Hey, all - I'm back to the GBCN boards but had barely dabbled on this sub-board before; would like to dwell here a bit more since I've fully embraced my geekdom right down to dying my hair purple and starting a geek podcast with the family.
Who all has your tickets to Last Jedi?
What do you think will happen? (once it releases widely, remember to collapse your Spoiler info)
Do you think Frank Oz was in London because he voiced a Jedi spirit of Yoda?
It takes me a while to mull things over and fully form my opinion, but here are my first (spoiler-free) impressions after seeing it last night: It was enjoyable. Not earth-shattering, but fun. I liked it slightly better than The Force Awakens but not as much as Rogue One.
And here are the rest of my initial reactions: . . . . .
Thought #1 - In the same way that The Force Awakens was disconcertingly channeling A New Hope, I felt that the first part of the film was heavy-handed on the Empire Strikes Back aspects. The rebels' evacuation reminded me of the scenes on Hoth. The whole hermit Jedi master refusing to train the scrappy upstart was practically a full-on recreation of Dagobah (complete with Force cave! Seriously?!). And then there was the introduction of a romance element. The second half of the film felt much more original.
Thought #2 - OMG I could not stand the scene with Leia in open space! First, it felt really bizarre and out-of-character. Leia has inklings of Force ability, but that seemed like a pretty extreme move! Second, it looked sooooo cheesy! When she starts to wake up, I was sitting there thinking, "No... They're not really going to do this, are they? OMG, they are!" And then when she starts flying through space in a full-on Superman pose, it was just embarrassing. I hated that scene. Not as much as Jar Jar. Maybe about as much as midichlorians. Third, the physics of the whole thing have been messing with my head. Even with Force manipulation, how did she suddenly accelerate towards the ship in a vacuum? How did she create thrust? ...In mulling this over just now, I've decided that since the Force is the energy that binds all things together, maybe instead of creating thrust to push herself towards the ship, she manipulated the Force to draw herself and the ship closer. Still, that seems like quite a feat for an untrained person who's never shown particularly strong talent for using the Force.
Speaking of physics, I also got kind of flustered with the bombers "dropping" bombs in open space. I'm now going to assume that this was achieved through some kind of polarized magnetics. (I think physics was on my mind, because before the show the cinema had a whole space battle projected onto its domed ceiling with TIE fighters, X-wings, the Falcon, and a few star destroyers. Seeing it overhead in 360° made me realize that all the Star Wars ships remain in a fixed "upright" orientation in relation to the planets below, and this got me thinking about how Ender's Game explains how moving effectively in 3D space means you need to stop thinking of "down" as a fixed direction. I digress.)
Thought #3 - Related to thought #2, but how many times can they play the "dead, not-dead" schtick in one film?! It felt like a clumsy attempt to create emotions, but by the end, I was just getting bored with it. And it cheapened Luke's ending for me. "He's dead!" *feels* "No, wait, he's not dead!" *actual surprise* "Oh, wait... No, he's dead again." *whatever*
Thought #4 - Porgs aren't that bad. (Embarrassing confession: I actually think they're kind of cute and sort of want one. It probably has something to do with the fact that I adore calico cats.)
Thought #5 - Some of the visuals in this film are stunning. I didn't really like the new throne room set, but the fight scene with all the guards was quite striking, and the sparseness of the background was a big part of that. And the white and red salt planet was a bit gimmicky but I'm willing to give them a pass, because the result was absolutely beautiful.
Thought #6 - It felt weird to me to have two different burgeoning romances in the same film. I would have liked the Rose-Finn thing to be more platonic. Men and women can be close friends without being siblings or sweethearts. I'd like to believe she meant "love" in a general sense, but if so, I think it could have been played out in a more obviously platonic way. Especially since I think Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver did a great job of creating a tense chemistry between them. Even more impressive for not being in the same scene together. (Another embarrassing confession: I dig the Rey-Ben love-hate relationship. I never understood why people were all swoony over Adam Driver in The Force Awakens, but I could understand it after this.)
Thought #7 - I wish Poe had died in an epic ball of failure. So much undermining of strong and intelligent women. I hope some of the male viewers learned something from the fact that he royally fucked everything up by not trusting the female leadership, but since he got to waltz out of the whole thing in an intact ball of machismo, I suspect they did not.
Thought #8 - If you can destroy a ship by running another ship through it at light-speed, why hasn't anyone done it before? Seems like the rebels could have just sacrificed a ship to a kamikaze run against the Death Star, considering how many more ships and people they lost in the process. Was everyone in the galaxy taught that this would lead to the end of the world a la Ghostbusters' "Don't cross the streams?" Maybe everyone wasn't acting shocked because they were surprised by the idea; maybe they legit thought that the universe was about to end! Haha!
Thought #8 - A hint of shoulder skin is apparently "in" this season in a galaxy far, far away.