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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Everyone has The Last Jedi Wrong

Look guys, if you're one of those who are going to tell me how awesome "Rogue One" was and then call "The Last Jedi" complete trash, then this is not for you. But for the record, "Rogue One" was a fine fan film. Crowd pleasing but there was zero depth to the characters. It was difficult to connect to them. Not as bad as the prequels but bad.

The Force Awakens made characters I wanted to see, I cared about. It's weakness was the plot. A complete (well almost) rehash of Episode IV. I understood why and I accepted it. It was necessary after the prequels so people would get on board again.

So now "Last Jedi." Everything has a purpose and theme, and that theme is "failure." If you want to argue how well this was executed and how engaging this was in all parts, I can have this discussion. But that was theme.

Kylo Ren failed to turn Rey. Rey failed to turn Ben. Rey failed to bring back Luke. Luke failed Ben. Poe failed leadership. Admiral Holdo (?) failed to communicate her plan. Her plan failed. Finn and Rose failed their mission. Phasma failed to live. First Order failed to snuff the rebels. Rebels failed to save everyone. Leia failed to understand her son. Snoke failed to understand Ben.

So much failure. And it all revolves around not learning from the past. That's the message from the movie and it took Yoda to point it all out. We must learn from our failures or we are doomed to repeat it. It's why the Jedi failed, it's why the sith failed. If they keep going, it's just more Sith lords vs Jedi, round and round. Ben is breaking that cycle, perhaps incorrectly but he understands it needs to stop. It's the "how" is the part he is failing at. Will Rey learn now?

Rian broke the cycle. Snoke didn't need a backstory, he is the Emperor stand-in. Of course he will be snuffed, just as it happened in ROTJ.  Even if Ben did turn to the good side, why wouldn't what happened with Luke and Ben, as what happened with Ben and Anakin, happen again? And again? an endless cycle of good guy winning, failing to train new generation and student turning bad, winning and taking over to be dispatched and rinse and repeat. This is the attempt to break the cycle.

That's what this movie is all about. Learning from failure and not repeating the cycle. That's the POINT. Which is why after this all finished, it's a complete mystery where it goes now. And that's a great thing.

People are divided on this. Those who weren't around in 1980 don't remember that ESB was divisive as well. It was the least liked. It aged like fine wine once the entire saga was complete.

It could still fall on its face. But right now, I think this movie is brilliant. I can agree that not all of it is as engaging as it I'd like it to be but I appreciate the effort and I think there's layers here that will get better and better on repeat viewings.

Also, your theories are destined to fail. That was also the message. Try to see the Star Wars for the larger story and not what happened previously.


  1. Hey there RY! I noticed this link on your profile and thought I'd check out your posts, having enjoyed the last three Gobcasts enormously :)

    I recently read that George's intention was that Star Wars 1-3 would be for children, 4-6 for general audience, and 7-9 for mature audiences, not necessarily 'R' rated but exploring esoteric complex themes, and an entire movie devoted to failure fits that description. The problem then becomes not lack of coherence - well yeah, in relation to TFA it still does - but really bad marketing instead. A movie on failure should have skipped the tie-in toys, games and junior novelizations, and maybe pushed it toward an adult rating, like 'Deadpool' and 'Logan' did.

    So has your opinion of TLJ changed over the last year plus?


    1. It's only gotten worse. Mostly there was an idea JJ wanted to go for that Rian threw out the window. Given I would say 1-3 weren't really for kids, at least that 3rd one and given that Disney threw all his ideas in the dumpster, I'm really not sure what they are going for this time around.

      I think they've become products instead of stories. There is no story worth being told at the moment. We'll see if Rise of Skywalker can work but JJ is really hamstrung.

  2. Looking at a couple of different interpretations of the 'wheel' Joseph Campbell's "Hero's Journey", TLJ encompassed 'The Dark Night of the Soul', 'Sacrifice' and 'Showdown', which means if Ep. 9 is even unconsciously following the pattern laid out in the original Star Wars movie, the next plot points will include 'Resurrection', 'Master of Two Worlds'/'Resolution', and 'Freedom'. If J. J. pulls this off it will be (perhaps most likely) entirely by accident, which is pretty much how this sort of thing usually works out according to Jung.

    1. Damn you should be on the podcast. Theres some depth there.

  3. Thank you for that, but I don't have a microphone. My statement is basically a p.s. to my Film Goblin essay. There really won't be much more to say about it until after the movie is out from under wraps in December.

  4. Understood. Well you seem to have a lot more knowledge of Joseph Campbell than I do. I have the book Hero with a thousand faces but haven't gotten through it yet.

  5. All thanks to online summaries and youtube videos! :D

  6. Well feel free to post on FG, it's good stuff!