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  #121  
Old 12-16-2017, 02:47 PM
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The dark side is ultimately a self-centered aspect of the force. She plunged into it searching for answers and found only herself there - the profound loneliness that plagued Vader and still plagues Ben.
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  #122  
Old 12-16-2017, 03:21 PM
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Most of the "didn't like it" takes I've seen around the net are pretty bad. People who wanted Rey to be a Skywalker or for Snoke to be Palpatine or whatever. This movie has so much to say where TFA had very little, and I think many people resist what it was trying to say.

(This is an observation of the generalized internet and not of TT)

Anyway it feels good to have a SW movie that's divisive for being so different.
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  #123  
Old 12-16-2017, 03:35 PM
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Serious talk: why are we using spoiler tags in the spoiler thread? If I don't hear a good reason to keep using them, I'll stop after this.

From deep cuts made through characters like Chirrut, who are scholars of the Force - and especially of what it means to people who don't have power levels and for that reason don't mistake it for the ability to lift rocks - we can get phrases like "the Force of Others," which I think hints at Ample Vigour's reading.

People who are strong in the Dark Side are all about imposing their will on others. Sidious and Snoke use it to dominate their subordinates, in service of the glorification and exaltation of themselves. Plageuis was all about the fear of death. Maul and Dooku had personal vendettas that their enemies were largely unaware of. Vader felt an irresistible need to protect himself from, and later avenge, the pain of bereavement. All selfish, all deriving their power from want.

Meanwhile, Obi-Wan, for all his dickery, was a consummate servant of others. What Obi-Wan wanted never mattered, except once, when he spared Anakin's life; he raised Anakin for Qui-Gon, and he fought him for Yoda. And when Luke contemplated murdering Ben, it was because he foresaw the pain and suffering he would cause others. What's more, everyone who became a Force Ghost faced death willingly (I'm willing to believe Qui-Gon, who was all about "the living Force," was just always ready for it whenever his time was to come).

So yeah, selfish versus selfless might just be the axis here. What's that mean for the new kids?

Rey is angry, but that anger is rooted in her resentment for others who have what she does not - which turns out to be self-knowledge. She awaits a family who'll return and whose return will reveal who she's meant to be, and later begs her surrogate family to give her that knowledge. But she gives up on her anger after her vision in the Dark Side Hole, which showed her in a very literal way that all she can ever find with that kind of want is endless self-obsession.

Meanwhile, Kylo indulges in his anger at a universe that punishes him undeservingly. His worldview is framed through consideration of his own efforts and the results they have. It's never just what happened, but whether he succeeded or failed and whether or not someone else let him down. He feels personally constrained by the past, and he took to evildoing as a reaction to an injustice aimed at him. Every time he's tempted to give up his path, it's because of someone else that he cares for - his father, his mother, or a possible friend whom he feels understands him.

So yeah, selfishness is a good lens to look at what we've seen so far.
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  #124  
Old 12-16-2017, 04:14 PM
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I dunno, I said it was open season on spoilers a couple days a go.
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  #125  
Old 12-16-2017, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ample Vigour View Post
Honestly I hope it’s explored. Ben clearly sees Rey as a missing half, while Rey feels whole - especially now that she is free of the story she told herself about who she “really” was. There’s a good story to be told about that dynamic.
Ben/Kylo seems to know everything about Rey including things she does not know about herself. Winning Rey to his side seems to be the key to clinching the “win” in whatever the hell he is trying to achieve which is not clear to us yet. He seems to bear no animosity toward her unlike his very complicated emotions toward Luke, and his parents. She is clearly a somebody, just not through her lineage. I just don’t feel like the legwork has been done to establish that same degree of interest in Kylo coming from Rey at this point.

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Originally Posted by RT-55J View Post
My take on the scene was that it was meant to illustrate the difference between Luke and Rey.

When Luke enters the cave in ESB he is confident in his supposed innate-goodness, but the imagery served as a stark reminder that even he could fall from grace (and eventually he did, I guess). This is in contrast to Rey, who enters her cave struggling with "darkness", anger, hatred, self-doubt, etc. I thought the imagery at the end of the scene was meant to help Rey understand that she is not at risk of turning to the dark side, in spite of what she may fear about herself. The question she had about her parentage was left unanswered because, uh, it was answered later, and, uh, yeah.

It wasn't the most deftly handled scene, I'll grant you that. (I'm not 100% sure on my interpretation.)
The cave in ESB works because by the end of the movie Luke’s premonition already had multiple possible significance. There’s the surface level reading of Vader being his father, the possibility that he may be destined to follow that same path, and now, fast forward to TLJ, knowing that what he feared came to pass. It was a vision with narrative “consequence” within the story. The vision Rey sees in the cave, it’s not referenced again in the movie. And I don’t mean well Maz, or Luke, or somebody didn’t tell her “by the way that freaky hall of mirrors thing you saw in the pit means blahdeblahde ya dada hoo..” but that that plot thread is just lost and never picked up again. Kylo and his thing about Rey and parents being “nobody” maybe kinda could be related but it’s so tenuous eh who knows? So it feels like a poorly chosen bit of cruft to a movie that already has a lot of cruft to lose.

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Originally Posted by Dracula View Post
Most of the "didn't like it" takes I've seen around the net are pretty bad. People who wanted Rey to be a Skywalker or for Snoke to be Palpatine or whatever. This movie has so much to say where TFA had very little, and I think many people resist what it was trying to say.

(This is an observation of the generalized internet and not of TT)

Anyway it feels good to have a SW movie that's divisive for being so different.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned it yet but I’m 100% onboard with everything involving Luke in this movie. Walking out of the theater I thought it would be a movie Star Wars fans would really enjoy but a bit inscrutable for non-fans. It seems like a good chunk of the fan base are pretty furious about the fate of their golden boy whereas just from anecdotal evidence from social media I am the only woman who’s seen the movie who did not love it and did not think the female characters were well written, though, I’m personally happy to note the female Asian-American bloggers/twitter luminaries/commentators/what have you I follow online have been in near universal agreement that while Kelly Marie Trann but on an amazing performance with the role she was given are mercilessly dragging Rian Johnson and all writers involved for the shit job they’ve done with Rose.

Opinions have been divisive as hell.
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  #126  
Old 12-16-2017, 06:22 PM
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'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Sets Sights on Becoming the Latest $200M+ Opener ... surprising no one.
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  #127  
Old 12-16-2017, 06:36 PM
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Yeah, no need for spoiler tags here. Go nuts folks.
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  #128  
Old 12-16-2017, 07:02 PM
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Anyway, I'm pretty sure that's the only time paper has ever been seen in Star Wars. That's how old those books are. Even the casino patrons are only using coins.
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  #129  
Old 12-16-2017, 07:14 PM
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The old EU used something called flimsyplas instead of paper.
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  #130  
Old 12-16-2017, 07:50 PM
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My friend hated this movie and says it was garbage. That's a pretty strong reaction! I liked it at least as much as TFA. I think I enjoyed the act of watching TFA more than this one, but I have no qualms saying TLJ is a better movie.
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  #131  
Old 12-16-2017, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Parish View Post
OK, so as I think about this… the entire Resistance [SPOILER]died because Laura Dern didn't want to share her plans with one of her top military assets?
Bongo already covered it yeah, but, there was absolutely every reason to believe they had a spy on board, and while obviously it wouldn't be Poe, Poe is totally the sort of guy you know cannot keep a secret and would totally let anyone in on anything he knew.

I mean hell, he went on a mission and just kinda brought home a stormtrooper no questions asked.

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Originally Posted by ArugulaZ View Post
Leia got sucked out of the ship, but she survived the vacuum of space, because the Force! Luke fought Kylo Ren from half a galaxy away with a hologram using the Force, and then he vanished, because he ran out of Force!
On the Leia front, that's totally precedented, she's been doing Force-y stuff for a while, mainly sensing deaths happened, and you're overestimating the deadliness of the vacuum of space there, particularly with all the ships visibly having force fields. That and she barely survived and needed some pretty serious medical care after.

And it's less that "Luke died because he ran out of Force" and more that Luke was planning his own death the whole movie, and figured it was as good a time as any now that he'd come to peace with some serious baggage he'd been carrying around for a few years.

Also, "why does Rey care that Rey's parents aren't important?"

Rey's entire deal in TFA, and the reason people got so obsessed with weird fan theories, is that she is weirdly fixated on the idea that her parents are going to come back for her. To the extent that she spends a huge chunk of the movie wanting to rush back to her life of sitting in an old wreck in case she misses them when they're out.

So... it's pretty reasonable to assume that as part of her heavy heavy denial over being abandoned, she came up with some really elaborate theories about the incredibly important quest her parents had embarked on, that was so dangerous they had to leave her behind until it was finished.

When you have yourself convinced, or half-convinced really by this point, that that's what's going on, being forced to accept that no, your parents really were just terrible people who didn't really love you enough not to abandon you is significantly more of a gut punch than finding out a half-baked fan theory is dead wrong.
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  #132  
Old 12-16-2017, 10:11 PM
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So it really feels like "protect what you love, don't destroy what you hate" is the distillation of Dark Side vs. Light Side, but it gets more complicated when you acknowledge that one act can be doing both of those things...depending on one's point of view. Like, destroying the Death Star for example. It's essentially saying that intent is more important than results, which is some pretty Zen stuff when you take it to the extreme like Luke did in RotJ by refusing to kill Palpatine, or Obi-wan letting himself die in ANH.

So now I'm wondering how this plays into Kylo saying he didn't hate his father. He acknowledges the tension in himself due to...regret for killing his father? But his attitude moving forward seems to be "don't dwell on the past at all" so instead of learning the lesson to not be evil he's just gonna stop worrying about his feelings? It doesn't seem like there's anything left for him to love anymore, though his feelings towards Rey are highly ambiguous.
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  #133  
Old 12-16-2017, 11:10 PM
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I thought the Last Jedi was really uneven.

There were way too many sequences that I think Rian Johnson wanted to be emotionally resonant that, for me, were not.
  • The kids in the casino and the space horses, being abused by the rich. I'm sure I was supposed to feel bad for these kids and these creatures...but it was so heavy handed. I didn't care.
  • Captain Purple Hair running her ship into the Empire. I met this character about 5 minutes ago, so her death honestly had no impact on me.
  • Supreme Leader Snoke dying. In the Force Awakens, we met Snoke briefly. In this movie he fulfills the emperor role. He picks up Rey and orders Kylo to kill her. But I thought he went down way too easily for what he was built up to be. His defeat did not feel like an epic struggle to me. Ditto with Phasma.
  • Luke's death. There was some fun setup to Luke's ending sequence: He blinks at C3PO, survives a barrage of AT-AT fire, dusts off his cloak, and tricks Kylo Ren. But the cut to him dying on the Jedi island. It felt slight and it did not resonate with me. Looking over this list, I would say there is a theme. Johnson has seemingly emotional moments, but there is so little build up to them, and so many of them that they fall flat. I would say almost all the main character deaths in Rogue One felt more impactful to me.

Some aspects of the movie I did like:
  • I liked the Crystal Foxes.
  • Probably the most choked up I got in the movie was Luke and Yoda scene where Luke goes to burn down the Jedi Temple. 30+ years past Return of the Jedi and Luke and Yoda still have great chemistry. They feel like genuine friends. It was a small scene but it worked very well for me.
  • Luke and Rey training. I think Daisy Ridley is naturally charismatic, and pairing her with an energized Hamill made for some enjoyable Jedi training sequences.
  • Rey and Kylo's relationship. The strongest aspect of this movie (and trilogy) to me is that the central characters: Rey and Kylo have a good on screen dynamic. I'm not always sure where its headed, but I found it captivating.

I didn't hate the Last Jedi. But like the Force Awakens, it was not a complete success nor was it a complete failure. It felt pretty middling.

Of the Disney Star Wars movies, I like Rogue One best. The Last Jedi was very uneven for me. There were too many sequences and characters that I did not care about at all.
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  #134  
Old 12-16-2017, 11:42 PM
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I got so upset at people in my Twitter timeline throwing spoilers and "non-spoilers" left and right that I went to see it tonight instead of Monday as I had planned --the most "non-spoilers" came from well-meaning critics and fans who were defending the movie's twists in minute detail, even if they weren't revealing the actors of those twists. Come on! Like "People using the Force to do telepresence shouldn't be an issue" doesn't color your readers' experience at least a little bit? That's like Atlus admonishing people to "not post anything after these specific dates in Persona 5"!)

Anyway, some thoughts.

Loved that it took place right after TFA. The flight from Yavin has always been one of the more interesting pieces of the now-defunct EU and it's nice to see the consequences of the previous film.

...on the other hand, there's literally no timeline in this movie. While the space chase can conceivably take place within the same timeframe of the casino sidequest (although I'll keep wondering why the FO couldn't keep sending wave after wave of TIEs, refuel them, then send them again), Rey's storyline can't POSSIBLY take place simultaneously, not when her experiences there clearly took several days, if not weeks.

A hotshot pilot not being the invincible problem-solver --indeed, being put in his place several times and finally learning from it at the very end? Still, it's a hell of an anvil when Poe is visibly upset and disappointed that he isn't the new acting commander in Leia's absence, and then he goes that "She's not what I expected" in regards to Holdo. He has a boulder on his shoulder the size of Tatooine and him bringing so much ruin to the Resistance should land him in an interesting redemption arc by the next film.

I liked Rose, and her and her sister's arc. Especially liked that Rose's sister mastered Homer's Remote Control Stomp and that she died protecting what she loved. Rose may be angry at war profiteers, but it's evident that this notion is vital to her core. I also appreciated that Rose herself is a "generic mechanic" to her "generic gunner" sister. While all the big, named characters are out there having complex emotions about their friends and foes, seeing what drives the rank-and-file, and that inspiring the protags, is a welcome twist in the franchise's narrative.

Also, I don't think Rose is Finn's beard. She inspires him and drives him to do better, yet not romantically, but as a person. The first met him as he tried to jump ship and she had to chastise him for it; then he nearly offered up his life for a doomed cause, and she had to stop him again. She saw him live up to his own heroic legend, so it's natural that her hero-worship would come back in force. I see them as great partners and natural foils, but I didn't interpret the relationship, or even the kiss, as romantic.

I want an action figure of Laura Dern as Vice-Admiral Holdo and I want it now. I have no idea what kind of role she played in the battle that gave her fame, but here? She's not a warrior, she's a protector, and she's had it with hot-headed warriors. As mentioned by others, I don't see how she had a pressing need to communicate sensitive strategy to an impulsive, reckless pilot --the same pilot who himself withheld intel from her and mutinied? Yeah, he would've blabbed about it to the wrong person before she could stop him. Also, remember that if it had all gone according to plan, Holdo would have hyperspaced an empty ship away from Crait and take the First Order along, only to be instantly caught and executed when the ruse were discovered. She was already sacrificing herself to protect others from the instant she conceived of the plan, and Poe messing it up nearly got everyone killed. It's no wonder she was short with him.

She did get an unbelievable sendoff, though. Nobody in my theater dared breathe until the movie itself brought the soundtrack back. It was my absolute favorite moment in the movie and very easily a top 5 favorite moment in the franchise.

Porgs are awesome. Fight me.

To evolve an Eevee into Crystaleon, give it a Kyber crystal to hold during a level-up.

The Achto Nuns are awesome and I want to know more about them. Fight me.

Darth-BB had a lot less screentime than the marketing implied. And if R2 is an agent of the Force, BB-8 is the Force incarnate. And he knows how to make the little Imperial mouse droid sounds too!

Loved Luke and everything about his arc. I liked that they foreshadowed his telepresence by going, "Wait, where did HE come in from?" and by showing how his footsteps didn't smear the salt on the ground. I saw his passing not as "running out of Force" but simply the result of overstressing his body and mind way the hell past their limits. That kind of death is a reasonable enough cliche in fantasy and sci-fi.

Speaking of deaths, I loved that Snoke, for all his mastery of the Force, his hyper-classic sci-fi quarters, his throne, and his fancy bathrobe, went down like a chump. He probably did read Ben's intent, but only at a superficial level --Ben was probably going, "Kill! Kill! Kill!" with all his heart, and focusing on the concept of "enemy", but Snoke was too arrogant to even consider who those thoughts were focused on.

The Skywalker Family McGuffin is gone. Good. It's served its purpose. And yet, it's so ironic that Ben, who is so determined into "killing the past", all but worships Anakin's saber, not because of its function as a weapon, but because it connects him to Grandpa Vader.

Riding in the open cockpit of high-speed skimmer on a salt flat, throwing up plumes of red soil in your wake,and flying through other pilots' clouds, can't be good for your lungs. Did the Rebellion ever hear of silicosis?

I saw the books in the Falcon and thought Luke had put sneaked them aboard, but then, if he did, burning the tree would have been an empty gesture.

I'm putting money down that the next film will take place many years later --a minimum of five, I'd say. The FO will have reconquered many systems, but new rebellions will have also sprung up. This also means that Leia will have... likely died of old age in the meantime :/ But since Ben never found out she survived the attack in this movie, he'll probably be kicking himself for missing his chance to see her one last time.

Re: Rey: I interpreted the infinite mirror as her trying to understand that the truth about her parents was always within her, and she knew this in the depths of her heart, but she had built walls upon walls of denial insisting that it couldn't be possible that they had just up and sold her to Unkar. She was a tiny child when they left her, so she probably concocted excuses and explanations for their absence. One of the better moments in TFA is when she's scrubbing a piece of scrap she's planning to trade, and sees an old woman across from her doing the same thing. Within TFA's context, we infer that she's afraid of suffering the same fate, of growing old and tired as a junker without ever escaping that life; Unkar's goon snapping her out of her thoughts just seems like a bully getting her to hurry up so other junkers get their turn. Now, TLJ puts that scene into further context: she's a slave and has been for over a decade. Maybe she has since bought her freedom, but her work is close enough to slavery as to be functionally the same thing. And she's terrified of acknowledging that there's no one coming to whisk her from that life, that she was indeed abandoned. That's why, in her mirror vision, she stretches eternally into the past and future, her actions cycling forward and back: without someone telling her what to do with herself, she can't escape the pit she threw herself into.

Ben "knows" who her parents are because he can see into her mind and unearth this truth she refuses to admit. When he offers to be the guiding light she desperately craves, she finally admits the reality of her life and escapes the cycle.
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  #135  
Old 12-16-2017, 11:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zef View Post
I saw the books in the Falcon and thought Luke had put sneaked them aboard, but then, if he did, burning the tree would have been an empty gesture.
Only Rey could've. Luke thought they were still in the tree and he never made it inside to see that they were missing before it was burned down. And, after all, scavenging is something Rey is very experienced with.
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  #136  
Old 12-17-2017, 02:00 AM
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On the subject of the dark side and light side: Luke seems to explain the Force to Rey as being a balance between Light and Dark, with Light being stuff like new life being born, etc., while Dark is death that in turn leads to new life (I don't remember exactly what he says, but it's something like that). A Yin/Yang sort of deal, with Light and Dark being equally important (and thus "Balance in the Force" meaning "balance between Light and Dark"). Does this go against the ideas discussed (in previous Star Wars threads on Talking Time) about the dark side being Bad Stuff We Don't Need At All? Is it a case of Luke being wrong?
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  #137  
Old 12-17-2017, 06:52 AM
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Loved the movie. Just thought flying Leia looked a little silly (but don't mind he concept) and the "message" on the casino planet was heavy handed.

Why did Snoke need to be CGI again? They should have just used make up, like Mason Verger in Hannibal.
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  #138  
Old 12-17-2017, 06:58 AM
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I guess I'm the only one that didn't take the 'revelations' about Rey's parents at full face value. I wouldn't be at all surprised if there was more to learn. Not that I expect them to be characters we know, but it might not be the scenario that Kylo outlined when trying to manipulate her into joining him.
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  #139  
Old 12-17-2017, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voncaster View Post
Supreme Leader Snoke dying. In the Force Awakens, we met Snoke briefly. In this movie he fulfills the emperor role. He picks up Rey and orders Kylo to kill her. But I thought he went down way too easily for what he was built up to be. His defeat did not feel like an epic struggle to me.
That was the point, though. You know how this cycle is supposed to work, you have all your expectations set up for a grand struggle that spans films… and then Kylo Ren treats Snoke's belly like the Gordian knot and takes control of the story for himself. It wasn't supposed to go that way, which makes it potentially the most pivotal moment of the trilogy. I thought it was brilliant.
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  #140  
Old 12-17-2017, 07:51 AM
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Makes me wonder just what they'll do when JJ comes back for Episode 9. "Chuck my lightsaber over a cliff, will you? Well guess what, Snoke is a Sith Ghost now or maybe Darth Plagueis or something, so he's the bad guy again, and Rey's parents were somebody after all! It's Star Wars, so let's be Star Wars again!"
You know, sort of like the tug of war that's been going on for decades in Star Wars media.

I would really hate it if that were to happen.
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  #141  
Old 12-17-2017, 08:10 AM
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No, JJ loved the script and said that he wished that he had been able to direct it. He likes introducing mysteries too much and he’s not as forward thinking as Rian, but he’s actually a good steward of the series. I’m hopeful that he will do a good job closing out the trilogy.
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  #142  
Old 12-17-2017, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zef View Post
...on the other hand, there's literally no timeline in this movie. While the space chase can conceivably take place within the same timeframe of the casino sidequest (although I'll keep wondering why the FO couldn't keep sending wave after wave of TIEs, refuel them, then send them again), Rey's storyline can't POSSIBLY take place simultaneously, not when her experiences there clearly took several days, if not weeks.
Great post! Yeah, the timelines are not 1:1. Per Rian, the individual cuts between stories were not written into the script, but came out in the editing room. I’ll have to pay closer attention to how they match up next time. One possible explanation is that moving through hyperspace takes longer than we had assumed, and some of her time on the island takes place during the Resistance’s initial jump. It does have a shot of Leia hanging out in her room while stars speed past, which I thought was interesting. Also, Luke’s entire training with Ben Kenobi happened while they were on the way to Alderaan. I think Rey only spent 2-3 days on the island, but again that’s something I’ll have to look out for.

Reading criticism of this movie around the net has been super interesting, because it’s all over the place. Some people are upset about specific moments that didn’t work for them, some dislike the tone or didn’t get emotionally invested, some are upset about lore changes or that things they expected to be in the movie were absent, and some people are still upset that women and people of color have leading roles. I saw someone say that the conflicting flashbacks were bad writing (it’s obviously referencing Roshamon?!) and others who are incredibly annoyed that the bombers at the start have confusing physics. It’s a mix of famously touchy Star Wars fans, contemporary fandom hate squads, right wing nutjobs, and a movie that certainly has some flaws and asks a lot of a first time viewer. Some people are just not in to it. But seeing all of the complaints together makes it seem like a complete disaster, while I felt it was a masterpiece. It’s wild.
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  #143  
Old 12-17-2017, 09:39 AM
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Maybe this is super obvious, but I was just thinking about how Rose and her sister hold a yin-yang style medallion, and both perform sacrificial actions representing the two opposing themes of the film.
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  #144  
Old 12-17-2017, 09:48 AM
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Oh yeah, how do those bombs have gravity in space?
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  #145  
Old 12-17-2017, 09:55 AM
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They don’t, the bomber propels them downward.
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  #146  
Old 12-17-2017, 10:04 AM
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For that matter, why are these space ships so noisy in the vacuum of space? And how can people use their brains to lift rocks? SO DUMB.
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  #147  
Old 12-17-2017, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracula View Post
Maybe this is super obvious, but I was just thinking about how Rose and her sister hold a yin-yang style medallion, and both perform sacrificial actions representing the two opposing themes of the film.
Yeah the symbolism with her medallion was pretty prevalent. That plus the pool of water in Luke's temple.
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  #148  
Old 12-17-2017, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rascally Badger View Post
I guess I'm the only one that didn't take the 'revelations' about Rey's parents at full face value. I wouldn't be at all surprised if there was more to learn. Not that I expect them to be characters we know, but it might not be the scenario that Kylo outlined when trying to manipulate her into joining him.
I would not be surprised to see Rey's parents get a different reveal in the third movie. Considering the source of the reveal I think there is reason to be skeptical.

Last edited by Voncaster; 12-17-2017 at 10:56 AM.
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  #149  
Old 12-17-2017, 10:41 AM
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What 'notable' characters could Rey's parents possibly be that a reveal of them would not be extremely contrived or underwhelming.
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  #150  
Old 12-17-2017, 10:52 AM
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I don't think they're anyone notable, I never really did outside of the remote possibility that she was Kylo's sister, but I think there is possibly an explanation beyond sold her into slavery and wandered off to die.
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