Saturday, June 16, 2018

TLJ: What Went Wrong

Here is a list of things that sucked about The Last Jedi.  In no particular order.

I'm going from memory (because I have refused to watch the movie again since seeing it in the theater) and some video reviews I watched on Youtube.  Therefore, some of these things may not be completely accurate.  Heck, I may have even repeated myself.

Some are huge plot holes, some are small nitpicks.  But they all contributed to my disappointment.  Enjoy.  Feel free to add anything I missed in the comments!

1. The opening crawl starts with "The First Order reigns."  How is that possible?  The movie takes place right after the Force Awakens at the end of which the massive planet-sized base was destroyed.  The First Order should be licking their wounds and regrouping.

2. Leia Poppins.  Suddenly Leia is shown to be more powerful with the Force than any Jedi.  She can propel herself through space while surviving in an environment with no atmosphere and temperatures exceeding negative 400 degrees F.

3. Speaking of Leia Poppins, how does she manage to pull herself back to the command bridge?  She was blown outward while the ship kept moving at top speed.  It would have been well past Leia in a matter of seconds.

4. Luke died. Actually I would have been ok with him dying if his character hadn't been completely assassinated.

5. Luke was a grumpy old hermit who refused to help his friends and family, completely betraying his character established in previous movies.

6. We never got to see Luke as an all-powerful Jedi master.  This is something I had been looking forward to seeing since they announced the sequel trilogy.

7. There were no lightsaber duels (where lightsabers clashed with other lightsabers).  A lightsaber duel should be a staple for any Star Wars episode.

8. No Lando

9. No Wedge

10. Admiral Ackbar, a hero and fan favorite from the original trilogy, was killed basically as an after-thought.  He deserved a better death or at least more acknowledgment.

11. Canto Bight.  Horrible side plot.  In general.  The entire sub plot could have been removed from the movie completely and it would not have affected the plot at all.

12. Rose and Finn get thrown in prison... for illegal parking?

13. BB-8 beats up three guards to the point of unconsciousness... with coins.

14. Rose and Finn just happen to find exactly who they need in their cell.  If DJ could escape all along, why was he still in there? 

15. The end result of Canto Bight: nothing.  It was pointless.  It accomplished nothing except to get Rose and Finn on the First Order ship.

16. Chewbacca didn't have a big enough role.  He had very little screen time.

17. Stormtroopers did nothing in the movie for the most part except stand around.

18. The whole plot of the movie revolves around a chase in space.  The First Order can't catch up to the Resistance until their fuel runs out.  This goes against all laws of physics.  An object in motion will stay in motion in space.  So even if they run out of fuel, they would still be going the same speed.

19. The First Order can't shoot down Poe because he is too close?  The turrets on a First Order ship were able to fire something that took out the TIE fighter Poe and Finn stole.  On the Death Star, the turrets were able to take out Rebel ships that came close to them.  That makes no sense.

20. Bombs dropped in outer space will not fall downwards due to the absence of gravity.

21. How is Rose's sister dropping the bombs from that ship with seemingly no protection from the vacuum of space?

22. Snoke was killed. I figured he would die in this trilogy...but in the second movie? And...

23. No explanation was given for Snoke's rise to power, his origin, how he found Kylo, etc.

24. In the original trilogy, Luke saw the good in Darth Vader and wanted to save him despite the fact that he murdered thousands of innocent beings...including children and his friend and mentor Obi Wan.  In this movie he actually considers murdering someone (his FAMILY member) in his sleep because he senses darkness in him?  That is not Luke Skywalker.

25. Luke milks alien boobs.  Did we really need to see that?

26. We are never shown Luke mourning Han.  But there was time to show him milking boobs?  Which would be a more significant use of screen time: milking boobs or showing him dealing with the loss of a close friend, family member (I'm considering Han his brother-in-law), and beloved character from the original trilogy?

27. Hyperspace suicide attack.  Why in the history of Star Wars space battles was that never thought of until now?  Seems like it would have really helped when you are trying to take down a Death Star or two.

28. Holdo: why wouldn't you just tell Poe your plan?  The whole Canto Bight scene could have been avoided. Lives could have been saved.

29. Why does Holdo have to pilot the ship on the suicide hyperspace run?  Couldn't a droid or auto-pilot handle that?

30. Poe leads a mutiny, was reprimanded, slapped, and demoted, and was criticized by both Leia and Holdo.  But then they say they like him.  Suddenly.

31. Maz Kanata.  How was that hologram communication recorded from that point of view?  Some sort of floating GoPro?  Also...

32. Not enough Maz Kanata who was seemingly established as an important character in the Force Awakens.  Her hologram communication seems to have been thrown in there just so that she could be in the movie.

33. The Resistance is so small...yet Poe somehow doesn't know who Holdo (a high ranking officer who stands out with purple hair) is.

34.  Rey defeats Luke Skywalker in a fight.  LUKE SKYWALKER!  LEGENDARY JEDI MASTER LUKE SKYWALKER defeated by someone who has never been trained. And he didn't even use his lightsaber.  He used a stick or something.

35. Rey becomes super powerful in a short amount of time with virtually no training.  Luke, arguably the most powerful Force-user ever, could not lift his x-wing out of a swamp after weeks (months?) of training.  Rey removes a gazillion pounds of rocks so her friends can escape.

36. Why couldn't Leia Poppins lift the rocks to escape the cave if she is so powerful with the Force?

37. Kylo Ren loses again.  So in two movies, he has been beaten twice.  Kind of hard to take him as a serious threat in Episode IX.

38. Captain Phasma is under-used again.

39. Captain Phasma dies.

40. Captain Phasma's armor protects her from laser blasts.  Why don't all the stormtroopers have that armor?  And did Rian Johnson forget that Phasma was forced to do something at gunpoint in The Force Awakens?  Seems to me that if a blaster was pointed at her head it wouldn't exactly be a threat.

41. Captain Phasma orders Finn and Rose to be killed.  But instead of shooting them, they have to use some archaic execution weapon that they just happened to keep on board for this type of situation.  Plot convenience!

42. Speaking of plot convenience, after Holdo's suicide run, there is a huge explosion on board the First Order ship.  Rose and Finn are unhurt...yet all the other stormtroopers around them are dead.

43. Somehow after the explosion, Captain Phasma (who was right next to Rose and Finn) and a legion of troopers are now marching towards them from the other side of the ship. And...

44. Captain Phasma has a rifle while approaching.  Then she suddenly doesn't have it and uses some stick thing to fight Finn.  Then she has a pistol.

45. Why did the rich people on Canto Bight have child slaves?  Couldn't they afford droids who are less likely to cause problems and more likely to do better work due to being programmed machines?

46. Luke doesn't show up on Crait.  He Force projects himself there instead.  It would have been way, way, way better if he was there in person.

47. Why do ALL the tie-fighters follow the Millenium Falcon on Crait?  Plot convenience!

48. Finn was about to sacrifice himself to save the Resistance.  But then Rose crashes into him and stops him.  This allows the giant cannon weapon to fire.  So Rose potentially sacrifices the lives of dozens of people in order to save Finn. And she is THAT good of a pilot to know that her actions would not make him crash, killing her and him? Makes no sense.

49. Rose kisses Finn. Nothing transpired in that movie to make us think she was falling in love with him.

50. Poe refers to a door as a "big-ass" door.  That term doesn't really fit into the Star Wars universe.  Here are some other words that could have been used: colossal, enormous, gargantuan, giant, gigantic, humongous, immense, massive, monstrous, huge, monsterous, titanic, over-sized, etc.

51. BB-8 controls an AT-ST.  Is there anything this droid can't do?  If he can control an AT-ST, shouldn't he have been piloting one of the ships on Crait instead of sacrificing another human life?

52. BB-8 fixes x-wing damage by bashing his head into the computer thingamabob.  That humor worked once when Han hit the Millenium Falcon with his hand to get the lights back on.  This was too contrived and nonsensical.

53. Snoke, who was supposedly SO powerful, could not sense Kylo turning the lightsaber next to him?

54. We never get to see the abilities of Snoke beyond Force lightning and moving things with his mind.  For such a powerful villain, I wanted to see more of what he could do.  I guess he could open telepathic pathways between others...but still. 

55. Couldn't the First Order hyperspace to somewhere in front of the Resistance ships and cut them off?

56. Those bombers were ridiculous.  So slow.  Seemingly no shields.  Why not use Y-wings which were capable of performing the same task at much faster speeds. Doesn't seem possible for the resistance to choose to take a step back with technology. These stupid ships, for what their job is, should have the MOST shielding possible!

57. Finn announces that he is happy that the rich people were hurt with their trashing of the casino place.  This doesn't make sense.  Surely the rich were insured.  Surely the casino was insured.  I don't think it hurt them all that badly.  And who is going to make all those repairs?  SLAVE LABOR!

58. If Rey grew up on a desert planet, how did she learn how to swim so well?

59. Rey's parents were nobodies?  All that lead-up.  All that set-up from the Force Awakens.  All the speculation.  Nope.  They were nobody.

60. Rey's Force vision in Maz Kanata's castle was not addressed at all.  Why did Obi-Wan speak to her?  Why did the lightsaber call to her?

61. Luke should have had a green lightsaber when he...I mean his stupid Force projected self...showed up on Crait.

62. Kylo destroys his mask.  I liked the mask.  It gave him an identity.  It showed how devoted he was to striking fear into others and how much he idolized Vader.  He didn't need it to breathe like Vader.  It was a symbol.  Now it's gone.

63. Speaking of Kylo's mask, why did Snoke all of a sudden tell him the mask was ridiculous.  So in all this time with Kylo, with all of his training, he never mentioned this before?  It's suddenly ridiculous and he doesn't want him to wear it?

64. Yoda shows up and interacts with nature. So suddenly Force Ghosts can alter the weather and summon lightning?  So why don't Force ghosts get together and destroy all the bad guys with lightning from above?

65. Yoda hits Luke on his head with his cane.  So Force ghosts can suddenly use objects to hurt living beings?  Why don't Force ghosts beat up the bad guys then?

66. Finn is somehow able to drag Rey's unconscious body across an entire battle field (in a short amount of time no less) without getting shot.

67. General Hux was turned into a bumbling fool.

68. Would "meditating" really kill arguably the most powerful Force user ever?

69. The gold dice that Luke gave Leia should have immediately disappeared when Luke did.  But no, it conveniently stayed visible until Kylo found it.

70. The Resistance ships were supposedly out of range of the First Order's cannons.  Again the laws of physics are ignored.  Unless the ships were traveling faster than the cannon blasts, it doesn't make sense that they could not do damage from a certain distance. How does a laser blast lose its effectiveness in space?  A laser blast shot at a ship from a yard away in space is going to do the same damage as a laser blast 100 yards away.

71. The whole mirror scene was a waste of time.  If Rian Johnson was trying to re-create a cave similar to that on Dagobah, he failed.  Rey sees some reflections of herself.  She asks her mirror image to show her her parents.  Guess what?  It doesn't show it to her.  Waste of time.

72. Too many obvious political messages.  Just tell me a good story.  Keep your political opinions out of it.

73. Snoke said that it was time to complete Kylo's training.  Seemed like JJ Abrams was setting something up for The Last Jedi.  And it was completely ignored.  Kylo received no additional training whatsoever.

74. No Knights of Ren.  It would have been nice to have some other compelling baddies (who can use a lightsaber and/or Force powers) especially now with Snoke gone.  All we have to look forward to now is more Kylo and only Kylo.

75. Luke claimed he went to that island to die.  He wanted no part of anything or anyone.  Then why did he leave behind a map?  Seems like he was open to being found.

76. R2-D2 and C3PO were pretty much useless background characters.

77. Bad editing on display (Google this if you don't believe me).  One of the Praetorian guards has two daggers.  But when he gets tied up with Rey and it is obvious he could have easily stabbed her in the back with his other dagger, it suddenly disappears.  I didn't notice this at first but now I wouldn't be able to un-notice it.

78. We had no emotional attachment to Rose's sister (because we had never met her on screen before and had never seen her interact with other characters).  We see Rose mourning her loss...but we don't get to see Luke mourn Han?

79. The Resistance ships are said to be smaller and therefore faster than the First Order's.  Go back to any previous Star Wars movie and you will see that this is never a problem.  Heck the opening scene of the original Star Wars: A New Hope movie shows a small ship struggling to outrun a star destroyer.  The Milennium Falcon (widely considered to be one of the fastest ships in the Star Wars universe) had trouble shaking a star destroyer in The Empire Strikes Back.

80. The way loose ends were tied up and how the movie ended with that Force-sensitive kid looking at the seemed like the end of a trilogy, not the end of the second film in a trilogy.

81. Holdo, or someone else, could have easily done the suicide hyperspace maneuver earlier, thus saving countless other lives.  All the other ships had hyperspace capabilities.  Why wait until the Resistance has already lost a ton of lives and multiple ships?

82. The Force Awakens FELT like a Star Wars movie.  The tone of The Last Jedi was much different.  I almost felt like I was not watching a film that continued a series.  The Canto Bight scene especially did not have a Star Wars feel.

83. Finn is suddenly a decent pilot on Crait despite demonstrating the complete opposite in the last movie which took place like a few days before this movie.  It is also assumed that he piloted a First Order ship down to Crait...unless Rose the mechanic or BB-8 was a pilot.

84. Snoke seems to be clueless about the technology used to track the Resistance through hyperspace.  A powerful leader of a large military force would know this.  Plus Snoke had Force powers.  He could create a mental connection between two people light years away from each other...but couldn't read Hux's thoughts?

85. Too many incidences of subverting expectations just for the sake of subversion.  Luke throwing his lightsaber over his shoulder?  Really?  After all that dramatic set up at the end of The Force Awakens?  He could have easily held it solemnly, lost in thought, and then handed back to Rey or put in on his belt.  Instead, an important scene is ruined for a cheap laugh.  I admit it, I laughed when I first saw it.  But I no longer find it amusing.

86. Finn and Rose show up at the casino exactly when the code breaker they are looking for is at a high stakes table exactly like Maz told them.  What are the odds?  Is the guy standing there 24/7?  Doesn't he have to eat, pee, or sleep?  And apparently he always, always, always wears the exact same outfit.

87. Kylo Ren gets wet while communicating with Rey.  This is not explained at all.  Can matter be transported by the Force?  If so, does this mean Luke Skywalker could have just been transported somewhere else?  Maybe he didn't die after all?!?!  His mechanical hand disappeared too so...maybe????Fingers crossed.

88. DJ magically finds Finn and Rose on the edge of a cliff.  How?  More plot conveniences I guess.

89. The First Order lands miles away from the base on Crait.  Brilliant!  *and yes I realize that this same thing occurred in The Empire Strikes Back and The Phantom Menace.

90. Rey needs to translate Chewbacca's roars for Luke.  I think a Jedi Master who was friends with a Wookiee for 30 years would have been more able to communicate with him by now.  I am sure it didn't take Han 30 years to learn Chewbacca's language.

91. Rey has no faults.  No ways for her character to develop.

92. Maz claimed that there was only one person (code breaker) in the galaxy who could complete the mission.  But then somehow DJ was able to do it too.

93. There was only one exciting scene: the throne room battle.  I can't say there were any other scenes that I could honestly say "Wow, that was so cool! "

94. Speaking of that scene, why did all the Praetorian guards attack Kylo and Rey after Snoke was killed?  They undoubtedly served their master loyally.  But now he's dead.  Wouldn't at least some of them decide to remain loyal to the leader of the First Order...which is now Kylo Ren?

95. Nien Nunb, who is a veteran, experienced pilot, does not fly a ship in the battle on Crait.  But a janitor and a mechanic do (Finn and Rose).  I guess the Resistance did not want to give it their best effort.

96. The special effects in the movie were amazing...except Yoda.  Yoda looked cartoonish to me.  Especially when he first appears.

97. The Dreadnaught did not have any shields.  Come on!  Heck the Star Destroyers in Rogue One had shields that needed to be disabled first by Y-wings before it could be taken out.

98. Speaking of shields, hanger bays and bridges are able to be destroyed easily by a single fighter?  These are arguably the most important part of ships.  They should be the most heavily shielded.

99. Luke had to ask "how did you find me?"  A Jedi Master as wise as Luke should have remembered that he left a map to his location.

100.  This one is just about the general feeling I had when I left the theater.  After seeing the prequels and after seeing Episode VII, I couldn't wait to return to the theater and see it again.  I couldn't wait for the next episode to come out.  After The Last Jedi, I left the theater not excited at all.  I had already pre-purchased tickets to see it again a few days later...and I didn't want to go.  So The Last Jedi did a bad job keeping this old Star Wars nerd excited about the saga.  Which, in my opinion, is proof that it FAILED.

101.  It has been established that astromech droids are required to calculate hyperspace courses for xwings.  So how was Luke able to get so far away without R2-D2?

102.  Chewbacca goes with Rey (who he has known for a few days) instead of staying with Luke (who he has known for 30 years).

103. Poe ignores Leia's orders to retreat and not attack the First Order ship.  Is he the only one with a radio that communicates with her?  Can't she just radio the other ships and order them to disengage?

104.  And why would she bother calling off the attack?  Those bombers are so darn slow that even if she did order them to disengage and turn around, it would have been way too late.  The First Order would have caught up to them and blew them away.

105. How did Rey escape the First Order ship and get on the Falcon after her "duel" with Kylo Ren?  Did she contact Chewie to come and get her somehow?  Or maybe she magically transported herself onboard?

106. How is the Millenium Falcon able to travel through hyperspace across the galaxy without the need for more fuel (since apparently fueling is a thing now)?

107. Rose is said to work "behind pipes all day."  But when we first meet her, she's working security to stop deserters.  She calls Finn a traitor then goes on a mutinous secret mission herself.

108. Lasers apparently can "arc" in space.

109. Kylo Ren's lightsaber wounds are tended to...but no mention is made of his blaster wound in his gut.  He seems to have miraculously healed as he is unaffected by it despite the movie taking place a day or two after TFA.

110. The position of Kylo's facial wound moved since TFA.  Consistency is obviously not important to Rian Johnson.

111. When Rey shows up on Ach-to, Luke is wearing his old, tattered Jedi robes.  J.J. Abrams was obviously setting something up for the next movie (like, I don't know, Luke returning as an actual hero).  But then Luke changes to a beggar's outfit for the rest of his scenes.  So does Luke just put on his ceremonial robes for special occasions?

112. If you watch TESB and AOTC again, you will witness the extraordinary difficulty level for a well-trained 850 year old Jedi master to lift and xwing and a giant pillar thingee (which was about to fall on Obi-Wan).  Watch how difficult and exhausting it is for Yoda.  Then watch Rey, with two lessons of training, lift a crap load of boulders (which would most likely weigh as much or more than an x-wing) like it was nothing.

113. Why are the super slow bombers ordered to "keep a tight formation?"  If they are so slow and unable to maneuver well, wouldn't it be a better military strategy to spread them out?  Concentrating them into one area gives the enemy an easier target.

114.  Many defenders of this movie will point to graphic novels and other outside materials to explain many of things presented so far in this list.  Casual movie-goers should not have to resort to content outside of a movie to understand/explain/enjoy the content inside a movie.

115. Yoda calls Luke "Skywalker."  That is not consistent with the previous movies.  Yoda always called Luke "Luke."  Why would he suddenly start calling him something else?  It would be like calling your friend by his first name for 30 years then suddenly decide to start calling him by his last name.

116.  What kind of animals break through windows and structures without knowing what's on the other side?  Evidently the animals that Finn and Rose ride.  What if there was a pool of lava waiting for them on the other side?

117.  The First Order destroyed several Republic planets in the Force Awakens, including the capital.  That supposedly decimated the Republic.  But assuming the galaxy has hundreds, maybe thousands of planets/systems (think of the Senate chamber in the prequel trilogy), wouldn't the destruction of just a few of them cause the rest of them to unite?  Instead there is only a small band or resistance left.  What about all the other hundreds/thousands of planets?  Are we supposed to believe they are all under First Order control now?  Not believable, and not explained.

118.  If Luke wanted to die, why wouldn't he do it while also doing something useful?  Like crashing his x-wing into a First Order ship?  No, he'd prefer to just rot away on a deserted island instead.

119.  Han Solo said Luke presumably went off looking for the first Jedi Temple.  If that was the case, he found it.  Now what?  It would make more sense that he was looking for it for A. Guidance   B. More power  C. Information to rebuild the Jedi Order.  Nope!  He was just looking for it so he could die there.

120. If Luke wanted to go to the most "unfindable" place in the galaxy, why did he choose a place of such great importance (the first Jedi temple).  Sounds like a place that someone, perhaps through the use of the Force or Sith holocron, could find eventually.  Plus there was an actual map to his location.

121.  Luke says he will give Rey three lessons.  He only gave two.  What makes it worse is that supposedly there is a 3rd lesson in the Blu Ray deleted scenes. was more important to include alien boobs and casino nonsense than show a lesson from a Jedi Master to a student who suddenly has amazing powers.

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