The LAST Jedi? The Last JEDI? THE Last Jedi?

Episode 121 · December 22nd, 2017 · 1 hr 27 mins

About this Episode

Greg Iwinski, a comedian, film reviewer (he gave Balboa 5 Stars), and podcaster, comes on the show to attack all those who think Rian Johnson's "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" should have serviced the fans' expectations more than made a great movie (minus the casino scene) and set up a world-class franchise for decades to come.

Film, art, and culture are all explored. What does a corporation, or an artist, owe to the fans that support and love and even identify with someone's art? George Lucas gave us Star Wars, then tried to mess with it. As an artist, he's allowed to. But as a fan, I beg him not to mess with the originals (which he's said the original film footage is even lost). "Special Editions" should be just that, and not replacements for the originals that now connect to our cultural Zeitgeist.

That said, our expectations of who Luke Skywalker is and is not is informed by decades of fan-fiction and the expanded universe of books and comics, setting the stage for the rage-monster nerd reaction against Rian Johnson's fantastic new film. So many people came to the movie expecting one thing and Rian Johnson wanted to give us something new. Insert conflict here.

Even a rant about maintenance-mode Catholicism comes in to play! The frog-nuns are caretakers of a dead religion and are fussy when young blood is messing with the buildings. Luke wants to burn down the sacred Tree, but find that he cannot, until Pope Yoda does the thing himself. Yet! The sacred texts survive and endure. So with the Jedi. Fascinating.

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Episode Links

  • The Rotten Tomatoes score for "The Last Jedi" may be rigged — Quartz — The latest Star Wars film scored a 93% on the Tomatometer, which shows the share of critics who gave the movie positive reviews on the site, and a lowly 55% with audiences who submitted more than 116,000 user reviews since the film’s US release last week, as of the time of this writing. One angry, anti-Disney Star Wars fan is proudly claiming the credit for the disconnect. An anonymous individual who runs the Facebook page “Down With Disney’s Treatment of Franchises and its Fanboys” claims to have used bots to create fake Facebook accounts that logged into Rotten Tomatoes and posted negative reviews of the film to lower the audience score.
  • ‘The Last Jedi’ Subverts Some Of The Worst ‘Star Wars’ Tropes — I’ve become so inured to it that when a Last Jedi character fired up the Randy Quaid mobile to drive it straight into that gun barrel/alien gun/portal and incinerate himself to save the galaxy/rebellion/rec center (I’m keeping this vague to avoid the no spoiler Gestapo), I’d already prepared myself to accept this bit of momentarily lazy plotting. Like giant portals or the expanded universe, I thought suicidal characters were just something I would have to learn to accept in order to enjoy a blockbuster in 2017. But this time, just when the would-be Quaid mobile was about to save Earth (so to speak), another character swooped in and stopped Quaid, nearly suiciding to prevent a suicide. We could argue about hypocritical tactics, but Rian Johnson gave the Quaid stopper the perfect line, about how The Resistance is “about saving what we love, not destroying what we hate.”
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) - Alternate Ending : Alternate Ending — Indeed, I'd almost go so far as to say that The Last Jedi is only good when one of either Luke or Rey is in a scene, and it is always good when one of them is in a scene, though this ignores the setpieces that work with neither of them being involved.
  • The Last Jedi Doesn't Care What You Think About Star Wars — Legends Bleed Mark Hamill famously disagreed with Johnson on the direction of Luke Skywalker when he first read the screenplay for The Last Jedi, and it’s clear why. Luke, the farm boy who became a war hero who became a warrior knight who became his father’s savior, has fallen into disgrace. While The Force Awakens featured a Han Solo falling back into his old scoundrel ways (a position of comfort for those worried about a watered-down take on a character who was at his best when he wasn’t playing nice), The Last Jedi features a Luke Skywalker that is unlike anything we’ve seen before – a broken shell of a man who believes that everything he fought for and achieved was for naught. By telling young Rey that none of this matters, he’s also telling the audience the same thing. The stuff you love? The details that have reshaped pop culture and created a geek language that everyone speaks? Yeah, they’re wonky. Or rather, they’re broken. Your faith was flawed.