Discuss Star Wars: The Last Jedi

(Warning: wall of text rant incoming!)

First of all, I hate the "Mentor must die" trope. I find the basic idea of someone who is over 60 is "useless for the plot" therefore must die, really disturbing.

I mean a dying moment for a beloved character is always painful, and I'm not entirely against a well crafted death scene. Han Solo's death in TFA did have some meaning as Kylo Ren was hesitating and was in turmoil before making the decision. The circumstances added some thematic meaning to his death. I did not like the scene itself, I think it was poorly filmed and not very well acted, but I understood what the point of the filmmaker was. It was poorly executed (pun not intended) but I got the point.

But man... what is this? Yes, Luke is well over 60 in this movie, but he is still the most powerful Force user in the galaxy at this moment (I believe he is a notch above Snoke, even), and this is what they do with him?

I don't have a problem with the idea that Luke is not perfect and had a moment where he thought he can protect the galaxy by killing Kylo. On a very basic level, this conflict inside Luke, inside Kylo Ren and the conflict between the two characters is interesting. The idea is interesting for such a conflict to occur... but the movie takes this idea and absolutely botches it. I even liked the idea of the different interpretations (Luke having crazy, rage-filled eyes when Kylo is telling the story was a nice touch) of the event. These scenes however are still badly done, and the mere fact that the breaking point of Kylo hung on this singular event is a bit of a stretch - especially that we don't know what went down between him and Snoke prior to that.

Also, a sidenote: his moment of weakness was caused by his determination to keep the people and the galaxy safe from the Dark Side, right? He wants to defend what was achieved at the end of ROTJ, which is comletely understandable. But after he survived the attack on the Jedi Academy... he is just giving up? I mean Kylo is joining forces with Snoke, creating / strengthening the First Order, killing millions if not billions in the galaxy... and Luke is suddenly OK with this? I mean does he seriously think that he would make the situation worse somehow if he tried to fight back / join the Resistance / help and protect Leia / go on a suicide mission to duel with Snoke & Kylo / or... DO ANYTHING? It's horrifyingly out of character for him to do nothing! Also, it's too similar to Yoda's solution in ESB (in EP III actually). I mean for a series that prides itself on being different from the OT, it still has similar elements when it's convenient for the writers... because of course.

I can imagine Luke being in despair for maybe a few weeks, but I think he would have snapped out of it, seeing that Leia and Han are in immediate danger as long as the First Order exists, and they (and again, of course all the other people in the galaxy) were the reason for even founding his Jedi Academy. He would not suddenly stop fighting.

And then he has his death scene preceded by some cool projection tricks. The scene on the Crystal Fox planet was great, and I understand the physical reasons why Luke died, however it was not the death that Luke would have deserved. Buying a couple of minutes for the Resistance to get away... is not a legendary act fitting his character (also, it's similar to how Obi-Wan dies in ANH, but of course it's not a problem here because of... reasons). Also, Yoda asked him to teach Rey a lesson, and... he kind of didn't. I mean Rey did not even witness the event first hand, and buying time to aid a getaway is not exactly a Jedi-exclusive thing to do... Maybe Force Projection as a skill will be useful for Rey, but Luke did not actually teach her how to do it... So I believe Yoda will be an angry Force Ghost in IX!

The character interpretation should be that he embraced the legend he has become... which thematically kind of makes sense, but from a plot standpoint he must know that he is actually the most powerful Force user, and his skills would be tremendously useful... you know, in an actual battle with the First Order. He is vastly more useful to the Resistance living than dead, but this is just such a no-brainer, I feel I'm insulting whoever is reading this just by mentioning this fact. Especially now, that Luke is aware of a really-really strong other Force user he could join forces with and guide her (learning from his past mistakes ofc). Him dying this way is just not a logical action, and this is where the writing room rears its ugly head: we know he only dies because the writers decided that they are going to use the trope I mentioned at the very beginning of my post.

In fact, the new trilogy is a story about new and young characters, so out with the old, in with the new! Literally, as in Han, Luke and Leia must die. I would rather see them helping the new characters, instruct them, guide them and maybe die but in more meaningful ways. Of course the fact that what I want doesn't happen in the movie is not a valid criticism, and I don't mean it like that, just wanted to mention it.

So actually in TFA, Han Solo was utilized OK, but TLJ just cannot fit Luke into the story that it's trying to tell. This is a story about Kylo and Rey fundamentally, and I find their characters and their storyline interesting. Luke doesn't fit in there, so he must die. They don't even try to do something interesting or meaningful with Luke. He doesn't really teach Rey ('in that case it would be too similar to ESB, hurr-durr' - well, it all depends on the execution, you know), doesn't really fight for the Resistance, doesn't really have any significant part in all that is going down... and that irritates me and I find it disrespectful.

Thoughts?

(inb4 anyone brings it up: I did not like Obi-Wan dying in ANH either, his death was also kind of pointless, but the rest of the movie made up for it. The rest of TLJ did not make up for the above, hence my rant)

126 replies (on page 1 of 9)

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Luke's self-imposed exile was Lucas's idea.

@Jan El Senor said:

Luke's self-imposed exile was Lucas's idea.

I don't care whose idea it is as long as it is executed right... and it wasn't here.

Also, the exile itself is half the problem. The other problem is that they did not really have a place for Luke in the story, so they discarded him. That's what bothers a bit more.

@sati_84 said:

@Jan El Senor said:

Luke's self-imposed exile was Lucas's idea.

I don't care whose idea it is as long as it is executed right... and it wasn't here.

Also, the exile itself is half the problem. The other problem is that they did not really have a place for Luke in the story, so they discarded him. That's what bothers a bit more.

Precisly

Amen Brother. I can to a degree accept many of the other flaws this story telling has... like a nonesnes space "race", unmotivated weird behavior from key players. pie-in-your-face jokes after pretty much every serious scene, almost verbatim same dialogue and setup between Ray/Kylo/Snoke vs Luke/Vader/Emperor, pointless side missions (and btw if Finn could just fly away like this, why didn't everyone?), pointless love story, pointless sacrifices, insane fighting skills of BB8 (the most effective fighter in the movie is BB8) and perhaps even the outright disrespect of the saga in general (I can't really give a pass on any of it but I wanted to mention them)... but how it disrespects Luke (and how it even disrespect TFA and all its buildups) is what really did it...

Essentially the Force Awakens is about finding Luke to come help in the fight against the growing dark force of The New Order.... last scene is Ray handing him his old Light saber... da da daaaa. Great. Despite the flaws in TFA it had an exciting cliffhanger(s) in the end.

The opening scene of The Last Jedi is: Luke takes the light saber and just casually throws it over his shoulder... no shit, which fits with how it treated much of all the other buildups from TFA too (Knights of Kylo, Snoke mystery, Ray's origin, Finn and Ray's love connection., a devastating hit on The New Order, apparently not devastating...etc etc)

Ray: "an evil force just destroyed and annihilated the whole republic, billions of innocent lives lost"

Luke: "who cares"

Ray: "and Kylo killed Han, your old and trusted friend"

Luke: "bummer"

Ray: "and Han joined us in the fight... you know the ever skeptical Han, he joined us...."

Luke: "his lose"

Ray: "Your dear sister is in dire need of help, will you come and help us... Obi Luke Kenobi, you are our only hope"

Luke: "naaa, but look at these great tits..."

And then we have the end: Oh my, His hologram shows up and delays an attack on our fleeing friends... mind you, a hologram can do no harm or anything really... and then they cut back to the two suns where he becomes a ghost. Luke never left the damn island, and all he did was to give perhaps a 5 minut head start... .

In short: Luke showed no interest in helping his friends. Showed not interest in fighting the growing dark side.... And finally when he did visit, he was secured behind a hologram, which luckily fooled Kylo for a few minutes...and then he essentially commits suicide in a time where he has never been needed more.

Fucx the director. This is not Luke Skywalker - not even a crazy one.

I think Chewie is on a very hot seat now. And I kind of feel C3PO and R2D2 already got booted below our radar (like General Ackbar was killed off screen)...

Totally agree. They even set us up with the foreshadowing of his Xwing in the water. He obviously should have had a raising-the-xwing scene hearkening back to his failure to do the same in ESB. Then actually showing up to actually fight Kylo. Could have shown Luke taking out walkers and obviously dominating but refusing to kill Kylo. Then the writers could have had their throw-back slash homage to Obi's death and have Luke let himself be killed by Kylo instead of killing him (with the ruins of all the FO equipment around them). Or even just have Kylo win the fight via dirty trick. Anything else, really.

@Horus Mazinga said:

Totally agree. They even set us up with the foreshadowing of his Xwing in the water. He obviously should have had a raising-the-xwing scene hearkening back to his failure to do the same in ESB. Then actually showing up to actually fight Kylo. Could have shown Luke taking out walkers and obviously dominating but refusing to kill Kylo. Then the writers could have had their throw-back slash homage to Obi's death and have Luke let himself be killed by Kylo instead of killing him (with the ruins of all the FO equipment around them). Or even just have Kylo win the fight via dirty trick. Anything else, really.

Yep, yep and yep. I cannot for the life of me figure out why they teased the Xwing to never use it in any way and especially when the script has such a perfect opening for it.... but I have nothing to add here except to say that you got what Rian Johnson does not.

@Jan El Senor said:

Luke's self-imposed exile was Lucas's idea.

  • So was Jar Jar Binks
  • ...and General Grievous and his smoker's cough
  • ...and comedic relief R2D2
  • ...and an army with robots that can't shoot straight
  • ...and Anakin yelling "Whoops!" as he accidentally single-handedly wipes out a space station
  • ..."I hate sand"
  • ...and Ewoks
  • ...and Fode and Breed
  • ...did I mention Jar Jar Binks already?

In other words, just because George Lucas invented it doesn't make it a good idea. I'd be curious as to how he justified Luke's exile, though. There are ways I can imagine that would have allowed the Luke in this sequel trilogy to remain faithful to his roots.

@HAL 9010' said:

I cannot for the life of me figure out why they teased the Xwing to never use it in any way and especially when the script has such a perfect opening for it....

The worst thing about this is that Rian Johnson did it quite deliberately. He said he showed the x-wing so that when Luke turns up at the end you think he's used it and is actually there rather than the idiotic projection outcome. The big problem though - as @Horus Mazinga pointed out - is that if you're a big fan you're instantly going get that excitement out of expecting to see the ESB scene being mirrored. So whilst he thought it was a bit of "clever" misdirection, it was actually playing out in the minds of the fans as a further piss take...

@The Midi-chlorian Count said:

@HAL 9010' said:

I cannot for the life of me figure out why they teased the Xwing to never use it in any way and especially when the script has such a perfect opening for it....

The worst thing about this is that Rian Johnson did it quite deliberately. He said he showed the x-wing so that when Luke turns up at the end you think he's used it and is actually there rather than the idiotic projection outcome. The big problem though - as @Horus Mazinga pointed out - is that if you're a big fan you're instantly going get that excitement out of expecting to see the ESB scene being mirrored. So whilst he thought it was a bit of "clever" misdirection, it was actually playing out in the minds of the fans as a further piss take...

Johnson strikes me as one of those too-clever types that thinks that repeatedly and vigorously subverting audience expectations is the height of creativity. Too many professional critics think the same way. What they fail to recognize that burning down the house without reason isn't creative destruction, it's arson. And it's every bit as tiresome as rote storytelling.

Agree with everything said here. In short the movie sucks ass in every possible way.

@The Midi-chlorian Count said:

@HAL 9010' said:

I cannot for the life of me figure out why they teased the Xwing to never use it in any way and especially when the script has such a perfect opening for it....

The worst thing about this is that Rian Johnson did it quite deliberately. He said he showed the x-wing so that when Luke turns up at the end you think he's used it and is actually there rather than the idiotic projection outcome. The big problem though - as @Horus Mazinga pointed out - is that if you're a big fan you're instantly going get that excitement out of expecting to see the ESB scene being mirrored. So whilst he thought it was a bit of "clever" misdirection, it was actually playing out in the minds of the fans as a further piss take...

Cue whining about similarities with the OT

Yet... All of you guys will line up to watch the next one... right?

@Renovatio said:

Yet... All of you guys will line up to watch the next one... right?

We are all suckers, I guess. But I can’t feel in my core that the Star Wars Torch is burning out now, so I am not that sure anymore....

I will see it but definitely not on opening night like with TFA and TLJ. What's there to look forward to anyway? No Han, no Leia, very little Luke or none at all. Rey, Kylo and the new guys I just don't really care for.

@AlienFanatic said:

Johnson strikes me as one of those too-clever types that thinks that repeatedly and vigorously subverting audience expectations is the height of creativity.

That's exactly it - he also did it with Admiral Dafthair. "Oh how clever. We thought she was a bit dodgy, potentially even a double agent or suchlike, but no, it's just her thinking on handling the situation was a bit different, we should all consider how things might not be as black and white as they seem! Superb nuanced Star Wars Rian, take a bow..."

Only to set us up for this subversion he rendered the entire plotlines for 2 of the 3 new "heroes", Finn and Poe, utterly pointless 😂