Day 40. 99 pages, 44,958 words.
Here’s what I really don’t get about the hate Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi has gotten: The scene in the casino.
Everyone seems to want to dump on it.
Now, could the whole story, from the prequels to the sequels, have been put together better? Yeah, probably. No movie is ever going to be perfect. Would Lucas have been able to do it? Maybe. Who knows?
But man, everyone hates that part of the movie. I mean, everyone who hates the movie seems to particularly have it in for that part of the movie. Maybe because it showcases Rose’s whole character and motivation in a way they didn’t like, maybe because it represents a nonsensical tangent and the beginning of the whole plan falling apart … don’t know.
But for me, this scene was an absolute highlight. We finally get to see where the actual “star wars” are coming from. It was a comment on present-day politics (and by present-day, I mean the state of affairs that has been carrying on since before A New Hope was even made), and the perpetual war that cares nothing for loyalties or ideologies, just as long as the powerful remain powerful and the wealthy remain wealthy. It peeled off the shiny skin of the space fantasy and showed the bleeding truth underneath, that maybe few of us wanted to confront.
Because Star Wars, despite having “wars” right there in the name, was bright and fun and adventurous. It was heroic and filled with magic and glory. It didn’t really give the impression that war was an abomination, as long as it was a war against absolute irredeemable textbook evil. And that is getting harder and harder to convince us of. Isn’t it?
And the casino scene, for anyone still wondering how there can still be planet-sized death machines after the Empire was “destroyed” … it showed us how. And it was very uncomfortable because it was so very familiar.
And the probably Force-sensitive kid. So understated, but just left in there as a cute circle-back to Anakin Skywalker in Watto’s junkyard.
Could I have liked it more? Absolutely. The whole movie could have been about the search for this mysterious insider who was going to help the Resistance, and the duplicity of Del Toro’s character as a subversion (since we’re demonising subversion and also comparing The Last Jedi with The Empire Strikes Back) of Lando’s arc. They could have left out a bunch, and just had this. And woven the true puppetmasters of the Senate, the Jedi, the Sith, the Empire, the First Order, the Resistance, and all the guilds, the Kamino, the Techno Union … woven it into the story to show there’s something dark underneath the gaudy tapestry.
They could have tied it more into the weapons and guilds and organised crime rings shown in Solo. Even the powerful lobbies of the prequel movies, like the Trade Federation (and the Techno Union, like I say). They could have done a bunch with it.
But I absolutely didn’t hate that scene. To me, it was finally getting around to the point of the whole franchise. Here we have the head of the snake, the true power behind the whole “Star Wars” idea. It’s all about wars. In the stars. And these are the originators. Not the Jedi, not the Sith, not the tired old sorcerers and their ways. It’s the Tarkins who truly rule that galaxy far, far way.
And taking us neatly full-circle, since we’re probably not going to get the story I’m rhapsodising about above … the other day I arrived at a theory that is probably widespread online but I came up with all on my own:
The Star Wars “Episode” movies are their own thing, but each of the new “Stories” is made specifically to retcon or otherwise explain an old but cherished “plot hole” (do you see what I did there).
So, Rogue One was made specifically to explain why the Hell the Death Star had this honkin’ stupid design flaw in it.
Solo was made specifically to explain why the Hell Han Solo boasted that the Millennium Falcon had completed the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs, when a parsec is a measure of distance and not time.
According to theorising by dreameling and myself, the Boba Fett movie (if it is ever made) will probably explain how a living thing can be digested over “a thousand years” when its natural life expectancy is far less than that. Also, how Fett escaped in the first place. If he did. Maybe the Boba Fett movie will be about him gaining immortality in the Sarlacc, and coming out in a thousand years time undigested, to find a whole new galactic order. A time jump movie on a massive scale.
See, this is why I should be allowed to make movies.
But I guess all that depends on whether Star Wars is dead, or whether it will somehow survive the assassination attempts by Red Letter Media. Which ties this weekend’s pre-written blog post spectacular together in a neat little ribbon if you ask me.
Ugh. Going to go and die now.