It’s hard to surpass Red Letter Media’s invariably spot-on pastiches of all those super enthusiastic geek-orientated shows which fill up dozens of channels on YouTube. Except when it comes to the real thing. Featured above is the most recent episode of RLM’s Nerd Crew, their satirical swipe at the earnest self-entitlement of some fan-based podcasts. Below is an episode of the ridiculously popular Angry Joe Show. Both are discussing the recent theatrical release, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the latest instalment in the long-running science-fiction movie franchise, which seems to have divided audiences and critics into separate camps.
Spot the difference?
The latest SW movie is terrible oul shite altogether. They just shuffled situations and characters from the original movies around.
Last Jedi is so self referrential it borders kn the post-modern. Its a film “about Star Wars” not a Star Wars film. Look at the child picking up that sword at the end as if to remind us what Star Wars meant to us. No Star Wars film has cut to an outside character unrelated to the plot for symbolism before, ever.
Not only that, its a film that seems to take glee in subverting expectations.
Problem is, Stat Wars is about myth, not the deconstruction of narratives. And this film doesnt really add anything to the “story”.
A good comparison would be Metal Gear Solid 2, which played on the massive expectation of the audience and pissed off a lot of fans who were expecting to play as the character from the first game. It should be noted however, that subsequent games returned to the lore of the series, and even Metal Gear Solid 2 expanded on the gameplay, and mythos of the series. It did answer questions from the first game such as what was Ocelot doing, who was he in coordination with? Etc.
Last Jedi however, while showing what Rian Johnson “thinks” of Star Wars in 2017, writing a script that features Kathleen Kennedy steadying the ship while trigger happy man children doubt her judgement just doesnt really take us anywhere. It hits the reset button on a franchise while half way through its own trilogy leaving us with hardly any interesting leads on where it could go. In all actuality it puts us back in the position we were on pre episode 7, as if all the mechanisations of that film were simply to get rid of the original cast so they could remould Star Wars.
We are still waiting for a new Star Wars film. Thats why the fans are getting angry and wondering just why this is necessary at all. People saying they want kids to enjoy these films and not let adults cynicism deny then that joy are missing the fact that this is episode 8 in a supposed saga, and that kids can already enjoy Star Wars by watching a new hope for the first time.
True enough. But is it not part of the general infantilization of Hollywood entertainment? All the adults seem to be working in television: network, cable or streaming. The Hollywood products look so hallow at the moment. Especially in the genre area. I really enjoyed Logan, but that was very much the exception which proves the rule.
Star Wars has the air of a horse being flogged to death by not very imaginative – or talented – people.
I agree, except to say that unfortunately there are a lot of very talented people working on Star Wars, The Last Jedi was beautifully made, with some amazing visuals. The mineral planet idea was brilliant, and these films have some wonderful acting. Everyone is trying. I think there is a culture of trying to satisfy the broadest markets with film at the moment, it wants mam to identify with Admiral Holdo, boys to identify with Poe and Finn, Dads with Luke etc etc. It’s trying to speak to too many audiences at the one time in a lowest common denominator kind of way. I notice also the drive towards adding more “asian” characters in films like this, but perhaps a reluctance to cast Japanese actors because of how they feel the film will do in a Chinese market. All of these choices seem to prefigure anything to do with the “story”, these are the concerns first and foremost.
Wonder how long television will remain vital, as costs lower I hope we gravitate towards more local forms of entertainment.