Star Wars: The Last Jedi discussion thread(Warning: Spoilers!)

benbess

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Tino

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Gotta disagree there. I also saw Empire in 1980 and many of my friends didn’t like it. Especially the ending. And Vader’s revelation.

Over the years it has achieved classic status but at the time not so much.
 

dpippel

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Thanks for posting this. I agree with most of what this article says. The one part it gets wrong imho is the "Empire was probably controversial with fans too when it first came out." No on that. All fans I knew in 1980 loved Empire.
That wasn't my experience. Most of the fans I knew in 1980 were pretty pissed off about the cliffhanger ending of Empire, some to the point that it overshadowed the rest of the film for them.
 

Colin Jacobson

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I need to see The Force Awakens again. But it just didn't inspire a huge amount of emotion or passion for me. I admired TFA, I liked it, and was impressed by it, but....something was lacking for me.

For The Last Jedi I was on the edge of my seat almost the whole long ride, and I laughed several times, and felt surges of emotion at other times. It was just a much more powerful movie for me. And although both were spectacular, and beautifully produced, I thought that The Last Jedi was more jaw-dropping for me. Wow, I thought, that is a fantastically expensive movie with an incredible amount of care put into it.
I feel the opposite. "TFA" gave me an emotional rollercoaster, while "TLJ" didn't impact me much at all.

That could change - for instance, I didn't feel much when Han died at my 1st screening, perhaps because it was such a surprise. The moment became more emotional for me on subsequent viewings.

Still, even after 1 screening, "TFA" impacted me and stuck with me in a way "TLJ" hasn't. There are moments I feel should dazzle me, but they didn't...
 
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TravisR

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Having been a kid in the early to mid-80's, I know Empire was the least popular of the trilogy among other kids that I knew. When we'd watch them on tape, after Hoth, you just played with toys until they froze Han Solo and then you'd get interested again.
 
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benbess

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Having been a kid in the early to mid-80's, I know Empire was the least popular of the trilogy among other kids that I knew. When we'd watch them on tape, after Hoth, you just played with toys until they froze Han Solo and then you'd get interested again.
Weird. I was 15 when Empire came out. Probably age makes a big difference in the reactions. If you were less than 10 years old when it came out, I imagine Empire was something of a shock. It was a shock to me too, but in a good way.
 
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Simon Massey

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I was 7 when Jedi came out and remember vastly preferring Jedi to Empire for many years. It wasn't until I watched them after I got into Star Wars again about 16 years old that I appreciated Empire far more.
 
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Atari

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I was 13 when Empire came out and it was my least favorite until revisiting the trilogy when the Prequels came out. I think the biggest frustration for me at the time was we knew it would be 3 more years before getting any answers about our heroes and if Darth Vader was lying.

Time drags slower as a kid, so it was probably more about the wait than anything else. Also, the original had such a happy ending, this was a big shock.

p.s. I loved the Last Jedi. Kept me surprised and feeling like a kid again.
 

Tim Gerdes

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First generation Star Wars fan here. These movies have been imbedded in my psyche since the age of five when I first saw Star Wars 1977. And as such, they're nearly impossible to review or comment on objectively as films.

I was not expecting to love The Last Jedi. While I enjoyed Rogue One a lot, I really dislike The Force Awakens. I know this will be heresy to many, but I largely prefer the prequels to that film. While they have their own problems I loved that Lucas was doing something different and defying audience expectations. It's interesting to me that at least some of the criticisms of the Last Jedi mirror some criticisms of the prequels, in that those of us who now have these films embedded in our DNA have spent 40 years fleshing out the story in our imaginations, only to find that new films subvert and challenge our own understanding of this universe.

And yes, I know that there are plenty of other, valid reasons to dislike the prequels. But I do think audience expectations play a part. I also think that helps to explain the generally positive response to The Force Awakens, which I felt painfully derivative. It "felt" like Star Wars to many. Personally, I liked the new trio of heroes well enough but it felt like they were marched through "obligatory" Star Wars tropes. (e.g. stolen plans hidden in a droid on a desert planet, alien-filled cantina, Death Star like planet-killing device, etc). As I mentioned earlier much of my response to Star Wars is purely emotional and not particular objective, but I had significant problems with the dynamic between Han Solo and Kylo Ren, and the treatment of that relationship left me deeply, deeply disappointed.

Which brings me to The Last Jedi. I wasn't expecting much from this film after my experience with the previous installment. I hadn't paid much attention to the trailers this time around and went in without any real idea what we'd be seeing.

I loved, loved, loved it! I found the Last Jedi soul-nourishing in a way I haven't felt since Return of the Jedi. It made me alternatively happy and sad and thrilled, without any of the disappointment or anger that, to some degree, has accompanied every Star Wars film since The Phantom Menace.

Some of the choices others have complained about were highlights to me—particularly the issues of Rey's parentage and of Snoke's backstory. Rather than just leave Snoke for a Kylo redemption arc in the third act, I loved how he was merely a cypher to obscure the fact that Kylo was this trilogy's villain all along. And Kylo cannot be redeemed. You don't get to murder Han Solo and then get to be a good guy. (I struggle with Vader's eventual redemption for the same reason. Murdering younglings would seem to disqualify one from eventually becoming a Force ghost and hanging out with your old friends, but that's a argument with the tenants of the Jedi religion I suppose.)

I was also delighted that Rey turned out to be "a nobody." In some ways the Star Wars universe has become way too small. I never needed to see Jango Fett, I thought Anakin creating Threepio was cringeworthy, I disliked how Yoda and Chewbacca knew one another, etc. In this vein, I was happy that the codebreaker Finn and Rose were searching for turned out to be someone other than Lando.

It made me very happy that Rey has no connection to these characters. I would have been ok, I suppose, if she were Han and Leia's daughter, but the idea that either Luke or Obi-Wan were her father seemed to totally ret-con the established idea of Jedi as warrior monks. Anakin was reckless and ignored his vows, it gave us Luke and Leia but also led to his turn to the dark side. I am so glad that Johnson decided to make Rey an ordinary girl who is highly attuned to the Force.

I know this is already a bit of a ramble, so here are a few things I loved: the next generation of heroes. I am invested in Finn, Poe and Rey now and care about their stories apart from the classic characters. That was really only true for me with Rey in the last film. Daisy Ridley is the best thing about this trilogy. She is perfect. And as a dad to young daughters, it is awesome to watch them put themselves into Rey's shoes, just as I did with Luke Skywalker a generation ago.

Yoda! Was not expecting we'd see him and I'm not ashamed to admit it brought me to tears. His inclusion here moved me in a way it did not in the prequel trilogy. Despite the fact that Frank Oz voiced him in the prequels, the voice in addition to the CGI seemed off somehow. But here he was simply Yoda.

The production design was stellar. Loved Crait in particular. The transport jumping to hyperspace through the First Order fleet was beautiful.

Laura Dern. Between Twin Peaks and now The Last Jedi, Laura Dern was my favorite thing about 2017, twice!

I loved how unpredictable the movie was. After Snoke and Phasma's deaths, neither of which I expected, I was prepared for Finn to sacrifice himself destroying the cannon. The film had stakes for its characters in a way that movies of this type usually don't.

Both Hamill and Fisher were great. I'm sad to think we won't have Princess Leia in Episode IX. I cannot imagine any explanation for her absence will be satisfactory.

I could go on, but for now I'll just say that this Star Wars fan hasn't stopped smiling all weekend. I am ridiculously in love with this chapter in the saga!
 

Reed Grele

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Fascinating discussion.

Saw it in Trumbull, CT yesterday afternoon in 3D (BTX).

Audience was very receptive. Applauded, laughed, gasped at all that was transpiring on screen throughout. Much applause at the end credits.

I have to say that I enjoyed it. While I can appreciate and understand why many didn't care for it, I, not being a scholar of SW canon, accepted it for what it was.

Will say that the 3D, as far as forward projected objects is concerned, was better used in TFA.
 

Sam Favate

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The article blaming the negative audience rating on fanboys overreacting hardly seems fair. All of the long-time fans I have spoken with - and I'm one of the original fans, having been 10 in 1977 - are disappointed. Many cite the lack of story for Snoke (we'll likely never find out where he came from) and the reveal of Rey's family (TFA lead us to believe there was something more to her). One fan I spoke to said the movie just didn't grab him emotionally, as the others did. Another said other than the short-lived scene in Snoke's chambers, there wasn't a lot of exciting moments where the heroes got to do anything other than escape. Yet another was disappointed to see Luke's demise so soon after Han's.

Obviously, this is anecdotal, but there is genuine discontent among long-time fans. I've taken the pulse of my Star Wars friends for 40 years, and this is the first time so many have been initially displeased. (With the prequels, discontent came as it sank in.) This is not just fanboy activists poking their finger in the movie's eye. Disney dismisses them at their peril.
 
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Tino

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I saw it with 11 die hard Star Wars fans yesterday and 10 liked it or loved it. One hated it.

So yeah that audience score is not imo indicative of actual fan reactions.
 

Joel Fontenot

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I saw the original Star Wars in '77. I was 11 years old then (would turn 12 later in the year). I saw it 7 times with one last time during a theatrical re-issue right before Empire came out. I liked Empire very much. I appreciated that it was different and treated as a "middle chase story" with no real ending. I was also very much aware of the low approval it had at the time. I didn't care. I was less impressed with ROTJ. I actually didn't mind the Ewoks and the battle at the end, but didn't like whole Rescue Han from Jabba - just not how it played out.

Saw TLJ last night. Loved it. Even the Leia floating scene didn't bother me. The Casino stuff was tolerable for me, I appreciated it more as Rose's backstory and representative catalyst to the future with the kids. I didn't see it as we are going to see these kids, only that it shows how hope for change is seeded, and how the Force can manifest from anywhere.

I kept away from the big spoilers so a lot of things surprised me. Yoda, R2 playing that message again, Snoke's demise, Luke's Force projection - although, I suspected something with Luke's look: shorter hair, no gray in his shorter beard, and he used his original blue lightsaber, not his replacement green one even though the blue one had already been broken in two in the pull between Kylo and Rey. I knew something was up, but just wasn't sure what.

Oh, and the dice disappeared from Kylo's hand because even that was a Force projection. Luke took them from the Falcon and they never left the island. Maybe Leia knew that, which was why it was left there for Kylo to find.
 

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