Registered: Jun 2016
Location: The Throne of the Sheevites
Azronger's spoiler-filled review of Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
“[Star Wars Episode VIII] is the most disappointing thing since [Star Wars Episode VII],” said a wise man once upon a time. The same wise man also said that before you saw the movie, you had hope that maybe the second movie in the trilogy could be good. Well, it wouldn’t have been too much of a stretch to think that maybe this film could turn things round; Jar Jar Abrams was gone, Luke was back and promoted to be integral to this story, and most importantly it was marketed as something new and never seen before in the history of the Star Wars franchise. But then, as the aforementioned wise man put it, “boy, you didn’t realize just how ****ing wrong you were. You couldn’t have possibly imagined that even with all the cool Star Wars-y stuff, that [The Last Jedi] could somehow be even worse than [The Force Awakens].” If you are wondering why I am so fervently quoting Mr. Plinkett, it is because how I’m feeling right now is exactly how Plinkett described everyone felt back then, and I’m sure I’ll feel when I go see the third one: a battered housewife who keeps returning to her abusive husband. Or more appropriately, a rape victim. Because if there’s one thing I could quote that would describe how I feel about this movie even better than Plinkett, it would be the popular song George Lucas raped our childhood, except with the lyrics remixed to spell out “Rian Johnson raped my childhood.” So what makes this movie so bad that I felt violated after seeing it? Well, I’ll list all my main issues with the film, and try to the best of my ability to explain why the sum of its parts made the film so offensive to me. Keep in mind I am not here to rate the actors’ performances, or talk about the cinematography; this will be purely a critique about the writing, the plot, and the story of the film. So let’s get started.
The movie starts with an opening crawl, like all the main episodes in the Star Wars franchise do – Supreme Leader Snoke has unleashed his armies on the galaxy, and driven the Resistance near the point of extinction, with only one last stronghold remaining, from which they are at the moment evacuating. Immediately I noticed a bad sign: the parallels to The Empire Strikes Back are obvious. The primary reason why The Force Awakens sucked so bad was because every single plot point was ripped straight out of A New Hope, so my hopes sunk faster than the RMS Titanic. But then they attempt to subvert the expectations everyone had upon reading that opening crawl by having the battle surrounding the evacuation take place in space instead of on land. And for a short while I was fooled; I thought that maybe this isn’t going to be a rip off after all. And in essence it wasn’t a total carbon copy, but the amount of material it pulls straight out of the previous films is far, far too vast. After seeing the first half, I just can’t help but feel that it was The Empire Strikes Back copy-pasted, but that they attempted to disguise the plagiarism by having a small difference here and there to make it feel less blatant than The Force Awakens. Well it didn’t work. I admit I wasn’t as disgusted by this aspect in the movie itself as I was in The Force Awakens, but rather with the promotion of the movie, which as I already stated was filled to the brim with hype about originality. Either the marketers are the least cognitively aware people on the planet, or it was a deliberate attempt to mislead the dumb and ignorant masses by replacing the surface elements of The Empire Strikes Back, but still keeping the plot points exactly the same: the rebels evacuate their base, a Jedi Master is reluctant about training a prodigious Force user, a tyrannical dictatorship chases the rebels through space, the Jedi Master finally agrees to train the apprentice and does so, a few rebel operatives go to an elegant city to meet a criminal-swashbuckler-type dude, the apprentice disobeys the Master and goes off to face a dark side user, the criminal-swashbuckler-type dude betrays the rebel operatives. Now I am glad the similarities in the plot end there, but all that I just mentioned takes place over the course of half the movie, and might have even been a little over the half time. And alongside the plot, the ripping off is apparent in other places too, most prominently when they ditch the term “the Resistance” entirely and start calling the good guys “rebels,” which might be the most unsubtle thing I have ever seen, yet for some reason I haven’t seen anyone thus far pick up on it. So maybe they did succeed in making this movie something new after all, if no one says it was unoriginal, right? No. The movie was mostly a rip-off, and if some people didn’t notice it or say otherwise, then that just makes those people retarded, not change the nature of the movie.
Admittedly there were a few things which were new, though. Too bad every single bold decision they took ended up making a worse product than anything anyone could ever have dreamed of. The thing I am of course talking about is the characterization of Luke Skywalker, which is the most and talked-and-complained-about aspect in this film. Even though the movie only came out just a few days ago, everything I am going to say has probably already been said, so I’m not going to be too verbose here; just summarize why this film fundamentally ruins the Luke Skywalker we all knew and loved in the Original Trilogy. In those films Luke was the most optimistic guy around, the physical embodiment of the “hero’s journey” archetype. Even for Darth Vader, the person he had every reason to hate more than anyone else, Luke did everything in his power to save his soul from damnation, even knowingly planning to sacrifice his own life for him. He went through hell to redeem his father, got knocked on his ass numerous times but always bounced back all the stronger for it, and after gruelling ordeals and hardships, pulled through. So when in The Last Jedi it is revealed it was Luke himself who caused the destruction of his own Jedi training facility through a chain of events that started with him considering to murder his nephew in the latter’s sleep because he saw the potential in him to fall to the dark side, it is such a big middle finger to everything the character stands for. Vader had had Luke’s adoptive family killed, personally slew his newly-found father-figure, tortured his sister and friend, possibly killed the latter, maimed him, emotionally traumatized him, among other atrocities, and Luke still said “I can’t kill my own father” to Obi-Wan. Yet for some reason Luke in The Last Jedi has a moment where he considers killing his beloved sister’s son and even ignites his lightsaber, for the simple reason that he saw there was a somewhat big possibility he could become like Vader. Then when Ben Solo does fall to the dark side, burn Luke’s temple and murder or corrupt his other students, Luke has a mental breakdown, goes into self-exile, starts suffering from depression and PTSD, and takes no action in bringing his clearly-still-conflicted nephew back to the light side. A few years later when Rey finds him, he actively denies the possibility of Kylo ever finding his way back from the dark side, and prohibits Rey from even trying. Then at the end of the film for some odd reason that is never explained, he decides to come out and help after all, cracking a few jokes here and there, in one the most bizarre one-eighties I’ve ever seen. Then he dies from exertion, or something, and is apparently at peace, even though Kylo wasn’t redeemed and was more enshrouded in darkness than ever. Luke acts objectively out of character and inconsistent throughout this film. Luke Skywalker – perhaps the singular most defining and important character in all Star Wars, arguably only surpassed by Darth Vader in that regard – in this film is objectively wrong.
On the point of the Rebel base one of the rebels seemingly breaks the 4th wall and says "oh this is salt" to differentiate it from Hoth
I also agree. The fact that the First Order is now called "The Empire" and the Resistance "the rebels" is absurd. The New Republic actually had their entire armada stationed at Hosnian Prime (dumb as shit, this isn't a space RTS where you doomstack your peacekeeping armada) How tf did the First Order conquer the galaxy in a matter of days to the point that they are already considered to be the Empire.
The North Remembers
Last edited by Lord Stark on Dec 15th, 2017 at 09:55 PM
Registered: Jun 2016
Location: The Throne of the Sheevites
My third big gripe is Rey’s parentage. There’s a chance it might be a red herring, that her parents aren’t drunk nobodies, but at this point holding on to hope is just delusional and naïve as hell. So the problem with her parents not being anyone significant is quite obvious: she becomes another Galen Marek from The Force Unleashed (who also happens to be one of my most hated characters in Star Wars) – a child of two low-level or non-Force sensitives who with no explanation has an aptitude for the Force that rivals and arguably surpassed those of the Skywalker lineage; a lineage whose patriarch was – as I interpret it, from the admittedly lackluster explanation in The Phantom Menace – conceived by the Force itself to be the most powerful Force user imaginable, prophesized to bring balance to the Force; in essence, space Jesus. But now we have Rey, a random, uninteresting non-Skywalker starring as the protagonist in a saga about the Skywalkers, who on top of all that is more powerful than any of them, having put two members of the line on their ass thus far, one of them being Luke himself.
My fourth and final major issue with the film is the lack of backstory and untimely axing of the secondary antagonists – mainly Snoke, Captain Phasma, as well as the First Order as a whole. Snoke’s entire character was a caricature of Emperor Palpatine from Return of the Jedi, as was the confrontation between him, Rey and Kylo Ren, with no background or build-up, respectively. So after reading that you might expect me to say it was a good thing they killed him off. Well, in some respects it was: we won’t have to watch a poorly written Palpatine clone any more than is necessary. On the other hand, Snoke’s death reveals something sad: they knew from the beginning that Snoke could never live up to Palpatine, so they decided to dispose of him. The obvious question then would be why make a villain that is a carbon copy of a previous one, if you know he’s inevitably going to be less memorable and overall inferior? The answer is equally obvious: they, ironically, didn’t have the creativity to come up with anything new. Same deal with Phasma: a copy of Vader with a Boba Fett aesthetic, but with a sex change and lacking any backstory, the complex family dynamic or a spark of light to make them intriguing. She gets a total of five minutes of screen time and dies. Then the entire First Order is made so unbelievably incompetent that Snoke’s personal flagship, the Supremacy, a 60-kilometer-wide Mega Star Destroyer and a handful of other Star Destroyers, can’t blow up a single cruiser and have to wait right behind it over the course of the entire movie until it runs out of fuel so that its shields go down. Then the Supremacy gets destroyed by said single cruiser running with critically low fuel supply, and most of the First Order is decimated, once again with no background or explanation as to how they got so powerful and advanced, and no unique identity to distinguish itself from the Galactic Empire of the Original Trilogy. Anyone who still says this movie was original is a clueless idiot. The only major villains they didn’t kill were Kylo Ren and General Hux, the latter being a comic relief joke character who gets made fun of by everyone in the film, and the former being the only original and – to my genuine surprise – somewhat compelling antagonist in the film. However, one good thing does not make up for the myriad of putrid crap that was the rest of the movie.
So that was all my primary issues with The Last Jedi. While I could pick apart every single scene to point out every dumb thing in the film, there were so many that it would take me dozens of pages to write a detail analysis about all of them. And they’re ultimately superfluous; the four major problems I listed are the crux of my pain, despair and agony. Everything in the Sequel Trilogy has so far been a blatant middle finger toward the Original Trilogy. It started with The Force Awakens, when Jar Jar Abrams decided to undo everything the Rebellion accomplished by creating a new, even more powerful enemy faction than the Empire and wipe out the Jedi again, resetting the stage to what it was in A New Hope. On top of that, every single plot point in the movie was copied from A New Hope, too, telling the exact same story as before. With this in mind, you might say I am unfair in criticizing The Last Jedi so harshly because it is the work of a different director who was dealt a bad hand. But that simply isn’t true. Snoke, Phasma and Luke were mostly blank slates as far as character development went, and Rian could do whatever the hell he wanted with the story. Nobody forced him to continue the insulting trend of ripping off plot points, and the unoriginal characterization of Snoke and Phasma was entirely his doing. Instead of doing something new with those characters, he regurgitated the personalities of old characters, and killed them off because they wouldn’t live up to their infinitely superior counterparts. With Luke, he decided to take him in a bold, new direction, but failed miserably. Luke’s story had already been told. He didn’t need to have a major arc, thirty years later. If there was one guy Rian shouldn’t have taken risks with, it was Luke. He should’ve come up with a clever explanation as to why he’s on that island, and had him remain true to his character in the Original Trilogy. Instead, people like Snoke and Phasma should’ve been the ones to receive an overhaul from what they were in The Force Awakens, but Rian go it all backwards. In a nutshell, The Last Jedi repeats every offence committed by The Force Awakens, and adds to it by butchering possibly the most beloved character in the franchise, and leaving the protagonist’s Mary Sue status unexplained, making her shit on the core family of the Star Wars saga.
Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi is a disgusting, insulting, repulsive and offensive film that is torturous to watch as you descend more and more into madness. It is a gauntlet of misery that will forever torment those who have seen it. I now bear the agonizing scars from the thousand wounds it inflicted in my memory. More than in anything else in recent history, it makes me feel dead inside.