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Peter T Chattaway

Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

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It occured to me that the complaints about Luke's character in this film (which I don't recall hearing after TFA) really have to be laid at the feet of the conclusion of TFA in the first place. There had to be a plausible reason for Luke going into hiding, and we already knew that it was connected to his failure in training Ben Solo. That was the scenario that had to be resolved in this film. Besides the fact that if you criticize Luke's character for this action, you have to be just as upset at Obi Wan and Yoda for doing almost the exact same thing after the old Jedi order was destroyed.

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A video review of the film by James Raney:

(Warning: spoilers)

 

 

Edited by ralfy

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Joshua Wilson wrote:
: It occured to me that the complaints about Luke's character in this film (which I don't recall hearing after TFA) really have to be laid at the feet of the conclusion of TFA in the first place.

I'm pretty sure I *did* hear complaints to that effect when TFA came out, but of course, the movie didn't give us much to complain with. But yes, most of my biggest problems with TLJ stem from the way it is bound to the prequels and TFA -- films that I would really rather ignore, but obviously, any sequel to those films *can't* ignore them if it's to stay within "canon".

(One of the reasons I keep harping on the Yoda scene is that it is one of the bad things in TLJ that didn't *have* to be there -- you cannot blame that scene on TFA or the prequels. Indeed, one of my biggest problems with the Yoda scene is that it kind of *ignores* the prequels and what they told us about Yoda's character arc.)

: Besides the fact that if you criticize Luke's character for this action, you have to be just as upset at Obi Wan and Yoda for doing almost the exact same thing after the old Jedi order was destroyed.

Well, no, you don't, because it was *not* the same thing. I mean, for starters, Yoda and Obi-Wan weren't hiding from *each other* or from any of their other allies; that is precisely why Bail Organa knows where to send his daughter in A New Hope. Luke, on the other hand, doesn't tell Leia or Han or anyone else where he's going. Yoda and Obi-Wan had also just watched a Sith lord take over the Republic and wipe out the entire Jedi Order; some prudent hiding from *him* at that point made perfect sense. Luke, on the other hand... well, what exactly happened? One of his apprentices killed a few other people and burned down a building, and...? I mean, Luke says Ben Solo had already been corrupted by Snoke at this point, but who was Snoke exactly? Did Snoke actually have an army yet? He certainly wasn't running the entire galaxy like the Emperor was; the New Republic seemed to be doing just fine, for the most part, until the events of TFA (when the Starkiller base destroyed five key Republic planets in one fell swoop, in one of the dumbest, most JJ-ish moments in the entire film). Luke went into hiding and *made things worse* by doing so, by not helping everyone else deal with the growing but still manageable Snoke problem. Yoda and Obi-Wan, on the other hand, had already seen things get as bad as they could be. Yoda and Obi-Wan retreated strategically like the British at Dunkirk. Luke just surrendered and abandoned his allies.

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Edwin Turner:

The Last Jedi transcends the narrative stasis of The Force Awakens. “Stasis” is probably not a fair word to describe TFA. Abrams’s film excited viewers, roused emotions, offered engaging new characters, and even killed off a classic character via the classic Star Wars trope of Oedipal anxiety erupting in violent rage. TFA’s stasis is the static-but-not-stagnant excitement of having expectations confirmed. In contrast, Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi punctures viewer expectations at almost every opportunity, aesthetically restaging tropes familiar to the series but then spinning them out in new, unforeseen directions.

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