Tuesday, July 3, 2018

WTH? Star Wars: The Last Jedi Inconsistencies


So I finally caught up with all the Star Wars films since The Last Jedi is now on Netflix. I know I've waited way too long to see it and despite hearing some bad things, I was still excited to watch it.

Alright, with that out of the way, I'm a lot upset with the weird inconsistencies that were going on throughout the film. The biggest things that bug me are the lack of world-building and strange plot holes. To be clear, I can easily suspend belief for fantasy worlds and rules so long as they're consistent within themselves. I found a good article that pointed out most of my qualms with The Last Jedi (and a few I didn't catch or don't agree with), but at around the hour and half mark, I just couldn't take them anymore. Below are my own problems with the movie that weren't mentioned, but this isn't a review.

[Here's the article if you're interested (Spoilers here too): Star Wars: 15 Mistakes You Completely Missed In The Last Jedi http://bit.ly/2lOsJsS]

If you haven't watched the film, then beware! There are...



To be honest, I was already irked from the very beginning with the inconsistencies. The point that majorly took me out of the movie was when Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern) drove the ship through Snoke's fleet and demolished practically everything... and apparently everyone. Finn (John Boyega) and Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) came back from their awkwardly pointless mission of retrieving a Codebreaker (Benicio del Toro), which was apparently all planned out by the First Order including their meeting and capture or at least played out that way - OK... sorry, back on point. Anyway, the two were already captured, completely surrounded by an army of Stormtroopers led by Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie), and were just about to get executed. Enter lightspeed through Snoke's ship that nearly demolishes everything including the entire Stormtrooper army which miraculously disappeared... leaving only Finn and Rose by themselves still alive, unscathed, and with only a couple Stormtroopers bodies left... What made this moment worse was that Captain Phasma enters this apparently new inconsistent scene through the dust at a huge distance away with her entourage of other Stormtroopers... How exactly did this happen if she and all of her vast army were literally right next to them just a few seconds from executing them earlier?? This seemed like it was 2 separate scenes that weren't even together when filmed the first time.

Breathe... whew...


This brought me back to the beginning as well with the next strange happening. With the Bomber runs on their way and not being attacked first (mentioned in the article already), Rose's sister, Paige (Veronica Ngo), is a gunner on the last ship remaining. With their bay doors open ready to drop a whole slew of bombs onto the Dreadnaught, and her pilot/copilot dead with the remote control pending a push of a button to drop them, Paige scurries up the ladder past the bombs only to get knocked down and left helpless (apparently). She then forcefully kicks the ladder above to drop the remote control dangling over the edge. She wasn't pinned or anything, climbed up quick enough last time, and didn't appear as if she was injured to impair movement (thus the violent kicking of the ladder). So after all of that, the remote drops, and she narrowly grabs it, pushing the button, releasing the bombs hanging over the open bay doors below to ultimately destroy the First Order's beloved Dreadnaught ship with a single bomber run across it along with Paige herself.

My problem with this was that the bay doors were already open as the bombs lay ready to drop with Paige out in open space. So at this point, again, I can suspend my belief that shield technology somehow traps the atmosphere in and around the ship to allow Paige to breathe but can also allow the bombs to drop through them without exploding on impact on the inside nor penetrating the shield's ability to maintain an atmosphere inside (they're one-way shields- sure). That would all be well and good until we go back to that first problem with Finn, Rose, and Phasma mentioned earlier. The lightspeed move eradicated Snoke's ship enough to completely vaporize the entire Stormtrooper army and leave a gigantic gash in the hull, yet somehow the atmosphere was just fine for Finn and Rose to breathe with no one sucked out. I would have said this could have stayed consistent with the previous rule from the beginning if it hadn't been for Leia's awkward Force scene when she was sucked out into space after the hull was breached (not the shield). So which is it? The shield can still protect parts of the ship only sometimes? Or is it just around our heroes when it's convenient to not kill them off??

Speaking of weird physics with shields and people, another part was the gravity in Snoke's destroyed ship. When Leia was blasted out with the hull breach, she was immediately sucked out into space. However, Finn and Rose were fine without holding onto anything with fully functioning gravity, which eventually led Phasma to fall to an untimely death (supposedly - no real proof of it; if she returns her left eye may be burned, so Brienne of Tarth turns into The Hound). So where does this gravity exist in a breached hull that decimated the shield?? Ugh. Speaking of which, wasn't the bridge destroyed when Leia was on it? Wasn't Poe (Oscar Isaac) on that exact same bridge that was destroyed?? Again, ugh...

Let's move on towards the final act.


So, the weird speeders running through the white and red salt (which somehow separated over time; yeah, that's another one)... Since when does dragging a piece of your ship somehow stabilize its flight path?? Seriously?? Everything ever in the Star Wars universe says levitating above solid objects (you know, land not water) does not inhibit their movement, but dragging on the solid ground can completely destroy a ship. Yet these speeders MUST have it down or else they lose their stability?? Come on, now. The wake they tried to pull off in the previews was the red against the white similar to that on water (nice visuals and color contrast though, and similar to that from The Force Awakens with the X-Wings)... but again, that's water - a liquid, not solid land. If it were dust, OK maybe, but then that would make me ask which of it is exactly solid ground then?? The white salt or the red salt?? Solid and impacted enough for people and giant walkers to stand on and not sink... yeah.


R2D2 scanned the schematics of the entire base and found it only had one entrance and exit... yet all of the troops did not leave through the giant front door (the only one) to get to the long trenches outside without getting attacked... so how exactly did they get there if the giant blast doors were the only entrance or exit?? Let's not even mention how (1) having a single point of escape for a Rebel base is completely ridiculous and nonstrategic on so many levels, and (2) that the huge ass hangar they were in didn't have a single path leading anywhere else in the world with all those tunnels in back. Let's also not forget the giant reactors or guns on the outside that seemed really similar to those on Hoth. You mean to tell me that the only access to those structures is across miles of land outside?? Really?? Well, they did have to run above ground in Empire Strikes Back on Hoth (and died doing it), so that could be feasible. However, Rebel bases, old or not, under similar designs have elaborate tunnels and escape routes - they had to be more clever to begin with or else they would have been wiped out from the beginning. Did they not have an exit strategy for ships on Empire Strikes Back?? I kinda recall an exit strategy in Empire Strikes Back.


Speaking of the weird ass planet of Crait, I'm going to mention Finn and Rose again. They crashed just in front of the Walkers and the giant cannon, but moments after it fires, they just run in from outside after the blast doors have been blasted through (not really blast-efficient). I know this was mentioned in the article, but what I didn't agree with was that the walkers were just a few hundred YARDS away. The size of the speeders, the speed they were going, and the distance the walkers were shown were not just a few hundred YARDS away (that's 3 football fields, folks). If anything, they were at least a few miles away, yet Finn just runs up out of nowhere like Usain Bolt on crack dragging an unconscious Rose behind him like it was nothing. I don't know when the last time you ran a few miles sub-5 minutes dragging a whole other human behind you, but that right there is just bullshit.


As for the strange, interactive Force Bodies that can apparently affect the real world now (mentioned in the article), I didn't find it too hard to believe that Luke was using his blue lightsaber and Kylo being too much of an idiot to realize it was already destroyed. I do agree the Force Jewelry stuck around a bit too long though after Luke already stopped projecting.

By the way, does Luke get his old hand back as a Force Spirit, or is he left having to craft a new Force one?? According to Yoda and Obiwan's look, your Force Spirit looks just like you do when you die - absolutely barring Lucas' horrible decision to change Vader's spirit to Hayden Christensen in Return of the Jedi. This makes me really curious as to who judges you to become a Force Spirit or not. It's definitely not the Younglings Vader killed, that's for sure. Where are all the Sith that died?? Don't they operate with the same Force but just the Dark Side of it??

Speaking of the Dark Side of the Force... Snoke seemed a bit overpowered. So much so that he couldn't sense (or even hear) the damn lightsaber being turned against him RIGHT BY HIS SIDE! I thought he was good at reading thoughts, not just intentions. He can bridge two Force users together so they can hear AND see each other but can't do that for himself with his own apprentice in the same room?? There was also zero explanation or even an inkling of his origin before he died which seemed like really piss-poor planning on a movie of this scale. He's just another Sith roaming the Universe that somehow shows up as the most powerful one of all.


The last and one of my biggest qualms has to do with the almost immediate "mastering" of skills with the Force. I say it's my biggest because I see this in a lot of movies today, and it's ridiculous. People with almost zero experience are just "natural masters," even though every single person beforehand had to build themselves up to that level of power.

What was great with the older films was that Luke had to TRAIN his skills to become adept with them; even Vader did, and he's like the Force's baby-child. Neither of them used some Sharingan jutsu to just duplicate everything they saw move-for-move, intensity-by-intensity. I run this akin to warlocks and witches not using incantations anymore but rather just snap their fingers and magic exists. Harry Potter did well enough to show a progression of skills over different school years and eventually moving up to non-incantation spell-casting. In every magic-based story or universe I've come across, non-incantations drastically reduce the potency of said spell while incantations make them more powerful; the same can be said of closing one's, eyes, using the physical body/hands for telekinesis, etc.

Anyway, my problem isn't so much with Kylo (Adam Driver) because he training with Luke, but rather with Rey (Daisy Ridley). Having potential is one thing... being able to just use everything without so much as a bead of sweat is completely different. I group that type of behavior along the lines of deus ex machina. It dehumanizes the people in stories like this and makes them much harder to relate to. That's like going, "oh look, I've got telekinesis! I moved one object, now I can move a hundred objects individually at the same time in every direction possible with absolutely zero practice. Sweet Plothole! Thanks, Writers!" That didn't happen in the movie - oh wait, yeah it did. Rey moved a ton of rocks with only so much as moving a lightsaber with the Force beforehand.


So those were my biggest problems with the movie. The action was fine, but the world-building absolutely sucked and felt more like world-deconstruction. For a movie trying to set up a newer generation of Force users, I felt it didn't do too well trying to establish that. Let's not even mention the weird kids on Canto Bight that can use the Force... I'm not even going to touch on that one right now.

I love Star Wars, and I was excited for this movie. The rest of it was somewhat entertaining, but please... OH PLEASE... get your damn rules of the universe right!! And if they have already been established in a franchise *cough cough* like Star Wars *cough*, then just stick to what's already done and don't be an idiot about trying to reinvent the wheel. It became a powerful franchise on its own based on the Universe that was made in. Build, don't deviate completely unless you want shit for it. Story over rules is fine when the rules are still consistent.

I know I said I wasn't writing a review, but I guess this still sort of falls into one even being late as it is. Ah well, just please don't botch the next one. I'm all for exploring new ground but not at the expense of saying "screw it" for everything else that's been established.

Frustratingly Yours,

~J Hooligan

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