I’ll admit, I have yet to see The Last Jedi.
Maybe when I finally do see it, I’ll think that Vince Mancini is an idiot.
But until then, he just wrote a review for the film that basically gave haters of the film an FU.
The review titled “The Last Jedi subvers some of the worst Star Wars tropes”, he essentially addressed the issues that came to mind while reading the spoilers.
And yes, I do read spoilers. Intentionally. Never, in my long and storied career watching movies, have I found that knowing the plot of the movie beforehand has ruined my experience. It never happened. In fact, I have found that it only ENHANCES my experience because I’m able to focus on the quality of the picture. Plot doesn’t matter as much as you think it does. You’re able to watch a movie you like over and over again. You know what happens, yet you’re still able to enjoy the film. It’s the same principle. So if you’re one of those people that get upset over spoilers…go fuck yourself.
I haven’t even finished writing this article and I hope I spoil the shit out of it for you.
But it appeared as though this new trilogy wants to do away with the hereditary nature of the Force. And to that, I say good riddance. I thought that that was a neat turn, and I was open to a change to what was a simplistic and outdated philosophy within the series.
(I was not okay, however, with the death of Snoke and Luke Skywalker)
Mancini addresses this in his review. Star Wars is essentially a space opera. It isn’t as philosophically sophisticated as say Star Trek or the rebooted Battlestar Galactica. And that’s alright. But in this simplicity, the concept of the Force becomes outdated and old-fashioned. George Lucas might’ve been a visionary, but he certainly wasn’t much on the SCIENCE part of science fiction. Therefore the concept of the Force ran the risk of becoming a lazy excuse to quickly explain away things. Mind you, taking away the heritable nature of the Force and allowing anyone to use it will likely make that a greater risk. But still, it’s nice that they’re challenging this old concept, at least in my view. Of course, this has pissed off or confused hardcore fans (I guess the Jedi are being done away with?). That’s a MAJOR change and these new films are challenging some of these established “tropes” which, on its surface, is PISSING off long time fans…even though it’s updating the this simplistic philosophy for the modern age. That’s what Mancini was addressing.
Many were quick to point out in the comments that Star Wars is, at its heart, a story about the Skywalkers….and that’s what Mancini wasn’t understanding. It’s a pretty lazy argument. We might as well say that Star Trek, at its heart, is about Kirk and Spock. While the fans are technically correct, the trilogies have focused on the Skywalkers, it doesn’t HAVE to remain that way forever. By freeing up the limitations of the Force, it will allow this universe to expand. By leaning on this excuse, fans simply seem to be looking for excuses to hate this movie.
Now I’ll admit, after the death of Han Solo in the last film, my interest in Star Wars plummeted. For me growing up as a kid, Harrison Ford’s charisma carried the day. Sure, the space battles and visuals were cool, but in my mind, they were about Han Solo. Which is why I’m not a huge fan of quickly trying to kill off beloved characters from the original trilogy.
I get WHY they’re doing it. They want to get rid of those characters to make room for the new ones. While Solo’s death was a good one, from what I’ve read, Luke deserves a little more respect than what he received in the Last Jedi.
Kylo Ren is a great villain. But when it comes to the new cast, Poe, Rey, and Finn don’t quite capture it for me. At least not yet. I mean, they were given a tall order: to succeed the original crew. Perhaps in time they will become as beloved as Ford, Fisher, and Hammil were. But as I’ve always believed, a film is only as good as its villain, and Adam Driver has so far delivered.
I can’t comment on Rian Johnson’s decision making. Perhaps he did make some stupid decisions in the Last Jedi. But if Star Wars is to survive for generations to come, these kinds of changes have to be made. It’s easy to compare The Empire Strikes Back to the Last Jedi, they’re both the middle section of their respective trilogies, but I vaguely recall people saying that people had similar reactions to “Empire” as they are now to “Jedi”. It was a significant departure from the formula. I’m just saying, give it some time.
Of course, maybe I should wait to see the film. Maybe Johnson really did fuck it up.