finn

So, let’s talk about it.  If you haven’t seen it yet, last warning to stop reading…

I liked it.  I’ve also heard the full gamut of reactions: some people think it’s the best episode since “Empire”, some have called it absolute trash.  I’m in the middle obviously, but I think there are some valid questions to be asked.

First though, what I liked…

  • Subtle Nostalgia: Luke referring to Palpatine as ‘Darth Sidious’.  R2 using the ‘Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi’ video to bring Luke back into the fold.  And I don’t mind saying the eyes got a little misty when Master Yoda showed up.  There’s a lot of nice little moments like that.
  • Taking Chances: I love ‘the Empire Strikes Back’; I had legitimate concern they were going to just run all those story beats with the new characters.  But to their credit, pretty much from the beginning, had no idea where the story was going and couldn’t predict what would happen next.  Did every gamble work?  Hold that thought…
  • Supreme Leader Kylo Ren: We know who the bad guy is for Episode IX.  One of my nerd complaints about the Sith (which hasn’t been done in the movies until now) is we never see the Apprentice’s lust for power go full coup d’etat on the Master.  As far as the Dark Side of the Force goes, Kylo has no peers now.  Having said that…

Let’s get to the complaints which I think have some merit:

  • Great ideas, questionable execution: Kylo is the Supreme Leader now but…would someone as powerful as Snoke not sense the lightsaber two inches from him is being pointed at him?  Luke sensed Ben had the dark side in him but…would a Jedi Master really consider killing anyone in his sleep?  Let alone his star protege? Let alone his nephew?  I…don’t…know…
  • The Last Jedi: It’s really obvious now the story hole that’s been created by Carrie Fisher’s passing (RIP).  Still, this is the ‘Skywalker Saga’.  The people still aren’t fully invested in Ben Solo, and Rey is…not a Skywalker?  OK well…have fun with all that, JJ Abrams.
  • Finn: I’ve had a couple days to think about this now.  Adam and Oscar are clearly the ‘I’m a serious actor, not a movie star; only sitting on the end of Kimmel’s couch because Disney will break my kneecaps’ types; Jedi Bae is set up to have Keira Knightley’s acting/modeling career if that’s what she wants (and I really don’t know that she does, another conversation for another day).  Boyega is following Harrison Ford’s path: not the main character of Star Wars, but using the franchise to make himself the lead in his own franchise(s).  And that’s how you play the game.  But Finn, man…  His intro in this movie is half comatose, walking around in a leaking water bottle; the casino stuff was super cool but maybe not necessary (the idea/execution thing again), and when it looked like he was sacrificing himself by flying into the battering ram…I felt myself getting angry.  I brushed off the ‘Magic Negro’ critiques from ‘Awakens’; this time I felt it before the credits rolled.  We’ll see if JJ gives him a lightsaber again for Episode IX.

So a lot of nitpicks, but overall I still enjoyed it.  Go figure.

I guess the last word is I have more concern now for what Episode IX will be then I thought I would…

 

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