The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by motherofpearl1 on Tue 20 Feb 2018, 12:31 am

@snufkin wrote:@Cowgirlsamurai I don't think he meant romantic in the sense that Rey is thirsty for Ben after seeing him shirtless and touching finger tips with him. Romantic more as in idealistic, Rey believes in Ben and that he has the innate qualities to make the right choices and abandon the path he's on and help her with saving people.
@snufkin

Yes....and there's the rub isnt it? Even Rey sees Ben as doing the right thing....for other people. What about doing what's right for Ben?
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by Teo oswald on Tue 20 Feb 2018, 2:24 am

“they react to a feeling that passes between them,” chirps the script, “AN ENERGY THEY RECOGNISE IN EACH OTHER” as Kylo Ren interrogates Rey – but by the end of it they are separated by a literal chasm, and it’s Johnson who has decided to take that metaphor and run with it; not towards a separation, but towards “two halves” of a whole

pure poetry.

Sometimes it’s so subtle we have to find the image in the background, or in the sweep of the camera, or under the characters’ feet.

just like the relationship between Rey and kylo. sometimes it is understood by a sentence, and sometimes by gestures or gazes. But not everyone is able to capture the moment. just as isaac says in an interview, there is a subtext in romance, not everyone can see it, but Reylo did it Smile the clues are there, just look for them
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by Teo oswald on Tue 20 Feb 2018, 2:27 am

@motherofpearl1 wrote:
@snufkin wrote:@Cowgirlsamurai I don't think he meant romantic in the sense that Rey is thirsty for Ben after seeing him shirtless and touching finger tips with him. Romantic more as in idealistic, Rey believes in Ben and that he has the innate qualities to make the right choices and abandon the path he's on and help her with saving people.
@snufkin

Yes....and there's the rub isnt it? Even Rey sees Ben as doing the right thing....for other people. What about doing what's right for Ben?
@motherofpearl1

because he has humanity inside him just like Adam said in a interview
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by motherofpearl1 on Tue 20 Feb 2018, 5:37 am

He does.....but he also has a lot of hurt. If someone actually put him first for once, instead of saving the galaxy, maybe it would inspire him to become the hero they want him to be. I always remember the lyrics of the old Gene Pitney song "Looking through the eyes of love"............
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by Kylo Rey on Tue 20 Feb 2018, 9:06 am

21 fan fiction ships that have our hearts



( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

What’s going on with Rey and Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Last Jedi?

I love Rey. She is a most welcome addition to the Star Wars Universe and the world of female protagonists in general. She’s smart, tough, an all-around bad***, but still flawed enough to be relatable.

When the trilogy first launched, I was sincerely hoping that they wouldn’t embroil her in a romantic relationship. There is this annoying tendency in film-making to force female protagonists into some sort of romantic liaison – as if that’s the only way to develop a female character. Now, I’m not saying romance is bad, or that a romantic story cannot be well done; however, I think there is this compulsion to match a woman up with a man as a character developing device. I sincerely hoped this kind of trope would be avoided in Rey’s case.

But, you guys, I have a confession. I’m a Reylo shipper.

I didn’t want to jump on that bandwagon, but I got swept up. I’m a sucker for great chemistry. In theory, I like Padme and Anakin together, but I had trouble getting onboard with that Star Wars romance because Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman lacked chemistry. But holy cow do Adam Driver and Daisy Ridley have it! That lightsaber fight in Star Wars: The Last Jedi where they work in tandem to crush Snoke’s Praetorian guards, the look Kylo gives Rey on the elevator when she calls him “Ben,” and that moment when they hold hands by the fireside…someone call the fire department because sparks are flying big time!

I know there is a lot of debate as to whether this connection was meant to be romantic or not, but there is undeniably something there. And I know you’re thinking: “well it doesn’t matter if they had something going because they have obviously gone their separate ways!” But verily I say unto to you doubters, there is still hope! That last look that Rey and Kylo Ren share right before Rey closes the door to the Falcon gave this Reylo shipper a little bit of hope. Though Rey’s face is defiant and resolute, a hint of regret and indecision haunts Kylo Ren’s expression. To me, he doesn’t look angry but rather conflicted. There’s pain in his expression that hints at that continued internal struggle Rey sensed in him.

I’m not sure how this saga will end, but I think there is still a chance for these star-crossed individuals. Maybe they can still work things out. I mean, it’d take some intensive couples counseling to really make the relationship work (how do you trust a guy who killed his own dad and then tried to murder all of your friends?), but who knows. We’ll see what direction Abrams steers this ship (pun intended) in the next movie.
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by motherofpearl1 on Tue 20 Feb 2018, 10:03 am

I actually saw TFA because of Reylo; previously I didn't want to see it because my childhood sweetheart Han Solo died, Sad Smile but seeing the Reylo support on tumblr got me so intrigued I saw the film - and got hooked. It makes me think back now to all the people who condemned the ship and said no way would it become canon.....I suspect a lot of them have had to barbecue and cook their hats since!!
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by ZioRen on Mon 26 Feb 2018, 2:58 pm

I don't know if this was already on here, but I saw this review going around Tumblr and found it interesting: http://reverseshot.org/reviews/entry/2403/star_wars_last_jedi

"It’s time to let old things die.”

Yes it is, I thought.

Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren says this to Daisy Ridley’s Rey at the turning point of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, in an attempt to coax her away from saving her friends and the rebellion—“Kill it, if you have to”—and toward starting over, with him.

Please, yes. Let it all die. Let the black-haired, pouty, linebacker-breasted fallen angel join hands with Jedi Sporty Spice and start a new world. Let them veer into some weird and gloriously unpopular galactic side road. Let Princess Leia go, before we have to watch another ghastly ghoulish CGI exhumation. Let Luke Skywalker go back to yellow-haired representations on moth-eaten Sears twin-sized sheets. Let Chewbacca go back to his family and Art Carney. Let no more billion-dollar trilogies of nostalgia choke out another generation’s attempts at new culture. Let the rebellion go, let the Empire—or the First Order, or whatever—go, let the Force and the Hero’s Journey and the old world and the old religion and the old serials and the whole gangrenous Hollywood system go, and just let these two fine young humans—or aliens, or whatever—make sweet love upon the firmament and give birth to new stars on the face of the deep. Yes, yes, yes, ’tistime.

Rey declines, and the moment passes. The most compelling sequence of the film follows, set on the salt-covered planet of Crait, with three story threads coming together and culminating in a bracing riposte to Kylo’s entreaty. “See you around, kid,” old-thing Luke says to him, triumphantly channeling Humphrey Bogart via Ren’s vanquished father, Han Solo, quickly confirming that old things don’t ever really die, they hang around as memory and sentimentality, invocation and documentation, bad smells and madeleines, haunting our dreams, stabbing at your conscience, and forging afterlives among, between, and despite intellectual properties. Yet Ren’s proposal still hangs in the air as the defining moment of the film, and of this third Star Wars trilogy to date. Having these young protagonists enact ambivalence about their inheritance rhymes with a filmmaking enterprise wrestling with the same.

It’s ironic, and yet predictable, that this self-interrogation—the most compelling development within the franchise since the bad guy said he was the good guy’s father 37 long years ago—has helped trigger a backlash against the film and its writer-director, Rian Johnson. Fans don’t want development or change, they want fidelity. Fans want a fix. Whatever made them high in the first place is what they want more of, again, longer and harder, forever. Abrams did what he needed to do with the first film in the series, The Force Awakens, appeasing the fans who wanted to see their beloved series honored and perpetuated, rebooted with all the same ingredients and with just enough updates and intrigue to keep things moving ahead. What Johnson dares to do with The Last Jedi—and I use the word dare liberally, knowing how impossible it would have been to truly subvert an enterprise this expensive—is to put the navigation of these desires and demands into the text itself. Yes, there’s an emotional, character-generated logic to what Kylo proposes to Rey, but the distance between these sentiments and the sentiments we carry into a film franchise begun during the Carter administration, with once-young actors playing old sages, is nonexistent. Are we allholding on too tightly to old things? Is any of this even ours? And do we even need it anymore?

During those brief moments of Driver and Ridley moodily contemplating dyadic bliss and reboot-by-booty-call—their first reunion since they clashed sabers and felled trees with ravenous abandon at the end of The Force Awakens—I found myself, a Star Wars fanatic since the age of three, owner of every Kenner figure manufactured for the first three films and annual watcher of all 120 minutes of the Holiday Special, asking what more I needed from any of this. I had long stopped wishing to see Mark Hamill play Skywalker again, or Fisher reprise a role she’d outgrown wellbefore Return of the Jedi, let alone in the ensuing decades of book and playwriting and script doctoring and adult character acting. They’d grown up, I’d grown up and on—it’s okay, it happens all the time. It’s obvious from his half-hearted performance in the previous film that Harrison Ford never got over the ridiculousness of the whole thing, never got past the notion that this was just about the perpetuation of the property, that it was, at best, a chance to feel the crushing mockery of passing time while putting on a young man’s silly costume for the payday of it. And that notion maintains its force over the continuing enterprise. The only way to determine if there’s something more to be wrought from this old saga is to first reckon with the possibility that there isn’t. Are we telling stories or honoring a ritual? Are we discovering characters or propping up mummies? People will show up either way—it’s either this or Jumanji for chrissakes—but let’s first be honest about what we’re watching, and why.

Of course The Last Jedi is both new and old, creative and calculated. That’s how this business works—and honestly only if we’re lucky. There’s an opening scroll, then a tilt down to a colossal ship eclipsing the frame, an opening battle involving a dastardly English-accented villain (Domhnall Gleeson) and a brazen fighter pilot (Oscar Isaac) assisted by a cutesy droid. There’s an A story (Rey and Luke) and a B story (Leia and Isaac’s Poe Dameron battling back the First Order’s space-bound pursuit), and then a flimsy C story inside of the B story (John Boyega’s Finn and newcomer Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose splitting off to find a code breaker for a cockamamie mission); there’s hyperspace and blasters and X Wing Fighters and Admiral Ackbar; there are glimpses of new wonderments both inventive (scraping the salt surface on Crait produces Clyfford Still-worthy blood red streaks) and calculated (those big-eyed, Christmas wishlist-ready Porgs). What’s different is effectively the same. Meanwhile what’s the same is also different. Last glimpsed only at the very end of The Force Awakens, Luke Skywalker returns as a bitter recluse, using the force to spear giant rubbery fish and milk the ripe udders of corpulent Seussian sea lions. The remoteness of his island enclave and his reluctance to train the visiting apprentice, Rey, mirrors his own tango with the begrudging Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back, the most beloved film in the franchise and an obvious touchstone for Johnson’s.

Hamill owns his accumulated years whilst channeling his bratty younger self, the All-American boy from Cali that made him both effectively and annoyingly cast in the original trilogy. The idea that Luke is some sacred figure, some hallowed warrior king, has everything to do with fan worship and nothing to do with his actual character arc. He was a petulant orphan plucked into service, apprenticed into representing a bygone religion, then hellbent on confronting, vanquishing, and redeeming his estranged father. Did you really expect his existence in the ensuing years to be free of heartbreak and ambivalence over the value of life itself? Johnson gives Luke his moments, especially in a final fiery confrontation with Kylo, but otherwise he shows him as a shadow of his former self, rather mortified by the whole deal. What more can we ask of a character built to overachieve, than to be struggling with that legacy three decades hence? Luke wants to be left alone. Luke is rebuking you and me for expecting more story out of him. This seems not only fair, but right. Let the fanboys still jazzed about his all-black threads in 1983 fight for Luke’s coolness—truth is he’s a nerd and always was, with both character and actor self-consciously playing a role not chosen but assigned, over- and undercooking almost every line. Hamill isn’t just reprising Luke, he’s revisiting the actor who played Luke. It’s an awkward performance, sincerely so, which means it’s perfect.

Luke is meant to recede next to Rey, another orphan plucked from sand-locked obscurity, another walking cliché of young adult vim and verve, with another voice that you’d like to turn down just a notch if you may. I’m not sure Ridley is going to disprove the naysayers and skeptics with her performance in The Last Jedi, much as Hamill didn’t during his second go-around in Empire. Whether or not Rey or her embodiment ever merits being a trilogy’s primary focus, Johnson makes the right call to rack focus to her, and away from both Luke and the two new do-gooders, Finn and Poe. (Though this might have been done without sparing those two characters any discernible development: they’re no more defined at the end of part 2 than they were at the end of part 1—they’re just behaving according to Abrams’s initial sketches—and, by rarely being in the same place at the same time, there’s little chance for their homoerotic charge to catch on.) The spiritual aspects of the franchise have never been its strongest, but there’s no denying their centrality to the whole enterprise, nor denying that Rey is the current carrier of the Jedi/Force/midi-chlorians gene. Yet it’s not just Luke that Rey has to outshine, it’s also Kylo, her fellow conflicted Jedi, and that proves to be a far taller order. The lost, conflicted, ill-behaved, angry young man tends to win our attention, if not always the day. Same as it ever was.

* * *

Me miserable! which way shall I fly
Infinite wrath, and infinite despair?
Which way I fly is Hell; myself am Hell;
And in the lowest deep a lower deep
Still threat’ning to devour me opens wide,
To which the Hell I suffer seems a Heav’n.
Paradise Lost, John Milton

Kylo Ren is just the latest in a long line of sympathetic villains that stretches back to the earliest recorded tales. But the miserable, suffering, infinitely despairing Kylo is especially, perhaps deliberately redolent of Milton’s Lucifer. His emotions and motivations are both human and inscrutable, selfish and self-destructive. Driver plays him as a tantrum-throwing overgrown child, yet also as a savvy logician, out to both prove and liberate himself, descend into the void and remake it in his own wounded image. Much as George Lucas cast the unproven Hamill to face off against a cool black mask voiced by the legendarily piped James Earl Jones, Abrams cast the unproven Ridley to dance with rocketing A-lister Driver, who’s maxing out the boom mics, blowtorching the scenery, and stealing every second he’s onscreen. We know we should strive to be the hero, but we can’t help but feel for the devil. And to respect his logic. “Let the past die,” he tells Rey. “That’s the only way to become what you are meant to be.” Who among us from broken homes, or even a period during which we experienced conflict with or rupture from our families, hasn’t felt this and madecrucial decisions and realizations according to such logic? There may be a greater and healthier right, but Kylo isn’t entirely wrong, and not just about the hoary Star Wars franchise.

Kylo is both Lucifer and Adam, father of a potential new world reaching out to his chosen Eve. Where Eve is the temptress in Milton, and of course in Genesis, here she’s the one to reject temptation, with Rey denying Kylo’s hand and their fruit—a contested lightsaber, sword of knowledge—broken in half. She’s rejecting his companionship, his sexual advances (if I may be permitted to claim, despite how repressively chaste these films have become), but seemingly only because they’re on his nihilistic/romantic terms. Her response isn’t to scoff but to spiritedly appeal to his conflicted conscience, which he’d just revealed in a preceding moment by violently saving, rather than taking, Rey’s life. Since he made the first move, maybe he’d be willing to go all the way…

Not only does this sequence expose, as previously suggested, the “do we stay or do we go” ambivalence of this moviemaking enterprise, its literary and theological underpinnings convey a deeper and more meaningful ambivalence, one that in turn potentially justifies the effort. We don’t actually need another Star Wars, and we certainly don’t need another Star Wars that treats its own third-hand mythology as sacred text. But we’ll always need to try to make sense of our conflicted selves, as Milton did, as Goethe did, as Freud did, as Dostoyevsky did, as Shepard did, as Didion does, as Scorsese does. We’re caught between how we’re made and who we might become, what is right versus what feels right, the past and the future, restraint and release. For as long as these characters and this ongoing saga provide an adequate arena for wrestling with this struggle, there will be value in it. Tasked with the pivot film in a trilogy, Johnson chose the right time to reinvigorate the narrative with irreconcilable forces, doubts, and conflicts. Suspension is a middle chapter’s best asset. And best in that it’s truest.

It’s only when Kylo tempts us with letting old things die that we’re prepared to mourn for when they actually do, in the form of Luke joining his mentors in the radioactive afterglow. Resenting and growing weary of that and those we’ve inherited doesn’t make us monsters, nor does putting real emotion onto that which has been engineered and mass produced make us fools—it makes us human. It also doesn’t mean that we’re required to take it all seriously, and Johnson’s visual gaggery and at times jarring situational humor suggests he doesn’t either. Nor does it mean I am required to stop fantasizing about what that other story would have entailed, the one in which Rey lets it all burn and the two Jedi skulk out into the galaxy raising hell and crossing sabers. Nor does it mean I wasn’t moved by the sight of old-thing Luke looking one last time at the horizon, wishing on two suns like the desert surf boy he was when we first found him, still somehow dreaming of a far, far away. In fact these fantasies are all the same. And that can be either restorative and perpetuating or pointless and deadening. So long as it involves a searching, there will be something to it.
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by Kylo Rey on Mon 26 Feb 2018, 3:02 pm

@ZioRen wrote:I don't know if this was already on here, but I saw this review going around Tumblr and found it interesting: http://reverseshot.org/reviews/entry/2403/star_wars_last_jedi

"It’s time to let old things die.”

Yes it is, I thought.

Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren says this to Daisy Ridley’s Rey at the turning point of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, in an attempt to coax her away from saving her friends and the rebellion—“Kill it, if you have to”—and toward starting over, with him.

Please, yes. Let it all die. Let the black-haired, pouty, linebacker-breasted fallen angel join hands with Jedi Sporty Spice and start a new world. Let them veer into some weird and gloriously unpopular galactic side road. Let Princess Leia go, before we have to watch another ghastly ghoulish CGI exhumation. Let Luke Skywalker go back to yellow-haired representations on moth-eaten Sears twin-sized sheets. Let Chewbacca go back to his family and Art Carney. Let no more billion-dollar trilogies of nostalgia choke out another generation’s attempts at new culture. Let the rebellion go, let the Empire—or the First Order, or whatever—go, let the Force and the Hero’s Journey and the old world and the old religion and the old serials and the whole gangrenous Hollywood system go, and just let these two fine young humans—or aliens, or whatever—make sweet love upon the firmament and give birth to new stars on the face of the deep. Yes, yes, yes, ’tistime.

Rey declines, and the moment passes. The most compelling sequence of the film follows, set on the salt-covered planet of Crait, with three story threads coming together and culminating in a bracing riposte to Kylo’s entreaty. “See you around, kid,” old-thing Luke says to him, triumphantly channeling Humphrey Bogart via Ren’s vanquished father, Han Solo, quickly confirming that old things don’t ever really die, they hang around as memory and sentimentality, invocation and documentation, bad smells and madeleines, haunting our dreams, stabbing at your conscience, and forging afterlives among, between, and despite intellectual properties. Yet Ren’s proposal still hangs in the air as the defining moment of the film, and of this third Star Wars trilogy to date. Having these young protagonists enact ambivalence about their inheritance rhymes with a filmmaking enterprise wrestling with the same.

It’s ironic, and yet predictable, that this self-interrogation—the most compelling development within the franchise since the bad guy said he was the good guy’s father 37 long years ago—has helped trigger a backlash against the film and its writer-director, Rian Johnson. Fans don’t want development or change, they want fidelity. Fans want a fix. Whatever made them high in the first place is what they want more of, again, longer and harder, forever. Abrams did what he needed to do with the first film in the series, The Force Awakens, appeasing the fans who wanted to see their beloved series honored and perpetuated, rebooted with all the same ingredients and with just enough updates and intrigue to keep things moving ahead. What Johnson dares to do with The Last Jedi—and I use the word dare liberally, knowing how impossible it would have been to truly subvert an enterprise this expensive—is to put the navigation of these desires and demands into the text itself. Yes, there’s an emotional, character-generated logic to what Kylo proposes to Rey, but the distance between these sentiments and the sentiments we carry into a film franchise begun during the Carter administration, with once-young actors playing old sages, is nonexistent. Are we allholding on too tightly to old things? Is any of this even ours? And do we even need it anymore?

During those brief moments of Driver and Ridley moodily contemplating dyadic bliss and reboot-by-booty-call—their first reunion since they clashed sabers and felled trees with ravenous abandon at the end of The Force Awakens—I found myself, a Star Wars fanatic since the age of three, owner of every Kenner figure manufactured for the first three films and annual watcher of all 120 minutes of the Holiday Special, asking what more I needed from any of this. I had long stopped wishing to see Mark Hamill play Skywalker again, or Fisher reprise a role she’d outgrown wellbefore Return of the Jedi, let alone in the ensuing decades of book and playwriting and script doctoring and adult character acting. They’d grown up, I’d grown up and on—it’s okay, it happens all the time. It’s obvious from his half-hearted performance in the previous film that Harrison Ford never got over the ridiculousness of the whole thing, never got past the notion that this was just about the perpetuation of the property, that it was, at best, a chance to feel the crushing mockery of passing time while putting on a young man’s silly costume for the payday of it. And that notion maintains its force over the continuing enterprise. The only way to determine if there’s something more to be wrought from this old saga is to first reckon with the possibility that there isn’t. Are we telling stories or honoring a ritual? Are we discovering characters or propping up mummies? People will show up either way—it’s either this or Jumanji for chrissakes—but let’s first be honest about what we’re watching, and why.

Of course The Last Jedi is both new and old, creative and calculated. That’s how this business works—and honestly only if we’re lucky. There’s an opening scroll, then a tilt down to a colossal ship eclipsing the frame, an opening battle involving a dastardly English-accented villain (Domhnall Gleeson) and a brazen fighter pilot (Oscar Isaac) assisted by a cutesy droid. There’s an A story (Rey and Luke) and a B story (Leia and Isaac’s Poe Dameron battling back the First Order’s space-bound pursuit), and then a flimsy C story inside of the B story (John Boyega’s Finn and newcomer Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose splitting off to find a code breaker for a cockamamie mission); there’s hyperspace and blasters and X Wing Fighters and Admiral Ackbar; there are glimpses of new wonderments both inventive (scraping the salt surface on Crait produces Clyfford Still-worthy blood red streaks) and calculated (those big-eyed, Christmas wishlist-ready Porgs). What’s different is effectively the same. Meanwhile what’s the same is also different. Last glimpsed only at the very end of The Force Awakens, Luke Skywalker returns as a bitter recluse, using the force to spear giant rubbery fish and milk the ripe udders of corpulent Seussian sea lions. The remoteness of his island enclave and his reluctance to train the visiting apprentice, Rey, mirrors his own tango with the begrudging Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back, the most beloved film in the franchise and an obvious touchstone for Johnson’s.

Hamill owns his accumulated years whilst channeling his bratty younger self, the All-American boy from Cali that made him both effectively and annoyingly cast in the original trilogy. The idea that Luke is some sacred figure, some hallowed warrior king, has everything to do with fan worship and nothing to do with his actual character arc. He was a petulant orphan plucked into service, apprenticed into representing a bygone religion, then hellbent on confronting, vanquishing, and redeeming his estranged father. Did you really expect his existence in the ensuing years to be free of heartbreak and ambivalence over the value of life itself? Johnson gives Luke his moments, especially in a final fiery confrontation with Kylo, but otherwise he shows him as a shadow of his former self, rather mortified by the whole deal. What more can we ask of a character built to overachieve, than to be struggling with that legacy three decades hence? Luke wants to be left alone. Luke is rebuking you and me for expecting more story out of him. This seems not only fair, but right. Let the fanboys still jazzed about his all-black threads in 1983 fight for Luke’s coolness—truth is he’s a nerd and always was, with both character and actor self-consciously playing a role not chosen but assigned, over- and undercooking almost every line. Hamill isn’t just reprising Luke, he’s revisiting the actor who played Luke. It’s an awkward performance, sincerely so, which means it’s perfect.

Luke is meant to recede next to Rey, another orphan plucked from sand-locked obscurity, another walking cliché of young adult vim and verve, with another voice that you’d like to turn down just a notch if you may. I’m not sure Ridley is going to disprove the naysayers and skeptics with her performance in The Last Jedi, much as Hamill didn’t during his second go-around in Empire. Whether or not Rey or her embodiment ever merits being a trilogy’s primary focus, Johnson makes the right call to rack focus to her, and away from both Luke and the two new do-gooders, Finn and Poe. (Though this might have been done without sparing those two characters any discernible development: they’re no more defined at the end of part 2 than they were at the end of part 1—they’re just behaving according to Abrams’s initial sketches—and, by rarely being in the same place at the same time, there’s little chance for their homoerotic charge to catch on.) The spiritual aspects of the franchise have never been its strongest, but there’s no denying their centrality to the whole enterprise, nor denying that Rey is the current carrier of the Jedi/Force/midi-chlorians gene. Yet it’s not just Luke that Rey has to outshine, it’s also Kylo, her fellow conflicted Jedi, and that proves to be a far taller order. The lost, conflicted, ill-behaved, angry young man tends to win our attention, if not always the day. Same as it ever was.

* * *

Me miserable! which way shall I fly
Infinite wrath, and infinite despair?
Which way I fly is Hell; myself am Hell;
And in the lowest deep a lower deep
Still threat’ning to devour me opens wide,
To which the Hell I suffer seems a Heav’n.
Paradise Lost, John Milton

Kylo Ren is just the latest in a long line of sympathetic villains that stretches back to the earliest recorded tales. But the miserable, suffering, infinitely despairing Kylo is especially, perhaps deliberately redolent of Milton’s Lucifer. His emotions and motivations are both human and inscrutable, selfish and self-destructive. Driver plays him as a tantrum-throwing overgrown child, yet also as a savvy logician, out to both prove and liberate himself, descend into the void and remake it in his own wounded image. Much as George Lucas cast the unproven Hamill to face off against a cool black mask voiced by the legendarily piped James Earl Jones, Abrams cast the unproven Ridley to dance with rocketing A-lister Driver, who’s maxing out the boom mics, blowtorching the scenery, and stealing every second he’s onscreen. We know we should strive to be the hero, but we can’t help but feel for the devil. And to respect his logic. “Let the past die,” he tells Rey. “That’s the only way to become what you are meant to be.” Who among us from broken homes, or even a period during which we experienced conflict with or rupture from our families, hasn’t felt this and madecrucial decisions and realizations according to such logic? There may be a greater and healthier right, but Kylo isn’t entirely wrong, and not just about the hoary Star Wars franchise.

Kylo is both Lucifer and Adam, father of a potential new world reaching out to his chosen Eve. Where Eve is the temptress in Milton, and of course in Genesis, here she’s the one to reject temptation, with Rey denying Kylo’s hand and their fruit—a contested lightsaber, sword of knowledge—broken in half. She’s rejecting his companionship, his sexual advances (if I may be permitted to claim, despite how repressively chaste these films have become), but seemingly only because they’re on his nihilistic/romantic terms. Her response isn’t to scoff but to spiritedly appeal to his conflicted conscience, which he’d just revealed in a preceding moment by violently saving, rather than taking, Rey’s life. Since he made the first move, maybe he’d be willing to go all the way…

Not only does this sequence expose, as previously suggested, the “do we stay or do we go” ambivalence of this moviemaking enterprise, its literary and theological underpinnings convey a deeper and more meaningful ambivalence, one that in turn potentially justifies the effort. We don’t actually need another Star Wars, and we certainly don’t need another Star Wars that treats its own third-hand mythology as sacred text. But we’ll always need to try to make sense of our conflicted selves, as Milton did, as Goethe did, as Freud did, as Dostoyevsky did, as Shepard did, as Didion does, as Scorsese does. We’re caught between how we’re made and who we might become, what is right versus what feels right, the past and the future, restraint and release. For as long as these characters and this ongoing saga provide an adequate arena for wrestling with this struggle, there will be value in it. Tasked with the pivot film in a trilogy, Johnson chose the right time to reinvigorate the narrative with irreconcilable forces, doubts, and conflicts. Suspension is a middle chapter’s best asset. And best in that it’s truest.

It’s only when Kylo tempts us with letting old things die that we’re prepared to mourn for when they actually do, in the form of Luke joining his mentors in the radioactive afterglow. Resenting and growing weary of that and those we’ve inherited doesn’t make us monsters, nor does putting real emotion onto that which has been engineered and mass produced make us fools—it makes us human. It also doesn’t mean that we’re required to take it all seriously, and Johnson’s visual gaggery and at times jarring situational humor suggests he doesn’t either. Nor does it mean I am required to stop fantasizing about what that other story would have entailed, the one in which Rey lets it all burn and the two Jedi skulk out into the galaxy raising hell and crossing sabers. Nor does it mean I wasn’t moved by the sight of old-thing Luke looking one last time at the horizon, wishing on two suns like the desert surf boy he was when we first found him, still somehow dreaming of a far, far away. In fact these fantasies are all the same. And that can be either restorative and perpetuating or pointless and deadening. So long as it involves a searching, there will be something to it.
@ZioRen

It was posted here a while back. That critic is one of few who knew what was up between Kylo and Rey from his TFA review.
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by californiagirl on Mon 26 Feb 2018, 4:46 pm

@ZioRen I saw TLJ after many others here and was ignoring certain threads for that reason, so I hadn't seen this yet. I like his bigger point, I am also ready to let old things burn.

I know many people did not like the arcs of Finn and Poe, or felt they took up too much screen time, but his claim that they were the same at the end and had no development is a little overboard. And I thought Daisy was good and didn't warrant the young MH comparison.

Maybe I'm annoyed because it sounds too similar to the claims that Rey had no development or arc. She did get a little sidelined, but only in the context of keeping her ambiguous, rather than outright abandoning her. I'm glad this author didn't throw her in that pile.
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by motherofpearl1 on Mon 05 Mar 2018, 10:18 am

What do you think of the Oscar results?
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by Riri on Mon 05 Mar 2018, 11:05 am

@motherofpearl1 wrote:What do you think of the Oscar results?
@motherofpearl1

Was disappointed at first that SW didn't win any but i'm not too bummed. I think Ep9 will be their year as John Williams will be scoring his last SW film and it will end the Skywalker saga. Also the guy who won the cinematography category for Blade Runner has been hired for Ep9. I loved the cinematography for TLJ anyway!

Also i love that The Shape of Water won best Picture as the general theme and beats of the movie remind me of Reylo, the whole "falling in love with a monster" trope and "two misunderstood lonely people falling in love" theme!.

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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by motherofpearl1 on Mon 05 Mar 2018, 11:10 am

@Riri wrote:
@motherofpearl1 wrote:What do you think of the Oscar results?
@motherofpearl1

Was disappointed at first that SW didn't win any but i'm not too bummed. I think Ep9 will be their year as John Williams will be scoring his last SW film and it will end the Skywalker saga. Also the guy who won the cinematography category for Blade Runner has been hired for Ep9. I loved the cinematography for TLJ anyway!

Also i love that The Shape of Water won best Picture as the general theme and beats of the movie remind me of Reylo, the whole "falling in love with a monster" trope and "two misunderstood lonely people falling in love" theme!.
@Riri

I'm also glad for The Shape Of Water, .....but....as someone who loved both films (apart from one scene in TSOW) I can honestly say TLJ was just as good. And I still think Adam and Mark should have been nominated.
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by rawpowah on Mon 05 Mar 2018, 11:11 am

@Riri Wrong cinematographer. Deakins isn't doing IX.

@motherofpearl1 I'm happy Deakins finally won his Oscar (long overdue). I'm happy for Jordan Peele and all the wins for The Shape of Water, which was my favorite movie this year. Dunkirk deserved its sound awards, though the editing one should have gone to whoever was responsible for Baby Driver.
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by BenRey on Mon 05 Mar 2018, 11:13 am

@motherofpearl1 wrote:What do you think of the Oscar results?
@motherofpearl1

Three Billboards lost lol!
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by Kylo Rey on Mon 05 Mar 2018, 11:17 am

@rawpowah wrote:@Riri Wrong cinematographer. Deakins isn't doing IX.

@motherofpearl1 I'm happy Deakins finally won his Oscar (long overdue). I'm happy for Jordan Peele and all the wins for The Shape of Water, which was my favorite movie this year. Dunkirk deserved its sound awards, though the editing one should have gone to whoever was responsible for Baby Driver.
@rawpowah

Yeah it was the art director who was hired. If Deakins is ever announced as DP for IX I think I would faint, lol. I still think Adam and Mark were snubbed. Both great performances. Florida Project was also snubbed hard too, now that is a great movie. Apparently they showed a few clips of Kylo and the Reylo throne room scene at the Oscars.
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by motherofpearl1 on Mon 05 Mar 2018, 11:19 am

@BenRey wrote:
@motherofpearl1 wrote:What do you think of the Oscar results?
@motherofpearl1

Three Billboards lost lol!
@BenRey

Ouuuchhhh! Very Happy Cool Laughing
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by rawpowah on Mon 05 Mar 2018, 11:24 am

@Kylo Rey wrote:
@rawpowah wrote:@Riri Wrong cinematographer. Deakins isn't doing IX.

@motherofpearl1 I'm happy Deakins finally won his Oscar (long overdue). I'm happy for Jordan Peele and all the wins for The Shape of Water, which was my favorite movie this year. Dunkirk deserved its sound awards, though the editing one should have gone to whoever was responsible for Baby Driver.
@rawpowah

Yeah it was the art director who was hired. If Deakins is ever announced as DP for IX I think I would faint, lol. I still think Adam and Mark were snubbed. Both great performances. Florida Project was also snubbed hard too, now that is a great movie. Apparently they showed a few clips of Kylo and the Reylo throne room scene at the Oscars.
@Kylo Rey

Same. Deakins doing a SW movie would be like a dream come true for me lol. I haven't seen Florida Project, but from the clips I saw the movie was visually stunning. And yes they showed some clips in the sound editing category: Kylo spinning around in his tie silencer and him fighting against 3 guards after he refocuses.
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by californiagirl on Mon 05 Mar 2018, 12:09 pm

My hope is that SW does better in its final outing than previous installments, like how LotR: RotK swept the Oscars. Not that I think IX will get that many nominations, let alone wins. I just want it to win SOMETHING.

If Hammill didn't get a nod this time out, even Hugh Jackman didn't get a nomination for Logan after playing Wolverine for all these years, it won't be for acting. But maybe sound editing or mixing? Production design? Editing? Music? Something please....
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by tukicarreno on Mon 05 Mar 2018, 12:12 pm

@californiagirl wrote:My hope is that SW does better in its final outing than previous installments, like how LotR: RotK swept the Oscars. Not that I think IX will get that many nominations, let alone wins. I just want it to win SOMETHING.

If Hammill didn't get a nod this time out, even Hugh Jackman didn't get a nomination for Logan after playing Wolverine for all these years, it won't be for acting. But maybe sound editing or mixing? Production design? Editing? Music? Something please....
@californiagirl

I really hope Adam gets a nod next time! He deserves it so much!
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by californiagirl on Mon 05 Mar 2018, 12:18 pm

@tukicarreno wrote:
@californiagirl wrote:My hope is that SW does better in its final outing than previous installments, like how LotR: RotK swept the Oscars. Not that I think IX will get that many nominations, let alone wins. I just want it to win SOMETHING.

If Hammill didn't get a nod this time out, even Hugh Jackman didn't get a nomination for Logan after playing Wolverine for all these years, it won't be for acting. But maybe sound editing or mixing? Production design? Editing? Music? Something please....
@californiagirl

I really hope Adam gets a nod next time! He deserves it so much!
@tukicarreno

He's fantastic, but the Academy is generally not that kind to blockbuster action films. It's a small miracle Logan got a screenplay nom, and that was more of a western drama than a superhero movie. He may win something like a Saturn or Empire Award, or MTV/Teen Choice Award, etc. The Golden Globes don't really like superhero/action-genre movies either. Critics adore Adam, Mark, and Daisy, but sadly they are not the ones voting on these kinds of things. Sad
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by Night Huntress on Mon 05 Mar 2018, 12:26 pm

to be honest- I don't get the hype about the Oscars. Some movies won so many and watching them I was totally confused because I found them totally meeehh (LaLa Land for example Rolling Eyes ) and some great movies didn't win any or didn't even get a nomination.


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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by Teo oswald on Mon 05 Mar 2018, 3:43 pm

ABOUT OSCARs IS FROM 94 THAT JOHN WILLIAMS DOES NOT WON....SAD....
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by snufkin on Sun 11 Mar 2018, 12:03 am

This is a great review because it hits on several critical points, both about the film itself and the ST:

1. The story pivots around the relationship (Platonic Force Buddies? Enemies But It's Complicated)  Rey and Ben/Kylo
2. Luke is a secondary/supporting character who is there to be part of Rey and Ben/Kylo's story. Regardless of fans who insist that the rules and logic of the fictional universe mean that Rey "should" be a legacy child or that the central character/themes that the ST will help resolve and play out in symmetry is Luke's story. He has an arc and backstory in this film. But the OT was his trilogy and how the ST resolves its story as well as the overall 3 trilogies, it is not about centering his character.
3. Having Rey be a nobody, "frees up possibilities and expands boundaries" both for the franchise and future installments. But that doesn't really mean the next logical arc in IX is "he's going to die and resolve the family arc." It's the fandom conspiracy theory du jour which replaced "Rey is Luke's daughter." It's merely the pivot of an entrenched fandom/mindset (part of the meta-themes discussed in the reviewed) that everything has to be about Luke because of expectations about history/legacy. Which TLJ makes a point of dismantling.

I Don't Know What The Hell People Are Complaining About. 'The Last Jedi' Restored My Faith in 'Star Wars'

In so many ways The Last Jedi is, of course, a meta-commentary on its own existence. On its values and goals, as well as those of the series as a whole. Kylo Ren hits it on the nose perhaps a tad too much when he says, ‘Let the past die. Kill it if you have to,’ but that is exactly what this series needs to do if it is to be saved from a fate similar to that of a nostalgic travelling sideshow, wheeling out old surnames and legacies in exchange for the cheap buzz of recognition. We need new stories in this saga, and one of the best parts of The Last Jedi—which was also one of the most hated by some (but more on that later)—was the revelation of Rey’s parents. What a gloriously perfect touch, to have our main hero’s lineage be that of dust, instead of starlight.

It is powerful (and scary, sure) from a storytelling standpoint, because it frees up possibilities and expands boundaries; it is powerful from a philosophical point of view, because it’s announcing to us that this movie has decided to tell a story in which literally anyone can be a hero, never mind what special family they happened to be born into or not; and it is powerful on a small, character scale, because the moment between Kylo and Rey feels so true to them as people—both are clinging to the past and desperately trying to escape it at the same time, and in this moment their nuanced, layered bond resonates the loudest and foreshadows the repercussions it will have for the galaxy. Rey and Kylo, already quite good characters in The Force Awakens, here become great. In isolation they are both interesting and layered, but it’s in the space between them, in the interplay of darkness and light within the two, where everything sings. Rian Johnson understands: Write great characters like this, have them clash, and the rest almost takes care of itself.

Rey and Kylo’s bond (and the fantastic space-Skype innovation facilitating it) is what everything pivots around in The Last Jedi. And that’s a great move. Because going in you would expect the focus to be on Luke, and Leia, and the shadow of their father. But that would be looking backwards. The movie knows where to train its eye. Luckily it also knows how to balance things, and the two Skywalkers are anything but ignored. In fact its treatment of the two Skywalkers is another of the movie’s strongest suits (though, again, something that has attracted much internet ire). The multiple layers added to Luke’s personality are especially praiseworthy. Here is a character who was once basically a cipher, a blank slate. He was our hero many decades ago, sure, but let’s be honest: He wasn’t exactly the most interesting of personalities. Now, wracked with guilt in a self-imposed exile both from humanity and The Force, he lives out his days, awaiting death. He tried to do good, and he failed. Perhaps, he thinks, it is best to leave things to develop as they will. He has no interest in getting involved anymore. That is, until Rey comes along. Little unknown Rey, who comes from nowhere and nothing, and yet who carries inside of her a power and a conviction that terrifies Luke and forces him to reckon with his past and with his mistakes. Initially turning away from the challenge and abandoning Rey and the galaxy to their fates, he finds the strength to rise up, to assist the struggling Resistance, and to give hope to the galaxy before finally finding peace within himself.
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by Dar-ren19 on Sun 11 Mar 2018, 12:21 am

@snufkin wrote:This is a great review because it hits on several critical points, both about the film itself and the ST:

1. The story pivots around the relationship (Platonic Force Buddies? Enemies But It's Complicated)  Rey and Ben/Kylo
2. Luke is a secondary/supporting character who is there to be part of Rey and Ben/Kylo's story. Regardless of fans who insist that the rules and logic of the fictional universe mean that Rey "should" be a legacy child or that the central character/themes that the ST will help resolve and play out in symmetry is Luke's story. He has an arc and backstory in this film. But the OT was his trilogy and how the ST resolves its story as well as the overall 3 trilogies, it is not about centering his character.
3. Having Rey be a nobody, "frees up possibilities and expands boundaries" both for the franchise and future installments. But that doesn't really mean the next logical arc in IX is "he's going to die and resolve the family arc." It's the fandom conspiracy theory du jour which replaced "Rey is Luke's daughter." It's merely the pivot of an entrenched fandom/mindset (part of the meta-themes discussed in the reviewed) that everything has to be about Luke because of expectations about history/legacy. Which TLJ makes a point of dismantling.

I Don't Know What The Hell People Are Complaining About. 'The Last Jedi' Restored My Faith in 'Star Wars'

In so many ways The Last Jedi is, of course, a meta-commentary on its own existence. On its values and goals, as well as those of the series as a whole. Kylo Ren hits it on the nose perhaps a tad too much when he says, ‘Let the past die. Kill it if you have to,’ but that is exactly what this series needs to do if it is to be saved from a fate similar to that of a nostalgic travelling sideshow, wheeling out old surnames and legacies in exchange for the cheap buzz of recognition. We need new stories in this saga, and one of the best parts of The Last Jedi—which was also one of the most hated by some (but more on that later)—was the revelation of Rey’s parents. What a gloriously perfect touch, to have our main hero’s lineage be that of dust, instead of starlight.

It is powerful (and scary, sure) from a storytelling standpoint, because it frees up possibilities and expands boundaries; it is powerful from a philosophical point of view, because it’s announcing to us that this movie has decided to tell a story in which literally anyone can be a hero, never mind what special family they happened to be born into or not; and it is powerful on a small, character scale, because the moment between Kylo and Rey feels so true to them as people—both are clinging to the past and desperately trying to escape it at the same time, and in this moment their nuanced, layered bond resonates the loudest and foreshadows the repercussions it will have for the galaxy. Rey and Kylo, already quite good characters in The Force Awakens, here become great. In isolation they are both interesting and layered, but it’s in the space between them, in the interplay of darkness and light within the two, where everything sings. Rian Johnson understands: Write great characters like this, have them clash, and the rest almost takes care of itself.

Rey and Kylo’s bond (and the fantastic space-Skype innovation facilitating it) is what everything pivots around in The Last Jedi. And that’s a great move. Because going in you would expect the focus to be on Luke, and Leia, and the shadow of their father. But that would be looking backwards. The movie knows where to train its eye. Luckily it also knows how to balance things, and the two Skywalkers are anything but ignored. In fact its treatment of the two Skywalkers is another of the movie’s strongest suits (though, again, something that has attracted much internet ire). The multiple layers added to Luke’s personality are especially praiseworthy. Here is a character who was once basically a cipher, a blank slate. He was our hero many decades ago, sure, but let’s be honest: He wasn’t exactly the most interesting of personalities. Now, wracked with guilt in a self-imposed exile both from humanity and The Force, he lives out his days, awaiting death. He tried to do good, and he failed. Perhaps, he thinks, it is best to leave things to develop as they will. He has no interest in getting involved anymore. That is, until Rey comes along. Little unknown Rey, who comes from nowhere and nothing, and yet who carries inside of her a power and a conviction that terrifies Luke and forces him to reckon with his past and with his mistakes. Initially turning away from the challenge and abandoning Rey and the galaxy to their fates, he finds the strength to rise up, to assist the struggling Resistance, and to give hope to the galaxy before finally finding peace within himself.

Thanks @snufkin. An excellent read. I can't praise the bolded enough. The writer gets it. He gets good writing.
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by snufkin on Sun 11 Mar 2018, 12:38 am

@Dar-ren19 Agreed that's the first time I've ever paid attention to Luke, versus during the OT era. I never got the fan fixation and worship for the character, a lot of the discussions you see elsewhere always give me flashbacks to being in Sunday School and listening to my classmates try to one-up each other about who loves Jesus more.

Also speaking of understanding how central the writing was for that relationship. Reminds me of Carrie Fisher's writing advice, “Make the women smarter and the love scenes better.”

Rey and Kylo, already quite good characters in The Force Awakens, here become great. In isolation they are both interesting and layered, but it’s in the space between them, in the interplay of darkness and light within the two, where everything sings. Rian Johnson understands: Write great characters like this, have them clash, and the rest almost takes care of itself.
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