God it was so BAD jesus argh fuck GRRRRRRRRRRRRR
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Not even that. He revealed it via FortniteIf you're JJ Abrams, instead of showing, you simply tell, reintroducing him in the opening crawl. Just... fuuuuuuuck yoooooooou.
I think the only bit of backing into a corner that The Last Jedi did was that Kylo, with no pressure and with nobody more powerful and evil present, not only didn't reject the Dark Side, he didn't moderate the First Order's behaviour at all. Darth Vader's behaviour, although repugnant, was slightly understandable because he'd got stuck working for the Devil. With Kylo, it's difficult to see what could turn him back; he's already had the best chance he'll ever have (then Carrie Fisher went and died killing probably the only feasible remaining option). Beyond killing Snoke, it's hard to see what he could do now to make some kind of amends for his numerous atrocities.As much as I love TLJ, they backed themselves into a corner when they killed off Snoke. Kylo Ren as Supreme Leader works but he was never the kind of character that was going to be the evil string-pulling master. Just like Vader in the original trilogy, he was more of an attack dog (albeit an ambitious one), and occupying the role of grand antagonist would have been a strange move. Just as Vader was manipulated by Palps, so to was Ben Solo manipulated by Snoke (Palps, of course); when Snoke utters his line in TLJ about a cur occupying a place of importance because a cur can be a useful tool when properly manipulated, he isn't just talking about Hux. Where the Star Wars mythos is concerned, there needed to be someone or something else playing the long, evil game. As such, I understand why Palpatine was brought back. To that end, my issue is that Palpatine's return needed some breathing room and, for me, need to be explained better than a single line by Merry Brandybuck talking about science and sorcery. And that doesn't even cover the eye-rolling WTF-ness of his scheme.
You don't even need a new enforcer type - the "knights of Ren" were teased in a vision in ep 7 (which was its own issue, but still). They're right there.Or if you really must keep the plotter and enforcer structure, you make Kylo Ren the plotter - after all he's chosen his path, it only makes sense for that determination to transform into effective planning - and introduce a new enforcer type. You've even got a built in escape hatch for a mandated redemption ending, where Kylo boxes himself into a corner and the only way out is to atone for his crimes.
Yep, nobody does anything in that film because it's something their character would do, there's always some ridiculous plot device dragging them to the next scene.There's not a single scene in the movie that's not ultimately either exposition or action; even sequences like Poe talking to Zorii wind up being plot exposition.
Like I said, going back to the prequels, I found lots of things to like about them. The Phantom Menace tries really hard to produce a wide-eyed tale of whimsy and youthful adventure. Attack of the Clones tries to evoke a rocketships-and-rayguns serial. Revenge of the Sith... Does some stuff and is down at the bottom of my list with Rise of Skywalker for a reason.Interesting rankings, I'd have Revenge of the Sith above all the other Prequels and The Force Awakens. First three are my choice but in a different order. Nice.
I think this is quite unfair and reductive towards Revenge of the Sith. When the prequels came out, "fans" were desperate for Darth Vader. They were champing at the bit for signs of Vaderishness and I suspect that this is the real reason that The Phantom Menace has such a bad rep among fans. They'd waited 17 (?) years for their edgelord hero and what they got was cute and innocent (and low-stakes, which is actually the point).Revenge of the Sith... Does some stuff and is down at the bottom of my list with Rise of Skywalker for a reason.
I actually agree with you! But I think AotC does that exact same thing, and does it far more effectively. Anakin can't talk politics for thirty seconds without declaring that power should be taken away from the people and concentrated in the hands of a dictator. His solution to literally everything is "find the bad people and kill them because they're not even human". When he can't do that, he falls back to whining and blaming others; he never admits fault himself. He's a really awful person!I think this is quite unfair and reductive towards Revenge of the Sith. When the prequels came out, "fans" were desperate for Darth Vader. They were champing at the bit for signs of Vaderishness and I suspect that this is the real reason that The Phantom Menace has such a bad rep among fans. They'd waited 17 (?) years for their edgelord hero and what they got was cute and innocent (and low-stakes, which is actually the point).
RotS is a moral challenge to these people. They understand how Vader acted but not what Vader meant - ultimately he's a wheezing mess-up who betrayed and murdered all his friends to be buttmonkey to a man who is cacklingly evil, but they saw "cool robot what strangles people and quips a lot". Revenge of the Sith confronts you with the reality - Vader isn't Vader because he's strong; he's Vader because he's weak.
This. THIS! I HATE that everyone read their relationship as instantly "romantic" when it's so much richer and powerful as a re-exploration/followup to Luke and Leia. Rey is flashing every neon sign available that she's looking for kinship, not romance--she's still trying to understand why she doesn't have a family and she's looking for one everywhere. When Ben goes full Kylo, Rey's sorrow comes not from a love interest betraying her, but from the betrayal of someone she thought was just like her and with whom she thought she could relate.Her relationship with Kylo Ren, while ambiguous in many ways, comes off to me most plausibly as siblings.
It's a much more effective mirror of the original and prequel trilogies as well, as it means that rather than reprising an existing arc (mostly Luke's, though some of Anakin's as well), Rey is following the hypothetical "Luke is turned and Leia has to carry on the fight" arc that's there in the background through ESB and RotJ.This. THIS! I HATE that everyone read their relationship as instantly "romantic" when it's so much richer and powerful as a re-exploration/followup to Luke and Leia. Rey is flashing every neon sign available that she's looking for kinship, not romance--she's still trying to understand why she doesn't have a family and she's looking for one everywhere. When Ben goes full Kylo, Rey's sorrow comes not from a love interest betraying her, but from the betrayal of someone she thought was just like her and with whom she thought she could relate.
I want to believe that there's an alternate retelling of the third film, somewhere, in a better world where Fisher hasn't passed yet, where the parental relationship you mention is much more explicitly defined, and the theme of "found family" is brought to the forefront.
Boyega's got plenty of legitimate gripes with how his character was handled, and with how he himself was treated, and is trying to talk about that around a bunch of legal fencing that still limits what he can say. And from what he's said and what Oscar Isaac has said, and expressing "Finn is Force-sensitive" only as subtext in Rise of Skywalker - a film that otherwise feels the need to repeatedly bludgeon the viewer with exposition - it's pretty clear that corporate issued some kind of edict about what was and wasn't allowed with Finn. And as good as I think the final product was, Rian Johnson definitely did an abysmal job of navigating his relationship with corporate.The one part where I'm not sure I agree with your analysis is in Finn's role during TLJ. I nod at and understand everything you point out, but with the passage of time I feel that it was poorly conveyed to audiences; to the point that Boyega himself feels Finn was done dirty by the subplot. Theoretically, Canto Bight us supposed to further his character arc along (TFA was "I need to save myself -> I need to save my friend(s)", TLJ is "I need to save myself and my friends (selfish) -> "I can identify with and fight for a greater cause (selfless)") but the execution was apparently too muddled for the majority of viewers to understand.
Ironically, I do feel he has a much clearer (and clearly heroic) role in TLJ than Poe does. Hell, while I don't have metrics or anything objective to go by, it feels like Poe is the one with the least screentime and the more simplified subplot once the three branches of the plot are underway. Finn gets to interact with all sorts of characters, learns from them at various points, and puts the experience to much better use. Even when his "sacrifice" is rebuked, it's still in service of his arc. His actions have clear consequences and he suffers for and from them. Poe basically sits and seethes for 90% of his arc, is much more useful in developing Holdo as a character, and while his actions lead to her jaw-dropping final act, they're also never commented upon and he doesn't seem to internalize the enormity of his mistakes.As much as I like his arc in TLJ, I think he would've been better served with a more straightforwardly heroic arc, as a contrast to Poe and Rey. You can even fit in the same incredible ending with Rose, you just have to get there a bit differently.