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Star Wars: The Last Jedi - SPOILER discussion


#1364

At the end of Empire, Luke is a mopey guy crying over his daddy issues, while Han just got caught by the bad guys because he led everyone into a trap. Jedi starts and suddenly Luke is a badass, Han eventually gets back to being Han-like, and everyone is cool again. Comparing Rey, Finn, and Poe at the end of TLJ to Luke, Han, and Leia at the end of the OT isn’t entirely fair.


#1365

The concept just didn’t enthuse the masses. I am not sure they will learn the right lesson from this. The next one is likely going to be a Boba Fett movie or something and it will do worse than Solo.


#1366

I think the concept is part of it, sure (that was certainly the biggest thing for me). But there’s also the timing of the release, the behind-the-scenes troubles, the reaction to TLJ, coming right after a series of other blockbusters, like Avengers, whether or not you could buy Ehrenreich as a young Han Solo (or more specifically, a young Harrison Ford), etc. I think all of those things, to varying degrees depending on the individual, played a part.


#1367

It’s almost like you meant to post this in the DC comics thread :confused:


#1368

It’s interesting that in Attack of the Clones, Empire Strikes Back, and Last Jedi, this offer is made, and it’s different every time. In Clones, Anakin and Padme are talking about a broken political system; in Empire Vader is talking about power; and in Jedi Kylo is talking about a new order. What Kylo wants is a fresh start. At every turn, like his grandfather before him, he’s patronized and used, and clearly he’s sick of it. Getting rid of Snoke (which I mention again drew massive cheers from the audience when I saw it in theaters) was something Anakin didn’t do until Luke gave him a huge opening. This was entirely Kylo’s decision. Vader was thinking of replacing the Emperor mostly because he was caught up with the same idea of power, and decided he didn’t need the old guy anymore. He no longer had the idealism he’d discussed with Padme. It’s hard to say if Kylo is driven by idealism.

But it’s interesting to follow.


#1369

I suspect the Q can’t be serious


#1370

My impression is he’s mostly driven by self-loathing. He wants to break the world so he can wipe it clean and have a new start for himself.

But yeah, it’s interesting. Something they never managed with Anakin, who always seemed like a petulant child. Kylo on the other hand is like a disturbed and disturbing adolescent.


#1371

I still don’t think a school shooter character was a good idea for Star Wars. There’s no redemption arc for him here, he’s got to die and it won’t be a satisfying death like the Emperor, it’ll be a sad death - like why did he have to do this in the first place.

Clearly he wants to move away from his own past (which is another story element I have trouble with) but it also feels unearned. He seemed to have a good childhood and loving parents, his crazy uncle didn’t even really try to kill him (and of course he didn’t bother to check if he was dead when he lashed out, because of plot).


#1372

In the course of a couple of days, Kylo Ren went from a petulant teenager (who’s actually thirty) that threw temper tantrums to the supreme leader of the galaxy.

This really can’t work out well. Imagine King Joffrey, First of His Name, without Tywin or Tyrion wiping his ass.


#1373

I don’t get it. They have the guy having literal temper tantrums, smashing everything around him. To me he’s Jar Jar bad, saved by a talented actor who puts in a great performance but he’s a really terribly written character. Even Joffery had some sort of motive with the threats and challenges to his rule surrounding him.

Kylo is literally a toddler acting out and destroying everything in his path. He’s beyond pathetic. Of course I can see why he’s popular in Trumps America.


#1374

In a sense I think they were too successful in making Kylo Ren a dislikable character. I didn’t warm to him at all in TFA and thought he was quite a laughable petulant teenager of a baddie. In TLJ there was more depth there - with the protective/romantic feelings towards Rey, the implication of corruption and abuse at the hands of Snoke, and the backstory with Luke - but even then they had him snap back to TFA mode by the end.

I think the problem is not so much that he’s beyond redemption as that he’s someone I don’t really care about seeing redeemed one way or the other. Which is fine for some characters in Star Wars, like the Emperor - but Kylo Ren is no Emperor.

As a tortured soul there’s not enough to make us root for his redemption, and as an out-and-out villain he’s just a bit crap.


#1375

Nah, unless you’re making a Trek riff, it is serious in that, we’ve Kylo doing all this stuff but I don’t see why he’s doing it.

Anakin / Vader was all about ordering the galaxy, which had a certain logic with his slave background. Why wouldn’t he want to boss others around in the way he once was? But with Kylo, it’s so much murkier.


#1376

Yeah. Luke mentions that “Snoke had gotten to him by then”, in TLJ…but that just makes killing Snoke off so much the worse.


#1377

Yup. Snoke takes him from his family, makes him into a monster, forces him to kill his father, and then he turns on Snoke because Rey bats her eyes? Awful awfulness.


#1378

And also because we then are just completely abandoned from whatever that dynamic or character piece that was. Johnson really cold-cocked himself by cutting that thread that he created in the same movie.

I’m boggled.


#1379

I suspect they will do a redemption story with Kylo for one reason - “hey, Jedi did it with Vader and he was far worse”. And to date, they have stuck to the OT like an incredibly possessive koala bear.

The problem I have with this is redemption stories can be done well, Legends did a couple, but on the whole? It requires very careful handling and subtlety and I don’t see either of those as SW’ forte.

Yeah, but you never expected it, right?


#1380

I didn’t get the impression that him killing Snoke had anything to do with an attraction to Rey. He saw her as an opportunity, other than Snoke they’re the two most powerful Force users in the Galaxy. He’s already seen that she’ll fight by his side (as did she, they both just misinterpreted what that meant - which was one of the few things I actually liked in the film) so he betrayed Snoke so that he could take over.


#1381

I think part of it is that he felt betrayed by the way Snoke tricked them both into thinking they had a connection (through the force visions), when it turned out the whole thing was masterminded by Snoke.


#1382

But why assume he had a happy childhood? Mom & dad wouldn’t’ve known the first thing to do with a Force-sensitive kid. Leia, even when she learns in Return of the Jedi that she’s Luke’s sister didn’t indicate the slightest interest in Jedi abilities. She just continued on as if the only thing that changed was her relationship with Luke. And we all know Han didn’t know the first thing about Jedi. We already knew, in that movie, that these characters were not going to easily change their basic natures. Leia had grown very used to being a leader. She was the only one of the three main characters in the trilogy to be a part of the Rebellion, and one of its most important figures, through all three films. And we saw her fight being something else (considering a romance with “a scoundrel”) for as long as possible. Why assume she would be a natural mother? Because of that awkward relationship she struck up with an Ewok? These were not people well-positioned to parenthood, much less of someone like Ben Solo.

And as far as we know, they pawned him off on Luke first chance they got. And we know Luke freaked out about the kind of power he sensed in Ben, wildly overreacted when he thought the boy might turn to the Dark Side. And like Anakin before him, Ben already had a manipulative influence whispering in his ear. It’s been clear from the start that Kylo Ren was a character trading on our awareness of the Anakin arc in the prequels. The parts we’ve seen the movies don’t really reiterate. Where they diverge, we get what we need.

And the elephant in the room? Rey’s connection to…Anakin Skywalker. Like Anakin, she comes out of nowhere. She doesn’t parallel Luke, she parallels his dad. That’s what fascinates Kylo about her. “No connection to any of this.” That’s what screwed up Anakin, ultimately, that he was plunged into the middle of something that was far bigger than him, and never really prepared for it. His grandson was born into it, and because of the same sloppy inability to properly prepare him for any of it, he plunges into darkness. But he yearns for something more. He sees Rey as a chance to pull himself out. That’s also why it was so interesting for Rey and Finn to resist joining the cause in Force Awakens, and why Last Jedi is essentially the story of them both learning what it means to be involved, and we have to meet Luke Skywalker as a disappointment. Because even Luke was never really prepared for any of this, in large part because of himself. When Yoda describes someone’s character, he’s pretty accurate. Just because he paints a bad picture doesn’t mean he’s being mean. His only real failure is not trying to change what he sees, and that’s what was wrong with the Jedi as a whole, and what Luke ultimately fixed, but apparently only where his father was concerned. And what Rey, if there’s to be any real resolution, must do with Kylo Ren.

If you think this is a simple case of eliminating him because he’s a bad guy, Luke probably has some words for you…


#1383

How much of that did we have by the end of Empire?