Airing of Grievances

Yesterday I talked a bit about my feelings after watching Last Jedi and how they have actually soured further as time has gone on.  One of the things to know about me and this blog is that I often use it to work through things.  My hope is by getting all of my complaints out of the printed page…  or pixel page in this case I will be able to move past them and reach a point where I start to remember the good more than the bad.  Yesterday I mentioned that today I would be focusing on individual complaints so without further ado…  here comes a bunch of rambling commentary about various points in the movie.  Be warned this is full of spoilers and you should not in any universe read this before you actually watch the movie.  The following are going to be a bunch of loosely connected thoughts I’ve had in thinking about the movie.

  • One of the core themes of the movie is that each of the characters needs to learn something or change in some way.  However the Poe change just falls flat for me.  He is supposed to learn that he shouldn’t be a hot head and his actions end up leading ot the downfall of the resistance.  The problem there is without his actions in the opening scenes of the movie that are looked down on…  the OJ Simpson White Bronco car chase across the galaxy never would have actually started.  He sacrificed forces to bomb the dreadnaught and this was looked down upon by Leia and lead to him getting demoted.  However had they jumped to hyperspace…  the First Order tracked them…  the Dreadnaught would have opened fire and destroyed the capital ship within minutes.  It had a range capable of hitting the planet surface and bombarding it…  and our ship could have not outrun it.  All it needed was one hit for the rebellion to be completely over.  It was his brash actions that ultimately saved the resistance instead of doomed it.  Were there a moment in the movie where a squadron of bombers would have saved the day then maybe just maybe this wouldn’t have come across so hollow and misguided.
  • The timeline of the movie is incomprehensible.  We know that from the moment the slow as hell chase across the galaxy begins they have 18 hours worth of fuel, meaning that almost all of the movie had to be crammed into that 18 hour window.  If you start the clock with the first moment where Poe stalls Hux with the brilliantly extended Yo Mamma joke…  at best you have 19 hours total.  Now if you scan ahead to Rey no time has passed since the closing of Force Awakens.  In that non-existent gap of time we are to believe that both Kylo and Finn are completely healed from near fatal wounds.  Additionally they do this run to Canto Bite and all of the time spent on Acho-To.  All of the interaction with Kylo and Rey, the battle with Snoke…  all happens within 19-20 hours if you are being generous.  That was one fucking busy day and just seems like total nonsense.
  • Admiral Holdo… this character we have never heard of fails to communicate any of her plans and chastises Poe for dooming the resistance essentially.  However her actions and the fact that she failed to communicate them at all…  ended up taking the 400 as Leia states made it out of the base down to enough people to comfortably fit into the Millenium Falcon.  Additionally it is a slap in the face that Admiral Akbar one of the best Republic strategists ends up dying with almost no mention…  and this Admiral Holdo that only exists to be a plot device instead gets to go out like a hero.  Even more frustrating is the fact that from the moment she decided she was going down with the ship I thought surely she was going to ram snokes ship.  Yet instead she waits until almost everyone is dead before she makes her heroic act.  I guess she was told in the script to wait long enough until they were down to only the key characters.
  • Maz Kanata is one of my favorite new characters, but she only exists in this film to be a brief plot device that our characters completely fucking ignore in the long run.  Additionally she apparently has a camera crew with her while she is doing whatever the hell she is doing?  We still don’t know how the hell she got Anakin’s lightsaber from Cloud City and probably never will.  Yet another plot point that the movie does nothing with, but at least in this case Rian thankfully doesn’t prevent someone else from maybe just maybe filling in these details later.
  • Canto Bite is this mission to go in, get the best cracker in the world and get out.  Yet our heros cannot apparently park their ship like any normal person would do at the starport.  They land the ship on the beach, and think this is a good idea.  From this moment onwards everything that happens in Canto Bite could have been avoided were they not complete morons.  Even worse they apparently decide that they trust this random dude that is also in Jail with them that he too is the greatest cracker in the galaxy?  They had a known good player that came with the pedigree of Maz Kanata someone we generally trust, but instead they decided to just casually ignore that.  Of course he is going to fucking betray them…  you met him in a holding cell.  Of course he won’t have any allegiance outside of money…  because you don’t even know him.  Even worse this entire subplot of the movie goes to shit because apparently Evil BB8 can read fucking minds and knows exactly what they are here to do?  At this point the hyperspace tracking tech is barely known…. So at what point does the empire even know that the resistance has a clue?  This is just sloppy as shit and even more annoying that we spend a bunch of time in the movie jumping through hoops to have it not actually make a difference in the end.
  • I grew up with two friends that had pretty horrific stuttering problems and while we are on this Canto Bite shit…  DJ just didn’t work for me.  The moments he was stuttering didn’t seem to be actual moments of anxiety or stress.  I am by no means an expert just after spending years growing up with two friends who did stutter, I knew when they were going to do it before they actually did based on the situation and based on their demeanor beforehand.  Mostly it just annoyed me and felt fake.
  • Luke on the Island – Mostly I am not a fan of watching one of my childhood heroes turned into a grumpy old man who is just wrong all the time.  I hated the whole tossing of the lightsaber but I can get over that.  It just annoys me that he isn’t even testing Reys patience like Yoda did his…  he is simply trying to run away from someone who obviously went a long ways to find him.  The moment he heard the words “Leia needs you” that should have triggered something in him, that never really did until it was too late.  This is not the same Luke we knew before apart from the fact that he is still a whiny assed farmboy.
  • Mary Poppins Leia – For the most part I am okay with this.  I’ve always wanted to see Leia use the force, but I just think this scene was a lame one.  It looked goofy to see her flying across space.  One of the things I wanted from this film was to watch Leia do something badass with the force and this didn’t really feel badass.  I would have loved for her to break out Bastila Shan style force meditation…  even if it was a lesser version and be actively protecting the forces from the command ship while they were in battle.  I would have loved to have seen her use what seemed like a force ring in any way.  Maybe that was what allowed her to pull herself to the ship?  I am not a huge fan of the scene but overall I can be okay with it because it did at least make good on the promise of her using her force abilities just once.
  • While on the topic of Leia…  she should have died.  We knew going into this movie that we no longer have Carrie Fisher, and because I loved her…  she needed a proper ending.  They have already stated that they do not have any footage with her for episode nine and that they do not plan on doing a CGI version of her like they did for Rogue One.  So what is ultimately going to happen is that she is going to die in the opening crawl of the next movie… off screen in a pretty shitty manner.  I fully expect her death to be one of the catalysts of events leading into that movie.  I just keep thinking that they could have done some editing chicanery and given her a proper send off on screen like she deserves rather than forcing the next set of writers to shim her into the margins as an event that happened in the time between.
  • While we are on the topic of deaths…  Finn should have died as well.  We have this character arc with Finn where he is always trying to run away even if he is running to something.  He is never in the moment, never willing to double down for a cause.  Instead he does exactly this in the movie…  as he refuses to break off the attack on the battering ram canon.  It would have been such an amazing moment if he would have driven that speeder up into the canon and it exploded buying the resistance more time.  Instead Rose who I absolutely love and is a great character…  decides to swerve into him and knock his speeder off course.  Then apparently Finn casually drags her to safety while there is a whole army of troops waiting outside?  This is another one of those plot twists for the sake of making a plot twist and it just plays as shitty.  Finn had a nice clean arc and would have gone out in an amazing way…  but apparently surprise bullshit was more important.
  • Snoke…  who the fuck is Snoke?  You have set up this Villian only to sloppily throw him away in the same manner you did Darth Maul.  Thankfully Darth Maul got his comeuppance with the Star Wars Rebels series… but that isn’t going to happen with Snoke because we saw his dead decaying complexion ass laying there on the floor with his tongue out to even drill the point in harder.  This just feels like a slap in the face to everyone who spend the last two years trying to figure out how he fits into the larger tapestry of the galaxy.  He has to have some connection to the emperor and empire, but this is another thing that Rian decided wasn’t important and just lazily discarded.  I am hoping we at least get a Snoke series of comics or something like that to fill in the pieces.
  • Who the fuck are the Knights of Ren?  We know they exist… we saw them in a flashback in Force Awakens.  We can surmise that these are the students that left with Kylo when he burnt down the temple.  We know jack and shit about them.  Were they the Praetorian Guard?  Did they wash out and get killed off by Kylo as Snoke pitted disciples against each other trying to force breed the strongest force user?  We know nothing and apparently it isn’t important because reasons.  This is frustrating beyond words that not only do we not know anything, but after the events of Last Jedi I am completely disillusioned that we ever will.  Apparently burning down Star Wars from orbit is the hip and trendy thing to do.  
  • Rey’s Parents – I’ve mostly come to terms with this one and can be okay with Rey just being a spontaneous upwelling in the force.  This only feels horrible because the movie took a giant shat on anything else anyone had ever theorycrafted since Force Awakens.  The thing is there were thousands of Jedi at one point, and very few of them actually came from fable lineages, so it makes perfect sense for Rey to be like she is.  Only addressing this because its a point a lot of people have in frustration with this film, but I am largely cool with it.
  • Everything is worse and no progress is made.  Basically this movie is two and a half hours of spinning wheels and doing things that end up not mattering at all in the end.  Sure Empire Strikes back ended on a massive down note, but at least there was a clear call to action for what was going to have to happen in Return of the Jedi.  Rescue Han, Complete Luke’s Training and Defeat Vader.  After this two plus hour long slog…  I have nothing to go on.  You could tell me that the FIrst Order is just about to build a new Starkiller base and I would believe you because I have nothing to go on.  You could tell me that Rey is going to fight Kylo over a volcano and leave him charred on the beach like an idiot to only return as a space robot man…  and I would have no cause to not believe you.  This movie nuked everything from orbit like I said yesterday… and gives us absolutely nothing in return.  Fuck you could tell me that they find some clone tubes in a rebel base and decide to clone that Millenium Falcon’s worth of rebels to make an army of scrappy would be heroes and at this point I still have nothing to really prove you against that.  Rian Johnson is a 80s mom who decided to throw out their kids kenner Star Wars figures collection because they were inconvenient and gathering dust and it feels just that shitty.  I love the new cast of characters, and I feel like they deserved a better movie.  I love the original characters and they sure as fucking shit deserved a better movie.  There should have been a happy medium that honored the past and let the future shine, but instead I got this and now have to come to terms with how much it feels like a betrayal of my hopes and dreams.


2 thoughts on “Airing of Grievances

  1. I saw it at my company’s annual “Holiday Get-together” which for the past 3 years has been buying out a theater and seeing the newly released SW movie.

    I agree with your points above.

    I will happily admit that there were thrilling moments, and the sheer spectacle was nice enough, but when it was done my overall impressions was simply “Eh, it was all right, I guess.”
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  2. After finally seeing the movie yesterday, I have to agree with you on almost every point here. There are just so many unanswered questions that it’s incredibly frustrating.

    Who the hell was Snoke? Luke knew about him and said Snoke had corrupted Ben before Ben destroyed the temple Luke built, so he was obviously well known and powerful. You can’t just randomly make up a new super powerful Sith and not give us any info on him.

    I also agree about Leia. I find it a bit ironic that the only main character from the original trilogy that’s still alive in the current movies is unfortunately the only dead actor.

    Kylo is such a pitiful character. He just cannot make the right decision about anything. I almost feel bad for the guy.

    Why bring in Phasma for 5 minutes in the movie, to only have her blindsided by Finn, insult him, and then just fall into oblivion?

    Too many poor choices and weird decisions. The whole last 30 minutes of the movie could have not happened and I wouldn’t have missed them.

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