AndersonVision Best Films of 2017: #11 – THE LAST JEDI (Lucasfilm / Disney)
THE LAST JEDI REVIEWED
“The Last Jedi” does for fan service what 2016 did for Western Democracy. While Rogue One might be the first example of cinematic DLC, The Last Jedi marks why and why not a studio should hire an arthouse director to handle their financial tentpole. Did he lift enough shots from “Letter Never Sent” and “Wings” to make my cinematic geek self freak out? Yeah. But, that bought Rian Johnson a few seconds of appreciation. That’s the problem with critical viewing.
Gareth Edwards had “Rogue One” taken away from him for going too Grimdark with his original cut. Gilroy/McQuarrie got brought in to undercut his work and bring something that plays closer to “A New Hope”. It works, but at the same time it makes the effort feel inconsequential. Why make a lead-in movie, if all you want to do is shoot an extra leg of the better George Lucas film in this series? The answer is that all creative types are egomaniacs that believe their head canon allows them to snail trail all over an ongoing series.
REVENGE OF THE JEDI STORY CONFERENCE (July 17th, 1981)
Lawrence Kasdan: The Force was available to anyone who could hook into it?
George Lucas: Yes, everybody can do it.
Kasdan: Not just the Jedi?
Lucas: It’s just the Jedi who take the time to do it.
Marquand: They use it as a technique.
Lucas: Like yoga. If you want to take the time to do it, you can do it; but the ones that really want to do it are the ones who are into that kind of thing. Also like karate. Also another misconception is that Yoda teaches Jedi, but he is like a guru; he doesn’t go out and fight anybody.
Kasdan: A Jedi Master is a Jedi isn’t he?
Lucas: Well, he is a teacher, not a real Jedi. Understand that?
Kasdan: I understand what you’re saying, but I can’t believe it; I am in shock.
Lucas: It’s true, absolutely true, not that it makes any difference to the story.
Kasdan: You mean he wouldn’t be any good in a fight?
Lucas: Not with Darth Vader he wouldn’t.
Kasdan: I accept it, but I don’t like it.
WHEN YOUR HEROES FAIL
When “The Venture Brothers” caught on as a cult favorite, many people brought up about how it’s a series about failure. Well, it’s a stylized series about failure that never makes the characters feel bad for being screw-ups and monsters. Most would expect Star Wars at their worst to make you feel good about the new Rebellion falling apart, but they don’t. If you buy the backstory and rise of The New Order, these guys aren’t screwing around. The purpose of Kylo Ren and Supreme Leader Snoke is to force the reshaping of the Galaxy.
They raised child soldiers, forced the rich to feed the War Machine and hid in areas of the galaxy that the New Republic couldn’t bother to reach. Hell, between Fargo Season 3 and the New Order motivations…there’s going to be a ton of shit for historians to mine for years to come. But, let’s get off the Murphy Brown political diatribe and focus on the matter at hand. Most modern viewers are too sensitive and self-loathing to watch their supposed avatars fail onscreen.
They’ll make excuses about how Luke Skywalker mind-raped an AT-AT walker in “Dark Empire” or how it took Luke 4 years to train from Yavin to Endor. That’s when the snobby nerds bring up the fact that it took Anakin a decade of training under Obi-Wan plus military experience in The Clone Wars to become a Jedi Knight. Even then, he was only effective when he was terror murdering rich civilians and young psychic children in their religious training grounds.
So, out of all the people making stupid choices or losing their shit in The Last Jedi, why do they pick on Rey? She’s badass and climbs on more crap than my kid while I’m online trying to buy more Bitcoins. I love that some young abandoned child is now super cool in the Force because it makes the stupid old men look dumb for having to actually train under secretive monks who finally admit that they didn’t know a damn thing. How hard is it to stab things or telekinetically toss douchebags across a room? I played The Force Unleashed I and II…that stuff was easy.
WHY THE FANS ARE STUPID
Fandom is always dumb. When you’re willing to divorce yourself from personal betterment to argue about when the Rebellion abandoned the base on Crait, you’re garbage. But, it’s OK. Everyone is garbage now. What makes the fans so incredibly dumb about this movie is their unending hypocrisy. The prequels didn’t give them anything different, so they attacked tired old George Lucas. They bemoaned Disney buying the series because they thought Roger Rabbit was going to show up and dry hump Chewbacca or something. When they finally got their safe movie from Felicity co-creator JJ Abrams, they heaped false praise on a guy following the old yellow Lucas legal pad.
Well, they did until the Internet told them to hate Force Awakens. Then, they found fault in Rogue One and the creative decisions on the Solo movie. For awhile, they seemed to forget about everything related to this movie. That was until they saw it. New characters with no ties to the Skywalkers, new setups and a grimdark movie that wore the Empire Strikes Back influence on its sleeve is what greeted them. Their grand takeaway? Wasn’t it gross when Luke tugged on that walrus teat to get some milk?
Four decades of tie-in novels, comic series, video games, toy lines and TV series have tricked fandom into thinking they control the Star Wars storyline. If Lucas was pulling this material out of his butt, while fighting with FOX and Kenner over merchandising and ownership rights…what makes you think you know any better? This entire franchise started because a former documentarian Baby Boomer had a boner to remake Flash Gordon. You can whine and cry about why Darth Revan, Lando and Sana Solo weren’t invited to the party. Here’s a newsflash, it was never your party to invite “fwiends” to attend.
WHY THE FILM’S DEFENDERS ARE STUPID
Nit-picking Leia Organa nee Solo nee Skywalker nee Mining Station Foundling #2 is dumb. What’s worse is making YouTube videos attacking fans for calling frostbitten Mary Poppins out for being a stupid image. We should accept that scene because it’s the only time we get to see Leia use the Force and you’re sad that Carrie Fisher is dead? If the film’s theme is failure, then how about she uses the Force and then slams her frosty corpse into burning TIE Fighter wreckage and dies? It would’ve solved so many problems that they’re facing for Episode 9.
The last 3 years has seen an incredibly micro industry of fandom loudmouths touting Ultra-liberal social stances to advance their views on anything consumed by the general populace. They defend themselves with the tactics not seen since the days of Stalin’s use of Glavlit. Whether it’s floating iceberg Leia, an Asian-American character that gets brutally under-developed or trying to make sense of Laura Dern’s grand plan…everything is a tool to brow beat non believers into submission.
But, what about the film’s defenders that aren’t SJW Edgelords trying to turn the world into Starkiller Base – Berkeley adjacent campus? If you can divorce the 40 years of bullshit that shackles itself to each new movie, this was an interesting look at the failures of warfare. Rian Johnson is a great director who excels in character work and misses a lot of the big picture. Why Disney is suddenly cool with an epilogue on a Star Wars film, but found fault with Gareth Edwards’ vision is beyond me. But, such is life.
In terms of those defending the movie, I can only defend what made me enjoy it. I love the idea of Kylo Ren as the ultimate Star Wars completist forcing a vision upon a world that lacks any true auteur scope. It’s the equivalent of being the over zealous Arby’s fast food manager taking two hours making the World’s Greatest Big Beef and Cheddar. If it’s just being digested by a moron, then did the work really matter?
WHY I ENJOYED SWIMMING IN FAN-FAVORITE TRASH
I love that Disney has shaved a year off the Star Wars production cycle. Hell, if you count the solo films…it’s like having a second birthday every year. Most normal people don’t eagerly await for nerds to find fault in things. Hell, I’ve been watching people bitch and moan on the Internet for nearly 15 years now. I’ll say this and some long-dead site will make reference to me writing for them prior to that 2003/2004 era. One day, I might actually make the long-form of these reviews available to the Public. For now, you’ll get the edited cuts.
Fandom and the contrarian Social Justice Agitpop types don’t really matter to me. For those new to the site, I do this thing because it entertains me and I’m working out my issues with popular fiction on a global stage. Any comfort you take from that is a side effect. Stew on that for a bit, as I’m sick of talking about a movie that I spent three weeks putting off discussing for the sake of my sanity. See you guys in mid-Spring when I tackle the inevitable Blu, 4K, Digital HD or whatever format comes my way.
- 2 hrs and 12 mins
- Lucasfilm / Disney