My Russian Bot Review of The Last Jedi

Okay, I should be working on the end of Monster Hunter Guardian, but then I saw this dumb ass article, and it absolutely demanded a response. I saw the Last Jedi. I talked about it a little bit on Facebook, but once I started optioning books to Hollywood I quit reviewing movies on my blog. But damn it, this has pushed me too far!

That’s right. Supposedly most of the people who hated The Last Jedi were Russian robots.

And so this was me, thirty seconds after I read that nonsense.

So today, don’t think of me as American novelist Larry Correia. I’m Lavrenty Krasnov, Cossack movie reviewer, who thinks that the Last Jedi was a dumpster fire of suck. Pass the vodka, comrades, because shit is about to get real.

Oh yeah, I’m going to warn you now, there’s going to be a lot of profanity in this review.

First off, I don’t know how many Russian bots are on Twitter, but as for me and my house, we’re actual humans.  And we were dumb enough to go watch Last Jedi opening week. My initial comment upon leaving the theater was something to the effect of “that was the prettiest nonsensical bullshit plot I’ve ever seen.”

The earlier Force Awakens was one of those movies where you have fun as you watch it, and you don’t think about it too hard at the time because by the time you can ponder on a plot hole, it’s already moved quickly onto the next cool visual. But when you leave the theater and you start talking about it with your kids, all the many flaws begin to stick out.

Last Jedi was that turned up to 10 and then the knob got broken off, so Rian Johnson could stick it up his butt. Because in addition to being stupid, it also pretentiously threw away any interesting or good story and character bits from the first movie which could’ve been developed into something interesting.

There was a post on my Facebook fan page (Monster Hunter International: Hunters Unite) about the Last Jedi. It wound up having several hundred participants, and like a thousand comments. Of those, the vast majority didn’t like the movie. Even though I’ve known many of these people for years, little did I realize they were actually Russian robots. (luckily, it turns out Russian robots buy a lot of books, so it’s worked out well for me).

I’ve been a Star Wars fan since I was a kid. And since I was a nerd, I didn’t just watch the movies, I also played the role playing game (old school West End Games), read the comic books, and got together with my friend’s to play with their Star Wars toys. I didn’t have many Star Wars toys myself, because we were poor (and full disclosure, when I did scrape together the money, I got GI Joes instead because I thought their action figures were way cooler. Their knees and elbows bent! Kung Fu Grip, bitches!) And when I was in college I read a pile of the Expanded Universe books. (Tim Zahn is still the king and Admiral Thrawn is a far more compelling bad guy than all the weak ass new villains put together).

Like most 40 somethings, I watched the prequels and thought they were pretty lame, but then I had a bunch of kids, and it was Clone Wars city in my house. You can’t walk ten feet without tripping over a Star Wars toy.  My son has the AT-AT. The big one. The one the size of a dog. The one that I would’ve murdered someone for at that age. And the Legos, holy shit, we’ve spent I don’t know how much money on Star Wars Legos. My kids have the big Millennium Falcon. Do you have any idea how cool that friggin’ thing is?

I also like Rogue One. Mad props for doing something different and interesting WHILE NOT SPITTING ON THE FANS.

But then along comes Last Jedi… and what a farce that was.

When Solo rolled around, even though you literally can’t not step on a Storm Trooper action figure anywhere in my house, I asked the kids, “Hey, Solo is out this week. You guys want to go see it?” And I got a chorus of mehs. They didn’t care enough to bother.

The Last Jedi had killed their enthusiasm.

And you’ve got to understand. Me and my kids, we do movies right. So when we go to the theater we go to the one with the comfy recliner chairs, I even spring for sodas and candy bars, and then we always go out to eat afterwards, and Dad pays for it all. And I raised a bunch of cheap mercenary capitalists, so they understand Take Advantage Of Dad Paying For Stuff Whenever Possible.

But nothing. Just a chorus of meh.

So how fucking much did Last Jedi have to suck to kill the enthusiasm of a bunch of Star Wars dorks that they couldn’t even bother to unass the couch to watch Solo, eat snacks, and then get pizza?

It sucked all the suck. That’s how much.

My oldest didn’t actively hate it. She was kind of blah, take it or leave it, and she’s a fan of John Boyega the same way I’m a fan of Idris Elba (Yeah, I’ve got a man crush on Idris Elba, so sue me).  That’s the highest praise any of my family could muster. Even my youngest was bored AND HE LITERALLY WANTS TO BE A DEATH TROOPER WHEN HE GROWS UP.

Just the fact Rian Johnson can so smugly turn off fans like that is infuriating, and I haven’t even gotten to the actual review yet.

When I review movies, I do it as a writer and professional story teller. Making up characters and having them get into interesting circumstances that people find entertaining is how I pay the bills and buy all these motherfucking Legos. On one of the many, many Facebook pages I saw arguing about this stupid movie, some woman told people that if they thought they could write a better story, we should. My response was NO PROBLEM. I could write a better story that Last Jedi in my sleep, because this story was trash.

So I’m going to try and set my nerdy fan boy aside and tackle this review from a story teller’s point of view.

The plot of the Last Jedi feels like fan fiction written by a pretentious English major trying to wow the teacher with his deconstructionist brilliance. So while he simultaneously tries to beat by beat match the previous works (in a hamfisted way) he’s also going to “subvert” everything (SO EDGY!).


Characters are the single most important thing in most stories. They are the best tool a writer has to work with to tell an awesome story. When we last we saw these characters introduced in Force Awakens, sure, there were some flaws, (like holy shit Rey is OP), but there were also a lot of interesting potential threads left that could be developed into—

Fuck. Fin’s just comic relief now. Way to go, Rain.

No really, Fin was by far the most interesting character, with the most interesting arc, and the most potential for development after TFA.  Rain, or whatever weird ass way his name is spelled, I don’t even care anymore, just pissed all over that.  Apparently when Fin was in medical stasis he dropped about 15 IQ points.

But fucking up a new character is one thing… Ruining legends is a crime.

Luke was a travesty. That was just bullshit right there. If I’d had a look at the script beforehand I would have rolled it up tight and smacked Ryan over the head with it while shouting “what the fuck is wrong with you! You’ve been given custody of one of the most beloved characters in history and this is what you do with him?”

And the fact that nobody at Disney did that is the real travesty.

Listen, I’ve written in other people’s universes. And the first damned thing you do is your basic homework of what makes it tick, and what things are sacred. You don’t try to “subvert” what came before. You see why people loved it and then you build on it.

Like holy shit man, I’ve written stories for Aliens, Predator, V Wars (coming soon to Netflix!), Warmachine, and I’m probably forgetting some other IPs I’ve worked in, that’s basic fucking IP Writing 101. You do your homework. You respect what came before. AND YOU DON’T PISS OFF THE FANS.

So yeah, Luke, the hero of your childhood is now an asshole. Deal with it.

You’d think they’d learned from Han Solo in the last one. Hey, that beloved character, yeah, he’s basically a loser who lives in a van down by the river. But at least it felt like Harrison Ford was playing Han Solo. Mark was playing some useless grumpy old asshole.

Not that characters can’t change. They can. And they should. But when you as the writer change a character you’ve got to show that. You’ve got to make it organic. You can’t just slap them in the face and go EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT I’M SO EDGY.

Go milk a fucking walrus, you hack.

What a waste. Don’t even get me started on Space Mary Poppins.

While I’m still on characters, the greatest example of Rain’s fucked up perspective of how to use even the 2nd tier characters… Holy shit.. Admiral Motherfucking Ackbar.

Think about this. Everybody in the world knows Admiral Ackbar. I could hop on a plane to Kazakhstan right now, get a rental jeep, go up in the mountains, find a goat herder in a village that doesn’t have electricity, show him a picture of Admiral Ackbar, bad ass lobsterman, and that goat herd would immediately shout IT’S A TRAP!

Admiral Ackbar has transcended being a character to become a cultural icon. He’s like the #1 meme on the internet. Everybody loves Admiral Ackbar.

Now watch as Rian Johnson pisses in your eyes.

He took this cultural icon, this HERO, and capped him so casually that I wasn’t even sure what happened. Like, wait, what?

But not only that, in this dumbfuck plot some assholes threw together after smoking way too much weed, there’s another new character, Admiral Evening Gown, who struts in and does everything that he easily could’ve had Admiral Ackbar do, big heroic sacrifice moment and all that jazz, but nope. Fuck Ackbar, and fuck your memories. Here’s this totally unlikable new character.

And yes. Everybody hates Admiral Holdo because she was an awful character who was completely useless, most of the plot only exists because of her Plot Mandated Stupidity, and then here is a crowning moment of awesome hyperspace kamikazee… Oh, but wait, I’ll get that scene later, because honestly, though beautiful, it’s the worst scene of the movie for a reason.

But if you say you don’t like Admiral Holdo, who behaved like she was beaten with an idiot stick, IT MUST BE BECAUSE YOU HATE WOMEN. And since I’ve written like twenty novels chock full of heroic female characters (only mine have functioning brains) I just rolled my eyes so hard I injured myself, but whatever, that’s the world we live in now, comrades.

It’s literally every character written as dumb. I saw that there was some controversy because rabid fanboys were yelling at Rose. That’s unfair. Yeah, her character was stupid, BUT THEY WERE ALL STUPID. That’s not the actresses fault. They could have cast Dame Judi Dench and it still would have sucked, because an actor can only do so much when your script is made of cheese.

The bad guys… Admiral Hux of the Huxington Huxtables went from being menacing frat boy in the first movie, to idiot comedy relief. Seriously, Admiral Thrawn would have had all these mopes flogged.

Oh, look, there’s a lone rebel righter just parked there, doing the most idiotic bad microphone shtick in the history of movies, you think maybe we should like do something defensive or something? Naw… I’m just a spaceship captain. What’s the worst that could happen? Like seriously, these people make the crew of the Prometheus look like VonClauswitz.

Despite Rey being the best at literally everything in the universe EVER, there were some possible character arcs that could’ve been taken after TFA. But nope, Rain is SO EDGY, but he couldn’t possibly do anything to humanize the uber character. Same with Kylo. One of the only things I’ll give this movie is that at least he was more interesting that the mopey emo crybaby they made him in the last one.

That’s some pretty faint praise all things considered.

Characters it’s all about rooting for someone. When your characters do nothing but stupid shit, it’s hard to root for them. Your antagonists need to be menacing, not clowns, or worse, just thrown away! (hey, Snoke is interesting… and never mind…).  Or Phasma. Hey, wow, she must be super bad ass to have the silver armor and…. Garbage chute… Maybe some menace this time and…. Oh fuck it.

The Ewoks had more character than this. AND THEY COULDN’T BLINK.


Now that we’ve written every character to be a complete bumbling idiot, useless asshole, or made of wood, let’s give them interesting things to do!

Oh wait… This is Rain Johnson we’re talking about. Never mind.

There are so many plots holes… I think I put more thought into continuity for a short story than Disney did for this bazillion dollar movie. If there was a continuity person on this train wreck, FIRE HIM.

Our basic plot is that in the last movie when Totally Not The Death Star blew up a bunch of planets (with a faster than light beam that is dramatically visible to the naked eye), the Millennium Falcon flew through a shield at hyperspeed (not much a shield then is it) before shutting it off manually in the .000000000000001 of a second before impact, to save the day, so that Rey who has like three minutes of training can kick the shit out of a dude who has been punching rocks under waterfalls for the last twenty years (Rey is basically Kung Fu Panda).

So that all happened in the last flick, and Rain Johnson scoffed, and said, “You call those plot holes? I’ll show you plot holes J.J. Abrams! Hold my bong and watch this!”

So after the New Republic demonstrated that it is the most inept government in history, the Hash Tag Resistance is on the run, as they moved around the plot beats of Empire Strikes Back.

Now, the New Order could’ve just targeted the fleet first, and spared us this entire clusterfuck of a movie, and even though they’re apparently smart enough to overthrow the New Republic, build planet sized super weapons (like… after the sun eater sucks up a star, do they fly the planet to a new sun?) they totally didn’t think of that.

Then we’ve got the scene with the space bombers. Because gravity totally works in space… What the hell was that nonsense?

Yeah, I know space wizards and lightning swords, but trust me, I do this shit for a living. Your audience will give you a pass for certain things and immerse themselves, as long as you don’t break the fundamental already established laws of that universe.

But not Rain. Oh no. Motherfucking space bombs. Because reasons.

And Poe Dameron does the equivalent of having one F-16 pop the USS Ronald Reagan, while the super carrier sits there and goes duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuur.

Then the chase… And remember, the entire point of the chase is to get somewhere they can send a message begging for help. (they just blew up a bunch of planets with billions of innocent people on them, and nobody steps up… How much do your allies suck?).  But during this chase, lasers have BALLISTIC DROP.

And at that point, I was eating popcorn and thinking, just shoot me now. I once read a textbook on the physics of gravity TO WRITE ONE FIGHT SCENE, and this motherfucker got millions of dollars for this gibberish. Hey, Hollywood, I WORK CHEAP.

But anyways, after Fin tries to desert (and we all know that desertion in a desperate life or death war is basically comedy), Admiral Holdo causes most of their problems through some really awful leadership decisions.

There’s this thing in writing, where you couldn’t have a plot unless the characters are really stupid. You see it mostly in low budget horror movies. Where if the characters were smart, they wouldn’t get in trouble, but instead it’s like hey, there’s an axe murderer, let’s go off by ourselves to smoke pot and have sex. Yeah…. That’s this level of writing. The plot only exists because all the characters are too stupid to live.

Well written movies avoid this problem, by having everyone act in a manner consistent with their established character, and then twist the circumstances to force them into the interesting events. Lazy assholes just figure have the characters do dumb shit, they’ve got a huge special effects budget to distract people, and if anybody complains, just say they’re not real actual people, or they’re racist, or something. Hell if I know.

So then we’ve got this absurd subplot where Fin and Rose go off to get some specific hacker on casino planet. Except remember, the whole goal was to get somewhere to send a message… Why doesn’t Fin just send the message on Casino Planet?

But anyways, let’s shove in some hamfisted message about the military industrial complex or WTF ever that was supposed to be.  (Trust me, before I was a writer I was in the military industrial complex, it’s relatively boring, and I never once got to swim in a Scrooge McDuck style money vault). But then they rescue space horses, and after all that recruit the totally untrustworthy guy who like totally won’t betray them… And the only reason they got caught was because they parked their shuttle someplace stupid.

Seriously, bad horror movie writing. If Fin and Rose had taken a break to get high and make out in the forest and then gotten killed by an axe murderer, it would have made just as much sense as this shit. When teenage characters make those kinds of decisions in movies like Night of the Demons, the audience gives it a pass, but when a bunch of supposed military rebel professionals do stupid shit like that, the audience groans.

The really sad thing is that Benecio DelToro is actually a bad ass actor. How badly do you have to fuck up a script to waste Benecio DelToro? Sure, he always looks like he just woke up with a hangover, but that can be downright menacing (see Sicario, an exceedingly dark, but well written movie).

And his big betrayal? Yeah. They’re going to get in little ships and fly to the only planet anywhere near. And the Not Empire is all like Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuur thanks we never thought about looking out da window!

But anyways, there’s another subplot where Luke Skywalker is basically a useless asshole so Rain Johnson can poop on your childhood, but we’ve already hit the high points there.

Then back to my absolute favorite part of this trainwreck. The stupid space kamikaze move. It was the most hauntingly beautiful shot, or a piece of terrible writing, in the entire history of movies. So Holdo takes the reins, flips around their cruiser, slams it into hyperspace, and smokes not just the Not Empire’s super giant flag ship, but also its entire carrier battle group of super bad ass star destroyers.

Let’s break this down, and why it is so obnoxiously, incredibly, painfully stupid.

If you can take a cheap ass freighter and easy button instakill an entire carrier battle group, then why haven’t they done this in any of the previous movies?  Why fly down the trench of the Death Star? Or into the interior of the 2nd? Why have big fleet battles at all?

In writing, this is a basic fuck up that you usually see from newer fantasy authors. That’s where they’ve got their established rules, but then they toss in some new super amazing hotness power, but which invalidates all the previous struggles (because why not just use that?). It’s why the Time Turner shows up in Harry Potter, and then is promptly forgotten about. Because I’m sorry, if I was writing that, I could fuck some shit up with a Time Turner.

But anyways, back to Rain’s crowning moment of stupid… If you can hyperspace kamikaze slam a far weaker ship into a far superior ship so hard that you can secondary kill battleships just off the spalling, why didn’t they do that before? Why have fleet battles at all? Build the cheapest Mon-Cal freighter you can, and stick a single pissed off suicidal droid pilot on it. Whammo. Problem solved.

It invalidates the entire movie Rogue One. Why go through all that struggle to get the Death Star plans when you can just render one combat ineffective with a hypserspace freighter. Boom. Done.

It’s shit writing. Period.

Not only does it invalidate and make pointless every other space battle in all the movies (because again, why go through all that when you’ve got an easy button) but it also breaks the internal logic of this movie. Because there were several large ships that ran out of gas before that, who drifted back, to get destroyed, AND THEIR CAPTAINS WENT DOWN WITH THE SHIP!

So when one of those hits E and the gas tank warning light comes on, instead of dying like a little bitch, why not flip around and go all space kamikaze on their ass instead?

These are those simple, basic questions that writers (and their editors!) should be asking when they’re putting together scenes like that. I can’t imagine that there was somebody, anybody, at Disney , who looked at that and caught what an absurdity it was.

I’ve seen some die hard defenders of TLJ try to insert explanations of why they didn’t do that move before, or why it would only work in this one specific situation… Except NONE OF THAT IS ACTUALLY IN THE MOVIE. It’s called theory crafting. And if you have to theory craft on a whole bunch of extra plot to explain a plot hole, that’s still a writing fail.

But just for a moment, let’s pretend that Rain Johnson isn’t a pretentious asshole, and imagine that he actually had the writing chops to put in an explanation justifying this one off super cool maneuver…. Even then the crowning moment of heroic sacrifice went to an unlikable new character because he’d already thrown away Admiral Ackbar.

The instant that shot happened, all quiet, and ominous, my thought process was that’s cool looking, but then my mind started thinking through all the ramifications.

Like I said above about IP Writing 101. It’s about respecting what came before. That shot was the ultimate disrespect.

Then the finale, which is basically the opening of Hoth. Again, pretty to look at, but vapid and stupid. Oh, and by the way, the super awesome light saber showdown you’ve been waiting for between the master and student? SUBVERTED! SO EDGY!

And in the end Luke just wastes away… Kind of like the Star Wars franchises’ potential.

In conclusion, that’s what disgusts me the most. You got entrusted with the most valuable IP in the world, and THIS is what you did with it? And you assholes don’t even have the stones to fess up that it could’ve been better, that your characters were lame, and your plot made of Swiss cheese. Oh no… That would require an ounce of artistic humility and self-awareness.  Instead you flip it around and it’s all bullshit obfuscation about social justice. So when Solo flopped, obviously that’s because of all these other reasons, and not because TLJ was so lame you managed to strangle our enthusiasm.

I wasn’t going to say anything until I saw that we’re all Russian bots.  So today I put on my ushanka and drew my Cossack saber. (actually, they both belong to my son, because he’s the one who is learning to speak Russian, and I was too lazy to get one of my AK-47s out of the gun safe). I am proud to be counted among the Russian Bots who think that The Last Jedi was utter dreck.

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268 thoughts on “My Russian Bot Review of The Last Jedi”

  1. I was the kid who saw Empire and ROTJ on opening night. I did so again for the Phantom Menace, but then waited for the next two prequels to come out on video. That’s how much I hated the prequels. So I went to TFA and despite some plot holes, it made excited to see what came next, something which hadn’t happened since ROTJ. And Rogue One was good and I thought, man, they’re really on to something. And then TLJ came and bah. It left such a bad taste in my and my family’s mouth that none of us cared enough to see Solo in the theaters, not even the 2nd run theater downtown for $2. From everything I’ve heard, Solo was a fun movie. However, the bad aftertaste from TLJ ruined its box office. If Disney doesn’t fix it, the next film will ruin the entire franchise. Forever.

    1. Actually, if you didn’t like TLJ, you were probably better off not going to see Solo. What they did to Lando was $!@# unreal, in my opinion. Once again, taking the valuable IP and community and absolutely trashing it.

      1. No, they had Lando pegged, IMO. He always struck me as the sort of fellow who’d have a card up his sleeve, and would duck out when people he didn’t really like bade fair to get him into a shooting brawl.

        1. Not according to his trilogy of books, which I loved as a kid. He routinely caught other people cheating at cards.
          But it’s true that he only carried a hold-out blaster because if he didn’t, he’d get in more trouble.

        1. If TFA hadn’t strangled my Star Wars ambition (though rogue one was pretty fun) I would still have refused Solo.

          Cause the Hans Solo Trilogy was/is one of my favorite “read for fun” series and I refuse to believe a different origin story.

    2. Phantom Menace did kill much of my enthusiasm for Star Wars.

      I managed to rescue some of that with the Force Awakens.

      Then The Last Jedi ruined it for me. I didn’t see Solo, I didn’t care.

    3. I completely fail to comprehend how and why anyone who hates TLJ can still like TFA and R1.

      They were just as insultingly idiotic and wrong on every level.

      1. Eh, R1 was a pretty solid base though and it wouldn’t take too much fiddling to make it really good. You’d have to lose the entire fleet at the end and have them take out the shield another way as well as clean up a few things earlier(among other things the romance subplot needs to be mostly if not entirely jettisoned), but there was plenty of meat to use for a good movie. Much more arguably than either TFA or TLJ.

    4. I won’t see it because it’s not just $2,

      No way is the Solo dumpster fire going to be worth that.

  2. To add, they didn’t just make Luke a grumpy old man- they took a character who has already been established as the single most optimistic figure in the galaxy and turned him into a nihilist. When BOTH of his masters told him his dad was too far gone to ever be reclaimed from the darkside and must be killed for the good of the galaxy, he STILL remained convinced he could be redeemed. Every other person in the galaxy had written him off but he refused to do so. They took THAT character and had him try to murder his nephew because he MIGHT be tempted. The man who suffered and devoted his life to becoming a Jedi just casually gave up because reasons. All of his character development over 3 movies just got tossed away like so much garbage. Because a character who was the very embodiment of hope is so old fashion.

          1. Your post on your weight loss got me to try the whole intermediate fasting thing.

            10 lbs in 1.5 months or so, so far and I haven’t hit the weights seriously yet (stay at home dad with a new born and crazy toddler doesnt leave a ton of treadmill and weights time)

            Thanks for sharing your success and giving me the final motivation to get to work.

    1. I LOVE “grumpy old man” characters. It’s part of why Earl Harbinger is my favorite of Larry’s characters. But the reason why Earl is a fantastic “grumpy old man” is because he still has complex motivations. He still cares about things, and he still holds himself to an ideal, even when he feels like it’s impossible for him. His grumpiness is not because he’s given up, but because he REFUSES to give up even though the pessimistic side of him still keeps trying to tell him “you’re evil and you’ve done bad things and there’s no way to redeem yourself”. And yet he keeps on trying his best anyway. For similar reasons, another favorite fictional character is Walt Longmire (from the show; I haven’t yet read the books). Different backstory, similar attitude. He regrets things, maybe sometimes feels like the world has passed him by, but tries to do his best by it anyway. Sometimes he’s right, sometimes he’s wrong, but he’s always trying to do better.

      By comparison, Fake Luke is a grumpy old man without a purpose. He just sits around on his island, drinking sea-monster milk and watching the fish nuns clean up after him, while he twiddles his thumbs and waits to die. That kind of character is boring at best, and offensive as the “canonical” end point of the most optimistic guy in the galaxy.

    2. It would have been more believable if Luke was killed by Kylo Ren because of his undying optimism; rather than Han.

      Speaking of Han, is it really believable that he’d go back to smuggling when he had a much more lucrative position with the New Republic? Especially with Chewie, Luke, and Leia for influence?

      Leia still stuck in the role of general of the Rebellion, err New Republic after 30 years? Zero character development there. Well, at least she had some Force training which we only see when her ship gets holed and she’s blasted into space.

      And the New Republic did such a craptastic job that imperial wannabes have basically wiped them out? I know there’s no gratitude in politics, but come on, even the galaxy doesn’t have THAT many competent, cooperative asshats.

      1. Whether or not Han’s return to smuggling is believable, it’s disappointing. I feel like there’s a current trend to over-prioritize “realism” in fiction, at the expense of things being actually interesting. I’ve heard plenty of people argue that Han and Leia breaking up is actually the “most realistic” result because of the differences in their personalities, but so what? Their relationship, and Han’s character change, were major plotlines in the original films. The fact that both are immediately brought to square one is disappointing.

        1. I think it’s because Hollywood doesn’t know how to write functional families. They can story out how two people can bond and fall in love, but after that, they’re just stuck.
          And since TFA is just a soft reboot of A New Hope, they had to put everyone basically where they were at the start of that far superior film.

          1. That’s an arresting inight. So Hollywood’s deeply psychotic anti normal lifestyles bleeds through in comics. WHere’s the Extended universe did show healtty family life between Han and Leia as well as Luke and Mara

        2. Speaking as someone who’s been married to his near exact opposite for ~20 years, the Han/Leia break up doesn’t smack of “realism.” It’s laziness.

          All of TFA was basically dumping all the developments and accomplishments from the original trilogy – and then dumping on the characters, too. Ex: Han not only loses Leia, he loses the Falcon, gives up the fight, is back to smuggling at 70, and sucks at it. Oh, and he’s suckered and killed by his Sith wannabe kid. Sucker.

          1. That’s something I hated about Star Trek Into Darkness (fitting title!), where they dumped all the character development from the first film, and went right back to square one.

      2. “It would have been more believable if Luke was killed by Kylo Ren because of his undying optimism; rather than Han.”

        My biggest complaint about The Force Awakens was that they didn’t have Han say, “I love you,” and then have Kylo reply, “I know,” right before running him through with his lightsaber.

    3. Hell, look how Luke’s mom died. Died of a broken heart?
      What a strong leader. Now let’s go hide him from his father next door to the town where his father grew up. With his FAMILY for hell’s sake.

      Oh well. At least Kenobi could hide out as… Kenobi. Yeah, THERE’S a meaningless name to Vader. The ‘brother’ that chopped his arm and legs off and left him in flaming LAVA!

      Should have tried to be a fake droid: OB-1-KNO-B

      Anyway, Mark Hamill said he believes that Luke teleported to a nudist colony somewhere and is alive and quite happy.

  3. My review that I wrote that night I saw it was this:

    Is it good? It’s ok.
    Does it have moments of greatness? Yes.
    Will I see it again? No.
    Why not? Becuz I’ve already seen “The Empire Strikes Back” more times than I can remember, and this is really just a remake of that one. The order of the scenes is a little scrambled, and there are a couple of little differences, but overall….. same overarching theme. Desperate evacuation, walkers assault base, Luke meets Yoda, I mean Rey meets Luke. Dark Side force cave. Force ghosts. Leaving before ready to confront the big bad due to a vision, except it’s a trap. Stop me if you’ve heard this before…..

    So my overall verdict is: See it for the spectacle and becuz it’s Star Wars and it’s a passable 2.5 hours, but don’t expect to be blown away by anything original either.

    1. Well, “The Force Awakens” was pretty much just a re-write of “A New Hope”, so they were at least consistent.

      I was highly irritated when they announced that those 30+ expanded universe books I’d bought were now garbage. I totally agree with Larry that Thrawn was an awesome villain and would have loved to have seen some of those stories brought to the big screen. Plus, a SW universe without Mara Jade Skywalker? Nope!

      1. I’m beginning to think that anything Disney gets their paws on is going to develop a terminal SJW cancer that causes multiple ulcerative sucking chest wounds.

  4. I was torn on the movie because on one hand I really liked some of what it did, but it was also really awful in even more ways. All of that led me to enjoy it more than the force awakens which was….zzzzzzzz…just there I guess. But, yeah it basically threw out the last story and put the story in a hole even harder to write out of, and when looked at from the franchise as a whole it really took a dump on the canon.

    As far as the wrong physics in space I actually prefer because it feels straight up like WW II in space rather than it’s space combat but for some reason everything is moving like it’s in atmosphere, which rubs me worse.

    Also good on you missing SOLO it was really bland.

  5. “Don’t even get me started on Space Mary Poppins.”

    Whoa whoa whoa! I don’t disagree with anything else said here (I roasted TLJ myself twice) but Space Mary Poppins was awesome!

    Wait, we’re both talking about Yandu, right?

      1. When I watched the first Guardians of the Galaxy, I predicted that it would be a better “new Star Wars” than “the real New Star Wars”. It’s the same basic genre: space opera about a fun cast of characters, each with their own distinct personality, exploring the wacky and weird corners of the galaxy and heroically saving the day. Different style, same sense of fun and wonder. Turns out I was exactly right, since “the real New Star Wars” is zero fun and the only “wonder” was “I wonder how much worse it’s gonna get.”

        1. Guardians of the Galaxy:

          What if you did Star Wars with every character being a different aspect of Han Solo?

        2. Kinda like how The Orville is more Star Trek than the monstrosity currently lumbering about in a skin suit made from dead Trek, like Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs.

      2. So naturally, they fired Guardians’ director and not the folks who let TLJ slip past.

        Thankfully, Marvel still has a lot of other very strong talent … But that’s still insult atop injury, I feel.

          1. All that’s been proven is that he has a sick sense of humor. That used not to be a firing offense.

            I can only get so upset in his case thanks to schadenfreude, and it wouldn’t surprise me if there turned out to be more there (this is Hollywood), but until there does, witch hunts are still witch hunts even if the accused witch is an a-hole.

    1. No, he meant Leia magically flying through space to get back into her flagship. Which was ridiculous and they lost an opportunity to let the character die with her actress.

      Not sure how they’re going to handle it in the next movie, but since I’m never going to see one of those films again if the same bozos are in charge, I guess I can live with that uncertainty.

      1. That could have been brilliant. Kylo winds up killing his mom, and then finds himself actively repelled by what the Dark Side requires, thus driving his desire to start a new order of grey force users with Rey.
        Nope. Leah is Mary Poppins ya’ll!

      2. All I could think of during that scene was ET saying “OW” Other than that I forgot most of the movie within a day or two.

  6. Solo was meh in it’s own right. Only saw it because we try to see movies at our neighborhood single-screen (monoplex?) To keep it open.

    1. ‘Monoplex’ is how I’ve always thought of our local one-screen theater. It’s a really nice place, actually, very Art Deco and kept in shape by its own historical society – and ticket sales, I suppose, but being a second-run theater, those don’t amount to a whole lot. Even the snacks there are inexpensive, at least by movie theater standards. You really have to work to make a date there run more than twenty bucks.

      I love the place, and saw TFA there (and for my part, liked it more than Rogue One’s spastic pacing) but dirt-cheap prices and good memories weren’t enough to get me there for TLJ.

    2. When I heard the basic plot line for “Solo”, my first thought was what a great episode that was in Firefly.

    3. I kinda liked Solo. I think it’s a pretty decent sc-fi flick, it’s just that Han kinda sticks out by being weirdly altruistic there. I’d expect him, after his childhood, to be all Artful-Dodgerish crafty, selfish, and mean – but no, he gladly helps each and every helpless that comes across, and only learns to be distrustful at the end of the movie. But other than that, and other than his stone-faced girlfriend, I rather liked the movie.

  7. JuniorBot reportink to Russian Masters that Secret RussianBot Master Plan to delay release of new Monster Hunter novel has succeeded beyond wildest capitalist fantasies! Givink go ahead to advance to next phase of Secret RussianBot Master Plan – makink Donald Trump eat three scoops of ice cream at one sittink.

  8. Oh, I enjoyed the movie. It had the same basic flaws as you listed, plus it had a line of stitches down the center where they took two different movies and patched them together. I mean for one they took a space chase scene and patched an entire “Go to another planet to do stuff and come back” sub-story into the middle of it, which killed any suspense.

    In fact, suspense was the big killer. Or the *lack* of suspense. Every build-up was busted instead of completed. Individual scenes were beautiful, but chain them together with characters who did not seem to have any motivation while doing seemingly random stuff… No.

    (Although I *loved* the way Luke went out.)

    1. That was my main complaint while watching the movie.

      “This piece of shit is spoiling all of its own tension.”

      Then I read about Johnson wanting to be so “subversive” and realized he didn’t only subvert an expectations, but he subverted his own story.

      That’s a special sort of fail.

  9. ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
    You said what we are all thinking!

  10. TFA killed the franchise by undoing every character arc and plot accomplishment from the original trilogy. TLJ then gave it last rites, buried it, and peed on the grave.

    BTW, the PDF for MHI Savage Worlds just went out today. Looks awesome!

    1. Actually, wht killed the franchise wasn’t a crappy movie, but Disney’s response to fan criticism. Franchises can survive a crappy installment but never piss on the fans. We have long memories.

  11. How you feel about The Last Jedi is how I feel about The Force Awakens.

    Though I personally liked TLJ, I find the complaints against it to be valid and worth examination. I feel as if all the problems for TLJ ultimately came from TFA, but I do not approve of how angry fans have been dismissed and belittled.

    My in-depth thoughts:

  12. “The plot of the Last Jedi feels like fan fiction written by a pretentious English major trying to wow the teacher with his deconstructionist brilliance. So while he simultaneously tries to beat by beat match the previous works (in a hamfisted way) he’s also going to “subvert” everything (SO EDGY!).”
    I think this is right on target. Star Wars are a fairy tale. So the same people who cannot help themselves from “deconstructing” Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, The Wizard of Oz, etc. are also keen on deconstructing Star Wars. They’re intentionally sticking it to the original audience with this revisionist version.
    And it’s not just about turning good into evil and evil into good; the nihilistic message they’re driving home is that ultimately nothing matters, that all your efforts count for nothing, all beauty is ugliness, all heroes are ultimately cowards. This is deliberate.

    1. And it’s not just about turning good into evil and evil into good; the nihilistic message they’re driving home is that ultimately nothing matters, that all your efforts count for nothing, all beauty is ugliness, all heroes are ultimately cowards. This is deliberate.

      Of course it’s deliberate; they’re mentally preparing us for the full reality of socialism. It only works if “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength”, and if extra effort to get ahead or better oneself is not only not rewarded but actively punished (because no man is allowed to do better than his fellows; it’s unfair and reeks of privilege).

      So they portray heroes as cowards, to discourage heroism.
      They portray beauty as ugliness, to discourage beauty.
      They portray effort as meaningless, to discourage effort.
      They portray good as evil and evil as good, to make it impossible for individuals to determine which is which.

      All to create a populace with no desire to succeed or excel (and who gets angry at others succeeding or excelling), and with no moral compass. Such people are easier to control.

  13. The Space Bombers… yeah, that’s what broke the movie for me right there. From then on it was just waiting until after the movie for beer, fried pickles and wings.

    We did drown our sorrows, but it took more than usual. That movie SUCKED.

    1. Why not use Y Wings was my thought. Especially since this film is following the concluding space battle in Rogue One, where they ion bomb the ISD.
      I know- they thought the toys of the Useless Slow Gravity Bombers would sell like hotcakes!

    2. The bombers were designed to be slow easy targets that would get easily slaughtered so people could angst about them.

      Y-Wings (even hopelessly obsolete by then) would’ve been more effective. Heck my favorite part of Rogue One is when Gold Squadron spams a ton of ion torpedoes at that ISD and disables it.

      1. Yeah, at least that part matches what they could do in the Star Wars X-Wing fighter games. Maybe I should dig the disks out and see if it will load and run on my Win 10 system.


          (Or Dosbox if your disks will run on dos)

          But buy a joystick. It’s just not as fun with a game pad.

          But Tie Fighter is still the best.

  14. Woot for West End Games D6 star wars RPG! Funny about a few months before the movie came out, our session had two Death Stars (kind of alternate universe game) and we did that EXACT same thing…we rammed ships into them! We did it remote controlled though and it became a tactic we kept coming back to.

  15. When I was 13 I stood in line for a couple of hours to see some new movie called Star Wars. When it was over I went out, got back in line for a few more hours and watched it again.
    The prequels were pretty good despite themselves.
    After watching TFA, I will decided I would never watch another “so-called” Star Wars movie again.
    I have the originals on DVD, all the rest do not exist as far as I’m concerned.

  16. The kamikaze run in this heap of a movie was actually done better in Galaxyquest. In fact, Galaxyquest was better than TLJ in just about every way. Just how screwed up is that?

    1. It’s not screwed up at all. While Galaxy Quest was in many waysa parody of STAR TREK (and Raygun Gothic SF series in general), it was an AFFECTIONATE parody. To work as an affectionate parody, the story must also work as a great example of the thing being parodied. SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN parodies the musicals of Old Hollywood by being a great Hollywood musical. YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN parodies the Universal Horror films by being the best UH film not actually released by Universal. And GALAXY QUEST spoofs Trek type shows while being basically one big Valentine to the fans of Trek.

      In contrast, TLJ was one enormous, expensive, sneering spit take.

      1. Sean of the Dead & Hot Fuzz were also fairly good works in the genre they were parodying.
        I think the reason Star Wars fans for the most part loved Rogue One (despite a few flaws) is that they understood the fans, and didn’t try to play Lucyball with them.

        1. I didn’t like Rogue One, but that was mostly because I didn’t connect with the characters, except for the blind Force-sensitive guy. But his heroic sacrifice at the end was (in my opinion) underwhelming and ultimately nothing made me want to watch the movie twice. Still, the overall feel of the movie was still Star Wars, which is more than I can say for The Last Jedi. There, the attitude seemed to be that the fans WILL like it, and if they don’t, then obviously they’re not REAL fans.

          1. Actually, I thought his underwhelming end was 100% appropriate. We knew it was a hopeless struggle for them ahead of time, and that while the mission would ultimately succeed, none of them would survive. We knew that they wouldn’t be making a significantly noticeable attack against the Empire because the Empire never noted them, and even the Rebellion treated their termination as a mere footnote.

            Their demise was equivalent to the extermination of the entire garrison at the Alamo, but with less fanfare. They died heroically, but they still died.

  17. He tried so hard to get emotional pay offs without earning them. The biggest travesty is not having Luke, Han. Leah and Chewie on screen at the same time. A total waste and a shame.

    1. i think the whole purpose has been to destroy the original characters in favor of the new (inferior) ones. Kinda like they’re trying to do at Marvel Comics.

        1. I quit watching Star Wars after reading the Revenge of the Sith novel, before watching the movie. Plinkett’s review was my first exposure to Star Wars moving picture shows since Attack of the Clones.

        2. Okay… just read Mr. Wright’s review, and it is truly savage indeed- and without a single tied up hooker in a creepy basement.

  18. “So how fucking much did Last Jedi have to suck to kill the enthusiasm of a bunch of Star Wars dorks that they couldn’t even bother to unass the couch to watch Solo, eat snacks, and then get pizza?”

    Like a Hawking black hole. It sucked harder than the speed of light. I saw the original Star Wars opening week WAY back when with my mother, it was a life-affirming event. Last Jedi? If it had only been boring, that would have been an improvement.

    I saw the Russian Bot article headline on Drudge or someplace, and I thought it was so utterly stupid I couldn’t even click. One more Hollywood/DemocRat operative trying to blame Putin for stuff they did themselves? Whatever.

    Trust Larry C to find gold there. Nice sword by the way. I’m officially jealous. ~:D

  19. For one, the pacing was just awful. The movie ended about an hour before the ending.
    Contrast it to the ending of Empire. The Alliance had suffered a defeat on Hoth, Han was carbonited, and Luke lost a hand… but there’s a fair bit of actual hope. The final scene has the Rebel fleet assembled, Lando & Chewy are on their way to Jabba’s, and Luke has a new, cool robot hand.
    TLJ, despite all the hopey dialogue, has no hope. Luke’s dead, the # Resistance is mostly wiped out, and nothing’s really changed in the First Order. Had they kablammed the fleet in the first scene of the movie, we’d be at pretty much exactly the same place.

    1. When Empire ended, you just couldn’t wait for Return of the Jedi.
      When TLJ ended, you just didn’t care anymore.

  20. Without the work of writers like Tim Zahn, Mike Stackpole, Aaron Allston, and Ann Crispin these movies wouldn’t be possible. And I get why they tossed out the EU — there were some really *bad* decisions in there. But what the EU gave us was the continuation of Episodes IV, V, and VI; we got to see how the characters we loved grew and developed. How they met new heroes and villains; how they started families and legacies. We got to *know* them.

    Pitching out the Expanded Universe (EU) does away with all that characterization — 20 years worth! Suddenly, a generation has passed and, without the EU to inform it, those characters suddenly become relative strangers. We, as even the most die hard fans, don’t know who they are. This was ostensibly because Disney didn’t want fans to have to read the books to know the characters. And yet… the only way that the BS with Ben and Space Hefner makes sense is if you read the “new canon” books. Even then, it falls greatly short, but at least there’s a bit more depth to that influence.

    Not only did they take the fact that the characters are relative strangers to us and run with it, they doubled down on it. Only Han and Leia remained recognizable. The changes written for Luke… I definitely felt there needed to be something MUCH more compelling to inform that change. Say, if he had lost Mara and his child in Ben’s rampage with the Knights of Ren…? Then again, given Rian Johnson’s treatment in TLJ, I’m not sure I trust the new management with Mara.

    Then, in the animated world, we have Dave Filoni, who has resurrected a few items from the EU — the B-Wing (even if he eviscerated Ackbar’s part in its history), THRAWN, and even Jacen (though I’m still trying to decide if that’s a good thing). As frustrated as I can be with some of the direction he chose for Clone Wars and Rebels, I honestly feel like Filoni is a better keeper of the flame, understanding what it is fans love and delivering on that.

    Even Solo seems to borrow a bit from the Ann Crispin trilogy. Possibly why I enjoyed it, even if I don’t love it. And Ron Howard had a much more respectful hand at the wheel for his direction than Rian Johnson ever did. I keep wanting to send the man a fruit basket or something. Seriously. Instead, I settled for actually buying a copy. Because I’ll support a decent Star Wars movie.

    I still haven’t bought TLJ, and won’t.

    1. And I get why they tossed out the EU — there were some really *bad* decisions in there.

      Luke’s girlfriend is a force-sensitive former Empire assassin – no, she’s an ancient force-ghost – no, she’s *my* character – nuh-uh, she’s mine!

      While I’ve made fun of that aspect of the EU a lot in the past, at least it’s born out love of the original Luke character. TLJ… not so much.

  21. I am 48 and have seen every SW film in its theatrical run up to and including TLJ. I was the kid saving quarters to get action figures and praying a cool vehicle would be under the Christmas Tree after having circled it in the Sears’s catalogue.

    I bought the comics. I bought the books and I am talking about even the going of Hans Solo, and Lando books as well as Splinter of the Mind’s Eye before moving on tto Thrawn and others. I bought, built and hung modes from my ceiling. I used models with jury rigged joints to shoot stop motion walker marches as well as swooped speeders with straw underneath down fishing wire paths by the camera. I had all the LPs.

    I saw The Star Wars Holiday Special when it aired!

    I saw the prequels and while not great it was Star Wars.

    TFA was fun to watch but full of plot holes. It did have me thinking about where things would go though. It had me worried though because it reall was sloppy the more I thought about it.

    I saw Rogue One and was energized! THAT was a movie and if this was the course we were taking I couldn’t wait for TLJ with the darker tone the middle movie in a trilogy always follows!

    Then I saw TLJ and 40 years of SW love died. What is more, if I II pointed out the nonsense and agenda you were attacked by the very people who made the film you wanted to love. Only Hamill pointed out that this was a train wreck. Only he said “Fuck it Disney, I don’t care what you say because THIS SUCKS!”

    I didn’t go see Solo because I simply didn’t care anymore about SW.

    Well done Johnson and Kennedy.

    1. Not the first time two people named Kennedy and Johnson made a gawdawful mess of a successful franchise (in the 60s, the franchise in question was the United States of America).

    1. Oh, and as soon as I heard they were doing the next three movies, I said they should be the Thrawn trilogy. He and Mara Jade are so much more interesting and believable.

      1. Thrawn is currently lost in the Unknown regions, but hopefully Dave Filoni’s plans to one day tell the story of the epic quest of a former Jedi and a Mandalorian warrior to find him and Ezra Bridger will one day be told. After he finishes Clone Wars Season 7. 😀

  22. I love this review.
    I also loved this movie. Kind of.
    That suicide moment looked freaking fantastic. I liked grumpy old man Luke, even though I know it’s not the character. Yoda was a delight. I loved what they did with Rey and Kylo (until right after the imperial guard fight). I even liked Rose, when she got to have character, until that dumbass kiss.
    But this movie broke me.
    Rian Johnson is my most hated celebrity, because of what he did to Star Wars, and to all of the potential we had.
    So hey, I guess I’m Russian too comrade.

  23. I thought The Force Awakens was only okay. It was a beat-by-beat remake of New Hope, meaning things that should have been dramatic were telegraphed a mile away. I hated that they pressed the “reset” button and made everything from the original trilogy meaningless. Rey was overpowered and clearly suffering from Grrrl Power(tm) Syndrome (all the characters got in trouble, but she was the only one who didn’t have to be rescued). But there was potential too. Poe was a genuinely nice and brave guy. Finn had an interesting arc. Rey, despite teetering on the brink of Mary Suedom, also managed to have an interesting balance of the squeeing fangirl meeting Han Solo and Chewie and seeing actual lightsabers with a “woah, wait a sec, you want ME to be your hero” freakout. I could relate.

    There was a lot wrong with Rogue One (I won’t bore you with specifics, I could go on for a while), but there was one big thing that was right with it: the whole idea of “Rebellions are built on hope.” Thematically, it fit with the Star Wars universe, and thus I’m willing to overlook the flaws and plotholes you could drive a Death Star through.

    And I think I’m done with Star Wars after that. Maybe I’ll rent Solo at some point, but all in all, I don’t think I need Rian Johnson and Kathleen Kennedy to destroy any more of my childhood.

    1. P.S. If we’re all Russian Bots, we should get some cool Russian Bot names to go with it. Does anyone know the Cyrillic alphabet well enough to make up some good ones along the lines of C3PO and R2D2?

    2. To paraphrase Crow T. Robot, Rogue One doesn’t hate us.
      Whereas with Rian Johnson, it’s kind of obvious he thinks he’s too good for the material he was given.

    3. Poe was a nobody. He was just…this pilot they kept focusing on. I had no idea he was supposed to be one of the major characters until I saw they were selling toys of his X-wing. No character development, no reason for me to care about him. Finn and Rey had interesting back stories, but that was it.

  24. Is good critique Comrad Kraznov! You will be most prized possession in carbonite at Lubyanka. Expect Putin Creative Corrective Squad soon. (Well done!)

  25. This Russian Bot approves! TLJ had the same effect on my Star Wars fan son as it did on Lavrenty Krasnov’s kids — sucked all the joy and life out of Star Wars to where he also wasn’t interested in seeing Solo. Given how many Star Wars legos, toys and light sabers he has — that’s quite an accomplishment! I like how Screen Rant tears it down. Great quip on Rae’s superduper jedi development — “It’s like the classic Hero’s Journey but you cut out all the middle stuff.”

  26. I saw Phantom Menace at three in the morning. I couldn’t get a ticket for the midnight premiere, so I flat out stayed up all dam night to watch it.

    My thought at the time: the fall of the Jedi better be damn spectacular or George Lucas owes ALL the people an apology.

    (Spoiler: it wasn’t. It was okay, so a mass e-mail would have taken care of the apology.)

    Still went to A New Hope, Let’s Try the First One Again. Liked it, with a fair amount of bitching.

    Rogue One? Fun, popcorn movie.

    TLJ: I fell asleep. In the theater.

    Didn’t even bother to see Soylo the Star Boi on the big screen.
    Part of that was the TLJ was destroyed by misogyny, Soylo proves white men can’t carry movies parade.

    Did rent it a few days ago. Okay for a video night, but it REALLY tried. The desperation became annoying at times.

    Will I even watch Title IX, er, Chapter IX? I honestly can’t say.

    BTW ILOH: I hate your spawn. I can’t afford/don’t have a guardian willing to spend eight bills on the 7500 piece set of Lego awesome.

  27. The worst part of the Holdo/AA swap for me… put him in at the end. Instead of a kamikaze crash, have his ship swarm-surrounded by the First Order while Hux and he are on Vid (paying off Hux as idiot-on-the-line from the start). “Since you you won’t surrender, any last words, Admiral?” Camera pans over holds full of explosives…

    Yeah, obvious reply. But a good line and good death, in good pulp fashion.

    1. The How It Should Have Ended pretty much did that.
      “Do you know what this is?”
      “It’s a….”
      “It’s a…”
      “ITSATRAP!!!” (KABOOM!!!

        1. But it would have been fantastically appropriate! And all anti-Islam aside, there are conditions even in western culture were a suicide attack is the only honorable way out. Heck, there are a bunch of WWII posthumous Medal of Honor recipients who did just that. Just as there were British, French, Canadian heroes, and even German, Italian, and Japanese military members who sacrificed themselves to give their buddies a fighting chance.

  28. “Because I’m sorry, if I was writing that, I could fuck some shit up with a Time Turner.”

    You did. In Monster Hunter International. Only you realized what an awesome concept that really was.

  29. Well goodness, don’t you know that the failure of TLJ was just because they’re putting out too much SW stuff too close together??? 😛

    You speak my pain. I disliked TFA (J J Abrams cannot write, and he’s already ruined the Star Trek re-boot as well). I was wary about TLJ and didn’t bother to see it after I heard the details.

    If Bob Iger actually runs for public office, I want to see memes with Luke and the milk beast, with the caption “He’ll do to America what he did to Luke Skywalker.”

    1. Well goodness, don’t you know that the failure of TLJ was just because they’re putting out too much SW stuff too close together???

      Meanwhile, over at the neighboring wildly successful Marvel film studios…

      “Hey, boss, I don’t remember – are we supposed to release three or four movies this year?”


      (though that could all come crashing down in a real big hurry if their planned linchpin Captain Marvel ends up falling flat)

      1. The big difference is that Marvel had a strategy from the beginning. And watching those first movies like Incredible Hulk, it took a bit for it to start working. SW has no plan at all. Rian Johnson has even stated there was no plan and they let him do whatever he wanted…Marvel never would have let that happen.

  30. Gee, just occurred to me the whole ram the enemy super weapon with something really, really big is the same ending as ‘Starcrash’. Which frankly though terrible was a load of fun which puts it lightyears ahead of ‘TLJ’.

    Plus ‘Starcrash’ has Caroline Munroe in black leather space bikini…

  31. Ditto. Hated it. First Star Wars movie I only saw once and will never buy. Oh and BTW, tells me I’m a lot of things, but Russian ain’t one of them.

  32. Moved recently and came across a box of Westend games Star Wars books.
    Those memories of Star wars RPG kept a young kids dream alive .
    My Gameer group did better stories than the TLJ abortion.
    During the chase scene I think to myself, imperials just need to micro jump ahead of that stupid admirals fleet and waste them and this abortion will be over.
    Space 3 dimensions 4 if you count hyperspace, no we get keystone cops in space.

  33. I saw Star Wars three times in 1977. I went to opening day of Empire and Return. I saw Rogue One opening night. Like Larry, I am an OG 40 something Star Wars fan.

    After I heard what Luke did with his old light saber, I got so pissed off I swore off ever seeing TLJ. I won’t watch clips of it, I won’t buy any of the Lego sets that come from it, and I won’t even pirate it.

    Like Highlander II, TLJ does not exist to me. So long as Kathleen Kennedy is in charge of LucasFilm, the Star Wars franchise will NEVER see another dime from me.

    Go ahead, Polygon, call me a Russian Bot, I triple dog dare you.

    1. I really wish I had all the film shot for Highlander II. I’m sure I could have written and spliced together a better story and movie.

      My kids could have spliced a better movie together than TLJ.

  34. Greetings fellow bots of the Rodina;

    I was a hard core fan from the beginning, and I even liked the prequels because they were “Star Wars”, and Star Wars rocked as did the animated Clone wars and the Disney XD version of Star Wars Rebels, I liked them all, I liked Rogue One, and thought the “Force Awakens” was ok, but I didn’t like the pattern I was seeing…But I was excited to see the Last Jedi until I saw it….that movie burned out my enjoyment of Star Wars. To see the insipid characters that were written for the sole reason to “Get rid of the Old White guys” and replace them with people of color and chicks. The Social justice was strong with this move to use a “Yodaism”. I was gravely disappointed in this movie and the resulting Disney doubling down on Stupid. I will cherish the older movies and the clone wars and Star War rebels and stop it at Rogue One. To me anything after Rogue doesn’t exist. Now I will return to Dzerzhinsky Square and get ready to meddle in the 2018 elections.

    1. Seems to be worse than that as Rain then totally trashes the black guy, turning him into a loser comic relief and not letting him do anything actually cool and/or heroic.

      Just women for him. Except he makes them look bad too, although I assume he didn’t. Purple hair and the former princess lead badly and make bad decisions, the instant jedi is about as good as a character as cheap instant coffee is as coffee, the chrome trooper gets about five seconds of screen time and no character development…

      1. “Rain then totally trashes the black guy, turning him into a loser comic relief”

        I know – they even make him a janitor! How racist is that? Boyega deserves so much better.

    2. If you find the new characters insipid I question your judgment, although I will grant that Rose in particular is annoying.
      However, you are correct in that it seemed like the previous cast was being killed off for the new guys.

  35. One thing people people keep getting wrong about Rei is how Mary Sue she is. That’s not accurate. Since you play RPG you’ll understand that Rei is not the DM’s Mary Sue, she’s the DM’s Girlfriend. (unfortunately I can’t take credit for that insight, one of my RPG buddies told me that and it instantly clicked)

  36. “Like seriously, these people make the crew of the Prometheus look like VonClauswitz.”

    I laughed belly laughs when I read this. I *hated* Prometheus (and then the only chick with the brains to know what to do with a base of biological weapons and a map to the homeworld of the aliens who intend to wipe humanity from the galaxy, get’s run over by a giant bed pan.)

  37. My husband was an Uber Fan and I had to talk him down after The Force Awakens. It will be okay, I said. Look at this thing and that thing that they’ve set up. The next movie could actually be *good*.

    The essential heart of my “it could be good” theory (with stuff to back it up from the movie) was… Luke left because his Force sensitivity allowed him to see visions of the future and he knew that Hans had to die to redeem Kylo and stop an enormous evil and he knew that if he *stayed* he would be unable to let it happen. He can’t explain this so everyone just thinks he left because of the drama and failure with Kylo. So when Rey shows up he knows that Hans is dead. He can still do the dying heroically part, he can still say that the Jedi need to be over. The love of Hans for his son can actually MEAN something. The Admiral evening gown could be smart and for some reason *send* people on a side-quest that makes sense. The chase could be fast instead of slow-mo. Etc.

    1. Darn, I can’t edit.

      There was NO talking my husband down after the Last Jedi. The whole franchise is simply dead to him now.

  38. I refused to even see the last disappointment. I had heard enough about it. I somewhat enjoyed force awakes a bit when I saw it and it was only meh and not terrible. Granted it was only that good because it was a new hope version 2.0

    JJ is a pretty crap director and writer but he isn’t terrible. Ryan I’m a total Johnson is a fucking disgrace.

    Deconstruction and subversion are for excellent writers who can do it right and more often post modernism communist dipshits trying to destroy everything you love because they are a miserable fuck and hate everything and they think it’s the world that’s wrong and not them. They’d be even more fucking miserable in the United Soviet States if they got their wish, or even more likely they’d be the first to be lined upside a wall adn shot like all the useful idiots before them were. Yuri Bezmenov warned us about this shit like thirty years ago in an interview on TV. You know back when Russia was ACTUALLY fucking with everybody’s shit. But now they aren’t super commies and proved yet again that socialism of all kinds DON’T FUCKING WORK the lefty dipshits hate them and want to blame them now that they aren’t the ones at fault anymore.

    Joe McCarthy was only wrong as in so far that he failed to get everyone to believe him about the communist infiltration crap that was going on. The infiltration outlived the country that started it. Like the parasite finally killed the original host and moved on.

  39. rain himself said he is not satisfied unless he pisses of half the viewers. why didn’t they believe him?

    1. That’s the attitude of someone who can only direct pretentious artsy films about time travelers who murder themselves (or whatever the hell was the plot of Looper). Not key entries to major film franchises. The weird standalone artsy film can be forgotten by everyone who didn’t like it, and it didn’t have to ruin an existing story to get there.

  40. “RUSSIAN HACKERS” appears to be for the Left what “9/11” was for the Right back in 2002-3 — the knee-jerk reply to anyone who sees through their lies, and calls them on it.

    BTW: There Are Three Movies. Period. F*** You. End Of Discussion. Next Case.

  41. Rian Johnson actually believes he’s not doing a good movie unless half the audience loves him and half hates him and wants to kill him. And Kathleen Kennedy loves his “edginess” so much she gave him a trilogy of something Star Wars to do next.

    After the response to TLJ and Solo making less initial box office than they hoped/expected, Disney has said they’re going to slow down and reevaluate. In other words, KK doesn’t have 100% trust anymore. I loved Lucas’ comment on seeing TLJ. It was something to the effect of going to your ex-wife’s wedding and seeing a complete train wreck. And of course, Mark Hamill said he wasn’t playing Luke (as in the Luke he knows). He was critical of the movie until Lucasfilm/Disney made him shut up and play nice because of contract.

    Solo is actually fun. Kudos to Ron Howard for rescuing it. I’m 41 and I never hated the prequels. One of the Star Wars Youtube guys has done a really great analysis on Anakin that’s made a lot of people have a different perspective on them.

    1. Solo is not a bad film but is suffers from a few problems;

      * it was painfully predictable.
      * firefly did the train job better.
      * Khalisee the gangster series of movies sounds Far more interesting.
      * Woody Harrison played Han better.

      So. Really, it simply suffers from a plethora of meh.

  42. I tried and tried to find the mass of that stupid carrier Holdo drove into the giant new order pyramid ship thing. Because despite all the absolutely correct discussion about why they’ve never done it before, I think the real reason they never did it before was because the energy released would be something on the order of a supernova. I spent some time physics geeking, read this article here, decided that the carrier is probably not as fast as the millennium falcon, and made it twice as heavy as a Nimitz class carrier. Lot of assumptions, I know, but bear with me.

    With those as a starting point, the energy released by her impact would have been significantly larger than a supernova. Her energy release alone would have been 8*10^43 joules, not taking into account the mass of Snoke’s ship. A supernova is 10^44 joules, which means the explosion would have wiped out the system, surrounding systems, and probably most of the galaxy.

    Also, hyperspace is a different dimension, which means she should have either gone right through the fleet, or been pulled off course by the “mass shadow” of Snoke’s ship.

    So….there are two reasons it hasn’t been used before.

    1. I wish it had caused a supernova. Because then that would’ve killed the entire cast and the movie would’ve been over.

    1. Finished “Target Rich Environment” today, and I have to ask: does Stranger & Stranger ever hire Johnny Dollar, insurance adjustor?

  43. So let me get this straight. As the new head of procurement for the alliance you want to buy bombers that are slow, don’t maneuver well and that depend on the gravity field of your target to deliver the payload in space? In SPACE! Oh and because you’ve never heard of automation your going to staff these bombers with a bunch of random people? Because when sending the most useless space weapon near capital ships we should cram as many potential corpses in them as possible.

    Someone send security in here to arrest and torture this idiot.

    1. Didnt we even see this with the Y-wings over the death star? Skip the torture, chuck him out an airlock.

  44. I enjoyed reading your review but I found the lack of promised profanity subverting.

    Rian Johnson actually believes he is caught up in an international conspiracy in which a foreign government is weaponizing his Star Wars movie to take over the USA. This sounds like a more interesting plot than TLJ.

    Strange days comrade.

    1. Well, considering the Russians are more capitalistic than the Democrats in America, I think I can understand why they think there’s a horrible conspiracy.

  45. I finally got to see Star Wars after it had been held over for 12 weeks! My dad didn’t think it would be good Science Fiction. I spent the next several years buying everything Star Wars I could. I slept on Star Wars sheets under a Star Wars Blanket behind Star Wars curtains. I had the comics, trading cards, board game, I had every poster they released in North America (Burger King, McDonald’s, Burger Chef, custom poster magazines, you name it). I had a Star Wars collection estimated at $250,000+ in 1996! No, don’t ask what happened to it, it is to painful to recount.

    Did I mention how much I LOVED Star Wars?!?

    But that last THING, that was not Star Wars that was a bug in an Edgar suit.

    They killed it, they put a stake through its heart, cut off its head and burned the body to ash. Star Wars is dead, all that is left is my original un-Lucased VHS copy of the original Trilogy, now in the hands of my grandson (who came to our house with three words until he was 6 or 7 “Space movie, grandpa!”) .

    As for the perpetrators of the atrocity, hanging is too good for them, stoning too honorable a death and burning at the stake too clean, they should be impaled as torch wielding villagers burn the house and all the rodents therein. The shareholders should be forced to watch all this and reminded that they allowed the worlds richest and most beloved franchise to be reduced to ash and dust and then they should be cast into the outer darkness to wonder cold, hungry and friendless until they seek a dishonorable end to their miserable and useless lives.

  46. I saw the original Star Wars in a drive-in theater when I was about very young. Spent many days with my friends reenacting the lightsabre battle at the end of Empire and debating whether Vader was really Luke’s father. By the time Jedi came out we were ready. I even had a poster for the movie I received from the “official” Star Wars fan club that had the title as Revenge of the Jedi. I watched the prequels on their opening weeks. Each I thought were OK, with occasional moments of brilliance. The battle at the end of Clones was actually a lot of fun. But TFA was a kick in the gut. And the Last Jedi was a curb stomping just for good measure. I enjoyed Rogue One, and I hope I enjoy Solo when it is on Netflix so I don’t have to pay to be disappointed. But that is the only way I will be seeing another Star Wars movie. Zahn’s series of novels would have made a much better continuation of the story in my opinion.

  47. Incidentally, by the way, Mr. C., you’re looking great in the photo there. Very trim and svelte. The culinary reformation is clearly working well!

  48. This is the second dumbest study I’ve ever heard about. The Hollywood Reporter article isn’t a great article about it, though, because it seems to deliberately obfuscate the findings. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, it was a study of just under 1,000 tweets sent directly to Rian Johnson, and not an aggregate of all the tweets and posts about the movie. The conclusion seems to be a stretch that most critics were politically motivated or Russian bots when so few of the literally millions of tweets about the film were studied.

  49. Russian bots, Russian voter fraud – it feels like there is a deep concern with the red menace again.

    One could only wonder if we will see McCarthy-esque trials, or Hollywood blacklisting people for suspected deficiencies of character?

    Honestly, it isn’t just Hollywood that has reboot-itis.

    1. Nothing so terrifies and outrages a Marxist as seeing the wrong flavour of Marxist in power. Putin to a Hollywood Leftist is like Stalin to a Trotskyite.

  50. After reading this, I’m forced to concede it’s a good thing they didn’t make more Serenity. Imagine if Disney had gotten ahold of it.

  51. The bombers dropping ordnance on the Not-Imperial warships didn’t really bother me overmuch. The Y-Wings in Rogue One had an iron-bomb arc for their attack that EMP’ed the Star Destroyer. Having not-B17’s do the same thing seemed like a waste, since the Not-Imperial warships could easily target them directly, but the bomb drop itself wasn’t that big an immersion break to me.

    What DID bother me, all the way down to my cold, mechanical Russian heart, was the ham-handed, nihilistic “heroes are terrible” theme. Look, Rose, sorry your childhood sucked, but have you *seen* how things have worked over the last… Ever? It’s a galaxy-sized call to greatness, where a flat-broke, small-time truck driver on the run from both sides of the law can save lives and marry a princess.

    But no, let’s instead channel Darth Trudeau and conclude that all fighting is bad, no matter the reason, and that winning actually makes you lose.

    I’m inclined to think Ackbar managing to GTFO so quickly may have been his plan, seeing what these chumps have done with the Alliance and Republic he spent his life building.

  52. I don’t think it’s so much that they CAN’T write a decent plot. They didn’t destroy the characters of Luke, Han, Leia, and Ackbar by accident, but by design. Those are characters written and loved by sane people who know which bathroom to use. Two white males and a white female who wasn’t raped enough to check enough victim boxes.

    1. And I think the people who are supposedly on my side, who act like everything in the world is about checking demographic boxes, sound exactly like the mirror image of the social justice warriors that they supposedly hate.

      1. They are on record claiming that “The force is female”, and a load of other crap. Lando being a pansexual, whatever the hell that is. No, everything in the world is not about checking a box, but everything in Hollywood is.

  53. awesome hyperspace kamikazee

    I cheered… but NOT because it was awesome, it wasn’t it was rather hollow. You are right it should have been Akbar, that would have made it awesome AND have meaning. I cheered because it meant that Holdo was DEAD, and there was no way that character could return and S#!T all over any future movies (hey, I can still hope franchise can be rescued, you gotta find happiness where you can… don’t judge).

    The prequels felt like they were created by people who didn’t really understand Star Wars. I wondered at the time if it was written by whipper-snappers who weren’t even born yet when the original movies came out.

    These new movies, on the other hand, feel like they were created by people who HATE Star Wars, and want to destroy everything that made it good.

    Frankly, I think the problem has a lot to do with the Leftist Political viewpoint. Everything is grey… there is no good, there is no evil. So there is No Light side, and no Dark side. Screw that! Star Wars, boiled down, is ABOUT the fight between good and evil. If everything is grey, and there is no good and evil, the very essence of Star Wars is lost. So they take themes that COULD work. Luke’s questioning, Fin’s running away from being a storm trouper, Rey being so powerful because she’s pretty much represents the entire Light side of the force (remember, they have to balance), hell…. even the Rose character, the “nobody” that gets involved because SOMEBODY has to make a stand against evil, but since everything is grey and there is no good and evil, what does that character become? The pudgy, laughable, Polly Anna-ish caricature of hope that personifies what the Left thinks of those who believe in “good”.

    Full disclosure: I LOVED the Rose character. I’m saddened at how horribly that character was miss-handled by the writers (and later the actress by critics and assholes). The scene where Fin was trying to “run away in an escape pod” and is stunned by Rose, for me, was probably the most redeeming scene in the whole film. Of COURSE Fin was “running away”, it’s what he does. That this time he was “running away” to try to save Rey (whom he thought should run away too) is PURE FIN. The rebellion isn’t the driver for the Fin character that it is for others. His drivers are his fear, and his love of his friends. OF COURSE Rose would try to stop him because she believed he was deserting “the cause”. The cause is who she is. The scene where Rose “opens” her ring to show the slave kids she was part of the rebellion? Brilliant! Rose, in that scene, represents the very essence of the hope that good can overcome evil, which is at the very heart of Star Wars.

    1. I agree with every point about Rose. I loved her character of the “everyman” doing what needs to be done and not thinking of herself as a hero parts, and giving the little kid hope.

      I hated the shipping… honest to dog, why? And hated the whole “saving Fin” thing and associated idiocy.

      1. That whole scene was BACKWARDS! Rose, being the true believer, should have been the one to try to ram the… um… ram. Fin should have been the one to save HER because one of the things that drives that character is his love for his friends. After all, Fin and Rose met because Fin was trying to escape so that he could go “save Rey”.

        I agree the whole Fin+Rose ship thing was disjointed. There was no build up. You would think Hollywood could a LEAST get romance right. Instead, when Fin and Rose kissed it felt to me like I was watching siblings kissing… ew! If they felt like the NEEDED a kissy-face scene there it could have been made to work, maybe it could even have been awesome (I say with some doubt, I just don’t “get” Fin+Rose). As it was, it just didn’t.

        1. Yes, that would have been better, had they switched them around so Rose was trying to kamikaze and Fin saved her. (And skip the kiss!)

          Why? Because one of the things I hated about that scene was that Rose *knew* all of the people dying behind her. I figured that Fin was doomed to fail and I wished she spouted off some physics at him, but saving *him* while her compatriots were being slaughtered made NO sense. As viewers those were nameless, faceless, extras… to ROSE they’d have been people that she mourned *personally*.

    2. Why shouldn’t Finn run away? He never signed enlistment papers or took oaths. If I found myself in a bad spot with that band of morons, I would high-tail it out of there too.

      1. I didn’t say he shouldn’t run away. Just that he ran away from being a Storm Trooper (not necessarily a bad thing), and trying to run away from the rebellion. It’s starting to look like it’s his thing.

  54. I owned an OG Tie Fighter with light lasers as a kid so I’ve been around for all of it (My first screen crawl was in the drive-in).

    I agree with all the criticisms (especially about the murder of Luke’s character) but the most offensive part of the whole experience was being told by the ‘mainstream’ fans that I lacked the mental capacity to understand a STAR WARS movie or else I would have liked it. Hang on while I look up “condescending”… yep that word means what I think it means.

  55. “But if you say you don’t like Admiral Holdo, who behaved like she was beaten with an idiot stick, IT MUST BE BECAUSE YOU HATE WOMEN. “

    Or maybe we’ve seen examples of female leaders in other works of fiction who were much more competently written.

    What would Honor Harrington do?
    Elli Quinn? Mike Henke? Shannon Foraker? Beneej Spoor?

    Heck, what would Olivier Mira Armstrong do?

    1. I’m imagining Admiral Spoor in that situation, and laughing my rear off right now.
      “I’m sooooo bored right now. Let’s attack!”

    2. I would have *loved* it if Holdo had done something like

      “ok, they’re close enough that they can’t evade or shoot down enough torps. Roll pods”

    3. If you look at the whole mess from the right angle every single stupid female trick she committed had *one* purpose, which was to provide a *man* (Poe) with a character arc.

      1. “…every single stupid female trick she committed had *one* purpose, which was to provide a *man* (Poe) with a character arc.”
        But! But!! The Force is Female (sputter sputter) female empowerment (sputter) sheepresisted!!REEEEEEEEE!!!!

        But seriously, good point. The fear that Hollywood has of making womyn characters look bad has the unintended consequence of making them one dimensional and boring. However, since only the male characters can be flawed, they are the only ones with actual development.

        1. …and the whole “Force is Female” thing shows the cretins who control the franchise have no understanding of it at all.

          The Force is… the Force. It is neither male nor female, it is an energy field produced by all life in the Star Wars Galaxy. It simply… is.

          Progs need everything to be shoehorned into their political dogma, even something a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

          1. So… if the Force is female, and if both the Light and the Dark sides are needed for it to properly function… what’s that say about the Dark Side?

      2. Be sure to mention that to every person who bleats about “strong female characters” in TLJ. Take pictures of any exploding heads. 😀

    4. Leia in the New Hope was a strong female character; see her taking command during her rescue.

      Holdo was neither good leader, nor good strategist (her “plan” was utterly idiotic and unworkable if you take time to think about it).

      1. I like saying Leia Shot First and am glad George Lucas didn’t notice and tried the same trick he did with Han. 😮

    5. I spent 6 years in the US Marine Corps, a good part of that time my XO was a Marine, who also happened to be female. I’ve SEEN good leadership first hand by Marines who were both male and female. Oddly enough, it looks very much the same. Sure, every leader has their own style that utilizes their strengths and minimizes their weaknesses, so a more physically imposing leader might use that to their advantage where a less physically imposing leader might not (I’ve seen them try… yea… it was hard not to laugh).

      One thing I do know. Keeping everyone in the dark, and creating the impression that you have no idea what to do. Destroying morale by playing stupid “dick measuring” games with a subordinate that is well liked and respected by the troops because you don’t LIKE him, especially when you are new and for the most part unknown to the troops, is not only not good leadership, it’s not leadership at all.

      1. I was an in the Marines too – enlisted Radio Operator. Spent much time on the road with officers and and in battalion and regimental HQ’s. Admiral Evening Gown was a composite of the worst traits of the worst officers I ever saw. I was hoping they would shoot or space her.

      2. The stupid part is that if she had led or ended her little speech with “I have a plan, OpSec is need to know, and you’re not involved”, it would have only led to Poe pouting in a corner. It still would have a been a stupid speech and once word had gotten around about it would have made the majority of her subordinates distrust her, but at least he would have been assured that there was a plan. Instead her little rant comes across as nothing more than deflection from the fact that she’s holding nothing and is about to have her bluff called.

        1. Nobody in the creation of this film would have any idea what OpSec is. Nothing military in this movie made any sense.

    6. Pyanfar Chanur has more guts and wits in her pinkie claw that Holdo has in her entire snippy and sourly sneering body. (Py also ends up president of a diverse and powerful interspecies space trade. Holdo ends up…dust. Yeah, I know who’s the better leader!)

  56. Hi Larry,

    I’m of two minds about this.

    On the one hand, I can understand many of the criticisms being hurled, and even agree with some of them. On the other hand, as a long-time Star Wars fan of fair-to-middling intensity, I have to say that some of your other criticisms of “The Last Jedi” strike me as a bit mis-directed. In particular, I don’t understand why you have so much trouble with the way Luke Skywalker was portrayed.

    Yes, he comes across as a cynical, depressed, rather whiny guy. But Luke was _always_ a kind of whiny character. A lot of people have spent a lot of electrons over the years on the subject of the “whiny farm boy” Luke of the original “Star Wars.” After he trained with Yoda he got better, but his attitude and tactics were largely passive, defensive. Look at the sequence in “Empire Strikes Back” where he’s exploring Cloud City, comes across Leia and Chewie being taken away by stormtroopers. They start shooting at him, and he _doesn’t even fire back_. Then in “Return of the Jedi,” for the second half of the movie he’s barely even there — he does nothing of any relevance except rescue daddy. Who dies anyway. Except for rescuing Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt, every time Luke tried to be a hero in the Original Trilogy, he failed. I think that anyone who expected him to come roaring in like Mace Windu, lightsaber in one hand and Force lightning in the other, never understood his character.

    Consider also that Luke dedicated himself to rebuilding the Jedi Order — and failed. Not a little failure either. A gigantic failure. A catastrophic failure. And along the way he lost his own nephew, his sister’s son, to the Dark Side, thus compounding the failure by letting down the two people he cared about most in all the galaxy. How could any rational person go through that and come out unchanged?

    Something else to consider too: an untouched, unbroken JEDI MASTER LUKE SKYWALKER becomes a story-breaker character, which is as lethal to good storytelling as a Mary Sue is. There’s a reason that most of the post-“Return of the Jedi” EU novels tended to shuffle him off to the side, keeping him away from the main story action. It’s nearly impossible to write a good dramatic story starring Superman. Would it be any easier to write a good dramatic story starring the only living Jedi Master?

    1. Which is why I liked *my* version of “why Luke ran away”. Which was… he advanced as a Jedi to the point of having prophetic dreams and realized that he *wasn’t strong enough* to allow the necessary future to happen because it involved the death of Hans at the hands of his son. It gives him a weakness and gives him a real struggle and it gives him enormous angst because it will go against his nature so powerfully not to save his friends.

      I’m sure that other people could think of variations just as good or better.

      There were real options. They took the stupid “break the character” option.

    2. I’m totally fine with Luke becoming grumpy and cynical. I’m not okay with the way they did it. The man who refused to kill Darth Vader would NEVER even CONSIDER murdering a boy in his sleep who hadn’t yet done anything evil. Have him fail at reestablishing the Jedi order, fine. Have his apprentice turn evil, that’s okay too. Let him falter. Let him question his decisions. Heroes do that all the time. They also sometimes try to bite off more than they can chew, like when Luke sees those stormtroopers in Cloud City and realizes he’s inexperienced in a gunfight and has to try and rescue his friends another way. (Note that between that film and the next one, he has trained extensively and is a far more effective combatant.)

      I didn’t expect him to come “roaring in” with lightsaber and force lightning. But he can doubt his abilities as a Jedi master without completely giving up and nihilistically declaring that it didn’t matter if his friends lived or died. THAT is antithetical to his character.

      1. One of Luke’s defining traits during the original trilogy is he’s consistently willing to sacrifice himself for his friends and family. Even if it means cutting his training short against the advice of both his masters, he’ll go. Even allowing himself to be captured and taken to the Emperor himself just for the slim chance of redeeming his father from the Dark Side.

        1. “One of Luke’s defining traits during the original trilogy is he’s consistently willing to sacrifice himself for his friends and family. ”

          And another of his defining traits is that he’s frequently wrong to do so. To paraphrase General Patton: You don’t win wars by dying for your friends. You win by making the other guy die for his friends.

          For that matter, Luke consistently over-reacted to his mistakes. His solo attempt to rescue his friends in “Empire Strikes Back” failed miserably, so for rescuing Han from Jabba’s palace he composed a weirdly complicated plan with multiple participants – a plan which came very close to failing. His attempt to fight Vader directly in “Empire” also failed dismally, so in “Return of the Jedi” he tried to win by _not_ fighting. And failed yet again.

          (Which is also a characteristic of the Jedi in the prequels, I might add. They failed frequently, and drew the wrong lesson from it just as frequently.)

          Luke never thought well under pressure, either. Remember the scene in the Rancor’s den, where he killed it by _throwing_ something at the control for its door? What, he couldn’t just work the controls with the Force?

          1. Luke did not fail in RotJ. There -was- still a little flame of good inside Anakin. And by tossing his weapon aside and choosing the third option, that flame got fanned.

            Now, as to whether that final act of good would actually REDEEM Anakin…that’s where I differ with the movie.

          2. That explanation still relies on assuming what happened between RotJ and the new movies. I agree that it’s not unreasonable to assume that Luke went through some changes in outlook between then and now, but none of them are clearly established. We jump straight from “guy who did everything he could to redeem rather than kill a man who had done tons of evil things” to “guy who tries to kill a teenage boy in his sleep”, and the film seems to imply that Luke’s major viewpoint shift happened AFTER Kylo destroyed the Jedi training school. I don’t buy that series of events.

          3. It’s too far of a character jump from hopeful/self-sacrificing to cynical/uninvolved to do offscreen.
            And as Mr. Plinkett pointed out, your main character motivations cannot be left to tie in merch.
            It’s bad storytelling, plain and simple.

    3. BZZZZZ.

      You can get away with anything in writing, as long as it isn’t A. Boring, or B. Confusing.

      All that stuff you postulate about Luke’s backstory? See my comment on theory crafting. That’s great and all, BUT IT ISN’T IN THE MOVIE.

      The only thing we see about the failure of the Jedi Order is the guy who was willing to lay down his life, to try and find a tiny spark of good in the mass murdering psychopath who had already cut his hand off… is now going to slice and dice a teenager in his sleep. Because reasons.

      Confusing. And frankly insultingly stupid and written in the most ham fisted way imaginable.

      And then he didn’t do a reverse Yoda. Yoda pretended to be an asshole but was secretly the master (a common martial arts movie trope) to test the student’s character. In this case, Luke was just an asshole, and then the master got BEATEN WITH A STICK by the student.

      He didn’t need to be Mace Windu, but he needed to be interesting and make sense. But instead he was a bitter, useless, asshole, and that descent was never properly shown, because Rain Johnson decided to “subvert” (SO EDGY) the story (while being a complete chickenshit in other places where some bravery would’ve been a good call) and poop all over everyone’s childhood hero character, just because he could.

      As for your last paragraph, this isn’t 30 novels worth of character power creep to deal with. It was basically a fresh story. Would it be any easy to write a good dramatic story staring the only living Jedi Master? YES. IN MY SLEEP.

      Spare me the lethal Mary Sue, because the movie already has Rey, WHO CAN BEAT THE ONLY LIVING JEDI MASTER WITH A STICK. Plus, since we dont’ have 30 novels of power creep, you can have a bad ass Jedi Master still face threats. Because it ain’t like the movies haven’t established that Jedi bad asses like Obi Wan, Darth Vader, QuiGon Jin, Darth Maul, Mace Windu, so on and so forth, can’t get themselves killed. So Superman is a false comparison, which hearkens back to only the WORST WRITTEN of the Superman comic books.

      1. Yeah, I missed out on the Superman jab first time around. I agree that it’s a dumb comparison. The crappiest Superman stories are the ones that totally ignore who the character is as a person an instead only focus on him using his superpowers to beat up bad guys. Yeah, of course that’s gonna be boring, that sort of thing would frankly be boring even if he wasn’t overpowered. That’s why the good Superman stories focus on his personality and motivations, and have it be about how he balances his desire to use his powers with his desire to be an ordinary guy. Effective Superman villains use his human traits against him, trying to force him into moral dilemmas or deceive him in such a way that they can either defeat him or evade detection.

        Take for example the classic Christopher Reeve movie, which isn’t even the best-written Superman story out there, but is well-known and can make my point. Lex Luthor’s plan isn’t to overpower Superman, but to trick him into handling a piece of kryptonite, and his backup plot is to launch two missiles in the hope that Superman can’t figure out how to stop both simultaneously.

        All this is totally the opposite of what Rian Johnson did with Luke, who just moped around and refused to do anything, then defeated Kylo handily without any effort (which accomplished nothing except to stall him, but I digress), and then force-projected himself to death and faded away in the most beautifully stupid death scene known to man. Overpowered heroes can work, if they are given interesting decisions to make. Luke did not.

  57. And then there’s the most hated Star Wars character since Jar Jar: Admiral Holdor.
    The writers goofed up by introducing her as the legendary victor of the Battle of Not Appearing In This Film- a fact that is ignored in all later events.
    If she’s a great and proven leader, then the mistrust of Poe & company makes absolutely no sense.
    It would have worked far, far better if she wasn’t a great & proven leader from previous battles. Instead, she should have a checkered reputation of being too timid and cautious. Her appointment to command should come with trepidation by the remaining rebels (and quickly explained by Poe to Finn).
    Then, her sacrifice actually has some redemption to it.

  58. The Russianbot makes a lot of good points, and I totally get his POV and his post was a lot of fun read . . . and yet . . . and yet . . .

    I personally loved TLJ; explosions, space-battles, light-saber duels, and it managed it all without seeming overlong. I walked out of the cinema with a big grin on my face. It’s still Space Opera, with good guys vs bad guys, with just a touch of ambiguity for flavor, “He’s an arms dealer who sells to the bad guys” –holo of X-wing pops up – “Oh, and the good guys.” And while The Force is a pretty darn hokey as a philosophy, I did like the line “We win not by destroying what we hate, but by saving what we love.”

    And having made my judgement seem extremely questionable to the assorted Russainbots here, I’d highly recommend the last Jedi. I thought it was a real swash-buckling romp. And oddly, I think absent of the stuff which the bots were programmed to attack.

    All JIMHO & YMMV

    1. Okay, that line was terrible–in the context in which it was given.
      However, it could have been a fantastic line, if Luke had said it about how Rey needed to defeat Kylo Ren.

    2. I can save people I love all I want, but at some point I’d better start killing my enemies because I’ll either run out of room to pull them too or I get run down because I’m tired and slow from dragging them away all the time.

      And I can fight battles and wars and kill enemies without hating them. Even if I do hate them, what makes them stop if I don’t kill them?

      No…I can’t buy that line and the idea it expresses. It’s not rational to do so in my opinion.

    3. The thing about taste is that since it is subjective, it can’t be wrong.

      So if you liked it, you liked it. I guess some folks just don’t have problems with plots holes. 🙂

      1. I’m perfectly happy to ignore plot holes. I mean, they have to be incredibly bad before I’ll care.

        What throws me right out and no mistake are *character* holes.

  59. How on Earth you could give the keys to the flagship to a guy who’s had one sci-fi movie to his credit and not question any of it…WTF!!!

    The failure to map out the trilogy results in inconsistent story telling as well. Among the things you pointed out. Finn was force sensitive, not even touched upon in this movie. He can fly a ship!! WHAT!!!! He rescued Poe in the TFA because he needed a pilot but now a day later he’s flying star ships? Luke abandoned the force and hates the Jedi yet he’s still wearing the robes. Rey can swim having been on a desert planet her whole life…I love the argument for this one. “Well, I had my child learn to swim so they won’t drown if I’m not around.” Reys parents were apparently drunks that sold her for cash. You really think they would give a shit about teaching her how to swim on a desert planet!! I like Rey but is there NOTHING she can’t do without training? She is a Mary Sue in every sense of the title. And Poe…adamant to the end thinking purple hair girl is leading them astray. Okay…for a moment let me suspend my disbelief. He finally hears the plan and smiles saying, yeah I like that plan. OMFG!! He should have stated “That’s the stupidest plan I’ve ever heard. You’re going to get us all killed!” Which is pretty much what happened.
    In the end I could write a novel on how stupid that movie is. I mean I’m not even excited for ep 9. The First Order’s main goal was to wipe out the resistance. They did that, there’s only about 10 of them left on the Falcon at the end. Hardly worth the first orders time. You want me to believe a non trained Jedi and 8 other people is a threat to the first order?

    They seriously need to retcon TLJ. There is no other way to save this story.

    1. My retcon: first, put the focus on Finn as a force sensitive who suddenly learns that he’s working for the wrong side. He still meets up with Poe, and they escape together to NotTatoone.
      While there they meet up with Rey (who’s just a gifted mechanic, and not Mary Sue Super Jedi), who can get them a ship to Republic space.
      Because it seems that Grand Admiral Thrawn just learned about Finn’s new found ablities… and the First Order wants him back alive. If possible. If not… he’ll understand.
      So, the goal is to get Finn to Master Skywalker’s Jedi academy before the First Order gets him back.

      And yes, Disney should have given Timothy Zahn a big bag of money and told him to write something different from the old EU, but he was otherwise free to take the story where he wanted.

      1. You could have made heir to the Empire trilogy the new movies. Obviously you would have to change some things but the basic premise of the story could have been told. They screwed this up and there is no fixing it. JJ Abrams has to pull a miracle out of his ass to save this new trilogy. I just don’t see him being able to fix in a two hour movie what Johnson screwed up so badly.

        1. Hobbs, I’ll second that. Enthusiastically. I’ve thought ever since it first came out that Tim Zahn’s “Thrawn trilogy” should have become the basis for episodes 7-9. To this day they remain about the best Star Wars novels I’ve read. He managed to catch the flavor of both what Star Wars _was_ and what it _could be_, and made it all believable.

  60. Another plot hole:
    They use the big cannon to breach the door on the cave. However, once it’s breached they stop using the cannon and try an infantry assault.
    Why not just keep pounding the interior of the cave with the cannon and then just sending in a janitor to sweep up the pieces?

    Plus what’s the deal with the white sand creating red dust? It added absolutely nothing to the plot. Note to film makers: just because you can create a special effect, doesn’t mean you should.

    1. Technically, it added one minor detail to the plot. In the astral projection fight scene, you can see Kylo’s footprints kicking up the red dust, but not Astral Luke’s, to hint that he’s a projection to people who notice. Also, when they first fire at Astral Luke, the red stuff bursting out of the ground looks like it might be blood, which makes you doubt for a split second whether or not he survived.

      Those were both contrived plot devices, mind you, but they still existed.

  61. Your brain objected to the battleship ramming scene because Star Wars ins a Space FANTASY. It isn’t Star Trek where there are technological challenges to over come with tech solutions.

    In Star Wars, the space stuff is just the back-drop to the A-story of Jedi Knights fighting force-capable bad guys. It’s about good Samurai fighting bad Ninjas – not engineers inventing better weapons. The non-Jedi weapons and combat were always just WWI stuff with lasers instead of bullets.

    (It’s doubly stupid given the scene in the last movie where Solo jumps to hyperspace inside a ship without nuking himself and the other ship)

  62. Tell your son good luck on learning Russian. I took those lessons. It’s a tough language. Everything about the grammar is declensional, or conjugations, and word order still matters, especially if you don’t want to sound foreign. Pushkin himself said it was an unlovable ugly language.

    But if you want good authors from Mother Russia, skip right on past that dry preachy bastard Tolstoy. He’d be in line for major literary awards, were he writing today. Pushkin was such a troublemaker he had his own personal Imperial Censor who had to follow him around to make sure he didn’t mouth off, and Anton Chekhov will make grown ass men cry.

  63. I am a huge SW fan. My nine year old has started watching the prequel films, and loves them (well, all but Jar Jar). She loves the originals, and has discovered clone wars and Zahn.

    But I will not let her see the new movies. I enjoyed Rouge One. I like spy movies. But after seeing Luke milk a.. whatever, I will not let her watch the rest.

    Let Star Wars die. Just let it die. The gay death mouse killed it.

  64. Well, at least Luce’s fishing spear and the green milk was fascinating.

    And the concept about kamikaze attacks from hyperspace would be interesting to explore in a future space opera story (outside the Star Wars universe). It would completely change space warfare.

    As for Leia, she made me thing of a female Gully Foyle (except that nobody in the Star Wars universe seemed to care about her new abilities).

  65. Larry,
    I found MHI a couple of years ago from a reference in a gun publication (I think by Roy Huntington, but could be wrong). Really enjoy them, then was linked her from another article on Russian ‘bots and Star Wars and enjoyed your analysis.

    Here’s something you may have already seen, but if not, you and your readers will likely enjoy it:

    As a retired SOF guy, I don’t read a lot of fiction but you are one of my two go-to guys. Great characters, great storyline and solid gun play. I hate bad gun stuff–ruins a whole book for me.

    Thanks for your writing and looking forward to the next MHI book.

  66. Now that I think of it, I’m not sure the Darth and Droids group can make the films enjoyable.

    Though granted they did make Jar Jar Binks enjoyable, so it might be possible.

    Maybe Robot Chicken?

    (I consider their version of Palpatine to be canon and don’t care what anyone says.)

  67. Frankly I’m surprised (yet glad) they haven’t dragged Caroline Blakiston out of retirement to ruin Mon Mothma.

  68. God, I miss the days of Zahn/Thrawn. My stepchildren are reading through his work for the first time and they love it.

    The prequels and TFA almost ruined it for me, especially when Disney discarded most of the older (much better) canon. TLJ has now finally shot down my last bit of interest in the franchise. What the writer did to Luke was a microcosm of what Disney has done to Star Wars.

  69. Huh, minus the stuff about Finn in TFA* and the writing logic aspect, it’s like you pulled the thoughts out of my head.

    * Here’s the problem with Finn. His backstory is supposed to be that he was recruited when he was very young, sometime between the ages of 4 and 8. Therefore his social skills should be severely stunted as that of a child soldier. I can’t think the First Order spent much time on socializing their child recruits after all. Instead he acts as a mild Rincewind expy conscripted between the ages of 16 and 18. Socially, apart from being a relative** coward he’s pretty well adjusted.

    ** I mean, he’s got no real bone in the fight apart from possibly revenge and doesn’t really like fighting. So it’s not like he could really be faulted from not wanting anything to do with a tiny and ineffectual “rebel” group.

    1. Finn got Jarjar’d- he’s the goofy ethnic comic relief.
      At the very least he should have been a competent, model stormtrooper up until his first actual mission, where he has a realization that he’s on the wrong side.
      Or better still- he can feel the cries of the people being killed on that mission through the Force…

  70. Go ahead and shame me, but I actually liked about 40% of The Last Jedi — the parts with Rey, Luke, and Kylo Ren in them. Everything else was superfluous and stupid.

    Unlike apparently everyone here, I liked Old Luke quite a bit. He’s basically playing Yoda to Rey. Just like Yoda, he used to be a leader with great ideas and hope for the future… but he saw all that promise get destroyed, some of it by his own hand, and it broke him. Now he lives in a swamp (or remote island) on some random planet, wallowing in disillusionment, until some bright-eyed young Jedi comes alone.

    It’s a very human bit of character development, and it would’ve worked extremely well with the plot that the movie teased us with, but never had the balls to deliver: Rey going to the Dark Side, while redeeming Kylo Ren on her way down. That would’ve been an excellent story to tell, great setup for the next movie, and, once again, a very human bit of character development for Rey (who’d been a total Mary Sue until now).

    Unfortunately, the movie chickened out at the last minute, and Jar-Jar-ed itself into mediocrity. It’s a shame, but still, it wasn’t all bad.

    Oh, and I also liked Solo. It was a pretty fun heist movie set in the Star Wars universe, and it made you appreciate how far Han Solo had come since his youth. All right, now, let the hate flow through you…

    1. And this is why I write books for a living, and you just complain about them. 🙂

      Impressive. Everything you just said is wrong. (the only good line of dialog from that stupid movie by the way)

      Luke did not play Yoda. AT ALL. Yoda PRETENDED to be a senile weirdo in order to test the character of young Luke (a common trope in old martial arts movies) before he took him under his wing to train him. Master Yoda was an unknown to the audience at the time. Luke ain’t pretending. He’s just turned into an old, useless, bitter asshole.

      And Rey, being the GM’s girlfriend, just goes up and beats the master with a stick, because that’s how it works on Stupid Planet.

      It isn’t human. It’s lame, and it throws away all the very human character development from before. It was a ridiculous, grim, nihlistic choice. Humans do dumb shit all the time in real life, but that doesn’t make for a compelling Star Wars movie now does it?

      1. Um, you can’t tell me “you’re wrong to like a movie” — I’ll like whatever I want, you can’t stop me 🙂

        Luke did not play Yoda. AT ALL. Yoda PRETENDED to be a senile weirdo…

        Firstly, my argument that Luke primarily fulfills the same role in the story from Rey’s (and the viewer’s) point of view, whatever his reasons. Secondly, I think you’re wrong about Yoda. Yoda used to be a Jedi Master; the Jedi Master, in fact. He championed the cause of the Light Side. He made it his mission to fight the Empire… and now… he’d been living in a swamp for however many years, doing nothing. Sure, he can tell himself he’s only pretending to be a broken old man, but is he really ?

        And Rey, being the GM’s girlfriend, just goes up and beats the master with a stick

        Agreed, that was dumb. As I said, Rey is a Mary Sue. No one likes Mary Sues. This is part of the reason why I wanted to see Rey fall to the Dark Side — after all, what else would you expect to happen to a Mary Sue who discovers that she isn’t at all as wonderful as she believes herself to be ?

        Humans do dumb shit all the time in real life, but that doesn’t make for a compelling Star Wars movie

        Humans acting human makes for a compelling movie, period, of any kind. It is very plausible for Luke to become totally broken and disillusioned — yes, he’s a hero, but he’s not a god, and even heroes have limits. It is admittedly less plausible, but very compelling, to watch him come to his senses, revitalized by the hope of the new generation despite himself. Passing the torch from one generation to the next is a big theme in the new Star Wars films; and while I obviously wish it were handled better, I do approve of the theme itself.

        By the way, I am a programmer, I write code for a living — but whenever people complain about my programs’ behaviour, I sometimes try to improve (and sometimes I ignore it, of course). Just a thought.

        1. The only times he fights the Empire is an attempt to kill Palpatine immediately prior to his ascension to Emperor, and some very minor bits in Rebels which were primarily guidance to others, just like he did with Luke. He’s not a broken old man, he’s just old. Yoda was ancient as of the prequels.

  71. It seems odd that the Resistance was so close to being wiped out when they blew up the Not Death Star at the end of TFA. I know, I know–it’s a soft remake of Empire, and in that one, the rebels are on the run. But that film is still pretty hopeful, even though it’s the darkest of the original trilogy. TLJ is downright nihilistic in places. The Resistance doesn’t regroup at the end and say, “We’ll get ’em next time.” They just get away, and even then just barely.

  72. Wow, don’t hold in all that rage, tell us how you really feel.

    Kathleen Kennedy has just been given 3 more years to finish mutilating the corpse. Why? NO ONE ELSE WOULD TAKE THE JOB.

    I was born in ’73. I have no memory of a pre-Star Wars world. I had the toys, the sheets, the curtains, the posters, the books, I had Star Wars EVERYTHING growing up. If I could get to spend 5 minutes with anybody who ever lived I would NOT choose Mark Hamill because I could not look him in the eyes and not cry. Luke Skywalker is the most important character in the universe to me. I grew up overseas and didn’t get to see Star Wars or Empire in theaters during there first runs. But, my Grandmother took me to see Jedi. I saw Episode 1 5 times the opening weekend. For all its flaws, I will still defend it. Especially given that all the really important stuff takes place off screen.

    My list of problems with E1 is fairly brief. My list of problems with TFA is a book.

    I’ve seen TFA and TLJ once each. I’ve bought almost zero merchandise. (I’m a huge Lego fan and the only post-Disney merch I own in Lego first, Star Wars second)

    I don’t own any post-Disney videos of Star Wars. I have not seen Rogue One or Solo. I might watch them on some streaming service in the future. If I get bored enough and run out more engaging fare (like My Little Pony)

    Star Wars is DEAD. There is no saving it. No going back. Maybe in 50 years or so there will be complete reboot out of nostalgia. But it just won’t help.

    1. Personally, I found Rogue One to be likeable. It appears to have been made by people who actually like Star Wars- and don’t feel the need to shock or subvert or twist or kill off the old or any of the nonsense that permeated TFA & TLJ.
      The end, while a ‘downer’ is not nihilistic- it’s about sacrifice.
      And it had the same kind of “Star Wars” feel for me personally that TFA & TLJ didn’t. It’s now part of the marathon.
      Your Mileage May Vary, of course.

      1. But why?

        `Rogue One` was just as horrible as `The Last Jedi` in every respect – except it merely didn’t ruin and kill off pre-existing characters, and ruined less continuity.

        The entire plot is nonsensical and is moved exclusively by stupidity. Most of action is utterly pointless. Characters are inconsistent and vapid cardboard cutouts that are crudely bent in a failed attempt to make them less flat.

        Blatantly and superficiously ripping off the Battle of Yavin in an idiotic cargo-cult way was the best they could come up with?

        And the finale irreconcilably contradicts the beginning of `A New Hope`, basically making Leia useless and vain idiot.

        1. Because it was obvious that Rogue One didn’t hate me personally, and TLJ did.
          And from a lot of comments here, I’m not alone in liking that movie. Is it flawed? Sure, just as the original trilogy is flawed. But it has the same feel that the first film had fore me personally.

          1. > Rogue One didn’t hate me personally

            Yet I felt intellectually insulted, repeatedly

            Rogue 1 and TFA made me miss Jar Jar.

            > Is it flawed? Sure, just as the original trilogy is flawed.

            It’s like saying “Hitler sure was flawed, but so was Abe Lincoln!”

    2. I wouldn’t look too far into that Kennedy extension. It’s only for 3 more years. Bob Iger from Disney recently took the blame for the state of SW by rushing films into production that weren’t ready. Ep 9 is already in the works for next year. Iger said they were going to pump the brakes so I would expect no SW movie in 2020. So you are looking at maybe one more movie she would be responsible for and no guarantee of that. Personally I think SW movies should be an event and not released every year.

  73. I love how, while trying to write a movie with a strong feminist undercurrent, Johnson writes Holdo as an authoritarian leader and feminists and SJWs squee about her being such a “strong” female character.

    Yeah, they’re constantly going on about how women are so “collaborative” and “empathetic”. So Holdo is written like a caricature of a male military authority figure as envisioned by writers who have had no exposure actual male military authority figures.

    When will these hacks realize that “strong woman” or “equal woman” doesn’t mean “like a man” (or, more accurately, the strawMan that lefties tend to construct in their little heads)?

    Now, I must be going, because I think Russian bots are responsible for my leaky sink.

    1. This is something that I’ve certainly noticed in all sorts of areas but particularly when some sorts complain that women are punished if they act like men… in business or politics or movies or whatever.

      And it seems to me to be based squarely in the Truth that the complainer has no notion at all *how men act*.

      Someone did a really neat experiment (and I’m not meaning this to be political *at all*… it’s interesting) where they had actors gender switch Hillary and Trump in one of their debates on the theory that a woman with his mannerisms would be considered horrible. So the actors practiced until they could recreate body language, postures, tone of voice… and the “act like a man” female candidate came across as brash but *comforting*. She reminded those who watched the play of a favored but exasperating aunt.

      There no end of things that (supposedly) men can do but women can’t because we’re not allowed… to ask for raises, to be “bossy”, to… I donno… command a resistance space fleet. And they all depend entirely on not having the first clue what the MEN actually do.

      Holdo was awful and I don’t know how many people tried to pull some sort of “military discipline” thing on me (Hah!) about how her autocratic and authoritarian handling of subordinates is how a military works. It’s a bad caricature, but then so was Poe’s insubordination.

      1. “There no end of things that (supposedly) men can do but women can’t because we’re not allowed… to ask for raises, to be “bossy”, to… I donno… command a resistance space fleet. And they all depend entirely on not having the first clue what the MEN actually do.”

        Related is the common response I’ve seen regarding Kavanaugh’s emotional responses and how “If a woman did that…” somehow reflects reality. The trope I’m sure you’ve seen is something to the effect of women being dismissed when they get emotional. What these excuse makers fail to consider is the context of the situation, namely when emotional reactions are appropriate, or at least understandable (i.e. being accused of being a serial rapist on the national stage).

        They also fail to consider that when men get inappropriately emotional, they are also recipients of social or professional disapproval. Perhaps more so, since men are generally expected to keep their emotions in check.

        If an actual military commander, male or female, had exercised such a secretive, authoritarian leadership style as Holdo did in TLJ, they’d never have made it to a command position in the first place. It’s always painfully apparent when writers haven’t the first clue about how the military actually works.

        1. Emphasis on the “secretive” part. Facing the potential end of the line for your war effort is not the time to go into cryptic mentor mode.
          Which is why Poe will not be court-martialed for mutiny in the face of the enemy.

        2. It’s not clear that the Rebellion’s military must be structured anything like ours.

          Mining Psi-Wars for inspiration, perhaps she traded on a family title, or otherwise bought her way into power. This was fine as long as a competent male ranked her, but the subsequent comedy of disasters is the simple consequences of Akbar’s death. The Last Jedi is a boring monologue about the evils of women in the military.

          If you ignore that Lucas had the same defects, you could argue Kennedy’s oversight of this as a case that women should be kept strictly under male authority, and never hold any position of trust or responsibility in their own right.

          1. Those are fair points, but the flaw is that we’re also informed Holdo possesses some degree of competence from prior exploits and reputation. Keeping your subordinate commanders in the dark about your operational plans is a recipe for disaster, regardless of structure.

            Then again, the First Order commanders don’t seem to understand the concept of using smaller ships to screen for flagships either, so maybe the only thing these military style units have in common with ours is the rank structure.

            Lucas almost certainly has the same defects, but at least he had editors to come along and clean up his messes in the original trilogy. He replaced them with yesmen (yespersons?) when he spun up Lucasfilm, so maybe the culture remained through the change in ownership.

            Maybe Holdo just serves as producer/director wish-fulfillment in thinking she can just handle a complex operation alone and piss on everyone who dare question it.

        3. It is interesting that discussion of toxic masculinity always comes with some language about men being discouraged from crying and showing emotions. Then Kavanaugh cries slightly during his Senate testimony and the Left (who champion the idea of toxic masculinity) uses that to say he doesn’t have the proper judicial temperament.

  74. I don’t understand what is so hard about making a good Star Wars. The recipe is:

    2 parts epic space battles.
    1000 parts pew pew.
    10 parts cool ass looking storm troopers.
    0 parts Jedi (fuck those guys).
    5 parts Mandalorian Mercs.
    3 parts hero’s that actually are capable and not some SJW’s idea of what a hero is. That shit is lame. Knowing Disney, the next Star Wars, will feature a man who identifies as an apple.

    Burn at high heat for 120 minutes and enjoy.

  75. Well, this comment got a lot longer than I originally intended. Here goes.

    I don’t think the bomb drop is as dumb as many people make it out to be. We know there’s artificial gravity on these ships since we see Rose’s sister fall down the ladder. We can assume the same artificial gravity field is acting on the bombs, but they’re being held in the ship’s hold by a force field. Turn off the force field and the bombs fall out of the ship. It’s still a stupid bombing method for space battles, though.

    I think some blame for the treatment of Luke’s character has to be put on J.J. Abrams. He set up that Luke ran away after an apprentice went to the dark side. That doesn’t strike me as something the Luke we know would do considering his efforts to return his father to the light side. It was in Johnson’s hands to come up with a good explanation for Luke’s absence, though.

    The inclusion of Holdo at the expense of Ackbar was just bad writing. Why introduce a new character when a current character can fulfill the same function? It’s unnecessary bloating of the plot with extraneous characters. If Holdo had been sticking around, I could understand it a bit better. But since she just shows up only to die in a heroic self-sacrifice, I have to wonder if Rian Johnson just owed Laura Dern a favor.

    There’s another character that gives Rey a run for her money in the Mary Sue department: BB-8. That droid can do anything! He can fix an X-Wing by jamming his head into an electrical busboard, sprouts tools for any situation (e.g. a gun that shoots coins a drunk alien happened to put into him), subdue and hogtie three guards by himself, and pilot an AT-ST that will conveniently lose its cockpit to showcase this little ball of plot convenience. I’m not sure why he needed Rey’s help in the first movie at all. The little bugger could probably take out the First Order by himself. Probably with the “Defeat the First Order” tool he surely has hidden away in that ball of a body.

  76. Mr. Correia, you look like a manly Russian. Pity I like women, not men, such as Катя Баженова

  77. As a sum of its parts this movie sucked, but despite the fact that the parts that sucked REALLY sucked, and the fact that those parts greatly outnumbered the good parts, I think you aren’t giving some of the good parts the credit they’re due.

    I actually really liked Luke as a grumpy old man, in and of itself. I think it actually fits pretty well. Having his own apprentice turn to the Dark Side would help him truly understand what Obi Wan and Yoda were dealing with, and I could see that making a big impact on his character. I can also see him looking at his hermitage as a noble sacrifice; He WANTS to be running around the galaxy saving the day, but he’s come to the conclusion that the best way for him to save the most people is by going into hiding, and preventing more Jedi from being trained, and thus turning to the Dark Side.

    What I DIDN’T like was making him try to kill Kylo. I know that they tried to take it back and have it both ways by saying “no, see, he only IGNITED his lightsaber, and only THOUGHT about it for a SPLIT SECOND,” but that was just wishy-washy bullshit on the writers’ part, trying to have their cake and eat it too. It was still a butchering of his character. You took the guy whose entire character arc revolved around being the ONE PERSON in the ENTIRE UNIVERSE who never lost faith that his father still had good inside him, and that faith being what saved the day, and then you try to tell me that, even for a second, he would think about killing his own nephew, just because MAYBE some guy we’ve never heard of with a dumb name MIGHT have corrupted him? No. Fuck that shit. They could have accomplished the same thing just by having Kylo believe Luke was trying to kill him, because Snoke tricked him, and gotten the same result without butchering everything that made Luke Skywalker Luke Sywalker.

    But the idea that he could grow up to be a gumpy old man, just in general? I don’t see any problem with that. That sounds like it could be kind of fun!

    And no, I also don’t think the big galaxy-spanning projection trick denied us the epic lightsaber battle we were craving. I think that scene was absolutely brilliant, and couldn’t think of a cooler way for Luke to go out.

    I also loved Yoda’s return to his original characterization of being an Epic Troll, (you’ve gotta’ admit, other than when he broke out that little lightsaber, the prequels really didn’t do him any justice) and I thought the interactions between Rey and Kylo were done pretty well. (Yeah, Rey’s a bit of a Mary Sue, but there’s nothing inherently WRONG with a character being a Mary Sue when you’re writing a lighthearted action-packed escapist fantasy intended to directly reflect Campbell’s Monomyth. You’ve just gotta’ make sure a Mary Sue hero character fits the tone of the story you’re telling.)

    You’re absolutely right about everything else, though. Fuck Holdo, fuck space battles that don’t even TRY to make sense, fuck EVERYTHING having anything even remotely to do with that Casino Planet side-plot, fuck plots that only make sense if everyone involved is deliberately being stupid, fuck expecting us to treat an asshole who literally dooms thousands of people to their death in exchange for money as a Han Solo-style lovable rogue, and most importantly, fuck anyone who spells a perfectly good name like “Ryan” like a pretentious idiot.

  78. Before I go back and read the rest of the post… I sincerely hope that is your Halloween costume this year! *gringringrin!*

    I probably won’t have much to offer in terms of response because for me the expansion of episodes 4-6 are the novels made BEFORE the prequel trilogy.

    I kinda enjoyed Rogue One though, but the ‘sequels’… I stopped after the first one. It annoyed me too much.

    Hm. I guess that’s a response after all.

    1. an actor can only do so much when your script is made of cheese.

      Or you could make like Johnny Depp and run away with the role and make Captain Jack Sparrow freaking awesome!!!!

      Though, I guess a better example of ‘your script is cheese, deal with it’, were the lead actors for the Twilight series, especially the main guy actor.

      I watched the first one, with friends, for one of the guys’ birthday thing, because we played Vampire the Masquerade, and while one of the things we wanted to do was yell BLASPHEMY at the end, we wanted to see how much of a train wreck it was… I couldn’t help but snark out loud from roughly five minutes into the movie. Birthday boy was begging for me to stop because he couldn’t breathe any more from laughing … but every time I tried to hold my tongue something would happen that would set me off again.

      After the ‘We’re vegetarians. We only drink animal blood’ line, I had to make my brain unfreeze – it took exactly the amount of time for an anime DOT DOT DOT – before I just shouted WHAT?!??!?!?! – the rest of the theatre burst out laughing, and then joined in the snarking commentary. In fairness to Robert Patt…inson? I have to applaud his ability to say that line with a straight face.

      I think that made the whole movie entertaining.

      Reading this though, there just no way I’d spend money to just snark my way through a movie. I don’t want to have to BE the entertainment, for me to be entertained!

  79. I think the fundimental problem with the film was what they did with Luke. Let’s be honest, running away and becoming a hermit was how his teachers dealt with their failures. So when he failed, he ran away and became a hermit. I can get behind that. However, in TLJ they broke a promise. Both implicit in Return of the Jedi and explicitly in the opening crawl of the Force Awakens. That Luke would rebuild the order, perhaps he got off track, but he eventually does it successfully. That was the line we were expecting. That was the line that we had be promised. Breaking that promise is the fundamental flaw with the Last Jedi.

  80. It’s more than ‘subverting’ the narrative. We think these characters; we hold them in our heads and they walk and talk and play out scenes in our memory; we even play with the scenes in our minds. They take on a certain reality for us; that’s why Luke is so memorable; he’s a memory, just like real people. So when he, or Han, or Leia, or any other fictional character, is damaged like that, to a certain extent we can be demoralized or dispirited. Just look at the fan channels on Youtube, and see how many people were actually depressed by Johnson’s Jrool. These people aren’t just screwing with the characters, or trying to establish dominance over us by buying Star Wars and then telling us that we HAVE to accept their changes; they’re actively trying to harm us, just a bit, by killing the characters we love and forcing US to wear their skins by running the new, damaged, versions in our heads.

    This is psychological warfare.

  81. The longer I watched TFA the more disgusted I got. I didn’t pay money to see TLJ. I saw it an a plane. So nice to be able to fast forward through the bad parts. It only took an hour out of my life.

  82. I didn’t have any interest in watching TFA, but I eventually reluctantly borrowed it from the library. Took me a long time to watch because I kept pausing it and then reluctantly hitting play again. It wasn’t worth it. I hated that movie. I have zero interest in seeing any of the other Disney fan films. (And I’ve been a SW fan since junior high, when I discovered the first trilogy and then binge-read a bunch of the novels. I currently have a C-3PO cardboard standup in my living room. )

    The best thing to come out of these Disney fan films (and yes, I do persist in thinking of them that way) are the parody twitter accounts, particularly Emo Kylo Ren and Very Lonely Luke.

    (And do not even get me started on time turners and all of the plot holes and character inconsistencies in Harry Potter. I’m a big HP fan, but I’m pretty sure JKR gave up caring before she finished the series and sure as heck doesn’t give any kind of a crap now.)

  83. I’d say the main flaw of the sequel films – with most of the problems evolving from it – is that the writers patently refused to evolve the conflict, instead rehashing the old Empire/Rebels deal almost verbatim. Compared to the increasingly complex post-war stories in the old expanded universe, with military sci-fi legends like Timothy Zahn and Michael Stackpole developing the setting organically, the new films throw all logic to the wind and end up with a farcical copy of the originals.

    Though I guess this is the actual reasoning here – writers were told to churn out a Star Wars “movie” – basically using a paint-by-numbers mentality about what such a movie would have to feature: explosions here, lightsaber duel there etc. – instead of creating a Star Wars *story* – a tale of the events naturally unfolding in the setting following those of the last films. The only one in that regard was Rogue One, and even that was apparently a lucky shot in the dark, seeing how Solo crashed and burned.

    So yeah, I wouldn’t even call them fan films – in fact, I’d say they’re the exact opposite – generic products designed by a committee ticking off checklists; very much unlike the labors of love created by Zahn, Stackpole, the teams of Bioware and Raven, and the thousands of other authors truly worthy of bearing the Star Wars legacy.

  84. Time-Turners have much more limited utility than you probably think. Remember, if you KNOW something happened the first time around, then the Time-Turner will do nothing to prevent it.

    On the other hand: Stunning Spells were introduced in Goblet of Fire. Pretty pedestrian as new powers go, but boy, if that had been around before, in lieu of needing to chain Wormtail to an off-his-meds werewolf, it would have saved everyone a lot of grief.

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