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  • Slicer87

    Really, a cavalry charge on a SD hull? Can’t the ship just lean a bit and slide all of them off? Or rise up to a high enough attitude to kill them, or resubmerge. By god does this look awful.

      • Alexrd

        What about the fact that 3PO called a bunch of strangers “his friends”? 3PO never refered to the original characters as his friends, let alone a bunch of nobodies he has no relation with…

        This is just like The Farce Awakens, where a bunch of strangers get to witness Han’s death and give out an uneared emotional reaction. Actually, this is just like The Farce Awakens, where one can see miles away that it’s crap.

      • Alexrd

        Pasquali, I love your dedication to the creation of pathetic sock accounts. Please, create some more. Your picture will end up replacing them all.

        You making a fool of yourself is much more entertaining that the trailer for the movie.

      • Jay Z

        *** Hi, I’m Alessio Pasquali. My comment was edited by the administrator of this blog because I’m a troll who insults and threatens people and who keeps coming back despite having been banned dozens of times. ***

      • jpieper668

        @Axelrod
        you raised a good point it should be Han Luka and Leia in that scene but Carrie’s death Ford wanting Solo dead(despite the fact it made him famous) and Hamill ‘s frustration along with incompetent people in charge of this trilogy kept that from happening

      • Cryogenic

        @ Alex:

        Yeah, it’s a little contrived, to have Threepio calling people he hasn’t spent all that long a time with, and who haven’t shown him the greatest affection in the world (look at the way Poe treats him in TLJ), his “friends”. It’s a lazy way to imply an emotional connection that they barely bothered establishing in the first place.

        On the other hand, this seems to be a big moment for Threepio in the movie (haven’t read too many spoilers; just going off this and the former D23 trailer), allowing one to infer he’s either recovering from a brush with darkness and danger, or about to be heading into darkness and danger. So perhaps he’s being sentimental.

        Threepio not doing X in the earlier films doesn’t mean he can’t do X in the new ones. It could even be interpreted as a bit of character growth. In the prequels, for example, Threepio starts off by blanching at spaceflight to Artoo: “They will never get me on one of those dreadful starships.” But in AOTC, he leaves Tatooine on Padme’s yacht — nervous, to be sure, but forgetful of his former protestation — and in ROTS, he idly quips to himself: “You know, I’m beginning to get the hang of this flying business”. Only for his mind to be wiped at the end of the movie; and those skills seemingly never rediscovered in the OT.

        As far as we know, *this* Threepio iteration has been functioning perfectly fine since that mind-wipe on Bail’s ship at the end of the PT. In other words, he’s had the better part of 50 years — half a century — to develop an expanded consciousness and become more comfortable operating in the strange world of human beings. He still misreads situations, he still irritates people, but he’s had an opportunity to grow and become attached to things. Call him Threepio 3.1 if you like (with reference to his roughly three stages of development in the saga, as symbolised by his three variant appearances in the PT).

        If this is meant to be the final installment of the main Skywalker Saga, then I think it’s quite poignant that Threepio is still the same old droid, but with a little bit of emotional finesse. Star Wars is as much his story as anyone else’s. Mind you, that is me being sentimental. Seeing Threepio — “C”-ing 3PO — is my earliest memory of Star Wars from childhood. He was the first thing that stood out to me and that I implicitly recognised as signalling this strange thing called Star Wars; which I was yet to sit down and actually watch. I hope his story is brought to an apt conclusion.

      • Alexrd

        @Cryo:

        “Threepio not doing X in the earlier films doesn’t mean he can’t do X in the new ones.”

        No, my point was that he didn’t do it when he had a logical and earned chance to do it (the past six movies), and now, not only are they are making him do it, but he’s doing it to what are in essence a bunch of strangers.

        You speak of the way Poe treated him in TLJ, and I honestly didn’t even remember that. Then again, I only saw the movie once and have no intention of seeing it again.

        In a way, this scene is a great representation of the way they are handling Star Wars. Forcing things without any logic, throwing everything at the board and see if it sticks. And if it doesn’t stick, they’ll put fake glue on it and make it stick. It’s not natural. It’s hollow. A bad, unoriginal, nostalgia driven shell.

        I have to say, and don’t get me wrong, I’m surprised you’re willing to give Disney so much credit considering what happened, the way they are handling things and how they deviated from the consistent excellence of Lucas’ saga (of which I know you’re a fan of). Of course, you’re entitled to your preferences. Personally, even if they had been doing acceptable movies (which I don’t think they did), as a fan of Lucas’ Star Wars, I simply couldn’t support them out of principle. Specially after the way they treated Lucas and the stories he gave them.

      • Cryogenic

        @ Alex:

        Hope you don’t mind me breaking your post down into chunks. I’m not trying to dissect you! I just sometimes find it easier to tackle a response this way. That’s where message boards are ideal. But anyway…

        “No, my point was that he didn’t do it when he had a logical and earned chance to do it (the past six movies), and now, not only are they are making him do it, but he’s doing it to what are in essence a bunch of strangers.”

        Sure — it’s contrived. But like I said, there may be reasonably justified story choices for Threepio getting a bit sentimental. There was a nice little moment between Han and Threepio in TFA when Threepio simply mutters, “Princesses”, and Han gives him this knowing look. He did, arguably, become a bit more adept in the world of humans between the trilogies; but there is still plenty of his stubborn, awkward self there, too.

        “You speak of the way Poe treated him in TLJ, and I honestly didn’t even remember that. Then again, I only saw the movie once and have no intention of seeing it again.”

        At several points, Poe either cuts Threepio short or disparages him; even when Threepio is right. The most extreme moment occurs when Poe loses his temper and simply tells Threepio to “shut up”, in the abandoned rebel base on Crait. I felt sorry for Threepio in that moment.

        “In a way, this scene is a great representation of the way they are handling Star Wars. Forcing things without any logic, throwing everything at the board and see if it sticks. And if it doesn’t stick, they’ll put fake glue on it and make it stick. It’s not natural. It’s hollow. A bad, unoriginal, nostalgia driven shell.”

        Fair points. There isn’t the right degree of organic development between some conceits in the new films. It’s frustrating. However, developments in the earlier films could also be a bit choppy, at times. They have put some ideas into the new films that do loosely justify their approach, however. For example, Maz tells Finn: “If you live long enough, you see the same eyes in different people.” It’s like they all know each other from past lives.

        “I have to say, and don’t get me wrong, I’m surprised you’re willing to give Disney so much credit considering what happened, the way they are handling things and how they deviated from the consistent excellence of Lucas’ saga (of which I know you’re a fan of).”

        I’m a little surprised myself! I forced myself to read more positive material on the films, and I subsequently found myself enjoying them more — well, more TLJ, admittedly, than TFA. It probably helps, too, that I had some in-depth conversations with a few prequel fans who enjoy the sequels, allowing me to realise it’s possible to like both. That isn’t intended as a bash of any kind. I still struggle with it myself. I’m a hardcore prequel fan above all else.

        “Of course, you’re entitled to your preferences. Personally, even if they had been doing acceptable movies (which I don’t think they did), as a fan of Lucas’ Star Wars, I simply couldn’t support them out of principle. Specially after the way they treated Lucas and the stories he gave them.”

        I don’t think it’s terribly clear (even if I earlier thought otherwise) that they threw out *all* of Lucas’ ideas. They certainly went their own way in TFA, but even there, I suspect some of his concepts are at play, beneath a heavy lacquering of nostalgia and fan-pandering. I mean, just take the idea of a “Jedi Killer” collecting artifacts — that kind of morphed into Kylo. And Kylo is also the offspring of Han and Leia. So ideas got squished together. In other ways, of course, it seems they went in their own direction — disappointing.

        I try to remind myself (even if it’s a rationalisation) that Lucas originally said, way back in 1982, that the sequel trilogy would be “someone else’s vision”. We kinda see that playing out here. It’s their vision; or their vision based on some Lucas-authored concepts that they may have retained. Beyond that, even if it strikes some as an illegitimate continuation/conclusion of the six films Lucas crafted (with considerable sweat, blood, and tears), I love the idea of three trilogies, and I love the fact that Star Wars spans forty-two years (freaky if you’re also a hardcore Elvis fan like me) — I mean, really, what a thing! 2001 isn’t the ultimate trip. Star Wars is.

        I love the idea of a lifeform reaching its true potential. Cosmic evolution. Look at all the stages Star Wars has passed through since inception. And now, finally, here we are. It’s something that transcends words. There is enough meat in the sequel trilogy, in my opinion, to justify its existence. And there’s something esoteric about its instantiation. Something I may never be able to put my finger on. I love being tingled by the thought of something undeniable yet elusive. Will I turn on the sequels one day and discount them entirely? Maybe. I wouldn’t rule anything out for good. But, for now, there’s something about them that grabs me.

      • Alexrd

        @ Cryo:

        I think I’ll open a thread on the forum later today to better discuss this with you.

        I don’t mind addressing things point by point, I actually prefer it that way. But sadly WordPress is very limited in a back and forth discussion.

      • Jay Z

        *** Hi, I’m Alessio Pasquali. My comment was edited by the administrator of this blog because I’m a troll who insults and threatens people and who keeps coming back despite having been banned dozens of times. ***

      • Natalie

        It’s certainly easier to be a king of rehashes than a true creator. Until inability to get even the basic plot right starts backfiring with even the general public.

    • Jay Z

      *** Hi, I’m Alessio Pasquali. My comment was edited by the administrator of this blog because I’m a troll who insults and threatens people and who keeps coming back despite having been banned dozens of times. ***

  • archdukeofnaboo

    I really liked trailers 1 and 2 on first viewing, but this?

    The whole Finn-Poe-Rose storyline here looks like filler (a battle for the sake of it, with no purpose), while Palpatine seems to be written almost too much like the disappointing Snoke character of Episodes VII and VIII. Honestly, I couldn’t care less about glorified supporting characters like Finn and Poe – please give me Leia, Luke and Anakin instead.

    I fear R2-D2 may be cast aside once for the much lesser loved (though still liked) C-3P0 and that new football-seized mini droid, what every its called. I’m not going to tolerate this happening again.

    I liked the line of Rey saying “Nobody knows me”, it might just be the first memorable line I’ve heard her speak. The jungle looks really nice too.

    • Cryogenic

      @ Arch Duke:

      I actually love it the most of any of the sequel movie trailers.

      First and foremost, I just love how it looks. The way the images are lit and framed; the intense, operatic use of cyan-blue; plus lightning flashes, roiling ocean waves, crashing sea mist, glacial outposts, Star Destroyers rising ( 😉 ) through icy crust, dense thickets of dark-blue clouds spelling destiny and doom; and all that being counterpointed — even if it remains the primary impression — by storybook jungle-greens and optimistic tinges of brown and gold. The palettes and the lighting throughout are just crazy! This is the best-looking Abrams feature, to my eyes, since “Super 8”. And the awesome feel of reckoning! He has really come on since “The Force Awakens”, if you ask me.

      Just watching all this imagery go by is really satisfying.

      To add to that, I’ll say I love that jungle planet at the start, too. The first shot — with the Lucasfilm logo dreamily dissolving into a stunning shot of an Endor-ish, Jurassic Park-like jungle, captured from the forest floor, dominated by warm sunlight shining down from top-left-of-centre, the calm golden-green tones momentarily interrupted by a speeding-past-camera Rey who blocks the sun for an instant, and whose heroic-blue saber briefly turns the thicket a darker tone — is just delightful!!! The helmet dropping to the ground in her wake, as she seemingly runs some kind of Jedi training decathlon, is intensely picturesque and immediately juicy and symbolic! This is also my favourite sequel movie trailer opening.

      Oh, and then the next shot, focusing on Rey’s speeding feet, cutting through undergrowth (Abrams loves these shots — go and review Rey hiding in the forest from Kylo/The First Order in TFA), followed by a smooth cut to a wider shot of her running across a log, the camera now parallel to her purposeful body and Errol Flynn-ish, fanning-white-garment visage, followed by another smooth cut to an even wider shot of her taking off from the log, jumping a ravine, followed by an elegant match-cut to her vaulting across a blue-grey, abandoned machine-city (the innards of the Death Star? — also a neat flashback to her early life as a scavenger on Jakku)… all of that is really something!!! Total visual orgasm.

      I just can’t get enough of the opening, or all the lustrous imagery that follows! If TFA was a warm-up, and TLJ a muggy detour, this movie is the real deal: a gorgeous fantasia/end-of-the-world, rally-the-troops climax — possibly with a number of why-not?, mind-bending plot twists to really cook everyone’s noodle! And, I dunno, but all those resonances are satisfying and freaky: “Avatar” meets “Die Another Day” meets “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy” meets “Game Of Thrones” meets late-era “Harry Potter” meets “The Exorcist” meets “Stagecoach” meets whatever.

      Other imagery I like:

      – Finn’s double binoculars. Rad.
      – That insane crane shot of the jungle with a tiny Rey zipping left-to-right in the foreground.
      – The grimy, “Alien”-like rebel base.
      – Poe’s armband (remember Rey’s in the earlier trailer) and his creamy-white jacket with the popped collar.
      – That crazy, Kamino-esque waterworld and the big gear-thing behind Rey.
      – Rey’s white clothing. She looks like the ideal “Next Generation Jedi”.
      – Kylo, pale, drenched, yet determined, emerging from the curtain of water.
      – Canon confirmation that no amount of water can ruin your lightsaber party. But seriously, look closely: Rey’s saber is fizzing the water droplets around it. Kylo’s saber, by contrast, is some next-level ****. The water droplets just *avoid* it.
      – That intense swarm of TIE Fighters rushing to that glacial outpost thing. Insanity.
      – The Emperor’s dark throne.
      – I have to mention it again: the Star Destroyer levitating through the ice.
      – Holy crapsauce, that’s a LOT of good-guy ships.
      – Falcon cockpit interior, with several characters inside, including Threepio in the background, TESB-like.
      – The physics of that boat/glider-thing bopping over the choppy waves.
      – Rey’s face lit gold as she looks at Threepio with deep concern.
      – Sunset lighting on a close-up of Chewie. Nice.
      – Pullback tracking shot of Poe, Chewie, and Finn on a death run against stormtroopers.
      – The beautiful amber tones of Rey and Leia embracing.
      – Close-up of BB-8 in a basket.
      – That canister being launched and going ka-boom with yellow smoke. Pretty.
      – LAAAANDDDDOOOO.
      – And a word on the visual effects: It’s like ten years has passed since TFA! The beam effects, the explosions, the ship imagery, and the camera work: all way better! Finally, it’s like Abrams found the confidence to do something semi-visionary and delectable.
      – Cavalry charge. C’mon, it’s Star Wars quoting a 1000 other movies at once. Search your feelings. You know it looks cool.
      – “The Story Lives Forever” followed by Rey and Kylo inside the wreck of the Emperor’s Throne Room from ROTJ. Interesting implications.
      – Rey and Kylo jointly smashing that Vader-like sculpture thing against an angel-white background. Epic shot.
      – Finn and Poe intimately together in a two-shot (with Threepio typically intruding). Had to be there.
      – Ships everywhere. Goodness gracious me.
      – Kylo and lightning. As if he couldn’t be any more badass.
      – The Emperor menacing a lonely-looking Rey.
      – Haunting close-up on Rey to round the trailer out.
      – The moody gradient-blue of the Star Wars logo at the end.

      Yeah, so…

      I basically covered (almost) every shot. Couldn’t help myself. The film could still be a crushing disappointment, but this trailer is still something that can be enjoyed “as is” — and I think it promises a lot. Even if the movie doesn’t deliver (and I sense it’s going to divide people massively), the trailer can still be admired as a delightful tease(r) in its own right.

      What I love is how this movie seems a bit “untethered” compared to TFA and TLJ. Those movies were either getting the sequel trilogy off to a safe start (TFA) or being self-consciously artistic and subversive (TLJ). But this one? It’s hard to tell what it is. Seems to be a strange fusion of fan placation, implementing some of Lucas’ ideas after late-in-the-day consultation, and a slightly daring, “Let’s try this… what have we got to lose?” style-of-thinking. And I’m okay with that.

      I kind of agree with you on some of the other things, AD. Ideally, there would be an equal focus given to Artoo and Threepio — though I don’t mind them spotlighting Threepio more. But poor Artoo. So neglected in this trilogy. I hear you on Finn and Poe. They are so-so characters. They work as adjuncts to the other characters, but they don’t really shine as new additions on their own terms.

      I’m fine with Palpatine’s dialogue so far. I think it’s too little to go on. But he is displaying fairly typical “trailer talk”. We’ll see. That line of Rey’s is, indeed, the first thing I’ve heard her say with some bite to it. Like a lot of things here, it’s a bit “meta”, but that’s okay. She is trying to claim her own identity. Hope she finally has a worthy struggle; and that the saga is brought to a rousing — if somewhat strange and possibly bizarre (I like bizarre) — close.

      • archdukeofnaboo

        @Cryogenic

        I’m happy to hear you took a lot of enjoyment out of it. For me, as soon as I could see at the bottom of my screen that it was a more lengthy trailer at 2.5 minutes I was hoping for catch some Luke or Anakin. Really bummed that we didn’t get any glimpse of that. I wanted some big surprise like Palpatine laugh in trailer 1 or his voice, Dark Rey or the menacing Star Destroyer fleet in no. 2, and I got nothing.

        I feel like there’s going to be a lot of action in this film that I’m going to be rolling my eyes at. The first act of VI has never been my favourite part of the OT, but I still enjoy it as I care about the three protagonists. It’s just not the case with this current lot, so I’m likely going to struggle. You know, it can look impressive visually – as you’ve described in abundant detail – but if I’m not invested in the characters it’s all going to fall flat.

        This Palpatine throne screams Game of Thrones or some medieval style fantasy – I can’t stand it.

        It appears that some of these leaks, which I derided as codswallop, have turned out to be truthful. That worries me. I’ve read none of them bar one, though I did run a few quick search for keywords like ‘Force Ghost’ and ‘Anakin’, which all turned up nought, and that troubles me.

        I’m pessimistic about this film. I would prefer to be more positive, to have some joy, but that’s the way I am right now :/

      • Cryogenic

        @ Arch Duke:

        “I’m happy to hear you took a lot of enjoyment out of it. For me, as soon as I could see at the bottom of my screen that it was a more lengthy trailer at 2.5 minutes I was hoping for catch some Luke or Anakin. Really bummed that we didn’t get any glimpse of that.”

        Ha! You popped into my head earlier. I was thinking: “I bet Arch Duke is disappointed there was no glimpse of Anakin or Luke (voice-over aside) in this.” I think it’s fair to say they’re keeping a few surprises for the full release. That said, I haven’t allowed myself to become too attached to their showing up in the last film (despite it supposedly aspiring to bring the saga full-circle), so I can’t be disappointed. I’m happy to accept the film as it comes.

        “Really bummed that we didn’t get any glimpse of that. I wanted some big surprise like Palpatine laugh in trailer 1 or his voice, Dark Rey or the menacing Star Destroyer fleet in no. 2, and I got nothing.”

        I’m kinda glad they didn’t try and spring any fresh surprises on people — they’d surely end up depleting the film of its armament of twists and reveals. It’s more like a complementary piece to the first and second trailers. All in all, they’ve probably already revealed too much. And, for me, that final close-up shot of Rey might be as good as Dark Rey from the D23 exhibition reel. The sad blink and the flash of green in the background. The lighting is just stunning! There’s a real finality to it somehow.

        “I feel like there’s going to be a lot of action in this film that I’m going to be rolling my eyes at. The first act of VI has never been my favourite part of the OT, but I still enjoy it as I care about the three protagonists.”

        Fair point. I do care to see Rey and Finn connecting and teaming up again in this final installment. Rian Johnson deprived everyone of that in TLJ — though not without purpose. The team-up aspect of TROS is something I’m looking forward to. But in line with expectations often being dashed, I’ll just try and enjoy whatever the film does. It’ll surely not conform to all our wishes.

        “This Palpatine throne screams Game of Thrones or some medieval style fantasy – I can’t stand it.”

        Yeah. But it also evokes the Jedi Tree in TLJ. It’s kinda weird and I like it. They’ve already done the standard chair-stuff three times over: in the prequels, in ROTJ, and TLJ for Snoke. TROS is daring, on some levels, to be different. If still derivative in a way. Such a dark and foreboding air! It’s that same texture and tangibility they wove into TFA, but a bit more elevating and operatic this time around.

        “It appears that some of these leaks, which I derided as codswallop, have turned out to be truthful. That worries me. I’ve read none of them bar one, though I did run a few quick search for keywords like ‘Force Ghost’ and ‘Anakin’, which all turned up nought, and that troubles me.”

        Well, I did try and gently warn you: you may have been setting yourself up for a disappointment. But, of course, the film isn’t out yet, and absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence. Did you read about the film’s run time? It’s even longer than TLJ. Plenty of room to get what you’re hoping for. However, experience should have taught any long-term Star Wars fan that expectations often get in the way, and a film rarely delivers on everything hoped for and expected in advance.

        “I’m pessimistic about this film. I would prefer to be more positive, to have some joy, but that’s the way I am right now”

        Pessimism is fine. It’s a perfectly valid stance. There’s enough here, for me, to be pretty pumped-up about.

        It’s funny. There’s backlash now (I’m not including people like you and Alex when I say this), but when TFA’s trailers came out, remember how the Internet completely lost it when the Millennium Falcon barrelled across the screen in the first trailer, and when Han and Chewie showed up inside the Falcon at the end of the second one? I couldn’t have been rolling my eyes any harder.

        Yet a lot of these same people are now openly disparaging Disney’s handling of the saga. They were fine when nostalgia was slathered everywhere and blatantly thrown in their face — they lapped it up. But now, when things are actually a touch more surreal and inventive? These same people cry it’s the work of shills and hacks. And I’m the one liking what I see! The Force is smiling on us all.

      • archdukeofnaboo

        @Cryogenic

        It’s impossible not to come into the final film of a trilogy without some expectations or ideas of what will happen. Let’s not kid ourselves here, the brain is never a blank. It is the things that we enjoyed in the past that we desire to relive – that’s why we come back, that’s how SW makes money.

        You’ve been more prolific at hammering the ST than I – in the words of Skywalker – “could ever dream of”. I’d rather you tackle your own misgivings of the trilogy, and they’re well-documented on this site, before critiquing others on calling out hacks and shills.

        You reminded me of the fallacy of the excluded middle in a recent conversation, all very well and good, but don’t fall for it yourself when you critique fans for not liking both TFA and TLJ. I enjoy artistic films that make bold decisions, but Johnson’s rubbish was nothing but a patronising lecture to the millions of people who have, very understandably, idolised Luke Skywalker down the years, including Hammill himself. I will never accept postmodernist, subversive mumbo jumbo as anything more than a great fraud.

        I am furious at these leakers. It smacks of unprofessionalism at Lucasfilm, and it boggles me how idiots like “making star wars” and their ilk go out of their way to reveal the plot of a movie months before its even released. Do these guys get off on this sort of thing? Serious question. I’m confident the whole film will soon be spoiled and I can’t believe this blog is in on that with its constant spoiler updates (I’m considering unsubscribing to the mailing list).

        These leaks point to a very dull, uninspired finale and zero Anakin.

        Star Wars, or the “Skywalker Saga” [whatever that really means], is, at least for George Lucas and I, the story of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. It’s that simple. By shoving his mask into here and there in the ST, they are doing little more than taunting fans – it is not a substitute. It’s like them saying “Here’s a bit of your favourite character. Remember him? Well try to get too used to him, because these crumbs are all you’re getting. You’re got Rey, Finn, Poe and our knockoff version of Vader now, and you will never be happier!”

      • Cryogenic

        @ Arch Duke:

        Why must you continually fire back with a bumptious, uppity tone when you read something you dislike?

        When I made mention of the tsunami of disdain that now exists toward Disney online, I was — as usual — being collegial and polite, and trying to couch my commentary in the mildest terms possible. I even went out of my way to say I wasn’t including you or Alex. I also said your own pessimism was fine and that you made fair points. I’ve been plenty cordial. I think I’m well entitled to comment on fan trends however I damn well please — without anyone getting smart and preaching down at me.

        And yes… it is ironic. Extremely ironic. Disney courted these same mentalities and they gushed ALL OVER the trailers for TFA, but now, apparently, these films are a pandering disaster and these same people are bitching left and right, just like prequel bashers used to. Sorry for pointing that out. I excluded you and Alex because you’ve been rock-steady in your critical regard toward the sequels from the beginning. What I don’t quite understand are the people who cheered on the pandering in the first place, only to now complain and whine and act superior, as if this was their stance all along.

        In my own case, I’ve been open about softening up on TLJ in recent months. I experienced a similar softening, though a little less pronounced, toward TFA, too. Perhaps it is easier for me to embrace this ninth entry because there’s been a lot less of the shallow marketing and grubby virtue-signalling that was written all over the campaign for TFA; and even TLJ (but to a lesser extent). But as usual, someone like yourself, presently luxuriating in negativity and lugubriousness, wants to drag me down with it and shame me out of my opinions. Not having it.

        “I enjoy artistic films that make bold decisions, but Johnson’s rubbish was nothing but a patronising lecture to the millions of people who have, very understandably, idolised Luke Skywalker down the years, including Hammill himself. I will never accept postmodernist, subversive mumbo jumbo as anything more than a great fraud.”

        Well, if that’s your attitude, how will anyone ever be able to shake you out of it? The film is plenty artistic if you embrace its subversive mien — but many fans are plain unwilling to (as your last sentence above makes clear). They have declared it to be insulting garbage and fraudulent nonsense (your last sentence again), and want no further discussion. Ultimately, though, I think “subversive” is the wrong word. There is Walt Whitman’s famous three lines from his epic poem “Song Of Myself” to consider:

        Do I contradict myself?
        Very well then I contradict myself,
        (I am large, I contain multitudes.)

        Those lines not only describe the Star Wars saga, but its lead hero figure — the naive, petulant, emotional, and big-hearted young Jedi who set out to destroy an Empire, redeemed his father and saved his friends, and resolved with confidence to train a new generation of Jedi, only to re-discover the blight of the Dark Side within his nephew, but more importantly: within himself. Thereby shattering his conception of who he was, and what his place in the vast story of the Star Wars galaxy actually is. And thus begins the final stage of Luke’s awesome Hero’s Journey, where we get slowly invited into his pain, peeling back the fallible human behind the legend.

        People can get in over their head and life rarely goes the way you expect it — especially when you lose faith and try and force results. These are some of the lessons that are powerfully re-communicated in Luke’s fall. The makings of this were there in the OT. Luke whined a great deal, was reckless and impulsive, and even attempted a kind of momentary suicide after being told by Vader that he was his father. Even in the film in which Luke rescues his father from the relentless prison of the Dark Side, he coldly bargains with Jabba and obliterates his entire sail barge, killing all aboard, and very nearly kills his father, only narrowly withdrawing in time and snatching victory from the jaws of death.

        Even Luke’s declaration of being a Jedi in front of the Emperor is arguably premature. He affirms the same to Yoda earlier in the movie, only for Yoda to rebuff him, telling him he needs to confront Vader first. It’s possible that Luke took some of that same thinking into Ben Solo’s hut as the young Jedi hopeful lay sleeping. “I must confront the boy. Confrontation is part of the Jedi ethic. It’s for the boy’s own good and the good of my other students.” Yet the results are disastrous. And Luke instantly blames himself. He was almost set up to fail. But through his failure, and the struggle he endures confronting it, owning up to it, Luke undergoes a second chrysalis, rising Phoenix-like from the depths of his own ashes — rekindling the flame of the Jedi anew.

        As for Mark Hamill? He’s entitled to his opinion. However, his negativity, initially enjoyable, was — in retrospect — way out of line. Even after he tried claiming he was only so down on TLJ because he hadn’t yet seen the completed film, he still continued to manifest an acerbic and insolent tone. Not just to the film or its handling of his character, but to Rian Johnson, journalists, and even fans. I doubt his feelings are insincere; so one can at least respect him there. However, it can also be argued that Hamill has pursued a personal image-management strategy, to keep loyal fans on-side. In other words, knowing that fans were going to have issues, he began signalling in advance, “I’m one of you”.

        He obviously knew that many fans would hitch their wagon to his opining. I’m certainly glad Mark is a smart, articulate person who isn’t afraid to speak his mind, but an actor’s opinion on a film or their character can never be the end-all, be-all. Like the characters they play, they’re also human and fallible. Unfortunately, Mark is now feted as some honest-to-goodness truth-teller, unafraid to stick it to Disney whenever he can. When he starts pointing out the corporate abuses of Disney, then maybe I’ll take that notion more seriously. As it is, it’s just an actor bitching about a character. As Hamill has admitted, he doesn’t own the character; they just “rent it out” to him. None of this, however, should detract from the terrific performance he gives in TLJ — the best Luke performance, in my opinion, of any of the films, by a long chalk.

        “I am furious at these leakers. It smacks of unprofessionalism at Lucasfilm, and it boggles me how idiots like “making star wars” and their ilk go out of their way to reveal the plot of a movie months before its even released. Do these guys get off on this sort of thing? Serious question. I’m confident the whole film will soon be spoiled and I can’t believe this blog is in on that with its constant spoiler updates (I’m considering unsubscribing to the mailing list).”

        Unsubscribe to Naboo News if you want. I skim over most of the “leak” material. It doesn’t bother me. But leaks have been occurring around these films for a long while. The script to AOTC was leaked in advance, and if I have my facts right, a workprint of the film even got out, which was the whole film along with some unfinished effects work. Disney/LFL may be allowing certain things to drip out, but they’re probably not responsible for all of it. It is hard to control every last element, especially given all the scrutiny and buzz for films of this stature.

        “Star Wars, or the “Skywalker Saga” [whatever that really means], is, at least for George Lucas and I, the story of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. It’s that simple. By shoving his mask into here and there in the ST, they are doing little more than taunting fans – it is not a substitute. It’s like them saying “Here’s a bit of your favourite character. Remember him? Well try to get too used to him, because these crumbs are all you’re getting. You’re got Rey, Finn, Poe and our knockoff version of Vader now, and you will never be happier!””

        It’s no-one’s story, and it is everyone’s. That’s the beauty of it. Anakin’s story is probably still the biggest story, though: the organising motif out of which the stories of other characters, objects, and concepts are constructed. These characters, in different ways, are echoing his choices and treading in his footsteps. We understand their joys, tribulations, and follies in a deeper way because we see their actions, mentalities, and circumstances through the prism of Anakin and everything he did, or had happen to him, and everything that changed in his wake.

        Anakin’s legacy lives on, perhaps most esoterically, through the intertwined fates of Rey and Kylo. They’re even clashing, in one scene in the trailer, in the same place that Luke and Vader once did! The title card there really seals it: “The Story Lives Forever”. The future is the past and the past is the future. It’s the concept of the ouroboros. The full genius of the saga is about to be revealed to the world. But is the world ready? I don’t think it is.

      • archdukeofnaboo

        @Cryogenic

        I’m sorry but pronouncing Mark Hammill to be “way out of line” for speaking his mind is just ridiculous, and moreover, un-Cryo like. You’ve spent a lot of time on this site critiquing regimes and organisations that trample on freedom of thought, which has always made for a pleasant read, so this really is regrettable.

        We can have our disagreements on TLJ from now on, and I guess that’s fine, but please don’t be helping out Disney with justifications for censorship.

      • Cryogenic

        @ Arch Duke:

        “I’m sorry but pronouncing Mark Hammill to be “way out of line” for speaking his mind is just ridiculous, and moreover, un-Cryo like.”

        Allow me to clarify what I meant by that. Firstly, I’m not sanctioning censorship. I detest it and encourage other people to do likewise. But that doesn’t place other people above criticism; their remarks and their conduct are still fair game. This is an important distinction. It’s also why free speech is important.

        I think some of Hamill’s surliness was unhelpful and uncalled-for. He did an apparent U-turn on Twitter and said he was wrong to speak out against the film, protesting that those comments were made before he’d seen the completed thing, and that such reservations should be kept private, between collaborators. But despite issuing that apology, he continued to lambast the film and manifest an insolent tone.

        Consider his bearing in this clip at SXSW in March 2018. Not long after sitting down and coming out with a pleasant preamble, he suddenly turns to Rian Johnson and takes a passive-aggressive swipe at him, setting up a confrontational air:

        Note: I’ve put a time-stamp here of 35 mins, which is almost exactly the moment it happens, but it’s probably better to advance back a minute or so to Mark arriving on stage. His sudden change of tone seems more surprising and calculated if you first see him being mild and congenial. Anyway, here it is:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYMga3GHOZU&t=35m0s

        “I mean, it says right in the script, “Forget the past, kill it if you have to”… and you’re doing a pretty good job.”

        Not sure how else to read that sudden ambush of Hamill’s, thrown straight at Rian Johnson, the film’s writer and director, as anything other than an attack, designed to throw the mood off-balance and keep Johnson on his toes. Johnson meekly responds back, keeping his head low, “I’m trying, Mark, I’m trying…”

        If you ask me, Johnson was wounded by Hamill lashing out in that moment and didn’t really know what to say. Hamill might be bitter about what happened to Luke, but he’s obviously exaggerating/misrepresenting Johnson’s intentions there, and Johnson just accedes, without attempting to defend himself.

        All I’m saying, at root, is that there’s a slightly ugly, self-serving quality to some of Hamill’s remarks. If one goes to apologise, one should actually mean it. But Hamill’s Twitter-based mea culpa comes off as insincere, since he obviously kept up the attacks. And he knows that fans have been lapping it up.

        Also, your own shaming tactics are highly questionable. You’re trying to bring an implicit censorship on me by guilting me multiple times in this discussion thread, rather than accepting anything positive I have to say about the films or substantiating your own opinions in-depth. Take me to task if you want. But your posting style has suddenly descended into low-effort sniping. Little softeners do little to disguise your low-level ad hominem. And *you* are surely better than that.

  • Michael Kelly

    For the love of god… I still just can’t get over the Emperor coming back. Well, not just the Emperor, but, the entire Empire it seems. Two full movies and not one mention of something more sinister going on behind the scenes. Nothing. Nothing to point to so we could at least believe that the Emperor has been manipulating things behind the scenes. Or something we could wrap our heads around to believe that there is a deeper mystery in TFA and TLJ as to what is going on. NOTHING. NO continuous story! No continuous themes, No continuous tone. And now the Emperor… because you know… it makes sense? no.. because………………………….just…. because…….

    • Star Wars Hexalogy

      “NO continuous story! No continuous themes, No continuous tone.”

      In other words, the same as The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.

      • archdukeofnaboo

        @SWH

        Yeah, I fail to see how this is a continuation of the so-called “Skywalker Saga”. Luke is dead, it’s unlikely that much can be done with a stand-in for Leia and Rey is a “nobody”. I have no idea how much time they’ll really spend with Kylo Ren.

      • Michael Kelly

        @Cryo

        I think I was being pretty obvious in the context of what I meant to be continuous. Meaning the over all story and how it has unfolded. Yes. I am sure everyone can find individual things that have been continuous to try and prove me wrong. The Millenium Falcon will be in all 3 movies.. see Mike you’re wrong, there are continuous themes in the movies, oh and Rey is in all 3… etc etc etc… except that again, I am not talking about individual instances, I am talking about the most important part of what makes a trilogy a trilogy, that part that connects 3 movies together. The Story. We have a fragmented and disjointed trilogy. From TFA to TLJ the story is very telling that 2 different people have written it. Elements, themes, etc etc started in the first movie are completely ignored in the second.

        You’re big on symbolism Cryo, remember Kylo’s scar? It moves from one movie to the next. Why? Because one writer didn’t like where the previous writer put it on his face. This was not a continuity error, this was a purposeful continuity change from one movie to the next.

        And Now, the Emperor comes back. I am sure JJ will give him a “purpose” or an explanation. But no purpose or explanation will be able to cast aside the sheer obviousness of this being a move because they had nothing else to use as a rub against Kylo and Rey. So it seems he is brought back to perform the same function that he did in Return of The Jedi. Except in ROTJ, he was setup by the previous movies as being someone that meant something when he showed up in ROTJ. It made sense that the Emperor is in ROTJ because ANH and ESB set him up to be in that movie. He is part of the story. Where is that setup here in TROS? What is the Emperor’s story in TROS that we can look at in TFA and TLJ and say: Ahh there it is! There’s the connection that makes sense of this all?

        What would happen if Lucas made TPM and AOTC with no mention of the Sith? No mention of Darth Sidious? Maul cut out of the movie? Dooku cut out of the movie! I mean every mention of the sith and sidious removed from the story!

        And than all of a sudden in ROTS… here is the Sith, and Sidious, and Dooku, and manipulation in the senate! etc etc… People would have walked out of ROTS scratching their heads as to what the hell just happened.

        In fact remember in AOTC. Remember, Lucas said that he put the scene with Dooku reporting back to Sidious specifically to remind people that there is a deeper threat going on, and this isn’t just about Republic vs Separatists, or about a troubled Jedi. So when we do get to ROTS, we know how the revelation that Sidious and Palpatine are one and the same works within the trilogy and even the 6 movie SAGA at that time.

        What’s the Emperor’s role now? Snoke’s master? Evidence in the prior movies that even suggest someone was pulling Snokes strings?

        I mean, I still can’t figure out why Rey wants to be a Jedi. I know why Anakin did. I know why Luke did. In the first movies we got their basic motivations as to why they were willing to become a Jedi. Anakin wanted to escape his life as a slave, see the galaxy, and maybe come back and free his Mother one day. Luke wanted to avenge his family, wanted to desperately connect to the Father he did not know… Once they got past those initial basic and superficial motivations, their reasons changed, their understanding of themselves and what they were doing, changed. One for the worse, the other for the better. Rey… can someone explain that to me? Explain the superficial reasons, than follow up with the change that has happened within here to make her want to be a Jedi?

        And now….. Now the fact that Anakin Skywalker did not fulfill his destiny, so he is not the Chosen One… Another major retcon! The Sith survived! No hint of it though from TFA and TLJ… but SURPRISE… look everyone.. it’s the Emperor. Cheer, just like the Senate cheered when Palpatine created the Empire. Don’t ask questions.. just cheer!

        As for the Nerdist column… It leaves out one extremely important element of those scenes in TLJ between Kylo and Rey. Snoke was doing it to setup a trap for Rey. This was not some magical love connection, Snoke says he did it in order to bring them together. It’s in the movie… not a theory.

        If JJ and Rian are going to make Reylo a thing, to me it’s garbage. I know the argument is that Luke forgave his father.. But Luke never professed his love for his Father, only that he was conflicted in killing the man that was his father. Rey and Kylo falling in love is of a whole different level. The morals behind someone falling in love with a mass murderer is grotesque.

      • Cryogenic

        @ Mike:

        “I think I was being pretty obvious in the context of what I meant to be continuous. Meaning the over all story and how it has unfolded. Yes. I am sure everyone can find individual things that have been continuous to try and prove me wrong.”

        Huh? How were you being obvious? This is what you put:

        “Or something we could wrap our heads around to believe that there is a deeper mystery in TFA and TLJ as to what is going on. NOTHING. NO continuous story! No continuous themes, No continuous tone.”

        Now, around those sentences, you made mention of the Emperor, which I guess was your attempt at substantiating with an example — fair enough. But as I said in return, it really depends on how you look at it. I think you dismissed the Nerdist link too easily. But I’ll come onto that.

        “The Millenium Falcon will be in all 3 movies.. see Mike you’re wrong, there are continuous themes in the movies, oh and Rey is in all 3… etc etc etc… except that again, I am not talking about individual instances, I am talking about the most important part of what makes a trilogy a trilogy, that part that connects 3 movies together. The Story.”

        Yeah. It’s in there. It’s the story of Rey and Kylo and their unique bond. Also, we’re having this conversation before the third and final part has come out. Seems a bit unfair. There was still a good deal of story left after Episodes II and V in their respective trilogies. It may not be easy to see that now, but at the time, there was quite a chunk missing. Third movies in Star Wars trilogies do a lot!

        “We have a fragmented and disjointed trilogy. From TFA to TLJ the story is very telling that 2 different people have written it. Elements, themes, etc etc started in the first movie are completely ignored in the second.”

        Some elements and themes may be downplayed or passed over from one film to the next, but TLJ is hardly ignoring TFA in its entirety. Granted, this may not be your exact claim, but I think it’s still worth pointing out. As you imply, it’s a consequence of the films changing filmmakers, but I don’t see it as all bad.

        Rian Johnson, for instance, took the concept of Luke’s exile very seriously and wove a thoughtful deconstruction around it (though others disagree). And with Finn, for example, he decided to take the character to a far-flung locale, meet a shady character, and get schooled in some basic lessons on war profiteering and the value of heroism — of finding something to believe in.

        Rey, meanwhile, gets a more personal storyline concerning her desire *to* belong, and Kylo is shown to be looking for a way to liberate himself from Snoke, and potentially the Dark Side itself. Their stories cleverly overlap and are further embedded in Luke’s storyline. There is a kind of triangulation effect at work.

        “You’re big on symbolism Cryo, remember Kylo’s scar? It moves from one movie to the next. Why? Because one writer didn’t like where the previous writer put it on his face. This was not a continuity error, this was a purposeful continuity change from one movie to the next.”

        It’s true. I would have preferred Johnson to have retained the deeper gash and left it where it was. However, I think the china-pot crack works well enough in TLJ itself. And that symbolism is being carried through into TROS, with Ren’s repaired mask: fracture points based on the Japanese concept of kintsugi:

        https://nerdist.com/article/rise-of-skywalker-kylo-ren-helmet/

        “And Now, the Emperor comes back. I am sure JJ will give him a “purpose” or an explanation. But no purpose or explanation will be able to cast aside the sheer obviousness of this being a move because they had nothing else to use as a rub against Kylo and Rey. So it seems he is brought back to perform the same function that he did in Return of The Jedi.”

        Sure. But I’m reserving judgement until I’ve had a chance to see the movie. I think you might find the Emperor is back in a weirder way than you’re imagining. I mean, I haven’t read too many spoilers, but that’s the vibe I’m getting. Remember: they also consulted with Lucas this time around. Going by the trailer imagery we now have, it seems that something slightly different is occurring this time around.

        “What would happen if Lucas made TPM and AOTC with no mention of the Sith? No mention of Darth Sidious? Maul cut out of the movie? Dooku cut out of the movie! I mean every mention of the sith and sidious removed from the story!”

        Well, there’s more of a twist, this time around. In any case, the Emperor was alluded to in TLJ. Snoke has near-identical dialogue, with the same kind of taunting, and when he hoists Rey into the air, it’s the Emperor’s Theme that plays.

        “In fact remember in AOTC. Remember, Lucas said that he put the scene with Dooku reporting back to Sidious specifically to remind people that there is a deeper threat going on, and this isn’t just about Republic vs Separatists, or about a troubled Jedi. So when we do get to ROTS, we know how the revelation that Sidious and Palpatine are one and the same works within the trilogy and even the 6 movie SAGA at that time.”

        Yes. I love Lucas’ methods. You’ll get no particular argument from me there. He’s a superior storyteller. But Lucas was also fully in-charge of his story back then. No-one else interfering and messing with the broth. Arguably, too, the story needed to be told in that way, since Lucas had crafted a complex political allegory. He needed certain scenes and certain beats to be there to get the point across. Even then, many people failed to grasp the story or its full ramifications.

        “I mean, I still can’t figure out why Rey wants to be a Jedi. I know why Anakin did. I know why Luke did. In the first movies we got their basic motivations as to why they were willing to become a Jedi. . . . Rey… can someone explain that to me? Explain the superficial reasons, than follow up with the change that has happened within here to make her want to be a Jedi?”

        The Force awakened within her, and when she opened the chest and touched the saber for the first time, she freaked out. But Maz told her to take it and that her future lay with Luke. Why, exactly? Well, when she gets to the island in TLJ and is drawn to the Jedi Tree, she confesses to Luke that she needs help. She is young and scared and alone. A power has stirred and she needs guidance. Ultimately, she was given a vision — of the island — and she decided to go there and embrace her destiny. Call it the reward for her penance of self-isolation and self-denial on Jakku.

        “And now….. Now the fact that Anakin Skywalker did not fulfill his destiny, so he is not the Chosen One… Another major retcon! The Sith survived! No hint of it though from TFA and TLJ… but SURPRISE… look everyone.. it’s the Emperor. Cheer, just like the Senate cheered when Palpatine created the Empire. Don’t ask questions.. just cheer!”

        Well, I understand your upset. It does seem a bit crow-barred in. I’m just curious to see how they try and justify it. I think it’s possible to do so. Just waiting to see how it all plays out.

        “As for the Nerdist column… It leaves out one extremely important element of those scenes in TLJ between Kylo and Rey. Snoke was doing it to setup a trap for Rey. This was not some magical love connection, Snoke says he did it in order to bring them together. It’s in the movie… not a theory.”

        That’s wrong. Their connection transcends Snoke. You’re falling for his boast. They were connected ever since Rey opened the chest and touched the saber in Maz’s tavern. And they are still connected at the end of TLJ after Snoke is dead. It is more probable that the island connected them, or made such a bridging of minds possible, and Snoke took the credit. Snoke, for example, fails to see Kylo’s betrayal, reading events differently to how they actually play out — much to his downfall.

        “If JJ and Rian are going to make Reylo a thing, to me it’s garbage. I know the argument is that Luke forgave his father.. But Luke never professed his love for his Father, only that he was conflicted in killing the man that was his father. Rey and Kylo falling in love is of a whole different level. The morals behind someone falling in love with a mass murderer is grotesque.”

        Mike… meet Padme Amidala. After Anakin confessed to killing the Tuskens and annihilating an entire tribe of people, Padme told him that “to be angry is to be human”, and professed her love for him shortly afterward. Women like Byronic men. If they didn’t, the world would be a fairer place. But alas, nature is chaotic, and nature doesn’t care for society’s rules or puritan morality. Besides, Rey and Kylo clearly represent the feminine and masculine sides of the Force. There’s more at play here than we realise. And this trilogy, more than the preceding ones, was specifically meant to be about enlightenment and forgiveness.

      • Star Wars Hexalogy

        “@ Mike, SWH, Arch Duke:

        There are continuous themes.”

        No, there aren´t but if you want to see what´s not there of course you have a right to do so.

      • archdukeofnaboo

        @Cryogenic

        I have great respect for your numerous contributions to this site’s comment section, but you’re sudden change of heart of on the Sequel Trilogy – which many of us are sceptical of or dislike, and in the case of Alex or Joe, utterly detest – is hard to take seriously.

        You’re still on the roller-coaster 🙂

      • Michael Kelly

        “Huh? How were you being obvious? This is what you put:”

        Obvious in that I was talking about obvious themes etc etc. Not convoluted, possible, maybe or maybe not theories of homages somehow paid to a 2016 anime from TFA which was released in 2015… and TLJ, which was released in 2017 and made in the better part of 2016. Maybe, possibly Johnson is playing at the red string game, but, obviously this is not something that was in JJ’s vision for TFA because TFA came out before the Anime did, and he didn’t buy the rights to the live action until 2017. There have been plenty of movies made that play at the red string motif. One that comes to mind is “The Lake House”.

        “”Now, around those sentences, you made mention of the Emperor, which I guess was your attempt at substantiating with an example — fair enough. But as I said in return, it really depends on how you look at it. I think you dismissed the Nerdist link too easily. But I’ll come onto that.””

        I did not dismiss the nerdist article easily. I addressed it with facts from the movie, and than went on to say that if JJ is going to go the way of Reylo, I said why I didn’t like it. The nerdist article is factually wrong on a pretty big point, and in order to make what it says work, one has to make something up in order to make the theory work. I will address that later though.

        “Yeah. It’s in there. It’s the story of Rey and Kylo and their unique bond. Also, we’re having this conversation before the third and final part has come out. Seems a bit unfair. There was still a good deal of story left after Episodes II and V in their respective trilogies. It may not be easy to see that now, but at the time, there was quite a chunk missing. Third movies in Star Wars trilogies do a lot!”

        Their Unique bond? What bond is that? Cause they played Force footsies? What is the bond in TFA? Similarities are not bonds. Kylo Ren mind raping Rey is not bonding, cause Kylo does it to Poe.. Are poe and Kylo sharing a unique bond too? Rey watched Kylo murder his own farther, and the first person that offered Rey a sense of family. Oh, than she witnesses Kylo cut down her best friend (of a few hours) in the whole galaxy… But 24 to 48 hours later, they’re sharing a unique bond? This is obvious part of the story that I was talking about. The disjointed realities between the two movies.The Reylo crowd is not about forgiveness with the understanding that the person did horrible things. The Reylo crowd is simply about the hook-up and creepy sexual fantasies of sleeping with a murderer cause the murderer is hot…

        There is no bond in TFA. So I deeply disagree that “It’s in there”. They weren’t in love prior to all this happening which would leave one to believe she was blinded by love. hint hint…. She witnessed him do all this before their little experiences in TLJ. She had already seen what he was capable of and formed a pretty accurate profile of Kylo. Except Rian didn’t like that profile for his story, so he has her kind of magically forget everything because… well, Kylo called her up on a Friday night… and she saw his muscles… That’s great! Some unique bond.

        “”Rian Johnson, for instance, took the concept of Luke’s exile very seriously and wove a thoughtful deconstruction around it (though others disagree). And with Finn, for example, he decided to take the character to a far-flung locale, meet a shady character, and get schooled in some basic lessons on war profiteering and the value of heroism — of finding something to believe in.””

        Yes that is only your opinion on what was done with Luke. I was never against a Luke that was in exile, or even a Luke that was somewhat disillusioned. However, the hows and whys of how we get to that Luke were not well thought out, imo, in TLJ. Luke already passed the test of not giving into his fear of what someone would do when they threatened people he cared about. Vader threatened Leia in ROTJ, his sister, and Luke realized his folly in trying to kill Vader with using the Dark Side. But in true form of the ST, Han Luke and Leia have to be pulled back to their OT forms in order to satisfy this story. Luke didn’t learn, he degraded, Han didn’t learn, he degraded. Leia stayed the same…. So with Luke, some decades after learning from his confrontations with Vader and the Emperor, he really hasn’t learned, he repeats, and nearly gives in to killing his own nephew cause his nephew might hurt people he cares about…. that to me is garbage. That’s not well thought out, that’s not powerful, that’s easy and with little thought into what the character learned as he got older. It seems they forgot there is a few decades between the movies… That surely threats to the people he cared about have come and gone, but for the sake of this movie, he hasn’t learned a damn thing. Yoda.. who cares what Yoda thinks.. “And sacrifice Han and Leia?” Yoda: “If you honor what they fight for.. yes!”. Luke learns that lesson in ROTJ, when he lets go of his fear and tosses the saber aside…

        As for Finn, so he learns that there is war profiteering… and… it applies to the story how…? Heroism? So when he wants to kill himself to save the resistance that’s wrong and not heroic. But when Rose wants to kill herself to save him, that’s heroic? Rose finds joy in trashing that city, yet, she forgets to look “deeper” as she scolds Finn. So her individual joy of trashing the city overlooks the deeper detail that it is the slaves that will have to pay for what she does by cleaning up the mess at the end of their masters whips. This is the problem when a filmmaker wants to use their movie to lecture, if they don’t think it through far enough, they look silly.

        “”Rey, meanwhile, gets a more personal storyline concerning her desire *to* belong, and Kylo is shown to be looking for a way to liberate himself from Snoke, and potentially the Dark Side itself. Their stories cleverly overlap and are further embedded in Luke’s storyline. There is a kind of triangulation effect at work. “”

        Right.. her story is no different in TLJ than it was in TFA. She wants a sense of family so bad, she “bonds” with a guy that kills his family, and everyone else’s family as well… once again, the disjointed realities between the two movies is horribly evident. There is no discerning quality that Kylo exhibits, no answers given that in any logical manner, Rey would reach her hand out to him. She in fact attacks Luke Skywalker based on what Kylo says, and nothing more. There is nothing in depth about her story, no more revelations to work though to help her grow as a character in our eyes. Yet, she reaches her hand out to the guy that killed the only person that was willing to give her a sense of family. That makes logical sense.

        “”It’s true. I would have preferred Johnson to have retained the deeper gash and left it where it was. However, I think the china-pot crack works well enough in TLJ itself. And that symbolism is being carried through into TROS, with Ren’s repaired mask: fracture points based on the Japanese concept of kintsugi:””

        Right.. JJ throwing Japanese concepts around to make it look scholarly… I mean I can throw out there that Johnson used Kurosawa’s film “Rashomon” when he wrote the different point of views of Kylo and Luke in TLJ, that doesn’t make it something great.

        “”Sure. But I’m reserving judgement until I’ve had a chance to see the movie. I think you might find the Emperor is back in a weirder way than you’re imagining. I mean, I haven’t read too many spoilers, but that’s the vibe I’m getting. Remember: they also consulted with Lucas this time around. Going by the trailer imagery we now have, it seems that something slightly different is occurring this time around.””

        It seems pretty clear that Sidious is back in the flesh. This isn’t some flashback or hologram implanted in an android (ala the Star Wars Battlefront story). As far as consulting with Lucas, I’m sorry. I put very little into that. Disney and the different people involved in the movies and tv shows all trot out that Lucas has been on their set and has had this input or that. The latest example of this is that Lucas was on the set of the TV series “The Mandalorian” and Lucas gave input in some of the backstory to Yoda… So of course Disney has to make sure that gets thrown out there to try to legitimize what they did. Another example was when Lucas was on the set of SOLO.. headlines all over that Lucas directed a scene… And as we now know from Iger himself, the Powers That Be are not above stretching the truth or even flat out lying about Lucas and Disney’s Star Wars.

        “”Well, there’s more of a twist, this time around. In any case, the Emperor was alluded to in TLJ. Snoke has near-identical dialogue, with the same kind of taunting, and when he hoists Rey into the air, it’s the Emperor’s Theme that plays.””

        Snoke using The Emperor’s dialogue and an instance of Music? That’s a bit of a stretch there Cryo. I highly doubt that’s indicative of a plan that entails the foreshadowing of the Emperor coming back. It’s more symptomatic of the nostalgic aims of forcing OT elements into these movies. Imagery, music and dialogue.

        “The Force awakened within her, and when she opened the chest and touched the saber for the first time, she freaked out. But Maz told her to take it and that her future lay with Luke. Why, exactly? Well, when she gets to the island in TLJ and is drawn to the Jedi Tree, she confesses to Luke that she needs help. She is young and scared and alone. A power has stirred and she needs guidance. Ultimately, she was given a vision — of the island — and she decided to go there and embrace her destiny. Call it the reward for her penance of self-isolation and self-denial on Jakku.”

        And that still doesn’t answer why she wants to be a Jedi. All you did was tell me what happens in the movie and add your conjecture. If she wants guidance, than she could have gone with Kylo at the end of TFA instead of fighting him… but she didn’t. Why? Because he murdered Han Solo, because he mind raped her, because he cut down her best friend, Finn. etc etc.. But that’s ok, because 24 hours later she’s force-sexing with that guy, and attacking Luke Skywalker because of what Kylo says… Sorry, I forgot the Unique Bond.

        Wanting guidance is not the same thing as wanting to be a Jedi. Is not the same thing as wanting to learn the Jedi way.

        “”That’s wrong. Their connection transcends Snoke. You’re falling for his boast. They were connected ever since Rey opened the chest and touched the saber in Maz’s tavern. And they are still connected at the end of TLJ after Snoke is dead. It is more probable that the island connected them, or made such a bridging of minds possible, and Snoke took the credit. Snoke, for example, fails to see Kylo’s betrayal, reading events differently to how they actually play out — much to his downfall.””

        And she was connected to Luke too at the end of TLJ as was Leia, they both felt his death. There is nothing in what Snoke said that can be called a lie or a boast. There’s only the convenience of calling it a lie or a boast to form someones own personal narrative.

        There is no “connection” to Kylo after she opens the chest. There is no evidence that what Rey sees of Kylo in her Saber vision is reciprocated back onto Kylo to form a connection. Nothing to show that Kylo is connected to her in any way shape or form in TFA. There’s no line of dialogue from Kylo that Rey is familiar to him, or he has felt her presence before. Snokes boasting comes from it being true, just as the Emperor’s boasting in ROTJ comes from his trap being true as he led the Rebels to think they had discovered something they really hadn’t. There is nothing to suggest that Snoke is lying.Now that it seems Kylo and Rey are familiar with each other in how to reach out to one another, is it easier for them, I will at least give that plausibility. We see others that when in close proximity can reach out to another. Luke does it to Leia in ESB and again in TLJ. Vader reaches out to Luke in ESB. I have no reason to believe Snoke was lying in his trap, anymore in that the Emperor was lying to Luke about his trap.

        “”Mike… meet Padme Amidala. After Anakin confessed to killing the Tuskens and annihilating an entire tribe of people, Padme told him that “to be angry is to be human”, and professed her love for him shortly afterward. Women like Byronic men. If they didn’t, the world would be a fairer place. But alas, nature is chaotic, and nature doesn’t care for society’s rules or puritan morality. Besides, Rey and Kylo clearly represent the feminine and masculine sides of the Force. There’s more at play here than we realise. And this trilogy, more than the preceding ones, was specifically meant to be about enlightenment and forgiveness.””

        A lot of that is just your subjective opinion, and not the objective truth. First with Padme. Padme was clearly in love with Anakin before the Tusken slaughter, she just wouldn’t admit it. All the Naboo stuff happens before that. Padme clearly had a relationship with Anakin before the Tusken Slaughter. He helped save her planet, he helped save her personally, he was protecting her, they spent good time together, fun times together. Padme, as in her character, is naive and idealistic. And as pointed out in one of the most ironic lines of dialogue in the PT, she accuses Anakin of being “blinded by love”. Clearly not seeing her own blindness towards what Anakin has done. But the fact that they both have fallen in love before Anakin’s atrocity. There is a huge difference in the scenarios that you are attempting to correlate as being the same. WIth Kylo and Rey, there is no positive energy between the two when they meet. Kylo mind rapes Rey. Kylo kills Han Solo. Kylo is part of the First ORder that kills billions. Kylo cuts down Finn, Kylo attacks Rey, Rey cuts down Kylo scarring him. But.. Reylo is a believable thing?

        It’s easier for me to forgive a dog that bites me that I have known and loved for a period of time, rather than a stray, strange dog that has bit everyone in the neighborhood. As for “nature” and society or puritan rules and morality. We are not wild animals where nature overrules morality or a sense of right and wrong. That is why we can have a civilized society and not a chaotic system of survival of the fittest like nature prefers to sort itself out. We have the ability to apply reason to a natural urges. Those qualities are what separate us from the animals.

      • Cryogenic

        @ Arch Duke:

        I might still be on the “roller-coaster”, as you term it, but wanting to box people into their former, less-thought-out opinions, and not accepting what they say as they change, grow, and evolve, is actually an anti-SW theme. We have to be careful about holding each other hostage based on our own egocentric anxieties, wishes, and conceits.

        @ Mike:

        “Maybe, possibly Johnson is playing at the red string game, but, obviously this is not something that was in JJ’s vision for TFA because TFA came out before the Anime did, and he didn’t buy the rights to the live action until 2017. There have been plenty of movies made that play at the red string motif. One that comes to mind is “The Lake House”.”

        There you go, Mike. You just made my point for me. The red string concept is not unique to a single anime movie that came out post-TFA. It’s an ancient concept. The Nerdist link merely conveys facts pertinent to Episode IX, suggesting that Abrams might have had the idea in mind for a while, and when the chance arose, he decided to buy the rights with a view to directing a live-action version of the anime film soon — right after he’s done with Star Wars, actually. Or maybe he did alight on the concept after TFA and he wasn’t aware of it before then. Does it matter? If the slipper fits…

        “Their Unique bond? What bond is that? Cause they played Force footsies? What is the bond in TFA? Similarities are not bonds.”

        Their unique bond begins to assert itself in TFA and is kicked up a gear in TLJ. They’re loners. They feel neglected, abandoned, orphaned. And afflicted by the intensity of their own powers. As Luke says to Rey: “I’ve seen this raw strength only once before. In Ben Solo.”

        When Kylo tells Rey her parents threw her away like garbage, he is clearly projecting his own hatred onto Rey: these are his feelings toward his own parents. Kylo senses a terrible loneliness in Rey when he interrogates her on Starkiller Base. And Rey discovers a similar loneliness in Kylo, hidden behind his angst that he “will never be as strong as Darth Vader”. They feel like they’ve always known each other.

        This is actually a concept that goes back to the original film. In the third draft of the script, one draft before the final one, Vader casually remarks that he feels he knows Luke, when he’s bearing down on him in the trench run. In the completed film, it was cut down to, “The Force is strong with this one.” Similarly, there is a moment in the novel for TFA, during the forest duel, when Kylo actually says, “It’s you!”

        “This is obvious part of the story that I was talking about. The disjointed realities between the two movies.The Reylo crowd is not about forgiveness with the understanding that the person did horrible things. The Reylo crowd is simply about the hook-up and creepy sexual fantasies of sleeping with a murderer cause the murderer is hot…”

        I don’t know, Mike. I’ve read some pretty engaging blogs. There’s a pronounced objectification element at work, but that’s not all I’ve encountered. Some writers are really attuned to Kylo’s sense of brokenness. He exudes qualities that they find compelling. A lot focus on an abuse angle — abuse that they infer Kylo suffered in the past and under the cold tutelage of Snoke. I mean, if you look at how Snoke plays Kylo and Hux off against one another, you realise he’s in a terribly oppressive situation, and there’s no way he can function normally.

        “There is no bond in TFA. So I deeply disagree that “It’s in there”. They weren’t in love prior to all this happening which would leave one to believe she was blinded by love.”

        There is a bond forming in TFA. It can be detected when Kylo tells Rey she needs a teacher, assuring her that he can show her the ways of the Force. Also, after Rey lacerates Kylo’s face and renders him weak and vulnerable, she stands there indecisively, even with the ground splitting around her, before coming to her senses and fleeing. They were already beginning to affect each other’s thoughts. Love is your word. I just used the term “unique bond”. It’s something other than romantic love.

        The Ancient Greeks had many words for love. We’re a bit more limited in the English language. Somehow, we cut away a lot of wisdom, despite retaining Greek and Latin roots. Anyway, it all makes more sense if you consider Kylo and Rey to be two halves of the same thing — like the Jedi Prime mosaic on the floor of the First Jedi Temple. Incidentally, Luke looks down at this mosaic when Rey mentions Kylo and says she won’t fail Luke like Kylo did.

        “Yes that is only your opinion on what was done with Luke. I was never against a Luke that was in exile, or even a Luke that was somewhat disillusioned. However, the hows and whys of how we get to that Luke were not well thought out, imo, in TLJ. Luke already passed the test of not giving into his fear of what someone would do when they threatened people he cared about.”

        TLJ is making the point that struggling against one’s weaker impulses is a lifelong commitment. We shouldn’t rest easy on our laurels or believe ourselves beyond corruption — ever. There are also other tests that Luke faced in setting up a Jedi Academy. He took on a good deal of responsibility he’d never borne on his shoulders before. Yoda’s instruction to Luke to “remember [his] failure at the cave” was meant to be, if you will, a mantra for Luke to recite to himself in moments of darkness and pain. After TLJ, it could almost be his epitaph.

        “…. So with Luke, some decades after learning from his confrontations with Vader and the Emperor, he really hasn’t learned, he repeats, and nearly gives in to killing his own nephew cause his nephew might hurt people he cares about…. that to me is garbage. That’s not well thought out, that’s not powerful, that’s easy and with little thought into what the character learned as he got older. It seems they forgot there is a few decades between the movies…”

        True — there are a few decades. Maybe he never tried killing Kylo, though. Perhaps he just tried reading his mind and some of his thoughts leaked out, as Kylo’s do when he tries to probe deep into Rey’s mind. Later, Luke took to blaming himself, convinced he was as horrible as Kylo had decided he was. Hence the “Rashomon” framing you mentioned (where everyone is convinced they are the guilty party). TLJ is really about the psychological power of guilt; how it’s used as a pillow; and how to move past it.

        The basic point is that Luke and Kylo failed one another. And they both developed exaggerated personas in response. Rey’s coming to the island helps extract Luke from his personal hell. However, despite purposefully setting out to do the same with Kylo (in the case of Luke, it was more incidental), she fails. A nice pedagogic resonance there. Another thing TLJ is about is how people impact on each other with their thoughts and actions; even when the other person may seem remote and inaccessible and coarser and more mysterious than a sea-swept island’s jagged cliff edge.

        “That surely threats to the people he cared about have come and gone, but for the sake of this movie, he hasn’t learned a damn thing. Yoda.. who cares what Yoda thinks.. “And sacrifice Han and Leia?” Yoda: “If you honor what they fight for.. yes!”. Luke learns that lesson in ROTJ, when he lets go of his fear and tosses the saber aside…”

        Why do you think he tosses it at the start of TLJ? It’s like he distrusts himself. He doesn’t want any part of the Jedi legacy anymore. Especially not his father’s blade. History is repeating, and fate is knocking on his door, and the unexpected, semi-comical nature of the toss is almost Luke saying: “Nah, Force. I see what you did. You expected me to take that thing, didn’t you? I’m smarter than that.” And the rest of the film is about him opening back up to the Force and trusting in his role as a conscious agent of good again. Luke faced a unique situation with Kylo. His ultimate solution is equally unique.

        “As for Finn, so he learns that there is war profiteering… and… it applies to the story how…? Heroism? So when he wants to kill himself to save the resistance that’s wrong and not heroic. But when Rose wants to kill herself to save him, that’s heroic? Rose finds joy in trashing that city, yet, she forgets to look “deeper” as she scolds Finn.”

        Rose is a petulant zealot. She zaps Finn for trying to leave the Resistance cruiser (echoing Snoke shocking Kylo), and later talks about wanting to put her fist through the whole town of Canto Bight. She is unconsciously teaching Finn to hate and seek simple solutions to complex problems with violence. This is reflected in a tidy line from Finn. After their destruction derby on Canto Bight, Finn says it was worth it, to “tear up that town, make ’em hurt”. When they are subsequently betrayed by DJ and captured by the First Order, Phasma presides over their execution, sadistically telling the troopers to make their deaths hurt (while, of course, DJ has made off with a handsome payment, acting on his own cynical nihilism).

        This leads into the final act on Crait. At the end of the hopeless mission to destroy the battering ram cannon, Rose realises her folly — still acting on a life-preserving, angered instinct when she rams Finn, but immediately moving beyond the Dark Side once the deed is done, delivering the film’s most spiritual message. Luke and Rey then jointly put Rose’s message into action. Rose loves and loves strongly, but her love is twisted into hate. Only at the end, does she realise that, seeing the splinter in her eye, and makes a change for the good.

        She was saving Finn from pointlessly sacrificing himself. The cannon was fully charged and Poe had declared it a suicide run. But Finn was determined to teach the First Order a lesson. This was partly because of Rose’s training of Finn earlier in the movie. She placed him on a path of reckless violence, and she never sat down and told him otherwise. Her own emotions hadn’t come clear yet. So Finn almost destroys himself because she had guilt-tripped him into trying to save the Resistance at any cost — including, yes, neglecting to think of the impact on those slave kids.

        Rose tries to allay her conscience after the destruction on Canto Bight by freeing a fathier. One fathier. Who gallops off into the wild, surely to be recaptured. Yet even when they are in the middle of their destruction frenzy, Rose can be heard frantically telling people to get out of the way. She was already beginning to see the ugly consequences of her violent impulses being written out onto the world. Could this arc have for Finn and Rose have been a bit more finessed? Probably. On repeat views, however, I was able to see and appreciate the beats.

        “Right.. her story is no different in TLJ than it was in TFA. She wants a sense of family so bad, she “bonds” with a guy that kills his family, and everyone else’s family as well… once again, the disjointed realities between the two movies is horribly evident. There is no discerning quality that Kylo exhibits, no answers given that in any logical manner, Rey would reach her hand out to him.”

        You expect love to be logical? Rey is somewhat vulnerable, having not spent a great deal of time around other people. And Kylo is a very persuasive dude. He guilt-trips her into her having lashed out (verbally and physically) against him. She is shocked in TFA when she actually fires a blaster for the first time and downs a stormtrooper. Imagine her confused muddle of emotions when she duels Kylo, maims the guy, and leaves him for dead. Perhaps the only other young Force-wielding prodigy in the galaxy.

        Even in TLJ, her first instinct is to shoot him (something she first tried doing to him when he approached her in TFA). Kylo portrays himself as intensely isolated and wears down her shell of hostility. He makes her feel that he uniquely understands her sorry position in life. A perception quickly develops that they complete one another. Rey doesn’t dwell on his darkness so much as his potentially bright future. But as Luke warns her, it isn’t going to go the way she thinks, and he happens to be right.

        “She in fact attacks Luke Skywalker based on what Kylo says, and nothing more.”

        She doesn’t attack Luke based solely on what Kylo says. Kylo merely lights the touchpaper. She had her doubts about Luke even before her first Force session with Kylo. When she’s sleeping outside his hut, he suddenly appears over her, startling her. This is when he tells her he’s reversing his decision and will give her three lessons. Later, when Rey is practising with Anakin’s lightsaber, she fumbles when she realises Luke is watching her, slicing into the rock. And Luke violently blows apart the stone hut when he discovers Rey and Kylo communing and touching hands. One can read her attack on Luke as an attack made in self-defence. She was angry; and her anger was also a cover for her fear.

        “There is nothing in depth about her story, no more revelations to work though to help her grow as a character in our eyes.”

        Her past is almost a complete mystery, yes. I wish we had more to go on. And she is convinced she can help Kylo rather quickly. Though this is also because she has seen the failed man behind the legend of Luke and grown frustrated with him. She also didn’t get the answers she was looking for. Going down to the cave clinches it for her. That’s when she confides in Kylo and despairs that she has reached an impasse. And it’s exactly then that they touch hands and see each other’s futures. Rey finds a new mission for herself — and in that way, she sets herself up for disappointment.

        “Right.. JJ throwing Japanese concepts around to make it look scholarly… I mean I can throw out there that Johnson used Kurosawa’s film “Rashomon” when he wrote the different point of views of Kylo and Luke in TLJ, that doesn’t make it something great.”

        You’re changing the terms of debate here. You specifically invoked my love of symbolism before. So I responded and linked Kylo’s scar to his shattered mask. Now you practically mock the concept I presented and backed up with a quote from Abrams himself. This is pretty close to the way prequel bashers would mock quotes from Lucas concerning his intentions with Jar Jar, the fireplace scene in AOTC, Hayden’s acting, and so on. “Lucas is a pretentious idiot covering his failings”, “He’s retarded if he believes that”, “LOL, what a hack”, and so on.

        But filmmakers do tend to do extensive research before embarking on a project. They’re not usually ignorant of concepts they incorporate into their movies; especially when it comes to visual design and key pieces that flesh out a character’s backstory and motives. I think the quote gives a fair clue into the sort of thinking behind Episode IX and the trilogy as a whole.

        “It seems pretty clear that Sidious is back in the flesh. This isn’t some flashback or hologram implanted in an android (ala the Star Wars Battlefront story).”

        Yeah — and? How about the manner of his return? And the way he intends to manipulate Rey and Kylo? We don’t know all the details. That’s what I was driving at.

        “As far as consulting with Lucas, I’m sorry. I put very little into that. Disney and the different people involved in the movies and tv shows all trot out that Lucas has been on their set and has had this input or that. The latest example of this is that Lucas was on the set of the TV series “The Mandalorian” and Lucas gave input in some of the backstory to Yoda… So of course Disney has to make sure that gets thrown out there to try to legitimize what they did.”

        I put more into it on this occasion. If they genuinely went to him on this occasion, that suggests they were desirous of his input. Not just having him on the set for an hour for a quick photo-op to imply his approval. It’s quite conceivable he legitimately helped them out this time because they wanted guidance. It’s also the end of his story, his saga, his baby. It makes perfect sense he would offer to help them tie it all together.

        He even made a cryptic remark at the London TFA premiere when he said, reflecting on the movie and the upcoming ones, JJ was out, and there were new directors, and at least he had an idea as to what was going on. That suggests he was still invested in the creative process, albeit from afar, perhaps. So putting them on the right track here sounds like something he would do if they asked for it. Which they claimed they did, so…

        “Snoke using The Emperor’s dialogue and an instance of Music? That’s a bit of a stretch there Cryo. I highly doubt that’s indicative of a plan that entails the foreshadowing of the Emperor coming back. It’s more symptomatic of the nostalgic aims of forcing OT elements into these movies. Imagery, music and dialogue.”

        Well, Snoke has his own theme — so why use the Emperor’s? His chair design is even a more-or-less exact duplication from the Ralph McQuarrie painting done for ROTJ in 1981. I don’t think these details were merely thrown in for the sake of it. Especially not music. There is a wider scheme and purpose at work.

        “And that still doesn’t answer why she wants to be a Jedi. All you did was tell me what happens in the movie and add your conjecture. If she wants guidance, than she could have gone with Kylo at the end of TFA instead of fighting him… but she didn’t.”

        You missed the part where I mentioned her having a vision of the island where Luke had exiled himself to — and Maz suggesting that Luke was the person who Rey was actually seeking. She wouldn’t go with Kylo. She did see him as a monster at that point. Or at least a very capricious and disturbed individual. She knew that hope lay with Luke.

        “Wanting guidance is not the same thing as wanting to be a Jedi. Is not the same thing as wanting to learn the Jedi way.”

        Well, to be fair, she initially just wants to bring Luke back on the Falcon. But after Luke refuses to go, she follows him around the island, then hears the Jedi Tree calling to her — beginning to embrace her destiny. The charade starts to fall away. For Luke and Rey both. Maybe Anakin and Luke had more tangible reasons for wanting to become Jedi, but their own reasons were hardly very thought-out. The twist is that Rey resists becoming a Jedi initially. And she still doesn’t care about being one when she leaves the island. Though she takes the books as a precaution.

        “And she was connected to Luke too at the end of TLJ as was Leia, they both felt his death. There is nothing in what Snoke said that can be called a lie or a boast. There’s only the convenience of calling it a lie or a boast to form someones own personal narrative.”

        Leia and Rey feel Luke’s passing, but the Rey-Kylo connection is beyond that. It is strongly implied that Rey and Kylo can see each other, as before, on Crait, just before Rey closes the Falcon door. This is after Snoke has perished. So even if he did bridge their minds, the connection remains. Perhaps a resonance. It is deliberately left mysterious.

        “There is no “connection” to Kylo after she opens the chest. There is no evidence that what Rey sees of Kylo in her Saber vision is reciprocated back onto Kylo to form a connection. Nothing to show that Kylo is connected to her in any way shape or form in TFA. There’s no line of dialogue from Kylo that Rey is familiar to him, or he has felt her presence before.”

        Kylo twice invades her mind in TFA — first, in the forest on Takodana, and then, in his chamber on Starkiller Base. The second time, she is alert and able to read his mind back. Then, when he leaves the chamber, she intuits a Jedi Mind Trick on that “Daniel Craig” stormtrooper. These developments imply a connection has been established, even if the characters are presently unaware of it.

        “There is nothing to suggest that Snoke is lying.Now that it seems Kylo and Rey are familiar with each other in how to reach out to one another, is it easier for them, I will at least give that plausibility. We see others that when in close proximity can reach out to another. Luke does it to Leia in ESB and again in TLJ. Vader reaches out to Luke in ESB. I have no reason to believe Snoke was lying in his trap, anymore in that the Emperor was lying to Luke about his trap.”

        Snoke may not have been lying. I earlier said he was possibly boasting or taking credit for something beyond his own powers; perhaps fooling himself in the process. Perhaps he just had some vague awareness of Kylo chatting to Rey and told himself he’d made it happen. An echo, of sorts, can be found in ROTJ, when the Emperor seems concerned that Vader has felt Luke’s presence on Endor, while he has not. Snoke likes to believe he’s in control. Contrasting with Luke, who cuts himself off from the Force (at least according to Rey), surrendering all control.

        “A lot of that is just your subjective opinion, and not the objective truth.”

        You keep repeating that notion. Jeeze, Mike. I had no idea I was interpreting these films according to my own understanding. None!

        “First with Padme. Padme was clearly in love with Anakin before the Tusken slaughter, she just wouldn’t admit it. All the Naboo stuff happens before that.”

        Oh, yeah. She had feelings for him alright. But if love were as logical as you’re implying, she should have recoiled from Anakin after his slaughter confession; but there she is, confessing her love to him, not twenty minutes later. She even caused the slaughter, in part, by rebuffing him on Naboo. Perhaps she feels guilty. That would link her with Rey. Kylo gets into Rey’s head and makes her feel conflicted and wrong about calling him a monster. Anakin similarly bares all, and then he wins the girl — but not before.

        “Padme clearly had a relationship with Anakin before the Tusken Slaughter. He helped save her planet, he helped save her personally, he was protecting her, they spent good time together, fun times together. Padme, as in her character, is naive and idealistic. And as pointed out in one of the most ironic lines of dialogue in the PT, she accuses Anakin of being “blinded by love”. Clearly not seeing her own blindness towards what Anakin has done.”

        That’s good. Exactly. I’m not here to argue that the Anakin-Padme romance isn’t well done. Of course, it is! Brilliant. But that’s Lucas and these underrated prequels for you. People still don’t get it.

        “There is a huge difference in the scenarios that you are attempting to correlate as being the same. WIth Kylo and Rey, there is no positive energy between the two when they meet. Kylo mind rapes Rey. Kylo kills Han Solo. Kylo is part of the First ORder that kills billions. Kylo cuts down Finn, Kylo attacks Rey, Rey cuts down Kylo scarring him. But.. Reylo is a believable thing?”

        Oh, they’re different scenarios, alright. But some of the patterns are the same. Padme, as you just said, allowed herself to become blind. Isn’t Rey doing the same? And Padme had to have her senses shaken and her high opinion of herself kicked down a notch or two. There was no way Anakin was going to net such an attractive, poised, high-status, educated woman otherwise. Rey, on the other hand, has a lowly background. And Kylo is extremely lost. I can see them being brought together due to certain tremors in the Force. Their bond is more extreme than anything in Star Wars before, but I wouldn’t consider it wrong.

        “It’s easier for me to forgive a dog that bites me that I have known and loved for a period of time, rather than a stray, strange dog that has bit everyone in the neighborhood. As for “nature” and society or puritan rules and morality. We are not wild animals where nature overrules morality or a sense of right and wrong. That is why we can have a civilized society and not a chaotic system of survival of the fittest like nature prefers to sort itself out. We have the ability to apply reason to a natural urges. Those qualities are what separate us from the animals.”

        There is no true separation between humans and animals — believing so is just essentialist nonsense, eugenicist sophistry, and wishful thinking. We mostly do have survival of the fittest when it comes to mate selection and sexual bonding. Otherwise, millions of lonely nerds could get laid with ease, and we know that’s just not the case. Equally, were it otherwise, we could get rid of war, violence, and banish tribal thinking, including the narcissism of small differences and hostility to outsiders — the bane of human societal organisation.

        We certainly have language, art, philosophy, and science over animals, but that’s not always saying a lot when our primal behaviours are still with us. As Darwin cogently put it, man bears the indelible stamp of his lowly origins. And this is what many people, on both sides of the political horseshoe, often seek to dangerously deny; including many (but not all) religions that try to paint humans as a special creation. Hooray for Star Wars, even in its “SJW” phase, still being sinful and politically incorrect!

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