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Author Topic: Thoughts on TLJ  (Read 1135 times)
PsychoSith
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« on: September 04, 2019, 08:59:36 AM »

Hey all!

So grab your popcorn and kevlar vests cause I wanna talk about The Last Jedi.

Ive talked about it here and there on different threads but I've never put all of my thoughts in one cohesive place. Not really a review...more of just thoughts and feelings. Wanted to discuss with you guys. Since this is gonna be fairly comprehensive on my feelings this will be on the longer side.

And just to be clear this is all my opinion, and a somewhat unpopular one. Not saying any of this is hard and fast truths, just my thoughts.

So, the easiest and most basic summary is; I like TLJ. A good bit actually. Its not my favorite but by no means do i dislike it.

But I'm pretty sure everybody here knows this. If youve talked to me you know im somewhat upbeat on the newer stuff, so im going to start with the three major things that do bug me.

1) Hux. He was just so....disappointing here. My major things in movies is i really like dynamic characters. I really like watching character's emotional and mental journey throughout a story. Its why I do like Kylo Ren so much - but Hux? I was looking forward to his character in this trilogy. Something that SWTOR did excellently was the Imperial Agent story. It showed how amidst the Darths and Sith and Force, there were people there who were more primarily tasked with simply running a government. This is what I was looking forward to from Hux; this powerfully evil ruler, this tyrant that wasnt magic or mystical. He was a despicable man and one who would rule with an iron fist. TFA did him excellently and got me excited for his character arc. Only his arc decided that he had more use as the butt of a joke. That in a universe of magical beings that can project their will through thought alone, Hux was severely outclassed and taken trivially. I get why, it even makes logical sense, I was just very disappointed in this turn of character.

2) Phasma. This ones a little shorter to explain because its much of the same as problem 1. Phasma is effing cool and no-one can tell me different. Not just visually, but a character who was less obsessed with being eeeevil and to just be so focused on their own survival and preservation makes for a dynamic and interesting character who could potentially be on anyones side depending on the right circumstance. And then she got yeeted into an explosion. RIP. (Honestly if they just kept the scene of her killing her own troops it would probably be much better for it).

3) Canto Bight. Whats to say here. It was a stupid B-plot, as many SW movies have, and went on for a few minutes too long. DJ was cool though.

Okay so now that the salts out of the way lets get to what I like about TLJ (minor gush incoming).

1) Everything with Rey and Kylo. I could write a whole essay on why i find Kylo's character so well-realized, but this post is long enough as is. Suffice to say, we get good backstory on Kylo here and it explains why hes so unstable by the end of the movie. He felt betrayed by the Jedi, betrayed by Snoke, and even betrayed by Rey, the last person he really tried reaching out to. Their connection brought up some interesting lore possibilities from KOTOR which is always a plus, and the Praetorian Guard and subsequent struggle over the saber is a huge highlight for me.

2) Old Man Luke. Alright im gonna duck and cover when i say this cause ive ruffled a few feather with this one before. I think EU Luke was really stupid. Seriously I did not like Luke's progression, he felt like he would always win no matter what. He kinda fell into Goku syndrome a little where he'd have something terrible happen (MJ getting fridged comes to mind) and then he gets stronk and wins anyway. Felt like every time. I didnt read every book, so there may be some examples to the contrary im unaware of. Im getting sidetracked though; Old-Man Luke was brilliant imo. What happens to a Luke Skywalker who sees everything unravel before him? A Jedi, a Skywalker defying the knowledge and teachings of the Jedi and killing so many innocents, leaving the New Order to burn? When he has the knowledge that this has happened before? That he could have prevented it? He does what any sane human would do. If you saw children under your protection die because of your mistake and your hubris making the exact same mistake as the people you based your order on? His reaction was not only logical but painfully emotional. This broken Luke was so much more interesting and provided not only a way for him to redeem himself in one of the coolest displays of force power and power moves ever seen in the series, but also gave him in what my mind was a much more fitting conclusion to Luke's story. Seriously. The doppelganger was awesome and you know it.

3)The Space Battles. This ones really subjective and i dont have much here other than my personal preference, but I already mentioned thats kinda what this post is sooo. So I'm a bit of a war-history nut. I especially love tributes and anecdotes of the first world war, and the space battles here really exemplified this. High-risk bombing runs, where go figure, ordnance will explode when shot, but the payoff of carpet bombing a star destroyer. This brought so many thoughts to my head of the first aviators, flying about in wood and fabric planes, knowing that a single shell or god forbid anything on fire hit them it was all over. But knowing that if they succeeded, there would be nothing left but smoldering ruin. Those pilots deserve to be remembered even in mundane ways like modelling a sci-fi space battle after their struggles. Snoke's flagship exuded power and the massive turbolaser batteries shelling their fleeing target just have such a feeling of pressure and panic. Intermittent attacks from fighter squadrons ensuring the defenselessness of their target. And the cherry on top; War Has No Rules. Honor and chivalry has no use for the dead and dying. Holdo's maneuver was not only visually spectacular, but opened the door for future showcases of unorthodox and creative space battle tactics other than fighters and cruiser exchanging fire until one wins. It was in many ways reminiscent of the Death Star I's destruction. The little fish using the last trick it had against the shark. Beautifully executed.

So yeah. those sum up the big story beats for me and I'd love to hear your guys' thoughts. I have so much to say about this movie if nothing else it started some of the most in-depth discussions ive seen out of the fandom, for better or worse.
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Kryptonian Jedi
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« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2019, 11:22:15 AM »

For me, there's the OT and everything past that is Elseworlds.

TLJ was the movie that made me realize this was my deal because I liked it but I also didn't like it. What they are doing with Luke struck me as being kind of like the difference between Superman and Superman as he is in the Elseworlds story called Kingdom Come.

For the purposes of the story being told, I get it. Just like the new trilogy depends on Luke failing and leaving everything behind Kingdom Come kind of depends on a Superman whose spirit gets broken and he exiles himself before the main events of the story take place. As a story unto itself it's fine but it's not what I would really want to be the final fate of those characters either individually or collectively (for example Billy Batson spending the entirety of his adult life under mind control only to have to die once freed.) So in a sense, for me TLJ is kind of a glimpse of what would happen if DC suddenly declared Kingdom Come THE canonical fate of Superman and his generation of fellow heroes.

The EU is Elseworlds for me to just in different ways for different reasons. But one aspect of it that I do enjoy is that Luke got to reach so much more of his potential and have more adventures and more of an actual life. Even getting to marry and have a family (at least for awhile).  I have zero problems with Luke being an awesomely powerful and naturally talented Force user who is primarily self-taught aside from lessons with Obi-wan and Yoda who reaches his a level such that he might be the greatest of all time but I also don't think he needs to be moving black holes around either. Powerful characters like Superman aren't bad on principle but it depends that much more greatly on the actual writing. It can't just be about the big fight.
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Darth Tepes
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« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2019, 12:20:51 PM »



2) Old Man Luke. Alright im gonna duck and cover when i say this cause ive ruffled a few feather with this one before. I think EU Luke was really stupid. Seriously I did not like Luke's progression, he felt like he would always win no matter what. He kinda fell into Goku syndrome a little where he'd have something terrible happen (MJ getting fridged comes to mind) and then he gets stronk and wins anyway. Felt like every time. I didnt read every book, so there may be some examples to the contrary im unaware of. Im getting sidetracked though; Old-Man Luke was brilliant imo. What happens to a Luke Skywalker who sees everything unravel before him? A Jedi, a Skywalker defying the knowledge and teachings of the Jedi and killing so many innocents, leaving the New Order to burn? When he has the knowledge that this has happened before? That he could have prevented it? He does what any sane human would do. If you saw children under your protection die because of your mistake and your hubris making the exact same mistake as the people you based your order on? His reaction was not only logical but painfully emotional. This broken Luke was so much more interesting and provided not only a way for him to redeem himself in one of the coolest displays of force power and power moves ever seen in the series, but also gave him in what my mind was a much more fitting conclusion to Luke's story. Seriously. The doppelganger was awesome and you know it.


This is the only part I will comment on as this was the pivotal part that sent my feelings towards TLJ from irritation...to hatred.  I can see how someone could make the comparison to Goku...but it could also be attributed to Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Thor...etc.  Its the "curse" of these characters who endure for decades or longer.  Every story they are in we know in the end they will be victorious one way or another...because you can't just kill them off forever.  Now to be fair when the writers of the Vong series wanted to kill a main character they had to go through Lucas himself.  He gave them a list of who could NOT be killed off.  Apparently Chewie wasn't on the list.  I digress.  So yes, Luke would go through an event, deal with his grief or anger then pull himself out of it or be helped.  Like any character in a long running series.  But in the case of Mara, I don't consider Mara's death to be a Woman in the Refrigerator example.   While it was a plot point it wasn't used to really further Luke's story...but Jacen's fall.  He was willing to kill his own family by using her son's face, as well Luke wasn't even the one who took Jacen out...Jaina was.  
       Now to the meat and potatoes.  I've said before that many of the ideas presented in TLJ I was not 100% against...they were just executed poorly in my opinion.  Luke being a reluctant teacher or even a bit cynical when it came to Jedi teachings I could get behind, but that's going to take a lot more than a short flashback scene to make me believe it.  Luke refused to kill his father, a man with the blood of literally hundreds on his hands...including women and children.  Yet Luke sensed a small spark of Anakin in him...and refused to end his life for the small chance he could be redeemed.  Yet sensing a bit of Darkness in his nephew makes him contemplate murder?  Again, I could even get behind this...if the presentation had been better crafted.  Lets say instead of Luke hovering over a sleeping Ben, unclipping his saber, igniting it, then continuing to stand there....the scene went differently.  Lets say its a saber sparring match with a fellow Padawan.  Ben becomes enteirly too aggressive and his unfocus results in his opponent landing a strike.  Enraged he begins to batter his opponent necessitating Luke's intervention.  Ben, enraged, presses the attack on Luke...Luke gives ground out of shock at first but begins falling into his memory of fighting Vader and almost kills Ben.  This would cause Ben's revolt and Luke's despair...and I feel would have been more widely accepted.
        So, Luke's reluctance to continue the Jedi after his failure is not a bad story arc and one that could have worked...with a better writer.  But the main thing many of us will never accept...is Luke's refusal to help the Universe and especially his family.  This was a man who only saw a image of a pretty girl who was in trouble and wanted to help.  He almost didn't leave with Obi-Wan...not out of fear..but obligation to help his family.  He left his training because he saw that his friends were in trouble.  After all he went through at the end of ESB he retreated to Obi-Wan's hut to heal and meditate...but was also planning the rescue of his friend.  Then after being the image of serenity...his friends dying sparked him into action against the Emperor.   So, its not something I can accept, ever, that he would completely abandon the Galaxy and especially if someone shows up saying "Your sister is in danger." that he would just say "Get off my lawn".    Had say Luke been hitting the FO himself, Vigilante style, that would have been a better way to show this I think.  But that is the crux of it.  Luke was an inspiration to many of us...the face he did not let his failures define him or hinder him.  Perseverance, loyalty and honor....These were words that could describe EU Luke...but not TLJ Luke (or Jake Skywalker as Mark Hamill calls him).  Many of us don't want to see our Heroes deconstructed then barely built back up.  Honestly I always knew in the back of my mind this would become an issue.  I said from the beginning that they should either make the films with Luke, Han and Leia as the main characters or base it so far in the future they are long gone.  Can't expect us to focus on the new when we are not done with the old yet.  There is my take.
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TheDutchman
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« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2019, 12:38:59 PM »

Hey all!

So grab your popcorn and kevlar vests cause I wanna talk about The Last Jedi.

Ive talked about it here and there on different threads but I've never put all of my thoughts in one cohesive place. Not really a review...more of just thoughts and feelings. Wanted to discuss with you guys. Since this is gonna be fairly comprehensive on my feelings this will be on the longer side.

And just to be clear this is all my opinion, and a somewhat unpopular one. Not saying any of this is hard and fast truths, just my thoughts.

So, the easiest and most basic summary is; I like TLJ. A good bit actually. Its not my favorite but by no means do i dislike it.

But I'm pretty sure everybody here knows this. If youve talked to me you know im somewhat upbeat on the newer stuff, so im going to start with the three major things that do bug me.

1) Hux. He was just so....disappointing here. My major things in movies is i really like dynamic characters. I really like watching character's emotional and mental journey throughout a story. Its why I do like Kylo Ren so much - but Hux? I was looking forward to his character in this trilogy. Something that SWTOR did excellently was the Imperial Agent story. It showed how amidst the Darths and Sith and Force, there were people there who were more primarily tasked with simply running a government. This is what I was looking forward to from Hux; this powerfully evil ruler, this tyrant that wasnt magic or mystical. He was a despicable man and one who would rule with an iron fist. TFA did him excellently and got me excited for his character arc. Only his arc decided that he had more use as the butt of a joke. That in a universe of magical beings that can project their will through thought alone, Hux was severely outclassed and taken trivially. I get why, it even makes logical sense, I was just very disappointed in this turn of character.

2) Phasma. This ones a little shorter to explain because its much of the same as problem 1. Phasma is effing cool and no-one can tell me different. Not just visually, but a character who was less obsessed with being eeeevil and to just be so focused on their own survival and preservation makes for a dynamic and interesting character who could potentially be on anyones side depending on the right circumstance. And then she got yeeted into an explosion. RIP. (Honestly if they just kept the scene of her killing her own troops it would probably be much better for it).

3) Canto Bight. Whats to say here. It was a stupid B-plot, as many SW movies have, and went on for a few minutes too long. DJ was cool though.

Okay so now that the salts out of the way lets get to what I like about TLJ (minor gush incoming).

1) Everything with Rey and Kylo. I could write a whole essay on why i find Kylo's character so well-realized, but this post is long enough as is. Suffice to say, we get good backstory on Kylo here and it explains why hes so unstable by the end of the movie. He felt betrayed by the Jedi, betrayed by Snoke, and even betrayed by Rey, the last person he really tried reaching out to. Their connection brought up some interesting lore possibilities from KOTOR which is always a plus, and the Praetorian Guard and subsequent struggle over the saber is a huge highlight for me.

2) Old Man Luke. Alright im gonna duck and cover when i say this cause ive ruffled a few feather with this one before. I think EU Luke was really stupid. Seriously I did not like Luke's progression, he felt like he would always win no matter what. He kinda fell into Goku syndrome a little where he'd have something terrible happen (MJ getting fridged comes to mind) and then he gets stronk and wins anyway. Felt like every time. I didnt read every book, so there may be some examples to the contrary im unaware of. Im getting sidetracked though; Old-Man Luke was brilliant imo. What happens to a Luke Skywalker who sees everything unravel before him? A Jedi, a Skywalker defying the knowledge and teachings of the Jedi and killing so many innocents, leaving the New Order to burn? When he has the knowledge that this has happened before? That he could have prevented it? He does what any sane human would do. If you saw children under your protection die because of your mistake and your hubris making the exact same mistake as the people you based your order on? His reaction was not only logical but painfully emotional. This broken Luke was so much more interesting and provided not only a way for him to redeem himself in one of the coolest displays of force power and power moves ever seen in the series, but also gave him in what my mind was a much more fitting conclusion to Luke's story. Seriously. The doppelganger was awesome and you know it.

3)The Space Battles. This ones really subjective and i dont have much here other than my personal preference, but I already mentioned thats kinda what this post is sooo. So I'm a bit of a war-history nut. I especially love tributes and anecdotes of the first world war, and the space battles here really exemplified this. High-risk bombing runs, where go figure, ordnance will explode when shot, but the payoff of carpet bombing a star destroyer. This brought so many thoughts to my head of the first aviators, flying about in wood and fabric planes, knowing that a single shell or god forbid anything on fire hit them it was all over. But knowing that if they succeeded, there would be nothing left but smoldering ruin. Those pilots deserve to be remembered even in mundane ways like modelling a sci-fi space battle after their struggles. Snoke's flagship exuded power and the massive turbolaser batteries shelling their fleeing target just have such a feeling of pressure and panic. Intermittent attacks from fighter squadrons ensuring the defenselessness of their target. And the cherry on top; War Has No Rules. Honor and chivalry has no use for the dead and dying. Holdo's maneuver was not only visually spectacular, but opened the door for future showcases of unorthodox and creative space battle tactics other than fighters and cruiser exchanging fire until one wins. It was in many ways reminiscent of the Death Star I's destruction. The little fish using the last trick it had against the shark. Beautifully executed.

So yeah. those sum up the big story beats for me and I'd love to hear your guys' thoughts. I have so much to say about this movie if nothing else it started some of the most in-depth discussions ive seen out of the fandom, for better or worse.
Well PS, as a friend & fellow saber enthusiast, I certainly respect your point of view, not to mention your courage in presenting an admittedly unpopular perspective.  And--I'm sure that I can speak for both of us--we as SW fans enjoy discussing the movies, ad infinitum.  SO, with that in mind, allow me to comment/share my own opinion  Smiley
disclaimer: these are my personal impressions; they are in no way, shape, or form superior/inferior to anyone nor should anyone presume such

I really, REALLY, REALLY disliked TLJ.  Point of fact, it was my least favorite SW movie (and ranks amongst the worst SW stories).  Unfortunately, I feel that this movie is the culmination of the problems since Disney took over: unoriginal plots with absolutely no respect for established characters (and, arguably, fans).  That said, let's talk specifics:

1) Hux. No argument here; he really is the straw antagonist, spittle flying from his rage-twisted mouth.  Villains don't have to be one-dimensional to be evil and frankly I feel that the only thing that would've made him worse is if he really did start twisting on an oily mustache whilst laughing maniacally & EVILY.  You're not wrong: dynamic characters really make these movies memorable.
Hux isn't so much memorable as a character but rather a punchline.

2) Phasma. What could have been a potentially interesting antagonist ended up yet another wasted straw villain.

3) Canto Bight. Utterly pointless.  A series of contrived events that happened just because the story needed (well...not REALLY but you get the point...) something to lead to...where it led the characters.  But Benicio del Toro is a great actor (just not in this movie).

I agree completely with PS: these three points ARE bothersome.

NOW the part where I respectfully disagree with my fellow critic  Smiley

1) Rey and Kylo. I will admit that what we got about Kylo did interest me: consider the motive(s) behind him turning to the Dark Side.  Was it strictly as a result of Luke's threatening actions?  Was Ben cursed to follow in his grandfather's footsteps?  The fact that it could be both (and more) makes for excellent pathos.  Plus: Kylo trying to recruit Rey to his side, even betraying Snoke was compelling.  Add in Rey's questionable past and the unknown...VERY interesting.  However...
This ultimately led to nowhere.  Rey's lineage...they were no one, at least according to Kylo.  Could he be lying?  There really aren't compelling stakes to learn whether or not he was.  Consider the reveal in TESB where Vader tells Luke that he's his father.  Now THAT was shocking...and significant.  And I blame Rian Johnson's poor writing for that debacle.

2) Old Man Luke. This was the most egregious transgression of TLJ.  WHAT.  A.  WASTE.  Many of us had waited since '83 to see what had become of Luke.  Not only did he have INCREDIBLE potential BUT he proved what an indomitable spirit he had DESPITE encountering the power of the Emperor AND the fact that his father had fallen, betrayed the entire galaxy, and aligned himself with the Dark Side...yet STILL believed that Anakin was redeemable.  And he was willing to die to prove that.  THAT is the character that I couldn't wait to see again on the big screen.
As far as EU Luke...I admit that he could be "hit-and-miss" depending upon the author.  Who wants to read about/watch a "boring invincible hero?"  And if you do, I'll direct you to almost ALL of Steven Seagal's movies.  But the rest: part of the "Hero's Journey" IS the adversity that he/she encounters and how they react to such.  One of the reasons that TESB is considered the best of the SW movies (and I'm inclined to agree) is that the heroes are being harried on all sides, the only "victory" that they can claim is that they were able to escape without FURTHER losses.  AND it sets up the final act of the trilogy.  OR, in the case of the books, Luke's continuing journey where he transitions into a powerful Master.  I always felt that Luke represented the best of what the Jedi were supposed to be and had the potential to become the most powerful Jedi ever.  I have to admit that THAT is a character that I wanted to know more: a truly powerful Jedi Master that embodied the best of what the Order WAS to become.
Old Man Luke was a shell of a man.  Sure, I could understand that...IF it hadn't already been established that he was the personification of HOPE.  Again: what a waste.

3) The Space Battles. Like PS, I'm a history nut and especially the history of war.  Space battle SHOULD be awesome in these movies; it's in the title for goodness sakes!  I like seeing the dogfights, the pummeling of capital ships, and the backdrop of space as turbolasers and proton torpedoes produce explosions that look great in the movies  Smiley  
What I do NOT like are the absolutely useless tactics and strategies that insult the collective intelligence of anyone who hoped to see dynamic SPACE warfare.  PS does bring up a good point that the carpet bombing of a Star Destroyer could look incredible...but, once again, so many contrivances really take me out of the drama of the scene.  The Resistance's war objectives come straight from Hollywood Strategies 101.  Even Admiral Hoda's super-DUPER secret plan was ultimately pointless and incredibly stupid besides.  Why keep Poe in the dark when bringing him into her confidences would help save people...certainly A LOT more than the 20-30 who escaped on the Falcon at the end.
I TRY to remember the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Mantra: "It's just a show; I should really just relax."  But things like the above just detracts from my enjoyment enough that I can no longer suspend disbelief...or convince myself that a movie like TLJ isn't anything else than what it was for me: an utter, colossal disappointment.

Once again I want to reiterate: not only do I consider PS a friend, one that I've had the incredible privilege of sharing creativity with in the Fan Fiction section (a thread that I HIGHLY recommend that you check out to see his inspired saber designs!), but also a fellow saber enthusiast and--most importantly--Star Wars fan.  And while I have many disparate opinions, I respect *PS's point of view and look forward to hearing more on this point.

*No matter how wrong he is   I am of course just kidding  Grin
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PsychoSith
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« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2019, 01:09:18 PM »

This is the only part I will comment on as this was the pivotal part that sent my feelings towards TLJ from irritation...to hatred.  I can see how someone could make the comparison to Goku...but it could also be attributed to Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Thor...etc.  Its the "curse" of these characters who endure for decades or longer.  Every story they are in we know in the end they will be victorious one way or another...because you can't just kill them off forever.  Now to be fair when the writers of the Vong series wanted to kill a main character they had to go through Lucas himself.  He gave them a list of who could NOT be killed off.  Apparently Chewie wasn't on the list.  I digress.  So yes, Luke would go through an event, deal with his grief or anger then pull himself out of it or be helped.  Like any character in a long running series.  But in the case of Mara, I don't consider Mara's death to be a Woman in the Refrigerator example.   While it was a plot point it wasn't used to really further Luke's story...but Jacen's fall.  He was willing to kill his own family by using her son's face, as well Luke wasn't even the one who took Jacen out...Jaina was.  
       Now to the meat and potatoes.  I've said before that many of the ideas presented in TLJ I was not 100% against...they were just executed poorly in my opinion.  Luke being a reluctant teacher or even a bit cynical when it came to Jedi teachings I could get behind, but that's going to take a lot more than a short flashback scene to make me believe it.  Luke refused to kill his father, a man with the blood of literally hundreds on his hands...including women and children.  Yet Luke sensed a small spark of Anakin in him...and refused to end his life for the small chance he could be redeemed.  Yet sensing a bit of Darkness in his nephew makes him contemplate murder?  Again, I could even get behind this...if the presentation had been better crafted.  Lets say instead of Luke hovering over a sleeping Ben, unclipping his saber, igniting it, then continuing to stand there....the scene went differently.  Lets say its a saber sparring match with a fellow Padawan.  Ben becomes enteirly too aggressive and his unfocus results in his opponent landing a strike.  Enraged he begins to batter his opponent necessitating Luke's intervention.  Ben, enraged, presses the attack on Luke...Luke gives ground out of shock at first but begins falling into his memory of fighting Vader and almost kills Ben.  This would cause Ben's revolt and Luke's despair...and I feel would have been more widely accepted.
        So, Luke's reluctance to continue the Jedi after his failure is not a bad story arc and one that could have worked...with a better writer.  But the main thing many of us will never accept...is Luke's refusal to help the Universe and especially his family.  This was a man who only saw a image of a pretty girl who was in trouble and wanted to help.  He almost didn't leave with Obi-Wan...not out of fear..but obligation to help his family.  He left his training because he saw that his friends were in trouble.  After all he went through at the end of ESB he retreated to Obi-Wan's hut to heal and meditate...but was also planning the rescue of his friend.  Then after being the image of serenity...his friends dying sparked him into action against the Emperor.   So, its not something I can accept, ever, that he would completely abandon the Galaxy and especially if someone shows up saying "Your sister is in danger." that he would just say "Get off my lawn".    Had say Luke been hitting the FO himself, Vigilante style, that would have been a better way to show this I think.  But that is the crux of it.  Luke was an inspiration to many of us...the face he did not let his failures define him or hinder him.  Perseverance, loyalty and honor....These were words that could describe EU Luke...but not TLJ Luke (or Jake Skywalker as Mark Hamill calls him).  Many of us don't want to see our Heroes deconstructed then barely built back up.  Honestly I always knew in the back of my mind this would become an issue.  I said from the beginning that they should either make the films with Luke, Han and Leia as the main characters or base it so far in the future they are long gone.  Can't expect us to focus on the new when we are not done with the old yet.  There is my take.

Excellent points, and I can see how it didnt work for you, let me explain why it did for me,

With the Luke and Ben incident, I would have liked a little more build-up to be sure but i didnt have a particular issue with how its set up. Reason being when he was dealing with Vader the difference between the two was largely ideological. It wasnt as much about their personal relationship as much as it was about specifically Vaders allegiance. About his heart and about his redemption. Vader didnt really betray Luke as Vader was already evil by time Luke knew him.

Ben though was different, Luke no doubt saw this as a betrayal in some aspect, his own kin falling to the darkside with him feeling powerless to stop it - mostly. There was one drastic option he could take. Would he take that risk? Sure. An older guy whos built up a new order from ashes only to have it threatened by a brewing evil in your own family? Imagine that fear. Fear breeds poor choices, and even if he regretted it, he did so too late.

As for not helping his friends and family, honestly they never said it outright but i always suspect by this point Luke had some form of PTSD and depression. I mean dead kids will probably do that to you. As someone familiar with both illnesses combined with isolation...yeah. It wouldve weighed on him, he wouldnt want to help. Why help? Theyre all doomed anyway in his mind. Hed just have to watch people die all over again and i dont think he had the strength to face that.

Thats just all my take though.



Well PS, as a friend & fellow saber enthusiast, I certainly respect your point of view, not to mention your courage in presenting an admittedly unpopular perspective.  And--I'm sure that I can speak for both of us--we as SW fans enjoy discussing the movies, ad infinitum.  SO, with that in mind, allow me to comment/share my own opinion  Smiley
disclaimer: these are my personal impressions; they are in no way, shape, or form superior/inferior to anyone nor should anyone presume such

I really, REALLY, REALLY disliked TLJ.  Point of fact, it was my least favorite SW movie (and ranks amongst the worst SW stories).  Unfortunately, I feel that this movie is the culmination of the problems since Disney took over: unoriginal plots with absolutely no respect for established characters (and, arguably, fans).  That said, let's talk specifics:

1) Hux. No argument here; he really is the straw antagonist, spittle flying from his rage-twisted mouth.  Villains don't have to be one-dimensional to be evil and frankly I feel that the only thing that would've made him worse is if he really did start twisting on an oily mustache whilst laughing maniacally & EVILY.  You're not wrong: dynamic characters really make these movies memorable.
Hux isn't so much memorable as a character but rather a punchline.

2) Phasma. What could have been a potentially interesting antagonist ended up yet another wasted straw villain.

3) Canto Bight. Utterly pointless.  A series of contrived events that happened just because the story needed (well...not REALLY but you get the point...) something to lead to...where it led the characters.  But Benicio del Toro is a great actor (just not in this movie).

I agree completely with PS: these three points ARE bothersome.

NOW the part where I respectfully disagree with my fellow critic  Smiley

1) Rey and Kylo. I will admit that what we got about Kylo did interest me: consider the motive(s) behind him turning to the Dark Side.  Was it strictly as a result of Luke's threatening actions?  Was Ben cursed to follow in his grandfather's footsteps?  The fact that it could be both (and more) makes for excellent pathos.  Plus: Kylo trying to recruit Rey to his side, even betraying Snoke was compelling.  Add in Rey's questionable past and the unknown...VERY interesting.  However...
This ultimately led to nowhere.  Rey's lineage...they were no one, at least according to Kylo.  Could he be lying?  There really aren't compelling stakes to learn whether or not he was.  Consider the reveal in TESB where Vader tells Luke that he's his father.  Now THAT was shocking...and significant.  And I blame Rian Johnson's poor writing for that debacle.

2) Old Man Luke. This was the most egregious transgression of TLJ.  WHAT.  A.  WASTE.  Many of us had waited since '83 to see what had become of Luke.  Not only did he have INCREDIBLE potential BUT he proved what an indomitable spirit he had DESPITE encountering the power of the Emperor AND the fact that his father had fallen, betrayed the entire galaxy, and aligned himself with the Dark Side...yet STILL believed that Anakin was redeemable.  And he was willing to die to prove that.  THAT is the character that I couldn't wait to see again on the big screen.
As far as EU Luke...I admit that he could be "hit-and-miss" depending upon the author.  Who wants to read about/watch a "boring invincible hero?"  And if you do, I'll direct you to almost ALL of Steven Seagal's movies.  But the rest: part of the "Hero's Journey" IS the adversity that he/she encounters and how they react to such.  One of the reasons that TESB is considered the best of the SW movies (and I'm inclined to agree) is that the heroes are being harried on all sides, the only "victory" that they can claim is that they were able to escape without FURTHER losses.  AND it sets up the final act of the trilogy.  OR, in the case of the books, Luke's continuing journey where he transitions into a powerful Master.  I always felt that Luke represented the best of what the Jedi were supposed to be and had the potential to become the most powerful Jedi ever.  I have to admit that THAT is a character that I wanted to know more: a truly powerful Jedi Master that embodied the best of what the Order WAS to become.
Old Man Luke was a shell of a man.  Sure, I could understand that...IF it hadn't already been established that he was the personification of HOPE.  Again: what a waste.

3) The Space Battles. Like PS, I'm a history nut and especially the history of war.  Space battle SHOULD be awesome in these movies; it's in the title for goodness sakes!  I like seeing the dogfights, the pummeling of capital ships, and the backdrop of space as turbolasers and proton torpedoes produce explosions that look great in the movies  Smiley 
What I do NOT like are the absolutely useless tactics and strategies that insult the collective intelligence of anyone who hoped to see dynamic SPACE warfare.  PS does bring up a good point that the carpet bombing of a Star Destroyer could look incredible...but, once again, so many contrivances really take me out of the drama of the scene.  The Resistance's war objectives come straight from Hollywood Strategies 101.  Even Admiral Hoda's super-DUPER secret plan was ultimately pointless and incredibly stupid besides.  Why keep Poe in the dark when bringing him into her confidences would help save people...certainly A LOT more than the 20-30 who escaped on the Falcon at the end.
I TRY to remember the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Mantra: "It's just a show; I should really just relax."  But things like the above just detracts from my enjoyment enough that I can no longer suspend disbelief...or convince myself that a movie like TLJ isn't anything else than what it was for me: an utter, colossal disappointment.

Once again I want to reiterate: not only do I consider PS a friend, one that I've had the incredible privilege of sharing creativity with in the Fan Fiction section (a thread that I HIGHLY recommend that you check out to see his inspired saber designs!), but also a fellow saber enthusiast and--most importantly--Star Wars fan.  And while I have many disparate opinions, I respect *PS's point of view and look forward to hearing more on this point.

*No matter how wrong he is   I am of course just kidding  Grin

Also as I was typing this i saw and read your response Dutchman, and those are all pretty valid criticisms. Ive always held that in a good story no character should be "sacred" per se (i really, really enjoy seeing more human and flawed sides to heroes) and Luke's issues which i mentioned above really gave him a depth i had never seen in Luke's character before, which is why i appreciated it so much.
 As for the space battles, i stopped taking SW space battles seriously years ago. The amount wrong with even the best of them is staggering from a logical view (ive always held an issue with the destruction of the SSD in ROTJ) so at this point i just want to see what they do with the medium of the battle. The space portion is less relevant for me nowadays. Great to hear your thoughts!
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« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2019, 01:46:41 PM »


Also as I was typing this i saw and read your response Dutchman, and those are all pretty valid criticisms. Ive always held that in a good story no character should be "sacred" per se (i really, really enjoy seeing more human and flawed sides to heroes) and Luke's issues which i mentioned above really gave him a depth i had never seen in Luke's character before, which is why i appreciated it so much.
That's a good point concerning Luke's character arc and I think that in the hands of a better writer, that trajectory could've been better explored and executed. 
But between you and me, I still would have preferred the Luke who epitomized hope and not the husk of a broken man that we were given.

Quote
As for the space battles, i stopped taking SW space battles seriously years ago. The amount wrong with even the best of them is staggering from a logical view (ive always held an issue with the destruction of the SSD in ROTJ) so at this point i just want to see what they do with the medium of the battle. The space portion is less relevant for me nowadays. Great to hear your thoughts!
Heh, that's an excellent example, one that I concede that I enjoyed (and still do).  But you're right: these movies are just FILLED with Hollywood tactics  Smiley

Great topic PS!  Point  Grin
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« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2019, 01:52:21 PM »

For me, there's the OT and everything past that is Elseworlds.

TLJ was the movie that made me realize this was my deal because I liked it but I also didn't like it. What they are doing with Luke struck me as being kind of like the difference between Superman and Superman as he is in the Elseworlds story called Kingdom Come.

For the purposes of the story being told, I get it. Just like the new trilogy depends on Luke failing and leaving everything behind Kingdom Come kind of depends on a Superman whose spirit gets broken and he exiles himself before the main events of the story take place. As a story unto itself it's fine but it's not what I would really want to be the final fate of those characters either individually or collectively (for example Billy Batson spending the entirety of his adult life under mind control only to have to die once freed.) So in a sense, for me TLJ is kind of a glimpse of what would happen if DC suddenly declared Kingdom Come THE canonical fate of Superman and his generation of fellow heroes.

The EU is Elseworlds for me to just in different ways for different reasons. But one aspect of it that I do enjoy is that Luke got to reach so much more of his potential and have more adventures and more of an actual life. Even getting to marry and have a family (at least for awhile).  I have zero problems with Luke being an awesomely powerful and naturally talented Force user who is primarily self-taught aside from lessons with Obi-wan and Yoda who reaches his a level such that he might be the greatest of all time but I also don't think he needs to be moving black holes around either. Powerful characters like Superman aren't bad on principle but it depends that much more greatly on the actual writing. It can't just be about the big fight.

Sorry i didn respond sooner! Didnt see this comment at first.

The comparison to Elseworlds is pretty relevant, TLJ (alot of the new stuff in general) seems to be going for a different theme than the OT or the PT.

That's a good point concerning Luke's character arc and I think that in the hands of a better writer, that trajectory could've been better explored and executed. 
But between you and me, I still would have preferred the Luke who epitomized hope and not the husk of a broken man that we were given.
Heh, that's an excellent example, one that I concede that I enjoyed (and still do).  But you're right: these movies are just FILLED with Hollywood tactics  Smiley

Great topic PS!  Point  Grin

And a point in return to everyone for contributing to the discussion Cheesy
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« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2019, 06:13:51 AM »

Will get back to you on this when I get time to respond.
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« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2019, 09:39:07 AM »

Will get back to you on this when I get time to respond.

Cant wait to hear your input!
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« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2019, 03:42:56 PM »

Really enjoying people's perspectives here with pros and cons alike.

The movie as a whole I found boring and a touch uninteresting. There was a lot to get excited about that was strung through each movie in the OT and on through the Prequels. I didn't get that sense with TLJ which was my let down with it.

Luke - "Your over confidence is your weakness."

Emperor - "Your faith and your friends is yours." ... well, this was actually a major strength for Luke. Finding something inside and outside of himself to fight(struggle) for truth, justice and peace.

You guys have already said it ... I was looking fwd to the further realization of Luke's character and potential. To take things in the opposite direction from all that the OT worked towards was a mis-step IMHO. Like others, for me this was the main hiccup to TLJ. His continence while in his Force Ghost form facing Kylo was a sneak peek into what could have been.

Im already looking fwd to watching it again keeping in mind a lot that's been shared so far.
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« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2019, 06:12:44 AM »

Really enjoying people's perspectives here with pros and cons alike.

The movie as a whole I found boring and a touch uninteresting. There was a lot to get excited about that was strung through each movie in the OT and on through the Prequels. I didn't get that sense with TLJ which was my let down with it.

Luke - "Your over confidence is your weakness."

Emperor - "Your faith and your friends is yours." ... well, this was actually a major strength for Luke. Finding something inside and outside of himself to fight(struggle) for truth, justice and peace.

You guys have already said it ... I was looking fwd to the further realization of Luke's character and potential. To take things in the opposite direction from all that the OT worked towards was a mis-step IMHO. Like others, for me this was the main hiccup to TLJ. His continence while in his Force Ghost form facing Kylo was a sneak peek into what could have been.

Im already looking fwd to watching it again keeping in mind a lot that's been shared so far.

Great to hear your thoughts! Where i disagree on the mis-step i do agree the "version" of Luke in his doppelganger stunt is probably what he was like before the Temple business. It was really cool to see him so confident in not only his ability but what he was there to do:

"Did you come back to say you forgive me? To save my soul?"

"No."


That every so simple two letter words hit hard in that scene. Because Luke wasnt there to save Kylo, he was there to save his sister and friends. Underrated line, imo
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« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2019, 07:44:56 AM »

Quote
..i do agree the "version" of Luke in his doppelganger stunt is probably what he was like before the Temple business.

Yeah, there's a lot of years between ROTJ and the Temple. That's an expanse of time new movies or an animated series could cover that might help balance the new canon just a bit? Maybe during that time Luke was as awesome as you could want him to be but then later as he was approaching older age the school was going to be kind of him settling down and doing his retirement plan, passing on what he had learned and that's when things went south because of the trouble with Ben.
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« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2019, 10:17:59 AM »

Yeah, there's a lot of years between ROTJ and the Temple. That's an expanse of time new movies or an animated series could cover that might help balance the new canon just a bit? Maybe during that time Luke was as awesome as you could want him to be but then later as he was approaching older age the school was going to be kind of him settling down and doing his retirement plan, passing on what he had learned and that's when things went south because of the trouble with Ben.

From what little has been said it doesn't seem as if Luke did much, in terms of being in the thick of things, in the years after ROTJ.  A few incidents here and there but for the most part it seems he traveled the Galaxy trying to study different cultures of the Force.
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« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2019, 10:26:26 AM »

Alrighty, I already started watching it last night. Sheesh ... thanks a lot you guys  Tongue. I had forgotten that the sit down scene with Yoda and Luke is my favourite part. I quite enjoy how Yoda brings a perspective that helps Luke attain some mental and emotional freedom to move forward in a few areas.
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« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2019, 10:46:40 AM »

From what little has been said it doesn't seem as if Luke did much, in terms of being in the thick of things, in the years after ROTJ.  A few incidents here and there but for the most part it seems he traveled the Galaxy trying to study different cultures of the Force.

It's because so little has been said that I think they would still have room to work in. Unless Episode 9 just confirms Luke didn't do much after ROTJ which would be a waste IMO.
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