The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by twilekempire on Tue 20 Mar 2018, 8:56 pm

@nickandnora wrote:@twilekempire

I agree with just about everything you said.

The thing about Poe's actual story itself in TLJ was that I found it subjectively more interesting than Finn's, but Finn is the character who needs more development and, as you say, dovetailing with Reylo's story. If this was originally meant to be a story about trios, then Rey, Kylo and Finn are the trio, and Poe wasn't supposed to figure in. The other problem is that Oscar Isaac has, for some reason that I can't quite pinpoint, not been his usual charismatic self in these films, and that drags things down (and I seriously never thought I would say that about him).

Hopefully J.J. is cautious about how he uses him (Poe) in IX. I think I'd like to see him situated as leader (as TLJ set up) but not so much have a super clearly defined *arc* if that makes sense. He can lead the Resistance, come into conflict with Rey and Finn when the plot demands the need for conflict, support them when the plot needs there to be support, etc. Like... relegate him to the role of propping up the other stories and the other character development. They need to make sure IX isn't four hours long.
@nickandnora

I definitely believe Rey+Finn+Kylo was supposed to be the trio here. They're the three (as Kira, Skyler, and the Jedi Killer/son) from Lucas' original story treatments, and they're the ones who were supposed to survive TFA until JJ decided to keep Poe alive. There's visual paralleling, as we see them all in masks when they first appear, they're all coming out of a "child-like" position in TFA into a more adolescent one in TLJ, they all struggle with backgrounds of child abuse... I love Reylo, but I want Finn's story to be stronger too and I actually think strengthening it will make the Reylo feel more grounded, as I mention with ways Finn seeking to free people he cares about from the FO could build his and the audience's sympathy for Rey's position.

Maybe TLJ was them getting the character arcs of Poe and Rose "out of the way" so to speak--so we know who they are and what they want and can go into IX focused on the originally planned trio of Rey+Finn+Kylo. That could work. I'd still want the Finn content to have been edited a little differently!

Bringing this back on topic: I think it's important for article writers to ask themselves what the overall goals of the storytellers are and how narratives are structured. Instead of assuming bad intent, assume there's a thought process at work and seek to understand it! Even if execution is not perfect. I think a lot of shallow "hot takes" wouldn't happen if they bothered to do that.
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by Mila95 on Tue 20 Mar 2018, 8:57 pm

I honestly don't think it was impossible to have a storyline that challenged Finn if Poe was the one that went with him instead of Rose.Because even tho Poe and Finn are very similar and there wouldn't have been a lot of dramatic tension there,the main point of that whole thing was to get Finn to believe and chose to fight for the resistance cause and well Poe would be pretty great for that considering he's so focused on the cause.But I'm guessing they also really wanted the romance aspect as well for Finn and weren't willing to go there with Finn and Poe

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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by Dar-ren19 on Tue 20 Mar 2018, 9:39 pm

@Saracene I've never seen any of John Boyega's other work. What kind of an actor is he? Is he able to carry a dramatic role? If so, I don't see why JJ would sideline his "story" like that, and just make him pretty much sidekick/comic relief (as he was in TFA with some minor forays into dramatics) and pretty much Rose's sidekick in TLJ. A backstory like his -- with such buttressing capability to the main story (Rey/Kylo/FO/Hux) -- should've been on a path to fruition by now, even if via hints.
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by rawpowah on Tue 20 Mar 2018, 9:45 pm

@Saracene wrote:
Didn't Rian say that originally he started out writing an adventure for Poe and Finn, and then decided to pair Finn with another character?

I think that a storyline involving Finn going on a quest away from the Resistance would still be there; all Poe really does is stay in one place for most of the film until Crait. If Finn did this instead, and we had no characters go elsewhere and try to break onto Snoke's ship, that's a very limiting perspective.
@Saracene

Yes, he decided to split them up because they sounded indistinguishable. Which once again re-enforces to me that Finn was supposed to have the "Resistance leadership" storyline, but since Poe has been in the organization longer he got that part.

@twilekempire As usual, I agree with you. If Finn gets a stormtrooper rebellion storyline in IX, then JJ will have to set it up from scratch like Rian did with Canto Bight, and tie it up somehow with whatever Kylo and Hux are fighting over (maybe discontinuing the stormtrooper program). That would also give Kylo and Finn some interesting and much needed interactions.
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by Saracene on Tue 20 Mar 2018, 9:58 pm

@Dar-ren19 wrote:@Saracene I've never seen any of John Boyega's other work. What kind of an actor is he? Is he able to carry a dramatic role? If so, I don't see why JJ would sideline his "story" like that, and just make him pretty much sidekick/comic relief (as he was in TFA with some minor forays into dramatics) and pretty much Rose's sidekick in TLJ. A backstory like his -- with such buttressing capability to the main story (Rey/Kylo/FO/Hux) -- should've been on a path to fruition by now, even if via hints.
@Dar-ren19

I haven't seen John's other work either, but he got good response for his role in Detroit last year (and that couldn't have been a bag of laughs). I can't see any reason why he couldn't have carried a more dramatic role. It's more that TFA mostly cared about making Finn likeable and funny above everything else, and that cost the character in the long run. It's like, we're two movies in and Finn has shown zero concern for his fellow brainwashed stormtroopers after the opening scene in TFA where he's supposedly shocked by the death of one of them.
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by twilekempire on Tue 20 Mar 2018, 10:15 pm

@Saracene wrote:
@Dar-ren19 wrote:@Saracene I've never seen any of John Boyega's other work. What kind of an actor is he? Is he able to carry a dramatic role? If so, I don't see why JJ would sideline his "story" like that, and just make him pretty much sidekick/comic relief (as he was in TFA with some minor forays into dramatics) and pretty much Rose's sidekick in TLJ. A backstory like his -- with such buttressing capability to the main story (Rey/Kylo/FO/Hux) -- should've been on a path to fruition by now, even if via hints.
@Dar-ren19

I haven't seen John's other work either, but he got good response for his role in Detroit last year (and that couldn't have been a bag of laughs). I can't see any reason why he couldn't have carried a more dramatic role. It's more that TFA mostly cared about making Finn likeable and funny above everything else, and that cost the character in the long run. It's like, we're two movies in and Finn has shown zero concern for his fellow brainwashed stormtroopers after the opening scene in TFA where he's supposedly shocked by the death of one of them.
@Saracene

I'd recommend "Attack the Block." Boyega was quite young there--only 19! It's his first role--but it's a more serious character, one who's allowed to have more flaws than Finn, and he's great. At one point in particular there's some powerful lines that could have come across badly in the hands of another actor and just feel very genuine from him. SW steers him more toward humor, but I think he could rock any angst/drama they want to give him.

Since this is the articles thread (lol), here's  a review that specifically talks about what Boyega accomplished in that role:
The Protagonist is Not “Nice,” But He Is Redeemed

John Boyega’s Moses is one of the most empathetic heroes I’ve come across in awhile, which is impressive given that he opens the movie by viciously mugging a defenseless woman. Part of that empathy comes from the actor’s innate charm, but it’s also built into the text.

First, Moses is trusted and beloved by his crew, which gives him some cred with us right away. There must be a reason these kids follow and trust him, so we extend him some faith.

Second, he’s good at things. We see his bravery and leadership immediately.

Third, we see glimpses of his vulnerability at multiple points, driven home to emotional effect in the final act when we learn three simple facts that crack open that sliver of empathy into a heartbreaking chasm. These points are not overplayed to saccharine effect but merely presented, allowed to breathe for the merest moment, and then left behind.

IMO they could have (and should have) made Finn a more torn and complicated person all along. Boyega can carry that kind of thing and be trusted, as an actor, to still draw the audience into sympathy for his character. Since they must have hired him based in large part on the strength of the reputation he built with Attack the Block, I don't know why they didn't want to take full advantage of what he can bring to the table.
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by Dar-ren19 on Tue 20 Mar 2018, 11:37 pm

@Saracene wrote:
@Dar-ren19 wrote:@Saracene I've never seen any of John Boyega's other work. What kind of an actor is he? Is he able to carry a dramatic role? If so, I don't see why JJ would sideline his "story" like that, and just make him pretty much sidekick/comic relief (as he was in TFA with some minor forays into dramatics) and pretty much Rose's sidekick in TLJ. A backstory like his -- with such buttressing capability to the main story (Rey/Kylo/FO/Hux) -- should've been on a path to fruition by now, even if via hints.
@Dar-ren19

I haven't seen John's other work either, but he got good response for his role in Detroit last year (and that couldn't have been a bag of laughs). I can't see any reason why he couldn't have carried a more dramatic role. It's more that TFA mostly cared about making Finn likeable and funny above everything else, and that cost the character in the long run. It's like, we're two movies in and Finn has shown zero concern for his fellow brainwashed stormtroopers after the opening scene in TFA where he's supposedly shocked by the death of one of them.

@Saracene

Exactly the bolded, especially the last line, which is when and how we first encounter Finn. I'll give Detroit and his earlier movie a watch, but even watching him in TFA, I can tell that he's an actor who can carry more demanding roles. I'm hoping JJ is giving some thought to Finn and his arc separate from Rose. Sure, Rose is a great character with an interesting backstory that could be explored in some ways, but NOT in IX. Whereas if they don't explore OR exploit Finn's story in IX, they'll be doing a disservice to Kylo's arc where the FO is concerned, especially if Hux becomes the main villain.
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by Teo oswald on Wed 21 Mar 2018, 5:39 am

Finn's arc coincided with that of Phasma in a certain way
now that she's dead (? ) they will have to do something, I would not mind the idea that Finn made stormtrooper change their minds, maybe convert some of them. Is it really possible that Finn is the only one with a brain?
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by Starliteprism on Wed 21 Mar 2018, 11:34 am

@twilekempire wrote:
@rawpowah wrote:
@Saracene wrote:The problem with Finn's arc in TLJ has nothing to do with another characters taking up screen time; the problem is that it's a dull watered-down arc with no real tension, challenge, temptation etc. Once Finn is onboard with the codebreaker plan, there are no bumps in his character journey, he just has to sit back and listen to Rose.
@Saracene

Honestly, I felt like Finn was given that arc precisely to make room for Poe in the Resistance. If Poe had died in TFA, then Finn would have probably been the one getting lessons for Leia and rising through the Resistance ranks.
@rawpowah

I would love that. But partly that's because I just subjectively find Poe's personality annoying and have since TFA.

Putting that aside, just watching some of the deleted scenes made me wish for a Finn storyline that hinted at a Stormtrooper rebellion idea for IX - there's the scene in the elevator where he has a humorous moment with a former comrade. I'd up the pathos in that moment and then do a version of Finn standing up to Phasma and trying to get the other Stormtroopers to turn on her. And then follow that with him trying to turn Stormtroopers against the FO in IX as Hux and Kylo fight amongst each other at the top.

IMO I'd love it if TLJ set up Finn stealing underlings from the FO at the bottom of the hierarchy while Rey + Kylo's connection from TLJ means she's undercutting/stealing him away from the top of the hierarchy. The FO could believably collapse with those two forces at work. Hux would be so focused on getting rid of Kylo and replacing him that he doesn't notice the Stormtroopers are being inspired to revolt while his attention is elsewhere... Sounds like a good way to win without a lot of Resistance members; steal some of their own people for your side!

It would be a nice way for Finn to follow Rose's advice to not destroy what you hate but rather "save what you love" by saving other people kidnapped and brainwashed by the FO while Rey saves the person she loves. There could be some paralleling of the Stormtrooper "lost boys" (as Rose calls them in the TLJ novelization) and Kylo too that would reinforce a redemption arc.


I want the Reylo to dovetail thematically in some way, you know? So there's multiple kinds of love, multiple levels of cutting the FO apart with love... and we could have a reason why Finn ultimately comes around on Kylo, if he's advocating for rebel Stormtroopers who've also committed crimes under FO direction?

As it is, I have no idea how they're going to make Finn's arc in IX work based on what we got in TLJ and it makes me kind of sad.

I'm not stuck on any particular outcome! But I want Reylo and I want Finn to have a stronger story and for everything to come together well in IX. And watching the deleted scenes this was just one option that occurred to me.

I thought about it more after reading the article on TMS and feeling like - well, if anyone's material should be cut for Finn, it should be Poe. Why cut Reylo, the most widely appreciated part of the darn movie, instead of making something where Finn's story is stronger and works better with the themes they're using somehow? Both him and Rey on the big ship at the same time, trying to steal away people they care about, and failing but set up to succeed in IX.
@twilekempire

I like your opinion, in bold, but from my standpoint, it wouldn't be stealing as they would be willing, but then again, the first order would see it as stealing. :-p
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by Kylo Rey on Wed 21 Mar 2018, 11:48 am

@Saracene wrote:To be fair, I can see how Finn's character kinda stumped Rian, because the dramatic potential of the character got pretty much wasted back in TFA. That movie was so anxious for the audience to looooove Finn, it played him like a charming funny likeable everyman instead of a damaged, stunted person he should have been with his background.

I like Rose, but I don't know, maybe I'd have preferred a simple fun Finn/Poe buddy adventure that at least could have drawn on their chemistry and John's charm.
@Saracene

Spot on. Whilst Rian probably could have done better with his arc and story in TLJ, his character problems are actually rooted in TFA and are more JJ's fault. The concept on paper sounded brilliant and even in the marketing I remember being excited about the idea of a stormtrooper who took his mask off and wasn't faceless anymore, it was such a great notion. I wasn't one of those people who thought he was going to be a Jedi just because he held a lightsaber in the trailer either. Soooooo much wasted potential as JJ proceeded to turn him into comic relief instead of exploring his conflict, which is even more jarring when you see his first moments in the movie. Then when you see Kylo, who in TFA alone gets a good amount of exploration of inner turmoil/confilct (before Rian fleshed him out even further), it's even more frustrating. The problem with Finn is that even if this aspect is developed/fleshed out afterwards (and it hasn't been 2 movies in), it will feel tacked on anyway. It's just bad writing and a real shame.

@nickandnora Completely agreed. Poe is very annoying in TLJ but I wasn't exactly enamoured with him in TFA either. Unlike Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac feels incredibly wasted in these movies. He's actually a good example of a character that shouldn't be fleshed out and given flaws and should just remain a goodie two shoes. His massive increase in screentime felt jarring in TLJ. Although it could pay off in IX if he butts heads with Rey, so who knows.
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by ZioRen on Wed 21 Mar 2018, 12:19 pm

Agreed with a lot of what's being said here. I've said before that the moment they made Finn's background effectively not matter at all to his characterization in TFA, they permanently stunted the character. If they were going to turn it around, it would have had to start in TLJ and it just sort of didn't.

I'm still thinking Finn's going to lead a Stormtrooper rebellion (why give him that backstory and continue emphasizing that the Stormtroopers are now brainwashed stolen children otherwise?) but it's for sure going to feel tacked on to some degree now. I really wish they'd pushed that angle harder while Finn and Rose were infiltrating the First Order. They had the opportunity (AKA the characters could have spent more time there instead of all the time spent in Canto Bight and it would have done something for Rose's characterization too by humanizing parts of the First Order for her) but they didn't use it, and Rian even ultimately cut out the one scene that even slightly hinted at that plotline.
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by nickandnora on Wed 21 Mar 2018, 12:33 pm

@ZioRen @Kylo Rey

The only thing I can think is that maybe (because Rey, Kylo, and Finn are essentially the original "trio") they were trying to contrast the lovely and hopeful attitudes of Rey and Finn with that of Kylo's, in that they are lost and damaged children too but somehow chose not to be as bitter and hateful as he is? Maybe trying to emphasize that you have a choice in how you behave, and that it's not just past trauma that informs the rest of your life.

But at the same time, this is done (way) more successfully with Rey because the trauma of her past is actually referenced, while with Finn it's not really mentioned at all. In addition, while these are movies for 12 year olds which will inevitably oversimplfy things, the empathetic adults watching (ie. us here on this forum) know all too well that Kylo's story is about a million times more realistic a metaphor for a lost and/or abused kid than Finn's, and it makes Finn seem like a cartoon character as a result. Which is OK for 12 year olds, but a really glaring oversimplification for adults.

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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by Saracene on Wed 21 Mar 2018, 4:21 pm

@ZioRen I would love to see Finn get involved in stormtrooper revolt, the difficulty I can see with this storyline though is that it isolates Finn from all the other major characters who don't share his background. Like, Rey is isolated from the rest of the Resistance in TLJ who can't share her story, but she interacts with Luke and Kylo, both major characters. To develop Finn's story with the stormtroopers, he needs to interact with the stormtroopers; that means introducing more identifiable characters from scratch.
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by Rei of Sunshine on Wed 21 Mar 2018, 4:34 pm

A Stormtrooper revolt could still be executed perfectly for Finn. I mean we already got hints of the idea, and Phasma is gone now too. I hope.

I mean, not only is Finn admirable for being able to escape FO conditioning, he also ended Phasma, whom I guess is a feared figure in the FO amongst the Troopers.

As much as his story sorta fell short at the end of TFA, and didn't grab the spotlight in TLJ, I think Finn will make an awesome comeback for Wp 9.

Poe's character already seems like he's reached the end of his arc after having allegedly learned his lesson. And if Leia dies, he becomes general which is his character achievement. He'll surely ve delegated to the backseat for the more interesting and plot driven Force plot.

I badly want Finn to lead a rebellion, because honestly, I always feel bad for red shirt deaths in SW. I feel like the idea of Trooper casualties is taken for granted, especially the fact that they are just humans doing their jobs. They probably never though of the Empire and FO as evil. They just wanted to work and serve!

Finn being able to open their eyes and lead them to a better purpose will amp up the humanity of SW. John is already playing a leadership role in Pacific Rim, he already has the flair for it.
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by snufkin on Sun 01 Apr 2018, 8:59 pm

From the Evening Standard

Star Wars The Last Jedi review: It will leave you greedy for more

The grandest of the questions posed by director Rian Johnson’s visually sumptuous extravaganza is the identity of the next Not Last Jedi. Who will succeed Luke as champion of the Light Side of the Force?


READ MORE
Star Wars: The Last Jedi totally divides opinion online
If Luke (Mark Hamill) has his way, it will be nobody. At the end of The Force Awakens, orphaned resistance fighter Rey (Daisy Ridley) found him, bushily bearded and riven by melancholy, on a picturesque island at the furthest outreach of the galaxy where he lives in monkish seclusion and milks the teats of giant cliffside critters.

He has fled there, it emerges, in the futile hope of escaping his past. For family reasons — and what a bleeding family he has — the bouncily boyish Luke of George Lucas’s majestic first trilogy (of the second, prequel one, we do not speak) has become a grumpy, taciturn geezer.

Removed from the battle and sulking like Achilles in his tent, he craves an end to the Jedi religion. When Rey reunites him with his lightsaber, he greets it like a snotty Kleenex.

The three central characters and their conflictions about the roles destiny seems set on imposing stand proxy for the obvious problem facing Johnson, who also wrote the impressively sharp screenplay. How do you refashion the old into the new when the past lives so vividly in the memory of all Star Wars fans?

His solution is to accept the impossibility of that, and to divert us from the repetitive narrative — colossal fascist machine versus tiny rebel band — with a range of captivating distractions.

The part holy, part unholy trinity of Luke, Rey and Kylo Ren and their interractions are more than the building blocks for what little new mythology Johnson annexes to the Star Wars monolith. Between them, they are the movie’s emotional heart and soul.  

Hamill, so underrated by his typecasting, gives an intense, soulful performance, and Ridley is even more natural and commanding than in The Force Awakens. Her telepathic byplay with Driver, who radiates ashen-faced torment as Ren, crackles with sexual tension. Given the choice, it’s a coin flip whether she will kill him, coax him back to the Light Side, or avidly explore the contents of his undercloak.
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by Cowgirlsamurai on Sun 01 Apr 2018, 9:47 pm

@snufkin

Thanks for this! I saw that bolded part somewhere online earlier today and was wondering where the rest of the article was Laughing That’s hilarious!

Edit: I love that bit about Rey not being sure she wants to be the new Luke while Kylo’s not sure he wants to be the new Vader.
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by snufkin on Sun 01 Apr 2018, 10:42 pm

@Cowgirlsamurai Yeah I like the part about how they're not sure if they want to go into those pre-slotted positions, means a writer who gets at what the ST is playing at versus the fans/writers who just complain about "Mary Sue...Weaka** P**sy Villain...Not my Luke SKywalker...blah blah blah."
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by Lily Snape on Mon 02 Apr 2018, 12:01 am

@Teo oswald wrote:Finn's arc coincided with that of Phasma in a certain way
now that she's dead (? ) they will have to do something, I would not mind the idea that Finn made stormtrooper change their minds, maybe convert some of them. Is it really possible that Finn is the only one with a brain?
@Teo oswald

I’m wondering whether Phasma is going to be like Janice in the TV show Friends—you keep thinking you’ve seen the end of Janice, but then when you least expect it, there she is. (Oh. My. Gawd. Chandler Bing.). Smile
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by Lily Snape on Mon 02 Apr 2018, 12:08 am

@Saracene wrote:@ZioRen I would love to see Finn get involved in stormtrooper revolt, the difficulty I can see with this storyline though is that it isolates Finn from all the other major characters who don't share his background. Like, Rey is isolated from the rest of the Resistance in TLJ who can't share her story, but she interacts with Luke and Kylo, both major characters. To develop Finn's story with the stormtroopers, he needs to interact with the stormtroopers; that means introducing more identifiable characters from scratch.
@Saracene

Maybe they could arrange for Finn to infiltrate the Stormtroopers while Rey is rescuing Kylo from a coup (or from Hux...or from himself, who knows). Smile I mean, Kylo would have to have redeemed himself and would have to merit her time and attention, but assuming we get THAT little detail out of the way, she and Finn could each have their own reason to sneak into the FO. That way they could go on an adventure together while each having their own goal that plays to their own strengths.
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by Kylo Rey on Tue 03 Apr 2018, 10:58 am

On the other side of 'The Last Jedi,' director Rian Johnson found the 'Star Wars' journey he was looking for

Four years ago, he walked into a meeting with Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy, then looking to hire new blood to helm the eighth "Star Wars" film, and embarked on a career-changing journey into a galaxy far, far away. Now — many, many porgs later — Rian Johnson can finally exhale.

"What could possibly be left to talk about at this point?" quipped the "Last Jedi" writer-director, a playful smile on his face as he and producer Ram Bergman sat for a chat at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas, during the very last leg of their "Last Jedi" press rounds.

It's a bittersweet feeling, admitted Johnson. "The past month I do find myself waking up with a strange sense of emptiness," he smiled. "I think it's mostly just having had a purpose for the past four years, having this singular goal, and now it's immediate — like, the bus stops, but you don't. It's actually over. It's very strange."

Soon enough, Johnson's installment broke records on its way to becoming the ninth-highest grossing film of all time. And there have been smaller, poignant moments along the way that left their mark.
"Hearing that kids were into it, just from friends, especially small kids… I was holding my breath. Are kids just not going to be into this?" Johnson said. "And seeing that kids seem to really react to the movie made me really happy."

"Seeing my 4-year-old and my 7-year-old reenacting the throne room scene, killing Snoke over and over and over for weeks, and Luke throwing the saber — it was worth it just for that," added Bergman, who has collaborated with Johnson since the director's indie noir debut, "Brick."

If "The Director and the Jedi" is like a high school yearbook chronicling the four years Johnson and company spent making "The Last Jedi," its heart belongs to its homecoming princess. Among its most emotional moments are on-set glimpses and interviews with the late Carrie Fisher, who is seen performing her memorable scenes with Hamill as Luke and with Laura Dern as Admiral Holdo.

Watching those moments again in the documentary brought both Johnson and Bergman to tears. "The first time I saw the cut, I said, 'Rian, you need to see this — you're going to cry,'" said Bergman.

Johnson got misty-eyed again watching the film with a crowd at SXSW. "In the screening, I lost it. Just seeing the footage that raw, and seeing her… there's a lot there. I'm happy that fans will have it."

Johnson said the initial idea of being followed around by cameras as his every creative decision and process was documented was, at first, a little daunting. But he remembered two making-of documentaries in particular that had huge influences on him as a child.
"One was for 'Return of the Jedi' about Jabba's palace and all the creature work, and the other one was about 'Raiders of the Lost Ark,' focusing largely on the truck chase. I remember the impact that had on me. So I thought, 'God, if we're going to get one shot at making a "Star Wars" movie, let's take this step and just lift the curtain.'"

Even more behind the scenes footage has yet to be seen, Bergman says, and the filmmakers hope to eventually release additional material — possibly in miniseries form.
"The truth is there are so many fascinating stories," Johnson said. "Like Kelly [Marie Tran]'s story: The doc crew went back to Los Angeles with her when she was packing up her apartment to come to London and basically had to lie to all of her friends and say she was going to Canada to work. But there are a thousand stories — Peter Mayhew training Joonas [Suotamo] and doing like Wookie school, and the unexpected emotion of that. They got so much good stuff. Hopefully we'll be able to put that together."

Meanwhile, as their "Last Jedi" tour ends, the duo find themselves back at the beginning: brainstorming ideas for the new "Star Wars" trilogy Johnson is tasked with writing and directing for Lucasfilm.

"It's fun because it's kind of thinking, 'Okay, outside of the Skywalker story and outside of the recognizable iconography, what is this? What is "Star Wars?"' Or what do we need to retain from that, to pull forward for it to still be 'Star Wars' — and what can we leave behind?" Johnson explained.
"They're all the big questions that need to be thought of. And even the ones that we don't know the answers to are things we need to figure out if 'Star Wars' is going to be vital and alive moving forward and not just be a waxworks. We're going to have to figure out how to tell vital new stories."

"When people ask me, 'Don't you think people are going to get sick of 'Star Wars' movies?' to me that question indicates that they're thinking of 'Star Wars' movies as a museum exhibit that is wheeled out once a year so you can say, 'Oh, I loved that thing. Oh, I remember that thing!' And yes, if 'Star Wars' is that, people are going to get sick of it really quickly.
"But if 'Star Wars' are great new movies that are exciting and fresh, and that challenge you and surprise you and make you feel things and engage you the way that those original movies did — but always taking you to new places, both in the galaxy and emotionally — that's never going to get old. That's what it's all about."
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by snufkin on Thu 12 Apr 2018, 2:32 pm

Full link here from the essayists Patreon and you'll have to scroll first through the novel they're writing (it's partially to get the word out b/c they're after an agent), but worth reading about the meta meaning behind TLJ to do with nostalgia and learning from mistakes

The Last Jedi is the best Star Wars movie since the Disney purchase. That is not meant as a swipe against Rogue One, a miraculous achievement by any measure, and a film I dearly love. But Rogue One, with The Force Awaken before it, both represent conservative responses to the challenges of transplanting the franchise onto new soil. Episode VII is a retread in all but name, filled to the bursting with memorable characters stuck in a frankly pedestrian film. Rogue One is better, a very well-made film that avoids being a retread by going a bit darker in tone and a bit deeper for fan service.
    But Rogue One has often struck me as a bribe – a bribe I willingly accepted, mind you. The film was a bit of a magic trick in terms of all the things it shouldn’t really be able to do in a tentpole: not only is it stand-alone but all the main characters die, and it literally ends just a few minutes before Episode IV begins, blasting into hyperspace directly from low orbit over Scarif with Darth Vader in hot pursuit. It colors completely within the lines of Star Wars canon while nevertheless giving fans a glimpse of just how deep that universe actually goes – you know, in case you were worried it was going to be nothing but the new new new all the time.

The Last Jedi begins with a desire to smash any understanding of the franchise as a beast purely driven by nostalgia. It’s certainly not beholden to the thematic preoccupations of the first Trilogy. It takes the theme and the tone of the Prequels seriously in terms of purposefully framing Kylo Ren’s rise as a direct contrast to Anakin’s downfall in Revenge of the Sith. The film picks up literally where The Force Awakens left off, a daring choice historically even if it makes perfect sense in the context of the film. The weird thing here is that even if this is the first to actually pick up directly where the previous film stopped, Star Wars movies always start en media res. (Not counting the Rogue One, and possibly Solo as well.)

It’s a hard thing to see in the first twenty minutes of a Star Wars movie. After all, aren’t we supposed to be rooting for Poe? It’s hard to root for a guy who made the wrong call and got a lot of people killed. Where’s Peter Cushing sneering in Technicolor? He’s an easy guy to hate.
    At this point the movie intentionally falters a bit. I don’t mean that the filmmakers falter, quite the opposite – I mean that the movie itself purposefully goes on the wrong foot for a while. The main characters spend the bulk of the movie improvising. Everything appears to be a red herring. They keep facing strange situations that maybe don’t have any ready corollary in the Star Wars lexicon:

 Kylo Ren realizes in a hot flash that the difference between Darth Vader and Palpatine is that one of them held a leash and the other didn’t. Maybe there could have been more done with Snoke – probably! I think that’s the point. Snoke’s another character with grand plans who realizes in a heartbeat that all has come to naught. And Kylo Ren is a violent punk but he knows his history and understands full well the consequences of choosing the sword over the shield. He’s learning from the past too.
    Darth Vader really was a f****ing pathetic waste of potential.
    Odd how even though the movie didn’t go where you thought it was going to go it still told you exactly where it was going . . . Luke Skywalker vs the First Order.
    And that’s why this movie is such a beautiful piece of work, in a way that I just couldn’t understand the first time through. I was impressed with the action and some of the themes, but I’m slow. I admit it takes a couple time for the plot to gel for me. What I didn’t realize until I was watching the second time through was just how completely symmetrical the film was. Perfectly structured.
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by californiagirl on Thu 12 Apr 2018, 10:49 pm

@snufkin wrote:Full link here from the essayists Patreon and you'll have to scroll first through the novel they're writing (it's partially to get the word out b/c they're after an agent), but worth reading about the meta meaning behind TLJ to do with nostalgia and learning from mistakes

The Last Jedi is the best Star Wars movie since the Disney purchase. That is not meant as a swipe against Rogue One, a miraculous achievement by any measure, and a film I dearly love. But Rogue One, with The Force Awaken before it, both represent conservative responses to the challenges of transplanting the franchise onto new soil. Episode VII is a retread in all but name, filled to the bursting with memorable characters stuck in a frankly pedestrian film. Rogue One is better, a very well-made film that avoids being a retread by going a bit darker in tone and a bit deeper for fan service.
    But Rogue One has often struck me as a bribe – a bribe I willingly accepted, mind you. The film was a bit of a magic trick in terms of all the things it shouldn’t really be able to do in a tentpole: not only is it stand-alone but all the main characters die, and it literally ends just a few minutes before Episode IV begins, blasting into hyperspace directly from low orbit over Scarif with Darth Vader in hot pursuit. It colors completely within the lines of Star Wars canon while nevertheless giving fans a glimpse of just how deep that universe actually goes – you know, in case you were worried it was going to be nothing but the new new new all the time.

The Last Jedi begins with a desire to smash any understanding of the franchise as a beast purely driven by nostalgia. It’s certainly not beholden to the thematic preoccupations of the first Trilogy. It takes the theme and the tone of the Prequels seriously in terms of purposefully framing Kylo Ren’s rise as a direct contrast to Anakin’s downfall in Revenge of the Sith. The film picks up literally where The Force Awakens left off, a daring choice historically even if it makes perfect sense in the context of the film. The weird thing here is that even if this is the first to actually pick up directly where the previous film stopped, Star Wars movies always start en media res. (Not counting the Rogue One, and possibly Solo as well.)

It’s a hard thing to see in the first twenty minutes of a Star Wars movie. After all, aren’t we supposed to be rooting for Poe? It’s hard to root for a guy who made the wrong call and got a lot of people killed. Where’s Peter Cushing sneering in Technicolor? He’s an easy guy to hate.
    At this point the movie intentionally falters a bit. I don’t mean that the filmmakers falter, quite the opposite – I mean that the movie itself purposefully goes on the wrong foot for a while. The main characters spend the bulk of the movie improvising. Everything appears to be a red herring. They keep facing strange situations that maybe don’t have any ready corollary in the Star Wars lexicon:

 Kylo Ren realizes in a hot flash that the difference between Darth Vader and Palpatine is that one of them held a leash and the other didn’t. Maybe there could have been more done with Snoke – probably! I think that’s the point. Snoke’s another character with grand plans who realizes in a heartbeat that all has come to naught. And Kylo Ren is a violent punk but he knows his history and understands full well the consequences of choosing the sword over the shield. He’s learning from the past too.
    Darth Vader really was a f****ing pathetic waste of potential.
    Odd how even though the movie didn’t go where you thought it was going to go it still told you exactly where it was going . . . Luke Skywalker vs the First Order.
    And that’s why this movie is such a beautiful piece of work, in a way that I just couldn’t understand the first time through. I was impressed with the action and some of the themes, but I’m slow. I admit it takes a couple time for the plot to gel for me. What I didn’t realize until I was watching the second time through was just how completely symmetrical the film was. Perfectly structured.
@snufkin

Interesting thoughts, and I agree that Rian knew what he was doing, even if TLJ felt a little everywhere at times.

I might disagree with her assessment of TFA and RO. TFA was safe and rehash-y and overly-nostalgic at points, but I wouldn't call it pedestrian. JJ has his weaknesses, but I think he gets too much flack, like he's a mediocre Spielberg knockoff that can't write or even do anything original.

RO made a few bold choices (like killing the entire main cast), but I don't think the characters were as well-developed as they could have been. Nor do I think it's better-paced or constructed (and the dialogue was not great). I liked it enough, but I could feel the reshoots pulling RO back from what it could have been, or maybe was before TPTB decided it needed to change its course.
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by Lily Snape on Fri 13 Apr 2018, 12:34 am

@californiagirl

I’m with you about both TFA and Rogue One. Rogue One had such a big cast of characters that it was hard to get invested in most of them, for me anyway. It was more scattered. TFA never failed to surprise me, and it kind of took swerves that I wasn’t expecting:
—So this is a buddy show about the pilot and the defecting stormtrooper.
—And on the Dark side, we have our interesting, conflicted bad guy who is related to the OT characters somehow. So the pilot and the stormtrooper will probably team up against him.
—No, wait— buddy show...romance? ...nope, buddy show about the stormtrooper and the scavenger. I see who our protagonist is—Finn. And Rey is his sidekick. Or they’ll be a trio if Poe turns out to have survived.
—Hold it just one red hot second. Kylo Ren bridal carried her across a battlefield, she just turned out to be Force-sensitive, and there’s a whole lot of unresolved sexual tension there. I was not expecting this, but it looks like a hero-villain, Darkside/Lightside romance. Ooooooh.... Smile
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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by snufkin on Fri 13 Apr 2018, 1:00 am

@californiagirl @Lily Snape - I think it's the line that Rogue One 'colors within the lines' of that fictional universe which I found myself nodding in agreement with. Because alot of the praise that came out about how it was better or "more Star Wars" than TFA supposedly being a re-hash. Because Rogue One was all about bolstering the story around the first movie to the point of being a glorified Easter Egg in itself. I will say that they did one thing better, which is that I would've much rather seen a character like Cassian as the loyal but conflicted Rebellion foot soldier versus Poe. Far more interesting of a character IMO.

And I'm with @Lily Snape's executive summary of what brought me back into caring about Star Wars for the first time as an adult. How he took what appeared to be one story on the surface and then once Rey and Kylo finally meet, it veers off into this gloriously weird, sexy, and moving story instead of catering to the hardcore fans. Like that's what caught my attention and draw me back in  as an adult. To paraphrase another review I just read of a film I just re-watched, with TFA the tension is between "a film written out of a personal need to tell a particular story and one created as a 'property,' full of sure-fire elements that have worked in the past...The real missing element is heart." A lot of fans want a property full of those sure-fire elements, hence Rogue One. And the re-hash parts of TFA. But what makes TFA and TLJ are the elements that are the heart, which are seeing the OT older and frail/gone through life the way people do. Seeing them as real people, seeing Han and Leia as a couple and parents with the less than Happy Ever After (which pissed off a lot of fans, but it's realistic), Luke as somebody who's depressed and resigned, the whole sad backstory for what really happened with Rey...and with Ben, and their whole relationship of two lonely kids who find a kindred spirit and experience the pangs of romantic/sexual yearnings for the first time with each other and the pain of not being able to work out their difference, in short those parts are the heart.

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Re: The Last Jedi: Professional Reviews, Articles

Post by Kylo Rey on Fri 13 Apr 2018, 6:38 am

@californiagirl wrote:
@snufkin wrote:Full link here from the essayists Patreon and you'll have to scroll first through the novel they're writing (it's partially to get the word out b/c they're after an agent), but worth reading about the meta meaning behind TLJ to do with nostalgia and learning from mistakes

The Last Jedi is the best Star Wars movie since the Disney purchase. That is not meant as a swipe against Rogue One, a miraculous achievement by any measure, and a film I dearly love. But Rogue One, with The Force Awaken before it, both represent conservative responses to the challenges of transplanting the franchise onto new soil. Episode VII is a retread in all but name, filled to the bursting with memorable characters stuck in a frankly pedestrian film. Rogue One is better, a very well-made film that avoids being a retread by going a bit darker in tone and a bit deeper for fan service.
    But Rogue One has often struck me as a bribe – a bribe I willingly accepted, mind you. The film was a bit of a magic trick in terms of all the things it shouldn’t really be able to do in a tentpole: not only is it stand-alone but all the main characters die, and it literally ends just a few minutes before Episode IV begins, blasting into hyperspace directly from low orbit over Scarif with Darth Vader in hot pursuit. It colors completely within the lines of Star Wars canon while nevertheless giving fans a glimpse of just how deep that universe actually goes – you know, in case you were worried it was going to be nothing but the new new new all the time.

The Last Jedi begins with a desire to smash any understanding of the franchise as a beast purely driven by nostalgia. It’s certainly not beholden to the thematic preoccupations of the first Trilogy. It takes the theme and the tone of the Prequels seriously in terms of purposefully framing Kylo Ren’s rise as a direct contrast to Anakin’s downfall in Revenge of the Sith. The film picks up literally where The Force Awakens left off, a daring choice historically even if it makes perfect sense in the context of the film. The weird thing here is that even if this is the first to actually pick up directly where the previous film stopped, Star Wars movies always start en media res. (Not counting the Rogue One, and possibly Solo as well.)

It’s a hard thing to see in the first twenty minutes of a Star Wars movie. After all, aren’t we supposed to be rooting for Poe? It’s hard to root for a guy who made the wrong call and got a lot of people killed. Where’s Peter Cushing sneering in Technicolor? He’s an easy guy to hate.
    At this point the movie intentionally falters a bit. I don’t mean that the filmmakers falter, quite the opposite – I mean that the movie itself purposefully goes on the wrong foot for a while. The main characters spend the bulk of the movie improvising. Everything appears to be a red herring. They keep facing strange situations that maybe don’t have any ready corollary in the Star Wars lexicon:

 Kylo Ren realizes in a hot flash that the difference between Darth Vader and Palpatine is that one of them held a leash and the other didn’t. Maybe there could have been more done with Snoke – probably! I think that’s the point. Snoke’s another character with grand plans who realizes in a heartbeat that all has come to naught. And Kylo Ren is a violent punk but he knows his history and understands full well the consequences of choosing the sword over the shield. He’s learning from the past too.
    Darth Vader really was a f****ing pathetic waste of potential.
    Odd how even though the movie didn’t go where you thought it was going to go it still told you exactly where it was going . . . Luke Skywalker vs the First Order.
    And that’s why this movie is such a beautiful piece of work, in a way that I just couldn’t understand the first time through. I was impressed with the action and some of the themes, but I’m slow. I admit it takes a couple time for the plot to gel for me. What I didn’t realize until I was watching the second time through was just how completely symmetrical the film was. Perfectly structured.
@snufkin

Interesting thoughts, and I agree that Rian knew what he was doing, even if TLJ felt a little everywhere at times.

I might disagree with her assessment of TFA and RO. TFA was safe and rehash-y and overly-nostalgic at points, but I wouldn't call it pedestrian. JJ has his weaknesses, but I think he gets too much flack, like he's a mediocre Spielberg knockoff that can't write or even do anything original.

RO made a few bold choices (like killing the entire main cast), but I don't think the characters were as well-developed as they could have been. Nor do I think it's better-paced or constructed (and the dialogue was not great). I liked it enough, but I could feel the reshoots pulling RO back from what it could have been, or maybe was before TPTB decided it needed to change its course.
@californiagirl

People complain about TLJ's pacing but Rogue One was way worse. In the first ten minutes or so alone we hop to a gazillion planets leaving you disoriented and confused. Great visuals are useless as well if you don't care about the characters, and Gareth Edwards can't develop characters at all, Godzilla being another case in point. Cassian >>>> Poe though, and the ST would be better for it with a character like him.
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