Last Jedi - something of a mess

Discussion in 'Film & TV' started by Tiran, Dec 30, 2017.

  1. Tiran

    Tiran Well-Known Member

    Last night I saw Last Jedi in the theater. I'm a firm believer that Star Wars and Empire were two of the best films ever made, with an astounding command of a future aesthetic that had as great a function as the plot. Other films, much less so.

    Last Jedi has many nice touches, does great work with Luke's screen time and often has a nice aesthetic - much nicer than Abrams discount looking sets and locations. But the things I didn't like distracted me during the film and continue to:

    The Star Wars universe is not scientifically accurate, but it was originally very internally consistent. If something happened a certain way, it always happened that way.

    For instance, the space ships have artificial gravity and inertial damping - no seatbelts needed. Yet the bird thing fell sideways in the Falcon cockpit.

    The destruction of Snoke's ship was accomplished by running a Rebel ship at warp into it. If that was something that was always possible in the SW universe, why bother attacking the Death Star conventionally? Just send a droid guided freighter into it. Clearly the original rules didn't allow for that sort of hyperspace/space interaction. Yet here it is as if it wasn't the most obvious thing in the world to do.

    Air pressure. This isn't just a SW thing, but any space story: Leia gets blown out of and then returns to the vacuum of the blown out bridge, and they just open the door to let her in with a little breeze. Yet moments earlier we saw that breaking the windows blew Leia forcefully into space. Where did all that pressure differential go?

    Three scenes in the film were just reused ideas from the originals:

    The attack on the bombardment ship was clearly going back to the SW Death Star battle, even being more reminiscent of the '80s arcade game. Yet another bloodbath to destroy the big evil planet blaster ship.

    The battle on Hoth, except the snow is now salt with red earth underneath must have been making Leia go "Oh, deja vu."

    And the Falcon's flight through the crystal tunnels with Tie-fighters in chase would have been thrilling if we hadn't already seen in Return of the Jedi Death Star escape scene.

    Main characters Po, Finn and Rose hatch a plot to rescue the Rebels by going to get a hacker. Not only did they knowingly fail to get the right guy, but ended up killing most of the Rebel Alliance off because the hacker they got instead told the bad guys about the Rebel's new plan.

    Why was Po giving the Finn details about a secret plan while he's at risk of being captured? Why did Finn and Rose settle for the wrong hacker when they were warned there was only one person for the job? The film is mostly a record of Po, Finn and Rose's colossal cock ups, which the leadership laugh off as "kids will be kids".

    Compared to the action of nearly every SW film, most of Last Jedi revolves around a chase between the Rebel big ship and the bad guys. But it isn't as much of a chase as watching a submarine get depth charged as it sits on the bottom. It is the most static series of non-events I've every witnessed in a space ship movie. And it all comes down to two new plot devices - tracking through hyperspace without bug, and running out of fuel - something that's never been hinted at being a problem before.

    Like the very linear battle lines of the reused Hoth battle, both of these show a lack of dynamic imagination on someone's part. It is as if it was getting all too confusing for the screenwriters, so they made a bunch of stuff grossly simplistic so they could keep track of where everyone was. It comes off like the nautical action of the Love Boat.

    The single funniest moment in the film is a scene that starts with a steaming landing gear or ship descending toward the camera. The view changes and we see a room full of automated irons getting the wrinkles out of the First Order uniforms. I was the only one who laughed - I think the gag was so unexpected that no one got the joke until the scene had changed again.

    Another joke was Luke remarking the Leia changed here hair. I don't think anyone got that, either.

    Chewie being guilted out of dinner wasn't funny.

    The director (who's other films I love), had a great handle on the potential possibilities of the Force. The ability of Rey and Kylo to link, and how Luke uses that later was great plotting. Kylo's double thought trick with Snoke was well played, and the Rey's mirror room was a great alternative to the tree on Degoba.

    The throne room battle was worthwhile. Great stage combat.

    I also liked the daily details of Luke's life in exile.

    I'm going full on shallow with this. Please forgive my superficial soul:

    The characters in these new movies are unattractive. Finn looks dopey confused all the time, Po's head looks huge, Rey is very plain. Kylo is definitely an odd looking person, which in some ways is cool (I like Adam Driver in general), but is that really the baby that Han and Leia made???? Also, the costumes make everyone look like they just finished a Bavarian lunch. How did Luke, Leia and Han manage to wear a variety of flowy costumes in the originals yet still have visible waistlines?

    As the new heroes clearly designed to replace the old, they really are a collection of homely (and in Po and Finn's case) stupid folks to be looking up to. Ford, Hamill and Fisher were fit, good looking, charming, sharp witted senses of humor and real gravitas. None of the new Rebel men have any edge to them. This bunch is a big downgrade. Everyone seems like a total amateur, operating well below the level of Luke on his first trip away from the farm.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
  2. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Since I haven't seen it, I've not clicked on the spoiler tags.

    I'm expecting it to be mess, but I'm also hoping it won't be as bad Star Wars: The Force Awakens since Jar Jar Abrams is not at the helm. I saw one of the trailers, and why the hell have they made Luke's artificial hand look completely robotic? They had advanced enough tech to provide him a perfectly body-compatible hand in terms of aesthetics in The Empire Strikes Back. That bit was seriously annoying me as I watched the trailer. Will be waiting for the DVD release to watch the film.
  3. Tiran

    Tiran Well-Known Member

    I think it's the same old hand with the "flesh" worn off after years of exile.

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