Updated: Nov 1, 2019
So a lot of you really liked it when I posted a 15,000 word article about how The Last Jedi was a steaming pile of shit (because it is a steaming pile of shit). So much that I've had a lot of fan feedback about it. Oddly, no one attempted to refute anything on the list, go figure.
Anyway a lot of people have asked for a separate post of just the list of flaws, for quick reference, which is what I'm posting now.
Also you guys have found things that I haven't, so I'll be including them in this new list and updating it as they come in, so if you're into this kind of thing then stay tuned. For the record I found 248 plot holes and such, you guys have really boosted that. Well done.
(Jesus. Double that now. This is not a good film. It's not even subjectively bad, it's an objective failure.)
“The FIRST ORDER reigns”. How does the First Order reign? They were shown to be just starting their offensive at the end of The Force Awakens and then suffered a massive hit with the destruction of Starkiller Base, this movie is directly afterwards. Did they conquer the whole galaxy in the last seven minutes? TFA showed that their first shot was the destruction of the Hosnian System, the Republic’s capital. Somehow that means that the shadowy force that Leia has spent years trying to convince people actually existed just magically took over the entire Republic in less than an afternoon.
“Supreme Leader Snoke now deploys his merciless legions to seize military control of the galaxy.” But you just said they already reign. As in one sentence ago. Do they control the galaxy or not? I feel like we’ve stumbled at the first hurdle here.
This Snoke guy gets mentioned a fair bit in the opening crawl, he must be an important character with an expansive back story discussing how he was able to build such a military force in private.
So we’ve established that the good guys are called the RESISTANCE, because that’s all in capitals. I’m glad that’s clear. That will save a lot of confusion later on.
Why does the Resistance need Luke to return to give them hope? They just blew up a fucking battleplanet without him. What’s he going to do that blowing up a planet didn’t? “Hey guys, you know how juiced we were after we blew up that planet that was also a system destroying superweapon? Yeah? Well it’s even better - Luke Fucking Skywalker is here!” “Cool! I mean I feel like we already did the heavy lifting, but is he going to kill unstoppable Dark Jedi douche who killed Han? “Kind of. He’s not going to kill him, but he will make him think he saw some dice that weren’t actually there and that will upset him a bit.”
“But the Resistance has been exposed.” This is the first and last time a plot point from the previous film will be used.
Now we’re calling them the rebels. But we just established they were the RESISTANCE. It was in capital letters and everything. Oh well, I’m sure it was just one time.
Our brave heroes are now running away. That's how brave they are. (This is a really minor point, of course it makes sense that they move before the First Order gets there, but it's an odd tone to call them brave in the same sentence as mentioning them running away)
At this point you should remember that this film takes place immediately after The Force Awakens. They can be considered the same film. With that in mind, that’s 8 plot holes or impending plot holes before the movie has even started. This is all before the first scene even happens. Eight. I said I’d forgive a couple, we’re nearly into double digits just from the opening crawl. THE MOVIE TECHNICALLY HAS NOT STARTED YET. I am genuinely convinced that this went into production and was sent out as a first draft. These are the kind of errors you pick up when you run your eyes over a draft for the first time, or have someone look at your script. I believe neither of these things ever happened and everyone read their lines off the back of a napkin for whatever restaurant Rian Johnson ate at the night before.
“On the planet's surface, LIEUTENANT KAYDEL KO CONNIX and her tall colleague JONES oversee the frantic evacuation of the rebel base.” One person with no physical description but a ridiculously convoluted name, another person with the blandest name ever but an oddly specific description. This script was written by a lunatic.
The movie opens with a conversation between two Resistance officers discussing what to leave behind, while there is action in the background. The Jones is talking normally, Connix is yelling. Either they both yell or they both talk, it makes no sense for this to be happening. It’s disconcerting to watch.
“There’s still 30 pallets of cannon shells in C Bunker”. Everything we’ve seen so far is an energy based weapon. Are we going to see some kind of space version of the Black Pearl run out the long nines?
They see Star Destroyers appear in the sky, in low orbit. Ooh dramatic. We then cut to the space version of the same shot, shot-reverse-shot, clearly indicating that said destroyers are in high orbit and would not be visible from that range.
"FIRST ORDER OFFICER: We’ve caught them in the middle of their evacuation”. We can see that. Hux, who is standing right next to you, who you’re talking to, who is looking out the same window as you, can see that. You’re telling AND showing.
This is, by the way, a joke from Galaxy Quest - the 1999 spoof of Star Trek. Ridiculous Johnson will include several shot-for-shot remakes of comedies in his 'darkest chapter' of Star Wars, so brace yourself.
There is ominous music playing and a frantic evacuation as a sinister military force, who have just wiped out billions of people, approach with malicious intent. Clearly this is going to be a dark, serious movie.
“HUX: I have my orders from Supreme Leader Snoke himself”. Telling, not showing. By the way Hux speaks and the reaction of the crew, clearly this Snoke guy must be important. I'm sure he gets some major exposition later on.
This is some weird dialogue. Why is Hux saying this? Everyone knows he's the military commander of the First Order and is a direct subordinate of Snoke. The previous film established him as being on equal level to Kylo Ren. Why would he feel the need to explain himself to everyone on the bridge? What would they think of his sanity?
“HUX: Tell Captain Canady to prime his dreadnought. Incinerate their base, destroy their transports and obliterate their fleet.” In that specific order, because otherwise the plot won’t work. Somebody who has risen to the rank of captain of a capital ship might target the fleeing ships first before the static ground base and this kind of competence would invalidate the rest of the film.
Why are the fighters not deployed? Every military engagement you’ve had, every spectacular defeat, has come from snubfighters. The Rebelistance is a predominantly snubfighter force. What possible reason could there be to not immediately deploy a fighter screen? It will become very apparent throughout this film just how much Rian Johnson goes out of his way to make the First Order incompetent so that his lackluster plot can work.
“In the destroyer's bridge pit, a beautiful yet stern monitor eyes a red X shape on her radar screen, her surroundings lit red for ideal visibility during battlefield conditions.” What the fuck are you talking about? That’s in the script - word for word. Every female character has some description of their beauty, it’s creepy. I guess the Force is Female and all that.
“Sir there’s a Resistance ship approaching, guns and shields in attack mode”. Then why aren’t you shooting it/deploying the fighters?
Poe introduces himself here. This is important because TFA establishes that the First Order knows Commander Dameron is the best pilot in the Resistance. So instead of assuming he's going to do some fighter ace shenanigans, they just sort of...wait?
This First Order officer just said Resistance. I guess that's what they're called unless Hux is about to directly contradict him. Oh.
Hux refers to the Resistance as the Rebels. This confusion will not let up for another two and a half hours. "Rebels" works coming from Hux because he might be using it as a pejorative, but then none of the rest of the script makes sense so maybe I’m giving too much credit here. Regardless, we’re establishing early on that nobody has a fucking clue what the Resistance are called.
There’s an Invader Zim sketch that has this exact problem and they end up calling themselves “The Resisty”, Johnson has accidentally made it into an entire Star Wars film.
“A single light fighter?” Ah yes, arrogant incredulity. You mean the exact type of single light fighter that blew up the Death Star? And took down the Executor? And 20 minutes ago destroyed Starkiller Base? That kind? You see it’s important that Hux is an idiot, because otherwise this whole movie won’t work.
So you supposedly got BB-8 to say "I have a bad feeling about this". The line that is in every film, that is the running joke in every film and you thought you'd get clever with it. This was one of the early signs that Johnson thought he was better than the franchise he was working for. (At least it wasn't as bad as the version in Solo)
It’s too bad that no one will figure out hyperspace ramming until after this battle, we could have ended the whole invasion right now.
"LEIA: Just for the record I'm with the droid on this one" this seemingly innocuous piece of dialogue will come back later. We're establishing that General Leia, the supreme commander of the Resistance, disagrees with a plan and endorsed it anyway. This implies a level of creative freedom within the Resistance, in which commanders can come up with their own ideas and act upon them without fear of reproach. It's not like we're going to violate that later by having a character insist on a tight hierarchical structure where everyone follows orders without question...
The prank call. Fuck me. Why? Why is the leader of the First Order military indulging this fucking stupidity? Just hang up. We’re going in hard on the “everyone is an idiot” angle. Or maybe I'm the idiot for thinking it was a serious movie, because of the serious music and the serious First Order and the frantic evacuation and everyone on the ground panicking. Silly me.
Even within this routine we vacillate several times between Hux being the "merciless legions" mentioned in the opening crawl and Poe doing his best impression of a Family Guy parody of Star Wars. Is this movie supposed to be the darkest chapter in the Skywalker saga or a goofy parody? As we see later, it never really figures it out itself. If there's a theme to this movie it's tonal inconsistency and an incompetent director.
Apparently Poe says "General Hugs", you know, wordplay. Except that the line is delivered quickly and with radio distortion. So it sounds like Hux anyway. I didn't pick this up on my first viewing or my second, I actually discovered in the script. I still can only spot it if I'm listening really hard for it. As a professional comedian if your joke is that tenuous, believe me, drop it.
“I believe he’s tooling with you sir” oh god. I should point out that no one in the cinema laughed here. Maybe because it wasn’t funny, probably because the tone of this movie so far has been that it’s a tense evacuation with a lot of lives at risk and comedy really isn’t appropriate right now.
And we have a “yo mama” joke. Apparently “a long time ago” means 1995.
This is a comedy then? I was wrong. I’ll re-adjust my headspace to take into account that this is a lighthearted romp and not the dark drama I was expecting.
The script at this point literally says “EXT Space Day”. As if there’s a day and night in space.
“He’s going for the dreadnought”, Hux:“He’s insane” - deploy the fucking fighters you idiots.
“Which we should have done 5 minutes ago” so you’re acknowledging that this stupidity is only to make the plot work?
The Force Awakens established, in the first 10 minutes, that Resurgent-class Star Destroyers have excellent point defence weapons systems that specialise in taking out starfighters, especially at close range. The Mandator-class apparently doesn't have any of these because reasons.
Presumably, the four Resurgents that are accompanying the dreadnought are there as an escort, yet all of them are deployed behind the high-value dreadnought they are ostensibly protecting. Where they cannot provide cover fire with the above point weapons systems and where they have all agreed to not deploy a fighter screen because there's no way fighters are going to play a part.
None of these capital ships are moving to engage a Rebelistance fleet that they both outnumber and outgun, which is the whole point of the operation. No, they risk the good guys escaping so that they can show off their shiny new space gun. And because the back of an envelope that Renal Johnson calls a script is fuelled by idiocy.
Tense battle scene. Frantic action, Poe Dameron has his serious face on. Lives are on the line, stakes are high. This is a serious movie, not a comedy. I'll adjust my emotions once again.
“Wipe that nervous expression off your face”. It’s funny because C3PO only has one expression. We’re back to comedy.
Apparently the weapons system of an X-Wing can be rebooted by a robot headbutting them. Like a space Fonz.
What is the reasoning behind Dameron’s s-foils opening and closing like Flappy Bird? It’s not like previous films have established that one should “lock s-foils in attack position”.
“We need to take out that last cannon or our bombers are toast” so one cannon can take out ALL of your bombers. They sound like shit bombers. Oh yeah, they are shit bombers. Maybe they could approach from a direction where there isn’t that particular cannon? This is space, it has all three dimensions available.
“BB-8 chirps as with inventiveness born of desperation, he has lowered the elevator he used to assume his station in the droid socket halfway, which requires that he erases three improper-operation alerts from the X-wing ship, and rolls into the cavity of the fuselage, as close to the short in the junction box as possible. His arm retracts into his body. Then, he uses the welding arm to swing the head out and down, like a man doffing his hat, shrieking. It smashes into the sparking junction box, primary photoreceptor swirling with electronic feedback.” This is honestly how Ronin Johnson wrote the script. He wants BB-8 to be a robot neckbeard.
The most advanced Star Destroyer/dreadnought in the First Order fleet and they don’t have a scanner screen or holographic display, they have a periscope that only one person can use at a time.
“Are the auto-cannons primed?” Exactly what about them is “auto”? They’re manually targeted and clearly not automatic in the constant fire sense of the term.
“TALLIE: Bombers keep that tight formation” why? They're all highly explosive and clustering would make them an easier target and expose them to potential blue-on-blue fratricide. That’s the formation that gets everyone killed. You offer no tactical reason for this stupidity.
“PILOT 6: (over intercom) Vector at attack speed.” unlike the aforementioned “lock s-foils in attack position”, something that makes sense because X-wings have s-foils and they’re going in to attack something, this is just throwing sciency/military sounding words around. Actually I think it's the "attack speed" part I don't like. Everywhere else in the film, from this point on, has everyone going at maximum speed and characters asking if that is, indeed, all of the speed they can manage. I think Ringworm Johnson just chucks that word in because of the visceral emotion it evokes.
The Resistance fighters wait until the enemy TIE’s are right on them until they open fire. They literally see them coming, remark on them coming, but wait to open fire. Why?
“CANADY: recharge the auto-cannons, target their cruiser” maybe should have targeted that one first huh champ? The one that can escape instead of being a building.
Why are you not using torpedoes? Why are there space bombs, which have no reason to work in zero gravity? Of course, magnets. Why are they round? Missile technology has been present in universe for some time and has proven to be very effective, especially at being able to shoot them from a distance. This raises so many questions and offers only one answer - Memphis Belle.
This is one of many examples of a yawing plot hole that is filled in by the fans. It's never explained in the films that the bombs are magnetic, it's up to the audience to fill that in themselves. Rian Johnson crowd sources half of his script. He does this a lot. I'll try that next time I do a comedy set, I'll write the setup and let the audience come up with the punchlines on their own. I'll let you know how that goes.
Bombs in The Phantom Menace: two take out a Federation starbase. Bombs in Attack of the Clones: one seismic charge blows up almost an entire asteroid field. Bombers in Rogue One: three take down a Star Destroyer with torpedoes and make it back out again. Bombs in AHN: two take out the Death Star. Bombs in ESB: one per asteroid. Bombs in ROTJ: two take out another Death Star. In the 30 years since it now takes a million bombs and a whole squadron of casualties to do the same job. Progress!
One of the bombs has “Han says hi” written on it in Aurebesh. It’s nice that in the 20 minutes since Han died, in the midst of a frantic evacuation, someone took the time to write on one of the hundreds of bombs so no one could see it.
Remember when everyone roasted George Lucas for putting his love of car racing in a Star Wars movie? You’re all giving a handjob to a remake of Memphis Belle.
In an advanced society where literally everything is a robot the best system they can think of to drop bombs is to have someone push a button on a remote control with no backup system.
Oh look the tight formation that they were told to fly ended up killing everyone because they were in so tight. Another order given just because the plot needs that level of stupidity to function.
Again, space drama, high technology but the turret guns have iron sights. Because Memphis Belle had iron sights. Something, something the Falcon didn't have wireless headsets.
If only those bombers had guns on the front, where the TIEs attacked from, instead of just facing behind, where any sensible TIE would stay away from. Who designed these things?
These “Starfortresses” have hyperdrives. Why not just spin one up to lightspeed and ram the dreadnought?
The bomber crews have oxygen masks for some reason, despite the life control present and the other types of ship not needing them. They look like the ones in Memphis Belle, that’s probably why.
It only takes one bomber to destroy a dreadnought, the most massive ship in the fleet outside of Snoke’s flag and something that is apparently, according to Dameron, a “fleet killer” and a target of considerable value. It seems like they should have spaced these bombers out one per Star Destroyer. Instead of clumping them all up so they all accidentally committed fratricide. Oops.
The fate of the entire Resistance rests on me dropping these bombs in the split second before the dreadnought fires. Better take a moment to clutch at Chekov’s medallion.
This whole sequence feels like it was edited in the wrong order. The pilot dies after the bombs were supposed to be dropped. The guy who was supposed to drop the bombs is mysteriously dead before the bomber is hit. Man, basic continuity is hard.
Apparently the bombers have an effective weapons range of roughly 3 meters. Short enough that they get caught in the blast of the weapons they dropped. Generally the way one designs a bomber is for that bomber to be away from the bombs it drops. That's a generally sound design principle. Even the Soviets, with their lack of concern for human life, made sure to keep the Tsar Bomba at a yield low enough to allow the bomber to get away. The bombs take so long to get to their target that the first bombs explode and cause a chain reaction up the line until they take out the bomber itself. This is such ludicrously stupid scriptwriting.
For the sake of the argument if a TIE was parked just below the bomber, it could shoot ONE of the bombs just as it was being dropped and defend the entire dreadnaught. Good writing here.
The nature of this "suicide mission" and whether it was worth the loss of the bombers will be debated for the rest of the film. Why then would you use bombers that evidently cannot survive the bombs they drop? Every mission is a suicide mission with these things.
If your Resistance/Rebellion/Resisty is so undermanned and short on troops then why do you have bombers that require the deaths of not only a single pilot but an entire crew of people? You're going to run out of volunteers pretty quickly. I mean some sort of drone situation or remote piloting or something would be a better idea wouldn't it? We show later on that the ironing is done by droids, but suicidal bombing runs can't be because of reasons. Oh yeah, the Memphis Belle couldn't be remote piloted.
Gosh wasn’t Memphis Belle a good film though? A solid 79% on Rotten Tomatoes audience score. 45% for this remake though.
The Resistance...Rebels...Resisty, clearly the supposed underdog in this story, has a holographic display in real time of the dreadnought being destroyed - showing that there is no need for a periscope. The good guys have bright and cheery displays, the bad guys have dark, red periscopes. Roid Johnson is subtle like that.
Also, although we’ve firmly established that everything happens because the plot needs it to, why are the Resisty the under-gunned, under-provisioned underdogs? Wouldn’t the rest of the galaxy feel threatened by the system destroying evil empire and jump in the fight, giving them the resources they need to fight the First Order? There’d be no shortage of volunteers. That’s what an actual new direction looks like Rianna.
Leia watches the deaths of the majority of her fighter force. This weighs heavily on her as she sighs in resignation. They’ve won, but at what cost? This is obviously a serious movie. Unless the next scene happens to have some over the top comedy.
Ah, there it is. 12mins38sec: Hux pratfall number 1. We’re not only establishing the military leader of the First Order as horribly incompetent, he’s also a slapstick buffoon. By the way, 73 points of absolute stupidity in less than 13 minutes. That is impressive.
By this point in ESB two high ranking Imperial officers were executed for doing much less than this. Ozzel for dropping out of lightspeed too early and making the inevitable victory slightly harder and Needa taking the fall for being fooled by one of the most cunning characters in the galaxy. But the Empire didn’t tolerate weakness. That’s because the film didn’t require the Empire to be bumbling morons for the plot to work. Snoke settles for using Hux like a fidget spinner and then it’s business as usual.
In TFA Hux was established as an actually interesting character. He was an equal to Ren - the military leader of equal weight to the representative of the mysterious magical Force. But for this film to work he needs to be an idiot so he's retconned into a slapstick moron who can't do anything right.
“HUX: we have them tied on the end of a string”. Does Snoke not know about the hyperspace tracking? The most advanced technology in the First Order and Snoke doesn’t know about it? Or are you just saying that because you need to tell, not show.
Ominous foreshadowing about how the Rebelistance’s costly victory might all be for nothing as they think they’re safe, but the First Order is about to ambush them. Dramatic. Dark. This is obviously a dark and serious movie.
"LEIA: Poe get your head out of your cockpit (haha word play is fun) there are things you cannot solve by jumping into an X-Wing and blowing something up!" The Force Awakens (roughly a day ago): "HAN: How do we blow it up? There's always a way to blow it up." "LEIA: Han's right"
Finn bangs his head while wearing a jacuzzi suit. Slapstick is funny. We’re back to comedy.
Finn falls down. Slapstick is funny. This is the "darkest and grittiest Star Wars film’s" third pratfall so far. So edge, much dark.
Finn got messed up pretty badly in TFA, which was moments ago. They got back a couple of hours ago and immediately rushed him into life support. He was placed into an emergency coma. Then instead of taking him to the dedicated medical ship that is specifically mentioned as being a dedicated medical ship, they put him on the Raddus because he needed to be there for plot reasons. Fuck logic.
On this, and this is mostly JJbrams fault, lightsabers are supposed to be dangerous. Too dangerous for non-Force wielders to use. They can cut through pretty much anything. But Finn nearly gets sliced in half and is walking around in about a day, Ren has his head ripped apart and has a little scratch. Obi-Wan sliced body parts off for days, but these guys just manage a tickle. Rey slices clean through a rock but later just grazes an actual person. There is no consistency. To paraphrase Leo Spaceman from 30 Rock "lightsabers are...whatever we want them to be".
Luke throws the lightsaber away. A moment fans have been waiting for for 2 years and he throws it away. Yay for comedy and subverting expectations. Heavy handed symbolism score: 1 Fuck you to fans score:1
"REY: I’m from the Resistance, your sister Leia sent me”. Does Luke not know Leia is his sister? He may be confused about the Resistance part though, because no one seems to know if they’re the Resistance or the Rebels.
Luke's first reaction upon seeing Chewie, one of his best friends who he hasn't seen in years, is to angrily yell at him.
“LUKE: How did you find me?” You left a fucking map. THE LAST MOVIE WAS SPECIFICALLY ABOUT THE MAP YOU LEFT!
Luke realises Han is dead. Shall we have a moment where he reflects on the death of his best friend ever, his brother-in-law, his padawan's father, the guy he went on countless adventures with, the guy who saved his life on Yavin and on Hoth, shall we have a moment where he mourns his death? No, smash cut to the bad guy. Fuck Han, some other guy whose name wasn't Rian Johnson came up with the character of Han, so we don't need to know about him.
Snoke’s last scene in TFA is saying he will complete Kylo Ren’s training. His first scene in this is expressing his disappointment in Ren for doing the thing he told him to do and wondering whether to continue his training.
“REY: there’s no light left within Kylo Ren, he’s only getting stronger”. You learnt about the Force twenty minutes ago from a guy who wasn’t a Jedi and used to think it was a "hokey religion", now you’re an expert on the Light and Dark sides and how strong Kylo Ren is and will be?
Note how adamant Rey is that Ren cannot be redeemed. She hates him, despises him, for being a cold-hearted monster. There's nothing that would convince her otherwise. Not even if she was really horny and got to see him do a Magic Mike routine, I bet even that wouldn't change her opinion of him.
“REY: the First Order will control all the major systems within weeks”. But the opening crawl said that the First Order already does? But then it also said that they didn’t. I don’t know what to believe anymore.
Luke actually uses the word "unfindable" here. Which my spellcheck is having a conniption about. This whole script feels like it was written by an 8 year old.
Luke betrays his entire character arc from the original trilogy and decides to let two impossibly powerful Dark Jedi run around because he’s a little bit sad. A guy who refused to give up on his father, a guy who had done some pretty heinous shit like murdering children and blowing up planets, Luke was ready to die instead of kill him because he believed in redemption. His current plan is “let the incredibly powerful Dark Jedi get even more powerful and take over the galaxy, even though I’m literally the only person capable of stopping them, I’ll just hang out here like an angry hobo. I’m sure everything will turn out fine”.
Luke seems really cut up about the death of his best friend at the hands of his nephew and former padawan. Oh wait, no he doesn’t. He makes a brief comment about it and goes off in search of unpasteurised space manatee milk.
At this point I’m reasonably convinced that Rian Johnson has never watched a Star Wars film before. The rumour is that he had written this before JJ had written TFA and Rian couldn't be arsed working in someone else's universe so all he did was change the names around. It shows.
It is really disturbing watching Luke milk a space manatee. Ruin Johnson then adds to it by having Luke give a hearty nod and a smile like he’d just shotgunned a Solo (the thirst quenching soft-drink, not his best friend whose murder he doesn’t care about). The worst is that the space manatee nods to the audience with a seedy look like it just got a wristy. Comedy comes in threes.
The original Jedi texts are leather bound books. Never mind we’ve established that laser swords and space travel have existed for at least three thousand years, and presumably the Star Wars equivalent of a Kindle has existed in this time, these are handwritten in a moleskin. I'm sure there's some beat poetry in there.
“LUKE: (regarding Rey being from Jakku) Alright that’s pretty much nowhere”. There’s nothing wrong with this line. It works quite well. It’s in context, in character and is a well placed moment of levity in an otherwise emotional and dark sequence. It’s a good execution of bathos. I mention this because it’s the ONLY time in the film, despite dozens of attempts, where this kind of thing actually works. Which makes it even worse. It shows that Rhino Johnson is capable of writing something decent, but chooses not to.
“LEIA: We need to find a new base.” “D’ARCY: One with enough power to send a signal to our allies”. So you jumped blindly and just happened to find such a base? Oh, you didn’t. Why not just say you were headed here to begin with? Oh yeah, because the whole plot hinges on Poe not knowing about this base.
About the power to send a signal thing. What the fuck are you talking about? Poe and Finn communicate through hyperspace on a commlink the size of a pen. Did anyone else read this script before you filmed it Riri?
Leia orders the ships to turn around and engage the entire fleet with their 4 much smaller ships. Then when they are predictably decimated by a much larger force she gives the opposite order, now with a lot less people. This is more establishing the actual theme of the movie: doing something really stupid for no reason.
The First Order has obviously learned from the last time when they didn’t deploy fighters, now they deploy Kylo Ren and 3 other TIEs for a total of 4 fighters, against what is potentially an entire Resistance fighter contingent. Full credit to the Resistance though, at least they scramble fighters. Or try to.
“LEIA: pull out of range of the destroyers and the fighters will pull back.” Why would they though? Your opening scene was all about how effective fighters are against capital ships without a fighter screen. The rest of the movies are quite pointed about how effective fighters are against capital ships without a fighter screen. The fighters actually have every reason to press the advantage, as was also previously demonstrated. What does the First Order care about casualties?
Here we establish that fighters have magical missiles that can pierce any shields or obstacles when they need to hit plot sensitive objectives. If you can take out the bridge and hangars that easily then why hasn't every space battle in the past done this and every one in the future will have this question asked of it. Let's put all our important people in a small room that can be destroyed with impunity. Yes this happened with the Executor, but the rebels had focused all their fire on it for a significant period and it still took an A-Wing being rammed into the bridge to make it work.
"HUX: We can’t cover you from this distance, return to the fleet”. But you weren’t providing any cover at all. The shots were clearly impacting the shields. Just because the plot needs it to, one of the capital ships suddenly becomes effective at shooting the fighters. And then Ren returns to the fleet, because the plot needs him to.
To be clear, we've seen the First Order being unable to shoot down a fighter with their guns, because the plot. We've now seen the Resistance able to use their guns to great effect against fighters because plot. Are they different guns, like was established in the Legends? Then say so instead of making arbitrary decisions about what works on a minute by minute basis.
Should we send one of our dozen Star Destroyers to hyperspace just a little bit in front of the Resistance fleet and cut them off? No, that would ruin the dramatic chase we're having, belay that order!
The Last Jedi is all about strong female protagonists. Kathleen Kennedy even had t-shirts printed up saying “The Force Is Female”. That’s why the fighter ace Tallie Lintra, Dameron’s second in command and heavily featured in the marketing, just got blown up after roughly 30 seconds of screen time.
Speaking of Poe: "Hey you remember Poe Dameron from The Force Awakens?" "Yeah, I love that guy. He’s all cocky and confident and a great pilot who does cool shit in an X-Wing. Does he have a big part in this film?" "Yes he does!" "That’s awesome. I can’t wait to see him do more cocky X-Wing pilot stuff." "Oh god no, he doesn’t do that. We take away his X-Wing and make him sulk for two hours. "
Competent General: Ok, where did we just chase the Rebels to? Are there any habitable systems nearby? Anything that could be used as a base or may have been a base in the past? Let’s look around and gather intelligence. Alright our records say we’re in the Crait system and there’s an old mining base there that the Resisty are heading towards, shall we send one of our dozens of ships ahead to scout it out during this long and tedious standoff? Of course not. The First Order has no such competent general. If the First Order are given any sense of competence or intelligence none of this story will work.
Seriously, nobody looks out the window at all - at any point? They’re in the Crait system. The Battle of Crait that happens later is in the day time. Day time means there is a sun. But there’s no sun during the chase because that doesn’t fit in with Roomba Johnson’s heavy-handed metaphors of darkness. Heavy Handed Metaphor Score - 2
Why do all of the ships move at the same speed? No reason given. Peavey acknowledges that the Resistance ships are faster and lighter yet he neglects to mention that by logical extension they presumably pull away from the First Order. It’s a good thing this discrepancy is never mentioned again and they never get further in front. This would interfere with the artificially created tension.
They make a point of burning fuel in space, as if Newton never existed in this universe. Look I know physics and Star Wars have never really been good bunk buddies but at least have a single line of dialogue about how they need fuel to keep the shields up or something. Make an effort. Also since Poe did his cool little u-turn trick at the start of the movie we’ve established that conservation of momentum is a thing that exists, they just turn it off when it doesn’t suit the plot.
"PEAVEY: They are faster and lighter but they can't lose us, they are at a range where our cannons are ineffective against their shields but they won't last long burning fuel like this". Remember show don't tell? He just told us the entire plot of the movie. In one line. With some dialogue that doesn't make a lick of sense.
Remember iconic character and beloved fan favourite Admiral Gial Akbar? Yeah he’s dead. I didn’t even notice it until it was pointed out later in the film. You’d think it would be a big deal, but it was more important to show Leia having Force-not-dying-in-vacuum-and-being-able-to-fly-like-Mary-Poppins powers even though she’s never been mentioned or seen having trained as a Jedi in any capacity.
But Leia trained under Luke in the last 30 years! Is that in the script? Does anyone mention this in any way? It's perfectly feasible, but stop writing Rian's script for him. His incompetence needs to stand on its own.
Leia is blown out of the Raddus and spends a decent chunk of time out there. The Raddus is ostensibly moving very fast to keep away from the First Order. But it was also stationary long enough for Leia to have her very cinematic entrance. But then it was also moving the whole time so it didn't get blown up. For fuck's sake, another human should have looked at this script at least once.
As Leia does her Superman entrance she cuts through the hologram of the Supremacy. Foreshadowing! Heavy Handed Metaphor Score - 3
You know how Carrie Fischer died a year before this movie was released? Maybe this was a good chance to kill off her character. Instead of blindly forging ahead with the script you already had and couldn't be fucked re-writing or even doing a second draft of. Not to mention leaving JJbrams in a hole he can't possibly dig his way out of. Did nobody at Disney, at any point, have a look at any of this before it hit screens?
“SNOKE: The mighty Kylo Ren. When I found you... I saw what all masters live to see. Raw, untamed power. And beyond that, something truly special. The potential of your bloodline. A new Vader.” I acknowledge your story arc from the previous film where you’re trying to emulate Vader. Now let’s never speak of it again. In fact, why don’t you get rid of the thing that makes you resemble the guy I’m trying to get you to be?
Remember that Kylo Ren was obsessed with finishing the legacy of his grandfather in TFA, to the point of rescuing his burned helmet from Endor? Well he changed his mind about the past in roughly 20 seconds of introspection after Snoke makes fun of his helmet.
TFA established that the mask was important to Kylo Ren. He never wanted to be seen without it - he removed it only for Rey and Han and flinched when Hux saw his face. It's really important to his character and presumably to the Dark Lord Snoke is trying to get him to become. For him to get rid of it is just jarring on so many levels.
Also do you remember the Knights of Ren, the elite group that Kylo Ren leads? Johnson clearly hopes you don’t.
Snoke is really good at reading minds. We establish that in this film. Kylo Ren then says that when the time came to kill Han Solo he didn't hesitate. Except he did. He did a big speech about being torn apart and it took him a couple of minutes to work up the courage. Snoke politely doesn't mention this lie. Come on Rian, did you watch The Force Awakens at all?
Luke meets R2 for the first time in years. There's nothing wrong with this scene, it's a rare moment where Mark is allowed to actually play Luke properly with whimsy, humour and melancholy, before it's all taken away again. Another scene that sadly shows what could have been possible.
“LUKE: tomorrow at dawn. Three lessons. I will teach you the ways of the Jedi”. Three lessons? Is Luke selling Jedi training on the late night shopping channel? If Rey signs up now does she receive a free set of steak knives?
Luke clearly states that Rey’s training will begin ”tomorrow at dawn”. The sun is well and truly up when they start.
Leia is in the medical bay of the Raddus, and not on the ship that is a custom built medical facility, just like Finn. Why even bother having a medical frigate if the Raddus can do all of this? Why not use the medical frigate as a hyperspace battering ram and save everyone right now?
The way the Force now works is it's powerful enough for you to fly through the vacuum of space without harm but not powerful enough to prevent you from being in a coma, but powerful enough for you to snap out of that coma with no ill effects when the plot needs you to.
“D’ARCY: We’re the very last of the Resistance”. But you just said your whole plan is to send a signal to your allies. Are they not also Resistance? Who are you sending the message to then? Your allies in the Outer Rim? Are they not Resistance? Or do they not know that they’re the Resistance because they call themselves Rebels?
"The downtrodden and the oppressed know our symbol”. Do they? You don’t even have a fucking clue who you are.
“HOLDO: we are the spark that will ignite the fire that will restore the Republic” Heavy Handed Metaphor Score - 4
Poe mentions that he's heard of Holdo but never seen her before. Your entire organisation is roughly 500 people tops before this film. She's an admiral, you're in command of the fighter forces. You two have never met, interacted or even been in the same room ever?
Let’s establish some needless secrecy and tension between Dameron and Holdo for absolutely no reason. Someone has obviously told Rhomboid Johnson that storytelling is all about conflict but forgot to mention how to do it. This friction only exists because the plot requires an element of conflict and can’t find one organically.
It’s at this point in the film that Finn, whose sole contribution so far has been space Charlie Chaplin, begins to repeat his character arc from TFA beat for beat.
Finn just has to tell Rose that he’s on a secret mission and everything is fine. But we need to create some tension here don’t we Remus Johnson? Better shoehorn that in.
Rose, a character we've never seen before, is mourning her sister who we saw in one scene at the beginning. We get all of this but we don't get a scene of Luke mourning the death of a major character for 4 films.
“ROSE: Wow. You too. Good. But you are a hero. You left the First Order-what you did on the Starkiller Base. When we heard about it, my sister Paige said... "Rose, that's a real hero." "Know right from wrong.... "and don't run away from when it gets hard," she said. You know.” I’m glad Rose got to have a heart to heart with her sister about a guy they just heard of in the half an hour they had to evacuate the entire base because Rhesus Johnson has never seen a Star Wars movie, not even The Force Awakens.
“ROSE: I'm taking you to the bridge and turning you in for desertion.” He’s not deserting. He never joined the Resistance. He’s just a guy at this point. Also why the bridge? Did you mean brig? They sound alike and I can see how an idiot could get confused when writing a script.
Rose thinks Finn is a deserter. He then comes up with a thing that's impossible as the reason he's deserting (he's not actually deserting, like I said, he never joined.) Rose then does a 180 and decides to help him, by getting him into a hyperspace capable shuttle, which is exactly the kind of thing someone trying to desert would pull.
Finn, who until this point has only cared about Rey, now wants to save the Resistance. No reason is given for this quick change of motivation, as ever everything is predicated on not asking questions.
“FINN: Who would know where the system breaker is on a Star Destroyer?” You, apparently, considering you have fully detailed schematics of this top-secret-built-in-the-Unknown-Regions-shouldn’t-possibly-exist-ship on your iPod.
Finn once again mentions that he was a janitor. While also being part of Kylo Ren’s personal advance guard beachhead assault force. I’ll give you partial credit for this one RJ, it’s JJ’s fuckup to begin with but you’re keeping the dream alive.
He also mentions that he used to mop the circuit breaker room for the super secret technology. Considering how the First Order have robots to iron the uniforms, how menial is that job? Is that why he defected?
Wait, hang on. Finn said he was a janitor on Starkiller Base in TFA. Now he's telling us he was a janitor on Snoke's flagship? Did he just get randomly assigned to every location that was going to be important to the plot in the future? "The only way we can break in is if we have clothes made out of the silk of worms that live on a secret facility on an uncharted planet in the Unknown Regions. Luckily I used to mop it, so I know where it is."
They go to a lot of trouble to establish that they can't get to the tracker, they have to go to the breaker room. This is important later when Roblox Johnson forgets that he established this.
Of course the First Order is only tracking them from one destroyer, why would you possibly have a redundancy? This wouldn’t be a problem if Finn didn’t mention how they’d just turn on another one in a different destroyer. It would make sense if it was only the really big advanced flagship that had the magic technology. But Ringo Johnson goes out of his way to make the script not work.
Poe suggests blowing up the Supremacy. With what? As if they're capable of even scratching it. The biggest ship in the history of Star Wars. If you could do that why not do it anyway? It would probably help.
This whole plotline is fucking ridiculous by the way. ANH established that tracking, with a tracking device, is a commonly used tactic. It even happened to Leia - "they let us go" remember that? Occam's Razor here, wouldn't the first thing you jump to be that they've somehow planted a tracking device on one of the ships? Rey is carrying a fucking tracking device ON HER PERSON, maybe she got captured? No let's all jump to the magic technology that never existed before without exploring reasonable options first because Hemorrhoid Johnson is a genius at writing maguffins.
“FINN: They’re Bio-haxaencrypted”. I’m not against psuedo-science babble in sci-fi films per se, but if you look at how many takes it took John Boyega to say this right you could have saved a day’s worth of filming.
"POE: so how did you two meet? Was it luck?...good luck or bad?" What a fucking random question to ask. It's just a really weird non sequitur. It's in the script to make things look moody and deep but it's just a really dumb thing to say.
Remember how C3PO had a red arm in the last movie? Rian forgot.
It takes about five minutes of Finn explaining his super awesome plan for him to realise it will never work because they can't break in. Not at any point prior, we need this to happen on screen.
Poe then calls Maz. Poe has never met Maz. They have no relationship. Finn does, maybe he should be the one calling her? No, Rian has never seen another Star Wars film so we make it up as we go along from the notes that JJ wrote on the back of a napkin.
Why is Maz taking the time in the middle of a firefight to pick up the phone? Also why is her “union dispute” more important than the apparent fate of the galaxy, since she mentions that she can do this thing that only one person can, but also her, but also a random hobo - is this difficult to do or not?
Who is filming her? Does she have a gun in one hand and a selfie stick in the other?
There’s only one guy in the galaxy who can slice this amazingly complex system for you. I can’t stress enough how he’s the most awesome person ever. He can do everything from slicing to piloting to shooting, and he wears a really distinctive and impractical piece of jewelry so you can spot him in a crowd. He also apparently spends every waking minute at the same craps table so you can easily find him. This is important for spies and criminals so they can remain incognito.
Maz then blasts off into space, never to be seen again. I genuinely believe she was in this film to fill out a diversity quota, there is absolutely no point to her being in the movie at all. She starts a side plot that amounts in nothing but 40 minutes of wasted film that takes us right back to where we were before it happened.
Finn then gives Poe the homing device that is connected to Rey. He started this film trying to avoid bringing Rey back to the fleet so he could save her, now instead of guiding her away from the fleet now that he has a chance, he's ensuring that the very thing he was trying to prevent is definitely going to happen. This character about-face has occurred in less than five minutes.
Oh yeah, the guy they're trying to find is on a planet inhabited by "bad people" and indulging in their luxurious casino. What makes you think he's going to help you? Your own allies don't give a shit, but this guy is going to be so moved by your plight he'll just jump right into a war? 155 flaws. We are only 45 minutes in. Comfortably beating the clock here.
Rey and Ren have a Force skype. Ren mentions that she can't be doing this because the effort would kill her, even though we do nothing but mention how powerful she is. They back and forth for a bit and she calls him a monster.
That was a tense scene, better lighten the mood again with some comedy. Bring in the frog nuns!
“REY: Master Skywalker we need you to bring the Jedi back because Kylo Ren is strong with the dark side of the Force” this sentence is just nonsense. Just in case you were wondering what was going on in the film because you’d dozed off. I saw it happen at opening night, this was about the point where loved ones gave up poking people back awake.
“LUKE: What do you know about the Force?” “REY: It's a power that Jedi have that lets them control people and make things float.” While this might not seem bad, just clunky dialogue, at this point the canon supplementary materials have tried to spread the idea that Rey somehow downloaded Kylo Ren’s training during her mind probe and that’s why she’s so good at Jedi stuff - as a way to try and mitigate her being such a Mary Sue character. But she also somehow didn’t download anything about what the Force actually is. Someone is telling fibs here.
We're in the middle of a rather intense scene about the nature of the Force and why Luke believes that the Jedi, his entire identity, should end. We all know what Rian Johnson does when you have a tense, dramatic scene - MAKE A FUNNY JOKE!
“LUKE: You went straight to the dark, you didn’t even try to stop yourself” you mean like you did? Remember when Vader’s head exploded and it was your head inside? Regis Johnson has never seen a Star Wars movie before.
If you have shuttles you can send people off into hyperspace on for super secret missions, why not just send a few of those off with everyone in them?
Finn is flying the ship. Despite multiple scenes in this film and the previous one establishing that Finn doesn't know how to fly. We just gloss over this.
There's another weird tonal shift as we segue from the tense, everything-is-riding-on-this-mission-we're-all-gonna-die fleet scene to the festive Canto Bight. This moment is perfectly encapsulated by John Williams. Williams is the greatest film composer of all time and he absolutely nails the sound cue for this one. This one track from the official soundtrack illustrates everything wrong with The Last Jedi, take a listen and see if you can spot the point where John Williams says "fuck it, I'm out" - hint it's 36 seconds in. (After the release of TLJ Williams, the guy who changed the whole game with his original Star Wars soundtrack, announced that he wouldn't be renewing his contract.)
Canto Bight is a terrible place filled with the worst people in the galaxy. We know this because Rose tells us. Exactly like that. It would be far too hard to show us or use some good storytelling techniques. No, Rose knows because she grew up in a place like this. Except instead of an independent colony it was a First Order world. And instead of a casino resort it was a mining colony. So apart from being completely different, it was exactly the same.
The two heroes get caught because they parked in a no stopping zone and got a ticket. They are placed under arrest for Parking Violation 27B/6. That’s in the actual movie. I should also point out that this exact thing happened in Spaceballs, the 1987 parody of Star Wars.
Apparently on Canto Bight a parking violation is enough to get you thrown in gaol indefinitely without due process.
If only there were some precedent for maintaining anonymity on secret missions. Like when Qui-Gon was on a secret mission and he made a point of telling Ric Olie to set down on the outskirts of Mos Espa so they didn’t draw attention. A mechanic, a trained soldier and a robot combined don’t have this much common sense.
Kylo Ren took a handful of Luke’s students. Where are they? Are they the Knights of Ren? Are we going to ever see them? Will you ever mention it again?
“LUKE: At the height of their powers, they allowed Darth Sidious to rise, create the Empire, and wipe them out. It was a Jedi Master who was responsible for the training and creation of Darth Vader.” Did Obi-Wan do something to you in the intervening 30 years? I thought you liked this guy? You were pretty close with all the Force ghost skyping you were doing, now you're shitting on the guy because you've turned off your Force wi-fi? You of all people should know that there were mitigating circumstances in play.
The medical cruiser is now dead because it ran out of fuel. In space, where conservation of momentum isn’t a thing even though Poe established it was a thing. Like I said before not a problem if you say it’s shield fuel or something, but for some reason it tumbles around like a drunk mule. Like they used to last of the fuel to set the course to “wacky”.
The captain of that cruiser stays on the ship, for some unknown reason. Even if it didn’t have an autopilot, which is unlikely, then it certainly didn’t even need a pilot to continue on a straight course. Maybe if they’d turned it around to ram the Supremacy? Maybe even at...dare I say...lightspeed?
Said captain refers to the group of which he is a major part as the rebels. Are they the Resistance or the Rebels? Make the call.
Finn and Rose: We’re on a super secret mission. So it’s important to talk about it really loudly all the time so everyone can hear about it.
There’s apparently only one code breaker in the galaxy who is good enough to crack into Snoke's flagship. Oh, and this guy you randomly meet in a prison cell can do it too.
No, seriously, you just met a guy in a random cell you were thrown in for a parking violation who can break you out of prison, steal a ship for you to escape on, take BB-8 with him for no reason other than because the plot needs him to be there, crack into the uncrackable ship, break into the circuit breaker room to disable the tracker and allow the fleet to escape? That's some coincidence, even for the Force.
R2-D2 gets a lot of heat for all of his little components. But it’s really important that your astromech droid comes with a function for shooting coins, you never know when that will come in handy.
Who knew that shooting coins at people causes them to fall unconscious, but not before binding themselves with zipties?
These new guards that just showed up, the ones that almost catch Finn and Rose, they didn't notice the droid and the space hobo? They didn't notice their colleagues lying unconscious on the floor?
At this point I wouldn’t have blinked if BB-8 randomly shot gold coins because the rest of the movie doesn’t give a fuck about anything, but they did go to a lot of trouble to show a drunk leprechaun using him as a poker machine.
“We’re with the Resistance. Look, I have a secret ring that I got out of a cereal box that proves my Resistanceness. You’re only 10 years old so you wouldn’t know the symbol of the Rebels, which ceased to be 20 years before you were born, but is also the symbol of the Resistance, who we also are, we use both names interchangeably, anyway can you help us free the space camels?”
Wooooo camel stampede through the evil casino of evilness! Take that 1 percent! Finn, having deserted the First Order after being unable to stomach human suffering, now kills people in a stampede because a person he just met told him they're bad people and that makes everything alright. What about the bar staff? The band? The people who also might be there on a secret mission? Fuck those guys! Woo, character progression!
We’ve lost the two criminals in this long grass. Unfortunately our flying car with laser cannons doesn’t have anything more advanced than a flashlight to search with.
“FINN: It was worth it, though. To tear up that town, make 'em hurt. ROSE: (to space camel) Go. Now, it's worth it” 400 of your allies are about to die but it’s all ok because you temporarily saved some camels. It’s actually some good that we establish Rose’s fucked up priorities, because it becomes relevant later.
It's worth mentioning that Rose doesn't place a priority on freeing the slave children, she's only about camels. "We helped you escape, can we come with you?" "Of course not, go fuck yourselves".
Cut to three hours later, when the hovercopter guys have recovered every last space camel and probably whipped the slaves. Still worth it Rose?
Why are they even using slaves at all? This isn't backwater Tattooine. This is an advanced world. You can have droids do everything. They don't need to eat or sleep or complain about rights (until Solo fucked that up). It's like having a slave to make your toast every morning. Sure it does the same job as a toaster but it costs a lot more in the long run.
There's a ship that popped up right where we chased those two fugitives, should we check it out? No, it's probably unrelated.
Rich people are bad, they build their fortune on the backs of animals and slaves. We must free the animals even though they won't survive in the wild. We must inspire hope in the children, but for some reason not free them as well. This whole section feels like fan fiction written by an 8 year old. That kid you got to Force broom shit, the Rainmaker from Looper, how about you get him to run an eye over your next script RJ?
Rey is adamant Kylo Ren cannot be redeemed right up until she sees him without a shirt on. This is an empowering film for women after all.
Kylo Ren has a scar from where Rey cut him with the lightsaber, but no scar from where he was shot with Chewie’s bowcaster - a weapon TFA went to great pains to show was quite powerful.
We went past nitpicking a long time ago so…why are you wearing your pants so high up your waist Kylo?
Rey hits a cranky old man in the head with a stick because the guy she witnessed murdering his own father said that the old man was actually a bad person. She's a "strong female protagonist" who completely loses her moral compass when she sees Adam Driver's cum gutters.
Luke, contrary to all evidence of his character to date, apparently tried to murder Ben Solo in his sleep. We’re not told why he has such a departure from his well established character over the course of three films, we’re just told to accept it without question. Critics will call this an amazing breath of fresh air for the series.
This traumatic event obviously turned Ben Solo into the monster that is Kylo Ren. How much time do we devote to that exposition? Roughly five seconds. Is there anything else to go with it? Any flashback about him turning to Snoke, or embracing the dark side, or even yelling a bit? No. We just take it at face value because RJ is good at teh writingz.
“Let the past die, kill it if you have to” Heavy Handed Metaphor Score - 4
Rey gets sucked into the Dark Side Force Hole Thingy, where she falls into a pool. She's from a desert planet, how does she know how to swim? Ah yes, Rey can do anything.
How does Rey escape the cave through which the only apparent egress is a small hole in a high ceiling? She can probably jump really high - Rey can do anything.
Force ghosts can summon lightning. Did you know that? I can’t imagine that ever having been useful previously such as in fights against Sith Lords or such.
Luke goes to burn the tree. Yoda burns the tree. Luke tries to save everything in the tree he was just about to burn because Yoda decided to burn it. Yoda cackles like a pyromaniac. This is all normal.
“YODA: We are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters”. This is oblique, even by your standards. Heavy Handed Metaphor Score - 5
Yoda does a big speech about the importance of failure. Which would be relevant if Rey were a well developed character who ever encountered failure instead of instantly winning everything. Maybe it's the film trying to apologise for itself.
Yoda says his thing and suddenly Luke is cured of 30 years of moping around. You've got a good point there Yoda, I was a bit of a tit, let's move on. It's a shame he didn't show up when Luke was trying to start a new Jedi Order and thinking about murdering his nephew.
Finn only just figured out that the shady hobo in tattered clothes that he met in a prison cell doesn’t actually own the luxury spaceship he’s traveling in.
“DJ: Good guys, bad guys, made up words” . Heavy Handed Metaphor Score - 6
If you have to literally spell out the theme of your movie, it's probably not very well written. Every other Star Wars film has managed to deal with the concept of morality not being a binary concept with nuance and skill, not this one though. Rian just punches you in the nose with it.
Are we supposed to believe that the First Order might be good or the Resistance might be bad based off this single line of dialogue? Of course they sold weapons to both sides, that's commerce. Of course the Resistance bought weapons, where the fuck else were they supposed to get weapons to fight the actual planet destroying bad guys? Fuck this is so poorly written.
This important character who will betray the heroes, played by acclaimed actor Benicio del Toro, do we give him a name? No, people will just call him DJ because he says "Don't Join" once.
“PEAVEY: That was the last of their support ships”. At this stage I’ve actually been convinced that a support officer would need to help Hux count to four.
“Hope is like the sun. If you only believe in it when you can see it you’ll never make it through the night.” You just know he had a wank after he wrote this one. Heavy Handed Metaphor Score - 7
“POE: Tell us we have a plan” “HOLDO: Ok sure, here’s the plan. It makes sense that you should know it since even though you were demoted you're still one of the most senior officers we have left and you have a reputation for doing stupid, impulsive things. It makes sense to tell you. Now nobody needs to do anything stupid.” That's way better than a poem about hope. There, I just invalidated your whole movie.
Rey tells Chewie that she's going to pop off and see Ren and Snoke and she'll text him to pick her up. Like this is in any way a conceivable plan.
Chewie at this point, and for the whole film, is nothing more than an Uber driver for SuperRey.
Ooh Hackerman is going to slice into the most advanced ship in the galaxy. How will they visually demonstrate programming in the Star Wars universe? Oh he uses a...lockpick...to...text it? I guess?
Did they just park a luxury spaceship on Snoke's flagship without anyone noticing? A space Ferrari shows up unannounced and just parks in your military hanger bay, and three randoms - one of whom is obviously a hobo - hop out and NOBODY thinks to take a look?
The film from here on out mentions “cloaking” a lot. It never actually tells you what that means though. From what I’ve gleaned, cloaking means saying that you’ve cloaked and suddenly everyone has to pretend they didn’t see you.
We’re entering a particularly tense part of the movie here. The do or die infiltration of the First Order superdestroyer. Everything hinges on this moment. That’s why we have A WACKY PULLBACK REVEAL. Ah the “iron” joke. Hilarious. This movie is now actually a direct parody of the franchise it’s a part of. It is now roasting its own existence. It is appallingly bad on a meta level.
Finn disguises BB-8 by putting a bin on him. Is anyone in the First Order not going to recognise a bin? Oh our bins are robots now and moving towards the top-secret room of mystery. Nothing to see here.
Apparently BB-8 also does not have any kind of sensors that work from inside this bin and crashes into everything, for hilarious comic effect. But also don’t forget this is a dark and gritty movie about sacrifice and loss.
You know what isn't as conspicuous as an incongruously alive garbage bin? A fucking robot! Nobody is going to look twice at a robot. Except the other evil looking BB-8 that totally isn't there just for marketing reasons.
Poe Dameron, Resistance Hero and Great Strategist, continues to ask questions over the intercom throughout the entire infiltration mission that everyone’s life depends on, forcing the people on said infiltration mission to answer him and risk blowing their cover.
The hyperspace tracker, the most amazing piece of technology on the First Order flagship, technology so advanced that it shouldn’t exist, lies behind a door that is totally unguarded.
I thought they were going after the circuit breaker for the tracker instead of the tracker itself. That was the plan. But the new dialogue says otherwise. “The tracker is right behind this door”. Everything in this movie relies on you instantly forgetting everything that has come before it. It doesn't just throw away every other Star Wars movie, it throws away itself.
This door to the super secret cave of magic mystery can also be hotwired with a necklace that one of the main characters happened to have that is the exact size and alloy needed to close the circuit on this door. What are the odds?
What is DJ's motivation here? For any of this? I'm seriously asking - what reason does he have to do anything he does?
In the last scene with Poe and Holdo she banishes him from the bridge. The next scene has her talking to Poe in the hangar bay, which she's moved to for reasons that nobody ever explains. Remember Rian Johnson specifically said that there is no criticism of this film that he feels is valid.
You can see Laura Dern making "pew pew" noises as she fires her blaster. She clearly stopped giving a fuck a long time ago.
Poe places Holdo and her staff under arrest. He doesn't cuff them or put them in the brig. He just tells them not to move while he goes off to the bridge. Is anyone in this film competent?
How about we at least take her gun off her? No? Ok then, I'm sure she won't use that in the future.
Where was she hiding that thing? She's wearing a sheer dress like she's about to stroll down a runway. I'm sure that's combat ready attire if the ship gets boarded or something.
Why does Poe turn off the lights in the hangar? Really, why? A lot of these questions are me genuinely looking for answers.
Leia charges into a dimly lit room where a renegade commander is conducting a mutiny. She doesn't bother talking to him or anything, she just goes in and stuns him, hoping he won't be blindly firing at anyone who walks in there, because it's not as though we've established he's a maverick or anything.
Leia and Holdo have spent the entire film telling Dameron that being a hotheaded troublemaker is a problem, now they’re both admiring him for being a troublemaker. “That one’s a troublemaker, I like him”. You have to be trolling Rian. It is utterly impossible to make anything this bad by accident.
Leia and Holdo are laughing. It's really funny how everyone is about to die.
You've got a big day ahead of you Snoke, you sure you don't want to put on pants? Just going to go with the porno robe?
I'm not against homages, Tarantino is a master of them. The throne room entrance is shot for shot the same as The Wizard of Oz. Which is fine, not a problem, unless you're Rian Johnson always going on about how fresh and original you are.
Finn needs to find courage. Poe needs to find a brain. Rey is Dorothy. Everyone had what they needed inside them the whole time, yay. This movie is the house and Star Wars is the wicked witch being crushed by it.
"Your Snoke theory sucks”. Does it Rian? Or did someone guess what you were going to do and you had a tantrum? At least I had a Snoke theory. The big bad guy is dead now because reasons.
This deserves two points. Rian Johnson is deliberately giving the middle finger to the fans and telling them to go fuck themselves for daring to be excited about the film he’s making. The guy is an absolute fucking turd of a human. Fuck you to fans score - 2
“HOLDO: For the transports to escape someone needs to stay behind and pilot the cruiser” - why? Literally everything is a fucking robot. We just saw that the ironing boards are robots.
We just established that the transport ships are unarmed and unshielded, but they somehow have cloaking devices? I’m now convinced that “cloaking” is just something you say. It’s a meaningless nonsense phrase.
Oh we’re heading to a heavily armoured base with a transmitter powerful enough to contact allies are we? That’s what we were doing the whole time? Wouldn’t that information have saved 45 minutes of wasted film and a ridiculous casino sequence?
“HOLDO: Godspeed…rebels”. Are you rebels or Resistance?
The First Order still hasn’t figured out where the Resisty were headed, even though they’re almost at the planet. What makes it worse is that Boba Fett actually did this in ESB, so there’s a precedent that isn't being followed. Critics will call this a breath of fresh air.
So the plan was that Holdo knew the big ships were being tracked but they weren’t expecting smaller ships. But there’s a planet there with a base on it. Which surely someone would go and take a look at, at some point. And why wouldn’t they be able to see the smaller ships? They’re quite visible out the front window that everyone is looking out all the time. I can’t even begin to get my head around how fucking stupid this is. The whole plan was to sneak dozens of smaller craft, in the hope that no one would notice, down to a planet that they hoped no one would notice, into a base that they hoped no one would notice and then the First Order would continue to chase the cruiser with no one on it until they blew it up. At which point they’d probably realise there was no one on it and go back to the planet they’ve probably noticed by now. The whole plan was that they were just going to…go away?
This whole plan is the same as Dr Grant hiding from the T-Rex in Jurassic Park and Laura Dern should know better.
Finn and Rose are taken to meet Hux and face execution in the hangar for some unknown reason. Why is everyone in the hangar? Of all the places to drag them, why the hangar? Not the brig, not the throne room, not the bridge, no we need them to be in a place where they can make their heroic escape.
There are hundreds of stormtroopers present to witness this for some reason. This is an important point to remember because in 30 seconds they're all going to disappear and it will never be explained.
“We ran a decloaking scan” then what the fuck is the fucking point of a cloaking system?
“Full speed to planetfall” at this point it’s safe to assume that Rian Johnson doesn’t know what speed is.
Yet another mixup between Resistance and Rebels.
"REY (to Kylo) I feel the good in you, the conflict." This is the exact line that Luke says to Vader during their Throne Room duel. Kill the past, remember.
Luke went to Vader to redeem him because Vader was his father. Rey wants to save Kylo Ren because he's...a guy she just met? Whose abs she saw?
Rey meeting with Snoke. The focus of the entire movie, what this film and the previous one have been building up to this whole time. Hero meets big bad villain. We’ve established just how strong Rey is, but Rey is helpless in his grasp. Snoke is that powerful. And he’s going to torture and turn Rey. Then he’s going to kill her friends. This is an incredibly dark moment of the film, the equivalent of Darth Vader hovering over Luke on Bespin combined with Palpatine’s taunts in the Death Star throne room. Of course now is a great time to randomly smash cut to BB-8 running into a wall for comic effect. Wackidy-schmackidy-doo!
“SNOKE: I warned my young apprentice that as he grew stronger his equal in the light would rise. Skywalker I assumed”. But Skywalker isn’t rising. He’s already a thing. He’s the most powerful Jedi ever. This is a really dumb thing to say. “I warned Hulu that as it grew stronger as a streaming service, Netflix would rise to meet it”. I shudder to think about the expression of delight on Rubik Johnson’s face as he typed this.
For 6 movies we've had George Lucas telling us that restoring balance to the Force meant overcoming the pervasive shadow of the Dark Side, which had grown disproportionately powerful over the years and now obscured everything. Now apparently balance means that when one side gets a win the Force cranks out a powerful person from the other side because Rian didn't get the memo. Like Buffy's system. So what's the point of killing anyone on either side when the Force will just crank out a replacement? This movie really counts on you never thinking about any of it.
We have a shot of Snoke using the Force to remove Rey's cuffs, in a direct lift from RoTJ. Kill the past. However Palpatine wanted to goad Luke into killing Vader and turning to the Dark Side. Snoke just wants to torture and kill Rey. For that it would be much more convenient if she were handcuffed, don't you think?
Remember in TFA when Snoke took an interest in Rey as soon as Kylo Ren mentioned how powerful she was and told him to bring her in? You do? Fuck, that won't work for this script. We need you to forget that because Snoke has no ulterior motive, he just wants to know where Luke is then he'll kill her. Deep.
Rey reaches for the lightsaber in a parallel of Luke in Return of the Jedi. Oh no, Snoke uses the Force to bonk her on the back of the head. Hilarious. Comedy! What if Palpatine, as he was taunting Luke with the deaths of his friends and allies, farted really loudly?
The Vader subplot is brought up again, only to be discarded once again. Oh you wacky guy Rian.
Another complete lift of the Throne Room scene from RotJ as Rey is forced to watch her comrades die. Except they're not really her comrades, she only met a couple of them briefly.
She watches this through a spyglass of all things, that Snoke has set up to watch the fleeing Rebe...fuck Resistance...transports that he didn't know about. That Hux only knew about a minute ago and hasn't had time to relay that information. Something something Force. Snoke doesn't know about the hyperspace tracker, but he's all over this.
By extension, Snoke's Wizard of Oz magnifying glass can decloak things that are cloaked. Rian has absolutely no fucking clue what the word "cloaking" means and next time should strongly consider having at least a second person look at his script before filming it and shipping it out.
Apparently Ren's training will be completed by killing this girl he met a couple of days ago. Is Force training just some bingo wheel that spits out random missions and they call that training? No no no, killing your father wasn't enough to complete your journey to the Dark Side, I also need you to murder some random chick you just met to really prove your commitment.
Snoke: “I sense someone will cut someone else with a lightsaber. Someone called Rey or Ren, it’s a three letter “R” name, I’m sure of it. They’re going to turn it on their true enemy. I’m going to emphasise the word true. Ah! Curse my ambiguously worded vision!”
Welp, looks like we won't be seeing any more of Kylo Ren's fall to the dark side now. That's ok, I'm sure it wouldn't have been interesting.
The cut clearly pierces Snoke in the middle, Ren then pulls the lightsaber towards himself, but Snoke’s corpse collapses as if bisected.
The incredibly impractical weapons wielded by Snoke’s guard include daggers that combine to form a larger dagger, a whip, multiple guys with polearms made from fluorescent tubes who must have missed fun weapon day and NO ONE WITH A GUN!
Rey has just rushed here after spending a day with Luke, where she lost a lightsaber battle to a rock. She is then somehow able to beat Luke, albeit out of practice, and now not only does she handily defeat Snoke’s highly trained personal guard who have presumably been specifically trained to combat Force users, she also saves Kylo Ren, an extremely powerful and trained Jedi and duelist himself. This is why Rey is such a bad character. There’s never any try/fail cycle. She just keeps comfortably winning at everything.
One guy spends the first half of the fight randomly spinning in the background.
One guy runs away at the start and isn't seen again.
Kylo Ren stabs into the ground and gets his lightsaber stuck. An energy weapon.
The guy he's fighting, seeing that Ren's head and dominant weapon arm are exposed, courteously strikes at Ren's lightsaber instead.
Rey kicks one guy, three guys go flying back.
We have an intricate setup where one guy is holding back from the fight, watching everyone else die. We then see him dramatically split his unwieldy two-handed weapon into two equally unwieldy one-handed weapons. He then rushes in to fight Rey with two daggers and after a cutaway is clearly missing one of his daggers. This isn't subjective criticism, this dipshit of a director couldn't keep continuity on the guy whose entire fucking deal was having TWO knives.
Rey is holding off a pike held against her neck. She drops her lightsaber and catches it in the other hand - the hand that was holding the pike away from her neck. Snoke's guard very obligingly stops trying to kill her while she conducts this very flashy cinematic move.
One of Snoke's guards mysteriously drops his weapon so that Kylo Ren can stab him. This is a very well choreographed sequence that some people will call the best fight scene in Star Wars history.
Rey slashes at a guy and it just nicks his armour. Alright these guys have lightsaber-proof armour I guess. She then throws her lightsaber to Ren and he uses it to stab a guy in the face. I guess they don't have lightsaber-proof armour? I think this was the quickest time in the film between establishing something and contradicting it.
Both Rey and Kylo forget that they can use the Force for the duration of this fight. Every other fight in Star Wars has used the Force, I guess they just wanted to keep things fair.
I've honestly seen Rock Eisteddfods that were better choreographed than this fight scene. At multiple points people wait their turn and come in one at a time. They miss intentionally, they line themselves up for easy hits, they do weird things like spin off in the distance. Were Ray Park and Nic Gillard not available? Or did they just pass on this piece of shit?
That guy just got thrown into a blender and chunks of him went everywhere. Oh my god this movie is dark. It’s not like someone got bonked on the head with a lightsaber 3 minutes ago.
The Empire/First Order - no safety rails on anything for at least 40 years.
At no point in this massive fight in the throne room of the Supreme Leader did anybody hit a panic button or radio for help or anything.
Why are the guards even attacking these two, except for the reason of having OBLIGATORY THRONE ROOM FIGHT SCENE! Sith kill their masters, that's what they do. Ren is the guy in charge now, they should be kneeling to him. (Don't get me started on the "there's no Sith anymore" thing, there's still no reason for these guys to go ape over their dead boss other than because the plot needs it)
15 - number of transports that explode before Holdo decides to do something. Half of the transports. Until this point she’s just standing there watching everyone die with a slightly pensive look on her face, which is also probably just Laura Dern's resting face. Pew pew!
The transports are destroyed not by turbolasers, which we know about, or the autocannons which were just introduced. No there's some sort of new gun that fires mortars. That curve, like they're effected by gravity. In space.
Also she’s standing at the window. She’s not piloting the cruiser that apparently needs piloting.
Oh DJ, curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal.
Rose and Finn obviously watched DJ walking up to them, yet neither of them figured out he was a traitor until they were told. Or when he wasn't lined up next to them, the guy who told them not to trust anyone. The guy they met in an actual jail cell.
Radar Johnson originally wanted DJ’s character to be Lando Calrissian. Because why not have two characters who completely betray their character arcs from the original films?
“PHASMA: Execution by blaster is too good for them. Let’s make this hurt.” With a decapitation. From a lightning axe. Yes, that looks like it will hurt for the millisecond it takes to cut their heads off.
Phasma at this point has become Dr Evil. I want axes with frickin' laser beams on them!
We need strong, interesting female characters. What about Captain Phasma, are you going to delve into what could potentially be the next Boba Fett? Fuck no, she’s not an RJ original character so I’ll just have her say some generic villain lines and then she’ll fall into a pit, never to be seen again. Why? So that Finn can have a melee duel with a First Order character to symbolise how far he’s come, at roughly the same point in the film that he had a melee duel with a First Order character in TFA to symbolise how far he’d come.
How the fuck would Kylo Ren know who Rey’s parents were? She appeared on their radar roughly a day ago and is from a backwards planet that probably doesn’t take an annual census. What the fuck kind of background check did he run? Hey First Order guys, while we’re recovering from the destruction of our battle planet and also conquering the galaxy I need you to run a background check on everyone in the galaxy named Rey. No I don’t have a last name.
Oh, the Force tells him. Of course. Why not? (This is the official line, I’d have gone with him lying to Rey because he’s, you know, a bad guy, but whatever. We’re past that.) Fuck you to fans score - 3.
Rey's parentage could be a great chance to give her some actual character development and influence her motivations and decision making moving forward. She's Luke's daughter, how does that make her react? She's a clone of Palpatine, does that change how she sees herself? Instead all opportunity to develop the character is thrown out the window because Rian doesn't like Star Wars fans and wants to fuck with them at every opportunity.
Rey actually reconciled her parentage plotline at the end of TFA. She realised, with a little encouragement from Maz, that they didn't define her. That she needed to embrace her future without them and let their memory go. This was neatly resolved in TFA. It didn't need to be in this movie. But the fans were speculating, as fans do. Rian Johnson hates the fans, so he wrote a segment of the script which opens up a character arc which was resolved, solely for the purpose of pissing off the fans of the movie he's making. Who let this lunatic in charge?
Kylo Ren is a self-confessed monster who killed his own father, his mentor, tried to kill his previous mentor, killed most of his classmates and is covered in the blood of a guy he just threw in a conveniently placed blender. He's telling you how he plans to be the new emperor, and you don't even consider that he might BE FUCKING BULLSHITTING YOU? FUCK THIS IS SO FUCKING DUMB!
Anakin’s lightsaber splits right down the middle. Not at any of the structural joins. Heavy Handed Metaphor Score - I don’t even know anymore.
“POE: Come on, give it full thrusters. Full speed! COVA NELL: I am, sir.” Everyone is blowing up, just checking to make sure you haven’t accidentally left the park brake on.
A competent First Order would have deployed fighters by now to massacre the unarmed transports. But we’re well past that.
A character we’ve been given no reason to like and have actually been encouraged to hate for the whole film is suddenly sacrificing herself and it’s supposed to mean something. Instead of using someone with an actual character where this would mean something, like Akbar, this is supposed to have the same effect. Too bad you shoved him out a window and had someone make an offhanded comment about his death instead of giving a beloved character any respect. Much more important that you shoehorn in your own creation because you hate playing in someone else’s sandbox.
Imagine that scene though. Akbar piloting the cruiser into the Supremacy. Hux says “what is this?” Peavey responds with “it’s a trap!” as Akbar rams into them. That’s what a fucking satisfying conclusion looks like Reboot Johnson.
Hyperspace ramming. There’s no way this invalidates absolutely every Star Wars movie ever made. Federation ship? Ram it at light speed. Death Star? Ram it at light speed. “Two fighters against a Star Destroyer?” oh, no, my bad, it only takes one to ram it at lightspeed. We've already shat over Newton's First Law, but let's make sure we strictly adhere to his Second because it suits the plot at this one particular time.
Peavey and Hux both look terrified as they see what she's doing. Which means they're aware that they could be rammed at lightspeed, that it is indeed possible, it's just never been done before. Ever. In history. It would make sense for them to look calm, because this has never been done before and is assumed to be impossible. We're so far past sense we're into a new subdimension of stupidity previously unknown to science.
To put in perspective just how fucking dumb this is, imagine Saving Private Ryan. As Tom Hanks is dying and shooting the tank with his pistol, he discovers that shooting a tank with a pistol causes all Germans in a hundred mile radius to die of a stroke. It’s an astonishingly effective tactic and you’d be amazed that nobody had ever thought to try it before, considering how many wars had been fought against the Germans throughout history and the likelihood that someone, at some point, would have to have tried this. Now multiply all the wars that humans have fought with guns involving both tanks and Germans and multiply that by the fact that hyperspace has existed for thousands of years in a galaxy of billions of planets, in a universe that has WARS in the title and you want us to believe that no one, not one person ever, has tried this before? You’re a fucking imbecile Johnson.
Also worth keeping in mind, if Holdo could actually aim then the Supremacy was done for. She missed.
This sacrifice, by the way, is apparently a good thing. How do we know what a good sacrifice or a bad sacrifice is? Rian Johnson makes it up on the fly. The earlier one, with the bombers, that was bad because of reasons. But this one is good because of reasons. What a bold new direction this film is going in.
Holdo's ramming move conveniently vaporised everyone in the hangar bay where Finn and Rose were about to be executed except for characters that have names. How convenient, what are the odds? Remember how I said to look for the disappearing stormtroopers?
Being rammed at light speed is obviously powerful enough to create spot fires throughout the Supremacy, yet all of the damage to the heroes is channelled solely into their handcuffs. Convenient
Phasma didn't get blown up though. We see her moving in from the other end of the hangar with a group of troopers, which explains how she survived. Except in the last shot she was standing right next to Finn and Rose, ordering their execution. Apparently Holdo's move teleported her across the ship. Remember, Rian believes there is absolutely no valid criticism of this film. So much so that he didn't employ anyone on continuity, like every other movie has.
Rose shows surprising accuracy with a pistol for a non-combatant, hitting Phasma at range. I'd be willing to assume the Rebelisty has combat training for mechanics but the plot died an hour ago.
And where did Rose get the pistol? That's the second time a woman has pulled a gun out of nowhere, do all Rebelisty women have vagina holsters?
We have a dramatic reveal where it turns out that BB-8 is piloting the AT-ST. That's a really impressive visual shot. But story-wise, for that to happen, BB-8 would have had to rip the top off the AT-ST, hotwire it, put the top back on then attach the exterior wires so they can pull the top back off for that dramatic reveal. Gotta look cool yo.
How did BB-8 even get there anyway? Last we see he's inside a bin while evil BB-8 has an ominous closeup that lingers far too long.
Phasma comes in holding a rifle. But this is a duel, so her rifle conveniently disappears and she pulls out her pointing stick. Again, not a single person on continuity.
The script calls for an intense personal duel between Finn and Phasma. So Rose needs to be taken out of the fight. That's cool, there's a gun turret that suddenly appeared out of nowhere to pin her down. When Finn wins and Rose is free to move again this turret disappears back into whatever mysterious dimension it came from.
This guy could probably fire at Finn, considering he's the most immediate threat and Phasma's armour was just established as blasterproof, but that doesn't suit the plot.
"FINN: Let's go chromedome"...exquisite writing. From the writer/director who brought you Death Bed: The Bed That Eats People comes The Last Jedi.
“Rebel scum”. What’s the Rebel/Resistance count at now?
See, the guy with the blaster turret has disappeared because the plot doesn't need him. Can't imagine him covering his boss when she's about to die.
Phasma turns to shoot Rose with a pistol she suddenly had and decided not to use on Finn.
Phasma falls into the same hole Finn did but wasn't lucky enough to have a conveniently placed platform. Bummer.
Phasma was marketed as Star Wars' first "on-screen" female villain. If we forget that Zam Wessell was in one of the films Rian never saw. You can chuck Aurra Sing and Asaaj Ventress in there too, but aside from all of them, she's the first female villain because she's the only one Kennedy was in charge of. The Force Is Female.
Kylo is knocked out but Rey isn't. Because she's perfect in every way. We get a throwaway line of dialogue about how she took an escape pod instead of an introspective scene, driving character where she looks down at an unconscious Ren and wonders what to do with him, which is what a good writer would do.
“KYLO REN: We know where she's going. Get all our forces down to that Resistance base. Let's finish this” Oh you finally figured that out did you? How many hours of them crawling towards a habitable planet with something that looks like a base on it did it take for you to clue in?
The Resistance, Rebels, whatever, land on Crait and instantly have a defensive position. We don't get shown this though, it's just assumed that they either do it at lightspeed or the First Order gives them enough time to settle in. We can't show it because the movie is already running long and we wasted 45 minutes on an irrelevant plot-line.
“They’re coming, shut the door” why not do that when you get there? Wouldn’t that be the first thing you did? Or did you need a dramatic moment for Finn and Rose to make their entry, even though they were presumed dead?
That half-destroyed flaming shuttle coming for us is obviously some sort of trap. Open fire.
Why are they expending small arms fire at a crashed shuttle with a hull impervious to small arms fire?
Apparently we’re the Resistance again. For at least 15 seconds.
So this base in the middle of nowhere that hasn’t been used in 30 years has a shield generator that can withstand planetary bombardment, but the main base of operations you just evacuated didn’t? And this one has a nigh-impenetrable door? Why not use this one instead?
This shield you've got, that would have been handy against the auto-cannon at the start of the film, for instance. It's a single line of dialogue and it does a lot of work. Which makes the movie worse. It means the Rian knows how to use exposition to cover plot holes, it's just that he decides he'd rather have nonsense instead.
It’s great the the First Order has miniaturised Death Star tech, a “battering ram cannon”, which is only useful in this exact, specific situation where your enemy is entrenched in a cliffside with an armoured door. That must come up a lot. Along with their Death Star Trebuchet.
I mean we've miniaturized the technology that can destroy entire planets. Should we implement this technology into anything else, like dreadnoughts and the like? No, it must only be used for battering rams when encountering large, mountainside doors.
What's also amazing is that the fleet is destroyed, the Supremacy is in two pieces but you still have this large and specifically equipped ground force intact and ready to go, which was deployed within minutes. Although we have just established that Stormtroopers can teleport when it's dramatically convenient, so I'll give Reegan this one.
We need to get in there and kill those 20 or so people who survived, we don’t have time for a 3-5 day siege while their water runs out, even though we’ve conquered the galaxy, maybe, we’re still hazy on that point.
“FINN: Come on. We have allies. People believe in Leia. They'll get our message, they'll come. But we have to buy time. We gotta take out that cannon.” You’ve been part of this for slightly over a day, most of which you spent unconscious. What are you talking about?
I’m glad they included a random scene of someone eating the dirt and telling us that this is salt, not snow, so it’s totally not Hoth and is a Rebus Johnson Original Creation™, since this is a shot-for-shot remake of ESB and we don't want to look like we're plagiarising anything here.
Oh yeah that guy who eats the salt? He’s credited as “Salty”. It’s all about the little details.
Get Space Kenny Rogers, a character we’ve never seen before or will ever again, out there to stand up and show the First Order that you’re not afraid. That’ll scare them off.
Finn, a guy with no piloting experience but a lot of time as a foot-soldier, is placed in a speeder that he can’t fly and not with the foot-soldiers.
So is the engineer for some reason - quick get everyone with a speaking role into this dramatic scene. I'm surprised he didn't get Leia to fly one.
The speeders have no hope of destroying the walkers. They're out there to kill the battering ram cannon, which apparently is made of stuff that they can damage. So why do they head out before the cannon shows up? Why not wait until it's there instead of letting people die while they twiddle their thumbs.
A competent First Order would simply wait with the cannon until they destroy all the speeders, then bring the cannon in unmolested. But no, that's logical.
Poe commands them to “keep tight”. Keeping tight has, through the entire course of the film, led to nothing but trouble. But why start making good decisions now?
Hux sends all fighters against the Falcon. There are dozens of them and the Resistance clearly has something planned with the skimmers. Why not some of the fighters? Why not leave one to pick off the ground skimmers? Oh yeah, “they hate that ship”. It’s a good thing we’ve spent a lot of time showing how incompetent Hux is or this would never make sense.
“She drew them off” while not entirely unfounded, Finn is still making a leap that Rey is actually on the Falcon.
Rey, having been rejected by Luke, tortured by Snoke, tried and failed to return Ben to the light side and seen him become the new Emperor, is now joyously laughing and commenting about how much she enjoys murdering people with a gun turret - which she is also good at using without previously establishing any skill. She just shows up out of nowhere to save everyone with a skill we never established her having. What a well written character.
In fact with her very first shot on a gun she's never used before she kills three TIEs in one shot. She is the best gunner we've ever seen in the history of Star Wars and she does it in her first attempt.
Rey then yells at Chewie for merely being a very good pilot of the ship he owns instead of being the unstoppable, omnipowerful goddess that she'd be if she were flying it.
This is a crystal cavern we're flying through, ok? Those are stalactites, not steel beams, this is totally not a ripoff of the Death Star run in RoTJ.
“KYLO REN: All firepower on those speeders. ARMITAGE HUX: Concentrate all fire on the speeders“ If only you hadn’t just given the opposite order for no reason.
Apparently out of the entire massive fleet that the First Order had, only 8 TIE fighters survived the Holdo Manuever.
The Walkers all stop moving and shooting. No reason is given for this. They just stop trying to kill things because Finn needs to have a dramatic moment.
“It’s a suicide run”. It always was. That’s the point. Thank fuck Poe Dameron wasn’t in charge of Yavin or Endor.
How is Finn’s sacrifice different to Holdo’s sacrifice? Why is that one good but this one bad? It’s another Rian Johnson Arbitrary Plot Device™
Finn's plan is to shoot straight down its throat. This is the same as Independence Day, which Rian totally isn't ripping off because he's an original writer.
The walkers start shooting again, just as suddenly as they stopped and also for no reason. Rian just remembered that they exist.
All of the speeders die except for the ones with major characters in them.
Whatever the cockpit of Finn’s skimmer is made from they need to make everything out of that. His skimmer is melting everywhere else, the 10 meter thick door is melting all the way through, but he’s still fine for his hero moment.
Of course what is the point of all of a door when there are multiple tunnels into the mine that the troopers can run through? I mean they can’t get the ludicrously oversized walkers in there, but the guy with the Force and the lightsaber could probably do some damage maybe?
Rose retreats with everyone else when given the order by Poe. Finn pushes his speeder to maximum acceleration to ram the cannon. There is a wide shot to show how Finn is the only one left heading towards the cannon. Everything establishes how far he is ahead while everyone else is going the same speed back towards the base. Rose then somehow circles back and intercepts Finn with extra magic afterburners powered by love.
Why didn't Finn get hit by any of the walkers when he was the only target in range? Especially considering that he isn't maneuvering and is flying in a straight line.
How did Rose know that she'd just knock Finn aside instead of killing both of them in a high speed collision, with Finn's speeder showing demonstrable structural damage.
“I saved you”. No you doomed everyone. Well done. And still lippy about it. Love is what wins wars? No it’s big guns and troops. “Not fighting what we hate, but saving what we love”. More heavy handed symbolism. I...I just can't even process how terrible this line is. Just how fucking awful this single line of dialogue is. Like my brain won't let me concentrate on it because I'll get cancer. This is just...incompetence.
Never mind that this is exactly what Finn was doing. He'd come to love the cause. He was saving what he loved. Rey is the worst character ever written, but Rose is the dumbest.
You just killed everyone because you wanted some dark chocolate. Remember that sister that you live so much? It was about 200 plot holes ago so probably not, but she sacrificed herself to save the Resistance and you were sad but proud of her. Now you just took a massive shit on her dying act of bravery. We don't hate Kelly Marie Tran, we hate the dumb as a bag of fucking rocks character that she had the misfortune of protraying.
Rose is horribly injured. Finn doesn't have a scratch. Weird.
Did we establish some sort of relationship between these two characters while I wasn’t looking? Did they bang on the way back from Canto Bight or did this come out of nowhere?
If a speeder is 7.33 meters in length then Finn and Rose crash at least 500 meters from the tunnel entrance, and just in front of the First Order. He drags her back that distance without anyone challenging him or opening fire. Power of love baby, not even the First Order can fuck with that.
We assume that at no point did Kylo Ren look at Finn dragging Rose back. Because if he did he’d see a guy who he has a personal history with, knows to be a traitor, cost him Poe Dameron and his chance to find Skywalker, later engaged in a lightsaber duel with at a time when he lost his superweapon and picked up a scar - and then said “nah, let him go, don’t bother having a walker turn its head 10 degrees and fire a single shot while we have literally nothing else to do”
"The galaxy has lost all its hope. The spark is out." Luke returns. Heavy Handed Metaphor score - a million?
Rose is dying. The Resistance is doomed, there’s no way out. We’re at the lowest ebb. Everything is bleak. Somber music plays. Time for some trademark Hux slapstick comedy to lighten the mood!
“ARMITAGE HUX: Supreme Leader, don't get distracted, our goal....” Wow, it only took this long for Hux to have a semi-reasonable thought.
Luke goes out to face the whole First Order down with a laser sword. The exact thing he earlier told Rey was ridiculous. Oh Rian, you're so clever with your plot twists.
Luke makes a taunting gesture to the First Order, something that would have been out of character for the old, optimistic Luke and is still out of character for the new, mopey Luke. Rian sure loves his jokes though.
Also, presumably, Finn dragged Rose through the massive storm of fire directed at Luke, although there was no sign of this during the wide shot and no trail in the salt to indicate his path. Salt trails are extremely important, as Reave Johnson will go to great lengths to make clear.
Luke probably shouldn’t have stopped for that haircut.
There is no way a Porg is capable of flight
I would kill to be a fly on the wall watching Rian Johnson convince himself that inserting Porgs in the film was a decision he made himself through his creative genius and not a direct order from Disney marketing.
“KYLO REN: Bring me down to him. Keep the door covered and don't advance until I say.” Kylo Ren has taken over as chief idiot of the First Order, giving bad tactical decisions that make absolutely no sense. If only it were possible for Force people to fight other Force people while troops take an objective, where have I seen that before? Oh yeah, the Duel of the Fates where Padmé and her troops don’t politely wait until the duel is over and instead go and do their fucking jobs.
“POE: No, no. We are the spark that'll light the fire that will burn the First Order down.” Hey it’s that metaphor we keep using!
Luke’s heroic sacrifice is arbitrarily good. THE JOHNSON HAS DECREED!
“POE: Skywalker's doing this so we can survive. There's gotta be a way out of this mine. Hell, how did he get in here?” He’s a magical space wizard, that’s how. Also the director has gone to extraordinary lengths to show that he didn’t actually sneak in. Force ex machina to the rescue.
So 3PO is now saying that there is a chance of escaping the mines? Why didn't he say that before? Why did he say the opposite? Oh right, because we needed tension for Finn to do his thing.
What exactly was the plan here? You wanted to wait for the First Order to get bored and go away, but that didn’t work. Now you’re sending a distress call to your “allies”. Do those allies have a massive fleet of capital ships? Because it looks like you need a massive fleet of capital ships. I don’t see how a couple of smugglers and a Force powered chimney sweep are going to help you out here.
“POE: Follow me” “LEIA: What are you looking at me for?” Because you’re the general, this is your show, and Dameron is a captain now because you demoted him and you told nobody to listen to him. That might be why.
Oh no, there's a bunch of rocks in the way, we'll never make it out. Unless we have explosives. Or, wait, Leia you can do Force things right? Can you levitate those rocks? No? We have to wait for Supergirl to show up out of nowhere? Ok then.
"KYLO REN: Have you come to save my soul?" "LUKE: No". And there it is. The entire problem with new Luke in a single word. Not even one last token attempt to redeem him. Just straight up abandonment.
“I will have killed the last Jedi”. Which is the name of the film…
"Every word of what you just said is wrong" what even the part where Ren says he's sure Luke feels sorry? You didn't think this one through did you champ, too busy chasing that catchy soundbite.
The hair, the outfit, Anakin’s lightsaber, the slow motion close up of Luke’s foot sliding on the salt. The fact that you had an entire sequence on a salt covered planet just for this one shot. This is a ludicrously long and convoluted setup to show that you’re so clever in presaging that Luke was never actually there. If you had put this level of effort into any other portion of the film…
Does anyone know if they’re called the Rebels or the Resistance? Kylo says Resistance. Luke says Rebels. Can we settle on Resisty?
Kylo Ren is surprised that Luke is sending a projection. Wouldn't a Force user be able to tell that? He didn't notice that he didn't touch the salt? He didn't notice their sabers never clashed? He didn't notice that Luke looked exactly like he did the last time Kylo saw him, years ago? He didn't notice he was using the lightsaber that he destroyed 20 minutes ago? Why can't he see this is just a diversion?
Why didn't Luke project his green lightsaber? The one he built, the one that is the sign of him becoming a Jedi - why does he project his father's lightsaber which has no real relevance, must be harder to do and has the potential to tip off Kylo Ren to the entire ruse? Oh, to make Johnson look clever. Alright then.
Well at least Luke is starting to turn back towards the character we know and love. At this rate he should be back in the saddle for the next episode. Oh wait, no, he's dead. Rian butchered him and then made sure to salt the earth so no one else can have a shot at fixing it.
Kylo Ren enters the base with a force of Snow Troopers. After we went to such great lengths to show that this isn't Hoth and is temperate enough for everyone to get around in a shirt. Remember, Rian thinks there are no valid criticisms of this film.
Luke Skywalker, Jedi Master, uses an incredible amount of the Force to send a projection across the galaxy to duel Kylo Ren. The effort is so taxing that he’s dying from doing it. But it’s incredibly important that he holds out just a little bit longer to maintain a projection of the dice that Han Solo used to hang in the Falcon just to piss off Kylo Ren.
Rey lifts the rocks, each of which would weigh about half as much as an X-Wing, with such ease that she looks slightly bored. This is one of the most demonstrable shows of Force strength in the entire series and she doesn't break a sweat. At this rate the next film will be her snapping her fingers and the First Order will disappear.
“D’ARCY: when we get to the Outer Rim I have a contact there”. Your contacts just told you to go fuck yourselves. What changed in the last 23 seconds?
Also the official documentation for the film specifies that Crait is in the Outer Rim. This is like saying “after we flee Brisbane , when we get to Queensland I have a contact there”.
Luke’s mechanical arm disappears along with him, or it would have pinned down his robe. Even though that doesn’t make any sense, we went through that looking glass a long time ago.
Rey closes the door on Ren. What’s the Heavy Handed Metaphor score up to?
Chuck in another Resistance/Rebel mixup to close out the film.
“REY: How do we build a Rebellion from this? LEIA: (puts her hand on Rey's and smiles) We have everything we need.” What the fuck just happened? You’re at exactly the same point in the story as when A New Hope started. You’ve just nullified every film in between. Worse even, as the previous Rebellion had more people than could fit on a freighter. This is the worst that everything has ever been.
The kids are telling the story of the Battle of Crait. Which was a resounding defeat for the rebels, Resistance, whoever. Luke Skywalker died. Roughly 90% of the Resisty, over 350 people, died with him. Now you’re spinning this into a win? Are you Trump? And how did you hear about this? Did the Falcon run back to Canto Bight because the Resisty was so well received there last time so you could give them the script for a puppet show? If you did go back why didn't you free the slaves?
I’m pretty sure if you can telekinetically summon a broom you can escape from a slave situation run by people who couldn’t stop a sudden breakout of camels. Why not use the Force to throw some coins at them, they're weak against coins.