” was unlike anything ever seen before on film but since then, we have been spoiled and the biggest, most intense scenes fail to wow us.

If, “The Force Awakens” was a modern rehash of “A New Hope,” then “The Last Jedi” is a lesser version of the film many say is the best of the “Star Wars” series, “The Empire Strikes Back.”

However, while “Empire” say Luke grow and train under the wise tutelage of Yoda, “Last Jedi” gives us a rather lackluster dynamic between Luke and Rey.

The ending scene of the last film, where Rey meets Luke in a sweeping view on a remote island, gave us hope of some really intense training and wisdom passing-on, such that would turn Rey from a naive young girl to a badass, as Yoda did to Luke years before.

Alas, instead we get a very whiny old Luke, lamenting how his life has been wasted, that the Jedi Council was a lame hoarding of Force power and really the force should belong to us all and if that’s the case then they’re rewriting history because the whole premise of the series has been that only special people can control the Force and just as in life, some people when given power will use it for good and others will be corrupted by it and turn evil.

For me, it was just too much whining.  I’d hoped that we’d see Luke in some late life Obi-Wan Kenobi badassery.  Sir Alec Guinness never whined so much but Old Luke is whinier than Young Luke who just wanted to go to Tashi to pick up some power converters.

We were promised epic training and instead Luke just whines to Rey…and whines…and whines. I mean, give this script to your most basic writer and he/she would have put in some Mr. Miyagi style training montages but there was none of that.  Luke just bitches and moans about how he wasted his life being a Jedi and then eventually Rey like, just leaves.

Seriously, maybe I fell asleep but one minute Rey was on the island listening to Luke’s sobfest and then the next she’s on a ship entering the space battle.  It’s like, she just got tired of the bullshit and was like, “I guess no one’s teaching me any badass light saber moves here even though the audience would have enjoyed seeing that so I’ll just leave this depressed old fucker and go into a space battle now.”

Overall, I feel like Hamill could have been put to better use.

SPOILER – the ending, Luke does get some awesomeness in, I’ll admit that.  But I didn’t quite get the point of it.  Ren has his army blast the ever loving shit out of Luke and Luke just dusts himself off.  It’s cool and funny and then we learn that Luke’s only there in a ghostly form.  At first, I thought Luke had died in the blast and become a ghost like so many Jedi before him, but then we learn that Luke was projecting a spirit form of himself from his home on the island the entire time…which doesn’t really make sense.  And then he dies anyway so…I thought the point of him projecting himself was to keep him alive for future movies so if he’s going to die while projecting himself then why not have him die in battle?

Then again, maybe he didn’t die.  Maybe he disappeared.  Preserve a possibility he might return?  Who knows?

I have to say I think there’s a lot of back story the writers have us assume.  I think a three movie arc where the Galaxy is at piece and then Ben Solo, Luke’s nephew, trains under Luke and turns to the dark side and fucks up the galaxy by the end of the third movie would have been more interesting than just jumping into where we are now.  We are told through flashbacks that Luke became forlorn after his nephew turned evil but that story would have been better in a film than what we are seeing now.

Meanwhile, the subplot with Finn and Rose going on an adventure to a casino planet to find a hacker was silly, an attempt to give sort of a space Bond vibe, except Finn and Rose just show up in their regular clothes and look rather silly.  We learn late in the film Rose has a crush on Finn, but perhaps the two gussying up in fancy duds to infiltrate the party and Finn getting confused, maybe realizing he has options, maybe he could be with Rey, maybe he could be with Rose or what have you, might have been interesting.  Maybe not.  It all seemed out of place.

Like many of the characters, Benicio Del Toro’s DJ (the hacker) is sort of cookie cutter stock.  He’s got an odd lisp but we don’t know why he’s so weird and eccentric.  Admittedly, he has the most interesting lines of the film, pointing out that evil arms dealers make their money by selling not only to the First Order but also to the Resistance.  Whereas past films showed the Empire as bad and the Rebels as unwaveringly good, this part leads us to wonder whether or not both sides are not just two faces of the same coin, that because neither will back down, the death and carnage continues and the galaxy remains in ruins while arms dealers profit.

Further, we were promised a big reveal about Rey’s parentage and what we got was a let down.  There were some clues that led us to believe that Rey was Luke’s daughter, i.e. why else would Luke’s lightsaber call to her, and if Ren’s claim that Rey’s parents were just trash who sold her for beer money is true, then there’s a lot of clues just left on the table, a lot of build up just to let us down.  I’m hoping in the third film we’ll find out Ren lied.

I don’t know if the initial “Star Wars” genie can ever be let out of the bottle again.  Although, last year’s “Rogue One” was impressive to me, so perhaps it is possible.

I think the long term problem for the franchise is the creation of a post-Vader, post-original character world.  Vader is the baddest-ass villain ever created.  Admit it.  When you first saw him force choke a subordinate, you immediately thought about the worst, nastiest boss you ever had and it scared you.

Eventually, the franchise will have to enter a post original movie world – one without the original characters, without Vader, without the Skywalkers, without the Empire….will they be able to create villains and heroes who are just as riveting?

Time will tell…but they had one shot to provide us with some Luke on screen awesomeness and they blew it.  Rey and Luke never bond, never develop any kind of friendship or master/trainee relationship…he’s basically a guy she meets who whines to her.  You’re not really left with the impression that Rey got anything out of her meeting with Luke, that she’s better for it, that she has any connection to him, that she’ll ever think about him again and and honestly, that’s a failure.

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy but I mean, I’m not really in a rush to see it again.

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Movie Trailer – Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

Hey 3.5 readers.  The movie trailer is out for The Last Jedi.

It’s mostly Rey doing some Karate Kid style training while Luke channels Mr. Miyagi.

One note:  Luke does say something like “this is the end of the Jedi” or something.  I hope they don’t actually end the Jedi and try to make some kind of “other” space warrior in future Star Wars films.

We want Jedis and we will only accept Jedis.

You 3.5 readers didn’t believe me when I said this title means that an end to the Jedi is likely but, um, yeah, I think they’re killing off the Jedi and if they do, then why bother keeping up with the franchise?

Oh well.  What say you, 3.5 readers?

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