Category Archives: Star Wars

Star Wars: The Last Jedi-The Ugly

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My thoughts on The Last Jedi finally conclude with highlighting everything that infuriated me about this movie (aka the “ugly” parts). I have to admit this list was actually a lot bigger about a month ago, but since I’ve had time to think about it, I’ve realized there wasn’t actually that much to infuriate me. Nevertheless, certain details need to be highlighted.

  • Rey’s parentage (or the lack thereof): It was one of the biggest questions posed by fans coming out of The Force Awakens: Who is Rey and what is her connection to the Star Wars universe? It almost went without saying that a Force user with this level of power had to be related to somebody we knew. Over the last two years I heard every theory under the sun: Rey’s a Skywalker, a Solo, a Kenobi, a Palpatine (don’t even ask me how that one is possible), or (one of the most far-out), she’s the long lost great-great-great times infinity great granddaughter of some legendary Jedi from the Old Republic. It’s no surprise that when The Last Jedi finally arrived that we were all holding our breath to see who Rey was related to (because Rian Johnson had promised we would get our answer).

The reveal was…anticlimactic to say the very least. After all of that speculation, all of the theories, it seems that Rey is actually…nobody. If Kylo Ren is to be believed, Rey wasn’t hidden on Jakku because she was this big secret Force user. According to Kylo, Rey was left on Jakku because her parents sold her for drinking money. Considering how much time I invested into these theories, I was more than a little upset by this (even though a part of me does understand why they’re going this way). Still…one has to wonder if Kylo IS being truthful. Even if her parents are “nobodies” in the great scheme of things, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re dead or that they sold Rey for drinking money; Kylo may have just wanted her to think that so she would be more inclined to join him. Maybe they’ll clarify a little more in Episode IX (but then again maybe they won’t, after this film I’m afraid to predict anything).

  • Snoke’s premature demise: Before I begin my tirade, let me say that I DID appreciate how Snoke’s apparent death went down. The Supreme Leader is oblivious to the fact that Kylo has turned on him and is subtly maneuvering Anakin’s old lightsaber into a position to impale him. And even though I saw it happening, part of me was sure that Snoke would stop him at the last minute/second…except he didn’t. When the Supreme Leader dropped dead from this throne, my first reaction was “Oh my god, what just happened?” My second reaction was “How could you KILL him like that??” This is the moment that made me really angry because you know and I know that there has to be a backstory for this character, he didn’t just come out of nowhere. Considering we only saw the character in hologram form in The Force Awakens, we were all eagerly waiting to see what we would learn about the character in this film. But we ultimately learned nothing!! Not where Snoke came from, not why he took Kylo under his wing, not even if he’s connected to Palpatine or Darth Plagueis. I’m sorry, I don’t care how many explanations we get, you can’t just introduce this big mysterious character and then kill him before explaining where he came from!! Of course there is a theory that Snoke isn’t really dead (that he pulled a trick similar to Luke) but I don’t necessarily know if this is true.
  • Kylo’s version of the “Join me and we’ll rule the galaxy speech”: I was on cloud nine when Rey and Kylo teamed up to take out the Praetorian Guard after the death of Snoke. It was brilliantly done, and once they were all dead, it truly seemed as if Rey had gotten through to Kylo, that he was going to come with her, he’d be Ben Solo again and it would set up an epic confrontation for Episode IX…and then the Speech started. You know, the one given by Anakin in Episode III; by Vader in Episode V: the “join me, we’ll defeat *insert enemy here* together and rule the galaxy side by side.” When Kylo started on this all-too-familiar spiel with Rey, my first reaction was to groan and roll my eyes. I know part of Star Wars is to deliberately hearken back to earlier moments, but this felt completely forced and it kind of ruined the moment for me. Of course I understand that what happened is Kylo heard Rey’s advice and took it in the wrong direction, but surely they could’ve skipped “the Speech.”

And those are my thoughts on what really infuriated me in The Last Jedi. Do you agree or disagree with my reasoning? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

See also:

Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Good

Star Wars: The Last Jedi- The Bad

A Random Thought on “The Force Awakens”

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, My Thoughts!!

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi- The Bad

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Today I’m going to look at parts of The Last Jedi that I considered “bad” (but not infuriating, that comes later). This likely won’t be a comprehensive list, but I’m hoping to hit the major points. Off we go!

  • The entire Canto Bight sub-plot: Part of what really bugged me about The Last Jedi is that, compared to other Star Wars films, we don’t really go anywhere for 90% of the story. Instead we spend the majority of our time in a slow-motion chase with the First Order patiently waiting for the Resistance fleet to literally run out of gas. So when Finn and Rose come up with the plot to get a hacker from Canto Bight, I was excited because we were finally getting away from skipping back and forth from the fleet to Ach-To. And while I don’t deny the planet is beautifully rendered and the chase scenes with the animals are good too, it’s all ultimately meaningless. Think about it: the entire point of bringing in a hacker was to break into Snoke’s mega-destroyer to disable the tracking system so the fleet could jump to hyperspace without being followed. Not only are Rose and Finn caught before they can do this, but the Resistance ultimately abandons their fleet to escape to Crait before squeezing onto the Millennium Falcon to finally get away. So there was really no point in Rose and Finn going to Canto Bight because we’d have arrived at the same end point regardless (in simpler terms: the Canto Bight story is pure filler to add time to the story).

  • “Holding for General Hux.”: This is just barely on the “Bad” list because I did find Poe’s teasing of the First Order funny the first time, but then the joke kept going (with Hux literally saying words to the effect of “Can you hear me now?”) and I found myself squirming with impatience (and not in a good way) for them to get on with the story. I don’t mind humor in a Star Wars film but this went on a few beats too long.
  • Captain Phasma: Is it just me or is the chrome-plated Phasma notably absent from most of this story? When they first introduced her in Episode VII, I was excited to see where they would go with her. And then this movie comes out and we get ONE fight scene; a cool glimpse at an eye under her helmet and then…does she die?? Just like that? There’s not even a shock factor because she appears in the trailers for the movie so we knew this moment was coming.
  • Luke Skywalker for most of the movie: I’m probably going to get grief for this but I had a hard time with Mark Hamill’s performance for a good chunk of his scenes. I don’t know if this is “bad” so much as it “royally subverted my expectations” but at any rate how I feel about it isn’t good so it’s on this list. It started when Luke received his father’s lightsaber, we all held our breath in anticipation of what he’d say…and then he tosses the lightsaber over his shoulder like it’s nothing. Of all the things I was expecting, it wasn’t that. I could also mention how his “training” of Rey really wasn’t what I was led to believe it was based on the trailers but that’s another argument for another list. Note though, that I say “for most of the movie” because by the end (i.e. his appearance on Crait) I’m in love with how he’s acting.
  • Where are the Knights of Ren?: Considering Kylo is considered “Master of the Knights of Ren”, you’d think we’d have seen them by now (or at least heard from them). But as of yet, except for that brief scene during Rey’s vision in The Force Awakens, we have not seen a trace of these “Knights of Ren” and now only a single film remains for them to be properly introduced and made use of. That doesn’t seem quite right to me, especially since the film seems to hint that some of them were fellow Jedi trainees at Luke’s school (he did say that Kylo didn’t kill ALL of the students).
  • The Rey/Kylo visions: On one level, this was really cool, but for the most part this came across as super AWKWARD. The one conversation where Rey is distracted because Kylo is shirtless had me groaning because it sounded like two teenagers having a telephone conversation (I mean, Kylo and Rey aren’t supposed to be teenagers…are they?). I understand the plot purpose of doing this, but there were some moments where it just felt wrong.

And those are the highlights of what I thought was bad about Star Wars: The Last Jedi! Did I leave anything significant out? Do you agree/disagree? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

See also:

Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Good

Star Wars: The Last Jedi-The Ugly

A Random Thought on “The Force Awakens”

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, My Thoughts!!

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Good

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I have been trying for a long time now to gather my thoughts on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which says a lot about the film given how I was able to gush over Rogue One pretty easily. I’ve finally decided on a way to get my thoughts out there: rather than dumping everything into a single post (which is my usual method), I’m going to break this review up into what I liked (the good); what I didn’t like (the bad); and what downright infuriated me (the ugly). So this post will be highlights of what I liked in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

  • The return of Yoda: I LOVED this scene! When the camera panned over to reveal a familiar set of pointy ears with a familiar blue haze, my first reaction was “OMG yes it’s YODA!!” Somehow I just knew that we would see the deceased Jedi Grand Master before the movie was over (and for the record, I did not know about Frank Oz talking about the film before release, this was a complete surprise to me). This scene, combined with Luke’s reunion with R2-D2 were the two times I really felt like the “old” Luke from the original trilogy was back. The way he griped to Yoda like a pouting child, only to be whacked on the head with Yoda’s cane was just priceless! Bringing in Yoda was an excellent decision on Rian Johnson’s part.
  • Rey+Kylo+Throne Room = EPIC: Leaving aside what happened immediately before this scene, the fight between Kylo and Rey and the Praetorian Guard was absolutely beautiful. It’s kind of scary how well those two work together on short notice (if Rey ever did align herself with Kylo they might just be unstoppable). This is one of those scenes that helps to make Star Wars so special.

  • Luke’s final stand: In hindsight, I should have known that Luke wasn’t actually on Crait. All the hints were thrown out there beforehand: Kylo and Rey can see each other when they aren’t really there, they can even touch and it feels real. Not to mention Kylo’s ominous hint that “the strain (of projecting yourself) would kill you.” But I was so caught up in the moment of seeing Luke Skywalker, the legendary Jedi Master, walking out to face the First Order that I really didn’t think about how he got there or when. I just assumed that (off-screen), he’d thought about Rey’s words (and Yoda’s), raised up his X-Wing and hotfooted it to Crait where he could sense everything going down. One big clue that this was an illusion? Luke’s appearance is identical to how he looked on the night Kylo destroyed the new Jedi temple. That alone should have told me something was up (at the time I assumed that Luke had cleaned himself up before heading out). Even when the First Order fired on him at point blank range, I still didn’t get it. I just thought “Well he’s a Jedi Master, he can dodge and deflect anything.” It was only when Kylo went to slash Luke through the middle, clearly made contact, and Luke was still standing that I realized it…he wasn’t really there, he never had been. And I don’t feel disappointed by this revelation (because some have told me that this ruins the last meeting between Luke and Leia because Luke “wasn’t really there.”) I disagree; Leia knew the whole time (I’m sure) that Luke was only an illusion, but that didn’t matter. She could see him, and touch him, and it was their way of saying goodbye. And speaking of goodbyes…
  • Binary sunset: The revelation that Ach-To has twin suns like Tatooine was unexpected, momentarily confusing, but ultimately satisfying. Luke’s face as he took the sunset in said it all. In that moment, he was thinking back over everything: the sunset he saw on Tatooine the night before his life changed forever; saving Leia, destroying the Death Star, going to save his father, it all flashed through his mind. And then…with his work done, he vanished. This moment destroyed me, as I’d dared to hope that we’d sidestepped seeing Luke die when it was revealed that Luke wasn’t really on Crait. It didn’t help that Carrie Fisher had passed away the year before (so after her death and watching Han and now Luke die onscreen, it was pretty emotional for me).
  • The Supreme Leader is dead (?): Finally, I have to share my thoughts on the scene when General Hux discovers that Supreme Leader Snoke is (apparently) dead. He seemingly accepts Kylo’s version of events (that Rey killed him when it was really Kylo) and begins to lament that the Supreme Leader is dead, they have no leader now, when a furious Kylo seizes Hux with a Force choke and queries “The Supreme Leader is dead? Catching on, Hux chokes out “Long live the Supreme Leader!” I liked this scene because of how it played out. Hux is oblivious to the fact that Snoke’s death (his apparent death anyway) means that Kylo is now in charge. I’m calling it now: Kylo and Hux will come to blows before Episode IX is over, especially if Hux figures out that Kylo is the one who killed Snoke.

And those are my highlights for what was good in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Of course there was more that I liked than this, but if I listed everything the post would be several thousand words longer!

Which parts of Star Wars: The Last Jedi did you think were good? Let me know your thoughts (on the good only) in the comments below!

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

See also:

Star Wars: The Last Jedi- The Bad

Star Wars: The Last Jedi-The Ugly

A Random Thought on “The Force Awakens”

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, My Thoughts!!

Why I’m worried about Solo: A Star Wars Story

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m feeling very uneasy about Solo: A Star Wars Story, the second anthology film in the Star Wars franchise. I was never thrilled about seeing a movie about a young Han Solo to begin with, but the closer we get to the film’s release date, the less excited I feel.

Everything about this film has felt wrong. First there’s the casting: I saw Alden Ehrenreich (the “new Han Solo”) in Hail Caesar! and I didn’t like his performance at all. Consequently, I am dreading to see what he does in the role of Han Solo (no disrespect to the actor, that’s just how I feel). Then, last summer, directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were fired from the project and Ron Howard took over to finish the film (and allegedly conduct extensive reshoots). It doesn’t matter what film is being worked on, it is never a good sign when the director is replaced in the middle of production. And though I have all the respect in the world for Ron Howard, to be fair, his work has been hit or miss as of late.

And then there’s the fact that, five months out from release, we have no trailer for the movie, not even a sixty second teaser. This is the worst sign of all if you think about it. Remember when we got the first teaser for The Force Awakens a full year before release and it broke the Internet? Or when we got the first teaser for Rogue One (also a year out) and THAT broke the Internet? Even The Last Jedi got its first teaser eight months out from release. I don’t know why they haven’t released a trailer yet for this film, but the potential reasons I can think of are not good. It could be that they’re still polishing the footage and trying to assemble a trailer that won’t bring an angry mob down on their heads. It could be that the rumors are true and Disney knows this film is a dud so they’re waiting as long as possible to soften the blow when the trailer does come out. Or (as crazy as it sounds), it could just be that this was Disney’s plan all along and they’re not going to give teasers a year in advance anymore.

As a lifelong Star Wars fan, I want to be wrong about this movie. I don’t want this movie to be a dud, because knowing Disney if they have a flop on their hands they’ll probably overcompensate and do something drastic and it’ll end up ruining everything. I can only hope that we get a teaser of some kind soon so we can begin to get an idea of what this film actually looks like.

May the Force be with this movie. Why do you think we haven’t gotten a trailer yet? Is this the first Star Wars film doomed to failure? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

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For more Star Wars thoughts, see here

3 Video Games that I think would make great movies!

Ok, so we all know that video game-to-film adaptations don’t exactly have the best track record (i.e. Doom, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Warcraft, Mortal Kombat, etc.but I do think it IS possible to adapt a video game to film and have it not…well…completely suck. It’s just a matter of choosing the right game to adapt, and I think I’ve found three that would make AMAZING films.

(Note: these aren’t listed in any particular order)

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  1. Dragon Age: I’m including the entire trilogy in this section (yes even Dragon Age II) because it is an amazing story that would make a fantastic series of films. If you haven’t played any of the games, Dragon Age is set in the mythical continent of Thedas and is divided into several kingdoms and empires. This world, where magic and dragons and elves exist alongside humans (and several other races) is under threat from an evil known as the Blight, an event that occurs when darkspawn (corrupted beings) find, awaken and transform one of the Old Gods into an evil force of darkness. The hero of this story must fight to stop the Blight (or in the case of Dragon Age: Inquisition seal a massive breach between dimensions) and also navigate some complex political situations. It is the perfect setting for a fantasy film, and I hope to see an adaptation attempted one day.

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2. Horizon Zero Dawn: If ever there was a video game that deserved to be adapted to film it is this one. I only started playing a few days ago but it is by far one of the most beautiful games I have ever seen. It’s set 1000 years in the future after some catastrophic event devastated the Earth and sent mankind back to the Stone Age in terms of living conditions. There are, however, mechanical ‘animals’ that roam the world, a last remnant of what existed before. I would pay handsomely to see a film set in this world, it already feels like a movie as well.

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3. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed: I admit I’m stretching things with this last pick but hear me out. Even though the canon timeline has been altered to make the events of the first game impossible, it would still be an adaptation (I believe) to make a film that includes Starkiller in some capacity. Now I grant that any film would have to tone down his powers significantly but, come on, if you’ve played the first game to any extent you can’t tell me that you don’t dream about seeing Starkiller brought to life on the big screen (or animated, I’m not terribly picky). Actually, I wouldn’t mind if they made a few movies based on the “Legends” verse (I hate using that word), in which case they could absolutely make a film based on the plot of the first game (let’s just ignore the sequel).

And those are the three video games that I think would make amazing films. What do you think of my picks? What games do you think would make awesome films? Let me know in the comments below!

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“Jyn Erso and Hope” from Rogue One, my thoughts…

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I can’t believe it’s been nearly two months since I saw Rogue One. Since then, I have been turning over portions of the score in my mind, particularly “Jyn Erso and Hope”, the main theme for our badass heroine.

From the moment I first heard it, something wiggled in the back of my mind and said “I’ve heard something like this before.” But for the longest time I couldn’t think of what that something was.

Then I went back and listened again, and finally it dawned on me: I know EXACTLY where I’ve heard this melody before (granted it wasn’t the exact same, but the core is still intact).

“Jyn Erso and Hope” is, to put it simply, a variation on “Across the Stars”, the love theme for Padme and Anakin from Episode II/III. Here, let the music speak for itself:

Here is “Jyn Erso and Hope”

and here is “Across the Stars”

To my ears, it sounds like Giacchino took components from “Across the Stars” and rearranged a few notes. But if enough of a similarity remains, the mind will remember and try to supply the missing parts (that’s how I knew I’d heard the theme somewhere else).

I don’t think there’s any hidden symbolism behind this, as it makes no sense for there to be any connection between Anakin/Padme and Jyn (though part of me does wonder if Jyn’s mother was a Jedi, she DID have a kyber crystal after all).

I’m not particularly surprised that Giacchino borrowed from another piece of Star Wars music; this is a practice that dates back to the dawn of film music (they don’t really talk about it, but everyone knows about it), but a part of me wishes that he had done a better job of disguising the theme if he wanted to do something like that.

I’m interested to hear what all of you think about this: do you hear the similarity? Or do you hear a connection to another piece? I love discussing film music like this 🙂

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See also:

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, My Thoughts!!

R.I.P. Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

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She’s gone. Our Princess Leia, heroine extraordinaire of the Star Wars Universe, has passed away several days after suffering a heart attack en route from London to LAX. And she was only 60!!

I’d actually thought I was numb to the loss that this year has inflicted. After all, think of everyone who has been taken: David Bowie, Alan Rickman, George Michael, Anton Yelchin, Gene Wilder, Florence Henderson, John Glenn, Zsa Zsa Gabor, the list stretches on and on. There’s been so much death and there’s only so much of it I can process before my mind retreats for the sake of its own sanity. But then THIS happened and it hurts like a knife plunged straight into my heart.

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I actually thought she was getting better, reports had said she was stable (which is good) and I was looking forward to hearing word of her recovery. And then, not even ten minutes ago, I saw the news…that she was gone.

I’m probably going to spend the next few days raging at the injustice of it all, not to mention binging on the classic Star Wars films.

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The other role I loved her in: Jake’s jilted bride in The Blues Brothers

As raw as this wound is, i can’t help but wonder what’s going to happen with Episode IX (filming having wrapped for Episode VIII). Before Rogue One, I presume they would’ve tastefully either explained her absence or killed the character offscreen (or something of the sort), but after Rogue One….I hope and pray that they don’t do what they did with Tarkin. I don’t care if the actress gave permission for her image to be used for such a thing, if they attempt to “resurrect” her for Episode IX, I won’t forgive them, ever.

I’m hurt, I’m angry, and most of all I’m upset that yet another amazing, talented person was taken away from us by a cruel year. Rest in peace Carrie Fisher, to me you’ll always be Princess Leia.