21 December 2017

First Impressions: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

I've spent all week psyching myself up for this.

Two years ago I wrote the longest post ever on The Force Awakens (2015). I topped that with Rogue One (2016) (and again with Blade Runner 2049 [2017] but who's counting). I don't really mean to ramble on forever, but I like being thorough. We'll see how this turns out. Let's break this monstrosity down into a few sections:

Movies vs. Brands

So, I want to first direct your attention over here, where I tried to give a preview for The Last Jedi (2017), but without seeing virtually any of the marketing material, gave up and just rambled about the nature of Star Wars for a while. There's both personal and widely felt feelings articulated there, but most importantly, holy shit was I on the money.

Anyone else just stare at her sleeves for like two hours
That preview post was all about our long collective relationship with this brand, and that's what it really is at this point. It's folly to think of any of these films anymore as just movies. You know what I just watched? A Ghost Story (2017). That's a movie. It was an hour and twenty-seven minutes long, a singular experience devoid of fluff, context, or fandom. Fuck that movie was boring, too (that was kind of the point and brilliant in its own way, but this isn't a Ghost Story review), but that's besides the point. For a long time I tried to treat these big budget films the same way. How can we evaluate it as a singular, specific cinematic experience within a defined period of time?

For a long time here at Norwegian Morning Wood we've looked beyond that, and as I continue to meditate and name the best films of the year as those that I've developed relationships with, we ought to rise above that singular experience. That's kind of the point of contemporary studio filmmaking, right? Creating an engaging franchise and a brand is all about creating a relationship with a film, regardless if that's a worthwhile, not to mention moral investment. This makes films like anything else - we have a relationship with whatever soda company or car company we invest in. Whether we know it or nor we develop habits, interpretations of corporate personalities (good or ill), and feelings towards these ephemeral products. Movies are perhaps the most ephemeral of these. We're not wearing them every day or driving them to work or plugging them in. It's a two-hour investment that creates a billion dollar industry.

You can see why this is important for studios. The more they can create a long-term engagement with a film the more they can continue sucking money from their audiences with minimal progressive investment. This shouldn't be new to everyone, but there's a mistake we make with Star Wars. For some reason everyone thinks Star Wars is special to them. I clearly do. I was ashamed the other day when I was reflecting on Ree-Yees and couldn't remember his species (Gran, of course).

None of this is real. Again, it's all ephemeral fiction, more so than any other brand. What is real is the relationships that we have developed over the past forty years of Star Wars and the feelings it generates within us. Other films had of course made toys before Star Wars, but that was also one of the first films to create tangible outlets for these feelings through its insanely detailed toy campaign and expanded universe.

I want to talk about so much here, but let's start with that, because it has informed the initial interpretation of this film among hardcore fans. For some reason, they really really don't want their childhood fucked with. This is all what I was saying in that earlier post. We can get past the surface stupid fact that any of this means anything to anyone, because the obviously flawed "why should you care" question is less important than dealing with what's actually happening. That is simply nerds who feel cheapened because a corporation is ignoring the heavy investment they had made in a fictional reality.

That's probably a more cavalier way of saying it than I mean to, because I re-read Dark Empire like, this morning. What we need to realize, though, is that the existence of The Last Jedi doesn't erase Dark Empire or the feeling we had when we first read it. Those experiences still exist and we don't have to be upset when a brand wants to make more money. It just doesn't affect those experiences or memories.

In this way, the brand comes full circle. Star Wars' initial goal was to make characters and movies so compelling that we'd be so invested in them that we'd come back again and again, until now we're so invested and caught up in their story that when art comes back into the equation that forces us to re-consider some of our interpretations, it's a really jarring experience. And I do think The Last Jedi is some pretty good art and I enjoyed the hell out of it. I'll get to that...at some point here.

In order to not beat around the bush anymore, I should make it clear that the general fan response to The Last Jedi has been tepid at best. Star Wars fans suck, though. It's hard to be anything that's not The Empire Strikes Back (1980). The prequels were shitty because they were sloppy, wooden, and obtuse. The Force Awakens was unoriginal. The Last Jedi goes out on a pretty long limb in the other direction and is lambasted. There's no way you can win. Simply from the fact that these aren't the original (and I say Empire because there's a good deal of Return of the Jedi [1983] backlash that's been around for a while. For the record, I think that's all pretty damn valid). We basically can't make original stories and we can't make unoriginal stories. So, I dunno, why don't you just pop in the theatrical VHS and not worry about it.

Fan reaction has been highly critical of what The Last Jedi does to just about everything in the Star Wars lore, but I loved it. It's derided because it's iconoclastic in some really sincere ways, but that's another fan standard. "This isn't what Star Wars is supposed to be." "This isn't what the thing I love that someone else made up is about." I always think that's kind of bullshit. That was a standard Man of Steel (2013) complaint - "This isn't Superman. Dark works for Batman, not for Superman!" Well, fuck you, we're not beholden to 70 years of character history, we're beholden to just this movie (see, the debate I conjured up in the first paragraph holds some weight, right? Do we analyze based on cultural context or by singular experience?). In this way, we need to interpret based on what does and doesn't work within each individual interpretation of these characters.

Star Wars trips over itself a bit here. Within the context of the story, a conflicted, crusty, jaded Luke Skywalker works, but at the same time so much of this new trilogy hinges on the "Legend" of Luke Skywalker, which might as well be a stand-in for how much our real-life culture has honoured Mark Hamill's fictional character for the past forty years. So there's some discrepancy here and these new films definitely create a need for context, but I'll also hardily argue that The Last Jedi's interpretation of the Force, the Jedi, and especially Luke Skywalker are spot on. With this context out of the way, let's actually start talking about The Last Jedi.

The Nasty Spectre of Plot Logic

From the outset I liked this a hell of a lot more than The Force Awakens. It was as if it was the movie I wanted The Force Awakens to be. Its introduction with Kylo Ren stopping the blaster bolt and Finn getting confused is a bit snappier, but it also held all this random bullshit like Max von Sydow and Poe Dameron seeming like he'd be important, but then ignored for the rest of the film. The Last Jedi opens on a sequence that builds brilliant tension coupled with incredible loads of dramatic irony. Uhh...let's go SPOILERS from here until forever, because I want to talk freely about this shit.

This dude is just Goldmember
I don't really care about shit like, "Why are there bombers in space? There isn't gravity! Why does Poe go alone and say Dreadnoughts are scary when he takes out its defenses?" These are borderline nitpicky, but also caught up on plot logic when we should be focused on character. Plot doesn't really matter that much. No movie plot really makes sense if you think about it too hard. No one stresses out when a giant cliff appears next to Grant and the kids. What's more important is investment in character and creating an engaging sequence of events. The opening does this really well and gives Poe a more solid character than he ever was in TFA.

Oscar Isaacs does a solid job with Poe, but he was totally pushed to the side in the last film after hogging most of the screen time in the first twenty minutes. It's frankly bizarre. He's a constant presence here, and his character is one of the most defined, his relationships with everyone are thoroughly developed (still waiting on that kiss with Finn), and his arc is actually significant and important. One of the largest leaps in logic comes from Laura Dern's Admiral Holdo, who for no real reason at all witholds her escape plan, causing a lot of angst in Poe, as well as the audience. We're totally on Poe's side because this chick is a dumbass. Then it turns out she's really smart. Whoops. I don't even really understand the point of her not telling everyone her whole plan other than it ramping up tension, but in a film that's already far too long I don't know that that internal tension in addition to the First Order pressure was necessary.

Dern does a nice job for sure, but I don't know why her character actually existed. That role seemed fitting for Leia to do, and I was almost thinking that they added her based on Carrie Fisher's untimely death, but apparently nothing was changed? So...the excuse is just...shitty writing? Admiral Ackbar went out like a bitch, didn't even get a "It's a trap!" in. Why not give this dude a powerful send off (especially because it'd be redemption for him being the worst fucking tactical leader ever - seriously, he knows less than this random Sabacc Player they scrounged up). Or give it to Leia. She already has that relationship with Poe and it'd be a great send-off. Now, I know if they already shot everything they had planned and then Carrie Fisher...died, they couldn't really go back and screw with things. Maybe they actually wanted Leia to remain likable so they invented this purple-haired bitch to be terrible. That's all I can really fathom. This may get into nitpick territory, but it really works for Poe's character, so it's hard to be bitchy about it.

And for the record, I was cheering when Leia floated back to the ship after being blown into space. Leia never gets badass force moments and she's always supposed to be Luke's equal, the heir to one of the most powerful Force Users of all time. It's fucking baller. Apparently Episode IX was supposed to be a major Leia show, which just kind of blows now.

After we get past the evacuation of D'Qar we sit tight for some of the most thrilling set-pieces ever put in a Star Wars film...a low speed chase! Why couldn't the First Order just speed up a little bit? Move past nitpicking...must move past nitpicking...this sequence actually works pretty well as a bottle for our characters to sit and figure out how to get out of an unwinnable scenario. For too long after we dig in, though, there's not enough of a sense of urgency. When we finally get that 18-hour time limit, then we got something. I don't know how Finn and Rose were able to go to a whole Casino planet and back within that time period, but that doesn't matter, they fucked up anyway.

This brings us to another gripe, which is kind of solid, but not really reading well enough into the themes. Finn and Rose's plan to nab a codebreaker to sneak onto Snoke's ship to disable their tracker is solid (and for those keeping track at home - identical to their Death Star escape plan in A New Hope [1977], and they actually ALSO fail there, too [they're tracked back to Yavin IV]). See, we still can't escape this shit. Anyway, they totally fuck it up, don't do shit, are captured, and then eventually rescued by BB-8 riding half an AT-ST.

This all ignores the fact that they spent thirty minutes on a damned casino planet and somehow... didn't run into Lando Calrissian? Why wasn't Lando in this movie? The old decorated Rebel General / insane gambler would have fit in perfect here! I was tensing up thinking he'd be the codebreaker... or at least the dude in jail! Lando would definitely be in Casino Jail. He had better come back in Episode IX. This movie has enough gratuitous Chewbacca moments. Nien Nunb has been in two fucking movies so far, where the hell is Lando.

Done Fucked Up

These nun things
Failure is a big part of this movie. That's not really encouraging, but part of it is finding success in failure, or a way to hold on to a part of your dream or reconsidering what's even important. This works on a tremendous meta-level. Rose and Yoda are the constant voices for this shit. Rose is always focused on freeing animals and asshole slave kids, along with saving love itself. Sure, it'd be far more practical to actually save...the Resistance, but she instead works in ideals, which has always been a more powerful aspect in Star Wars. Again, A New Hope had a lot of this. "If you strike me down, I'll become more powerful than you can possibly imagine." Obi-Wan dies so his ideals live on. There's even Vader's "The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force." None of these platitudes had much meaning before now. Finally in The Last Jedi all of this is applicable. We'll get into what this film does with the Force in a bit, but the film relies on the power of symbols and ideals over physical acts of destruction and intimidation. That's an important thing.

While characters constantly fail, you notice less if you're wrapped up in their adventures. They still arc. Finn's character actually has another decent heroic arc, even if it's overturned by Rose. Those ideals are important and true to her character, though, even if they're impractical to the actual war they're fighting and interrupt what could have been a really cool cathartic moment for Finn.

And we're getting ahead, but on the Battle of Crait what the fuck was their plan, anyway? Someone was going to have to ram Grond the Hammer of the Underworld, right? Did those ski speeders have any weapons? It's a cool moment that suddenly kind of sucks, but again, this film is all about dealing with failure and re-defining what your own legacy should be.

During Finn and Rose's romp through Canto Bight I continually thought about Justice League (2017). That movie's problem was the opposite of failure. Everything came super easy to the characters. Movies should have hurdles, ascending challenges, that's what the Second Act is all about! One major structural problem with this is that it's a bit too much. I very honestly thought the film was going to end when Holdo hyperspace'd Snoke's ship. That's a perfect character climax and huge story moment.

Then we had a whole other fucking battle! I'm grateful because that was one of the visually coolest battles ever on a really unique planet that also gave us a BA Luke moment, but fuck, man. Story structure.

And for the record, check out Ackbar's reaction during the last notable rebel kamikaze. Sure, they could have hyperspace'd the Death Star, but the rebels tend to run low on ships, resources, and lives. This is about ideology. It's not rebel ideology to sacrifice good pilots to win a battle. They'd rather find another way.

If you haven't caught on already, I'm beating you nerds by out-nerding you. There's canonical OT evidence for every fucking one of your gripes.

Getting back on track, it was cool to see Finn match up with a new character, especially one who could challenge his own values (still cowardice, apparently. Or at least wanting to save Rey, probably just to bang her). Everyone seems on board with Benicio del Toro, and I agree here. It provides another front against the black and white ideology of the original trilogy, though. Everyone's gray here. There aren't really good guys and bad guys - just war. That's a notable critique. That whole Casino sequence did a nice job of showing that yes, there is other shit happening in this Universe (good luck, Rian). A lot of this sequence did feel pretty prequel-y, though. Lots of goofy CGI critters, weird shit, big cultural-specific racing. Also, those escaped fathiers are DEFINITELY going to be caught. Like, instantly. But the point is inspiration, right? That's how the Resistance recruits. Plant that seed, baby!

Another reason why this has gotten a lot of gripe is because it lacks catharsis. There are repercussions, but they're unexpected and unsatisfying. There's a fine line creating earned moments. This isn't Justice League where they accomplished unearned triumphs, but it's more like they don't earn anything from their efforts. That kind of sucks.

We've gone so long without mentioning Luke Skywalker and Rey. Holy crap. Let's dive into this shit.

A Whole Section on Luke Skywalker

Getting power converters in heaven now
Like I mentioned earlier, there is a good amount of fan strife because of how this film handles Luke. I agree somewhat, only because it seems focused on projecting more the outcome of the Tatooine Farm Boy Luke and less the Emperor's Throne Room Jedi Master Luke. When we first meet Luke, he really sucks. He's one of the whiniest characters in film history, a real impatient, horny asshole. He's really no different in Empire. Especially on Dagobah he's continually angry, frustrated, and impatient. It's not a tough stretch at all that he'd be a pretty shitty teacher. EXCEPT that in Return he's a total chill badass who mindfully reflects on the Force and defeats Vader and the Emperor through non-violent submission (earning uh...pity I guess) rather than sheer power. So I agree and disagree with where his character has ended up.

What's frustrating with him, Leia, and Han is how depressing it is to imagine the past thirty years. Return ends with a giant Ewok party, everyone's jazzed about the Empire being destroyed, and everyone's got their own thing. Han and Leia are free to bang, Luke's the Jedi Master. It's all cool.

This is thing with any return to a long-standing series. I have just recently got into Ash vs. Evil Dead and was really struck by how little progress Ash has made in the first episode. It's sad! In our imaginations these characters have grown and had great lives. It's depressing to see how much they've fucked up. This is also the EU's fault, because they tend to spin off the Return Master Luke rather than whiny Tosche Station Luke. It's a bummer to see that Rebel General Han Solo is now a bum shipping rathtars to the cast of The Raid (2011). It sucks to see Senator Princess Leia Organa still fighting the same fucking war for thirty more years as if nothing the Rebellion accomplished even mattered, especially when by the end of this film the entire Resistance fits on the Millennium Falcon. It's a thirty-year losing battle, Leia! And it's really disheartening to see just how far Luke has fallen.

His legend is just that - a legend that he doesn't feel he can live up to. It's totally diminished and wasted. It reflects the entire state of the Jedi, which also isn't a new thing. It is clear in the prequels that the Jedi have grown fat, arrogant, and bureaucratic. Lucas always glamorized the Order and definitely fetishized their combat, but that concept was there, except it mostly came out of Anakin and Palpatine's mouths. The ancient mysticism spin that Obi-Wan and Yoda spoke of in the OT is something that the prequels never reflected. Instead they were all about midi-chlorians, Jedi Archives, and arbitrary Council rules. The order needed to be burned down and restarted. Luke was supposed to do it. Hell, it's the Return of the Jedi! Not Return of a Jedi. As in, plural Jedi, as in it's implied that Luke would be the first of many new Jedi.

He somehow got all the ancient texts, somehow written on paper in a book or something, and the movie is clever about how it handles them. Luke is fed up with the fallibility of the Jedi and goes to burn down the tree containing their original Bible. Yoda stops him, then blows up the tree himself. You can read a lot into that - Yoda can conjure lightning now - IS HE A SITH?! No, but it's a callback to the crazy wisdom that embodied his first appearance. Now he quickly shed that doofy Muppet persona when they started really training, but that callback is way better than the bureaucrat we got in the prequels. Yoda always seemed to exist as an isolated hermit who had little use for the ephemeral trappings of Jedi opulence. Nope, he was all about it in the prequels. I wanted so fucking bad for Hayden Christensen to show up here, you have no idea.

But Yoda, probably sensing that Rey had already taken the texts to the Falcon (or he just watched her - that purvey green toad is probably spying on her 24/7) just blew it up, saving Luke the pain while also liberating him from the pressure of preserving the religion. Let's face it, Luke really sucked. He wasn't ready for this shit. If there were a ton of other Jedi around, he'd be the Ki-Adi-Mundi of the group, not the Mace Windu. Hell, he'd probably just be the Saesee Tiin. Brother gets one lucky shot in the thermal exhaust port and rides that shit forever. He's the fucking Star Wars version of Christian Laettner.

Anyway, The Last Jedi denounces this prequel and OT mythology very succinctly and expressly. While The Force Awakens relished in its fan service, The Last Jedi relishes in giving the middle finger to everyone's face. It's rough but not invalid. Luke lays it out. To say that the Jedi are the only ones who know how to control the force is hubris. But where there is failure there is hope. Luke thought he would setback the movement, but he could still be a symbol. There was still room for redemption. And what a redemption, Luke vs. the AT-ATs is as immortal a moment as you can get.

And to be sure, it's very obvious that it's fake. Luke looks exactly like he did when he last saw Kylo Ren, and that's the point - it's all about triggering this childish egomaniac into losing all control and thought of strategy in favor of anger. To the galaxy at large not really knowing that, though, Luke appears as if he has tremendous power - this lone warrior that will stand against oppression and tyranny. The Last Jedi trades in symbols, inspiration, and power that's subtle over overt. It's not a cackling maniac throwing the Senate at Yoda. It's deception and clever manipulation. There's no way around saying that most of the use of the Force is for fucking tricking people, right? Like, the mind trick is a FUCKING UNFORGIVABLE CURSE in Harry Potter. That's not okay.

The New It Couple

At some point we should talk about Rey and Kylo, right? I am all about their sexual tension. The only thing this movie lacked was a hardcore, full penetration scene between the two of them. This is something the OT lacked because the only chick anyone ever saw was Leia. And the prequels, well, we all know how sexy it is to use the Force to cut up pears. It adds something really interesting to their dynamic, and oh man, how I hope they're somehow brother and sister still.

This is just Rian Johnson wanting to beat Gareth
Edwards for the most beautiful Star Wars movie ever
Besides rooting for casual incest, Daisy Ridley's Rey again gives hope to this new franchise. She spends most of the film alone with Luke, and then a good chunk with Kylo. I'll get into this more later, but this is totally Empire-y. You get the feeling when she comes back that it's the big guns swinging (and holy shit! Guess what else JUST did that that I fucking pointed out) and that rock lifting moment is again pretty stupendous (*side note - I always thought that Finn also had the Force based on that look that Kylo gives him during the intro to The Force Awakens and his general competency with a lightsaber. I guess we still can't have Black Jedi besides Sam Jackson. And maybe Adi Gallia).

Rey and Kylo represent something a bit deeper, though, that shakes the foundation of Star Wars. What if we didn't have to be binary? What if we could blend the Dark and Light Sides? We don't need Sith or Jedi or other ancient institutions. The Force isn't something to be defined and distilled and bent to our will. Here's another reason why this is so jarring - Luke explicitly refers to Jedism as a "religion" (for the record, so did Admiral Motti in A New Hope) while condemning it and saying that exact dogma matters less than general faith and devotion. That's like saying, Catholic, Methodist, Muslim, Baha'i, doesn't fucking matter, just believe in peace and goodwill! That's a rough thesis statement for a wide audience to swallow, Rian. I for one, totally believe in that, which is probably why I really enjoyed this movie.

That's what the Force truly is. It binds us, connects us, moves through us. It's not something reserved for an exclusive family of Galactic Leaders and royalty. It's for any scrub on Canto Bight or Jakku to own and use. The revelation that Rey's parents were drunken junkers was fucking spectacular and the only good out that this series was going to come up with. If she was a bastard from Obi-Wan that would piss off people thinking she was Luke's girl. If she was Luke's daughter it'd be shitty she wasn't Kylo's sister. If she was Chewbacca's step-daughter it'd be awful she was the granddaughter of Jar Jar Binks. This film is all about the nature of legacies, failure, and giving the power back to the people. That's what the rebellion is all about. The First Order is the elitist strict assholes. The Rebellion is egalitarian. Rey embodies that like crazy.

Both Rey and Kylo aren't Jedi and Sith as much as just strong Force users who tap into both sides as they need to. Kylo's speech about tearing down everything in the Galaxy is the best part of this movie - for some reason he had to tack on the THIRD fucking "join me and we can rule together" speech in this series. There are some I've talked to who really wanted Rey to join him right there and fuse the Resistance and First Order together. I think that's still possible, but Kylo is still a childish asshole who wants to see his vision of the Universe happen. He's a young dude who just murdered his master and wants to do his own thing. That's solid Episode IX territory as he continues to battle the light and dark within him, a conflict which makes him the best character in this series.

On a side note, I need to admit something. As a child I was terrified that I'd be force-sensitive. I was so angry and felt that dark side temptation. Looking back, it was just like, normal kid-stuff, like pissed off that I had to share my Super Nintendo with my brother. Star Wars scared the hell out of me, though, that that path would lead me down the road to being a Sith, then I'd get all mechanical or gross. This was a legitimate fear! I would love for this new series to blow that apart and admit we can be fucking human and embody both sides in balance.

This is all boiling down to a Rey vs. Kylo showdown, if not in lightsabers than in ideology and egos (oh who are we kidding, J.J. is coming back. It'll be lightsabers). The throneroom scene was not only visually stunning, but emotionally resonant. Kylo not hiding his feelings towards Snoke as he read his intentions was a brilliant, if somewhat foreseeable turn, and a perfect moment to destroy a really unlikable evil character. Their team-up against the Royal Guards is awesome and makes you wonder how shitty Palpatine's fucking guards were that didn't do shit to Vader and Luke when they offed their boss (He actually tells them to go away, but you'd think they'd be monitoring it or run back or something). One major issue structurally is that this is the emotional climax of the film for our two most prominent characters. Then it keeps going on for like another hour. I literally looked at my watch and said "What the fuck?" outloud.

This is just Empire

While The Force Awakens was very blatant about just being a remake of A New Hope, The Last Jedi DOES totally ape Empire, but in far more subtle ways. It's more a mirror image. There's a big Walker battle in the trenches on frosty planet (although Crait is covered in salt, not snow), a casino planet where the heroes are betrayed by a cocky gambler, training on an isolated planet with an unwilling Master (that even has a Dark Side hole where you can face an abstract version of your greatest fear), and a middle of the film space stand-off between Rebels and Imperials. Somehow it never feels like the same movie as Empire, though. This could be because despite all this, there's enough new things here.

The AT-ATs are there but not the focus. They aren't the reason why the rebel base is threatened, they're just support. And they can't really be engaged like Rogue Squadron did in their snowspeeders. Cloud City is admittedly never called out as a Casino, but that's what it is, and Canto Bight is far more overt. Lando and DJ Benicio del Toro are drastically different characters whose function in the story is also drastically different. If DJ comes back and helps Nien Nunb blow up Starkiller Base II, I'll go nuts. The relationship between Master and Pupil on Ahch-To is reversed, likely because Luke is still an impatient asshole. Rey is the disciplined one and her greatest fear is never knowing who her jackass parents are (join Harry Potter, Bruce Wayne, and Spider-Man ya jerk). And there are quite a bit more dynamics at work with a whole ship of Rebels vs. just Threepio, Han, Leia, and Chewie on the Falcon.

I think this makes it work a bit better. For the record if you really sink your teeth into The Force Awakens, the context for the similarities between that and A New Hope are drastically different, but not enough to make it seem like a new movie. Han's delivery on Starkiller Base just sums up the laziness of that film - "Why don't we just blow it up!?" and sure enough, they can just blow it up.


That was a lot.

If you made it to the end of this, I'm really proud of you. I was pretty jazzed up on The Force Awakens and Rogue One immediately after watching them, too (hell, I was fucking pumped for Phantom Menace, but then again, I was 12), so maybe the illogical bits of Last Jedi will sink in over the next few weeks, but for now, I loved this movie. The structure bogs it down, but honestly you can get over that. Star Wars works in bits and pieces and a collective mythology. I don't think Jedi blows that up as much as it clarifies and strips it down to what's really important. That's scary to a lot of people. Insulting even. I'm down for it.

And now we got J.J. to bring us back to some safe fucking Ewok-filled crap anyway. Not unlike James Bond films (now THERE's an article that will take you a few days to read), each of these films seem to be a knee-jerk reaction to what came before, but that's nothing new. I guarantee Revenge of the Sith (2005) wouldn't have been so dark if fans didn't so vocally express their hatred for the cutesy Phantom Menace.

I'm 50/50 on caring about this (clearly), but this is still loads above a lot of the normal blockbuster crap out there. There's an old adage that Star Wars is like pizza - warm or cold, cheese or pepperoni, it's still pretty good and you'll eat it.

1 comment:

  1. So, I never even talked about Snoke - I don't really care. His backstory is probably uninteresting, or will be fleshed out in new EU materials. That's fine. Rian Johnson even said it would make no sense if he just started talking about his background to Rey. It's still stupid that we don't know shit about him


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