Fist of the Empire
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I'll bite. I think i've reconciled most of my immediate gripes with the movie. After a bit of time and separation and attempting to look at things with the long game in view I've accepted that they did a lot of necessary things in this movie that should pay off well over the span of a trilogy or over the full body of all 9 in the series. I'm left with two lists now, opinions I have changed and outstanding issues. Things i'm now okay with. 1. Space Leia. I was immediately bothered here by the sheer ridiculousness. However, in the end this scene ultimately had little bearing on any main story arc. As such I would have preferred that it was left out entirely or that it was done a different way, but now it'll simply be just another example of a ridiculous and cheesy scene in a Star Wars film. It likely will not be the last. 2. Snokes death. Like everybody else I was initially pretty disappointed by Snokes early demise because I didn't feel we got the fan service of finding out about his background nor did we receive a display of his clearly immense power. With that said I have come to agree with Rian Johnsons take on direction. Getting Snoke out of the way opens the door up to incredible character development and growth from the main antagonist Kylo Ren. It's difficult to develop Rens character beyond the petulant and often times whiny child that Ren appears to be when he's relegated to the role of underling. Vader had the same development problem in the original trilogy. Right when we were starting to see glimpses of Vaders power and the fear he instilled in others the Emporer suddenly appeared to take a larger role in the movies and revealed Vader to be nothing more than another soldier following orders from his superior. He was never allowed to grow in to the role of the penultimate villain. We may now see a VERY different Kylo Ren in the upcoming finale movie, one who is no longer bound to allegiance to anybody but himself. 3. Hermit Luke. I've only PARTIALLY come around on this one. I actually don't mind the idea that the most positive guy in the galaxy has lost his faith and secluded himself from everything. Every man has his breaking point, Jedi or not. I just wish they could have made some minor tweaks here to make it seem less gross and weird. It also would have been nice to see a Luke who, while broken and disheartened, was a little more like himself than he was. The moments of levity they chose to go with here came off as the gross and weird stuff I disliked and simply didn't remind me at all of the Luke Skywalker we've always known. Things I still dislike. 1. Light speed ship kamikaze. This strategy simply invalidates too many epic space battles for me get over it. Who knew that in a galaxy of super advanced technology that the most dangerous weapon anyone could conceive is the ability to simply hurtle an object at light speed toward another object? I mean shit, with that type of strategy why develop a death star at all? 2. The socio political subplots of the second act, during the Canto Blight mission. Just when you think they've learned their lesson from the prequels about cramming mundane political garbage in to Star Wars movies, here comes an entire act of the movie that does little beyond preaching to us about the ethical treatment of animals, the evils of war profiteering, and misuse of child labor. Stick to the failed mission and the character development efforts of Finn and Rose, but save me from the preachy BS. 3. Too many "cute creature moments." I get it, they want to sell stuff, but there is a hard line that needs to be held when these merchandising setups are planted in to these movies. There is no greater way to ruin the chemistry between a couple of actors having an important and impactful moment in the film than to constantly interrupt them with some wonky plush doll doing something cute for no meaningful reason.