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Comments about the soundtrack for Star Wars: The Last Jedi (John Williams)

Re: Christian, I'm disappointed in you [EDITED TWICE]
• Posted by: Vader47000
• Date: Tuesday, January 9, 2018, at 3:47 a.m.
• IP Address:
• In Response to: Re: Christian, I'm disappointed in you (Edmund Meinerts)
Message Edited: Tuesday, January 9, 2018, at 7:26 a.m.
Tuesday, January 9, 2018, at 7:34 a.m.

> Eh, I can't agree with you here. Bad pacing is bad pacing, and there's
> simply no getting past the fact that the Finn/Rose on Canto Bight subplot
> didn't contribute anything to the overall plot of the film. Perhaps you
> will argue that it wasn't about plot, but rather character or the
> importance of showing how some plans don't work out...fair enough, but in
> that case I don't think the film followed up on that comprehensively
> enough. The Finn/Rose relationship felt rushed, the payoff of Rose
> stopping Finn from sacrificing himself felt a bit unearned. And after all,
> things constantly go wrong for our heroes in The Empire Strikes
> Back
(perhaps an intentional effort was being made to mirror that
> film) and yet I never feel like what they are doing is pointless, nor do I
> get the impression that nothing would have been any different had they not
> attempted their plan the way I did

> I did enjoy The Last Jedi in many ways, and I don't agree with much
> of Christian's stance on the film (nor do I think it should have colored
> the review to the extent that it did, but that's another matter entirely).
> But to immediately knee-jerk accuse anyone who points out its flaws of
> being a woman-hating fanboy is the wrong response. I've got no issues with
> Leia using the Force to save herself. I have all sorts of issues with the
> way she saved herself, though. Couldn't that situation have been
> handled in a way that was a bit less...laughable? Like maybe not have her
> float for several minutes before suddenly waking up out of nowhere? If you
> were blasted into the gulf of space and had Force powers, wouldn't you
> immediately use them to try and save yourself rather than wait,
> almost as if you know you're in a movie and are teasing the audience with
> your imminent demise and trying to make things as melodramatic as
> possible?

The Canto Bight scenes had a pretty impactful role on the plot actually.

From a character standpoint, they are the path for Finn to learn about embracing a cause bigger than his own survival. Until then, his only motivation for the two films has been about, as Maz says, running away from the fight. At the beginning of Last Jedi, all he wants is to save Rey and get away from the Resistance. The trip to Canto Bight and aftermath leads him finally to embrace the spirit of rebellion, which is exemplified by his attempt at self-sacrifice in the final battle.

Rose breaks up this attempt because, having already dealt with her sister sacrificing herself at the beginning, she can't let someone else she has grown close to do that for her.

More fundamentally, though, Poe, Finn and Rose's hackneyed plan and the improvisation they need to get through it leads to them deciding to employ an off-brand codebreaker whose loyalties are ultimately dubious. While DJ is sincere in helping them, he also has information he's able to trade with the First Order to save himself. This contrasts him with Finn in the journey to accept a cause. But he got the information about the escaping cargo ships because he overheard Poe and Finn recklessly discussing it on the comms (hence that rather obvious cutaway to him during the conversation listening in).

This directly leads to the First Order discovering the ships and firing upon them, getting even more Resistance troops killed and forcing Holdo to sacrifice herself to save the rest. It also likely accelerated the final battle since there's no telling if the First Order would have attacked Crait right then and there. But it should be noted that because the First Order attacks right then and there, Luke has to use his Force Projection trick to help them right then (as I assume that once they are in the clear, Leia jumps on the Millennium Falcon and goes to Ahch-To herself). So, if you'd like, you may blame Poe for the death of Luke, but that's for another debate.

Anyway, the result of leading a mutiny in support of a foolhardy mission that gets even more people killed is a huge slap in the face to Poe (and not just the literal slap Leia gave him earlier), who finally realizes that noble sacrifice for short term gain isn't doing the Resistance any favors. That's why he orders the skim speeders to break off the attack on the battering ram cannon in the face of certain destruction, with the hope of finding another way to regroup. (Interestingly enough, Finn by the end is pretty much in the same position Poe was at the beginning turning off his comms when ordered to retreat so he could pursue the plan he prefers without regard to the bigger picture).

On top of that, just from a filmmaking perspective, the whole Canto Bight plan is meant to subvert audience expectations that the heroes always come out on top in one way or another (tying into the film's primary theme of learning from failure). Sure, Empire Strikes Back is filled with defeat for the heroes, but defeat with purpose, as they inevitably are either retreating in the face of doom or doing enough to thwart the actual plans of the bad guys, which is in its own way a victory. Here, the entire plot is set up to make us think that of course the characters we know are right and the ones we don't are wrong. Holdo thus represents just another outsider to the audience who we have no reason to believe knows what she's doing. That's why Ackbar had to be removed from the story, since having him in charge would not have inspired Poe to go against his orders (maybe abruptly killing him off with a one-line explanation wasn't the way to go, but it didn't hurt the story). This is the classic trope in action and sci-fi, where the heroes suddenly find themselves outranked by characters who either don't know what they are doing or don't care, forcing the heroes to disobey them for the greater good. James Bond and James Kirk do this kind of stuff all the time (on Star Trek, the 'crazy admiral' trope is rampant).

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