Courtesy of Timothy the Talking Cat.
Opening music. These are the lyrics I made up but halfway through I had to sing them in my head because of the shush-shush noises. They go like this:
Snoke, Snoke, Snokity,
Snokity, Snoke, Snoke,
Snoke, Snoke, Snokity,
Snokity, Snoke, Snoke,
And wham! We are back into the action. Oh boy! Supreme Leader Snoke has got that darned Resistance cornered. Will he manage to wipe them out this time? You’d think so but this is a middle movie in a trilogy and that means SET BACKS for our hero.
[CF: if you can make sense of this there may be spoilers below. So not recommended if you haven’t watched the film]
So, so many spoilers but they are all after the fold. Don’t read this if you haven’t seen the film because it really focuses on the bits that will spoil. Also, this is longggg.
I straight-forwardly enjoyed The Last Jedi: it was fun sci-fi action with good acting, good effects and interesting characters. It isn’t a flawless film but if you after flawless films then why are you watching episode 8 of a serial space-opera?
Continued from this post.
Star Not Wars Because They Aren’t Having a War With Anybody: Nobody Strikes Back
Luke, Han, Leia et al are having a winter sports holiday. That should be fun but the great outdoors can be dangerous! Luke, unfortunately, encounters a wild animal. He escapes but is badly injured. Back at the not so luxurious ski lodge, everybody is worried that Luke hasn’t come back. Han heads out to look for Luke who is hallucinating visions of Ben. Ben must still be having a nap.
Later, after Luke has been rescued and had some medical care, they all decide to head off to different resorts. Luke goes to a martial arts training camp in a swamp. Han and Leia have a very uneventful trip to Cloud City.
Luke has fun training with his instructor Yoda who teaches him about the force which only has a light side. Which is nice. Later Luke decides it is time to catch up with his friends.
Luke arrives at Cloud City. He accidentally leaves his hand somewhere.
Han must be having a nap.
While Han is sleeping Lando decides to fly the ship. Luke goes looking for his hand down a chute and then on the outside surface of Cloud City. He can’t find his hand anywhere.
Lando and Leia come and pick Luke up. Luke gets a blanket.
Luke has a nap also.
This Tweet from Paul Weimer really intrigued me:
In post-war Germany, a version of Casablanca was produced, re-edited and with a new script for the dubbing, that had no Nazis in it. As you can imagine, given the role Nazis play in the plot, they had to do a lot of work.
I was wondering if you could do the same to Star Wars Episode 4 – remove the Empire…
Star Not Wars Because They Aren’t Having a War With Anybody: A New Hope
A spaceship has broken down. Princess Leia finds a robot on the ship and gives it something. The robot (R2D2) finds an escape pod with its friend (C3PO). They leave the ship. We don’t see the ship again. It probably had engine trouble or something. Maybe the robots have gone off to get some fuel from a service station.
The robots land in a desert. After an argument, they split up. Later they each get caught by tiny people.
Meanwhile, young Luke Skywalker is unhappy being a farmer and living with his uncle. He’d rather be…doing something else I suppose.
Luke and his uncle go off to by robots and end up buying the two robots. When Luke checks the robots later, he discovers that R2 has a secret message with Princess Leia in it. Later R2 attempts to escape. Luke doesn’t have any sort of conversation with his uncle about anything.
Luke sets off after R2 but is attacked by Sand People. He is rescued by Old Ben Kenobi, who isn’t anybody in particular. They don’t really chat about anything but Ben sees the message from the princess. She needs help – probably her spaceship has broken down.
Luke and Ben don’t do anything then, certainly they don’t check on the Jawa’s and Luke definitely doesn’t check on his Uncle and Aunt’s home. No, they just head to Mos Eisely, for a nice day out.
They head to a bar, I guess they are thirsty. Not much happens but they have a very fragmented conversation with Han Solo. For laughs, they hire him to take them on a quick space trip. He agrees.
On the ship, Ben tells Luke about the force and using a light sabre. For no reason. I guess the space trip was less fun than they expected.
They head to Alderaan but it isn’t there. I guess it was closed that day.
Everybody has a nap.
Ben has a really long nap. He must have been quite tired from the trip because we don’t see him again.
Luke, Han, Chewbacca and the robots all find themselves on another planet. Princess Leia is with them now. This is probably where her spaceship is getting fixed.
Luke decides to have a go flying a small spaceship. Han also decides to fly his spaceship. Princess Leia looks worried. Probably she’d like to fly her spaceship as well but I guess it is still broken.
Luke and Han and Chewy come back. R2 got broken! Leia was right to be worried! Luckily they are on a planet where stuff gets fixed.
Once R2 is fixed Leia has a huge party and everybody gets a medal.
We now have enough for a list:
- Doctor Who and the Dalek’s http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059126/ The first Doctor (normally William Hartnell) is disguised as Grand Moff Tarkin (Peter Cushing). Presumably he was in deep cover in the Empire just before hand.
- Daleks’ Invasion of Earth 2150 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060278/?ref_=tt_rec_tti Peter Cushing is at it again. The Dalek’s have this great idea for a planet-sized spaceship…
- Local Hero http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085859/ A very young looking incarnation of the 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Wedge Antilles (Denis Lawson) discover oil in Scotland.
- Shallow Grave http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0111149/?ref_=nv_sr_2 The Doctor is still in Scotland but this time as the 9th (Christopher Ecclestone) and sharing a house with a young Obi Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor). They have to hide the body of the Sheriff of Nottingham.
- Attack the Block http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1478964/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 disguised a trainee nurse, the 13th Doctor helps a rogue Stormtrooper (John Boyega) fight aliens in a South London Housing Estate. Father Christmas (Nick Frost) is growing dope.
I think that’s it – less than you would imagine given the heavy use of British actors in Star Wars.
[ETA: aside from the many examples below, I also forgot that the 7th Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) was also a wizard along with Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) in the Hobbit movies]
Some nonsense from the Castalia House Blog about The Force Awakens. Can you guess the character that upsets them the most? Ok that was almost too easy to guess: it’s Rey of course because she’s a girl – oops sorry because she’s a “Mary sue” (fair enough if you guessed Finn).
The writer, Jasyn Jones aka Gamergate’s ‘Daddy Warpig’, says they’ve watched the film twice yet oddly they seem confused about multiple details. Oddly it is the same details you’ll find in similar pieces around the internet. I can imagine somebody making a coherent argument that Rey is a Mary-Sue of one kind or another but, this isn’t it:
“When first she meets another primary character, Rey saves both their lives, even in the face of his bumbling machismo which threatens to get them both killed.”
Rey has grown up in a rough barter town and can surprisingly look after herself. OK, not actually surprisingly. As for ‘saving their lives’, she knocks over a couple of people with her staff and then helps Finn runaway when the town gets attacked.
“Then she flies a starship for the very first time (completely untrained)”
Huh? We know Rey is a pilot from the complex plot device where she says “I’m a pilot”. Why does he think she is completely untrained? Yes, when Finn asks if she has ‘ever flown this thing?’ about the Millennium Falcon that she hasn’t but that’s because ‘no one has flown this thing in years’. She clearly knows the ship and has been on the ship before and is very familiar with the layout of the ship. Nor is her flying faultless, she struggles initially, damaging buildings as she takes off.
Oh just watch the film:
“and—though a rank amateur—she pulls off several maneuvers Han Solo would have had trouble duplicating even on his very best day as a pilot.”
Yeah because Han would struggle because…, oh yeah we have no idea whether Han Solo would have trouble duplicating those moves because we have never seen any equivalent in-atmosphere chase in the original films. The most spectacular moves are when she pilots the ship through the remains of the ruined star destroyers – presumably very difficult but they are ruins that she knows well. Quite why he thinks Rey is a rank amateur is anybody’s guess (but probably because she is a woman).
“Then she goes to repair the ship—no mention how an untutored scavenger from the back of the back of beyond knows how to service a damned starship, “
Good point. I can’t imagine where somebody who grew up surrounded by wrecked starships and who we meet finding salvage in a Star Destroyer and who sells parts of ruined starships to make ends meet and who knows the various parked ships in her town well, could possibly learn about the mechanics of starships. Seriously, has he even watched the TRAILER? What do we see Rey doing even before the movie was released? (Hint: it’s climbing through spaceships).
” gets to yell at Finn because he’s so damn incompetent.”
Finn who we know isn’t a mechanic or pilot.
“And she speaks droid,”
Again – hardly odd given her background.
“AND she speaks Wookie. “
Lots of people speak Wookiee. I guess in the US, speaking multiple languages may seem like a freaky superpower but it really isn’t.
“And she releases monsters to kill bad guys (which she thought was the wrong thing to do, but turns out she was mistaken as the monsters eat up all the bad guys.”
So now messing up also counts against her?
“(This is the only time she’s ever wrong, in the entire movie.) “
Aside from all the other times, like running towards the wrong ship when trying to get away from the tie-fighter attack (see above), getting captured after running away, or the whole staying on Jakku because her parents are going to be back for her soon – something which she has been wrong about ALL HER LIFE.
” Finn wants to flee like a coward, Rey wants to stand like a hero.”
Yeah guessed he missed the bit when Rey freaks out and runs off and then gets captured. Both the characters do this. Now, we know why – it’s because Star Wars has been obsessed with the whole hero’s journey thing since the original. So Finn has to turn away from the call and Rey has to as well and just as HAN FRICKIN‘ SOLO does in episode 4.
“She’s suddenly able to read people’s mind with The Force, as well as do that funky Jedi Mind Trick, all with absolutely no training. “
So not only has this guy somehow not seen episode 7, he seems not have seen episode 4. We all see the training Luke gets: a few swishes with a lightsabre in a blast helmet – that’s it. Yet before long, he uses the force to blow up the Death Star in an x-wing (something he has never flown before). And look – not only is Luke flying an unfamiliar spaceship but he is doing so as part of a formal military force on a life-or-death military operation based solely on his experience shooting wamp rats.
But how! Let’s ask Obi-wan: Use the force, let go.
Dippy hippy pseudo-Taoist claptrap it might be but Star Wars has always been clear about using the force: it is connected to feelings and emotional states. Luke’s training is even shown in episode 5 as a process of unlearning.
Rey doesn’t necessarily need much training to do what she does. Nor do the previous films imply that about the force.
“And then free-climbs an infinitely high wall without a HINT of vertigo or hesitation. “
You mean like the way she climbs through the innards of a wrecked Star destroyer IN THE TRAILER which apparently the author missed. Again, it’s right there – a fact established about the character (she can climb stuff and is used to climbing stuff) from BEFORE THE MOVIE WAS RELEASED.
Now I’m stuck with an image of Daddy Warpig standing at the bottom of the cliff face shouting ‘Mary-Sue’ at this woman as she climbs:
“And then she defeats the super-evil, super-competent, been-training-in-The-Force-for-over-ten-years evil Sith dude in a lightsaber battle.”
And then she… in the actual movie rather than the weird version Daddy Warpig appears to have watched (twice!) she defeats, by the skin of her teeth, an emotionally unstable Kylo Ren (with erratic powers) who has already just had one fight and who wants her alive AND the planet is falling to bits. She spends much of this fight sequence RUNNING AWAY from him.
“And, oh yes, the orange-nerf-football-headed alien they meet in the cantina has found Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber (last seen falling into the vast and unplumbed depths of the cloud giant Bespin), but the lightsaber of the famed and legendary LAST JEDI is psychically calling… FOR REY! And it gives her SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE STRONG WOMAN FATED TO BE BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE AND NEVER BE WRONG VISIONS! Just for her.”
Gosh a character in a Star Wars film having some sort of *destiny*? I mean the only possible reason is that she is a Mary-Sue and it can’t possibly be because that’s one of the major themes of all three of the original films and all three of the prequels (twice over with the prequels in that the destiny also carries over to the original three).
WOW! Obviously Rey is the bestest thing that has ever been. She’s never wrong, better than everyone at everything, and the most special, unique, coolio-awesomest person in the entire galaxy.
Nope. She is repeatedly wrong. She makes errors, other characters misjudge her, she doubts herself, she runs away, she gets captured and so on. She displays some remarkable abilities but not substantially more than Luke Skywalker and unlike young Anakin Skywalker, doesn’t accidentally fly a spaceship for the first time ever as a child and destroy the key spaceship in an orbital blockade thus ending a robot invasion.
[OK, yes I reckon R2 did all that but then I think BB-8 probably is running everything in Episode 7. Hey, let’s leave my delusions out of this]
“In other words, Rey is the Mary-Sueist Mary Sue to have ever Mary Sued. Ever.”
Aside from Anakin Skywalker in The Phantom Menace you mean and only marginally (on points) ahead of Luke Skywalker in A New Hope, you mean? Why, it’s almost like there was some intangible quality to Luke and Anakin that makes Daddy Warpig OK with THEIR remarkable abilities (in a sci-fi fantasy film series based on magic-using chosen ones) but not OK with Rey’s. Oh what, oh what could it be?
She is the single best example of modern Hollywood’s “Strong Woman Character What Don’t Need No Mans” trope. The kind of strong, but sexy and quintessentially feminine characters played by the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and Lauren Bacall are like, yesterday’s news daddio. Get with the times—today’s strong women are Rey all the way.
I also start to suspect Daddy Warpig hasn’t even watched any movies by this point – just heard about them via vague rumour, but also I now want to see a Star Wars film with Katherine Hepburn piloting the Millenium Falcon with Humphrey Bogart.
Some less typo ridden debunkings of Reyrysue
The Star Wars films use characters to play common roles and functions within the franchise. By ‘roles’ I mean less plot central aspects of the story such as ‘comic relief’ and by ‘functions’ I mean more directly plot relevant tasks such ‘character who delivers secret message’. To make the films both different and yet familiar roles and functions are repeated between films but divided between different characters (and/or objects).
This approach begins with the original Star Wars film (‘Episode 4’, ‘A New Hope’, or if you wish to troll two fandoms simultaneously ‘The Original Series’). Lucas takes roles and functions from other films but creates new characters around them. Lucas draws upon films like The Dam Busters, 633 Squadron, The Guns of Navarone and takes aspects of those films and reworks them into his film. The fjord in 633 Squadron has a function that is shared by the trench on the Death Star that leads to the exhaust port for example.
The most substantial source though is Akira Kurosawa’s Hidden Fortress. The roles (Princess, former general, former general’s rival on the enemy side, a hidden resistance base etc) are lifted from Kurosawa’s tale of rival clans in feudal Japan and placed in a new setting. However, there is not a simple mapping of Hidden Fortress to Star Wars, mainly because new characters and plot points are added but also because functions map out differently or brought in from other films.
However, one of the earliest points at which both films map is the classic shot of the bickering couple trudging through a desert. In Hidden Fortress the couple are the the two peasant soldiers Tahei and Matashichi, survivors and runaways from a battle. In Star Wars the couple are C3PO and R2D2, who have just escaped a space battle. The role of the couple are similar in both films – comedic banter and commentary on what the main characters are doing. In that latter role they provide a bridge between the main characters and the audience, wondering aloud (in Star Wars only C3PO actually intelligible) what is happening. The function they couples play is different. R2D2 has a very specific Star Wars role – carrying the Death Star plans to the Rebellion that does not have a simple parallel with Hidden Fortress.http://www.scene-stealers.com/wp-content/uploads//2014/04/hidden_fortress_blu-ray.jpg
In the sequels and prequels to Star Wars the couple role becomes less attached to the two droids. At times it passes to Anakin and Obi Wan in parts of episode 2 and 3, to Han and Chewbacca, Luke and Yoda but rarely lingers for reasons I’ll get to. In the Force Awakens (episode 7 or if you prefer ‘Star Wars:TNG’) the couple role bounces around multiple characters but is often centred on Finn (Finn and Bo Dameron, Finn and BB8, Finn and Rey, Finn and Han etc).
The couple role naturally connects with comedic relief. It turns up in classic comedy duos (Abbot and Costello, Laurel and Hardy), buddy-cop movies and isn’t confined to male-male pairs. Nick and Nora Charles in the Thin Man series, Lucy and Ricky in I Love Lucy, Abbey and Martha Brewster the ageing sisters in Arsenic and Old Lace. https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/11/01/cf/1101cf64a6acf86304650b57510d5508.jpg
The pairing can be platonic or sexual but the familiarity of the role/trope is the married couple – two people who have known each other a long time. The role is not about sexual tension but it doesn’t preclude two characters between whom there is sexual tension sometimes playing aspects of the role (Bruce Willis and Cybil Shepherd in Moonlighting, even on occasion Mulder and Scully in the X-Files). The issue is not that the couple cannot ever have other emotional aspects to their relationship but rather when those other aspects come to the fore they play a different role. It is for this reason that the Star Wars prequels never maintain a consistent couple role in the way that Star Wars Original Recipe does with R2D2 and C3PO.
Rogue One passes the comedic relief role to K2-SO and the delivery of Death Star plans function to Bodhi Rook. R2D2 and C3PO get a cameo (of course – and establishing that R2D2 is busy controlling the rebellion on Yavin…). However, it also reinvents the couple role with Chirrut Iwe and Baze Malbus. Their role is less comedic but it is essentially the couple role. You can, if you wish, take it as a platonic friendship but as a supporter of the principle & traditions of marriage, I prefer to assume they are actually married (mind you I assume the same about R2D2 and C3PO so I’m easily persuaded towards this position).
As a pair, they have both overt differences from both the Star Wars IV couple and the Hidden Fortress couple but also distinct similarities.
Unlike Tahei and Matashichi they are season warriors who are brave and face danger. They are selfless and eager to help. They are competent and highly skilled. They both show wisdom and personal insight.
However, like Tahei and Matashichi they are found in desert surroundings amid (sort of) a battlefield. They are allied with the losing side in a conflict but have become separated from it. They are drawn back into the centre of the conflict by a woman protagonist. They form a nucleus of a small army under that woman’s leadership.
Likewise, they have a similar alternate-reality relationship with R2D2 and C3PO. The similarities are weaker than those with the Hidden Fortress pair. Most notably is the related but muted colour scheme of the pair that mirrors the droids.
Chirrut is dressed in blue and white (with a small amount of red). Baze is dressed in yellows/beige. They are not, of course, the R2D2-C3PO of Rogue One – they are different characters and have different functions but their role has distinct parallels with both the Droids and Tahei and Matashichi that also highlights the extreme differences.
“Wait, “you say, “this is somewhat convoluted. Where are you going with this? It’s not another…oh it is, isn’t it? For goodness sake…”
Yes, yes! This blog has only the one official fan theory and we will use any and all means to promulgate it.Chirrut is the R2D2 analogue in Rogue One *and* he is, as we also contend R2 is, a force user!
Chirrut is the R2D2 analogue in Rogue One *and* he is, as we also contend R2 is, a force user!They even both use the force to do the same thing!
Chirrut uses the force and personal focus to walk through a volley of blaster shots unharmed. R2D2 does the exact same thing only a few hours later (in-universe) on Captain Antilles ship!
No, don’t walk away! I’ve all sorts of other proofs to show you!