Star Wars: Episode 7, 8... and BEYOND!

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
Again, it was sitting at space dock, it's not like it was ready to fly out and had a skeleton crew. It had much much less then that.
Your previous complaint was about an insufficient bridge crew, but alright, I guess I can still see your goal post from here to where you moved it. =P

Roger said:
If the navigational bridge is all that is required then the ten of thousands of people that work on the hundreds of other decks on a eclipse don't really have a job with regards to operating the ship. I don't like that idea.
You also previously complained about efficiently operating the thing, which is neither the situation at hand nor what you're now describing.

Roger said:
You are leaving that they were forced to leave their base because Poe brought a Eclipse-clas star destroyer there.
Two completely different parts of the script. Apparently you never read as far as the part I quoted.

Roger said:
"LUKE (VO)
This is where the dark path leads.
An empty tomb.
LUKE SKYWALKER’S VOICE. Haunting his nephew like a spirit.
KYLO
And where did your path lead?
You’re a ghost.
LUKE (VO)
I know what you’re searching for,
Ben. Your Master promised you
strength, but you feel hollow.
KYLO
Soon I will be more powerful than
any Jedi. Even you.
LUKE (VO)
Are you sure?"

"LUKE (CONT'D)
Beneath the Temple of Mortis lies a
power beyond anything the Jedi have
ever known. If Kylo reaches the
Temple, all we’ve fought for will
be lost. You have to confront him."

These are the passages I'm referring to, whether Kylo ultimately fails to life up to Luke's fears or not doesn't retroactively improve Luke's characterisation here.
You get that Luke's choice of words in his warnings to Kylo ("an empty tomb;" "You feel hollow"; "Are you sure?") were dramatic irony because he knew there wouldn't be anything there on Mortis, yes? And that he was lying to Rey to get her to fight Ben?

Roger said:
So can I. All the same, having established that not a single person is willing to help, not one single head of planetary government, ship captain or even person manning a communications panel in the galaxy being willing to even respond with a message to remorsefully decline, the story should be about how the galaxy moved past this state of affairs, not skip to that substantial problem being overcome off screen.
TRoS paid even less attention to "how the galaxy moved past this state of affairs," so it's really unreasonable that you're citing this as an example of how the script we got was better. =|

In either case (TRoS or DotF), there were stories that went into the shenanigans The Resistance got into after TLJ, as well as how they could inspire the galaxy to believe in them that "no one gets left behind."

Roger said:
How? Only the last few handul of Resistance survivors and the First Order witnessed Luke's final stand.
You saw the same ending to TLJ that I did. Why ask me?

Roger said:
I know you've seen the other movies, but I guess I should add extremely hostile species that doesn't speak Basic to the Tusken Raiders description.
That's really down to individual tribes. Some display more/less civility than others -- and in the EU, there were even Jedi Sand People for crying out loud.

Roger said:
There are millions of species that have spread throughout the galaxy and are ubiquitous in any population center and thus a common sight and useful as a disguise. The Tusken Raiders are not among those species but are iconic to us because the movies take place in no small part on Tatioone, a sparsely populated back-water desert planet that the average citizen of galaxy, like Rey or workers on Kuat probably wouldn't even have heard of much less recognise a local from.
Then it shouldn't make for an issue with the 99.9 percent of the galaxy's occupants who wouldn't know a Tusken Raider from an Ubese. For those who would, the disguise is presumably still going to serve its purpose since Tusken Raiders generally subscribe to the Mandalorian School of Who Sees Me Without My Headgear On.

Roger said:
But it's recognisable to us so it gets the edge on being Rey's disguise. That's dumb fanservice in my eyes.
If there's a joyful center of the universe, you must be living on the planet it's farthest from. =P

Roger said:
The script, I'm told is rather faithful to the summary of it, I'm led to understand.
Roundabout way of phrasing it, but yes. Your commentary, on the other hand, has not been so.
 
Help with controlling those emotions, is my guess
You don't need a Jedi temple for that, just your standard schoolteacher.

If they need a particularly intense emotional control, then that just sounds like standard PT Jedi training.
Rey and Kylo's conflict didn't decide everything, though. Even Hux makes the point that the Sith-Jedi struggle is really a separate thing from the Resistance-First Order conflict.

Sure, fully empowered Dark Side Kylo would have been a galaxy-level threat, but his passing didn't affect the other battle at all. The Capital being destroyed was the decisive turning point in the wider war.
The stories have put enormous focus on the whole idea of 'moving beyond the skywalkers' and 'democratising the Force' and such, but the final battle is a duel between two superheroes where everyone else is so irrelevant that Rey brainwashes Poe into getting out of the way. Rey is apparently the only person that can challenge Kylo.

There's been all this preaching about force powers being spiritual and not a superpower, but the battle is just two superheroes duking it out. Rey embodies light and dark...but Kylo overpowers her anyway because he levelled up Force Drain. These two are the least spiritually inclined force users we've ever seen, they just use their unbeatable superpowers.

What do you mean? Rafe lives, Dade lives -- even Broom Boy returns at the end, seemingly having now been set free by Rose and Finn after the war was over.
The agent at Kuat is publicly executed.

The Resistance is mostly slaughtered yet again, those that don't get into the Eclipse, apart from 'a hundred pilots'. Finn's rebel army is beaten back to the brink of defeat, presumably taking heavy casualties in the process.

I missed broom kid in my first readthrough, but I'd really want a flashback to empty Canto Bight to tell me that they did something about it and didn't just free the one kid due to his force sensitivity.

When has it been established that one can choose to become a Force-wielder without previously demonstrating any Force-sensitivity? If it were that simple, why doesn't everyone do it?
Doesn't this same script have a big scene showing all the leads connecting with each other due to the Force? In the same script where a major theme is 'no one is no one', Hux is mocked for being 'not special'.

Re the Eclipse, I could just about buy them being able to fly it away...but not about them being able to effectively use the damn thing in combat. If Leia's skeleton crew can do that, what's the point of the massive crew?

I'm pretty sure anyone interested in the script knows the score by now, but I'm going to keep spoilering for length.

Edit: 'No one gets left behind is so hilarious as an ethos for the Resistance when the first thing they do in both this script and TROS is leave an informant behind to die.
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
You don't need a Jedi temple for that, just your standard schoolteacher.

If they need a particularly intense emotional control, then that just sounds like standard PT Jedi training.
:awesome:!

Clement said:
The stories have put enormous focus on the whole idea of 'moving beyond the skywalkers' and 'democratising the Force' and such, but the final battle is a duel between two superheroes where everyone else is so irrelevant that Rey brainwashes Poe into getting out of the way. Rey is apparently the only person that can challenge Kylo.

There's been all this preaching about force powers being spiritual and not a superpower, but the battle is just two superheroes duking it out. Rey embodies light and dark...but Kylo overpowers her anyway because he levelled up Force Drain. These two are the least spiritually inclined force users we've ever seen, they just use their unbeatable superpowers.
Well, yes, that's all accurate, sure. I'm just uncertain how any of that is deciding the battles half a galaxy or more away.

Clement said:
The agent at Kuat is publicly executed.

The Resistance is mostly slaughtered yet again, those that don't get into the Eclipse, apart from 'a hundred pilots'. Finn's rebel army is beaten back to the brink of defeat, presumably taking heavy casualties in the process.
Ah, I see. Well, I don't know what to say. That's been fairly par for the course since long before Episode IX. And despite its overuse of fakeout deaths, TRoS was probably even harsher in this respect since the non-fakeouts include such Resistance members and allies as
that other version of the informant; Leia; pretty much all of Kijimi; Temmin Wexley, Nien Nunb, and lots of other pilots; Kylo Ben; and Hux of all people.

Clement said:
I missed broom kid in my first readthrough, but I'd really want a flashback to empty Canto Bight to tell me that they did something about it and didn't just free the one kid due to his force sensitivity.
Does that sound like Rose, though?

Clement said:
Doesn't this same script have a big scene showing all the leads connecting with each other due to the Force? In the same script where a major theme is 'no one is no one', Hux is mocked for being 'not special'.
I thought he was mocked for being a tryhard little bitch? Plenty of other people in the script are celebrated without doing anything particularly Force-ful.

Clement said:
Re the Eclipse, I could just about buy them being able to fly it away...but not about them being able to effectively use the damn thing in combat. If Leia's skeleton crew can do that, what's the point of the massive crew?
That's fair enough.

Droids? :monster:

Clement said:
'No one gets left behind is so hilarious as an ethos for the Resistance when the first thing they do in both this script and TROS is leave an informant behind to die.
The movie is "Star Wars," not "Extras Wars."

:monster:
 

Roger

Triple Slash Enthusiast
AKA
Minato
Your previous complaint was about an insufficient bridge crew, but alright, I guess I can still see your goal post from here to where you moved it. =P
I didn't say anything about a bridge crew.

You also previously complained about efficiently operating the thing, which is neither the situation at hand nor what you're now describing.
I disagree, they land the Eclipse in atmosphere, something it is not desgned to do at all, without destroying the planet or the ship itself, that takes more then a little fine control.

Two completely different parts of the script. Apparently you never read as far as the part I quoted.
You're were responding to something I said, I now quoted the part I was talking about. The part you quoted doesn't undo it. Leia is pissed at what Poe's done and everyone has to evacuate the base as soonm as possible because Poe landed a giant sign that this is where the Rebels are to anyone looking.

You get that Luke's choice of words in his warnings to Kylo ("an empty tomb;" "You feel hollow"; "Are you sure?") were dramatic irony because he knew there wouldn't be anything there on Mortis, yes? And that he was lying to Rey to get her to fight Ben?
If it was meant to be a lie then fine.

TRoS paid even less attention to "how the galaxy moved past this state of affairs," so it's really unreasonable that you're citing this as an example of how the script we got was better. =|
I wouldn't say even less. It's about the same. But Rise of Skywalker doesn't have the characters tell us about how the galaxy's perception of Rey changed since the last movie, without telling how this happened, even though it could only have happened through a purposeful effort on their part (or Kylo's I suppose)

In either case (TRoS or DotF), there were stories that went into the shenanigans The Resistance got into after TLJ, as well as how they could inspire the galaxy to believe in them that "no one gets left behind."
Resolving the problems they were left with after The Last Jedi should be part of the movie trilogy. It's like if Han was a-okay at the beginning of Return of The Jedi.

You saw the same ending to TLJ that I did. Why ask me?
Because this is the direct next installment in the story and you can't imagine what I don't like it too much

That's really down to individual tribes. Some display more/less civility than others -- and in the EU, there were even Jedi Sand People for crying out loud.
The EU isn't a measurement of what's good or not. I think the Tusken Raiders lose quite a bit of what makes them stand out if they learn basic, leave Tatioone, serve the Empire/First Order and are just in the exact same position culturally as everyone else.

Then it shouldn't make for an issue with the 99.9 percent of the galaxy's occupants who wouldn't know a Tusken Raider from an Ubese. For those who would, the disguise is presumably still going to serve its purpose since Tusken Raiders generally subscribe to the Mandalorian School of Who Sees Me Without My Headgear On.
An aspect of their culture no one knows about, unlike the Mandalorians. To the average person, it reads as someone hiding their face.
 
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The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
I didn't say anything about a bridge crew.
"I'd like to reiterate my dislike for the idea that the only thing needed to effeciently operate a super star destroyer, a gargantaun ship with crew counts close to the hunderd thousand is one pilot and one navigator"??

Roger said:
I disagree, they land the Eclipse in atmosphere, something it is not desgned to do at all, without destroying the planet or the ship itself, that takes more then a little fine control.
Okay then, I guess. Apparently I'm way more forgiving of getting loose with a) the operation of a spacecraft that could have some upgrades from what we're normally familiar with than I am of b) the gutting of character arcs, dessication of characters' roles, and deluge-level dilution of themes.

The story is ultimately far more important to me than the window dressing around it. I want the window dressing to be good too, mind you, but my suspension of disbelief extends to allowing for the possibility that I don't know precisely what material those curtains are made of.

Roger said:
You're were responding to something I said, I now quoted the part I was talking about. The part you quoted doesn't undo it. Leia is pissed at what Poe's done and everyone has to evacuate the base as soonm as possible because Poe landed a giant sign that this is where the Rebels are to anyone looking.
She hardly seems what I call pissed. She makes one comment about Poe's team being too brash while regarding him as endearingly insufferable. The next time her sentiments for Poe are described, she's smiling to herself about what a good leader he is.

And between these two events, the Resistance also discovers a cache of powerful weaponry they now possess thanks to Poe's team taking the Star Destroyer.

This doesn't evoke the description you offered of "Leia going right back to having to combat what she views as suicidal recklessness on Poe's part that'll get everyone killed." The scene I quoted, though? The one I thought you were referring to? It actually does.

So, yeah, going to say any misunderstanding about this is totally not my fault.

And not for nothing, but the decision to take the Eclipse ends up saving them since the First Order tracks them through BB-8 instead. They'd fortuitously already started preparing to evacuate, and it's made clear that most of them wouldn't have gotten away if not for having the Eclipse.

Roger said:
I wouldn't say even less. It's about the same.
Any attention that can be quantified beyond a relative zero is more attention than TRoS gave it. It literally doesn't come up at all. That's not me being negative or overly critical. The topic just doesn't come up at all in TRoS.

Roger said:
But Rise of Skywalker doesn't have the characters tell us about how the galaxy's perception of Rey changed since the last movie, without telling how this happened, even though it could only have happened through a purposeful effort on their part (or Kylo's I suppose)
Or it could just be down to First Order soldiers and officers who were there talking about it, right? And the stories making their way around. It happens. Especially in real life.

How the story gets around is ultimately not that important, particularly since the previous movie already established that it did. It's a plot thread from the previous movie to be picked up, and not one that was presented there as a mystery.

Roger said:
Resolving the problems they were left with after The Last Jedi should be part of the movie trilogy. It's like if Han was a-okay at the beginning of Return of The Jedi.
I'll grant you that more acknowledgement to the rebuilding of their forces should have been mentioned, but again, this applies to TRoS just as much. It doesn't make sense to have taken the position of "I'm glad we got the IX we did then instead of Colin's" while offering an oversight equally characteristic of both scripts as a counter to a position that the IX we didn't get would be superior.

Roger said:
The EU isn't a measurement of what's good or not.
That isn't the point. The point was that depictions of Tuskens who speak Basic and don't just act like rabid badgers have been around for a while.

Roger said:
I think the Tusken Raiders lose quite a bit of what makes them stand out if they learn basic, leave Tatioone, serve the Empire/First Order and are just in the exact same position culturally as everyone else.
If all of them did, yes.

Roger said:
An aspect of their culture no one knows about, unlike the Mandalorians. To the average person, it reads as someone hiding their face.
Okay, and as we went over, to the non-average person who does know a bit about them -- it's a Tusken Raider. Probably best left alone if you're another migrant, probably with forged clearance to keep their mask if you're a First Order customs official.

A First Order officer "recruiting" on Tattooine should -- if the FO is at all trying to instill the order to the galaxy they believe in -- be familiar with the area to which they've been assigned.

But since we know that the FO was on to them the whole time anyway, it's just as likely that Rey was allowed to go unaccosted by design. :monster: Not a stretch to the setting to imagine either.

For the record, I think utilizing the Tuskens in the script this way was extremely clever, and not solely because "fanservice" -- though that can be nice too. More so because it feels like a thematic callback to Leia's disguise at the beginning of RotJ (on Tattooine!), and because if someone First Order examined Rey's staff lightsaber, it would be plausible to conclude that it was just a Tusken gaffi stick.
 

Roger

Triple Slash Enthusiast
AKA
Minato
"I'd like to reiterate my dislike for the idea that the only thing needed to effeciently operate a super star destroyer, a gargantaun ship with crew counts close to the hunderd thousand is one pilot and one navigator"??
...Yeah? I don't think the starship should be operated solely from it's bridge.


Okay then, I guess. Apparently I'm way more forgiving of getting loose with a) the operation of a spacecraft that could have some upgrades from what we're normally familiar with than I am of b) the gutting of character arcs, dessication of characters' roles, and deluge-level dilution of themes.
Beyond Rose I don't agree with this description of Rise of Skywalker.

The story is ultimately far more important to me than the window dressing around it. I want the window dressing to be good too, mind you, but my suspension of disbelief extends to allowing for the possibility that I don't know precisely what material those curtains are made of.
The story is not left intact here, the story last left us of with the Resistance being reduced to only the occupants of a single cargofreigter. Now they are in control of biggest starship in the galaxy. One should take care to ensure this moment feels earned.

She hardly seems what I call pissed. She makes one comment about Poe's team being too brash while regarding him as endearingly insufferable. The next time her sentiments for Poe are described, she's smiling to herself about what a good leader he is.
After dressing down Poe she also calls out Rose, asking if she is ready to bet her life on how free and clear they were in their escaoe, because she already has, and taken the liberty of staking every other person on the base's life on it too.
Surely we can agree that they didn't make their camp in a jungle to admire the scenery, it's ability to hide them heavily impacted by parking an Super Star Destroyer on top of that. Which obviously meant they immediately had to take off again. I don't think this scene would have left us with the takeaway that Poe is a good leader.


This doesn't evoke the description you offered of "Leia going right back to having to combat what she views as suicidal recklessness on Poe's part that'll get everyone killed." The scene I quoted, though? The one I thought you were referring to? It actually does.

So, yeah, going to say any misunderstanding about this is totally not my fault.
Not your fault, I don't think the scene you quoted was that bad. I do have major problems with the opening sequence.

And not for nothing, but the decision to take the Eclipse ends up saving them since the First Order tracks them through BB-8 instead. They'd fortuitously already started preparing to evacuate, and it's made clear that most of them wouldn't have gotten away if not for having the Eclipse.
The Eclipse being a major asset in travel I don't dispute. Especially if it's decks are 99,99% free cargo space with no other use to it in particular.

Any attention that can be quantified beyond a relative zero is more attention than TRoS gave it. It literally doesn't come up at all. That's not me being negative or overly critical. The topic just doesn't come up at all in TRoS.
Palpatine being back with a fleet of planet killers at it's beck and call changes the situation the galaxy is dealing with quite legitimately. I can see someone accepting being conquered by the First Order (who don't have the means of physically occupying any planets anyway) but seeing Palpatine as a threat to everyone's existence. They established that Skywalker is a legend, it stands to reason that the evils of Palpatine have taken on a mythical form in the minds of the people as well.


Or it could just be down to First Order soldiers and officers who were there talking about it, right? And the stories making their way around. It happens. Especially in real life.
They'd know about Skywalker, sure. And maybe some of them talked about it while leaving the interstellar communicator on. But knowing enough about Rey that word of mouth carried to the extent that she has gone from an utter unknown (unlike Skywalker who people have had a few decades to get familiar with) to the lynchpin of whether the galaxy is gonna rebel or submit, that's quite a leap to me. How many First Order soldiers and officers were on Supremacy, witnessed Rey fight them with a lightsaber, survived her and then also survived what Holdo proceeded to do? Not that many, I'd be tempted to say, especially when thinking on a galactic scale.

How the story gets around is ultimately not that important, particularly since the previous movie already established that it did. It's a plot thread from the previous movie to be picked up, and not one that was presented there as a mystery.
We remember the ending of Last Jedi differently then.

I'll grant you that more acknowledgement to the rebuilding of their forces should have been mentioned, but again, this applies to TRoS just as much. It doesn't make sense to have taken the position of "I'm glad we got the IX we did then instead of Colin's" while offering an oversight equally characteristic of both scripts as a counter to a position that the IX we didn't get would be superior.
TLJ to TRoS took us from a dozen people on the Millenium Falcon to a few dozen people with the Millenium Falcon, some X-Wings and a Leia's old corvette. That's about what I think should be accomplished between movies, we need a few good guy starfighters and a means to free up the Millenium Falcon from being the Resistance flagship so the crew can have an adventure on it while leaving the Resistance leadership behind. That's the bare minimum needed and despite what the aforementioned books did in between the VIII and IX, is as much as was depicted.

That isn't the point. The point was that depictions of Tuskens who speak Basic and don't just act like rabid badgers have been around for a while.

If all of them did, yes.
Do any of them? Is this world building? Have things on Tatioone gotten so bad that a significant portion of the Tusken Raiders, who have lived there for thousands of years without the industrial means of extradicting moisture from the soil that other species need to survive there at all, are heading for spaceports for a ticket off planet? Or is Tatioone same as always and would nothing have ever been done with this beyond giving an excuse for Rey to dress up? I feel it would have been the latter.

Okay, and as we went over, to the non-average person who does know a bit about them -- it's a Tusken Raider. Probably best left alone if you're another migrant, probably with forged clearance to keep their mask if you're a First Order customs official.

A First Order officer "recruiting" on Tattooine should -- if the FO is at all trying to instill the order to the galaxy they believe in -- be familiar with the area to which they've been assigned.

But since we know that the FO was on to them the whole time anyway, it's just as likely that Rey was allowed to go unaccosted by design. :monster: Not a stretch to the setting to imagine either.

For the record, I think utilizing the Tuskens in the script this way was extremely clever, and not solely because "fanservice" -- though that can be nice too. More so because it feels like a thematic callback to Leia's disguise at the beginning of RotJ (on Tattooine!), and because if someone First Order examined Rey's staff lightsaber, it would be plausible to conclude that it was just a Tusken gaffi stick.
Rey is not a First Order officer recruiting on Tatioone, reading up on the religious significance of gaffi sticks. She is the one that is following your suggested reasoning in choosing this disguise.
 
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Well, yes, that's all accurate, sure. I'm just uncertain how any of that is deciding the battles half a galaxy or more away.
At the very least, it keeps Kylo out of the fight with his superpowers. But I'm more talking about the thematic clash of heavily pushing the theme of no super specialness and then having the climactic moment of your film being the duel between two super duper (apparently irreplaceable) special people. The narrative doesn't back up the theme.

Does that sound like Rose, though?
Well...yes? This is the same person that freed fathiers and left child slaves behind. I headcanon'd in that they had those exploding implants in order to help this make some sense, but as far as I know there's nothing in canon to support that.

I thought he was mocked for being a tryhard little bitch? Plenty of other people in the script are celebrated without doing anything particularly Force-ful.
IIRC, Rose specifically mocks him for not being special after he tries to use the Force on her.

Ah, I see. Well, I don't know what to say. That's been fairly par for the course since long before Episode IX. And despite its overuse of fakeout deaths, TRoS was probably even harsher in this respect
I'm not looking at this from a TROS v DOTF perspective. Didn't like it in either.

The movie is "Star Wars," not "Extras Wars."
The characters in universe shouldn't know that or act like that is true. In 1-6, characters generally react appropriately to losses even when they're not strictly narratively important people. In the ST, they're not good at doing that, and this happens to be one of the things I care the most about in stories. Getting this right is one of my first priorities, screw this up, and I will have a very hard time enjoying your story. Get it right, and I'll forgive a lot.

Things like Maz' castle get bombed to rubble, and she doesn't seem to care. The Hosnian system is destroyed, and is mostly shrugged off.

Rey nearly kills a fishnun out of pure carelessness when she slices that rock, and she reacts with more of an 'oops' rather than 'holy crap I nearly killed someone'. When Kylo talks about Luke did to him, no one asks 'so what happened to the other students'.

Kijimi is destroyed, but the two characters whose names we know are saved, woo!

A bunch of Resistance members get killed because Poe parked a Star Destroyer over their base, but that's okay, we have a flagship now! If Leia isn't furious about that, then she should be.

A Tusken does strike me as an odd choice of disguise. I'd expect Rey to choose a disguise of something native to Jakku that she'd know about.

With regard to DOTF v TROS, I'm not sure I can make a judgement between them. I'm hesitant to judge between a first draft (or even a final script) and a finished film, because so much can change in the process. There are things I strongly dislike about both of em, and (IMO) the thematic writing is weak for both.

DOTF's big advantage is Rose's story, but that's all. I'm disappointed in Hux's story in both films. Palpatine's return, while a stupid idea, was entertaining, because Ian McDiarmid will be fun to watch regardless of the script you give him.
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
...Yeah? I don't think the starship should be operated solely from it's bridge.
Well, you referenced a need for more than one navigator and pilot, and apparently they had a whole bridge full of folks. Stands to reason they weren't all communications officers.

Roger said:
Beyond Rose I don't agree with this description of Rise of Skywalker.
You can't tell me you really think Finn's personal arc or the Stormtroopers subplot between the two are comparable? Or that Jannah and her crew successfully stand in for Rafe and his other Stormtrooper crew plus the migrant workers plus the civilian populace of Coruscant plus Broom Boy?

Roger said:
The story is not left intact here, the story last left us of with the Resistance being reduced to only the occupants of a single cargofreigter. Now they are in control of biggest starship in the galaxy. One should take care to ensure this moment feels earned.
I can see that point. Is it bonkers? Absolutely. It sounds like the fun kind of bonkers, though.

When Poe says "Come on, tell me you haven't always wanted one of these," I was definitely nodding.

At any rate, it's still far more earned than the unearned (literally, because he had no active role in it) Stormtrooper sub-plot Finn finds himself in with TRoS.

(I know I keep coming back to that. Apparently it pisses me off more than anything else TRoS dropped the ball on.)

Roger said:
Surely we can agree that they didn't make their camp in a jungle to admire the scenery, it's ability to hide them heavily impacted by parking an Super Star Destroyer on top of that. Which obviously meant they immediately had to take off again. I don't think this scene would have left us with the takeaway that Poe is a good leader.
That's not really the question on the table, though; it was whether the scene in question amounted to a nullification and retread of the tension of Poe's arc in the previous movie. That's clearly not the tone the dialogue or the events to follow it are written with.

And everyone in the script seems quite happy to have all that weaponry from the Star Destroyer, so I imagine audiences would be expected to think "Oh, that worked out really well."

Roger said:
They'd know about Skywalker, sure. And maybe some of them talked about it while leaving the interstellar communicator on. But knowing enough about Rey that word of mouth carried to the extent that she has gone from an utter unknown (unlike Skywalker who people have had a few decades to get familiar with) to the lynchpin of whether the galaxy is gonna rebel or submit, that's quite a leap to me. How many First Order soldiers and officers were on Supremacy, witnessed Rey fight them with a lightsaber, survived her and then also survived what Holdo proceeded to do? Not that many, I'd be tempted to say, especially when thinking on a galactic scale.
We're clearly supposed to take the understanding that more has happened since TLJ than a dozen or so people hiding out in a clunky old Correlian freighter for years. Even without knowledge of the events of the books taking place after TLJ, in this script, there's reference to a mission on Raxus Prime we aren't otherwise familiar with. People across the galaxy now know of a Jedi who's fighting for them. Hux's hair has started to grey, for God's sake. Time -- evidently quite a bit of it -- has passed.

And I don't think the script would be obligated to go into the passing of every season since the end of the previous installment.

Roger said:
We remember the ending of Last Jedi differently then.
Apparently so. I know I'm not remembering wrong, though. The ending shows one of the stable kids on Canto Bight telling the others the story of what Luke did on Crait. So that story becoming a symbol of hope throughout the galaxy is a plot thread from TLJ, not something conceived for DotF.

Roger said:
Do any of them?
Probably. Some did in one version of this universe, no reason to believe they wouldn't in another.

Roger said:
Is this world building?
Possibly, sure.

Roger said:
Have things on Tatioone gotten so bad that a significant portion of the Tusken Raiders, who have lived there for thousands of years without the industrial means of extradicting moisture from the soil that other species need to survive there at all, are heading for spaceports for a ticket off planet?
Who knows? It could be a significant number (how is that not an arbitrary selection on your part?), a handful, or one. Extrapolate to your hearts content. Or don't, I guess.

You could do the reverse and conclude that the relatively small number of civilians referenced are the totality of all those in the galaxy to go this route of desperation. Then you'll be able to talk about how that also stretches suspension of disbelief to the point it breaks the setting. :monster:

Roger said:
Or is Tatioone same as always and would nothing have ever been done with this beyond giving an excuse for Rey to dress up? I feel it would have been the latter.
Does it matter? This is the height of nitpicking, yo.

Which you know I can get on board with so long as you're not picking the nit out of what had been a smooth piece of fabric before. I don't need a treatise on the state of every individual planet that has an apparent representative present to take the intended meaning that "Shit sucks across the galaxy now. Got it," and get on with the rest of the story.

Roger said:
Rey is not a First Order officer recruiting on Tatioone, reading up on the religious significance of gaffi sticks. She is the one that is following your suggested reasoning in choosing this disguise.
O-kay? Maybe she put some thought into her disguise? Did some research? Maybe it was an old idea Leia had kicking around?



With all the minutiae you've seen me happily dive into over the years, you've got to know you must be down to splitting the hairs on a flea's ass if I of all people am reacting this way. =P

At the very least, it keeps Kylo out of the fight with his superpowers. But I'm more talking about the thematic clash of heavily pushing the theme of no super specialness and then having the climactic moment of your film being the duel between two super duper (apparently irreplaceable) special people. The narrative doesn't back up the theme.
Not that I don't see what you're talking about (I make a similar remark about lineage in my ongoing-work-in-progress review of TRoS), but it comes with the territory of superhero fiction, doesn't it? No matter how much writers remind us that it isn't their powers what make them heroes, Superman, Goku, and whomever else like them will still need those powers to save the day.

Interestingly enough, though, in the case of this first draft, Rey and Kylo's showdown had no involvement in whether this particular day was won or lost. Their conflict was settled between them and only them, special snowflake against special snowflake, like for like.

I haven't decided yet whether I think that's better than what the final draft went for (with them dueling on the relay tower, and Rey sending out the "to arms" message). Hopefully it gets leaked soon too so I can decide.

Clement said:
Well...yes? This is the same person that freed fathiers and left child slaves behind. I headcanon'd in that they had those exploding implants in order to help this make some sense, but as far as I know there's nothing in canon to support that.
What else was she going to do at the time? Was she supposed to take them with her to infiltrate the Supremacy?

Better the child slavery they were working under than the one they would find there. As liberation options go, that would have to be just about the worst. =P

Clement said:
IIRC, Rose specifically mocks him for not being special after he tries to use the Force on her.
Probably because he was being a tryhard little bitch, and also jailing her. I can't imagine she actually cares whether he's "special."

She's not special in that sense either, nor was her sister and most anyone else she knows and loves. She just saw an opportunity to take a jab at her interrogator and did so.

Clement said:
I'm not looking at this from a TROS v DOTF perspective. Didn't like it in either.
Ah, okay. Well, I've very much been on a TRoS vs. DotF kick for a couple of days, but I'm trying to clear it out now so I can properly focus on my TRoS review.

Clement said:
The characters in universe shouldn't know that or act like that is true. In 1-6, characters generally react appropriately to losses even when they're not strictly narratively important people. In the ST, they're not good at doing that, and this happens to be one of the things I care the most about in stories. Getting this right is one of my first priorities, screw this up, and I will have a very hard time enjoying your story. Get it right, and I'll forgive a lot.

Things like Maz' castle get bombed to rubble, and she doesn't seem to care. The Hosnian system is destroyed, and is mostly shrugged off.

Rey nearly kills a fishnun out of pure carelessness when she slices that rock, and she reacts with more of an 'oops' rather than 'holy crap I nearly killed someone'. When Kylo talks about Luke did to him, no one asks 'so what happened to the other students'.
I feel you. Those are weak points for me too.

Clement said:
A bunch of Resistance members get killed because Poe parked a Star Destroyer over their base, but that's okay, we have a flagship now! If Leia isn't furious about that, then she should be.
The First Order tracked them through BB-8. The Star Destroyer had nothing to do with it.

Clement said:
With regard to DOTF v TROS, I'm not sure I can make a judgement between them. I'm hesitant to judge between a first draft (or even a final script) and a finished film, because so much can change in the process. There are things I strongly dislike about both of em, and (IMO) the thematic writing is weak for both.

DOTF's big advantage is Rose's story, but that's all. I'm disappointed in Hux's story in both films. Palpatine's return, while a stupid idea, was entertaining, because Ian McDiarmid will be fun to watch regardless of the script you give him.
I went to see TRoS twice, despite my issues with it, and had planned to see it a third time when extenuating circumstances got in the way, but I plan to go on Thursday. I also have the Visual Dictionary and will buy the novelization when it comes out.

I'm not kidding when I say I'd have definitely been to see DotF five or six times by now.
 

Roger

Triple Slash Enthusiast
AKA
Minato
Well, you referenced a need for more than one navigator and pilot, and apparently they had a whole bridge full of folks. Stands to reason they weren't all communications officers.
When I mean more i mean like hundred more, like 1% of what a skeleton crew for this ship would look like, maybe. The people that Rey had mindtricked for literally one minute didn't have the job of getting this ship flight ready and flying it out spacedock.


You can't tell me you really think Finn's personal arc or the Stormtroopers subplot between the two are comparable? Or that Jannah and her crew successfully stand in for Rafe and his other Stormtrooper crew plus the migrant workers plus the civilian populace of Coruscant plus Broom Boy?
Finn has been killing Stormtroopers with complete and utter abandon for the better part of two movies, no, deleted scenes do not count. You feeling that this should have been his character arc all along is agreeable, but subjective. Rise of Skywalker didn't gut his character arc or desiccate his role.

I can see that point. Is it bonkers? Absolutely. It sounds like the fun kind of bonkers, though.
hyperspace skipping was a fun kind of bonkers to me.

When Poe says "Come on, tell me you haven't always wanted one of these," I was definitely nodding.
I've never wanted an Eclipse.

At any rate, it's still far more earned than the unearned (literally, because he had no active role in it) Stormtrooper sub-plot Finn finds himself in with TRoS.

(I know I keep coming back to that. Apparently it pisses me off more than anything else TRoS dropped the ball on.)
I'm just thankful Poe, Finn and Rey actually went on a adventure together before the trilogy ended. That did not feel like a given coming out TLJ to me.

That's not really the question on the table, though; it was whether the scene in question amounted to a nullification and retread of the tension of Poe's arc in the previous movie. That's clearly not the tone the dialogue or the events to follow it are written with.

And everyone in the script seems quite happy to have all that weaponry from the Star Destroyer, so I imagine audiences would be expected to think "Oh, that worked out really well."
Leia doesn't read as quite happy to me, nor do Rose or Poe, the scene gets stopped by Rey with Leia and Finn expressing their worry for her. Whether it looks like Poe and Rose were about to go "Hell yeah we'd bet our lives on it~" would've been down to the director and actors I suppose.


We're clearly supposed to take the understanding that more has happened since TLJ than a dozen or so people hiding out in a clunky old Correlian freighter for years. Even without knowledge of the events of the books taking place after TLJ, in this script, there's reference to a mission on Raxus Prime we aren't otherwise familiar with. People across the galaxy now know of a Jedi who's fighting for them. Hux's hair has started to grey, for God's sake. Time -- evidently quite a bit of it -- has passed.

And I don't think the script would be obligated to go into the passing of every season since the end of the previous installment.
So does stuff about between Empire and Jedi, Lando has this big victory in space. But the core dilemma that the last movie ended on isn't nullified minute one of the next movie (well, depends on how much you feel Boba Fett was set up, but Jedi isn't a perfect movie either). And honestly, TLJ had done enough subverting of expectations for one trilogy.

Apparently so. I know I'm not remembering wrong, though. The ending shows one of the stable kids on Canto Bight telling the others the story of what Luke did on Crait. So that story becoming a symbol of hope throughout the galaxy is a plot thread from TLJ, not something conceived for DotF.
The kid didn't go "And Rey will do even better" which the entire galaxy is apparently banking their hopes on in this movie.

Who knows? It could be a significant number (how is that not an arbitrary selection on your part?), a handful, or one. Extrapolate to your hearts content. Or don't, I guess.

You could do the reverse and conclude that the relatively small number of civilians referenced are the totality of all those in the galaxy to go this route of desperation. Then you'll be able to talk about how that also stretches suspension of disbelief to the point it breaks the setting. :monster:



Does it matter? This is the height of nitpicking, yo.

Which you know I can get on board with so long as you're not picking the nit out of what had been a smooth piece of fabric before. I don't need a treatise on the state of every individual planet that has an apparent representative present to take the intended meaning that "Shit sucks across the galaxy now. Got it," and get on with the rest of the story.


O-kay? Maybe she put some thought into her disguise? Did some research? Maybe it was an old idea Leia had kicking around?
I agree that Rey's staff can pass as a gaffi stick in a pinch, thus dressing up as a Tusken Raiders gets her and her staff where this Tusken Raider was gonna go. Leia doesn't have one of those things and also First Order shipping migrant workers all over the place is a recent thing, and the concept of a gaffi stick needs to reach her regardless. This concept really falls apart unless something happens that makes Tusken Raiders in statisically signicant numbers leave Tatioone, unless you think Rey happened to come across one specific write up on one specific migrant with a stick that a First Order officer did among billions of others he/she had to do that day.

The galaxy is big, I hope we can agree on, given Rey or Kuat have nothing to do with Tatioone, unlike some characters from previous trilogies, that idea should come across here.
 
Folks, none of us here can call out someone else for nitpicking. That's what we've been doing for like twenty pages.

Not that I don't see what you're talking about (I make a similar remark about lineage in my ongoing-work-in-progress review of TRoS), but it comes with the territory of superhero fiction, doesn't it? No matter how much writers remind us that it isn't their powers what make them heroes, Superman, Goku, and whomever else like them will still need those powers to save the day.
Not necessarily. The Dark Knight is one of the most beloved superhero movies ever. Who defeats the Joker's plan? The citizens of Gotham on the boats.

In BVS, who foils Luther's plan? Lois Lane.

The writers made a choice to have the core themes of this trilogy be about diversifying the force across the galaxy, and also chose to have the final duel be decided by two superheroes. The narrative calls out the exclusivity of force powers as a bad thing, but resolves its conflict by making force powers more exclusive than they have ever been before! That's a massive thematic clash, it's like if Frodo used the ring to defeat Sauron.

Also, the story of Rey appears to be a big motivating factor of the Resistance and citizenry of the galaxy in the assault on Coruscant. And there's this:

Kylo: Our Empire is strong. Show them.

Hux: Your absence emboldens them



What else was she going to do at the time? Was she supposed to take them with her to infiltrate the Supremacy?
Put slaves on horses. Call Maz to have someone trustworthy pick them up. Or else, you know, stop somewhere on the way back to the Supremacy?

Probably because he was being a tryhard little bitch, and also jailing her. I can't imagine she actually cares whether he's "special."

She's not special in that sense either, nor was her sister and most anyone else she knows and loves. She just saw an opportunity to take a jab at her interrogator and did so.
The script makes a point of having a scene where Hux tries to use the Force and fails, and then to call him out on it via Rose. They could have him be pathetic in any number of ways, but they chose lack of Force powers. In a story where a core theme is Rey bizarrely caring about being 'somebody' that's either very careless writing or deliberate, in which case it's weird and elitist.

The First Order tracked them through BB-8. The Star Destroyer had nothing to do with it.
They still got followed through carelessness. Those deaths are because the lead characters were careless with the lives of their subordinates. These leads are the most callous we've ever had, which makes it hard for me to root for em, and badly damages any theme of inclusiveness or 'caring for the little people' themes that they try to push.

One thing TROS has is Poe clearly haunted by his failings and trying to do better.

The raid on the Eclipse makes very little sense, it's just whether the coolness of the result is enough to compensate for it. For some people it is, and for some people it isn't. Fair enough, but neither perspective is wrong, you just care about different things.

There is a degree of narrative whiplash in TLJ's broadcast being ignored, but in DOTF a new broadcast is made and suddenly people listen.

Both scripts have their share of questionable moments.

Re the stormtroopers, some combination of the two stories would work well. Finn links up with existing Stormtrooper deserters and recruits some (but not all) of them would work best for me. If Finn is the only one who breaks conditioning by himself, we're back to superheroes again.
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
When I mean more i mean like hundred more, like 1% of what a skeleton crew for this ship would look like, maybe. The people that Rey had mindtricked for literally one minute didn't have the job of getting this ship flight ready and flying it out spacedock.
Yeah, but we're not talking about operating it efficiently or for very long. We aren't talking about a months-long exploration of the Unknown Regions. A full crew with multiple redundancies for every position isn't necessary. The full A-shift isn't even required, much less the B-, C-, and D-shifts.

You're absolutely right that the thing wasn't made flight ready. That's why moorings and fuel lines and such were described as getting ripped off.

And let's also put this scenario in its proper perspective: we've seen that it's common understanding that a ship like the Raddus can be operated by a single person for a brief period. Any other issues folks may have with Holdo and her operation of the Raddus at the end of TLJ, I don't think I ever heard anyone object to it being possible for one person to take control of it. The same with a ship like the Enterprise over in "Star Trek." We all just understand that this is a thing that can be done.

If we have a flight deck full of people, we should be able to move a Super Star Destroyer. That's really all we're talking about doing with the ship: moving it.

Roger said:
Finn has been killing Stormtroopers with complete and utter abandon for the better part of two movies ...
So then it would be nice to see it addressed.

Roger said:
You feeling that this should have been his character arc all along is agreeable, but subjective. Rise of Skywalker didn't gut his character arc or desiccate his role.
I'm talking about in the transition from the one version of Episode IX to the other. There's absolutely an emaciation of the original idea.

Roger said:
hyperspace skipping was a fun kind of bonkers to me.
It was, yes.

Roger said:
I've never wanted an Eclipse.
Well then, Santa won't be bringing you one. =P

Roger said:
I'm just thankful Poe, Finn and Rey actually went on a adventure together before the trilogy ended.
I was really, really excited about that myself. I feel like the opportunities it offered were mostly squandered, but there were some enjoyable moments too.

Roger said:
The kid didn't go "And Rey will do even better" which the entire galaxy is apparently banking their hopes on in this movie.
I honestly don't understand the complaint. TLJ established the legend, a new Jedi showed up to carry it on, people attached that legend to the new one. It couldn't be more straightforward if it tried.

Roger said:
... and the concept of a gaffi stick needs to reach her regardless.
Are we really about to get into "Why would Leia know anything about Tattooine?" =|

Roger said:
This concept really falls apart unless something happens that makes Tusken Raiders in statisically signicant numbers leave Tatioone ...
I hope the first Jawa to leave -- when questioned about their trustworthiness in light of their choice to do something the rest of their tribe or race wasn't doing -- replied "The purpose of my trip? To bang your mom."

Folks, none of us here can call out someone else for nitpicking. That's what we've been doing for like twenty pages.
Well, that was my point. You've really got to get silly with it for me to think it's unreasonable.

Clement said:
Not necessarily. The Dark Knight is one of the most beloved superhero movies ever. Who defeats the Joker's plan? The citizens of Gotham on the boats.
They achieve the moral victory, absolutely, but Bats still has to take him down to prevent the boats from blowing up anyway.

Clement said:
The writers made a choice to have the core themes of this trilogy be about diversifying the force across the galaxy, and also chose to have the final duel be decided by two superheroes.
It was ultimately a personal duel between them, though. It would be weird AF if Broom Boy came flying in on his Nimbus 2000 to settle Rey and Kylo's personal grudge match for all the little people.

Clement said:
The narrative calls out the exclusivity of force powers as a bad thing, but resolves its conflict by making force powers more exclusive than they have ever been before!
It doesn't resolve its story that way, though. It ends on a note doing precisely the opposite.

Clement said:
Put slaves on horses.
Uh, why? It's not like the kids can't walk out the door any time they want to anyway. They just have nothing waiting for them elsewhere on Cantonica if they do.

Clement said:
Call Maz to have someone trustworthy pick them up.
Maz, who was busy in the middle of a firefight when they last spoke to her a few hours earlier? Who more or less brushed them off and sent them to go to Canto Bight in the first place to locate the most competent and trustworthy person she could already recommend? That person being someone who partakes of the gambling on Canto Bight?

Do you see why that's not going to work?

Clement said:
Or else, you know, stop somewhere on the way back to the Supremacy?
Their friends and leadership are literally running out of time, but they can stop to conduct adoption interviews on random worlds?

Clement said:
The script makes a point of having a scene where Hux tries to use the Force and fails, and then to call him out on it via Rose. They could have him be pathetic in any number of ways, but they chose lack of Force powers.
His lack of Force powers is not what makes him look pathetic in that script.

Clement said:
In a story where a core theme is Rey bizarrely caring about being 'somebody' that's either very careless writing or deliberate, in which case it's weird and elitist.
It actually dovetails perfectly, but alright ...

Clement said:
They still got followed through carelessness.
No, they didn't?

Clement said:
Those deaths are because the lead characters were careless with the lives of their subordinates.
No, those deaths are because the enemy was aware of the mission the "infiltrators" had been sent on, and allowed them to "escape" with a tracking signal implanted in their sidekick.

Clement said:
One thing TROS has is Poe clearly haunted by his failings and trying to do better.
It does a good enough job on that count, yes. One reason I'm looking forward to seeing more of the specifics of what DotF's final draft did with him is because, from what we know, some of Leia's role falls to him in the editing, and I'd like to see if we get any more insight into how his passion tempered and focused by past failings could look.

Clement said:
There is a degree of narrative whiplash in TLJ's broadcast being ignored, but in DOTF a new broadcast is made and suddenly people listen.
it at least feels plausible on an emotional level since DotF has someone making a speech rather than just sending out a generic call for help, as in TLJ. And it arguably makes for less of a narrative whiplash than TRoS having Lando apparently make the best damn call-to-arms anyone has ever heard ... off screen ...

Don't misunderstand me, I still liked it. It was just a whiplash you have to choose to roll with. And not for nothing, if one is keeping in mind that Luke's story is supposed to be spreading around inspiring people, then Lando showing up and saying "Hey, we need to go help Luke Skywalker's sister stop the First Order" while a signal belonging to Luke's ship is being broadcast for them to follow -- that becomes plenty plausible then also.

Clement said:
Re the stormtroopers, some combination of the two stories would work well. Finn links up with existing Stormtrooper deserters and recruits some (but not all) of them would work best for me. If Finn is the only one who breaks conditioning by himself, we're back to superheroes again.
That's a great compromise. Either this or what DotF had an offer would have been better than the TRoS direction, though.

I legitimately hate what TRoS did on this count. Like, I'm not kidding when I say I'm shocking myself at how much I harbor actual hate for it.
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
By the way, I just want to reiterate what I said a few weeks ago about appreciating you guys being here to talk to about this stuff. I know I can be a bit of an asshole about the topic, but I hope it's clear that it's because of letting my passion for the topic lead me and not for any other reason.
 

Roger

Triple Slash Enthusiast
AKA
Minato
Yeah, but we're not talking about operating it efficiently or for very long. We aren't talking about a months-long exploration of the Unknown Regions. A full crew with multiple redundancies for every position isn't necessary. The full A-shift isn't even required, much less the B-, C-, and D-shifts.

You're absolutely right that the thing wasn't made flight ready. That's why moorings and fuel lines and such were described as getting ripped off.

And let's also put this scenario in its proper perspective: we've seen that it's common understanding that a ship like the Raddus can be operated by a single person for a brief period. Any other issues folks may have with Holdo and her operation of the Raddus at the end of TLJ, I don't think I ever heard anyone object to it being possible for one person to take control of it. The same with a ship like the Enterprise over in "Star Trek." We all just understand that this is a thing that can be done.

If we have a flight deck full of people, we should be able to move a Super Star Destroyer. That's really all we're talking about doing with the ship: moving it.
The Raddus was already in space, the work that gets done on the other deck of the ship was being done seconds before Hondo took the wheel. Hondo didn't need it to work afterwards. I DO have complaints about, but it's more about how lightspeed engine, sublight engines, reverse thrusters, life support, hull integrity and shields were all intact after 18 hours of a Super Duper Star Destroyer firing at it so Hondo could do what she did. If Poe just wanted Rey to mindtrick the crew into kamikazing Kuat spacedock, I could get behind it.

Also, the Raddus is a simpe liferaft compared to the Eclipse. There's no chance of me overstating just how big this ship is.

So then it would be nice to see it addressed.
It gets addressed in Rise of Skywalker.

I'm talking about in the transition from the one version of Episode IX to the other. There's absolutely an emaciation of the original idea.
That's not Rise of Skywalker. Abrams was hired to make a new script cause Disney didn't like this one.

It was, yes.
To me, lightspeed skipping was such an blatant abandonment of the established rules of franchise that I can't be bothered with critical analysis. This I feel I'd summon the energy to be mad about.

I was really, really excited about that myself. I feel like the opportunities it offered were mostly squandered, but there were some enjoyable moments too.
Star Wars movies have had the problem of keeping the Jedi story and the non-force user story connected but seperate ever since Empire. Return of the Jedi made a point of leaving the Falcon to Lando to give the Big Three a griound mission together on Endor for this reason. The prequels didn't bother having a non-force user side of the story beyond Phantom Menace. Force Awakens didn't have any Jedis, TLJ didn't try, RoS made Finn work to keep Rey around for a while. RoS's early scenes show this character dynamic between Poe and Rey that didn't figure into the rest of the movie, wherever that was going got left on the cutting floor, this draft would've gotten similiar treatment.

I honestly don't understand the complaint. TLJ established the legend, a new Jedi showed up to carry it on, people attached that legend to the new one. It couldn't be more straightforward if it tried.
So, the grand adventures that Rey undertook that build her legend to the same heights of Luke are somehow not important enough to show on the big screen then.

Are we really about to get into "Why would Leia know anything about Tattooine?" =|
If it's an old idea by Leia then it is not one about smuggling in a weapon into a spacestation disguised a gaffistick. Leia didn't use staffsized weapons, nor have Tusken Raiders been doing jobs on space stations since Leis was doing field ops. So that becomes a very long brainstorm session with Rey and Leia you feel was had off screen to arrive at Leia's old ambitions to infiltrate Tusken Raiders camps on Tatioone for **** knows why to mine for this mission.

I hope the first Jawa to leave -- when questioned about their trustworthiness in light of their choice to do something the rest of their tribe or race wasn't doing -- replied "The purpose of my trip? To bang your mom."
Jawa have been a spacefaring race for thousands of years. They are regular presence at the Tatioone spacedock already, they have no established problem with engaging other races for trade, if Rey needed something done that required dressing up something Jawasized up as a Jawa, there's no problem with that. We already know she could've encountered one anywhere at any time. Tusken Raiders on the other hand need to go on a bit of trip to be put in her peripheral at all. If DoTF had interest in actually doing something with Tusken Raiders to make this possible I'm on board. That I'm not getting here. Thus it's just dumb fanservice to me.
 
Yeah, I'm glad we can stay pretty friendly through the discussion, it's only a movie. I was about to suggest we take this to Tangents, but if y'all are okay with it that's fine.

Well, that was my point. You've really got to get silly with it for me to think it's unreasonable.
One person's nitpick is another person's gaping hole. Neither of them are necessarily wrong.

They achieve the moral victory, absolutely, but Bats still has to take him down to prevent the boats from blowing up anyway.
Bats doesn't win without them, though, it's not some immutable rule of superhero stories that the villain must be defeated by the hero alone with no assistance.

It was ultimately a personal duel between them, though. It would be weird AF if Broom Boy came flying in on his Nimbus 2000 to settle Rey and Kylo's personal grudge match for all the little people.
One of the things that was puzzling to me in all these stories is why Rey remained the only Jedi in the time between 8 and 9. Why did no one else train?

Imagine this happening:

Climactic duel ensues. Kylo has brought some KOR to [duel location], and they're standing and watching for now. Kylo lands a good hit, knocks her to one knee.

Kylo: When I've defeated you, the Jedi will be no more.

Rey(laughs): What, you think I kept that knowledge in my shoebox all to myself? I've been handing out copies of the Jedi texts all over the galaxy since Crait. You can't destroy the Jedi. It's too late. You killed your master, because you were afraid to share power. And that's why you're weak. That's why you're alone.

[dropship engine noises.]

Rey (grins) Me? I brought friends.

[Other Force Users attack KOR. Kylo backs off.]

Rey: Surrender, Ben.

[Action scene of your choice]

Does that sound so terrible? You still get your final duel, but it's not so weirdly elitist. Maybe some of her friends aren't even force users, so it's not a superhero solo duel.

It doesn't resolve its story that way, though. It ends on a note doing precisely the opposite.
Not really. It's too late to do it then, if your core theme is the force powers are not exclusive superpowers, then resolving your plot through making your force superpowers as exclusive as possible means it's too late to then try and say you're making the force non exclusive (especially when you're not, you're just making another Jedi temple like Luke did.

Uh, why? It's not like the kids can't walk out the door any time they want to anyway. They just have nothing waiting for them elsewhere on Cantonica if they do.
Hmm, I'm having flashbacks to a certain conversation about Jakku...

Have the kids hide in that giant grassland until Maz' friend can pick them up. Maz's firefight is probably over by this point. She sent them to find a Master Codebreaker to get them onto the FO flagship. That's presumably a rare skill (apart from random guys in jail) but picking up the kids just needs an ordinary trustworthy smuggler (give them a Resistance ring so they can prove they're trustworthy.)

Best of all, this ties in much better to the 'save what we love, don't destroy what we hate' theme.

His lack of Force powers is not what makes him look pathetic in that script.
Then what's the point of showing him trying and failing to use the Force?

It actually dovetails perfectly, but alright ...
How so?

No, they didn't? [...]No, those deaths are because the enemy was aware of the mission the "infiltrators" had been sent on, and allowed them to "escape" with a tracking signal implanted in their sidekick.
Which is on the infiltrators for not taking enough care not to lead enemies back to their base. Leia immediately concludes when they arrive that the FO potentially might have followed them. That the leads didn't take this possibility into consideration is for me evidence that they didn't take the safety of their headquarters seriously enough, which led to them being followed. All it would take is an extra transponder, an FO BB unit on the ship somewhere doing repairs, a tracking device, or the FO remembering that they had lightspeed tracking capabilities in the previous film. They turned off the transponder and decided to gamble the lives of everyone in the Resistance that they weren't being followed by other means.

at least feels plausible on an emotional level since DotF has someone making a speech rather than just sending out a generic call for help, as in TLJ. And it arguably makes for less of a narrative whiplash than TRoS having Lando apparently make the best damn call-to-arms anyone has ever heard ... off screen ...
They both have their problems, but this kind of thing is in the eye of the beholder.

One of the most puzzling things about all these scripts is where the hell Rey gets her super elitist streak from.

Rey: Oh no, my parents are nobody. How awful.

Finn: Hi, my name is FN-2187, nice to meet you.

Poe: No one is no one.

Leia: You know the name 'Solo' comes from a random imperial recruiter, right? Organa is not my birth name, but my parents loved me just fine, thank you very much.

Luke: The name 'Skywalker' comes from a random slave in the desert, just like you. The Jedi never had ANY lineages at all. Every famous Jedi you've ever heard of? Every single one of them is nobody! Where the hell did you get this from?
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
Good news. (Bad news?) I've just about finished my overly long review/analysis/brain vomit of TRoS and should be posting it later today for anyone who has enough self-loathing to subject themselves to eight weeks' worth of bloated ruminating over space opera.

I want to go ahead and get the latest replies I owe you fine folks out of the way, though.

The Raddus was already in space, the work that gets done on the other deck of the ship was being done seconds before Hondo took the wheel. Hondo didn't need it to work afterwards.
I'm used to working in a large facility with a SCADA system that can -- so long as all transmitters, PLC cards, and transponders are working properly; and there are no mechanical hangups -- start enormous pumps and blowers, adjust VFDs, open/close valves, etc. that are physically far away. Now, entropy being what it is, there are still plenty of occasions where someone is going to have to go do a spot-check and figure out why something didn't work, then manually put it into operation.

All of which is to say that I would be very shocked indeed if a Star Destroyer didn't have a similar system in place. For use as backup, of course, rather than as the primarily relied upon means of operations -- but nonetheless still present in circumstances such as the event life support was lost on a critical level while the machinery there could still be operated by remote.

Roger said:
Also, the Raddus is a simpe liferaft compared to the Eclipse. There's no chance of me overstating just how big this ship is.
I feel you, and that's all the more reason it would be silly to knowingly -- deliberately even -- design such a vessel to sit dead in the water 100 percent of the time outside ideal conditions, even when it still has a fully staffed helm.

Roger said:
It gets addressed in Rise of Skywalker.
It doesn't, though. Not at all. Some other former Stormtroopers show up to say "Hey, we defected too" -- but even then Finn never has to think about the implications of blowing up other Stormtroopers for two and a half movies. It's not portrayed in the tragic light that it really belongs in.

It's portrayed in a light more comparable to, say, an event that took place when I lived in south Charlotte. Myself and another dude got to talking while waiting for our take-out pizza and realized we were from the same part of Detroit (where the Hungry Howie's pizza chain originated).

Yeah, that's about how the scene with Finn and Jannah comes across.
Roger said:
That's not Rise of Skywalker. Abrams was hired to make a new script cause Disney didn't like this one.
Putting aside that we don't know who didn't like what or why (I've certainly never heard anyone claim before now that Disney didn't like it), what you said here doesn't address what I said at all.

When they arrived, Abrams and co. had a script to work from waiting for them -- and they actually did work from it to some extent. We know that for a fact. There are shreds of elements of the original script in Abrams's and Terrio's; enough that Trevorrow and Connolly retain a story credit.

Yet in that transition, the vast majority of Finn's story disappeared. That's not even the least bit debatable. He goes from having all these other things to do and be part of to having ... one of those things? Maybe two?

It's not quite as vicious as the utter gutting of Rose's story, no, but it has still been vivisected and dessicated.

Roger said:
So, the grand adventures that Rey undertook that build her legend to the same heights of Luke are somehow not important enough to show on the big screen then.
I don't know what to tell you. I personally enjoy time jumps as a storytelling device. I feel that they can give a grander sense of accomplishment to character growth and a grander sense of scale to events.

Even when we didn't have "Shadows of the Empire" to fill in gaps previously left to our imagination, I've always loved how ESB ends with Luke getting his ass shellacked, then when next we see him in RotJ, he's a badass full-fledged Jedi Knight with a lightsaber he built himself.

Roger said:
If it's an old idea by Leia then it is not one about smuggling in a weapon into a spacestation disguised a gaffistick. Leia didn't use staffsized weapons ...
Leia literally was carrying a shock blade lance when she was disguised as Boushh.

Roger said:
... nor have Tusken Raiders been doing jobs on space stations since Leis was doing field ops.
No one said they had? We know for a fact, however, that she's been coming up with infiltration and extraction missions for her agents for a very long time.

Roger said:
So that becomes a very long brainstorm session with Rey and Leia ...
I certainly hope so.

Roger said:
... you feel was had off screen to arrive at Leia's old ambitions to infiltrate Tusken Raiders camps on Tatioone for **** knows why ...
That's all your idea. I haven't said anything about infiltrating Tusken camps.

One person's nitpick is another person's gaping hole. Neither of them are necessarily wrong.
I think we've probably all seen (and perpetrated) some nitpicks that went beyond reasonable, though. :monster:

Clement said:
Bats doesn't win without them, though, it's not some immutable rule of superhero stories that the villain must be defeated by the hero alone with no assistance.
Of course not. But as your example shows, just because there's a superhero involved doing superhero things doesn't mean shining a spotlight on the value of other people results in thematic bankruptcy.

More accurately, there are different conflicts appropriate to different people, entailing different achievements for their own respective reasons.

Clement said:
One of the things that was puzzling to me in all these stories is why Rey remained the only Jedi in the time between 8 and 9. Why did no one else train?
I guess Leia is the only teacher left around, and she's probably not easy to find (if any Force-sensitive people out there even know to go to her).

Clement said:
Imagine this happening:

Climactic duel ensues. Kylo has brought some KOR to [duel location], and they're standing and watching for now. Kylo lands a good hit, knocks her to one knee.

Kylo: When I've defeated you, the Jedi will be no more.

Rey(laughs): What, you think I kept that knowledge in my shoebox all to myself? I've been handing out copies of the Jedi texts all over the galaxy since Crait. You can't destroy the Jedi. It's too late. You killed your master, because you were afraid to share power. And that's why you're weak. That's why you're alone.

[dropship engine noises.]

Rey (grins) Me? I brought friends.

[Other Force Users attack KOR. Kylo backs off.]

Rey: Surrender, Ben.

[Action scene of your choice]

Does that sound so terrible? You still get your final duel, but it's not so weirdly elitist. Maybe some of her friends aren't even force users, so it's not a superhero solo duel.
Sure, that sounds good. I wouldn't mind seeing that.

I would still suggest, though, that narrative satisfaction would demand Rey and Kylo's personal duel is left for them to finish, with the implication that Kylo would be in for a dogpiling even if he won.

Clement said:
Not really. It's too late to do it then, if your core theme is the force powers are not exclusive superpowers, then resolving your plot through making your force superpowers as exclusive as possible means it's too late to then try and say you're making the force non exclusive (especially when you're not, you're just making another Jedi temple like Luke did.
I would agree if the primary conflict was being resolved through those superpowers. In this particular script, though, Rey and Kylo's thing almost reads as the B plot. It feels like the rest of the plot -- the rest of the galaxy even -- has moved on, maybe even more than during the days of the Empire.

In thinking about this, I keep coming back to what Hux says in this script: "Let Kylo and the girl fulfill the empty promises of their ancient religion. In the end they’ll destroy each other, as Jedi and Sith always have. Then we will rise. Strong, decisive. Ready to bring true order to the galaxy."

To me, this commentary (by the narrative, not just Hux) reads as a refutation of the "It's all about the superheroes" interpretation you have.

It's almost like a challenge to such people to demonstrate they have a place on the galactic stage of the future, because everyone's lives don't revolve around their comings and goings, duelings and grudgings, and assorted personal shenanigans.

Clement said:
Hmm, I'm having flashbacks to a certain conversation about Jakku...
Child slaves at Canto Bight are slaves there because their incompetent or uncaring guardians went there to gamble, then abandoned the children after losing.

This is not remotely comparable to adults who choose to come to Jakku to trudge and drudge in the hopes of striking it rich while having the option of leaving the planet -- or even just having the option of going to live in a different settlement on the planet if all else fails in Unkar Plutt's domain. Canto Bight is literally the only settlement on Cantonica, which had been a dead world until an infrastructure was exported there (at great cost) and an artificial "sea" developed to create this resort town.

Clement said:
Have the kids hide in that giant grassland until Maz' friend can pick them up. Maz's firefight is probably over by this point. She sent them to find a Master Codebreaker to get them onto the FO flagship. That's presumably a rare skill (apart from random guys in jail) but picking up the kids just needs an ordinary trustworthy smuggler (give them a Resistance ring so they can prove they're trustworthy.)

Best of all, this ties in much better to the 'save what we love, don't destroy what we hate' theme.
It would definitely tie in nicely.

Clement said:
Then what's the point of showing him trying and failing to use the Force?

...

How so?
(I feel like these two questions kind of go together, and so then do their responses.)

There's a lot of irony in the a) "Nobody, Who Came From Nothing" envying the sort of biography that Hux or Kylo have and looking for a father figure in Kylo's dad and uncle; while b) Kylo couldn't handle the pressures of his loving family's high-profile background, resents them for it, and wants the past dead; all while c) Hux envies the natural talents of either of the other two, resents them for it, and -- though quite happy with his inherited status -- hates his unloving father.

All three have some funny ideas about what would make them more special or make for a more blissful existence. They not only have trouble in just being themselves, but also in deciding what that means. It's really quite grand.

Clement said:
Which is on the infiltrators for not taking enough care not to lead enemies back to their base. Leia immediately concludes when they arrive that the FO potentially might have followed them. That the leads didn't take this possibility into consideration is for me evidence that they didn't take the safety of their headquarters seriously enough, which led to them being followed. All it would take is an extra transponder, an FO BB unit on the ship somewhere doing repairs, a tracking device, or the FO remembering that they had lightspeed tracking capabilities in the previous film. They turned off the transponder and decided to gamble the lives of everyone in the Resistance that they weren't being followed by other means.
Were they not supposed to return then? Leia doesn't give any indication that this was to be a suicide mission.

Since the FO intended to let at least some of them (probably not Rey) escape with BB-8 (though probably not intending to give them an Eclipse ...), that's the only reason we know of that they were tracked -- and that was going to happen regardless of what ship they left in. So, this would be one of those nits I don't think makes sense to pick. =P

Clement said:
One of the most puzzling things about all these scripts is where the hell Rey gets her super elitist streak from.

Rey: Oh no, my parents are nobody. How awful.

Finn: Hi, my name is FN-2187, nice to meet you.

Poe: No one is no one.

Leia: You know the name 'Solo' comes from a random imperial recruiter, right? Organa is not my birth name, but my parents loved me just fine, thank you very much.

Luke: The name 'Skywalker' comes from a random slave in the desert, just like you. The Jedi never had ANY lineages at all. Every famous Jedi you've ever heard of? Every single one of them is nobody! Where the hell did you get this from?
More delicious characterization irony. She definitely has some Cloud-esque issues with deciding that she must be, has to be, needs to be someone special from birth as a way of rationalizing and coping with being abandoned.

It's really that abandonment more than anything that seems to fuck with her. More so than the unhappy childhood alone, because a good enough reason for it could have vindicated it for her.

Even when she learns that she's got Jedi powers, that doesn't satisfy her need to be special. If anything, it fuels her belief that she must come from somewhere really special and that there was a special grand reason behind her being abandoned.

Fortunately and unfortunately for her, TRoS gave her this. Not quite how she would have liked, though.
 

Roger

Triple Slash Enthusiast
AKA
Minato
I'm used to working in a large facility with a SCADA system that can -- so long as all transmitters, PLC cards, and transponders are working properly; and there are no mechanical hangups -- start enormous pumps and blowers, adjust VFDs, open/close valves, etc. that are physically far away. Now, entropy being what it is, there are still plenty of occasions where someone is going to have to go do a spot-check and figure out why something didn't work, then manually put it into operation.

All of which is to say that I would be very shocked indeed if a Star Destroyer didn't have a similar system in place. For use as backup, of course, rather than as the primarily relied upon means of operations -- but nonetheless still present in circumstances such as the event life support was lost on a critical level while the machinery there could still be operated by remote.

I feel you, and that's all the more reason it would be silly to knowingly -- deliberately even -- design such a vessel to sit dead in the water 100 percent of the time outside ideal conditions, even when it still has a fully staffed helm.
It's not dead in the water, it's not even sitting at anchor, it's a ship raised up on drydock, then someone jumped on the aftdeck, spun the wheel and crossed the atlantic. And then deliberately beached the ship just to prove a point.

It doesn't, though. Not at all. Some other former Stormtroopers show up to say "Hey, we defected too" -- but even then Finn never has to think about the implications of blowing up other Stormtroopers for two and a half movies. It's not portrayed in the tragic light that it really belongs in.

It's portrayed in a light more comparable to, say, an event that took place when I lived in south Charlotte. Myself and another dude got to talking while waiting for our take-out pizza and realized we were from the same part of Detroit (where the Hungry Howie's pizza chain originated).

Yeah, that's about how tgi scene with Finn and Jannah comes across.
I'll have to take your word for recalling of your personal experiences. Finn not presuming to have all the answers feels more true to me. He went rogue day 1 of his first field mission, he was a janitor before that, he is not in the same boat as these Stormtroopers that have already conquered most fleets and planets in the galaxy without wavering.

Putting aside that we don't know who didn't like what or why (I've certainly never heard anyone claim before now that Disney didn't like it), what you said here doesn't address what I said at all.

When they arrived, Abrams and co. had a script to work from waiting for them -- and they actually did work from it to some extent. We know that for a fact. There are shreds of elements of the original script in Abrams's and Terrio's; enough that Trevorrow and Connolly retain a story credit.

Yet in that transition, the vast majority of Finn's story disappeared. That's not even the least bit debatable. He goes from having all these other things to do and be part of to having ... one of those things? Maybe two?

It's not quite as vicious as the utter gutting of Rose's story, no, but it has still been vivisected and dessicated.
Well, I'm surprised you haven't heard this before, Abrams was brought back for a reason, one you might not feel is valid, but one that existed in the eyes of a decision making authority beyond Abrams himself.

I don't know what to tell you. I personally enjoy time jumps as a storytelling device. I feel that they can give a grander sense of accomplishment to character growth and a grander sense of scale to events.

Even when we didn't have "Shadows of the Empire" to fill in gaps previously left to our imagination, I've always loved how ESB ends with Luke getting his ass shellacked, then when next we see him in RotJ, he's a badass full-fledged Jedi Knight with a lightsaber he built himself.
Luke undergoing personal growth and the entire galaxy undergoing personal growth to the very specific point that the decision to submit die or fight for freedom rest entire on the survival of one girl is a different thing I feel. At that point the gap contains more story the non gap parts.

Leia literally was carrying a shock blade lance when she was disguised as Boushh.

No one said they had? We know for a fact, however, that she's been coming up with infiltration and extraction missions for her agents for a very long time.

I certainly hope so.

That's all your idea. I haven't said anything about infiltrating Tusken camps.
Rey carried the staff BEFORE the disguise, and then it fitted neatly as PART of the disguise. I would posit that Leia never went into your missions plannings going, "but how can I take my lifelong companion staff with me." to which gaffi sticks would then be answer.
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
I'm going to let you have the last word on most of that.

Well, I'm surprised you haven't heard this before, Abrams was brought back for a reason, one you might not feel is valid, but one that existed in the eyes of a decision making authority beyond Abrams himself.
I said I've yet to hear that Disney was dissatisfied with the script. I've heard that Kathleen Kennedy and/or others at Lucasfilm were. I've also heard that they were perfectly happy with it until Carrie Fisher died eleven days after it was submitted, and that they couldn't thereafter come to an agreement on how to proceed despite at least two significant rewrites.

I've heard a lot of things.

-----

Alright, here's that review/analysis/whatever it is for anyone who wishes to look at my madness up close:

Completing a review of "The Rise of Skywalker" has been very difficult these past eight weeks. That's been due in part to there being so much to sift through, both in terms of the material in the film and also -- perhaps especially -- in terms of trying to establish proper emotional distance from unfavorable developments or expectations that went without vindication.

Added to that, all aspects of such an analysis have faced the additional challenge of the fact that new information related to the movie just keeps coming out, both through the official sort of channels, such as interviews with people part of the production, or notably less authorized avenues -- e.g. the recent leaks of the first and last script drafts of "Duel of the Fates," Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly's unproduced version of Episode IX.

For the most part, though, it is a difficult film to review because it is an awkwardly assembled composition that doesn't stand all that well to itself; stands even more poorly as an entry in a trilogy; more poorly still as the finale to its particular trilogy; and functions most poorly of all as the conclusion to a franchise-wide saga spanning forty-two years and somewhere between nine and a dozen movies (depending on your preferred metric of counting them).

I suppose the above paragraph could serve as a review right there, but we all know I'm not going to be able to let it go at that. "Star Wars" means too much to me.

Though not even nearly my absolute favorite franchise of fictional shenanigans, "Star Wars" is still so very near and dear to my heart, having been with me from my earliest formative years. I suspect so much of my capacity for imagination is bound up in its imagery, as well as its sensibilities of world-building and storytelling.

Of course, ten million other fans could have composed that same sentiment.

This is a franchise -- a living universe even -- that so many love. Many less than I do, I'd wager, but also plenty who do so more. "The Rise of Skywalker" had a lot riding on it: many sorts of expectations, whether optimistic or pessimistic, whether about the narrative or the box office performance. There has also been an irresistible temptation to look to TRoS for a sense of where the wider franchise is going. I certainly haven't been exempt from any of this.

Now that the film is not only out but also a solid outline of the form it may have assumed has taken shape as well (thanks to those recent leaks about the project from when Colin Trevorrow was still intended to serve as its director), it is equally difficult to avoid ruminating over "what could have been" and then dwelling upon it.

I don't need to belabor the observation that the film has neither particularly resonated with general audiences nor long-dedicated enthusiasts -- myself included. That said, I would like to make the effort here to examine "The Rise of Skywalker" on the basis of the film that was produced, not an alternate Episode IX we have no reason to suspect we will ever see.

I want to take stock here -- merits, warts, and all -- of TRoS, not "Duel of the Fates"; and to do so on the basis of its role as the movie that concluded The Skywalker Saga/the "Star Wars" Sequel Trilogy/Disney Trilogy/whatever other names we may know it by; and to take whatever insight we may on its possible implications for the franchise writ large.

To paraphrase a memorable exchange between Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi early in Episode I, while "Star Wars" may have had a hand in teaching many of us how to be mindful of what is possible, let us not do so at the expense of engaging with what is actual.

On that note, two weeks before "The Rise of Skywalker" was released in theatres, Polygon released an interview with the film's co-screenwriter Chris Terrio in which he said the following:

"So it became this little creative sandbox where we really could try anything.

The thing about a movie of this size is that you can imagine anything. Anything you can imagine, literally, can be realized in some way. It’s the only time in my life that I will ever have an experience like this. Not only that, but your heart is just brimming over because it’s Star Wars and it’s these characters that you love. They’re like your relatives. You love them. I feel that I know and love Luke and Lando better than I know some of my family, and I treat them with as much love and warmth as I would treat family. Or even more. So to have that at the warm emotional core of things, plus to have the ability to stage anything — any battle, that is, any event that is galaxy history — on a canvas that size, it’s a one-chance-in-a-lifetime thrill."

And this is what they chose to do with it: constant death fakeouts -- one each for Chewbacca, C-3PO, Zorii Bliss, Babu Frik, and Rey; then two for Kylo Ren (third time's the charm, I guess) -- and nearly constant thousand-yard stares from Rey while Finn ineffectually screams her name from somewhere too far away to matter.

I'm getting ahead of myself, though. Let's go back a step.

To begin this proper (from my point of view anyway) dive into the condition of "Star Wars" today, I won't mince words: the novelization of TRoS releasing in March has a lot of work cut out for it -- a challenge approaching the impossible even. One for which I truly hope The Force is with author Rae Carson.

On the optimistic side of things, she has hinted that there is a lot of missing material to the story that this novelization will provide:


On the pessimistic side of things, no matter how much the novel adds or improves, the movie will remain in the slipshod state of assembly it is now.

And on the real-talk side of things, a movie at this level of production shouldn't need to look to its novelization to achieve what the film should have in the first place: thematic and narrative coherence with the rest of its trilogy.

I won't wax so pessimistic as Forbes contributor Paul Tassi as to say that TRoS erased "The Last Jedi." Donna Dickens at /Film actually makes a solid series of observations on how well TRoS's revelations concerning Rey's lineage mesh with the interactions between she and Luke in TLJ. I will, however, echo Tassi word for word where he says "The more I think about it, the more the disparity between Star Wars’ Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, and then The Last Jedi and Rise of Skywalker is one of the weirdest things I have ever seen in blockbuster cinema."

I will hardly be the first reviewer to say this last movie tried to do and be too much. Say what one will about "The Last Jedi," "The Force Awakens," or even the individual installments of the much-maligned Prequel Trilogy, none of those films were in the heat of an identity crisis.

Does "The Rise of Skywalker" want to be about the cumulative positive effects of small, individual acts of kindness or about the final grand spectacles that topple an empire in the span of a few hours? Does it want to be about a small few who can inspire and lead others or does it want to show the net positive resulting from various disparate factions already working towards similar goals uniting in common cause?

Does TRoS want to continue the theme from "The Last Jedi" about The Force working through "nothings" and "nobodies" like Finn and other defected Stormtroopers to bring about freedom and balance -- or does it want to play up the importance of Force "dynasties," with notions of lineage at the personal level for a few having major effects for everyone?

Perhaps the answer is ... all of the above? And if so, to the film's credit, it actually manages to tackle all of these things to some degree, though mostly not to a degree of satisfaction. Consequently, it now seems safe to say that the Lucasfilm Story Group is no longer in session -- or at the least no longer serving the purpose for which it was formed.

My overall cognitive and emotional impressions of TRoS remain the same now as eight weeks ago: it feels like there was ultimately no oversight at the end of this journey to mandate a coherent trilogy. There has been far too much fluidity in the wider plot and thematic elements of the "Star Wars" universe of late, as well as even that of individual stories.

Prior to the leaks of Trevorrow and Connolly's scripts, this disconnect in the Story Group was perhaps most notable in Story Group executive Matt Martin's recent comments regarding "Darth Vader" vol. 2 #25 and its apparent revelation that Sheev Palpatine influenced The Force to create Anakin Skywalker in Shmi Skywalker's womb:

"I’ve gone into this at length a few times. No, that is not what the comic is implying. Just no. There’s more to that comic than those two panels. It should be read in context."

"But this is all in Anakin’s head. Wouldn't that idea, a concept that Palps hinted at to Anakin himself, be something likely to freak Anakin out? Something that would linger in his mind? 'Oh crap, what if he made me!' Doesn't make it true. It's all through Anakin's lens."

"But I can tell you definitively, as someone who worked on the comic, that is 100% not the intended implication. I'm not saying there isn't a logical misinterpretation that they're coming to. I'm just telling you definitively that it's not correct."

"Like, I get why people think that and that’s okay. But it’s objectively incorrect."

"It’s part of my job to ensure the stories are aligned with the overall vision of Star Wars. If the intention was to make a direct connection between Palps and Anakin’s birth, I would have had it removed."

Charles Soule, the issue's writer, even chimed in to defend Martin's bizarre position:

"I am, in fact, the writer. Matt and I worked closely on this series and this point in particular. I hate explaining stuff in my work in too much detail, but you need to understand the scenario happening here.

The Dark Side is not a reliable narrator."

Soule's comment would be a helpful point if anything within the comic offered an indication that what we see isn't to be trusted. In truth, the issue and those preceding it do precisely the opposite: we see that it's altogether possible for the gateway Vader is utilizing to do what he wants it to (i.e. bring someone dead back to life), so we're then left with little to no reason to doubt the validity of the imagery he witnesses shortly after passing through.

Did the writer look at the finished pages of the comic prior to print? Did Martin? In the just-a-few-days-more-than-a-year between this issue's December 19, 2018, publication and the recent Twitter trainwreck, did they not look at any of the numerous articles on fan websites and in other geek circles that spoke of the revelation/confirmation that Palpatine created Anakin?

Pablo Hidalgo, another member of the Story Group, certainly did, and took the step of confirming their veracity within the first week of the issue's release:

"Not sure why it's being treated as groundbreaking. given 1) what's in Episode III 2) the peculiar POV of the comic and 3) how long this has been out there (13 years or so). Of all the amazing things this comic does, it's an interesting reaction to a small piece."

Hidalgo then added a picture of an ultimately unused passage from an early draft of Episode III's script wherein Palpatine explicitly told Anakin "I have waited all these years for you to fulfill your destiny [. . .] I arranged for your conception. I used the power of the Force to will the midichlorians to start the cell divisions that created you" -- as well as "You could almost think of me as a father."

In Martin's defense, he has apparently been holding this position on the book's contents since that same first week it was published, but it seems little effort was made to address the prevalent understanding that was forming throughout the fandom and wider online community for more than a year. To his credit, though, he does also say "FWIW, I’m not trying to tell people what to believe. I’m just saying that I can assure you that is not the intention of that comic and that comic only."

I half expect what Martin and Soule are saying about this on Twitter to simply be ignored by future writers, who will almost certainly defer to what is on the page. Martin in particular is difficult to give much weight in credibility on matters such as these.

I say that in part because of his name being attached to issues #20-21 of Poe Dameron's eponymous comic series as one of its Lucasfilm Story Group consultants, along with James Waugh and Leland Chee, as was the case with the Darth Vader comic storyline discussed above.

In these issues, as in a number of other places throughout the canon that has been undergoing construction in recent years, the concept of a past harmony -- and perhaps a harmonious future yet to come -- between use of the Dark and Light Sides of The Force is discussed. Upon examining a mysterious spherical artifact called the Kazerath, Resistance ally, friend to Luke Skywalker, and researcher of all things Force-related Lor San Tekka makes the following remarks and observations:

"Just look at it. Crafted using both the Dark and Light Sides of The Force, and clearly designed to be operated by both at once."
- "Poe Dameron" #20

"The device is incredibly unique. It might imply a chapter in the grand history of The Force when Light and Dark were not in opposition, but united. ... As you know, I have dedicated my life to gathering knowledge about The Force. Both sides, Light and Dark. So many lives have been lost in their battle over the millenia -- but I think someday this fight could end. If they could work together, see that in many ways they are the same... Perhaps the Kazerath is a path to that future."
- "Poe Dameron" #21

So, why is this relevant to how much credence we give Matt Martin? Because Martin is on the record as insisting it isn't possible for anyone to exist in such a state as described by Lor San Tekka -- while applying special pleading to the cases of The Bendu and the Mortis gods in an attempt to invalidate them as examples of it:

"The difference is in the individual, not the Force. 'Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will.' An individual can not exist in the middle (Bendu doesn't count because he's a whole separate thing, same with the Mortis gods)."

"But what I'm saying is that the Force itself has a spectrum but the characters are on one side or the other. The balance in the middle is not a place an individual can exist."

He's even gone so far as to claim that George Lucas "saw the Force as a clear binary light and dark so that's how I tend to see it" -- despite Lucas creating the Mortis gods, from among whom The Father explained to Anakin in "Overlords," a season 3 episode of "The Clone Wars":

"My children and I can manipulate the Force like no other. Therefore, it was necessary to withdraw from the temporal world and live here as anchorites. ... You cannot imagine what pain it is to have such love for your children and realize that they could tear the very fabric of our universe. ... It is only here that I can control them. A family in balance. The Light and the Dark. Day with night. Destruction replaced by creation. ... Too much Dark or Light would be the undoing of life as you understand it."

As for the Dark Side "forever dominat[ing] your destiny" once you begin using it, this was demonstrably false in the Original Trilogy in which it was uttered, but is especially so in a look at the wider franchise where no less than three major Dark Side-wielders are concerned: Assaj Ventress, Ben Solo, and Anakin Skywalker himself. In Ben's case, he actually actively struggled to resist the Light Side and go down a dark path by choice.

Even if we extend special pleading to Anakin because he's The Chosen One, and even to Ben (for whatever reason), once we pile up enough exceptions to supposed rules, they stop looking much like rules. Yet Martin remains keen to insist they are when confronted with these details, and quick to backpedal into another fallacious position:

"I think 'forever' is hyperbole and we've seen in more than a few stories that it's possible to bring someone back into the light. My point is just that it seems impossible for one to exist somewhere in between. Once you start going dark, it's a slippery slope."

Ben Solo's ongoing struggle to resist being seduced by the Light Side of the Force notwithstanding this "slippery slope," of course.

It's quite clear here that Martin himself has a preference for a notion of The Force as a morally simplistic, mutually exclusive good-evil dichotomy. Which is fine. We all have matters of preference. His just happens to be incorrect, and he's unfortunately apparently unwilling to part from it without (perhaps unknowingly) utilizing his position to taint fandom understanding. Granted, there are other fans who would say the same of Pablo Hidalgo, whom I've invoked in opposition to Martin, so perhaps I should withdraw the sentiment.

I'm hesitant to cast aspersions upon someone's character over their approach to works of fiction anyway, but the interpretation of The Force that Martin promotes hardly feels like a good-faith reading of something like this ancient Jedi meditation chant revealed in "Dooku: Jedi Lost" --

"We call upon the three: Light, Dark, and balance true. One is no greater than the others. Together, they unite, restore, center, and renew. We walk into the Light, acknowledge the Dark, and find balance within ourselves. The Force is strong."

Also, it is simply impossible to reconcile Martin's description of The Force with what we know of the Prime Jedi, to whom the above chant belonged. Long before the Jedi Order of the Republic era became oblivious to their deterioration into the hamstrung pawns and political puppets of corrupt bureaucrats and other officials -- and even before a rogue Sith faction split from the original order to have borne the Jedi name -- the Prime Jedi were equivalent to what fandom hypothetically refers to as "Grey Jedi." Per pg. 246 in the New Edition of "Ultimate Star Wars," "the Prime (first) Jedi [were] at balance with the Force—in peaceful coexistence with both light amd dark":



And finally, though -- as stated at the begining of this look into TRoS and the current state of the franchise -- I'm going out of my way in this review not to think too much about "what could have been," it's worth mentioning that "Duel of the Fates" was also written with a proper understanding and depiction of The Force in mind. This is most blatantly conveyed by Rey declaring to Kylo "Our Masters were wrong. I will not deny my anger. And I will not reject my love. I am the darkness. And I am the light" -- followed shortly thereafter by this exchange between Rey and the Force Ghosts of her predecessors:

---
Yoda: "Taught us much, you have."
Rey: "I've taught you?"
Yoda: "Mmm. Succeeded where we have failed. Narrow was our point of view."
Luke: "You choose to embrace the Dark Side and the Light. To find balance within."
Yoda: "Co-exist, they must, as such feelings do in all of us."
---

In the interest of full disclosure, I do want it on the record that I'm not particularly attached to the Palpatine explanation about Anakin's creation and would happily accept James Luceno's 2014 "Darth Plagueis" novel being reinducted into canon. In that novel, it was revealed that Darth Plagueis's experiments with the midichlorians in an attempt to command the power of resurrection had inadvertently prompted The Force itself to create Anakin in response, so as to restore the cosmic balance that was being disrupted -- with Palpatine then incorporating Anakin into his own plans.

So, that in mind, believe me when I say that my taken issue with this claim of "No, Palpatine isn't obviously Force-Fucking Shmi here" thing is the lack of consistency from Lucasfilm Story Group.

On the other hand, I will confess to having much more an attachment to the "Grey Force" concept that Martin believes "could[n't] be a thing" -- but in my defense, I also used to accept the false dichotomy he subscribes to until canon materials began introducing us to the proper Force balance. Given that depictions of The Force have evolved past our original understanding, I'm not going to encourage it being dragged kicking and screaming back to a less nuanced and less meditative conceptualization.

Again, though, my main gripe here is the lack of consistency from Lucasfilm on fronts such as this. And it gets worse when coming back round to "The Rise of Skywalker" itself. Much worse. Even before we take the recent leaks of Trevorrow and Connolly's scripts into account.

When the first trailer for TRoS was revealed last April at the Star Wars Celebration in Chicago, Kathleen Kennedy claimed afterwards in a brief interview with Yahoo! Enterainment's Kevin Polowy that it had essentially always been the plan for Palpatine to return in the Sequel Trilogy --

---
Polowy: "Big shocker, of course, in this trailer: the reappearance of Palpatine. What can you tell us about this? How long was this in the cards? Was this sort of in the blueprint since Episode VII?"

Kennedy: "This has been in the blueprint for a long time, yeah. We had not landed on exactly how we might do that, but yes, it's always --"

Polowy: "Always to be in Episode IX?"

Kennedy: "Yeah."
---

More recent interviews with others involved, including Abrams's TRoS co-screenwriter Chris Terrio, specify otherwise. In one interview with Awards Daily, Terrio had this to say:

"We felt that right from the beginning, when J.J. established Kylo Ren in Episode VII, there was a war going on inside him and that he had been corrupted by something bigger than himself and had made bad choices along the way. J.J. and I felt we needed to find a way in which he could be redeemed, and that gets tricky at the end of Episode VIII because Snoke is gone. The biggest bad guy in the galaxy at that moment seemingly is Kylo Ren. There needed to be an antagonist that the good guys could be fighting, and that’s when we really tried to laser in on who had been the great source of evil behind all of this for so long. That’s when we really started aggressively pursuing this idea that there is old evil that didn’t die. The source of the evil in the galaxy is this dark spirit waiting for its revenge and biding its time. The entity known as Palpatine in this version – his body died in Return of the Jedi – is patient and has been waiting. He dug his fox hole and has been waiting for his chance to re-establish his total domination."

For valuable context, note that Terrio mentions in this same interview that he wasn't brought in to work on anything related to "Star Wars" until Abrams had accepted the job to return to the Sequel Trilogy for Episode IX. In another recent interview, this time with The Hollywood Reporter, Terrio identified that period as the fall of 2017.

In other words, contrary to the claim that Palpatine's return was planned from the beginning of the Sequel Trilogy's development, if Terrio is to be believed, Palpatine's return could not have actually been planned before very late 2017 at the earliest, when release of "The Last Jedi" was itself already near.

Ironically, the Awards Daily interviewer seemed to catch onto these implication, as their very next question for Terrio asked "Was returning to this entity known as Palpatine always in the plan or was it newly introduced in Episode IX?" Terrio then replies with a much more noncommittal response that seems to contradict what he said a moment prior:

"Well, I can’t speak to Kathy’s overall intent. That was certainly discussed and was discussed before I ever came on. Kathy had this overall vision that we had to be telling the same story for nine episodes."

This backtracking almost seems to suggest that he realized he had said too much, as if there was a party line to tow. This impression is further impressed by an IndieWire article released the same day as the Awards Daily interview. This second interviewer notes that Terrio "was mum when asked if Palpatine’s return was already in place when he joined the project."

If there had always been a plan to this effect in place, there's no reason for all this coy dodging and backtracking to obfuscate the matter. Particularly given that, despite all this engineered confusion, the reality was abundantly clear from what had already been otherwise acknowledged.

In addition to Terrio's slip-up, Colin Trevorrow -- who was attached to Episode IX as its director from August 2017 until September 2017, when the project was offered to J.J. Abrams -- was on the record back in November as saying that Palpatine's return was Abrams's idea. In fact, he even went so far as to identify it as something that had never occurred to him or come up while he was working on Episode IX:

"Bringing back the Emperor was an idea JJ brought to the table when he came on board. It’s honestly something I never considered. I commend him for it. This was a tough story to unlock, and he found the key."

Again, all of that was information we had before Trevorrow and Connolly's scripts for "Duel of the Fates" leaked. The details of those scripts then prove the timing of Palpatine's inclusion beyond all doubt.

It's clear that Palpatine returning was not, in fact, "always the plan." However, the production benefitted from there being convenient enough seeds in place to make a reveal to that effect altogether plausible, and perhaps even logical. Snoke's seemingly first-hand knowledge of -- as well as obvious grudge against -- the Skywalkers left a lot of room for reading Palpatine into things.

So long as we're discussing the credibility of "Star Wars" storytelling people, by the way, Chris Terrio doesn't always inspire confidence either. In his interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he offered the following comments:

"As Luke says, some things are stronger than blood. That felt like a really strong story point to us.

Therefore, at the end of the movie, when Rey declares herself a Skywalker, that felt like the end of that conversation, which is to say that you get to choose your family, and really, you get to choose your ancestry. Rey rejects the blood ancestry that she has inherited, and instead, she chooses the ancestry of the Jedi. When all the Jedi come to Rey at the end, one of the Jedi lightly says, 'We are your ancestors now,' in the background, and I think that’s true. She chooses the spiritual ancestry of the Jedi instead of the blood ancestry of Palpatine."

Not to in any way diminish the virtue behind the lesson expressed in these thoughts, it does nonetheless bear pointing out that "We are your ancestors now" is not said in that scene, nor anywhere else in the movie.

Doubtless the line is in some draft of "The Rise of Skywalker." However, it is not in the film itself.

Of course, being a co-writer to the director rather than the director himself -- or even the film's editor -- it's easy enough to imagine being as thick in the weeds of the writing and dialogue as he was, Terrio could forget what made its way into the final cut. Much more confounding for his reliability is the following exchange during his interview with Awards Daily:

---
AD: One thing that’s fairly pervasive right now is the buzz around Kelly Marie Tran’s reduced role in The Rise of Skywalker when compared to The Last Jedi. Tell me about working through her role in the final film.

CT: Well, first of all, J.J. and I adore Kelly Marie Tran. One of the reasons that Rose has a few less scenes than we would like her to have has to do with the difficulty of using Carrie’s footage in the way we wanted to. We wanted Rose to be the anchor at the rebel base who was with Leia. We thought we couldn’t leave Leia at the base without any of the principals whom we love, so Leia and Rose were working together. As the process evolved, a few scenes we’d written with Rose and Leia turned out to not meet the standard of photorealism that we’d hoped for. Those scenes unfortunately fell out of the film. The last thing we were doing was deliberately trying to sideline Rose. We adore the character, and we adore Kelly – so much so that we anchored her with our favorite person in this galaxy, General Leia.
---

Understandably, either (or perhaps both) VFX artists at Lucasfilm were offended by this explanation or others were offended on their behalf, and so Terrio quickly issued a retraction to entertainment news outlet Vulture:

"I badly misspoke if in an earlier statement I implied that any cut scenes between Rose and Leia were the fault of our VFX team and the wizards at ILM. In that earlier interview, I was referring to a specific scene in which Leia’s emotional state in Episode VII did not seem to match the scene we wrote for use in Episode IX, and so it was cut at the script stage before the VFX work was done. If we had chosen to use the scene, ILM would have made it look perfect. They always do. ILM performed actual miracles at every stage of the creative process in Episode IX. I remain in awe of their work.”

Added to this, he seemingly tried to further smooth over his prior photorealism comment during his interview with The Hollywood Reporter the same day he issued his confusing clarification to Vulture:

"I should emphasize that any Leia-Rose scenes that fell out of the film did so because we felt that the scenes, as we had written them, weren't a good match between the Episode VII footage and the Episode IX story. It was not because the VFX weren't exceptional in every shot that ILM delivered. I would sometimes come and sit at the VFX reviews and my jaw would drop at seeing Leia live again. ILM pushed their technology beyond what had ever been done, so that the camera could move with, around, near her, while using Carrie's real performance. The VFX team gave us a kind of gift, to let us say goodbye to her."

Let's be real here: a comment about a scene going unused because it "turned out to not meet the standard of photorealism that we’d hoped for" is about visuals, not writing. "Photorealism" isn't even a word that readily lends itself to a visual metaphor, to say nothing of being functionally at odds with it in a discussion about a film that is splicing old footage with new footage.

Terrio had even confessed "One of the reasons that Rose has a few less scenes than we would like her to have has to do with the difficulty of using Carrie’s footage in the way we wanted to" a moment before mentioning the term "photorealism." We're clearly talking about VFX here. Perhaps not any actual work submitted by the VFX artists, no, but nonetheless a comment bearing an assessment of what the writers believed could be achieved with the footage available.

In other words, Terrio once again comes across as backpedaling for the sake of towing a party line. And that unfavorable determination comes without even getting into an overall assessment of whether his claim that "The last thing we were doing was deliberately trying to sideline Rose" seems to withstand scrutiny. Others have rather thoroughly gone into that already, so I'll leave it to them.

Being that I've allowed this writing thus far to get far beyond a need for injecting some positivity into my review, I should say as an addendum to the previous topic that credit is due to the filmmakers for trying to do honor to Carrie Fisher's memory. Whether they succeeded is only for her family to say, so I won't attempt to speak to that at all, but I can say their intention on that point comes through clearly and sincerely.

Speaking for myself, perhaps somewhat callously, I do have to be honest that I don't feel they did justice to the story if they allowed the tragic offscreen passing of our favorite space princess to negatively impact the writing of the film more than it absolutely had to -- i.e. beyond the unavoidable obstacle of being incapable of filming new footage with or recording new dialogue from Carrie.

That being said, I also don't envy them this task at all. Over and above all the expectations of fans like us who are too hard to please as it is, and then beyond having to work around the limitations imposed by one of your major actors passing away ... trying to cobble something together that feels like it maybe kind of works while honoring that person's memory and being considerate of their family's feelings? It makes me think twice before declaring that I wish I had been at the helm instead.

So, on this count, kudos to J.J. Abrams, Episode VII and IX editor Maryann Brandon, Chris Terrio, the VFX people at Industrial Light & Magic, and whomever else to whom credit is due for what they were able to accomplish with an absolutely nightmarish scenario.

Moving deeper into analyzing the film now, kudos also go out for some genuinely touching moments: Kylo Ren's pained return to being Ben Solo after conversing with the memory of his father; the boyish jubilance in Ben's smile when he manages to bring Rey back from death; and the tearful embrace between Rey, Finn, and Poe as they celebrate their Pyrrhic victory. These are grand moments that did make me feel caught up in them.

Evoking emotion of an altogether different but no less satisfying sort, all of Emperor Palpatine's scenes made for fantastic nightmare fuel approaching a proper sense of horror. I don't offer these compliments lightly, but there was something delightfully Giger-esque about it all.

The costuming, lighting, makeup, and cinematography folks -- and whoever else was involved -- deserve recognition filled with applause for bringing the Emperor (back) to life in this way, as does the perpetually marvelous Ian McDiarmid.

And as with all of the Emperor's scenes, the ground-based part of the showdown on Exegol was good stuff. A thoroughly entertaining mix of thought-provoking lore, dramatic tension, and the right kind of creepy. That imagery of this massive cavern full of chanting, hooded cultists will stick with me for always.

The adjacent sequence of past Jedi speaking to Rey and giving her the strength to rise (oh, I see what you did there now, Abrams) also provides some overdue satisfaction to us fans of the franchise who long for the films to acknowledge characters from the various animated series -- though the sequence itself could undoubtedly have been made more dramatically effective by way of having the Force Ghosts of all those Jedi appear. Or even a few of them. Or ... any of them. Why, oh why, this wasn't done will forever be a mystery to me.

Another mystery: Since Palpatine was revealed to have been behind the First Order all this time while his Final Order fleet of Star Destroyers was being prepared in secret in a different part of the Unknown Regions from the part of the Unknowns where the conventional First Order was doing its own secret preparations -- why didn't he just keep all of it secret until the Final Order fleet was ready?

For that matter, all these Star Destroyers and Sith fleet personnel (according to the TRoS Visual Dictionary, each destroyer was crewed by a total 29,585 people) present for the Sequel Trilogy the same problem the developers behind "Dirge of Cerberus" introduced to the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII with Deepground: a staggering lack of a sense of scale. There's just too many of them for this to make good sense.

Even a fleet one-tenth this size would have been pushing it, but it would have been absurd on a smaller scale.

So long as we're working on making sense of things, how do we know Palpatine is gone for good this time? Why should we believe it will stick any more than before if Palpatine's body died in Episode VI as well (as Terrio confirmed in the Awards Daily interview), yet he endured as this malevolent spirit?

On a related note, Palpatine's newest death works better on a second viewing than it seems to initially. Yes, he gets himself blasted with his own Force Lightning (again), but Rey was also advancing on him from only a few feet away. She would have been on top of him in an instant had he cut off the stream of lightning.

And on a different sort of "related" note, the reveal of Rey's lineage as a Palpatine is not inherently a bad idea; it was just mishandled. The execution was clumsier than this very paragraph.

Ideally, if this was going to be done, it should have been revealed in Episode VIII. That, of course, wasn't yet the creative direction at the time of Episode VIII's production, so that's neither here nor there, but if it had to be a development that didn't emerge until now, it should have been revealed to Rey by Palpatine himself. That Kylo was used as the messenger just felt like a hackneyed attempt to cover for the veracity of what he told her about her parents in Episode VIII -- an unnecessary venture to begin with given that he implies he only drew those conclusions from what he found in her subconscious anyway ("You remember more than you say").

Along similar lines, the trilogy would have functioned better as a trilogy had Palpatine's broadcast across the galaxy been featured on screen in more than just a passing reference within TRoS's opening crawl ... again, ideally in Episode VIII ... what with the only place it can actually be heard by audiences being a limited-time special event in -- of all places -- the video game, "Fortnite."

Of all the bizarre choices that went into this movie's production, that may take the cake.

At least Abrams and Maryann Brandon saw fit to work Palpatine's reveal about Snoke being his cloned puppet into TRoS. It's nice to get an explanation for Snoke, even if other things went unexplained. As I've said before, in this regard TRoS actually stepped up in one place that "Duel of the Fates" apparently would not have, so credit where credit is due.

That nonetheless still leaves us without an explanation for the resurrected(?) Emperor, which -- per the HuffPost article linked in the previous paragraph -- Abrams and Brandon decided wasn't important: "There was so much information in the film and so many characters that we wanted to have an audience concentrate on. I think we felt we didn’t want to clutter the film up with things you didn’t need to know."

An absolute misfire in storytelling decision making for numerous reasons, not the least of which is that Palpatine's return was revealed to audiences in the announcement trailer for TRoS more than eight months before the film's release. The marketing engine for "The Rise of Skywalker" fired up by inviting audiences to speculate and theorize about this Obviously Significant Plot Point for the better part of a year only for the film itself to handwave it aside without any answers at all.

Not only a storytelling misfire, it was also an ironic one given Abrams's own recent remarks about "The Last Jedi" that "I don’t think that people go to 'Star Wars' to be told, 'This doesn’t matter.'"

To be altogether honest, though, the precise circumstances and mechanics of Palpatine's return are of the least concern for me of the things that went unelaborated in TRoS, or of those that were left to just meander aimlessly.

In the first place, it's plenty easy enough to imagine several scenarios that could have brought him back. In the second, the TRoS Visual Dictionary describes the Sith Eternal cultists on Exegol as "Loyalists seeking to resurrect the tradition [who] have coupled technology and the occult to bring forth unnatural manifestations of the dark side." Most likely, this functions as our explanation for Palpatine's resurrection, and probably explains it as well as any attempt at a more detailed explanation would.

Third, at least in so far as Palpatine's final restoration is concerned, Abrams and Terrio actually made use of established "Star Wars" lore. In Chuck Wendig's 2015 novel, "Star Wars: Aftermath," Palpatine advisor and Sith cultist Yupe Tashu speaks of a Dark Side ability to drain the Force energy -- the very life force -- from someone:

"Did you know that Sith Lords could sometimes drain the Force energy from their captives? Siphoning life from them and using it to strengthen their connection to the dark side? Extending their own lives, as well, so that they could live for centuries beyond their intended expiration?"

This is most certainly the ability Palpatine utilizes in TRoS to drain the Force Dyad of their strength, revitalizing his body while leaving Rey and Ben's on the verge of death. Fans had long believed Palpatine capable of such an ability anyway based on his role as the apprentice in "The Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise," and many continue to suspect that this may even be the cause of Padmé's medically unexplainable death at the end of Episode III -- i.e. Palpatine siphoned her of the Force and funneled it into Vader, who was undergoing resuscitation at that very moment from the mortal wounds he had received on Mustafar.

Other comments from Tashu a moment later further reflect an ironic prescience on Wendig's part:

"And even if your people continue to march forward, reclaiming system after system⁠—we will be waiting. In some form or another. The Empire is just a skin we wear, you see. A shell. It's not just about law and order. It's about total control. We will always come back for it. No matter how hard you work to beat us back, we are an infection inside the galaxy's bones. And we will always surge forth when you least expect it."

Far more important than even the precise details of "somehow Palpatine returned," there are character arcs here in TRoS that essentially perished to storyteller famine as well as themes integral to the entire Skywalker Saga that were left thirsting for a drop of overt exposure -- in this, the final installment to not only the Sequel Trilogy, but also the central saga of the "Star Wars" franchise.

Finn's "I never told you" sub-plot, for example, is played to decent comedic effect, but never gets resolved. While that isn't as frustrating for me as it has been to many reviewers, truth be told, what is frustrating about it -- infuriating even -- is Abrams's intended explanation for it.

During a meet-and-greet with fans following an Academy of Motion Picture Arts screening of TRoS, Abrams confirmed this inherently ridiculous interpretation of the scene as being what he intended:


A couple of days later, Finn actor John Boyega reaffirmed in a series of tweets that Abrams's intention was not simply a far more logical declaration of love from Finn to Rey:


Let's just break this down to the brassest of tacks: yes, Finn is Force-sensitive. Yes, the movie makes this abundantly clear. No, it doesn't make any fucking sense for "I can sense The Force too!" to be what Finn expected would be his last words.

Especially not to Rey, whom he showed romantic interest in within a few minutes of their first meeting. And especially when what he seems most sensitive about is not wanting their other best friend to overhear him revealing it. And also especially after his sub-plot from the previous film in this trilogy connected him romantically to someone else, only for that angle to have been abruptly dropped since then with nary any lip service.

Finn has no reason to want to keep this Force-sensitivity thing from Poe as though it were some embarrassing or shameful secret, and it's far from a relevant confession to offer on one's deathbed. What is Rey supposed to do with that revelation as she suffocates in quicksand? Is it going to provide any comfort, or is she just going to say "Good for you, I guess??" and then die?

Most blessedly, Abrams apparently made it clear that this is just what the moment means to him and that others should feel invited to interpret it differently (e.g. in a way that makes sense):


This may be one time we were all better off that Abrams couldn't muster the courage to have something left vague be made more concrete, or couldn't be bothered having his work explain itself.

Moving on, but sticking close to Finn, obviously Jannah and the company of other former Stormtroopers that he meets on the Ocean Moon of Endor are there to serve several purposes.

For one, they serve to remind us that the Stormtroopers were also victims of the First Order, as they were taken from their families and names when they were children. This plays neatly into a recurring theme across the franchise that slavery needs to be confronted and ended wherever it is found.

The role cast for these characters also strengthens the theme that individual acts of compassion build on one another into something greater; and it serves to carry on a theme of The Force working through everyone at times, not just "Force royalty," so to speak.

These are all worthy themes, of course, but in skipping right to introducing us to a company of defected Stormtroopers, Finn doesn't have to contend with the reality that he's spent the better part of three movies shooting and blowing up people who may be just like him -- people who also deserve a shot at redemption -- and has done so without trying to bring any of them "back to the light."

In other words, TRoS is unwilling to confront the implications of its own themes, so it falls down really hard here.

I wish I could say that was as far as the mishandling of my favorite Stormtrooper goes, but it isn't. Somehow, the movie finds a way to take it a cut deeper than even this.

On the Ocean Moon of Endor, did Finn and Jannah taking the other skimmer to chase after Rey at the Death Star ruins ultimately serve any purpose other than further emphasizing what we already knew about Finn (i.e. his devotion to Rey)? I want to say there must be something in there, perhaps in how she Force Pushed him back from getting involved -- but was it meant to say that this is how guided by satisfying her anger Rey has become? That she's now knowingly hurting her friends rather than doing so by accident, as in the earlier cases (BB-8 and Chewie)? Or is it meant to show her trying to protect Finn from getting severely injured again, as he had the last time he came between Kylo and Rey to protect her? And if it's this latter reading that applies, does that inform Finn later pleading with Rose on that Final Order command ship to not try saving him this time from his latest attempted suicide-maneuver-to-take-out-the-bad-guys?

I don't know which of these answers is meant to apply because Abrams doesn't usually see fit to convey what his characters are thinking.

All I do know is that I'm glad we got that genuinely heartfelt threeway hug between Finn, Poe, and Rey at the end -- and that I'm annoyed we didn't get one between Finn and Rose. And I say that as someone who both a) isn't even a fan of that pairing and b) was so taken aback by separating Finn from Rey and Poe for most of "The Last Jedi" that it took me weeks to appreciate Rose's role in that movie. After the bond they made with one another, it's jarring as hell that we don't see anyone but Chewie hug her.

Essentially, almost every single thing done with Finn in this film was a trainwreck surpassed only by the misuse afforded Rose.

While we're still near our discussion of Jannah and co., we should really take a moment to acknowledge another elephant in the room: too many new characters were introduced in TRoS, to the detriment of some who had been around previously.

Newly arriving, we got Jannah, her crew, Zorii Bliss, Babu Frik, D-0, General Pryde, and the Knights of Ren. Can you say you learned more than a sentence worth of anything about any of them not played by Keri Russell?

General Armitage Hux had been with us since Poe and Finn's iconic meeting and exciting escape from the First Order early into Episode VII. His usage in Episode IX is less unceremonious than Rose Tico's, but that's true of unnamed Stormtroopers as well.

If I'm being honest, for the role Abrams and Terrio chose to give him, Hux was actually used reasonably well until he was disappointingly shelved abruptly and completely in favor of General Pryde.

Hux still has a position as a general by the time of Episode IX, but no longer as the highest ranking officer in the First Order. Barely recognizable here as Kylo Ren's former rival; as the former commanding officer of Starkiller Base; or as the ranking officer on the Supremacy, the First Order's one-time mobile capital and personal flagship for Supreme Leader Snoke -- Hux more or less serves in disgrace with Kylo Ren now Supreme Leader. Thus, his betrayal of intel to the struggling Resistance, giving them the opportunity to prevent Palpatine's Final Order from laying siege to the galaxy.

I suppose the filmmakers felt that after being found out in his role as spy, Hux needed to be eliminated as consequence for such a significant betrayal, with the same officer who executes him being in command of the fleet during the film's final battle. All of which is fine, as far as that goes.

Since Kylo, of course, repents to become Ben Solo again, that leaves the need for someone who isn't Palpatine to execute Hux and command the Final Order during the aerial portion of the film's showdown. Perhaps Captain Phasma could have been brought back one more time to serve this role, though, rather than a random new general being thrust upon us at the eleventh (IXth?) hour.

It would have at least felt more appropriate that Hux be removed by someone else we've been following in the First Order since Episode VII -- and Phasma in particular since she is someone with whom he already has meaningful history. She was both protege and assassin to Hux's father, General Brendol Hux, who sponsored her entry into the First Order after finding her on a desolate planet and being impressed by her battle prowess. She also later conspired with Armitage to kill Brendol, to their mutual benefit.

Given the narrative satisfaction built into going this route, it's actually thoroughly surprising Abrams didn't choose to, particularly since he's on the record as being surprised by Rian Johnson's decision to kill Phasma off in TLJ and feeling there was more for her to do.

Though bringing her back for TRoS would have been yet another element of Rian Johnson's Episode VIII seemingly undone by Abrams, this one would have arguably been fair game since Johnson had reintroduced Phasma anyway after she was seemingly killed off in the destruction of Starkiller Base in Abrams's Episode VII. I, at least, wouldn't have thought it tacky on Abrams's part to do so.

I do find Pryde executing Hux and generally supplanting his role from the two previous movies quite tacky and unwelcome, though. It just makes for such an incongruent, anticlimactic, and unsatisfactory resolution to this character's arc. Phasma would have really been the better choice for not only the characters involved, but also for this film's place in the trilogy.

Along a similar line of thought for a very different aspect of the movie, those steeds used on the Ocean Moon of Endor -- and later utilized during the final battle at Exegol, on the surface of the Final Order command ship -- could have just been a herd of fathiers instead of orbaks. The decision to use such creatures calls to mind the Canto Bight sequence from TLJ anyway, so the connection may as well have been made explicit; given Finn that added personal association; and thereby strengthened the small-acts-of-kindness and the path-chosen-not-inherited themes an added touch more.

Not that they aren't still present: again, the charge on the orbaks calls to mind the Canto Bight sequence anyway, and the Visual Dictionary for TRoS even specifies that the orbaks share taxonomy with fathiers. Sometimes allusions work better when they're utilized as hammer rather than scalpel, just as the reverse can be true. In the closeout to a trilogy or capstone to an otherwise long-form series of storytelling, one may as well go all in with the payoffs.

That's the approach the producers and filmmakers behind "Avengers: Endgame" took, and it paid dividends in every way imaginable.

Looking at the other new characters and how the film could have been better served with them, Zorii Bliss could have easily done double duty, fielding the role of both Poe's old partner and the Kijimi droid tinkerer. Then we could have maybe skipped that clumsy hostile introduction for her that swiftly led to her randomly deciding to help anyway by clumsily introducing us to Babu Frik.

Forbes contributor Scott Mendelson perhaps put it best when he said of some of these plot elements, "It wasn’t just bad storytelling but a waste of valuable time." With just a little finessing and tightening of the script in places, a much stronger film could have emerged.

Or they could have simply increased the length of this movie. That would have probably provided a working solution too.

Whether the decision (i.e. the fault) for the insufficient runtime lay with Abrams, producers at Lucasfilm, or Disney executives, their decision makes so little sense in light of "Avengers: Endgame" clocking in at just over three hours and still delivering Disney the highest grossing film of all time last year.

Given the dire need for some more positivity in this review, let's take a moment to acknowledge the filmmakers for managing to emphasize proper balance in The Force via the recognition, even utilization, of aspects of both the Light and Dark Sides. Choosing to have a Dark Side ability -- one that the Jedi Order of old would surely have found particularly horrifying -- serve as the centerpiece of the film in terms of Force powers is a striking decision that compels this writer at least to forgive some of the other shortcomings of the film.

The story is even written such that the use of this ability plays directly into a theme speaking to the cumulative positive effects of smaller acts of kindness than just the big space battles.

After healing the vexis in the cave on Pasaana despite its threatening nature, Rey explains to BB-8 "I transferred a bit of life, Force-energy, from me to him. You would have done the same" -- seemingly inspiring the droid to do just that in activating the previously overlooked D-0. BB-8 provides D-0 with some of his own battery life, reactivating the other droid after years of inactivity.

This second decision then leads to D-0 being present in Babu Frik's workshop, where Rey shows kindness to the previously mistreated droid by oiling him. This third minor act of compassion made D-0 like and miss Rey, leading to a later conversation about her with Finn in which the newest Resistance droid shares with Finn vital information about Exegol's atmosphere and the Final Order's navigation limitations.

This sub-plot makes for a surprisingly subdued and thoughtful demonstration that, without the Dark Side, there can't be security and wholeness. While the "small acts" theme never quite explicitly comes around to addressing its related theme of the galactic injustice that slavery continues, there's something to be read into Episode I having the enslaved Anakin reveal that he had a dream of coming back to Tattooine to free its slaves -- and then Episode IX ending with Anakin's heir arriving on Tattooine.

Given that the script for "Duel of the Fates" somewhat more overtly addresses the topic with Broom Boy from Canto Bight having been freed by heroes of the Sequel Trilogy, ending on this note with Rey on Tattooine encourages reading into it a resolution to Anakin's aspirations.

Speaking of such things, TRoS even provides closure to Anakin's desire to save Padmé by having his grandson give his life force to save the woman he loves. This creates for a nice thematic bookend via the additional observation that Palpatine likely stole Padmé's life force to restore Vader to some semblance of life. Now, the son of Padmé's daughter has given his life force to save the woman he had sought to possess -- this woman ironically enough being Palpatine's own granddaughter.

In general, the Prequel Trilogy finally gets plenty of acknowledgement from the Sequel Trilogy in TRoS, with the B1 battle droid in Babu Frik's workshop; multiple Clone Wars-era ships showing up for the final battle, including Naboo N-1 starfighters from Episode I specifically; the T-shaped visors on Sith Trooper helmets deliberately evoking the look of Clone Troopers (per the TRoS Visual Dictionary); Palpatine's line about how "The Dark Side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural"; the insane acrobatics during Rey and Kylo's duel in the Death Star ruins; a double-sided red lightsaber; the voices of the past Jedi; defeating Palpatine with Mace Windu's trick of deflecting the Sith Lord's own Force Lightning back at him; and the concept of utilizing The Force to keep people alive.

For all my bitching about TRoS, it does offer some genuinely nice ideas. Kylo's turn probably needed one more scene to fully sell us on it, but is still mostly solid anyway on the strength of Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, and Harrison Ford's performances.

The reveal of Leia's lightsaber was a nice surprise, as was the explanation that she abandoned her Jedi training when she had a vision that her son's death awaited at the end of her journey in the Force -- though the added exposition that she foretold it being taken up again was unnecessary. Even for "Star Wars," that was overly heavy-handed.

Luke and Leia knowing about Rey being Palpatine's granddaughter, meanwhile, can't avoid feeling like a bit of an ass pull, but it actually kind of works. Though the Sequel Trilogy could have gone numerous directions with its look into how much where we come from matters in regard to lineage, family, and choosing our own path, TRoS decently addresses all that and satisfactorily resolves those questions where Rey is concerned, even if the scene featuring her proclamation of her new last name -- while that nosey old lady patiently waited -- was drawn out way, way too long. Not to mention that it was way too cheesy, again, even for "Star Wars."

On a related note highlighting another success of the film, though, via Rey we witness a redemption of the Jedi Order symbolized by a revision of the Jedi Temple Guard, who wielded rarely seen yellow pike lightsabers. Complete detachment was expected of these Jedi, as well as complete nameless anonymity -- but Rey embraces her attachments and unveils her yellow saber in the same scene she takes her newly claimed family name. This is the opposite of detachment and anonymity.

Probably not for nothing, with respect to the light spectrum, yellow is also the combination of green and red. We've already discussed how TRoS -- and really, the Sequel Trilogy as a whole -- succeeded at properly portraying the dual nature of The Force.

It's as though Rey was always preparing for this: to become the new Temple Guard of sorts, embodying the lost paradigm of the Prime Jedi. She even used a staff as her weapon of choice before she ever held a lightsaber, and ultimately fashions the handle of her yellow saber from her staff.

Even as a Sith, she would have apparently still preferred a double-sided lightsaber/staff saber, if her Dark Side manifestation in the Death Star ruins is any indication.

In old EU terminology, Rey could probably also be considered a Jedi Sentinel. Yellow sabers were for this class of Jedi in the old canon as those occupying a place of balance in Jedi culture and teachings between the Guardian (blue saber) and Consular (green saber) disciplines. The Temple Guard, for instance, were rather appropriately classified as Sentinels. In addition, as with Rey herself, mechanical know-how was also a distinct characteristic of Jedi in this grouping.

Though only the Consular discipline has thus far been reintroduced by name into the new canon, in light of that class's return, as well as that of the "Warrior Master" title bestowed on the most skilled of Jedi Guardians, it would probably not be unreasonable for fans to continue utilizing the Sentinel term, particularly in relation to Rey.

I'll take this moment to acknowledge I may be giving Abrams and Terrio far too much credit for all of the above. However, the possibility is there at least. They came onto the project with a very thoughtful script left behind for them to dissect, and if nothing else, they could have pulled enough inspiration from some of its grander ideas to preserve one or two of them.

Getting back to that notion of the Jedi Order's redemption, the identity crisis we spoke of early in this analysis arguably comes most into play in TRoS's ending. Though I don't agree with the full extent to which they level these charges, Polygon writer Siddhant Adlakha does raise some thought-provoking observations about TRoS's portrayal of the Jedi in her analysis:

"When the film ends, Rey symbolically puts Luke and Leia to rest by burying their lightsabers, as if these weapons are manifestations of the characters themselves. But this burial of the past doesn’t represent any sort of change for the saga’s status quo when it comes to conflict. Rey still has a lightsaber of her own, one she constructed from her staff as a symbol of her newfound individuality. By adopting the Skywalker moniker, Rey becomes a symbol of continuing the Skywalker story in name only, rather than embodying its underlying lesson about rejecting violence in favor of redemption.

In the process, Rey fails to establish an identity outside the flawed and rigid dogma of the Jedi Order. The Rise of Skywalker places the weight of that dogma upon her when she opens herself up to all the Jedi of the past, and treats this act not as a burden or an emotional hurdle to be parsed, but as a badge of honor. It does so without consequence, treating the Jedi and the Force as de facto good, rather than as ideas that flawed characters can use for self-betterment and for the betterment of others.

The film keeps the Jedi and the story of Star Wars in stasis, rather than letting them evolve. A shame, considering Yoda’s words in The Last Jedi, which apply both to flawed Jedi Masters teaching new students and to the old generation of Star Wars films as a new one comes along: 'We are what they grow beyond.' Apparently not."

For reasons I've already gone over, I heavily disagree with the assertion that "Rey fails to establish an identity outside the flawed and rigid dogma of the Jedi Order." It is plainly evident that she has chosen to embrace her attachments. She is not a traditional Jedi. She's a Prime Jedi.

I also insist that the film adequately portrays the dual-nature of The Force without feeding into the fallacy that the Dark Side and all use of it is inherently evil while the Light Side and all who practice it are necessarily holy. TRoS does, I acknowledge, simultaneously still recognize and emphasize the virtues of the cumulative generations of Jedi past. Even when they had not been paying proper deference to the whole Force, the Jedi Order were better people and a better (though still very flawed) culture than the Sith.

Not because of the Light Side being inherently better than the Dark Side, but because the specific ways of the Sith culture in particular were inherently without virtue, bound up as they were in giving into anger, the craving of power, and an eventual confusion of love with possession -- or worse still, an outright desire for unyielding dominion.

Emphasizing the positives in the Jedi's legacy was an appropriate creative direction for the third installment. Even Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly's "Duel of the Fates" was intended to do this, with the name "Jedi" becoming a symbol of hope throughout the galaxy once again, as it was always supposed to -- as a nine-year-old slave named Anakin Skywalker perceived it when he met a Jedi on his dusty, perpetually overlooked planet.

Admittedly, it does come off as an awkward clash of tones that TRoS never follows up on TLJ's discussion of the Jedi Order's failings, made particularly odd since Rey doesn't conform to their interpretation of The Force while earnestly wanting to hear their voices. When their disembodied presences arrive to assist her during her showdown with her grandfather, there is no shortage of reverence and fanfare attached to the sequence.

Nonetheless, with TRoS needing to present the Jedi name in a positive light and already operating its many plot points and themes at a screentime deficit, it would have likely been even more of a clash in tone to work that in without adding additional runtime and room for its ideas to breathe. As it stands, the editing and pace of the whole film can already be accurately described as awkward at best.

Because I'm pretty sure I could continue picking this movie apart for another eight weeks if I allowed myself to, I'm going to find the words now to wrap this thing up.

Overall, if "The Rise of Skywalker" were a steak dinner for the family, it would be a mixed bag of mediocre scenes and plot developments in the form of inconsistent cuts of meat, none of which got as much time as they really needed in the pan -- much less the time to properly rest before someone started cutting into them. There are a couple that came out just shy of excellent, but the side dishes outshine nearly all the meat.

In years to come, the prevailing assessment of Disney's sequel era of "Star Wars" will likely be that it defines itself as a discordant trilogy. Consequently, the final word on the Skywalker Saga may sadly be of it ultimately lacking the courage to grow beyond itself or its origins.
 
Maybe sections and headings would be useful? Obviously I'm not exactly the right person to get feedback from, but there seems to be three threads through it, the themes and payoff, stuff said during production relating to the overall lore, and the reaction to what was onscreen.

New irritation with DOTF: When R2 goes into flashback mode, none of his memories are of the PT...
 

Roger

Triple Slash Enthusiast
AKA
Minato
Maybe sections and headings would be useful? Obviously I'm not exactly the right person to get feedback from, but there seems to be three threads through it, the themes and payoff, stuff said during production relating to the overall lore, and the reaction to what was onscreen.

New irritation with DOTF: When R2 goes into flashback mode, none of his memories are of the PT...
Well to be fair, when C3PO was restored in Skywalker it would have been a great moment to give him the memories he lost in Sith, that would have been a great way to bookend the Saga, Lucas envisioned the droids as those who bore witnessed to it all, missed opportunity.
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
I was just rereading this article and thought this sentiment nice and appropriate to the moment:

"One of the reasons I love Star Wars fandom — and really, any fandom — is that we chose to make this our myth. Knowing that the myth itself involves choices we can disagree about keeps that myth from becoming religion. It keeps the myth vibrant and alive. Most of all, staying aware of those choices makes that myth ours."

Also, here's a review I read today that I think may be more negative than mine. :awesome:
 
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