Feb 16, 2018

Weekend Reads - The Last Jedi Edition 1802

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Several years ago when I heard Disney had acquired the Star Wars franchise and were planing on releasing a movie every year for the next 80 years (or so) I was excited.

During the 70's, my formative years, there was plenty of science fiction franchises on TV which kept me going, like Blakes 7, Doctor Who, Logans Run and Battlestar Galactica but Star Wars: A New Hope was my absolute favourite movie, I couldn't get enough of it and all the merchandise. I still have my collection of figurines, minus the guns and plastic capes.

It wasn't until I watched the remakequel, The Force Awakens that I realised nostalgia wasn't going to get me through the next 80 years of Disney's Star Wars. I felt a little deflated but still enjoyed the movie, even though the death of Han Solo still brings a tear to my eye.

Rogue One turned up and I was expecting to be disappointed, but enjoyed the film, even though a lot of others didn't. Then came The Last Jedi...

Please be aware - spoilers ahead - including the following articles

Once again I loved it because it was Star Wars, but at the same time I didn't enjoy it, the thrill had gone, the intervening two years between The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi had been filled with so many theories  about Rey's parents, Snokes background and Phasma's reappearance among other things and so many exciting possibilities... only to have the rug pulled right out from under the fans, or so it seemed.  Somewhere online one fan said watching The Last Jedi felt as if the director, Rian Johnson had taken all his (the fans) old Star Wars toys and burnt them.

I know that I didn’t immediately like The Last Jedi, but I feel as though I now need to watch it again, now that I know the outcome. I still want to be invested in the franchise but it's hard for me. Over the last few months I've been trying to keep up with the online discussions and understand why the Rian Johnson did what he did to Star Wars.

The following list of articles are the ones which I've found helped me reconsider the franchise and The Last Jedi.

 However I don't think I'll be going to the movies this year to watch the Han Solo movie, I'll just wait for it to come out on Bluray/DVD or one of the countless streaming services.

Time now to get your favourite beverage ready, find a comfy chair and enjoy reading more and thinking more this weekend.

Time for to talk about Luke Skywalker—Jedi Master, colorful milk enthusiast, champion spear fisherman, galactic treasure—and the multitude of ways that he continues to be generally fabulous while no one notices. Luke Skywalker is not a bland Wonder Bread hero, despite his humble farmboy beginnings and seeming obsession with power converters. He spends the entirety of Return of the Jedi kicking ass in a very personal, understated way.

Glasgow University is putting final touches to an online course in all things Star Wars. Lecturer and child-of-the-80s Star Wars fan Dr. John Donaldson is responsible for turning the films into philosophy studies by exploring its philosophical themes: "The themes are fairly consistent and I expect they can be applied to Episode VIII."

The conclusion of The Empire Strikes Back comprised one of the great twist reveals in cinema history is in no small part to thank for our collective absolution of the film for undermining the very message from which its predecessor was ostensibly born.

Many of science fiction's best stories—from Battlestar Galactica to Mad Max: Fury Road—are structured around a chase. There's nothing that lends a story a sense of urgency like the knowledge that, if you don't move and move fast, you will die.

My three year old adores all the characters in the Star Wars universe, free of the cynicism and bitterness that seems to consume so many people, who look for every negative within a popular film, as if it were made as a personal affront to their own existence

There's long been the adage that if you have to have to explain everything about a movie after the fact, the movie didn't do a good job of explaining itself in the first place. There's certainly an argument to be made that The Last Jedi has this problem. However, the reaction to the movie, with fans ranging from effervescent love to roiling hatred, is proof enough that such an adage is extremely subjective.

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