[DISCLAIMER: This is simply my opinion.]
Remember the old days? You’d go to a theater and watch a three-hour spectacle of a movie like Spartacus or Lawrence of Arabia or even Reds (the one with Warren Beatty). Movies were made as a total experience. You’d go in, watch the first half and then they’d have an intermission. You’d go out, use the bathroom, grab some popcorn (hopefully, after you go to the bathroom), and then just sit down and relax and discuss what played out on the screen in the first half and talk over expectations for the second half.
Intermission. We don’t have intermission in movies any more. I guess that’s okay, unless a movie really needs to be three or four hours and have an intermission. Then, that is not okay.
Instead of a spectacle, you get a quickly rushed film cut down to pieces in the editing room and told how to be made by producers that don’t know anything about film, and then thrown out there for the viewing masses to make them a quick buck. This is what you see a lot with the Marvel and DC universe, and that has made me quite sad. It is more than likely about money and not creativity.
Or, as in the case of what I’d like to write about, you simply put up the first unedited thing you think of and send it out there for the viewing masses. Like when a kid makes up a story off the cuff. You know, like when Rian Johnson decided he was just going to make a Star Wars movie because he had an idea…? Now, this is about The Last Jedi. I have already forgot The Force Awakens (a very forgettable film), but The Last Jedi is fresh on my mind, and so….
My childhood blown up in front of my eyes. And that is what I’m going to rant about.
The first Star Wars. I will never forget the beauty of film when I saw that movie on the screen in the 70’s. The sweeping panorama of Luke standing there alone and wanting something more out of his life. The pacing of Empire Strikes Back and then the pay-off that was Return of the Jedi. Luke had become such a badass. Han and Chewie were such bro’s. Leia was the original kick-ass chick throughout. (Boy, did I cry when Carrie Fisher passed away and to know her Princess Leia was thrown into a ditch just beforehand via this new SW franchise slop.)
All on the big screen and all so well constructed via a well -built world, use of the force, and characterization. It was a fantasy world and you have to work within fantasy world parameters that you set when you make a fantasy story or film. This is not our world, but the world within the scope of this fantasy-built world. J.R.R. Tolkien and many fantasy writers have created wonderfully complex worlds that exist within parameters set forth within the world created by them.
To throw in “our” world into “their” world will make everything nonsensical. That includes our politics. Politics have already been laid within the second set of the trilogy of Star Wars within the prequels and so we know what type of world has been existing. There are rules to follow. This film was only supposed to take place around 30 years after the original trilogy. So, those parameters were set for this continuation if someone would have stopped to watch those movies and get a good grasp of the world.
Recent SW schlock that we are getting are silly little quickly made movies that have none of the presence the original trilogy had, or the grandeur and well-thought out characterization of the prequels. They threw out the entire large world created for the Star Wars universe to place a rushed fanfiction piece onto the screen. Why care about technical issues and the fact there was an ENTIRE world built and foundation laid for them to glean from? Just throw it all out and make stuff up that might look super cool on the screen. Pow Pow. Boom Boom. It’s a film. The force? Who cares about the force and the parameters set for using it? Technology used for the ships and vehicles, and all manner of weaponry? Just forget it and use this thing that makes me feel like I’m back in WWII cause I have thing for WWII stuff. Luke Skywalker’s personality and character? Who cares? Let’s use this fanfiction version of Luke Skywalker that some kid (Rian Johnson?) wrote in his basement one night. Let’s just make a whole new world and change everything… and I do mean “EVERYTHING.”
Well, that might work for a revamp. Let me write that again, a revamp is what you do when you change everything. But this was supposedly a continuation. That means that you need to use the parameters set in the original stories to “continue” with a fluid story. Those who are true writers, or even people who think things through, might get this concept. I’m guessing what is happening in Hollywood right now is… well, I don’t want to say they aren’t real writers. But… something is going on. I don’t know what it is, but I find myself irksome a lot. If you want to hear a fantastic podcast on The Last Jedi, and much of my views and questions that I have to agree with is listen to Mauler’s three-part series regarding this franchise. Mauler is spot on:
I find it difficult to watch movies any more. They look like a scribble on a script that read: Sweeping opening, Boom Boom, Pow Pow, Climax and we’re done. It’s like a bad one night stand.
Let’s get nit picky: Ray. Rae? I don’t even know how her name is spelled, nor do I care to look it up. I will give it the same amount of attention Rian Johnson gave to the original characters. I don’t mind Rae(y) Sue. I mean, I do mind the silliness of having a Mary “Ray” Sue character thrown in the mix, but her characterization started out promising. So much to work with. Nuance and layering in the story would have helped so, so much. Rae could have been developed through three movies. You know? Like what writers do in stories? Finn? His characterization was all over the place. I still have no idea why he’s there if his character makes absolutely no sense. Poe? Meh. He’s the BEST PILOT. Okay? That’s what all the other characters tell me so… he is?
(Writing 101: Show, don’t tell. But, this movie forgot that basic concept.)
But, I think the only people who appreciate “Rae” Sue are those who either one, didn’t like the original six movies; or two, never saw the original six movies. Or, the last one might be they are just not very… smart? Seriously, to get behind a Mary Sue character takes a certain mind set (looks over at Twilight fandom – which I actually liked, so please don’t judge me). I have my own weaknesses, as embarrassed as I am that I enjoyed the first three books and it was great fanfiction material (made into actual books and movies now which makes no sense to me, like I’m 50 shades of gray away from belief). (But, I hated that damn fourth book! Grrrrrrr. Renesmesue? Grrrrrr.)
Back to Star Wars. George Lucas, if you ever watch him in an interview, is obviously a very intelligent man. The Star Wars universe was created out of a wealth of knowledge about known physics and how they work. It was a very large and massive world and environment. They throw in a world of physical and technical parameters that the SW universe works within. It’s all laid out and plain to see via well-written books and comics created by other intelligent creators and writers that took into account the massive Star Wars universe with characters, world-building, and politics and social mores. So much material to glean moving forward. But….
What the fudge? You had A LOT OF MATERIAL TO WORK WITH! Why? WHY? Read a book for goodness sake!
That is how I left the theater after watching the first movie. Why? Why? I watched The Last Jedi on Netflix the other day. And again… what the f$%%&$? It was even poor as simply a sci-fi movie. It made no sense. I was bored out of my mind and only waded through the last half of the movie because I don’t want to rant about something if I haven’t seen it. It was excruciating. It was like I was forced to watch Jupiter Ascending a second time, but this time without a cute male protagonist. Instead, I get pasty-chested Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).
It’s just a nonsensical piece of a movie. It’s just a really badly made movie. It was just so all over the place. The stupid joke at the beginning made absolutely no sense. Was I walking in on Spaceballs 2? I mean… seriously. It was like a dumb dad joke thrown in and they forgot to edit it out of the movie.
They suddenly had a brand new bomber ship that dropped bombs in space? Gravity? There is no gravity in space. You need gravity to “drop” things. It was so difficult to watch after the first fifteen minutes because even with my small amount of science knowledge it made no sense whatsoever. It was just stupid. It was like a child had an idea and wrote something without thinking it through.
I wanted to start a drinking game with how many times they talked about “running out of fuel” in this new movie. You know what? In the last six movies it’s never really mentioned because they don’t run out of “fuel.” In the SW universe they don’t use gasoline. The ships suddenly spewed out gasoline from the engines and it made no sense. It was laughable to watch. They no longer use gasoline in the SW universe and ships run on ion engines, which were radioactive fuel. It wasn’t like running out of gas, and yet they kept referring to the ships as running out of fuel like they needed to stop by the Petrol station.
Also, in the first movie Finn couldn’t pilot anything, but now he’s suddenly a well-trained pilot. WTF? Leia in space? Force moments were so laughable. Everything was just so… silly. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry while sitting through this really poorly made movie. It was just so dumb.
There were just too many WTF moments to mention. Mind-boggling.
What’s happening here Hollywood? This is just one of the more glaring failures of what will now be known as the decade of poorly made remakes and sequels. (I’ll write more on this later.)
There are several ideas, and I’m sure they are good ones as to why they just throw up anything without well-thought out discussion. I mean, they forgot a Starbucks cup, and quite a few water bottles, were sitting on the set in Game of Thrones? Are people working in Hollywood just a bunch of schleps who don’t give a #%*#&$*$ about what they’re doing? Eh, maybe.
As a viewer I’ve become very “meh” about it all. It’s not like I have a lot of time to watch shows these days or go to the movies (who can afford that). And so, I was hopeful that you could make at least one good movie out of such a wealth of material to help you out. But why put forth any effort to make a decent movie from a wealth of material? Why study? Why put forth any effort? Why should I, the viewer, henceforth put in any effort? Goodbye Star Wars.
By the way, if you do love the original Star Wars movies you will enjoy the Clone Wars and Rebels animation. It is actually one of the best shows that sticks with the known SW universe and has great writing and characterization. Ahsoka Tano is a kick-ass Jedi and was what Rae Sue should have been. Just saying….
I hope you didn’t mind my rant. Please have a good day with good searching! 😉