Spiff's "The Last Jedi" Review (Spoilers)

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Spiff's "The Last Jedi" Review (Spoilers)

Post by SpiffCoug » Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:20 pm

My “The Last Jedi” review.
I know all of you have been eagerly awaiting my “Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi” review. The movie has now been out for a week-plus, so if you haven’t seen it yet, being spoiler-free probably wasn’t that important to you, or you would have seen it by now.

I loved “The Last Jedi.” I thought it was a fantastic Star Wars movie. I have seen it three times (with plans to see it several more in the theaters) and liked it more each time. It took the saga in new directions, some of which were unexpected and others of which didn’t work.

It wasn’t a perfect movie, but it was a highly enjoyable and entertaining one, which is what I want from a movie. So here are some of my thoughts on the film.

What I Liked
• The entire Rey & Kylo story line. This completely worked for me.
o I thought Adam Driver, did an excellent job of portraying Kylo. Gone is the whiny, emo teenager full of angst. Here is a full-fledged bad guy for whom there can and will be no redemption.
o Rey is a great protagonist. She’s powerful in the Force and full of goodness. I excited to see how she finally takes down Kylo in Episode IX.

• The humor worked – for the most part.
o A few of the jokes felt a little too colloquial to our modern day and not a galaxy far, far away. For instance, Poe and Hux playing, “Can you hear me now?”
o BB-8 again provided timely comic relief (attempting to plug the sparks, being mistaken for a slot machine, etc.)
o The porgs. They were adorable and given just the right amount of screen time. Not too much to become annoying. Their sad little faces when Chewie is trying eat one was perfect. Their shenanigans on the Falcon throughout the rest of the movie was great as well. Loved them.

• Luke. I loved where they took his character. See below for a MUCH longer explanation.

• The Snoke Throne Room scene. This was a top 5 scene in all of Star Wars for me.
o From Snoke being unexpectedly betrayed, to Kylo and Rey teaming up to take out the Praetorian Guard, to Kylo begging Rey to join him, it was a fantastic sequence.
o I don’t need lightsaber battles in every Star Wars movie. I do need emotional fights between good and evil and this scene had it in spades. It was one of the best fight sequences in Star Wars. This wasn’t a dance between Obi-wan and Anakin. This was a raw, desperate fight to the death.

• Luke and Kylo showdown.
o Luke dusting himself off after taking the full brunt of First Order.
o The emotion. The anger displayed by Kylo. The serenity from Luke. The Dark rising and the Light to meet it.
o I should have realized it wasn’t a real Luke. But got so caught up in the moment that I didn’t that he had gotten a haircut, dyed his beard and wasn’t making footsteps in the salt.
o Luke telling Kylo that every word he said was wrong. And then immediately after Luke saying that he won’t be the last Jedi, we switch to see Rey lift all the rocks and save the Resistance.

What I Didn’t Like
• Everything Finn & Rose related.
o Finn was a decent character in “The Force Awakens.” But his storyline poor in this movie.
o Rose was not an interesting character. Full stop.
o The Finn vs Phasma fight should have happened in previous movie. It really felt pigeon-holed. It was a decent enough fight, but lacked any emotional punch.
o Also, if I’m ever executing someone, there will be no delays. Kill them immediately. Don’t “make it more painful.” Don’t give a pre-execution speech. Just shoot them and be done with them.
o They should have died at the end. They failed on their mission to turn-off the light speed tracker.
o Finn could have failed in trying to destroy the Death Star field gun. Then Rose, touches her medallion like her sister did at the beginning, is inspired by Finn’s sacrifice and makes her own attempt to destroy the gun. But she succeeds and the field gun is destroyed.

• Canto Bight Casino
o Really? Police are scouring the casino for a couple for illegal parking?
o It’s a casino. A den of denizens, scum, villainy and gun runners, and there’s not one Hutt anywhere to be seen? Give me a brief shot of some Hutt lounging on his divan in the background. Show me a Bossk or Dengar cheering on the races.
o The whole sequence just fell completely flat. Other than BB-8, who is awesome every time he is on screen.

• Leia Poppins
o Yes, Star Wars requires a complete suspension of belief. But this was poor. It wasn’t good.
o A better way would have been to have to see her realize what was coming and create a protective Force-bubble around her that kept her in the bridge. It would have kept the scene more “real” and possibly hinted at what Luke had done to survive the barrage at the end.

But all in all, it wasn’t a perfect movie. It had high points and low points. But the highs out out-weighed the lows. This movie was far superior to all three prequels. So, I know you are all wondering where I rank “The Last Jedi.” Here is my updated list.

Spiff's Star Wars Ranking
1. Return of the Jedi (my favorite)
2. Empire Strikes Back (the best Star Wars movie)
3. A New Hope
3. The Last Jedi
5. The Force Awakens
6. Rogue One
7. Revenge of the Sith
8. The Phantom Menace
9. Attack of the Clones

Also, here is my take on Luke’s arc in “The Last Jedi”
Luke showed that he was a true Master of the Force, not a Jedi Master. One of the things I most hated about the prequels was the proliferation of lightsabers; specifically the ones wielded by Yoda and Palpatine.

In the OrigTrig, Yoda and Palpatine don't use lightsabers. Why don't they use them? Because they don't need to. They're so powerful that they don't need to resort to using a lightsaber. It's why Yoda says things like, "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter." And Palpatine mocks Luke by saying, "You want this, don't you." True masters don't need to resort to (to paraphrase Leia), "Grabbing their laser sword and chopping through things."

Luke is now so powerful that he didn't need to employ his lightsaber. He was able to harness the Force to such an extent that he could project himself across both time and space that he could fool even the photo receptors (eyes) of a non-living droid in C-3PO. It was a great demonstration of Force power and control beyond anything we had ever seen before. And he’s not gone.

He has more to teach Rey and I fully believe he’ll be back as a Force ghost to further instruct her. He found his peace. He found his purpose. He found his moment to merge with the Force and continue on.

Were there things I would have loved Luke to have done? Sure, but in the end, I’m ok with they did with his character. I'm ok with how they had him pass the torch to Rey, since he won’t be the last Jedi

I was glad we had an on-screen moment with Luke and Leia. It was very touching and may have even brought a tear to this Star Wars nerd’s eye. After my third viewing, I’m pretty sure she knew he wasn’t physically there.

I'm glad they didn't have him completely save the day, the Resistance still had to get away on their own. They didn’t just wait for Luke to beat Kylo. They realized he was buying them time and used it.

Luke’s conversation with Yoda was the best we’ve seen Yoda look in 30+ years. They used the old puppets and didn’t just take the lazy way and completely CGI him. He gave us wisdom about the Force and continued teaching Luke. A great appearance by a great Jedi Master.

All in all, I like that they took Luke’s story in unexpected ways and had him find his peace and purpose.
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Re: Spiff's "The Last Jedi" Review (Spoilers)

Post by Mars » Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:18 pm

It was a mixed bag, but overall I liked it a lot. I'm considering seeing it in the theater again, which I very rarely do.

It made a lot more sense once I realized that the director of this movie is different than the director from The Force Awakens. He basically took a look at all of the carefully laid plot lines and said, Screw this, and threw them over his shoulder.

-Who are Rey's parents? No one important.
-Who is Snope? Doesn't matter.
-How will Kylo be turned good again? He won't.

Some people hated the idea of a flawed Luke. I thought it was fine. I don't understand why he didn't go after Kylo though, after Kylo killed his fellow Jedi students. That's unforgivable. Luke hiding and allowing Snoke and Kylo to create the First Order and destroy the Republic did kind of invalidate most of the good he accomplished in Return of the Jedi though.

I liked the Porg. Chewie seemed to appear and disappear throughout the movie. The scene in the Evil Pit didn't seem to make any sense. Lots of mirrors, no answers. I liked the alien Nuns who took care of the Jedi temple. I have no idea where the Jedi Tomes came from or why they were important. Yoda was awesome, in look, in action, in personality, and in word. I like that he burned the tree. Besides, the tomes had already been taken by then.

I have no idea why Rey and Kylo share such a strong bond. I thought maybe they were related at first, but without that it doesn't explain how they can so easily communicate. Kylo's actions in this movie do make Han's death pointless. That's what he got for listening to his wife (who he never should have left, of course).

I loved the Snoke fight scene. I like how he was killed, and I liked the ensuing fight. I wanted to know if his guards were all Jedi though. They had sweet weapons. But if Rey knocked Kylo unconscious, why didn't she kill him? Kinda lame.

Poe had a better role in this movie, though his big conflict would have been saved by the lady simply telling him her plan. His fighter plane scenes were also hard to believe. Fin took a step back- He went from possible relationship material for Rey, to being linked to a random mechanic. He is also still a coward at times. I hated the hacker they found, he took away from the movie for me big time. His character and plot were decent, I just didn't like the actor. I liked the fight with Phanta though. Also, kinda odd that the main Nazi general became a running gag this movie.

Angel Leia flying through space was dumb. I hated it. I was shocked that she lived through the movie. Didn't she hug Vision-Luke?

Salt world scene, cool. Battle, cool. Luke, cool. Rey (how did she end up on the Millennium Falcon?), cool. But then Luke dying of a random heart attack? Kinda lame. Oh well, if Force Ghost Luke is in the next movie, why not.

Random little kid using the force- One of the best parts of the movie.


I'm not really sure what is left for the next movie. This one broke out of the assigned circular lanes and kind of burned the universe down.
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Re: Spiff's "The Last Jedi" Review (Spoilers)

Post by pikoi » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:58 am

I thought the way Kylo killed Snoke was awesome. Snoke was too powerful to be killed in a straight confrontation- Kylo seized a moment where his intentions were accurately sensed (but misinterpreted) by Snoke and used it to gain the power he desired. It took him from whiny henchman territory to full crafty 100% evil villain.

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Re: Spiff's "The Last Jedi" Review (Spoilers)

Post by BoiseBYU » Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:52 pm

I love the Finn character. About everything I try falls far short, even amounting to failure and in Last Jedi that is Finn to a T. But the guy’s heart is in the right place, helping the needy and underdog. So most of what I will try won’t work out probably but maybe like Finn I can keep on trying.

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Re: Spiff's "The Last Jedi" Review (Spoilers)

Post by hawkwing » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:41 pm

I liked it.

There are better movies out there to see.

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Re: Spiff's "The Last Jedi" Review (Spoilers)

Post by ABYUFAN » Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:16 am

I loved the whole "split in two" theme from this movie - Snoke, Snoke's ship, Darth Vader's Lightsaber... Snoke/Ren's relationship - Hux/Ren's relationship

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Re: Spiff's "The Last Jedi" Review (Spoilers)

Post by KingCoug » Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:15 am

The sequels, comparatively speaking, are a breath of fresh air after the awful prequels. But when all is said and done, I stick with the 3 originals and ignore what Hollywood has tried to do with the before and after. None of them measure up.
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Re: Spiff's "The Last Jedi" Review (Spoilers)

Post by byufan4ever » Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:04 pm

I know I'm going against the grain, but Jar Jar Binks aside I enjoyed the prequels. They brought good light saber action (and just lots of action in general) and good music. I didn't like "Annie" the kid so much (I wish they had just started with him as a teenager) but the pod racing was fun and I thought there were some great characters and I enjoyed seeing the "creation" of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vador.

The 3 originals are definitely good/great, but I think they suffer a little bit from a "legendary" status and that they're not quite as good as people give them credit for or at least that people over look the faults on those but nitpick at things in the prequels. I know Return of the Jedi is a favorite for many, but I can't stand how big a part the Ewoks played. To me they're kinda like Jar Jar and ruined that movie for me.

This latest one had it's moments but I thought that Snoke went down too soon and too easily. I mean he was played up as some mystery powerful guy and then he's barely in half of a movie. I enjoyed Finn's battle with Captain Phasma (she's not dead, right?!) and the ending with Luke and his hologram.
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Re: Spiff's "The Last Jedi" Review (Spoilers)

Post by SpiffCoug » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:39 pm

ABYUFAN wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:16 am
I loved the whole "split in two" theme from this movie - Snoke, Snoke's ship, Darth Vader's Lightsaber... Snoke/Ren's relationship - Hux/Ren's relationship
Don't forget about the two porgs Chewie was roasting. Rey splitting the rock with the lightsaber and leaving a Caretaker holding two sticks that was her wheelbarrow.
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Re: Spiff's "The Last Jedi" Review (Spoilers)

Post by KingCoug » Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:18 pm

byufan4ever wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:04 pm
I know I'm going against the grain, but Jar Jar Binks aside I enjoyed the prequels. They brought good light saber action (and just lots of action in general) and good music. I didn't like "Annie" the kid so much (I wish they had just started with him as a teenager) but the pod racing was fun and I thought there were some great characters and I enjoyed seeing the "creation" of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vador.

The 3 originals are definitely good/great, but I think they suffer a little bit from a "legendary" status and that they're not quite as good as people give them credit for or at least that people over look the faults on those but nitpick at things in the prequels. I know Return of the Jedi is a favorite for many, but I can't stand how big a part the Ewoks played. To me they're kinda like Jar Jar and ruined that movie for me.

This latest one had it's moments but I thought that Snoke went down too soon and too easily. I mean he was played up as some mystery powerful guy and then he's barely in half of a movie. I enjoyed Finn's battle with Captain Phasma (she's not dead, right?!) and the ending with Luke and his hologram.
The originals (and I'm talking about the theater cuts before Lucas went back and screwed with them) are timeless classics. Much better plot and character development. And even the late 70s/early 80s special effects were far better than all that cartoony CGI crap that the prequals were filled with. And I hate when people say the third prequal was good. No, it wasn't. It was simply the least worst of the three but that doesn't make it good. Vader's "Noooooooo!" at the end alone was vomit inducing.

To their credit, the makers of the sequels recognized many of the mistakes and flaws that plagued the prequels and, by comparison, they've been much better. But thats not saying much. They don't live up to the originals. In a lot of ways the sequels have just been Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back all over again. I suppose one can make an argument for sticking with a formula that works but much of it just seems like a cheap copy of the originals. The First Order comes across like a bunch of kids playing dress up and trying to be like their parents (the Empire). Kylo Ren and Snoke seem like parodies of Vader and the Emporer. Sorry but Rey is a weak replacement for Luke. Is Poe supposed to be the maverick pilot that Han Solo was? And so on.

I believe Star Wars, at its heart, is a family's saga. So it would only make sense to see what happens with the next generation. But the sequels, better than the prequels they are, don't measure up to the originals - with or without legendary status figuring into the mix.
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