Luke Skywalker played an important role in the defeat of the Empire in the original Star Wars trilogy, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens suggested that he would also have a key part to play in vanquishing the First Order. But Star Wars: The Last Jedi took a sharp turn. Luke casually discarded his own lightsaber and initially had no interest in training Rey. He resigned himself to a quiet life, shutting himself away from both the wider universe and the Force itself. He told Rey that “It’s time for the Jedi to end,” and even confessed that he considered murdering Ben Solo, sensing the evil in the young man.

This portrayal was controversial. The Last Jedi became a battleground in the culture wars, with its treatment of Luke serving as a particular point of contention. However, the characterization of Luke Skywalker is very much in keeping with the larger themes of the Star Wars franchise.

At its core, the Star Wars films are built around the idea that every generation is at odds with the one that came before it. George Lucas had originally conceived Star Wars as a film about the Vietnam War; it remains the story of a plucky group of rebels fighting a vastly militarily and technologically superior force. Return of the Jedi even brings the battle into the wilderness of the remote forest moon of Endor, where an indigenous population helps topple the Empire.

The generational conflict at the heart of Star Wars is between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, a father and son. Luke confronts the fact that his father was a war hero who has become part of something monstrous, tapping into the anxieties of the children of the ‘60s and ‘70s whose parents had fought for democracy in World War II but had subsequently led the country into fruitless wars in Korea and Vietnam.

The Last Jedi Luke Skywalker generational conflict

The sense of disillusionment runs deeper than Darth Vader. Luke repeatedly discovers that kindly old “Ben” Kenobi lied to and manipulated him by not telling him the truth about his father. Yoda and Obi-Wan also hide the identity of Luke’s sister.

Return of the Jedi ends with a reconciliation between Luke and his father, but also with the death of Darth Vader. Luke burns Vader’s body in a ceremonial bonfire, the son finally emerging from the shadow of his father.

Even as they focus on the glory days of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, the Star Wars prequels tap into the same anxieties. Lucas framed the prequel trilogy as a commentary on the erosion of freedoms during the War on Terror. “The parallels between what we did in Vietnam and what we’re doing in Iraq now are unbelievable,” he stated. “On the personal level (the films ask) how does a good person turn into a bad person, and part of the observation of that is that most bad people think they are good people, they are doing it for the right reasons.”

The prequel trilogy is populated with failed and fallen mentor figures whose glory days lie long behind them by the time that the story begins. These fallen heroes are not always clear-cut villains like Darth Vader or Count Dooku. The saga is sympathetic to characters like Obi-Wan or Qui-Gon Jinn, who are presented as heroic figures trying to do the right thing even as their actions have horrific consequences.

Han Solo and Luke Skywalker fill similar roles in the sequel trilogy. The Force Awakens makes it clear that Han has failed as both a father and a husband, retreating from the hard work of raising a son into his youthful pursuit of smuggling. The Last Jedi reveals that Luke has given up after finding himself unable to build a better world than the one he helped to topple.

The Last Jedi Luke Skywalker generational conflict

This theme of generational strife – with younger generations hoping to build a better world than their parents – continues to resonate today. Last week, school children tried to hold their governments to account on climate change through the Global Climate Strike. “The Squad,” a young and diverse group of women pushing for change within the Democratic Party, have found themselves at odds with the party establishment. It’s appropriate that Luke and Han’s failures in the sequel trilogy are defined largely as the absence of leadership. It has been suggested that Generation X – the one that grew up watching the original trilogy – may never produce its own President of the United States.

Luke’s failure feels different than that of Qui-Gon or Obi-Wan because audiences grew up watching him grow as a hero. Although the prequel trilogy allowed fans to experience Obi-Wan’s glory days, Star Wars introduced the character as a hermit living in the middle of nowhere lying to a child that he had sworn to protect.

This is also why The Last Jedi offers Luke a more compelling redemption than The Phantom Menace offered to Qui-Gon or Star Wars offered to Obi-Wan. At the climax of The Last Jedi, Luke gets to be a hero one last time. He gives the Resistance a chance to escape by confronting Kylo Ren without the use of violence. The idea of Luke Skywalker is strong enough to face the whole First Order alone, even if the person himself (or any person) could never measure up. Luke failed to make a perfect world, just as the generation that grew up watching Luke failed to make a perfect world.

“The greatest teacher, failure is,” Yoda advised Luke. “We are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters.” In the end, Luke wears that burden with dignity and grace. Who could ask for more?

Darren Mooney
Darren Mooney is a self-professed nerd living on the East Coast of Ireland. He runs his a blog (the m0vie blog), co-hosts two weekly film podcasts (The 250, Scannain) and has written books on The X-Files and the films of Christopher Nolan. Ironically, his superpowers are at their strongest when his glasses are on.

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    1. My main problem is that’s not what happened originally.

      OG Han and Leia never broke up. They dealt with the death of Chewie, they dealt with the death of their Son, they deal with their other son turning to the Dark Side and dying as well, and they came out of it together.

      Likewise OG Luke dealt with the death of his wife, and betrayal of several students, and never gave up. He successfully restarted the Jedi order and his version is stronger and more flexible than Yoda’s. He had more reason to give in to despair and never did.

      So they changed very positive character arcs into negative ones for seemingly no reason.

    2. It was horrible. Absolutely horrible. I have zero faith left in the star wars franchise.

    3. Top 3 Star War movies to me.

      1. Nice. I’d struggle to rank them after Empire, but this would be sorted in amongst the “good” ones for sure.

        I think it’s probably the best produced and directed. I do think there are some narrative and pacing issues, but I think it’s character and thematic work is more than strong enough to overcome them for me.

        1. New Hope for the self-contained story, Empire for the robust adventure and tension, Last Jedi for overall quality and Luke’s arc. The rest goes from functional to sleep inducing.

          1. “overall quality”

            “Luke’s arc”

            Hard not to think that’s bait considering those are the main reasons people give for why they didn’t like the movie.

            1. Or just a difference in opinion, accepting that a person’s taste is inherently subjective?

              (Those elements may not be things you enjoyed or people in your circle enjoyed, but there are clearly lots of critics and audience members who enjoy the overall quality and Luke’s arc. I count myself among them. As I said elsewhere, each’s own.)

            2. except where half the internet accuses you of being a sexist man baby if you don’t like Luke’s arc in TLJ…

            3. Well, we didn’t do that here and aren’t going to do that cause that’s not how you have a good discussion about the movie which for sure deserves to actually be discussed!

            4. I appreciate that. I wish more people were like you.

            5. It could be, I was simply voicing a suspicion ( one that I’d note was actually validated by the poster themselves when they admitted that it was bait… ) and pointing out what there post might look like to others.

            6. I can’t deny the bait part. Baiting, and a cheeky choice of words, gets me Internet attention. But, I assure you my post is sincere.

          2. Overall quality? Really? I don’t really have that much of an issue with the overall plot decisions made, but the writing was mostly bad, the pacing sucked, and the casino planet bit could have been cut without changing a single thing in the movie.

            1. Don’t forget the jarring ‘humour’.

      2. My personal favourites
        Return of the Jedi
        New Hope
        Empire Strikes Back

        Gotta be OT man. But, unlike most everyone else I find ESB pretty boring to be honest.

    4. “Thematic resonance” is all well and good but only if it makes sense within the context of a story’s narrative. The event that caused Luke to give up in the first place makes no sense when one considers who the character was and how he’d been portrayed up to that point.

      You can come up with a million fan theories about the years between RotJ and TLJ in order to justify how he could have become the person that we see in TLJ, but in the end, the simple fact that we were never shown him undergoing a change to justify actions that were at odds with his established character makes how he was portrayed feel like a betrayal as opposed to some sort of deep and subtle commentary on the differences between the previous and current generations ( whether or not that was the intention ).

      Though, personally I don’t even think the perceived message you believe the movie to possess to be all that profound. What’s the supposed message even supposed to be? That the heroes of the past are doomed to be seen as failures and/or people who fell short of some arbitrary standard by future generations but that they still have the opportunity to “fix” their mistakes and conform to the new generation’s way of thinking?

      Perhaps it’s these future generations that should look at their own shortcomings before turning their accusatory gaze toward those of the past. Especially when they themselves didn’t live through the times of those they look on with such disdain.

      1. I don’t think it’s disdain. I think it’s simply hoping to do better.

        I remember talking with my father about parenthood, which seems appropriate given we’re talking about Star Wars films, and he told me something that stayed with me. That he was more than happy with the way that his life had turned out, but that he had never hoped that my siblings and I would be as good as he had been. He always hoped that we’d be better.

        That stuck with me.

        I was talking to one of my friends recently about parenthood, and he offered a similar sentiment; that what scared him the most about the prospect was that he’d produce a copy of himself, rather than something better.

        Obviously Star Wars heightens that sentiment with laser swords and space wizards and even just copious amounts of melodrama. The stakes are much higher, the generational gulf much wider. But it has always tapped into that sensibility, at least for me. But each’s own.

        1. I can understand and even appreciate the sentiment, but it seems like many of the interactions between members of the younger generation and their elders is one of profound disrespect these days.

          Attempts to “cancel” celebrities because they made they made jokes most would consider in bad taste nowadays but were normal in the past does not address the root of the problem. It creates a lot of bitterness in the accused and fear in people who have committed similar actions.

          While it might prevent those who’ve committed similar actions from doing it again, fear of retribution is a poor substitute for rehabilitation. Considering so many young people are against the death sentence and in support of such things for convicted felons, I’m surprised that they are unable to summon this level of empathy for their elders or fellow citizens who simply possess a different worldview.

          But we’re getting away from Star Wars with this discussion so, getting back on topic, my personal opinion is this: If they wanted to portray the theme of previous generations learning from the mistakes of their past, they shouldn’t have had Luke literally make the same mistakes as the generation of Jedi before him and carry out actions that go against his established character in order to do so.

          They didn’t need to completely tear him down in order to portray this theme, only have him not be perfect ( which he wasn’t ).

          1. Oh, so you’re one of THOSE people who complains about the 100% imaginary “cancel culture”, now all this overly defensive salt and vinegar coming from you makes a whole lot more sense.

            Stop channeling your inner Kylo Ren for a couple seconds and scroll back up to see my response to someone else as to what you’re missing.

            1. Oh, so you’re one of THOSE people who attempt to label people they disagree with instead of actually having a dialogue with them. Now the lack of substance in your post makes sense.

              Good to know I don’t need to bother interacting with you.

            2. You LITERALLY brought up “cancel culture” for a stupid reason, LOL, don’t get mad at me for pointing out a thing that you did xD

            3. I brought up “cancel culture” because I feel the way they interpreted the article’s framing of generational divide as a theme in these new movies wasn’t what the author was going for, especially when considering the comparisons they used to make them.

      2. Agreed. It just seems incredibly lazy to depict a character like Luke in a way that’s 180 degrees opposite of the last time we’d previously seen him in ROTJ without any explanation whatsoever. If you learned that your favorite high school teacher pulled a gun on one of his students, you’d be well within your rights to demand an explanation. Rian Johnson wanted to tell a certain story, but didn’t put in the work of actually developing the character arc to show us how Luke fell.

        1. 180′ opposite from what? Trying to murder the gloating Emperor in his chair? Or going apeshit on Vader and cutting off his arm? When did Luke become this infallible paragon of virtue that people think he is? He’s shown plenty of moments of weakness in the OT series and yet suddenly he’s incapable of one more?

          It honestly seems like everyone is just agreeing with Mark Hamill because where was this outrage when JJ Abrams threw out three movies of character progression for Han Solo and reverted him to some crime-connected smuggler?

          I understand that fundamentally people don’t agree with the execution of the story, but personally, I liked the story of Luke losing it for a moment because he’s the only guy in the world who actually has a history between VI and VII. He tried something, it failed, and he hermitted up like Yoda & Obiwan.

          1. Somebody apparently never finished watching ROTJ… 😉 Luke does give in to the Dark Side earlier in the film. But, as he’s about to kill Vader, he realizes his mistake and throws away his lightsaber. Luke embraces pacifism and puts himself at the mercy of Vader’s compassion. Then, Vader does turn and save Luke, which reinforces Luke’s belief in the power of compassion to do good. The Force ghosts of Yoda and Ben and Anakin smile upon Luke because he’s made progress as a character and learned the lesson. It’s a character arc. Luke goes from being an impatient farmboy in A New Hope to a hothead in Empire/the first half of ROTJ to someone who is at peace with himself. Luke isn’t infallible, but by the end of ROTJ he’s more mature and wiser than he was at the beginning of the film.

            My problem with Luke in TLJ is that he seems extremely quick to give up on Ben Solo. This is a man who risked his life to appeal to Space Hitler’s conscience in ROTJ. And he succeeded. Why on earth would he give up so quickly on his nephew, who – so far as we know – hadn’t harmed a fly?

            For the record, I thought TFA was pandering fan service precisely because it threw away Han’s character arc from the original films and reverted him to a smuggler. So I guess I get points for consistency.

            I think it’s a bit of an underlying issue with the Sequels. They almost pretend that the plot and character arcs in ROTJ never happened. The Empire is back. Han is a smuggler again. Luke is intemperate again.

            1. I didn’t really like TLJ on a first viewing, but it grew on me after I watched it again. I agree with Paul on this one considering the end of ROTJ when he does strike down Vader with anger after he threatens his sister. I like the arc they took with Luke, just not how they executed it and I think Disney made a big mistake in making this a trilogy if they were going to go that route and not a new saga of films.

              There’s just too much going on to fit it all in three movies…and if they retcon things in Rise of Skywalker I’ll be pretty disappointed.

              And to address the Han thing, they did kinda give a narrative reason for it. Han secluded himself from his family after Ben’s turn to the dark side, I’m pretty sure they mentioned that in TFA. Seems like smuggling was just his way of coping with that and going back to his ways in A New Hope of avoiding the problems at hand.

              Another sloppy execution again, but that one made a bit more sense considering Han was always the reluctant hero anyways.

            2. I think my issue with that take on Luke is that it stops midway through the film. For me, where Luke ends up in ROTJ is critically important. He almost gave into the Dark Side… but he didn’t. He passed the proverbial test. If you stopped “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” 3/4 of the way through the film, you’d end up thinking the Grinch was a heartless thief. The last bit of that character arc changes everything.

              For what it’s worth, I like the “idea” of what they did with Luke, but just thought it needed to be fleshed out more. Connect the dots from A to Z, or ROTJ to TLJ. Why would someone who saw the Light in his father, Space Hitler, not see the so very obvious Light in Ben, who monologues about how he’s tempted by the Light?

            3. Yeah man I finished RotJ, it’s my favourite Star Wars movie. But just because he makes the right choice in that moment doesn’t mean he’ll make the right choice forever. Being a good person is a constant struggle, it’s not something you achieve in a day. Maybe that’s contrary to Star Wars/movie logic.

              Also what do you mean hadn’t harmed a fly? When Luke woke up from the rubble, all of his Jedi pupils had been murdered. Even if Ben didn’t do it directly, he was complicit in it because he wasn’t among the dead.

              To be fair, it could have been more fleshed out because people didn’t buy into it. But that’s true of all the cast for the intervening years. There was next to nothing. TFA came out, left lots of questions (did zero world building basically) and then TLJ didn’t answer those questions, or answered them in teh wrong way, people got upset. I find it weird that more blame isn’t placed on TFA to be honest.

              And JJ Abrams- first he had Star Trek, now Star Wars, now DC comics universe! Why does this guy get so much control over all these major franchises. It’s ridiculous.

          2. A 180′ from offering the galaxy’s most feared killer his forgiveness and the chance for redemption to actively walking into his nephew’s tent, hovering over him for several moments before deciding to activate his lightsaber because he “sensed darkness” in him ( the same nephew who who he swore to his sister and best friend that he’d protect mind you ).

            He allows himself to be captured because he doesn’t plan on escaping the Death Star. He only intends to keep the Emperor ( and Vader in the case of being unable to turn him ) on the Death Star long enough for the Rebels to blow it up. When the Emperor reveals that he’s aware of this plan and that he’s set a trap for the Rebels and Luke’s friends and Luke attempts to strike him down as a result, likely so that he can escape the station in order to go and warn his friends. Whether or not he does so out of anger is left in question but either way it’s entirely besides the point.

            Showing moments of weakness ( like at the end of his fight with Vader ) are different then doing something completely out of character for the person he’d been established to be up to that point.

            Why would Mark Hamill care as much about the depiction of Harrison Ford’s character as much as he would about the character that he himself played?

            1. Whether or not it’s done out of anger is questionable? The emperor is baiting him to be angry for minutes, and laughs in triumph when Luke takes his light sabre, of course he’s angry. That’s the whole point. The emperor is trying to turn him by getting him angry, so is Vader later on when Luke is hiding- the only reason Luke stops is because cutting off Vader’s hand snaps him back to rational thought.

              And again is it out of character? He tries to murder Jabba in cold blood at the start of RotJ. Then proceeds to kill everyone aboard his sail barge, criminal and all. Did this side of him completely disappear when he confronted his father?

              I think if Luke were so overwhelmed by what he saw, I can see him reflexively drawing his lightsaber- but the audience doesn’t know what he saw, we just saw his actions. I think the action is fine, but the execution wasn’t convincing, and maybe that’s the problem. Or maybe as I say, people are biased because of what Mark Hamill said of his character-

              The comment about Han, if Harrison Ford complained on twitter that Han was out of character would more people care about him ditching his family? Some people are annoyed by it, but not many it seems. So what’s the difference? Is it just that moment with Luke that puts people off? Maybe they don’t mind him being a hermit, they just don’t like him drawing his light saber?

            2. Paul, you’re absolutely right about TFA not putting in the work to set up the story and do the world building. Overall, I do put far more blame on TFA than TLJ (which overall I find to be a much better film), so points for consistency I guess.

              I think Syndiciate put it well. It’s fine to have a character make a mistake, but Luke’s actions seem in direct contradiction to the end point of his arc in ROTJ. His arc in that film was about embracing compassion and rejecting his impetuous anger, so the type of mistake he made in TLJ seems particularly out of character. So yes it’s that moment of him drawing the lightsaber I think rubs so many people the wrong way. Not that Luke is fallible, or even that he’s a hermit, but that the film unwinds the character’s moral progression. By contrast, Han in TFA is clearly a better human being than the cynical smuggler we first saw in ANH, so his character regression doesn’t seem quite so damaging because it kept some of his progress.

              As for Ben, remember that he only killed the other Jedi students AFTER Luke almost attacked him in his sleep. We’ve been given no indication that he harmed anyone BEFORE Luke’s moment of failure. I interpreted the film as saying – and Luke believing – that Ben truly fell to the Dark after his fateful encounter with Luke. If instead Luke had said something like he’d seen a vision of Ben killing Han and that’s why he was tempted to kill Ben… that would be a different story and provide stronger motivation for Luke’s mistake.

            3. Yeah I can understand people disagree with it, what I really object to is people consistently blaming TLJ for the failure of this new trilogy and not TFA. The question is, when Abrams comes in and screws up Rise of Skywalker too, are people going to rightly blame him, finally? Or are they going to say “well TLJ was so bad, Abrams couldn’t save it”. I’m going to bet the latter.

              TFA threw out the entire original trilogy and rebooted the series basically. The only through thread, this idea of a new republic, was deleted from history without ever being introduced.

              That said there’s a lot to enjoy in TFA, and there’s a lot to dislike in TLJ, but overall I prefer TLJ if for no other reason than it gave us something new. TFA did something I didn’t think possible, it made me appreciate the prequels, because as bad as those films were they introduced some new ideas. TFA is fun to watch if you turn off your brain and the cast is generally very good but as a continuation of a story, as a film to set up a new story, it’s a total failure.

            4. Can’t agree with this enough. The first time I saw TFA in theaters I was heartbroken. I’d gotten hyped by all the positive reviews. I just couldn’t believe they’d reboot A New Hope. I’ve come to enjoy the film for what it is, a lighthearted Star Wars flavored adventure. It also helps that it’s what got some of my friends back into Star Wars. I’m glad TLJ took risks, even if I do have some complaints.

              I think enough of the fandom has come around to the realization that TFA is really just a soft reboot, so if TROS fails – and I hope it doesn’t – I think you’ll see more criticism directed at Abrams.

            5. Yea, I don’t mind TFA for the most part, but the “new” Death Star thing was like…really? If they had just not included any of that and really focused on building up the character arcs of the new cast more, I think it would have been a much better film and they could have slowly eased into building up the threat of the New Order.

              As much as people hate how the arc of Luke ended up, I hate the New Order even more, especially considering they expect you to read a darn book to get the backstory of how they came to be.

            6. I agree with that. I think the smartest comment I’ve heard about the Sequel Trilogy is that it didn’t start in the right point in the story. If it had started earlier, we could have seen the rise of the First Order, how Luke fell, etc. TFA starts in media res, but without enough context to invest viewers fully in the conflict. If it had started later, perhaps we would have been able to see the height of the conflict and skip the destruction of Starkiller base, which as it stands set the First Order’s plans back by around 5 minutes.

            7. Yea, well, we’re getting an Obi-Wan series on Disney+ so who knows, maybe we’ll get all the backstories of these characters in streaming series now too. Just imagine the uproar if they do a Snoke series haha.

            8. I want to better understand Snoke’s motivations given how central he is to the story. But I sure don’t want a TV series! JJ Abrams was smart to keep that a mystery, and mystery is great for storytelling and to pique the imagination. But sometimes we also need a bit more to understand what’s going on and why certain characters are doing what they’re doing.

            9. They should have had the first order start off as terrorists, guerilla fighters, a growing threat- who in the second movie destroy the republic capital and in the third movie the heroes are trying to stave off a second empire. You could have the old cast die off in the first two movies and the newer generation first learning and then saving the day.

              And yeah the story starts in media res, but realize that there’s no character in the movie who represents the audience. There’s no character that needs to be told exposition to understand the situation (which in turn tells the audience exposition). Every character is in the middle of their own story, and everyone seems to know pretty much what’s going on, no matter how stilted their world view or how backwater their point of origin. From the heroes journey point of view, there is no call to action either. Rey doesn’t make a choice to join Finn, they’re just running for their lives and getting captured and running again and getting captured again.

              People also don’t realize how important things are just thrown away with a bit of dialogue. ANH is all about delivering the plans for the death star, while the death star wants to find the rebel base. But in TFA, the starkiller base plans and rebel base location are information acquired offscreen with the greatest of ease. There’s also the whole sequence of them sneaking around the death star, or in rotj, trying to infiltrate the shield generator, but in TFA Han and friends just get into the base and stroll around it like its nothing. If not for Ben getting the force tingles, they would have never been discovered at all. Pretty silly.

              Definitely trying to do too much, and spending too much time on stuff that doesn’t matter whatsoever (the murder balls for example).

            10. Yep. The only thing I’d add is that part of my disappointment with TLJ is that it doubled down on those issues rather than trying to fix them. In TFA, all we knew was that the First Order had a star destroyer and one superweapon. For all we knew, it could have been a small insurgent army or even guerrilla fighters who happened to have gotten ahold of a WMD. TLJ could have started with the First Order in disarray or in just a weaker state, while leaving most of the New Republic Navy intact. Instead, the movie starts off with the First Order having completely conquered the Galaxy in the opening crawl, and then a fleet of dozens of massive Star Destroyers. How did the First Order build such a massive fleet without anyone noticing. Didn’t the New Republic have spies? https://media2.giphy.com/media/3ohs4m9Vlc0ILwmHg4/giphy.gif

            11. Well the First Order has a planetary super weapon that consumes suns and can destroy multiple worlds through hyperspace in a single blast. Doesn’t get much more ridiculous than that.

              As for spies- I think most fiction and popular media is pretty off the mark when it comes to information gathering. Even if you go back to the age of sail, the napoleonic wars, people knew when ships set sail and roughly where they were going- they knew where the docks were, had some idea of what was being built- but in fiction, like science fiction movies or games, factions just pull a huge fleet out of their butt and everyone’s surprised. Now I think you can be surprised by a small number of ships, or maybe the capabilities of a ship, but a huge fleet?

              The new republic didn’t do anything but die really. They were pretty much the imperial senate and alderan rolled into one from ANH. Except the audience didn’t have leia crying over their loss to actually give a damn.

            12. Edit: I want to add that I’ve been keeping up with the conversation between you and Arnold Corso and I agree with both of you on most of your points, especially in regards to Abrams setting the ST up for failure with TFA. Luke was going to be a hermit who had essentially shut out the rest of the galaxy regardless of who made the sequel to TFA. My problem was that Johnson didn’t bother to give Luke a good reason for doing so. He was essentially handed crap and asked to turn it into gold and, instead of going above and beyond, just turned in the crap he was given. @Paul Brown

            13. Well Abrams already gave Luke a reason in TFA “Han: [Luke] was training a new generation of Jedi. There was nobody else left to do it, so he took the burden on himself. Everything was going great, until… one boy, an apprentice, turned against him and destroyed it all. Luke felt responsible. He just…walked away from everything.”

              The argument is that Rian Johnson just explained why he felt personally responsible. I suppose if someone came and burned down your school, you wouldn’t feel responsible, but if your actions were the catalyst that drove the guy to the dark side- you would feel responsible? That’s the theory anyway.

            14. He gave a vague explanation but we didn’t know what the catalyst was.

              Yes, the problem with that was it was done in a way that wasn’t true to the character. I can think of a ton of ways that well meaning actions by Luke could have turned Kylo to the Darkside.

            15. Sure there’s lots of ways that Luke can screw up. But TFA establishes that he has to screw up in a way that doesn’t get himself killed, and also in a way that prompts him to seek seclusion even in a time of great need. Or is just failing enough? Those red letter media reviews questioned why both Yoda and Obiwan just give up at the end of episode 3. Did people buy that? Or would they still wonder why Luke gave up between VI and VII?

            16. I’m not seeing your point. Luke screwing up, whether as a result of well intentioned actions that stay true to the character or what we got in TLJ, are all going to be valid ( or rather, invalid ) reasons for Luke to go and exile himself, not that I think it’s really in character for Luke to exile himself regardless of the reason.

              Obi Wan and Yoda didn’t “give up.” They simply knew that they couldn’t overcome Vader and the Emperor on their own and that their best chance to defeat them was to hide and protect Luke and Leia in order to eventually train them so that one of THEM could defeat the Sith.

            17. So if you say it’s not in character for Luke to exile himself, and if its established he went into exiled during TFA, what exactly can RJ do to make Luke action’s in character? You say his reason for going into exile wasn’t convincing but also that going to into exile isn’t convincing from the outset so doesn’t sound like any scenario would satisfy your point of view.

              No Obiwan & Yoda didn’t give up, they just went to their OT start positions for the sake of the tying up the story. At the end of Empire, Obiwan suggests that he doesn’t even know of Leia “that boy is our last hope” and then Yoda’s reply “no, there is another”. Yoda meanwhile refused to even train Luke from the start. The two certainly don’t give the sense that this is their plan all along. That idea is the creation of the prequels, just like the word “sith”.

            18. He couldn’t. Again, I’m not saying he should’ve made gold out of the crap he was handed. I’m just saying that he shouldn’t have decided to defecate himself and add to the crap pile. To clarify, no scenario he would’ve presented would have been truly satisfying because of the flawed start that he was handed, but there were scenarios he could have presented that was more satisfying than what we ultimately got.

              It’s like being given half credit on a late assignment. You can only get a 50% at best but it’s better than not doing it and getting a 0.

              Obi Wan was clearly aware of Leia… He was there when she was born in RotS. Ben’s statement in ESB could mean a number of things. He could simply believe that Leia doesn’t possess the same level of Force potential as Luke and that she wouldn’t be capable of taking on Vader and the Emperor as a result. He could be commenting on his belief that even if Leia started her training now, she would be unable to complete it before Yoda passed on. Even if he had directly contradicted himself in ESB when taking RotS into account, that would simply be a continuity issue, not a problem with his character’s motivations so I’m not exactly seeing what your point is here.

            19. George Lucas changed a ton of story elements in the prequels that result in these problems in the OT. There’s no explanation needed beyond that. The only thing to do is to ignore those problems or ignore the prequels, personally I tend to go for the latter. Similarly the idea that Darth Vader fulfills his “chosen one” destiny at the end of Jedi is absurd. Story’s got nothing to do with that, the story is about Luke saving his father, not Anakin bringing balance to the force.

            20. I don’t think I ever mentioned the “chosen one prophecy” but ok? Even if that were true, how does that change what I’m saying about TLJ? The sins of one movie don’t absolve the sins of another.

            21. Personally I just prefer to lay blame and praise where it’s due. Problems like world building, backstory, Luke’s exile, those problems exist because of Force Awakens. I don’t blame Last Jedi for failing to fix the last movie. I blame the last movie for failing to be better. I understand why people’s frustrations culminated with Last Jedi but I think a lot of their problems with these movies are actually rooted in Force Awakens. I wish the balance of criticism for both of these movies was more measured, which each given their proper due but I rarely see it so.

              Also it feels like the criticism of Luke is not that Last Jedi shows him as out of character, but rather that it fails to convince people that he’s in character. The movie fails to fix the problem, it doesn’t create the problem, but for many fans they lay the blame on TLJ not TFA. People don’t realize it’s a problem just because it’s not onscreen. One can’t be offended by what can be explained in a dozen different, albeit improbable, ways – but once we get picture to film it’s rooted and people object to it.

              Also as much as people think Luke is OOC in TLJ, I think the end of the movie, where he sacrifices himself- is the most Jedi thing onscreen since he threw away his lightsaber in RotJ. But no one really mentions that, mostly they just criticize Holdo, Rose, Luke and Lightspeed rams.

            22. I can understand why you feel that way, if it makes you feel any better, I criticize TFA just as much as TLJ whenever the subject is brought up.

              My main issue with TLJ is that I believe it worsens an already existing problem. I.E. I could have at least appreciated that Johnson tried to do damage control as opposed to just going off in whatever direction he wanted and ultimately making it worse.

              I don’t think anybody’s criticized the good aspects of TLJ, only the bad ones. People are generally focused on the bad over the good because most people try to marginalize their negative opinions as being a result of other things which can be frustrating.

            23. Yeah fair enough. Good chat. These comments on the escapist are surprisingly civil given the usual crap I see on youtube videos on the subject

            24. And they’re gonna stay that way. We moderate pretty heavily now, I want good discussions and arguments here, not the junk you see on Twitter / Facebook / YouTube / Forums every day haha.

            25. Good job so far dude

            26. Whether or not it’s done out of anger is questionable? The emperor is baiting him to be angry for minutes, and laughs in triumph when Luke takes his light sabre, of course he’s angry. That’s the whole point. The emperor is trying to turn him by getting him angry, so is Vader later on when Luke is hiding- the only reason Luke stops is because cutting off Vader’s hand snaps him back to rational thought.

              And as I said, whether or not he was angry is besides the point. Being goaded into anger is different than walking into your nephews room, coldly considering your options as you stare down at their sleeping form before deciding that the risk that he might fall to the Darkside warrants killing him in cold blood before he’s ever done anything when previously you’d decided to grant mercy to somebody who’d done far worse things ( I.E. Vader ).

              And again is it out of character? He tries to murder Jabba in cold blood at the start of RotJ. Then proceeds to kill everyone aboard his sail barge, criminal and all. Did this side of him completely disappear when he confronted his father?

              He informed Jabba that he could either free his friends or that he’d bring him down. When Jabba declined to do so Luke simply followed through on his warning. That’s simply how Jedi operate. Killing is not viewed as immoral. Only taking actions out of anger as that leaves you susceptible to the Darkside ( not saying I necessarily agree with that policy myself ).

              I think if Luke were so overwhelmed by what he saw, I can see him reflexively drawing his lightsaber- but the audience doesn’t know what he saw, we just saw his actions. I think the action is fine, but the execution wasn’t convincing, and maybe that’s the problem. Or maybe as I say, people are biased because of what Mark Hamill said of his character-

              I thought it was done fine and whether it meant to portray him as giving in to a moment of anger or simply carrying out a sensible action it doesn’t change the fact that the scene in TLJ doesn’t align with what we were shown of his character up to that point.

              The comment about Han, if Harrison Ford complained on twitter that Han was out of character would more people care about him ditching his family? Some people are annoyed by it, but not many it seems.

              Maybe. I wouldn’t and I don’t really care what Mark thinks about his own character either. I care what I think about it.

              So what’s the difference? Is it just that moment with Luke that puts people off? Maybe they don’t mind him being a hermit, they just don’t like him drawing his light saber?

              Can’t speak for others, but as for myself, I simply didn’t care about Han as a character as much as I did about Luke. Mostly for the fact that I view him as a charismatic supporting cast member played by a good character whereas the interactions between Luke Vader and the Emperor in RotJ is what helps to elevate Star Wars from a fun and lighthearted romp set in space to an epic space opera for me.

          3. This calls for another REBOOT! Seriously, I don’t like what’s happened. The EU books were better.

            1. The problem with a reboot is that the OT cast is ageing or already passed. Also I doubt Ford would sign up for another Star Wars reboot.

          4. It’s called the expanded univers books that existed for 30 years that’s why we true star wars fans know Luke Skywalker is not what we got in TLJ read the thrown trilogy or new jedi order and tell me Disney’s handling of Luke’s character doesnt piss you off after reading these books for longer than most people who like TLJ have been alive

            1. How did Luke in the expanded universe differ in character from Luke at the end of Jedi? Probably not much at all. Authors weren’t even allowed to destroy his X-Wing, I doubt they were allowed major, lastings changes in character to the three main cast. They got kids and force ghost girlfriends, but they remained much the same.

              And let’s be honest, if the EU was actually adapted we’d just get nerds complaining about Daala instead of Holdo, Mara Jade instead of Rei and we’d have that most likeable of characters, Kyp Durron and his fabulous Sun Crusher. An impervious, system killing FIGHTER-sized ship.

              What a loss.

        2. >It just seems incredibly lazy to depict a character like Luke in a way that’s 180 degrees opposite of the last time we’d previously seen him in ROTJ without any explanation whatsoever
          I want to disagree with this, but I can’t. I don’t mind the movie as a whole going on a “fallen hero” theme, but the movie is leaning really really hard on it all being Snoke’s fault at the end of the day. And we don’t fucking know who Snoke is. I would have been satisfied with so much as ONE LINE, something snarky from a disgruntled underling or a sarcastic insult from a Resistance leader. “Oh here comes the ‘revolutionary’, you know the Emperor had him running scared” or “Oh here comes the Emperor’s pet science experiment.”
          We need to know who this guy is before we can accept he’s the reason Luke Skywalker went from a snarky self-depreciating hero (“Well, if there’s a bright center to the universe, you’re on the planet that it’s farthest from”) to a fallen and cynical snarky self-depreciating hero

      3. We didn’t see Han Solo undergo the change to abandon his wife, ignore his son, and return to crime & smuggling but I don’t see you talking about that.

        1. Well I think they did Han dirty too. (And Leia for that matter.)
          It’s like watching a TV series where they just keep rebooting the characters and no-one ever experiences growth/ change. The Sequels have nearly systematically brought out the old OT characters, highlighted what failures they are and then killed them. It would be par for the course if Lando is up to his eyeballs in debt, with nothing to his name. And then he dies.

          They don’t need a fairy tale ending, nor do they need to be paragons. But it would be really nice if they didn’t either reset or rewrite the characters completely, make them universally failures and then kill them. Just put them in positions of power to be consulted from time to time by the new characters (Think Commodore Solo in the Aaron Allston X-wing series.)

          1. Thing is they didn’t need to do that at all. Instead of Han regressing to smuggling, he could’ve been out looking for Ben and maybe lost himself along the way, then have him killed in the same way. Leia meanwhile devotes herself to her work, but is killed when the New Republic capital world is killed by starkiller base- maybe she was off pleading for them to take action.

            And Luke, maybe Luke and Han had a falling out over Ben. Hell in the EU, Han solo blames his own son for getting chewbacca killed. People seemed to like that since they continued that series with another 18 books- plausible that he’d get mad at Luke. Same with Leia. They love him of course but it’s their son we’re talking about.

            1. You’re right. Well and not only did they make Han return to smuggling, but they made him a failed smuggler. He’s actually really bad at his job- it’s played for laughs, but the reality is pretty sobering.

        2. That’s also something I didn’t care for very much but, being fair, Han Solo is a character I cared far less about than Luke Skywalker.

    5. I think the big problem people have with The Last Jedi is that it presents Luke as a failure, when the Expanded Universe has Luke going off to become the most pure, altruistic and infallible badass in the series after RotJ – a master of the Force and center of all sorts of redemptions, salvations, and asskickery… Heck he even ‘falls’ to the darkside and comes back like it was nothing. He stumbled a bit in the stories, but was always Protagonist of the Universe, and either always right, or coming back to being right by the end of each arc.

      And TLJ took the Luke we knew, and undid all that EU stuff.

      The other issue is the movies’ overarching founding cynical themes clash with what audiences have decided was supposed to be an escape from that cynicism, in a simple black and white world where good is good, evil is evil, and the hero wins the day.

      My favorite line from Star Wars has to be Anakin Skywalker’s “I’m not the Jedi I’m supposed to be”, because that really hit hard – as someone struggling to meet the expectations I was supposed to be living up to, while mentally I was falling apart. I understood where he was coming from, and why his fall felt ‘false’ – Because he was DAMN good at faking being good. That, and there were a few bad overdramatic sections which I feel didn’t capture his anger and confusion (His fall being a big one – The kneeling felt wrong)

      1. Yep. I think people tend to over-simplify what Star Wars is. It is a fairy tale, but fairy tales are often complicated and layered, saying interesting things about the culture in which they exist.

        For example, there are a lot of people complaining about the perceived radically progressive politics of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, when the original Star Wars is much more radical in (explicitly according to George Lucas) modelling its heroes on the Viet Cong and its villains on the United States.

        1. Though, to be fair, that’s not necessarily a complaint that should be discarded.

          It could be that someone who agreed with the political message that Lucas was trying to deliver in the OT did not agree with the ones being delivered in the ST, thus causing them to feel differently about the series as a result.

          It could also be that they thought the OT’s integration of politics was done more subtly or in such a way that it wasn’t disruptive to the actual story so they didn’t mind it’s integration while they don’t feel the same way about the manner in which the ST’s politics were integrated.

          1. “It could also be that they thought the OT’s integration of politics was
            done more subtly or in such a way that it wasn’t disruptive to the
            actual story”
            I argue this. Casino Royale contributed very little to the plot except to give a holding pattern for Finn until the Rey story could catch up. Actually tackling the in-universe military-industrial complex would be very interesting. But they fire out some very uninteresting lines with no connection to the main conflict and that’s that.

            And look, it’s not just critics that noticed these things. I have a document from positive reviewers “In their own words” where they are noticing these over political messages “I’m going to recommend this movie to my PETA/ vegan friends” (after the rescue of the animals… but not the slave children). It’s very a far more didactic and heavy handed film in its messaging and therefore far less interesting.

      2. Well, the EU sucks, so there’s that.

        Look I’m sorry, but from my vantage point, the EU is boring fanfic that wanted to turn Star Wars into just another boring sci-fi action series, with Luke being the boring badass hero doing a bunch of boring badass things, with a bunch of boring twists and revelations that kept the series insular and…boring.

        It wasn’t very interesting, if you catch my drift.

        No one is saying that Luke isn’t a bad guy, this movie said that Luke is…just a guy. He’s not and never was some infallible mystical figure that pop culture made him into be. He fucked up a lot to get to where he got, and he was going to fuck up afterwards, because it’s unrealistic to expect ONE guy to have all the answers and be the center of the universe.

        So in that case, I don’t see TLJ being cynical at all, because it gave him his humanity back. He didn’t have to put all the bad things that happened on his shoulders alone, he doesn’t have to blame everything on himself, and now he can finally rest. We got it from here, Luke, because your example set us up greatly to carry the torch. The heroes are STILL going to win the day, thanks to the foundation he built.

        1. this movie said that Luke is…just a guy.

          He really isn’t.

          I know a lot of people and they are all fallible. Can’t say I know a single one that tried to murder their sleeping nephew. That’s really something and not ‘just a guy.’ (Or else I’m seriously naive as to what sorts of things ‘just a guy(s)’ do. If so, The Purge in real life, here we come, I guess.)

          1. I think you mean “fallible”. Also, I don’t think any of your friends have recently received a relevation from a higher power, that their nephew is going to turn into the next Hitler. 😉

            1. So what if he did? The Luke in RotJ was willing to reach out to somebody who already was, as you put it, “Hitler” and offer him forgiveness. If you want to alter Luke as a character then fine, but SHOW me this change. Don’t just portray as the exact opposite of who was was when we last saw him for shock value.

            2. Thanks, yes I meant fallible.

              But even if people did receive a revelation from a higher power, most people are pretty conservative in their actions. At the very least, going straight to murder mode isn’t most people’s M.O. The followers of Charles Manson or the Heaven’s Gate cult are few, fortunately. Most reasonable people would try some form of intervention, or at least internment over rage-mode execution.

              And Luke isn’t exactly the right character believe in irredeemable evil, nor has he much reason to think chasing after dreams is a sure-fire method for success. Always in motion, the future is.

              If anything, Luke would err to heavily on the ‘he can still be saved’ and be blinded to the true extent of Kylo’s evil despite everyone advising him otherwise.

            3. I think you meant Charles Manson (at least I hope you did).

              Well, Luke was never the person to be conservative in his actions (otherwise he would have stayed on Tatooine and kept the moisture farm going, to keep the legacy of his aunt and uncle alive).

              He obviously wasn’t in his right mind after he received the vision – he thought “Yes, maybe he can be saved, but how many deaths will he cause, until he is at this point? How many deaths was father responsible for, before I saved him?”. He didn’t want to risk going through something like the fight against the Empire again, clinging to his perfect New Republic forever and nip any threat to it in the bud (until he realized, what that entailed and how that would change him). They didn’t go the cowardly route (like the EU books did) of having an external threat show out of nowhere every other week, to threaten the perfect utopia of the heroes, but showed that once the initial problem is gone people actually make mistakes and cause problems later on (like allowing literal Nazis to make a comeback, as is happening now in real life).

              So he had a moment of weakness, which was obviously wrong (TLJ said as much), but he didn’t want to go through with it.

            4. Dang it. I mentally corrected myself and still wrote the wrong guy. Yeah, I meant Charles.

              That’s an interesting explanation you have created. . .but note you have had to create it because the filmmakers couldn’t be bothered. And that’s been the consistent through line for both TFA and TLJ- the filmmakers want a thing to happen (Empire’s back! No more Republic, the Rebels are back!) and just dynamite everything to get there. Absolutely lazy writing, which really shouldn’t be done to such significant changes.

              I mean, it’s really, really easy to do. Episode 9, Darth Leia appears as the right hand to Kylo.

              “Wait. Why did you switch?”
              “I got mad.”
              “Fair enough”

              And everyone in the movie moves on because it’s been ‘explained.’

              …and the viewer is ‘wait, wut?’ You can’t just have such a monumental character shift offscreen. It’s just really bad writing.

            5. He pretty much explains as much in TLJ. He says he was cowardly and that he had a moment of weakness, which passed quickly, but still did enough damage.

              You don’t need to explain everything. The OT didn’t explain how the Rebels went from having a big “winning” ceremony on Yavin, with no Empire interference, to suddenly being on the run again and hiding on a backwater planet…we filled this gap with our imagination. Just like the opening of Episode IV, where we didn’t really know who the Empire and the Rebellion were – and this wasn’t explained during the whole movie – and we just had to infer all this, based on the (sparse) introductions and shared pop culture knowledge (Lucas actually wanted to recreate the feeling of the old Buck Rogers serials, where you tuned into an episode and didn’t really know all the stuff that happened before – so this feeling was always intentional).

          2. “what are fictional film metaphors that are meant to relate to a big mistake you regret and carry that guilt around with you, I have never actually seen a film before and I’m not sure I know what that metaphor word means either.”

            1. Thanks for insulting my intelligence on that last bit. With such wondrous argumentation and exposition, I have at last been enlightened as to metaphorical beauty of TLJ. 😐

              For a story element in a movie to work as a metaphor with any meaning, it must make sense within the story first. If it rings false in the story, then it has very limited applicability in the real world because it’s not actually getting at the human condition. Metaphor that doesn’t make sense within the story that’s supposed to have meaning to the reader is at best is blatantly didactic (which is generally annoying) and at worst simply nonsensical and in all cases bad art.

              Besides, ‘it’s a metaphor’ is no true defence against ‘that breaks characterization’ because there’s no limitation to trotting out the defence for every and any piece of shoddy writing. You could write a marauding killer in one scene and the very next scene, write the same character as a pacifist (who releases the hero who otherwise had no hope of escape), and never give an explanation for why the marauding killer changed. Ah! But it’s metaphor. Maybe it is, but it still doesn’t make a lick of sense. And if it’s nonsense, I probably won’t be making too many direct comparisons to real life.

        2. I don’t need Luke to be Peter Parker, this tortured hero arc is the new cliche and is boring. The more Luke is human the uninterested I become. I don’t watch star wars for Luke to relate to me. When he did, he was dull and boring, once he became a powerful jedi, that is what made him appeal to me. That is what we wanted to be.

          I wish the heroes were going to lose the day because I don’t think the heroes are interesting at all. If people think Luke is dull than I don’t understand how they think Rey is any better.

          The EU had a lot of crap but a lot of greatness too, such as the thrawn trilogy and the yuzhang vong storylines. Why? They introduced new aspects, a new threat etc rather than retread the same boring empire vs rebel conflict. The factions of the empire evolved, some becoming more benevolent which enabled them to ally with the republic. All that is very interesting, not some boring totally evil vs totally good conflict. Also, the yuzhang vong were completley new and could take on the might of the jedi, empire and republic and the stakes were very high. The galaxy felt huge rather than the low stakes and small feeling galaxy of the current trilogy.

          1. Well hey, I guess the EU is for you then, so to each their own.

            Because honestly, Luke was only that hyper competent badass for like, the opening of ROTJ; otherwise he’s pretty much a scrub throughout the rest of the film series, LOL. He gets the final shot in ANH, sure, but he and everyone else got their asses kicked in ESB, and even in the last movie he would’ve been a goner had it not been for Vader’s face turn.

        3. >He’s not and never was some infallible mystical figure that pop culture made him into be.
          It wasnt pop cuture tha proped Luke up. It was the very movies themselves.
          The idea of Luke as an optimistic hopeful hero isnt some delusional fan’s, it is the text of the OT where the Hero ends up winning by believing in the good inside Darth Vader

          1. I think that for me, you hit the nail on the head. That’s why I wanted to see a Luke that stood strong against adversity no matter how it actually ended. I wanted to see the strong final story arc of that optimism personified. #NotMyLuke I guess?

          2. ….pop culture = movies

            And even within the movies themselves, they show the numerous flaws of our heroes, but as time goes on, we tend to forget about them, or at least compartmentalize the good/fantastical parts in our head as a simplified reference point. But again, THIS movie’s point was to take it back down to reality and say “Look, even Martin Luther King Jr. and Ghandi did some asshole things”, because as much as we mythologize men like them, they too were just men, capable of faults and fuckups just like anyone else. That doesn’t mean that they still aren’t worth celebrating, which is what Rey’s whole point to the story is.

            Luke thinks that his faults override his good, but through Rey sticking around and still seeing the good in him, he’s able to lift that weight of guilt off of his shoulders; he doesn’t have to ride out the last of his days miserable & alone, and he doesn’t have to be The Last Jedi (“roll credits! *ding*)

            1. >And even within the movies themselves, they show the numerous flaws of our heroes, but as time goes on, we tend to forget about them, or at least compartmentalize the good/fantastical parts in our head as a simplified reference point.

              The flaws of Luke were never as severe as portrayed in this movie. His abandonment ofeveryone goes agaisnt literally everything he believes in.

              >But again, THIS movie’s point was to take it back down to reality and say

              None of that happened. Lukes downfall was not realistic

          3. “Then my father is truly dead” Luke’s words to Vader on Endor when he fails to bring out the good in him the first time. “I’m endangering the mission, I shouldn’t have come” Luke’s words on approaching Endor. He’s not optimistic all the time, and he’s not good all the time. The first comment by Luke is meant to hurt Vader, the second is an expression of his own fears. We see those same fears manifest into uncontrollable anger in the throne room fight.

            Also you say he doesn’t abandon his friends. What was he doing in RotJ? What was he doing in Empire? He leaves his friends and goes off on his own all the time. He went to Cloud city sure, but Han and friends weren’t out of danger when he left them- they were in danger the whole movie. In RotJ he basically abandons the mission and his responsibilities to pursue his family matter.

      3. Much of the issue is because Disney and Lucasfilm have done very little so far to fill in the blanks between RotJ and TFA to explain what happened during those 30 or so years that brought the rebellion from being the victors over the Galactic Empire to the underdogs against the First Order, and why the original trilogy protagonists are who they are now.

        Maybe Episode 9 will help explain things or the conclusion of the sequel trilogy will allow Disney/Lucasfilm to flesh out the barebones worldbuilding they’ve done so far with additional books/comics. So far it literally feels like there was no big master plan for the sequel trilogy and they’ve largely been making up the story as the movies go along, copying ideas from the original trilogy.

      4. I disagree with your assessment with Luke in the EU. But that’s beside the point. No-one asked for Luke the Paragon. That’s a false dilemma that gets trotted out time and time again, but there are more than these two extremes.

        The other issue is the movies’ overarching founding cynical themes clash

        Here’s the thing. Cynicism is not unique to the TLJ. In fact, it was the default of most sci-fi coming out in the 70’s’ pre-Star Wars (think Zardoz, Andromeda Strain, Clockwork Orange, Lucas’ own THX 1138, Soylent Green, Logan’s Run, etc). All deeply pessimistic. Star Wars was deliberately counter cultural to that cynicism and pessimism. By bringing in cynicism, Rian didn’t do anything unique. He just made Star Wars like everything else. And then to add insult to injury, the plot is more stupid than the endless contrivances of Moonraker (and man was THAT a stupid plot of convenient coincidence after convenient coincidence.)

      5. >I think the big problem people have with The Last Jedi is that it presents Luke as a failure, when the Expanded Universe has Luke going off to become the most pure, altruistic and infallible badass in the series after RotJ

        I disagree. The EU played no part in people’s perception of Luke. That was all the Original Trilogy stuff.

    6. *sigh*
      Guess we are ramping up for the next one.

      Problem is, you could, perhaps, have a disillusioned Luke- but all his character ‘development’ happened off screen and we get exactly nothing to indicate how he could have changed to a psychopathic nephew-killer. It’s character negation, and that sort of thing just cannot happen offscreen, in-between movies with a well-established character.

      It would be like, after reading The Hobbit, the opening chapters of Fellowship have Gandalf try to murder Frodo. Everyone would be understandably confused and upset.

      Or after Prisoner of Azkabhan, we come back to find that Dumbledore tried to murder Neville over the holidays, Neville then tried to wipe out Gryffindor and then Dumbledore peaces out to sulk and do nothing, while the monster he created rampages around Potterland. ‘What happened to Dumbledore???’ fans would cry out. And they would be right to when the only ‘explanation’ consisted of a flashback of the actual attempted murder and that was all.

      But we just didn’t understand. Dumbledore and Gandalf’s journeys were complete.

      1. Gandalf isn’t Frodo’s uncle. Bilbo is. And Bilbo does get crazy with both Gandalf and his nephew Frodo (in the movies at least). No one minded at all.

        Also Gandalf doesn’t have a journey. He’s just the helping angel. The hero of the LotR is Sam, not Gandalf. And Bilbo for the Hobbit.

        1. “Gandalf isn’t Frodo’s uncle.”
          A distinction without meaning as far as the analogy goes- it does not even touch the logic of the analogy.

          And hey- guess what about Bilbo. There’s a heck of a lot of explaining as far as that goes on why Bilbo is doing what he’s doing. (Some would say too much from the chapter Shadow of the Past. Book Bilbo is pretty tame, and even movie Bilbo has nothing on Luke who pulled back the hammer of his metaphorical gun and pointed it at his nephew’s head.) But not only that, but the character change does not occur off screen- even in the movie, there’s lots and lots of exposition and foreshadowing that the Ring has been impacting Bilbo (and we know what happened in the past.) In effect, we are given the mechanism for Bilbo’s changes. Not so with TLJ.

          Again with Gandalf, you are missing the entire point of the analogy. Gandalf’s role or journey or lack thereof has nothing to do with completely rewriting a character between books. Sam doesn’t appear in The Hobbit, so that wasn’t an obvious analogy of characters fundamentally changing between stories. But if we must use Sam instead- then in Tolkien’s abandoned sequel to the LotR’s, we discover Sam tried to murder one of Pippin’s children and is currently leading a pack of marauding hobbits, waylaying dwarf travellers. We’d call foulplay- that’s not anything close to Sam’s character. Doubly so, if we never got an explanation beyond one flashback where Sam snuck into Pippin II’s room.

          1. That’s the thing though, Fans got zero explanation for Emperor Gollum, the First Order, the pathetic size of the rebels, or anything but people were perfectly happy with Force Awakens by and large. Or at least it hasn’t received the same level of criticism as TLJ. But all those shortcomings were waved away because it was expected they would be answered in a later movie?

            The problem with Luke’s story in Last Jedi isn’t a lack of explanation. The movie gave you guys a reason, you just rejected it. Because really was being absent in TFA in character for Luke? Was sitting idly on some island while entire worlds were destroyed in his character? While Han was killed. While Leia was in danger? Remember this is the same guy who abandoned his training to go to Cloud city.

            TFA posed the question, what possibly could motivate Luke to go to some secret world and do absolutely nothing in the face of a grave threat? And Last Jedi gave an answer. People didn’t like it. But what answer would you have given? Based only on what we see in TFA, what reason would compel Luke to stay hidden on that jedi world?

            1. Except the answer they give created more plot holes and character assassination. A guy who said: “No, i won’t kill my father even though he is Space Hitler cause i can still sense the good in him.” not gonna go and try to kill his nephew, who not even done anything yet just because he sense some darkness in him and then go hiding in the middle of nowhere while his sister and brother-in-law try to clean up his mess. The answer is so stupid that no one could accept it. It like if Harry Potter suddenly turn into the new Voldemort and the only answer we have is that he became racist to his friend. The answer is so out of character and the film never address it and just expect the audience to eat what ever the creator give them.

            2. That’s why the ST to this point has been a complete narrative mess. Why they decided they had to move so fast into production of these films without taking the time to nail down the vision (or provide a better reason to completely reject GL’s ideas for where the last trilogy should go) is beyond me. You’re totally right: so much of what makes TLJ problematic (putting it mildly here) was ‘set up’ in TFA by mystery box Abrams. George Lucas hated it and everyone else should have, too. It’s just that we all want to love it so much that we looked past how much of a creative failure it was. Hard to do that for two movies straight, when TLJ brought with it a whole host of other problems. The ‘humour’ alone in that film caused a palm shaped bruise on my face that I feel to this day.

            3. I think for a lot of us TFA had a really big asterix next to our enjoyment of it. I was happy to see Star Wars again, disappointed they hadn’t learned from the EU’s mistakes and kept on with Super Weapon of the Week. But the big asterix was this: the following movies will have a very large impact

              on whether TFA is good in the end as opposed to only a temporary

              enjoyment. I was wary of Mystery-Box Abrams, but hoped there was some

              sort of plan (there was a story-group after all).

              After TLJ it was clear there was no plan, not a coherent one anyways. So yes, in retrospect TFA screwed up a lot of things. One is resetting the not-Empire and not-Rebels dynamic. Two was locking the Star Wars universe in 30 years of peace, meaning there are no truly interesting events that could be expanded upon. And it turns out three- only ad hoc plans for Luke and Rey and Snoke.

              TFA was a Schrodinger’s cat, and so long as the unknowns were unknowns, we gave it a pass. TLJ opened the box and the cat was dead. So now we know the cat was dead all along.

              Fans got zero explanation for Emperor Gollum, the First Order, the pathetic size of the rebels, or anything but people were perfectly happy with Force Awakens by and large.

              You bet we were expecting explanations. I wanted it in the first. But we are fans, so we gave it a pass, hoping for something in the second. Now it’s clear they have no intention of explaining that. All that mattered was rebooting back to the Empire days, whether it makes sense or not. That sucks.

              What we got was completely inadequate for an explanation, so yeah we rejected because we were shown nothing. Look- film is a visual medium, and yet the film insists on telling us that Luke has changed. Show us; don’t tell us. (The film is actually really bad in this regard in terms of who we are told to think as competent vs who actually acts competently.) But one bad dream is insufficient to explain the complete negation of a known and iconic character. I was ready for a disaffected Luke. I saw the trailer was intrigued to know what would cause Luke to give up on the Jedi. Saw it- those weren’t the droids we were looking for, RJ. You dun goofed because you’ve shown me nothing that would make Luke take such drastic measures.

            4. Another possible influence for people’s disappointment with Luke was the expanded universe. I’ve not read many novels, but from listening to podcasts on the subject I get the impression that both Luke and the main cast are pretty much static, as characters, from Return of the Jedi on-wards. Things happen to them (children), they affect the world around them, but as characters do they fundamentally change long term? Probably not. I don’t think the authors had the mandate, they didn’t even have the ability to destroy the guy’s X-wing- whenever Luke got shot down he’d have jumped in a loaner all the time.

              So part of why people think he’s out of character may be because the EU novels consistently portrayed him as the RotJ character.

              As for Luke, well if some Lucasfilm story guy is to believed, Lucas’s EpVII would have started roughly around where the middle of Last Jedi is. So maybe we would have actually gotten more time to understand why he’s there and what caused him to change. But JJ wanted to redo ANH again so, one movie wasted. And people can complain about both movies all they want but fact is they both made a ton of money. TLJ made less, to be sure, but still made a ton. Solo didn’t but they traditionally did less well. Will need to see how EpIX does. Also if RJ still gets his trilogy, will be interesting to see what he does when he has a blank slate to work with.

              That said, I’d rather Disney got the Russo brothers to do some SW movies. Their marvel stuff is all pretty good.

      2. Funny that you mention Harry Potter… because most of Voldemorts/Tom Riddles character development happened off-screen and no one complained about that.

        And Fellowship of the Ring opens with Bilbo (who had been jovial and outgoing in the previous book) suddenly acting shifty and secretive: in fact, a large part of the first third has the characters wondering, what might have caused such a significant character change in Bilbo.

        1. Category Error on Voldemort. Our first introduction to Voldemort in the Harry Potter series is not as the protagonist- that would be Harry. But even in the JK gives more backstory to her largely absent villain then RJ does to the former protagonist who has done a Face-Heel turn. But in Voldemort you have no sudden reversal of characterization so that’s a really bad example. He starts as the villain and ends as the villain and we get a little backstory along the way.

          You exaggerate the differences in Bilbo- but even so, very little time is devoted to wondering why Bilbo changed because it almost immediately parks the cause as being the work of the Ring. “Use it seldom or not at all” And then Gandalf goes researching and reports back his initial findings in Shadows of the Past. So yeah, the book does a TON of leg work to justify the changes in Bilbo. Not so with TLJ.

          1. Seriously? The whole plot on Ahch-to is about Rey trying to find out what the fragg is wrong with Luke and why he isn’t like the Luke she was told about in stories. They go to a lot of legwork to justify why he went there and why he doesn’t believe he can do good anymore.

            Also, remember that a third ‘Fellowship’ breezes by, before Gandalf even reveals what the ring is and that it is the cause of Bilbos madness (which isn’t an explanation BTW, just a plot device). Same with Voldemort (or Harrys development during each summer, between the books) – a lot of that stuff is skipped and only talked about in retrospect (or not at all, as was the case with Hermione suddenly deciding it would be a great idea to obliviate her parents – who so far weren’t present in the story and about who we didn’t know anything).

    7. The Last Jedi is a great movie, and I feel one day it’ll get the credit its due. The only things not great about it are relatively minor flaws in storytelling even I have my own nitpicking gripes with, but its ideas and themes for the most part are so clutch. And Luke’s arc plays out exactly how it should have been.

      If you think Luke Skywalker would be some impeccable golden boy of a character, then you never understood that naive, dumb farm boy who doubted himself every step of the friggin way. Cynicism was always inherently part of Luke’s character in some way shape or form. So him falling back into those old habits after a traumatic event isn’t out of character by any means.

      Star Wars has always had an element of exploring idea, and this new trilogy doesn’t forget that spirit whatsoever. It just frames it through a more contemporary lens and proposes its questions with its overarching themes to a newer and older generations alike. With people like Luke, Rey, and Kylo, it’s a lot of discourse about self reflection and hopefully learning from the misteps in our imperfect past to continue to push forward. At times it’s not very subtle at all with this either. It’s why the big scary thing on the island Luke is afraid of is a goddamn mirror.

      Even at the point where Luke does finally confront some of this, he still can’t go through with it and it takes Yoda’s Force ghost to give him another push. Luke’s about as flawed as they come. And that’s ok. The only thing perfect about Luke, is his legend. Which is also ok. The man himself was never perfect, but his legend will continue to inspire. It’s why the Luke that humiliates Kylo in the final standoff proving him wrong was literally all powerful and untouchable.

      This movie does not crap on any legacy of Luke, and nor does it do him wrong. It’s actually the exact opposite. (it also brings that whole King Arthur story of his full circle) I’m trying to keep this as simple as I can, because there is a lot of nuance at play with The Last Jedi’s themes I can talk all day about. But it’s by no means a stupid movie, that is allegedly shitting on the franchise. It’s a movie that clearly understands some of the defining traits of Star Wars and its characters, and is also probably the biggest acknowledgement to fans the series has ever done.

      But so many of the whiny fanboys really don’t get it, and also apparently never understood their precious sci-fi franchise beyond the space wizards with laser swords.

      1. >If you think Luke Skywalker would be some impeccable golden boy of a character, then you never understood that naive, dumb farm boy who doubted himself every step of the friggin way

        What ? Did you watch ROTJ ?

        >This movie does not crap on any legacy of Luke, and nor does it do him wrong.
        It does though. Luke’s victories are hollow since the Empire is back, his character development is negated and he literally leaves no legacy behind : his entire New Jedi Order is slaughtered and he didnt even teach Rey anything. He just ranted about the Jedi for a bit. He didnt impart his knowledge about history, techniqus or training.

        >It’s actually the exact opposite. (it also brings that whole King Arthur story of his full circle
        Luke’s story was never about being the same as King Arthur. Luke was the “New Hope”, the one who would make things right

        >Cynicism was always inherently part of Luke’s character in some way shape or form

        Are we talking about the same guy that tried to redeem Darth Vader ?

        Star Wars was always completely antithetical to cynism :

        https://i.imgur.com/wv40hE6.png

    8. I can only imagine that the author selected this topic because they anticipated it would be controversial and it would get lots of clicks and views. So, even as I write this I feel like “it’s a trap,” because nothing good can come out of me arguing these points online.

      That being said, I disagree with this article. The Last Jedi was arguably the worst movie in the Star Wars saga for many people for several reasons (including, but not limited to, its bad pacing, unsolicited tension-breaking jokes, lore destroying moments, misunderstanding the nature of legacy characters, followed by disrespectful handling of said characters (kill the past), convoluted storytelling, not understanding how to subvert expectations, insistence on being controversial for its own sake, unsolicited and condescending political overtones, stunted character development for new characters, etc.), top among them the way Luke was handled: Rian Johnson neutered the public’s childhood hero in a clumsy way. If the neutering had to be done, he should have sharpened his saber and executed his vision with precision. If he had been meticulous and thoughtful in neutering Luke then the backlash would not have been what it was. But, instead, he just tied Luke down and used a dirty spoon without administering any anesthetics. I’m not going to go into all the other reasons why TLJ is bad and will only focus on the issue of Luke:

      1. Have some respect: I don’t have a better metaphor than to say you are handling a sacred character here. If you didn’t know that you have no business handling him to begin with. Give him the respect he deserves. Even if you are a maniac that hated Luke in the OT and you’re going to butcher and cut him into pieces in “your” movie, be methodical about it. Even the worst villains have respect for their opponents. Show Luke the respect he deserves. If you’re going to transform him into a cranky, disheveled, odious and bitter hermit, that’s fine but do it so that the audience can understand and maybe even accept how their venerated figure fell from grace. To say that expectations around Luke are very, very high is an understatement. If you’re going to subvert our expectations about Luke you can’t be disrespectful. Which goes onto the next point…

      2. Using time wisely: There’s a scene in The Last Jedi nobody can defend. Even Rian can’t defend it with a straight face: Yes, the casino scene. A lazy metaphor about how the rich are evil and liberating a few animals one time somehow made everything worth it (for all we know, they’ll be captured the next day and the casino will increase security). Setup and conclusion included, that whole bit wasted 2+ characters and some 30 minutes of run time. Time that could have been used to explain Luke’s transformation into a dimwitted failure of a hermit. There really is nothing more important for TLJ than showing us how he went from hero to slob. I’m not saying you can’t turn him into a slob, you can turn him into anything you want, just explain it with respect, competent storytelling, and give it the time it needs to simmer. Show us how the idealist Luke becomes a Republican or whatever political claim you were trying to make. From the moment Rian takes his dull knives out (pun intended), to the sharpening of said knives (now I have to stick to the knives thing), till Rian finally neuters Luke and holds his bleeding parts for all to see… you get the point: Rian should have given himself the time to properly destroy a revered character like Luke. Only then it would have felt like Luke got the proper treatment he deserved. People would have understood what happened. Instead we got a half-assed, clumsy destruction of Luke drinking milk from a space cow as a squatter in Ahch-To.

      (The remaining points are concise because who cares at this point)

      3. We wanted to see him flex: And even in his final battle, when people thought the greatest Jedi of all time was finally flexing, he wasn’t even there. He was but a projection. Haha, he pranked Kylo making him go even more to the dark side. And then the greatest Jedi ever died without ever really flexing.

      4. Not my hashtag: Does everything have to be political and virtue signaling? People watch the movie of a story happening in a galaxy far, far away because they want to escape from reality. If they want to push a political message they should have been more subliminal about it (in other words, using a purple haired lady in a dress showing how incompetent every male figure is is a bit over the top) or shown some restraint/finesse in the process. I’ve never read any articles here, but the “Escapist Magazine” should understand that point. Viewers didn’t tune into Star Wars to have Disney use characters like Luke teach them what political view is better.

      5. Edit: Adding that subverting expectations is okay, subverting explanations, not ok.

      Conclusion: You might find my lack of faith disturbing, but I, for one, decided not to watch the next movie at the theater. I’ll catch it on Netflix or maybe not. After the handling of Luke, I just really don’t need to know how the story of “Skywalker” ends. As far as I’m concerned, it ended with Luke chugging alien milk. It’s sad for me since it will mark the first time I will not see a SW movie at the theater. And the reason I’m doing it is to show my discontent to Disney for attacking fans who were critical of a bad movie they made (nevermind that the fans loved the saga before Disney acquired it). The least they could have done is apologize and remove TLJ from canon or something.

      1. “I don’t have a better metaphor than to say you are handling a sacred character here”, this comment is satire in disguise, right?

        1. yeah, sure.

      2. Amazing, every word of what you just said was wrong. Sorry you never understood Star Wars beyond the space wizards with shiny laser swords.

        1. The way Luke acted was not out of character because if you think that naive, constantly self doubting farm boy would be some messianic, impeccable figure, then you never understood Luke Skywalker. Him falling back into his emotionally fueled habits of cynicism and doubt after a traumatic event sounds very much like Luke Skywalker. The only thing perfect about Luke is his legend. Which the film also doesn’t disrespect or ruin as the entire climax completely acknowledges this fact saying you are right to believe in Luke Skywalker. But more on that later.

        2. The segment on Canto Blight serves its purpose for multiple reasons at not only does it play into the overarching theme, but it also serves as pivotal character arc moments with the sociopolitical takeaway being more than just “save the animals.” It’s more so another perspective to show how the galaxy is a perpetual war module that the elite seem to benefit most off. Gee, doesn’t that sound familiar? And sorry you once again don’t understand Luke Skywalker or context clues needing everything spoon fed to you because you are so up your own butt believing in what you think Luke is.

        3. The way you worded this from the get go is just silly as hell. “See him flex” lol. But there was a reason Luke was what he was in that final battle. Because this was another example of thematic storytelling and is exactly what I was talking about in the first part. Luke may have never been perfect, but his legend that continues to inspire was. It’s why the Luke that humiliates Kylo Ren and proving him wrong, was literally all powerful and untouchable. And it’s this that allows the resistance to fight another day. It’s this legacy that will continue to inspire even future generations to come as those kids at the end playing with toys were re-enacting Luke’s final battle. Why is the takeaway some alleged disrespect to Luke? This is the exact friggin opposite and is also the biggest thumbs up to all the Star Wars fanboys in the world.

        4. This is probably one of the silliest things you could be talking about because whether you realize it or not, politics and entertainment have always gone hand in hand. Something called Star WARS is no different. (whodathunk a movie about wars is political?) It’s ALWAYS carried political framing. Even from the get go. This is why the Empire are heavily compared to Nazis. (The First Order seems very akin to Neo-Nazis and alt-righters of today.) George Lucas for the original trilogy even intentionally replicated frames and cinematic techniques from the Nazi propaganda film “Triumph of the Will” for this very reason. With the prequels even once again diving into this. Say what you will about the prequels, but George Lucas still never backed down with the sociopolitcal commentary even then. From showing how fascist regimes like the Empire even came into power (they didn’t take over by force, just like the Hitler and his party, they were elected. “So this is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause.” ) But you can also see how he criticized the Bush administration in particular. This new trilogy diving into sociopolitical commentary through a more contemporary lens is still exactly what Star Wars is about.

        But I don’t even know why I bothered typing all this. It’s not like you’ll consider any of it. The fanboys like you are ridiculously stubborn and it’s not like your smooth monkey brain grasped anything else beyond the most superficial, simplified, and dumb readings ypu could have even in a a sometimes silly franchise like SW.

        1. I agree with both of the last posters. I see a world where we can admire our heroes and watch them grow and fail.

          I do think Luke was treated poorly. If the starwars mythos has to go down this path let it lean over to Clone Wars, the show that proves that any character can have a fulfilling story arc if the writers care about the source material enough.

          You are both passionate about the source and I applaud you.

          If Luke had been the main focus of the story at the end it would have resonated with me as a person more. I’ve waited 40 years to see where his story went and I was disappointed.

          Honestly it reminds me of Logan. Amazing film that I left from bitter. If he had just decided to help the kids *first* no matter what happened it would have been a different movie. The tone shift would have been welcome in that film, and I think Last Jedi as well.

          Sometimes apathy seems so out of place and these are 2 examples that just fall flat for me, but I’ve been an idiot nerd for quite a while.

        2. Hey, don’t worry about it too much. I considered the points you made. Thanks for dumbing it down for my “monkey brain”. I guess I’ll go back to my ignorant lifestyle. But before I do…

          1. Interestingly enough, “naive farm boys” tend to make the better-known “messiahs” out there. To go on with the “messianic” theme you introduced, the “legend” of Luke itself is what the messianic image is. That’s what a messiah is: a symbol of hope for other people to cling onto. The movie could have played with the theme of Luke struggling to come to terms with his larger than life image (legend/messiah) that others had about him versus his real self. That would have been interesting to see.

          2. Canto Bite is indefensible. With or without that excursion nothing really changes. Actually, without the Canto excursion maybe Rose and Finn might have found a more useful way to help save the rebels that eventually get killed aboard the transport ships. Nothing Rose and Finn did helped them in any way. It’s a waste of perfectly good movie run time that suffers of bad storytelling. Rose telling Finn that these rich people are evil and then to have the animals run through the building to “teach them a lesson” is as childish a caricature of justice as one can get. If one is even slightly forward-thinking, one can imagine what happens the next day after the stampede: the evil rich and powerful order the massacre of the poor animals. Also, the blanket characterization of all the people at the casino as being evil was over the top; not subtle at all. Maybe a few of the powerful rich people were actually good or secretly supporting the rebels and were trying to change the system? But now they ended up dead in the stampede? And Rose and Finn did not “grow” from this arc at all. If anything their judgment took a toll for the worse: remember Rose ramming her vehicle into Finn’s when he was trying to save his comrades? And then she gives him an unsolicited kiss and lectures him about love. Really? I feel bad for the actor who plays that girl because there were people attacking her, but she was just reading the lines that she was given. They should really be reacting to Rian’s bad writing of her character.

          3. What’s wrong with wanting a Jedi fight scene where Luke uses the force in some epic way? Hell yea he should have flexed and died with dignity. Kylo’s “humiliation” at Luke’s hand only cements Kylo’s negative resolve making him want to destroy the Rebels even more than before. It’s sad because there was a moment in the movie where they could have taken the story to interesting places with Kylo and Rey after he kills Snoke (either she submits to him or him to her, or they join forces in some unexpected direction), but they don’t. Kylo is just the new generic evil guy that simply replaces previous evil guy.

          4. I’m saying that the political stuff and virtue signaling was way over the top and not subtle enough: purple-haired dress-wearing commander person telling young stubborn man to get in line, Rose talking about the evil rich people, the First Order’s cartoonish Nazi-like behavior, and so on and so forth. If you’re going to insert some political interpretation, do it so that it takes the viewers a few viewings to catch it. Don’t slap them in the face with it. RICH PEOPLE BAD, POOR KID GOOD! RICH PEOPLE NO HAVEY THE FORCE, FORCE. POOR KID DO HAVEY THE FORCE, FORCE. It’s pretty stupid.

          To conclude, I didn’t say you can’t transform Luke. By all means, do it. Just go about the arc in a more thoughtful way and take the time to fully explain your concept. Use good storytelling to let the audience accept what is happening. What we got in TLJ was akin to having Tolkien suddenly transform Gandalf the Grey into a mass murderer who goes to the Shire and massacres hobbit newborns. And the reason for it is explained in the matter of two pages as an afterthought. Yeah, sure, Tolkien could do that and “subvert” our expectations, but he should explain the process so the reader understands it. Subverting expectations is okay, subverting explanations for major characters’ actions and behavior, not okay.

      3. I immediately tuned out at 1., LOL.

        Dude, it’s a fictional franchise that you’re a FAN of, you don’t own it, so they can do whatever the fuck they want with it. And all they did was pass the torch off from the film series being all about the Skywalkers to finally moving on from someone else. Now if you don’t like that the family won’t be the centerpiece anymore, that’s fine, but seriously, get your head out of ass with this “respect” nonsense. No one is out to get you, chill your corny ass out already.

        1. I immediately tuned out at LOL, LOL. Well, not really. I read your angry post.

          Denny, have some respect for others and take the time to write a well thought out reply before flexing your hashtags around. See what I did there? I put all the main points from my original post in one sentence. And that took effort. Have a wonderful day. I’ll give you a free upvote.

    9. The discussion about the failings of TLJ often gets bogged down in equivocation. I actually agree with most of these points, and I think the character changes for Luke are fine per se. But we’re expected to believe that the answer to the question posed by Luke’s doubt is Rey, an empty shell who only serves as a proxy for the fantasies of Disney’s intended audience.
      If R.J. or J.J.A. could have come up with some alternative to the ancient wisdom trope, I would be annoyed but forgiving. Instead we have a fairly well-developed trope in the other movies (ancient order of virtuous acolytes fighting deviant sorcerer’s) replaced by… “all that matters is your friends” — in the middle of a movie where the only friendship that actually produces anything remotely positive for our band of struggling resistance fighters is the loyalty Rey feels for Finn and co, which has no motivation, development or depth. Finn’s actions to help Rey are basically disastrous, Poe’s virtue is decimated by senseless plot decisions, and Luke’s eventual coming-around only allows for a prolonged retreat.

      Hopefully they can actually flesh out the themes R.J. added to the middle down-turn chapter, but he didn’t exactly give them much to work with. TLJ takes the only shreds of potential plot fulfilment left available by TFA and basically says “haha, fooled you!”
      That’s not clever, it’s juvenile.

    10. JFC! I really can’t imagine being so insecure about my dislike of Last Jedi that I have to rant about it in the comments of a small website. Good article BTW.

    11. …I really liked the Last Jedi…god…I think I like it more than Empire…Although Star Wars is still my favorite.

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