Hey! I saw The Last Jedi today. IMO it was really good. Not Rogue One good, or even The Force Awakens good, but really good.

I agree with complaints it was too long. I felt it was slow to start and kind of meanders.

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The whole “Monte Carlo Planet” plot with Finn felt really dumb to me. And it turns out to be a red herring, so really Finn could have sat in his bunk and the rest of the movie wouldn’t have changed. Del Toro was the only plus here, as was introducing the idea of how rich people suck. He was a nice “anti-Han” scoundrel. I just wish they could have found a different vector to introduce him.

Oh, and Rose was pretty cool.

The planet itself was also prequel-level cringeworthy. Too like normal earth. Ugh.

It also felt bizarre seeing Laura Dern in this movie, for some reason. I’m not sure why she was in an evening dress, either. Again, this was mostly about showing Poe humility, and I get that, but I just didn’t buy her.

Otherwise I loved what they did with the Force, and Rey and Kylo, etc.

The final battle was great! The blood-red salt planet was a great nod to Hoth, and the canyon run a cool nod to RotJ.

I also love that Rey’s parents are no one special. Best possible outcome for that mystery.

So, I enjoyed it, especially the second half. I also think the films are in good hands, so the hateful nerds can suck it.

But best SW ever? Not for me. It’s maybe fourth or fifth.

50 thoughts on “Hey! I saw The Last Jedi today. IMO it was really good. Not Rogue One good, or even The Force Awakens good, but…

  1. I felt the Finn / Rose plot was thematically vital, not structurally vital. The movie overall is about everyone and everything failing, and people learning from that failure. So, I think it did make a difference, but in terms of character arc, not story outcome.

    Glad to hear you had a good time!

  2. Daniel Swensen I would have much rather seen a story about Finn thinking he’d found a new Han in Del Toro, only to find out he was an amoral jerk, rich people suck, etc.

    Rose I guess falling in love with Finn also felt forced.

  3. I really wish it had been shorter, but I feel like everyone has a different idea of what could have been cut. But I liked it too! More than Force Awakens personally. Or at least, I would rather watch this one again over that one.

  4. Were Rey’s parents really nobodies, though? It isn’t as though Kylo Ren has the best track record with honesty. He may know that’s what she’s afraid of learning, and using that weakness against her is a fair if dastardly tactic. Whether it’s also the truth remains to be demonstrated. Leaving aside the “show, don’t tell” thing, Snoke was poking around in both their heads at the time, and who knows what he was fiddling with to ensure that they moved as he desired on the chessboard of life? So I must respectfully argue that Chekov’s Blaster is still on the table here.

    And now we know why you don’t jump to lightspeed while facing an enemy fleet. What a mess!

    Pity about the Snokester. I thought we’d get at least another movie out of that goofball. But I guess he forgot that climbing over the cooling body of your master is a Sith graduation rite.

  5. I hope Abrams doesn’t undo Rey’s parents being nobody in the third film. Star Wars needs to break away from the “everything is related to the Skywalkers” thing, the sooner the better IMO.

    That and it’s a really good flip of the second-movie “I am your father” trope and they shouldn’t chicken out of it.

  6. Daniel Swensen I’m all for flipping the trope. And at the very least they didn’t pull a “Luke is your Father” thing which would have been lamer than the idea of Jar-Jar Binks, Senator of Naboo. (shudder)

    But given how many other little bits of misdirection this movie involved, I’m skeptical of any conclusion established by a ‘tell’ without a ‘show’.

  7. The casino planet bit was necessary for Finn’s character arc. He starts it solely dedicated to protecting Rey. By the end of it, Rose has shown him enough that he commits to the greater cause: He’s “REBEL scum!” (His best line in the movie, btw.)

  8. Daniel Swensen The best thing about TLJ is the overall message that the rebellion is not about a guy with a “laser sword” or one pilot blowing something up. It’s a big middle finger to the Skywalker drama of all Lucas’ films, and I love it.

  9. Remember Finn’s background: He was raised as a Janissary Stormtrooper. He’s never seen a civilian through anything but a gun-sight–and those were the ones he was told were bad guys, Resistance members, traitors to the New Order. Until casino planet, he’s never seen the kind of people he’s been protecting and defending. They don’t leave him with a good impression.

    Finn’s barely gotten enough outside-the-First-Order socialization to establish things like “loyalty to friends”. Making the leap to “loyalty to a cause” is hard.

    Finn doesn’t go to Starkiller Base for the mission, he lies his way onto the mission team to go there to find Rey. In TLJ, he’s willing to abandon his other friend Poe, solely to prevent Rey’s tracker from leading her back to the desperate situation the Resistance fleet is in. But by the time he says “REBEL scum!” he means it. Later, he tries a desperate and doomed-to-fail suicide attack for the cause. Not for Rey, or Poe, or Rose, but to protect the remnants of the Resistance. Rose stops him, because it’s a dumb idea and won’t work, but his new motivations are pretty clear.

    (I have more thoughts on the heroic characterization of suicide attacks that can succeed vs suicide attacks that can’t, but that’s for another thread. )

  10. those were the ones he was told were bad guys, Resistance members, traitors to the New Order. Until casino planet, he’s never seen the kind of people he’s been protecting and defending. They don’t leave him with a good impression. Finn’s barely gotten enough outside-the-First-Order socialization to establish things like “loyalty to friends”. Making the leap to “loyalty to a cause” is hard. Finn doesn’t go to Starkiller Base for the mission, he lies his way onto the mission team to go there to find Rey. In TLJ, he’s willing to abandon his other friend Poe, solely to prevent Rey’s tracker from leading her back to the desperate situation the Resistance fleet is in. But by the time he says “REBEL scum!” he means it. Later, he tries a desperate and doomed-to-fail suicide attack for the cause. Not for Rey, or Poe, or Rose, but to protect the remnants of the Resistance. Rose stops him, because it’s a dumb idea and won’t work, but his new motivations are pretty clear. (I have more thoughts on the heroic characterization of suicide attacks that can succeed vs suicide attacks that can’t, but that’s for another thread. )]]>

  11. Dain Lybarger and, on top of that, the biggest decision Finn has made has come of the result of realizing that bad orders get people killed, and he sees the few remaining ships running with no plan, no back up and no idea of what they’ll do next. “Disobey bad orders and save the people you can” has, in fact, been a GREAT modus operandi for him so far.

  12. They never promised to give up on the old Jedi ways, Dave Michalak. Rey saved the ancient texts. Luke didn’t need them, but the movie says “The Jedi aren’t evil, they were sometimes foolish, though. But they’re a force for good that needs to continue.”

    I’m not sure what parts of the old Jedi you’re concerned about, though. I rather suspect we won’t see a return of “Jedi can’t marry.”

  13. Luke didn’t need them, but the movie says “The Jedi aren’t evil, they were sometimes foolish, though. But they’re a force for good that needs to continue.” I’m not sure what parts of the old Jedi you’re concerned about, though. I rather suspect we won’t see a return of “Jedi can’t marry.”]]>