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The One Thing You Didn't Like in TLJ (For TLJ Lovers)

Discussion in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' started by Jayson, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. Jayson

    Jayson Rebel Official

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    I couldn't think of where else to put this, so I created a new thread.

    Firstly, I LOVE TLJ. If you didn't. Cool. I'm not actually interested in debating if it's a good film or not, or get into arguments about hating it or loving it. Plenty of that elsewhere in the forum.

    This is a thread where we take off our glossy goggles and note that while we definitely love this film, there's one thing in it that didn't work for us in some manner.

    It doesn't have to be huge, either. It can be something small and pointless, like, "I hated the porgs."
    Or it can be a big deal, but one that perhaps you're able to look past because it's not a big impact to the overall movie.

    So that's the point of this thread. To discuss those things that didn't quite work for us.

    I'll kick things off with mine.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I didn't like the throne room fight.

    I know lots of people did, and I also know that for some who didn't even like the whole movie, this fight was one thing that they thought was at least decent. They may cite the beginning of it (Snoke being caught by surprise) as bad, but the fight itself tends to get generally favorable opinions.

    When it isn't liked, however, what I tend to see are criticisms of pratical, or in-world, logic.

    I don't care about this. Nothing of that sort actually bothered me about this fight.

    What actually bothered me a bit about this fight between Kylo, Rey, and the guards, was the same thing that bothered me about TPM's Darth Maul, Obi-Wan, and Qui-Gon fight from which the TLJ throne room takes its lead.

    The issue I have is function and tone.
    In Star Wars, or at least in the originals I should say, every lightsaber fight was more about the emotional context than it was about the action. The action wasn't really the actual point.

    The point was the driving emotional context of the moment in point to an allegorical or character moment.
    Typically, the drive that it contained for the characters served to present an allegory.

    There was little in the way of the action that was frivolous.
    The closest we come to lightsaber battles for the sake of action in the OT was Luke battling it out on Jabba's barges.

    However, at the very least, this generally served to position Luke as a fully realized hero for the first time. Letting us know that he's moved from the archetype of adventurous young boy coming to terms with a large abyss that is the world/universe, to an archetype of a pure hero - one who has come to terms with their place in the abyss and how to function within it.


    But, unlike every other lightsaber fight in the OT, this one is unique in that it's the only one where the lightsaber is swung around without narratively emotional meaning for nearly every round of lightsaber exchanges, if not for every swing.

    Another way of saying that is that in the OT, predominantly, the lightsaber most often works like an anthropomorphic representation of the wielder's moment to moment emotional output.

    Sort of like Insult Sword Fighting in the Secret of Monkey Island series (if you don't know what this is...I'm sorry; you're missing out)...just with more seriousness.



    Which, interestingly enough, owes its roots to the same genre of films from which lightsaber duels came from, and in fact, some of even the same exact films which in part inspired lightsaber duels in Star Wars.

    Just, well...Monkey Island wanted it to be funny, while Star Wars wanted it to be dramatic.

    But if you watch the OT, then it is pretty clear that for the overwhelming majority of the time, the film does indeed work like Monkey Island, or more properly, like old Swachbuckler films.

    That is, there's a lot of time spent bantering back and forth with dialogue, smack-talking each other, and generally antagonizing each other in emotionally charged ways which are subsequently followed with a swordplay exchange which tends to yield in favor of whomever has the upper hand in the emotionally charged conversation.

    That is, the swordplay directly correlates with and is a direct representation of the individual, who is typically the attacker at a given moment, and their emotional prowess but mixed with the story's position of the allegorical message of that emotional position in context to where it's placed in the story.

    People in the OT don't lose because they are worse at swordplay. They lose or win because there's an emotional point to be made and therefore who repeatedly gets an upper hand in moment to moment exchanges which contain banter, is entirely based on the whether or not doing so serves the final result which will either frustrate the allegorical narrative for a purpose (Luke losing to Vader on Bespin), or present a truth of the allegorical narrative (Luke beating Vader in the throne room, but refusing to finish him).


    This is why I have a problem with most of the lightsaber battles in the PT, and why the TLJ throne room battle with the guards bothers me a bit.
    Or rather said, I don't find them all that interesting.

    For the most part; they're just "cool action scenes" by category, and that's about it.
    The swords are swung with almost no conversation taking place, and there's no emotional representation in the lightsabers.

    They're just fights.

    Now, the TLJ throne room fight ends well, because it squares off between Kylo and Rey and they both move in context and regard toward the lightsaber they both are pulling on with the Force in a very metaphorical and emotionally charged manner, and it speaks volumes about them each in that moment, as well as the allegorical message of the story.

    But the entire fight with the guards is entirely throwaway material in terms of character arcs.

    It's really hard to throw out lightsaber fights in the OT because there's dialogue embedded in them that's meaningful and needed in the other parts of the films.

    However, aside from the death of Darth Maul and Qui-Gon, which you could (and I'm not saying it would be "cool") just thrown in by way of someone saying that he died, the entire lightsaber fight in TPM that most people love for its action can actually be thrown out without causing any information to be lost to the script about Obi-Wan or Qui-Gon.

    Obi-Wan doesn't convey anything much that defines his character grown, Darth Maul definitely doesn't, and Qui-Gon is pretty much equally flat.

    Obi-Wan expresses a bit after Qui-Gon dies, but it's not really driving any sort of important allegorical point of the story, and that's mostly because no one in this fight is actually the main protagonist of the story.
    It's a weird moment where a lightsaber battle scene exists in a Star Wars film which doesn't involve the main protagonist. They're nowhere in the scene, even on the sidelines watching.

    This happens repeatedly in the PT, actually. Lightsaber battles just get turned into cool neat things that just get swung around for cool action scenes, pairing up the combat like pokemon trading card games. What will happen when X fights Y? Aaaand, FIGHT!

    The penultimate of this is all of the faceless Jedi swinging hundreds of lightsabers at equally faceless opponents for no real point other than to show a bunch of Jedi on a battlefield swinging lightsabers around.



    [​IMG]


    Now I KNOW a lot of folks LOVE these things in the PT. I'm just not one of them. That's not what I tune into Star Wars for, and that's not what made lightsaber battles cool in the OT.

    And this is where things circle back around to TLJ.

    TLJ's Kylo and Rey vs. the Guards is just a group Mortal Combat fight.
    [​IMG]

    It's just two minutes of fighting.


    There's no banter, there's no weight, we don't care about anyone who's dying, and there's nearly zero chance either Kylo and Rey are in any danger we need to be worried about because...well...they're kind of important to the story.

    So since they're not squaring off against each other, but against faceless guards who mean nothing, there's just NOTHING for the story to really do with this scene in terms of emotional representation coming from our main characters and pushing that into a diametrically opposed points of ontological views.

    The final fight between Luke and Kylo; that has more classic Star Wars lightsaber-i-ness in it.

    This one, though...not really.

    We can cut out everything just after Kylo killing Snoke to just before Kylo and Rey arguing and fighting over the saber and absolutely nothing would be lost to understanding the story.

    TPM's Maul fight actually has more issue than TLJ's throne room fight does with being cut and causing any impact to the story because at the least you'd have to explain how Qui-Gon and Maul died.

    However, in TLJ...nothing requires explanation because of this fight if you cut it out.
    Kylo and Rey can still argue just the same because Rey can just as easily assume Kylo's changed his heart because he killed Snoke without having any guards to fight against, and Kylo can still be in a position of wanting to pull Rey over just as easily without this guard fight.

    In fact, it would have served the story probably somewhat better if Kylo killed Snoke, Rey stood up, they argue because Rey assumed incorrectly and Kylo wants to win her over, and this argument is done with lightsabers skirmishing with each round of conversation between the two and culminates in them both pulling for the saber and breaking it as the finale.

    THAT would have been a classic Star Wars saber fight.

    However, what we got was 2 minutes of Star Wars yet again trying to be "modern" with a martial arts twist on lightsabers for no real purpose other than to have a bunch of swinging sabers and stuff.
    [​IMG]

    That being said....

    I still LOVE TLJ. This wasted opportunity of 2 minutes doesn't really kill anything on the whole because the stuff before it and after it within the same scene are powerful and carry all of the workload that's missing in the actual fight.

    So, it's just 2 minutes of wasted opportunity instead of being really damaging to anything.
    It looks pretty, so there's worse things that can happen.

    Anyway, that's my ONE thing in TLJ that actually bothered me. Doesn't make me love TLJ any less; great damn movie!

    What do you think, or what's yours?


    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #1 Jayson, Jul 11, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
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  2. Bluemilk

    Bluemilk I AM the Senate

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    Canto Bight scenes. Mainly it was just so fast and a meaningless side plot. That's about it though for me.
     
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  3. KalKenobi83

    KalKenobi83 Rebelscum

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    I Honestly enjoyed all of it
     
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  4. Messi

    Messi Force Sensitive

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    I really loved the entire movie. Every single moment.

    Just there's one thing that kind bother me, but maybe is just me because I didn't see any other fan complaining.

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Meister Yoda

    Meister Yoda Your Little Green Friend

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    But wasn't it's meaninglessness the point of Canto Bight?
    Anyway, what I didn't like is the way Luke throws away the saber. It looked a bit strange to me. Had he just taken it, looked at it and then just let it drop to the ground and went away, it would have been a bit more fitting for the grumpy, broken man he was at that point.
    And while I have no issue with Leia, flying through the space, using the force, I didn't like how it looked. I don't have a clear idea though how it could be made to look better to me.
     
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  6. NinjaRen

    NinjaRen Supreme Leader

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    That's actually one of the few humorous moments I liked. It was full on Mark Hamill / Luke Skywalker trolling. The remaining humor was bad though.

    Easy. Just let her move her hand a little => close up on her face while she is opening her eyes => cut. You don't need to see the rest to know what's happening.
     
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  7. Angelman

    Angelman Servant to the Whills & Slave to the Muses
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    I love TLJ! After 5-6 viewings I've found nothing that I didn't like.

    That said, I have noticed two VERY small things that I wish they did different.

    1st issue -- Rey escape-pod'ing herself into Kylo's hands
    The scene where Rey's escape pod floats serenely into the FO hangar is nice and cool and all, but I thought it would've been cool if we instead saw the pod floating by on an angle only to be violently grabbed by invisible tractor beam and pulled roughly into the hangar. Not a big thing, but it would be cool to see and would heighten the tension, I think.

    2nd issue -- FO analysts calculating the Resistance fleet running out of fuel
    This, I feel, was a missed opportunity. Rather than a throw-away line explaining how tech-heads figured this out, I would much rather had a throw-away line explaining that an FO mole/plant in the Resistance fleet reported this to the dreadnaught bridge. This would have upped the tension manifold and added doubt and uncertainty regarding the Resistance organization (and backed up Holdo's secrecy). They wouldn't even have to resole the mole, just leave it hanging, or if they thought they needed to explain it, just cut to a close-up of an R2 unit or something in the Resistance fleet that was later seen blown into space during the space assault.

    Those are the only things I would have changed, I think. Oh, and I didn't like Benicio del Toro's portrayal of DJ, but that was a matter of taste and I get what they were trying to do with a completely fresh and new kind of character (at every lever) than anything else we've ever seen in SW, so all right then.
     
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  8. Bluemilk

    Bluemilk I AM the Senate

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    Not sure what you mean. It was meaningless to me. If it had been setup and actually hung out more there to get to know the place like Mos Eisley in ANH then it would've made more sense. It was a waste.
     
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  9. Meister Yoda

    Meister Yoda Your Little Green Friend

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    I meant, it was only their to show our protagonists fail.
     
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    Damn it @Angelman - you beat me to it! :D
     
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  11. DailyPlunge

    DailyPlunge Jedi Commander

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    I don't really care for the Fathier chase scene. Based on the deleted scenes neither did the filmmaker. It was originally much longer. They also removed the police shooting at Finn/Rose.
     
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    DarthSnow Master of Coin
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    Same here. Would have loved a sub-plot of a traitor within the Resistance. When tensions are already peaking, adding in doubt and distrust just makes it even more dire.

    I actually got vibes of Holdo being a FO spy early on. I don't know if it's because of some misdirection by the filmmakers, or just because of Holdo's secrecy overall (probably both) but I totally bought into the way Poe reacted.
     
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  13. Maximus

    Maximus Reel 2 Dialogue 2

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    i would have had Hux 'tooled' slightly less.

    I'm picking at nits though.

    i'm not looking for the perfect movie that some seem to be.. whether it be Star Wars, Star Trek or anything else. I watch these movies for the moments.. moments that make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. The Last Jedi is jam packed with moments that do that (for me)
     
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  14. Jayson

    Jayson Rebel Official

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    I'm the same way.

    To date, there's only three films that I've ever seen where I think, "Nope. Not a damn thing that can be changed in that in any possible way."
    1. The Princess Bride
    2. Shaun of the Dead
    3. Scott Pilgrim vs The World

    These are just so dialed in to what they are that it's impossible to wiggle anything even a little to the left or right. They are, to me, perfect versions of themselves.

    To be clear, this thread is meant to be for funzies.
    TLJ is a really well made film.

    One thing that I find interesting in reading through the thread, and kind of why I chose to do this, however, is just how varied everyone's nitpicks are.
    Often with films, there's a common batch of things that most think, "Yeah, that would have been better if that was different."
    Like, for example, "everyone" likes Gremlins, but at the same time pretty much anyone is on the same wavelength of thinking, "Yeah...I could've done without Kate's 'There is no Santa' story about her dad dying in the chimney."

    It's not something that cripples the film, but it is a bit of a drop compared to the rest of the film.

    Another is Back to the Future's whole "Mom hitting on her son" bit that most agree is a bit...awkward.

    TLJ, however, seems to not have this kind of sprinkled all over the place rather than piled up into one scene that most everyone kind of agrees on.

    There's couples here and there where two or so folks agree on something, but the list is pretty varied even so far (grouped by individual expressions).

    • Throne room fight
    • Canto Bight as a whole
    • Rey's "I can feel something" farce
    • Luke's saber toss
    • Leia flying through space
    • Rey's escape pod ride
    • FO's resistance fuel conversation
    • DJ vibe
    • Fathier race
    • Hux being Tooled around
    None of these things for anyone listing them are things that ruined the film. It wasn't like it broke anything. It was just the soft spot in the film.
    I just find it interesting that TLJ really clicks like a Rorschach test.
    Everyone kind of walks away with a different vibe of the film than someone else, a bit more than is typical I think, and this kind of listing somewhat makes that a bit more pronounced. :)

    That's at least 7 different views so far, and a list of 10 total instances.

    The "love it" list is equally diverse, but I think there's something just a bit interesting and telling about what noting what folks saw as the "soft spot" of a film they enjoyed.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  15. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Jedi General

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    Okay, I know this isn't really in the spirit of the thread but I have to say this:

    The ships used by the resistance are known. I can calculate how far a car can travel if I have an idea of how big the gas tank is and how fast it's going. It's pretty simple. I don't really think any explanation does anything other than add a line of dialogue that shouldn't be needed. A mole was suggested by the behavior of the Resistance. I don't need the FO confirming it. It's better to not know some times. This lets the own shortcomings of the heroes be their downfall. Their inability to trust. It's more of existential threat than a physical one. Poe's own inability to trust and have faith in anything but taking action, is his downfall. It's his Achilles's heel and he has to overcome in the final battle. Making the mole real kind of validates his behavior in a way. He has no reason to not trust Holdo other than his own issues.

    You aren't supposed to trust Holdo. She's new. She's different. She is in direct odds with Poe Dameron, a known character. We know Poe is good. We know Finn is good. Holdo opposes them. She must be bad or at best, not trusted in anyway. It's great character building. It establishes doubt and treachery without having to actually subject the already dwindling Resistance to an actual mole.
     
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  16. Jayson

    Jayson Rebel Official

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    I think their point was that it was a wasted opportunity and that, in their view, there were better things to add in that moment instead of somewhat unneeded exposition dialogue. I don't think they were confused how the FO had figured it out...it was more that it was too trivial by comparison to some other options they were thinking would have been more interesting in that same moment. :)

    I think here their point was that there was enough faux foreshadowing going on with characters such as Holdo, that actually playing a mole tangent would have worked really well, considering there was already a tenuous trust existing. Whether the mole ends up being Holdo or someone else (probably someone else, considering that mole plots don't usually go with the obviously toned "don't trust them" character), I think the point here wasn't that it was rough going with Holdo, but that they could see a mole plot fitting well considering how they already felt, such as with situations with Holdo, which they noted made Poe's reactions rather believable (not implying that they were believable because Holdo was a mole, but because she gave off the "don't trust them" vibe so well, it made Poe's reactions pretty easy for them to buy into).

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  17. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Jedi General

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    But do we need arithmetic explained on screen? Trivial? How would it be trivial? Knowing the speed/fuel consumption of enemy transports is key. It's no different to me than the heroes in the OT knowing a Tie Fighter couldn't be that far out into "deep space" before coming upon the Death Star. It's just known stuff. It establishes that there is a limit to this chase, it won't last for long. Just like it established Tie Fighters as close range vehicles, not deep space vehicles. It's done to be a ticking clock. So when the ships start dwindling you know this is it, this is what the FO has been holding back for.

    I think the mole idea undercuts the issue of trusting each other. It actually invalidates most of Poe's arc to me. It means he was right to not trust, he just had the person wrong. Poe's actions in the beginning cost him Leia's and Holdo's trust. That loss of trust when Holdo in charge prevents her from trusting him and then he from trusting her. If he hadn't done that, and Holdo did trust him, they might have been able to get the info about the hyperspace tracking to her in a believable manner and solve the issue. If there IS a mole, that's all moot because the mole tells the FO anyways and it really doesn't give Poe the room to grow IMO.


    Anyways, I thought there were some odd editing choices that cause little blips in the pacing.
     
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  18. Jayson

    Jayson Rebel Official

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    I believe from the perspective of thinking it's not needed, it's one that takes up the position that a film only needs to show what the audience needs to know. If the audience already knows of something, then it's not needed to show other characters explaining to each other the thing the audience already knows.

    Now, this philosophy works, but it's not an absolute rule, and it's also a bit of a preference of taste. It just depends.

    I don't disagree, though I'm not certain that a mole plot inherently would have required the script invalidate Poe's arc. It really would depend how it was set up and who it directly impacted.
    For instance, there actually is a mole plot in TLJ. DJ.
    And that mole plot didn't invalidate Poe's arc because of how it was implemented and who was around to be directly impacted by the betrayal.
    What's critical to Poe's arc is that he's wrong about Holdo. He just happened to be right about a mole, in all reality...just not a mole anywhere around him, but there was one inside of the plan he was secretly producing.

    Now, to me, this is actually better than a mole plot on the getaway ship because through Poe's paranoia he actually causes the mole plot to happen which in turn causes him to be the mole plot he was so paranoid about. :p

    But anyway...

    Pacing was definitely suffering in places in the film. Considering how much was cut and shifted around because the original was just rediculously long, I'm actually impressed it's only a few blips here there. But yeah, it's not a slick shiny fin slicing through water on its overall pacing and editing. It's got a few nicks and dings that cause the water to froth a few times here and there. :)

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  19. The Hero With No Fear

    The Hero With No Fear Jedi General

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    I really like the film overall and would consider it to be my third or fourth favorite Star Wars movie. (I consider it to be on the same level of quality as ROTJ so they’re pretty interchangeable in my personal ranking.) Now I’m no filmmaking expert, so I’m not going to claim my gripes are examples of “bad writing” or anything like that; these are just things that didn’t work for me personally.

    -Holdo: I don’t think her character was pushing some of political agenda or anything like that, I just didn’t really care for her character. Not much more to it than that.
    -Canto Bight: I think that this is probably what most other people are gonna list in this thread, so I won’t really delve into it that much. I also never cared too much for the scenes in Jabba’s Palace in ROTJ, so it’s just personal taste I suppose. I wish we could have gotten more of Finn, Rose, and DJ’s infiltration aboard the Supremacy.
    -Leia Poppins: I like the idea, just not the execution.
    -Giving Finn All the Corny Lines! Okay, this one is kind of a weird one, but just hear me out. It’s no secret that all of the Star Wars films have their fair share of cheesy dialogue:

    upload_2019-7-12_21-44-5.gif

    upload_2019-7-12_21-45-32.gif

    upload_2019-7-12_21-46-54.gif

    And this movie is no exception, and I have no doubt that they intentionally give each movie some corny lines, because let’s be real here: who doesn’t love a good gem like this:

    upload_2019-7-12_21-53-56.gif

    But my silly, minor qualm is that they give all of the cheese to Finn:

    upload_2019-7-12_21-56-3.gif
    “Let’s go chrome dome!”
    “Unless you got a thief in our pocket, then our plan is shot!”
    “Where did the crystal critters go?”
    [I could only find a gif for one of these lines. :oops:]

    And I love these lines for how campy they are, it’s just that they gave all of them to Finn! We should have gotten a more even ratio of characters saying cheesy stuff. Rey is supposed to be the protagonist of this trilogy and unlike Luke or Anakin, both of which had their fair share of cheesy lines. She has yet to pass this benchmark and I care more about that than whether she’s a Mary Sue or not. (Cough, cough, she’s not.) Now you might be asking yourself, “Hey Hero, isn’t this a really silly and minor thing to complain about?”

    upload_2019-7-12_22-7-14.gif

    All in all, despite some of the problems I have with this film, which would otherwise rival Empire Strikes Back for me, when I think of The Last Jedi, I think of all the great moments and those are the parts I remember the most.

    upload_2019-7-12_22-13-54.jpeg

    upload_2019-7-12_22-14-59.jpeg

    upload_2019-7-12_22-15-23.png

    upload_2019-7-12_22-16-15.jpeg

    upload_2019-7-12_22-17-2.png
     
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  20. FN-3263827

    FN-3263827 Bendemptionist
    1030th General **** (Mod)

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    i still struggle with the design of Canto Bight.

    have no problem with the scenes themselves storywise, but something about the aesthetic just doesn't work for me.
    i honestly think it may just be the lighting/palette because when i see the concept art, i love it!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    i also mostly love all the aliens ~ and the costume design is stunning.
    but when i see the final rendering on screen, it's just:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    can someone with better eyes help me out? : o p
    i almost feel like the yacht on Solo did it better.
     
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