Star Wars: The Last Jedi Review

As a Star Wars fan, it’s difficult to “review” a new Star Wars movie. Firstly, it’s Star Wars and there really isn’t a bad one if you’re a big Star Wars fan. And then there’s the euphoria that falls over people immediately after seeing a new Star Wars movie, which is what causes all of the “Best since Empire!” reactions. But I can safely say, after a night of reflecting on it, that The Last Jedi is one of the best Star Wars movies. To me, Revenge of the Sith was my favorite since Empire, so I’m not going to say that The Last Jedi is the “Best since Empire!” like others are, but it is definitely the best since 2005. It’s my new favorite Star Wars film.

My problem with The Force Awakens was that it felt like Abrams was going down a nostalgia checklist, filling in the boxes to make sure people saw recognizable “Star Wars” things at the expense of cool new ships and ideas. I remember when Empire and Jedi came out, and my favorite thing about those new Star Wars movies is how each one introduced new ships and vehicles, and of course that meant cool new toys. The Last Jedi really feels like a New Star Wars movie, and not one that relies on nostalgia just to win people over. This is the Return of the Jedi sequel I wanted The Force Awakens to be.

I really don’t want to spoil anything in this review, it’s important to go into the movie as clean as possible to really enjoy it, and believe me it’s a ride you will enjoy. But I will say that you do get to see Luke do amazing things, how great Carrie is as Leia will break your heart because she won’t be back in IX, and the movie seriously opens up some fantastic new avenues for Star Wars to go. It also shatters almost every fan theory over the last to years and leaves them in a pile of rubble.

The story basically alternates between what’s happening with the Resistance fleeing The First Order and Luke and Rey on Ahch-to. Eventually Finn and Rose go on a secret mission to the casino city of Canto Bight to help the Resistance’s chances, and then everything comes together in the end as you’d expect in a Star Wars movie. What you don’t expect is some of the character choices they made, especially with Luke, but Rian Johnson makes it work spectacularly. Reading one-sentence spoilers on the internet does not adequately explain how great all the decisions are, which some hyperbolic fans are claiming “destroys Star Wars forever”. Just about every spoiler plot point people are melting down over on the internet are actually some of the best parts of the movie.

As a Star Wars fan who was alive for the Original Trilogy, lived through the “Dark Times”, the Prequels, and now; this movie is a rollercoaster of emotions. You go from having a lump in your throat and tears in your eyes to John Williams soaring you through the sky with hope and optimism of where Star Wars is going. If this is how Rian Johnson’s trilogy is going to be, Star Wars fans are going to be in for an amazing decade of movies coming up. Like no one except for maybe a young George Lucas, Rian Johnson gets it. He is absolutely worthy of carrying the torch for the next generation of Star Wars fans.

And that’s something very important that the movie speaks to. The Last Jedi is a Star Wars film, and while George always intended Star Wars to be for kids there’s a very big element to the story of this film about growing up. Even though I don’t know if it was intentional by Rian Johnson, it speaks to Star Wars fandom. For a long time there’s been an aging group of Star Wars fans who are so afraid of new people coming into Star Wars that they’ve been gatekeeping and trying to shoo new fans away for one reason or another. The Last Jedi shows that even when you get old, there will be people to carry the flame and it’s OK to let go and embrace that. Detailing it any further would be major spoilers, but it’s definitely there.

I do have to mention John Williams’ score as there has been a surprising lack of talk about it. He brings back all of the great themes from The Force Awakens, including a reprise of Jedi Steps, but also weaves in Original Trilogy themes and there’s even a very slight hint at the Prequels in a scene where the past Jedi are discussed (including a Prequel character name-drop by someone fans won’t expect to hear saying the name). And Rose’s theme is fantastic. It’s the biggest new theme in the soundtrack, and it’s obviously played during Rose’s scenes with Finn. It’s very strong on Canto Bight and then later in a scene between the two of them.

When driving home from our screening my friend asked if there was anything that disappointed me in it, and I can honestly say there wasn’t. It would’ve been nice to have more Artoo, but the one scene he’s in is one of the highlights of the movie and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s the longest Star Wars movie, but that gives all of the key storylines time to play out to an immensely satisfying ending. Looking back at the whole thing, I can’t say I was upset about anything done. Perhaps that’s because I didn’t get invested in any head canon theories over the past two years. I had theories, but it wasn’t the end of the world to me if they weren’t correct.

Rian Johnson has raised the bar to a level JJ Abrams may never be able to reach. The Last Jedi is a Star Wars film that I will watch over and over, for decades to come. It may be a very long time before one tops this.

The Solo Teaser Poster is Arriving in Theaters (Trailer Soon?)

What is always a herald of a new trailer has arrived in theaters for Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Posted on the Star Wars Leaks subreddit, the teaser poster is what you’d expect based on the previous three teaser posters from this era of Lucasfilm:

And right there on the poster it lists May 25th as the release date, cementing that Solo is not being delayed.

While some people don’t want to believe that Lucasfilm would promote a new Star Wars movie with The Last Jedi, Solo’s May release date throws a wrench into their previous marketing pattern. As the poster is arriving in theaters right now, it’s very likely we’ll see a trailer release next week.

With Marvel releasing Infinity War this week, and Jurassic World expected next Thursday during football, I wouldn’t be shocked if we got the Solo teaser by Friday the 8th.

That’s the day of the big premiere in Los Angeles, so it would make a lot of sense for GMA to reveal the teaser that morning before the big party in Hollywood. Then the teaser will be attached to The Last Jedi in theaters the following week.

The Infinity War Trailer is Imminent!

A couple of weeks ago I heard from multiple sources that a teaser trailer for Avengers: Infinity War would hit the internet around the first week of December and then in theaters with The Last Jedi.

This morning two big Infinity War things happened to make it look like the teaser trailer is imminent. The first is a series of Vanity Fair covers for an issue that will probably be on shelves during the first week of December, and then the Russo Bros posted this on Facebook:

Either they’re counting down to a trailer release in three days (which would be early), or the trailer could be hitting the internet on December 3rd. Previously a date of December 4th was being spread around, so this fits that rumor.

If it pans out that way, then next week will be a busy one of trailers as we’d get Infinity War to start the week and then it sounds like Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom will put out their trailer by the weekend.

Now I’m Getting Death Threats for Saying There Isn’t a Justice League Snyder Cut

Here’s familiar territory for a DCEU movie. Last month I found out that Justice League would be only two hours long. Not long after that, I got death threats from psychopaths who wouldn’t believe it. Then I got death threats because Warner Brothers didn’t lift the embargo when people wanted it to.

This morning, I received another death threat for daring to say that there isn’t a finished “Snyder Cut” of the movie:

snyder-cut-death-threat.png

Here’s the truth, whether you want to accept it or not.

Zack Snyder left Justice League in March of 2016. At that time the only “cut” that existed was what is called an “assembly cut”. This is just a rough assembly of scenes, basically dailies, spliced together to give the most rough semblance of the movie. It’s in no way finished and is something that would cost Warner Brothers $70-100 million to complete. That’s not in the realm of reality.

The two people named in the death threat above are Twitter accounts who are going around claiming to be personal friends with Zack Snyder to spread their lie, and one of them is using their lie to sic their followers on Geoff Johns to harass him in the hopes of releasing the imaginary “Snyder Cut”.

The DC fandom has a cancer in it, and it’s attention whore accounts that would rather flush their credibility down the toilet to make people believe they are close personal friends with Zack Snyder than to actually tell people the truth.

Sorry Internet, There Likely Won’t Be a ‘Snyder Cut’ of Justice League

Over the last few days a real annoying bit of comic book fake news has been spreading like a cancer across the internet, culminating in a 100,000+ signature internet petition demanding Warner Bros. release something that apparently doesn’t exist in reality.

It started when some social media accounts that stalk Zack Snyder on Vero began Tweeting that there was a finished Zack Snyder cut of Justice League laying around waiting for Warner Bros. to release it. A poster on the ResetEra forum who worked on the movie claims that is not entirely true, “if a Synder version exists a lot of vfx still needs to be finalized which cost money (a lot of it), editing needs to be fine tuned and the score needs to be done.”

How much work would need to be done? According to them it would cost at the very least $70 million to finish that version of the movie. That’s not the sort of money WB will want to spend.

Even more damning for the hopes of a “Snyder cut” is an AmA a VFX artist currently working on Aquaman did on Reddit. The VFX artist was verified as being legitimate by the Reddit mods as working for a studio that did effects on all of the DCEU movies and they themselves worked on the Wonder Woman/Ares fight.

His AmA was pretty bad for those dreaming of a Snyder cut:

There won’t be a Snyder cut.

There won’t be further vfx work done.

There was (sadly) never a black Superman suit.

and…

Q: how much do you think does the final cut that is in theatres differ from the initial snyder cut

A: There is no “Snyder cut” – directors constantly change the edit as they’re going along, hence why some shots get half finished then scrapped – like some of the leaked ones.

For instance in the Barry saves Iris scene, there’s a load of unfinished hot dogs but some fairly far-ahead explosion and environment work. He’s barefoot btw because the shot where he turns around and the floor ripples was supposed to have his sneakers rip apart from how fast he turned. We were in the middle of working on them when the shot was omitted (cut) last year.

Q: So the petition is useless

A: 100%

He also goes on and talks a lot about the Barry and Iris scene and states that since it leaked on the internet it’s even questionable that it’ll be finished as a deleted scene on the Blu-Ray.

I said in my original post that the Barry saving Iris scene was being finished for home release, but potentially removing Clemons and replacing her with a random digital woman incase they wanted to re-cast her in flashpoint. But now that Ascendant leaked the unfinished scene online, I don’t know if it’ll be finished.

If that’s true, the Internet’s crusade for a “Snyder Cut” (which justified the leaking of deleted scenes) may have backfired.

You can read the full AmA here.

Small Update About the Future of the DCEU

As Justice League heads into its second weekend and received a nice boost to its box office that debunked all the YouTube hyperbole predicting a BvS sized drop, I’ve heard a small but reliable piece of news about the future of DC movies.

According to the source, nothing is changing in terms of the announced DCEU lineup. So all of those people claiming otherwise for clicks and YouTube views are lying to you. WB was obviously disappointed in the opening weekend, but based on the trajectory now as well as future home video sales and licensing they believe it’ll at least break even if not more. That also means those people claiming a $50-100m loss for WB were…wrong. Shocking how all the reactionary hyperbole last weekend is turning out to be bogus, huh?

There is one change coming to the future of the DCEU post-Justice League and that is that apparently WB will be looking at younger directors going forward and match them up with the various’ characters solo films a little better. I don’t think that will result in any announced director changes, but for movies such as Flashpoint where there’s not a director signed it could mean we’ll see someone we haven’t heard connected to it.

It’s not Earth-shattering news, especially to people with their head screwed on correctly, but it was nice to hear confirmation of it this morning from someone who would know very well what WB is planning post-Justice League.

If Battlefront II’s Campaign is Another Canon Red Herring, Fans Deserve to be Angry (Spoilers)

I’m just going to say right now that this post will contain spoilers for Battlefront II’s campaign, so if you haven’t finished it yet stop reading right now.

When Lucasfilm did the “canon reset” for Star Wars, one of the advantages they cited was that the books, comics, games, and movies would all exist in one shared canon universe. So things that happened in one medium could be reflected in the other. This is really something no one has ever attempted before, and it’s pretty ambitious. But as the last couple of years have shown, it may be too ambitious to adhere to even for a company as big as Disney.

Flashback to the second Aftermath novel, Life Debt, where fans were really led along to believe that Gallius Rax could become Supreme Leader Snoke. Life Debt laid out all the clues, only to reveal that fans have been fooled by a misdirection in Empire’s End and Rax is really no one.

It’s at that point where I basically gave up on the Star Wars novels. I still read the comics, and play the games…for now. How Lucasfilm decides to play out what Battlefront II is apparently setting up will determine if I continue on those others mediums.

The Battlefront II campaign tells the story of an Imperial special forces squad after the Battle of Endor. At least for the first three and a half levels it does. At one point they realize how evil the Empire is and two of them (Iden Versio and Del Meeko) defect to the Rebellion.

From there the game actually interacts really cool with the rest of the expanded universe. Life Debt is directly led into with a Han Solo mission, and the Naboo part of Shattered Empire is shown in the Leia mission. Everything leads up to the Battle of Jakku (which was my favorite story transition in the game where you go from Bespin directly to the battle).

At the end of Jakku you see that Iden and Del end up together. These are two characters with dark hair and dark eyes, one had an encounter with Luke and started believing in the Force, and the story flash forwards thirty years later to the time of TFA.

We find out that at some point between Jakku and TFA these two characters (again who have dark hair and dark eyes) ended up having an unnamed daughter, and of course everyone thinks it’s…
rey-tfa

Now some people are claiming that Rey can’t be their daughter as the timeline doesn’t line up, but the game does not tell us when they had their daughter. The only thing we know is that she was born some time between Jakku and TFA, and based on Rey’s age in TFA that fits.

At the end of the campaign we don’t know who the daughter is, where she is, or even where Iden is. It ends on a cliffhanger. We know what happens to Del, who joined the Church of the Force and ended up leading Kylo to start tracking down Lor San Tekka, but we don’t know anything about this mysterious daughter other than if Iden and Del had a daughter…she’d likely look a lot like Rey.

Again, this wouldn’t be the first time that the Lucasfilm Story Group led fans on a big red herring, Gallius Rax in Life Debt was a pretty nasty misdirection with the hints they dropped in that book.

Rey’s parentage is easily the biggest question fans have about the Sequel Trilogy, and if they intentionally set this up in Battlefront II only for it to be a huge nothing like in Empire’s End, then it’d be enough for a lot of fans to swear off anything canon related to the expanded universe. It’d also be enough for Lucasfilm to seriously re-examine the type of things they’d do in non-movie material going forward as stringing fans along with misdirections and red herrings is a mean thing to do.

Warner Bros Gave the Troops a Cool Veteran’s Day Surprise

News is just now starting to hit the ‘net, but it sounds like Warner Brothers treated the troops on Veteran’s Day night to an advanced screening of Justice League!

Reactions are starting to flow in to places like Reddit, and there may be people reacting on other social media platforms, but for Warner to do this for them on Veteran’s Day is seriously cool.

There have been a couple press screenings of Justice League over the last two weeks, but there hasn’t been a large public screening of the movie just yet. The big premiere is Monday night and that’s also when advanced screenings open to fans and local media will begin.

That means the troops were the first outside of the press to see the final version of Justice League! Big props to Warner for doing this on Veteran’s Day.

Psychopaths Now Sending Death Threats Because of the Justice League Embargo

Apparently I now run Warner Brothers.

Just like it was my fault that Justice League is only two hours long, resulting in harassment and death threats, it’s now my fault that WB didn’t drop the review embargo immediately following the press junket in London two days ago. It’s not like members of the media aren’t traveling home or anything.

Since it’s apparently my fault that WB wasn’t jerks to traveling media by dropping the embargo while they’re on an airplane, I’m now getting the same style of harassment and death threats because of that:

Following the first incident, some on Twitter have DM’ed me to believe this is either the crew of a “DC Stan” on YouTube who goes by “Alex Holiday”, or the same “Adam Heatherly” who is known for this type of harassment.

AT&T Wonder Woman Video for Justice League Released

Following the Cyborg and Flash videos, AT&T has released a new Justice League video focusing on Wonder Woman.

Like the previous two videos, this one includes exclusive footage that hasn’t been released in any of the TV spots or trailers yet. Check it out: