I mean, I can see the ideas behind it are not 100% terrible, and whatever she doesn't have to be a white supermodel to be an effective character. I think I liked the sister angle, but they made it such a minimal thing that I thought she was her lesbian wife actually. Guess that shows you how much CA has influenced my thinking
The whole love speech was just bad, regardless of who was giving it. The whole freeing the animals and kids while your friends are literally sprinting away from death was a dumb side quest that really seemed to be put there just to make a statement. I CAN see how you could have done those things to highlight the Resistances morals and standings.. but the way it was presented in the movie just fell flat for me.
Yeah, feel free to make a statement, but not when you're on some kind of serious life or death time constraint.
I see it often in all kinds of movies though, and it's incredibly annoying. The characters are racing against the clock for whatever reason but take the time to monologue about something MUCH less important. They're trying to build tension, but it just makes the characters look like idiots. Similarly, when they make characters not see something that is directly in their line of sight or in their peripheral vision, but because it's out of sight of the viewer we're supposed to believe that the characters can't see whatever it is that they can see when they finally reveal it to the viewer.
I'm not sure I'll ever watch it again. Much like Man of Steel, it'll likely just make me even more annoyed with additional viewings. I thought, "Mmm, the more I watch, the more I'm likely to enjoy it in spite of it ticking me off the first time." I was wrong.
Yeah, it stands to reason that may be a reality. I am sure this will get SOME viewings though as (unfortunately) its a part of the Star Wars saga.
I do wonder if they'll be able to retroactively make TLJ better by what we get in EP IX? Something so cool that we'll look back on TLJ better than we would have otherwise? I think it is dubious, but not impossible.
Yeah, I think even my kids have recognized this one as significantly inferior. They'd normally be asking if we are going to get it by now... So far, crickets, even though they are very much into Lego Star Wars and such as big as ever.
I can't tell if March is early or late or on-time for a Holiday release hitting home video. I remember it used to take like 6 months or a year or something before you got it.. but that has always gotten shorter and shorter.
I know for sure this didn't have the legs or hype that Force Awakens did, but I imagine it had a bit more than Rogue One since it's a mainline movie.
Will really be interesting to see its long term effects on the franchise (if any, Star Wars is almost too big to fail).
Wow.. it's down to 351 theaters.. so yeah, it's done.
$618,229,777 domestic compared to $936,662,225 for the Force Awakens and $532,177,324 for Rogue One.
Interestingly.. the difference between R1 and RLJ is $85 million. The opening weekend difference was $65 million (in TLJ favor). I know I didn't see Rogue One opening weekend, but I sure got my butt in theaters for TLJ (to avoid spoilers mostly).
That tells me TLJ and R1 were a lot closer than people expected, and TFA was a serious juggernaut. It will be interesting to see how the Solo movie does in comparison. Unless it's somehow the best movie put to film.. I see it ending somewhere in the 300 million range.
Yep, R1 was a less YUGE movie done pretty well. TLJ was a YUGE movie done much less well. It's a shame though, because now Solo has to come in on a momentum low with already less than stellar press thus far. And it's Han freaking Solo so it should be YUGE and awesome, but that's pretty unlikely now.
Like a battered woman going back to her husband.. I bought TLJ on 4K UHD AND bough the novelization.
That being said.. the book is actually (so far) about 50% better than the movie. I'm only to the part where they land on Canto Bite, but I've been reading and then watching the movie parts to see the changes.. and.. damn. If they filmed the actual book it might have been a half decent movie.
No real changes, just extra exposition to make things make sense. Once I finish the book I will do a full deep-dive.. but here is a few tidbits I noticed already..
1. It starts with a Luke pseudo flashback.. he's on Tatooine, old and gray.. he turned the droids over to the Empire instead of giving them to Obi Wan.. he never went on an adventure, never overthrew the Empire.. and was wondering what life would be like if he went another path. Had a safe, comfortable life, but not fulfilling. Obviously it's a dream/whatever but it is an interesting take on his state of mind.
2. There is more info about the Rebel base. Where did the ships in orbit come from? (They called for backup after the Starkiller raid and those are all that responded). Why were they so low on fuel? (Prioritizing other things escaping from the base first). More backstory on some of the pilots/etc you see at the base and in orbit, letting you care a little bit about them before they get 'sploded.
3. Why was Poe out there by himself? (He volunteered to be a diversion so they could try and get everyone evacuated in time). Why couldn't they shoot him down/why was his X-Wing so fast/powerful? (They had recently installed a prototype engine thingy on it which gave it super fast speeds.. the fastest sub-light speeds every recorded by a Starfighter in fact. He was going so fast, none of the turrets could target him) Why were there no TIE fighters? (Hux ordered them not to deploy because he's an egotistical ass).
4. The First Order doesn't think fondly of the Empire, they think of them as failures. There are some old Imperials in the ranks, but people tend to look down on them as opposed to the new First Order people who are a lot more fanatical than the Empire ever was. The First Order got a bunch of its new fancy tech from some Purple aliens who live on the outskirts of the galaxy and provided them with the tech and means to advance so fast. It also helped them track ships in hyperspace.. how do they do it? It's not some magic nonsense.. they have all the hyperspace records from the old Republic, new Republic, and Empire, plus a ton of other data saved up. When a ship goes to hyperspace, they calculate all the possible exit vectors and then eliminate them as needed to determine the exact path. It uses some ridiculous amount of CPU processing, so they developed some sort of hyperspace bubble where the computers exist outside of normal time/space and can run insanely fast. It's more Star Wars craziness but at least there is a reason, and a reason why this is new and wasn't used before.
5. The jokes are still bad. Rian Johnson clearly did those with a purpose for some reason. Rose is still stupid, but there is a more of weird kind of jealousy to her in the book so far.. the entire reason for going to Canto Bite is still pretty ridiculous. It's like it was leading up to a situation where the characters would find a way to sneak on-board the pursuing Star Destroyer to deactivate the tracking.. but they needed more material, so instead of them just finding a way on-board, they got this whole convoluted side-trip for the hacker and all that.
6. The Rey stuff is mostly the same so far I think. There is a tad more exposition so it feels like it flows a little better.
7. Space Leia.. there is another scene where it talks about how Luke showed her how to use the force somewhat after ROTJ, so you get the knowledge that she has some experience with it before she's suddenly flying. How she's used it to reach out and feel Luke.. Kylo.. etc. Also, there is an airlock with 2 sides! So she flew into it and one side closed before the other one opened (why they didn't all get sucked into space). Admiral Ackbar also got a few additional book scenes before he got killed, so that was nice, still not enough really. Holdo is almost even more of a bitch so far in this.
8. Snokes ship is the First Order's capital.. they don't have a capital planet.. the ship IS the capital. It is seriously huge.. with factories/etc on board. It's self sustaining. They can build new Star Destroyers on board! It was designed so they wouldn't have a single seat of power to be destroyed from, or tracked to. They managed to destroy a large portion of the New Republic fleet, but what really caused problems was most of the other systems took their ships back to protect themselves from the first order, splintering the forces.. which let the First Order take advantage.
Probably more.. I am going to go over my complaint list once I finish and see which ones were resolved with the book.. but so far the book is seriously way more enjoyable than the movie.
The movie just plops you in the middle of things and wham bam thank you ma'am you're off to the races.. and I just feel like they could have done with a little bit more exposition and a little less of the stupid side trips.
I suppose he dropped it. Am I the only one that watched that gif multiple times, and noted that the missing blade should have opened her up like a Ziploc bag, and then ended up stuck in her back? Plot armor is best armor!
I suppose he dropped it. Am I the only one that watched that gif multiple times, and noted that the missing blade should have opened her up like a Ziploc bag, and then ended up stuck in her back? Plot armor is best armor!
I don't know if its so much Disney as they apparently gave Rian like total control of the movie with very little oversight.. which seems.. stupid.. so I guess that's still Disney's fault.
Star Wars went from being a quaint little popcorn flick to practically a (hokey) religion to some people. How/why would they think its a good idea to just gloss over so many things is crazy to me. People live and die for the little details.. and they just went balls out to flat out ignore them. You can suspend your belief for so long.. but one of the problems with SW is it's been around for so long and had so many different stories told.. we 'KNOW' things about that universe just like they're our own, so when you just give some of that a middle finger without explaining why.. it's not a good look.
Need to finish the book, but really it's a much better experience. I'll use the movie as a sort of cliff notes for the book I guess. Especially if Episode IX ends up being good.
But man, Rogue One was so good. That movie gets better for me over time.
I mean, sure, maybe it contributed in some ways. But those same people are in charge of the book story/etc.. story as a whole.. and it's not all bad. Why was TLJ SO MUCH worse than all over Disney Star Wars release? If it was really evil women trying to take it away from White Men.. we'd see the quality go down across the board.. and really, the new books are entertaining, Rebels was fantastic, Rogue One was awesome, and TFA was fun. I guess if Solo has the same issues maybe it'll be a trend.. but I don't think it's so simple?
FINALLY finished TLJ book over my trip to Montana.. that took a while.
I would say the book was at least 75% better than the movie. Everything that was in the movie was in the book, but most sections had additional prose expanding on things, or went deeper into what the characters were thinking/their motivations/etc.
Things that still sucked:
Casino planet. It was a LITTLE better since you get some pages from BB-8's perspective, and they're actually pretty funny. If they had to include it, they should have went straight from the prison to the stolen ship. The whole race/falthiers thing was just stupid and was 100% to shoehorn in the "oppressed/wealthy" angle.
Rose Tico. Just.. horrible. I suppose one upside is it wasn't the actresses fault. The dialog/script/plot for her is just terrible. It started a little better than the movie with some more dialog with her sister (and actually letting you know it was her sister on the bomber), but then it pretty much just followed the movie. The book also went deeper into her thoughts about Finn, which are weird. She starts off not liking him and constantly asking him why he likes Rey so much.. and then at some point, a switch flips and then she loves him and the kiss and all that nonsense. There was MORE to it in the book, but it was still handled poorly. Her character could be excised from the whole thing and it would only improve matters. Nothing to do with her gender or race or any of that, just poor writing/story telling.
Things that were improved:
The Force. They had a lot more exposition on the Force (The Living Force and the Cosmic Force) and more backstory on Snoke and how he used the Force.. and why Kylo and Rey are important (Darkness and Light) and all that nonsense. It's hard to explain, but it was interesting in the book and made sense in the Star Wars scheme of things.
The First Order/Snoke. Still don't know who Snoke was, but he was somehow linked to the Emperors failsafe plan for the Empire in the case of his death (Operation Cinder) . The First Order was actually based on a plan! The Emperor quietly stashed stuff and facilities away in the "Unknown Regions" of space, and that + time + Alien technology gives us the First Order.
Luke/Rey training. There was a decent amount of new exposition. Luke doesn't seem like the complete ass-hat he is in the movies. He has a better rationale for what he's doing, or at least its conveyed better. Rey was fine, but I didn't really have an issue with her before really. His "death" is also kind of interesting. There is also a like.. post credits chapter where the island workers clean up after his mess and mention that Luke told them Rey was his niece.. hmm.
All in all, since TLJ is forced to remain canon.. the book will be my go-to if I ever need to revisit it. The movie has some cool set pieces but it won't be regularly viewed. The book was based off the script, and not the other way around, so the writer could only do so much to 'fix' the mess. I would recommend it to anyone who likes Star Wars though, and wants the movie slightly improved + tied to the rest of the franchise better.
- Where the hell were my space battles? We get a little fight in the beginning and then it's just a slow speed pursuit the rest of the movie. The Star Destroyers were the most useless thing around. What was the damn point? Does the First Order only have 4 ships? The Resistance only has a couple?
So in the book there were apparently *30* Star Destroyers following them + the capital ship. I don't recall nearly that many in the movie. No additional space battles in the book, but the opening space battle was much better written than it was on screen. They had more build up that made the battle more of an impact.
- How the hell did the First Order take over the galaxy after the last movie.. it literally begins moments after the Force Awakens ends (or at least appears so). The First Order had their damn planet blown up.. and suddenly they're the only military in the galaxy? This is more a dig on the new world-building in Star Wars.. but what the hell was the New Republic doing all those years?
So this was more or less explained. I guess there is another book.. Aftermath maybe? I bought it but haven't read it, but it covers the time period between the OT and the ST (Sequel Trilogy). But in TLJ book it goes into some details. Snokes ship is their capital. It can mine resources, can build Star Destroyers (and everything else) and has super advanced alien technology from the "unknown regions", which is outside of the New Republic.
After the Empire, a lot of planets wanted to do away with war, so they shrank the fleets, and the only real "new republic" fleet was near the planets that got destroyed. The other systems have their own smaller local defense fleets, but they're currently more concerned with protecting their own vs working together to face the First Order. This allows the First Order to steamroll over places rather easily since the galaxy isn't yet united against them.
This all more or less makes "Star Wars sense" but for them to completely ignore all the details in the movies is.. weird.
- The First Order is just comically bad. Like.. everyone involved is just evil for evil's sake. There isn't any reason, they're not trying to Make the Galaxy Great Again or anything, they're just bad because the story needs them to be bad. With the Empire.. sure, Vader, the Emperor, some other people were evil, but you could tell most of the rank and file were just there to do a job. Here it feels like everyone is on board with TEAM GO EVIL. It feels cheap.
The book has a decent amount of interactions with subordinates to Hux and other Admirals/etc. They seem a lot more like the Imperials and less comically bad. There are a few old guys who used to be Imperials and the First Order people make a point of pointing out how they now view the Empire as a big failure and feel like they're the ones who are going to do things right finally. It's slightly better, but still most of the focus is on Hux/Phasma.. who are just.. one dimensional.
- To go along with being ridiculously evil, they're also completely inept. Like.. so stupid. You could swap them out with the crew from Spaceballs and I don't think anyone would notice. Again, to compared to the Empire.. the Empire made their mistakes, but for the most part they came off as competent military adversaries. This made it so the heroes had to actually be good at what they were doing in order to beat them, which means you feel like they earned their victories (Ewoks not withstanding).
Again, a little bit explained. The old-time Imperials want to do things right, but Hux comes in and tells them not to launch fighters, not to do this not to do that, he wants to make a show of things, etc etc. So it makes their idiocy more contained, which is still a problem (see above) but it at least kind of mitigates this issue.
A decent chunk of exposition is spent on him, what he did to form the First Order, some vague hints where he came from. His death was the same, but still really good. I can't help but feel he'll get his own book or show or something at some point to explain things. It doesn't excuse the storytelling here though, but the book was much more informative than the movie.
- Speaking of, still no explanation on the formation of the First Order or anything resembling that. I guess it's explained in the new books or something? But needing to read a book to understand a movie is bad movie making.
- Finn did nothing worthwhile the entire movie. All of his scenes could have been cut and it would have been perfectly fine. Lets go over them.. He wakes up and walks around the ship. He runs into annoying engineer.. security girl. He comes up with some wacky plan. He goes to a useless planet. He get another useless character to help with their wacky plan. Said plan doesn't work anyway. He gets a chance to sacrifice himself for the Resistance and gets stopped at the last second. Has a VERY stupid and VERY forced "romantic" scene with the stupid engineer girl. She LOVES him? She's spent like 12 hours with him. I guess he got to take down Phasma (also wasted in this movie again).
Sadly, not too much is changed. He's still mostly wasted. His arc here was, I guess, about going from a loner to an active participate in the Resistance. Somehow the casino planet was supposed to be the catalyst to make him think of the bigger picture? Or something? They tied this into the stupid Rose love plot, where the more he becomes a resistance fighter, the more she likes him. I dunno. I like Finn more than Rose, but both of them were inconsequential to this story.
- Engineer/Security girl. Also pretty useless. I thought the Bomber girl was her wife or something, they clarified it was her sister. They used this character to really ham up the "Rich vs Poor" angle, which was lame and felt forced.
- The whole casino planet felt forced. From landing.. on the BEACH? You're part of the Resistance.. shouldn't you be more stealthy? Walking around in a Resistance uniform? Like.. no subtly at all. The cutsey animals and kids was too much. The rich assholes gambling was too much. It all.. ugh. Just too much. Took away from the important stuff that was going on elsewhere. Could have been entirely cut and would not have impacted a thing.
Same. I said above they could have accomplished all of this (and still included it) by going directly from the jail breakout with DJ to the stolen ship. Or just skip it all together. It was a little better in the book, but not by much.
- Leia surviving in space, and superman'ing her way back into the ship with the Force. COME ON MAN. Faking out her death with Carrie Fisher dying was pretty lame. Everyone kept waiting for her to bite it.. and she never does. But having her suddenly fly around with the Force? Ugh. It was super cringe-worthy.
A little bit better. They go into detail a bit before this happens with her reaching out through the Force for Luke, and explaining how she honed her Force-sense over the years, so it's not completely out of left field. Also she went into an airlock before the door opened, which is why they didn't all get sucked into space.. they just didn't decide to film it that way..
- Holdo not telling Poe about her plan.. like.. seriously? He's the best pilot left and ostensibly 2nd in command.. if she would have shared the plan, then the whole casino world would never have happened! None of that! People would probably still be alive! I read online that it was put in as a show against "Toxic masculinity" and to show how men are bad. Figures.
A little better. She still should have told him, as there was a perfect opportunity when he saw the shuttles being fueled. He pulls the mutiny at the same time though, so theoretically she could have told him.. but.. I dunno. It's flimsy and still stupid, but a tiny bit better in writing than in film.
- The stupid salt skimmers or whatever were so stupid AND useless. Didn't accomplish a damn thing. Didn't even slow them down. Like.. what was the point? Why couldn't they have used old Rebel Snowspeeders or something instead and been semi-effective?
The whole Craite base is explained more in depth, and tied to previous events in the Star Wars universe and feels much more like a Star Wars-story in the book. Leia visited the planet before A New Hope when the Rebels were just getting started, so she knew about the planet, and it was kept out of records on purpose as a fall back location. The equipment is old but they're giving it a try with whatever they can find. There is also some old artillery units they use in the fight that I don't really remember in the movie.
- Lack of R2-D2. Like.. why? Both movies now. I get they want BB-8 to be the 'new hotness' but there was room in the movie to have them both involved. C-3PO is just in the way now. I don't get it. It's a droid.. you can use droids forever, they don't age.
There is more exposition before he gets killed, so at least you know he's there, and some things he's gone through since the end of ROTJ. Their ship is also named the Raddus after the Mon-Cal commander in Rogue One. That's cool. Ackbar and Him didn't get along famously apparently.
- Really the whole main plot. Stuck in a slow speed chase for 18 hours. No one is being very inventive. It's just a stupid stand-off. Felt like they could have gone 100 different ways and made it better or more interesting. Put a traitor or saboteur on the resistance ship or something.
- Humor. There was a LOT. Most of it got laughs from the audience but it still felt out of place for Star Wars. Like prequel-level humor. Milking the fat alien. The slapstick stuff with the caretakers. The Poe/Hux joking around. It IS funny, but I wonder how it'll age.
- This is the first time in 37 years that I felt Star Wars isn't really made for ME. I am no longer the target audience. Even with the prequels I felt that there was enough there to connect me and keep me hooked. After TLJ I am feeling mostly ambivalent with everything Star Wars. I don't hate it, I just don't love it anymore.
The booked definitely helped with this, it has 100 more ties to the OT (and PT) than the movie shows, so it helps to anchor TLJ in place in-universe. I still feel like the movie was directed for a difference audience.
- Why wouldn't Luke tell everyone he's a Force projection decoy, so they could START their escape right away? I know its because they're fooling the audience but it doesn't make any sense story wise. He cost them precious time. Hell, come to think of it, he didn't even know about the exit, so what was his plan anyway?
Still not really explained, which is dumb. What was Luke's plan? He couldn't hurt or destroy anything being a projection.. what if the Resistance people just sat and watched the fight expecting him to defeat them all? If all he was doing was buying time, he should tell them that.. I know they wanted to make it a surprise that he wasn't really there.. but that's a big hole.
- Him dying or becoming one with the Force or whatever.. ehh. It was OK, but I felt like that should have been saved for the end of the next movie to close out the Skywalker saga. Now we just need to see Kylo bite it.. and we're done. Leia will have to be killed off-screen, which sucks.
- The overriding theme was "fuck the old stuff you used to like" which, on one hand I give them credit for being so bold about it, but on the other hand really alienates me as a fan (see above). My biggest issue with it, is that the stuff they provide to replace the old stuff isn't of equal caliber, so we're left with an inferior product.
- I would have MUCH preferred the Luke scenes at the end to be as follows: Luke arrives, goes out to confront the First Order. They go to fire on him like they do, but after he 'survives', he shows the power of the Jedi and just straight destroys the walkers with the Force. Closes his eyes and you just see the rivets/etc popping out of the walkers as he pulls them apart. The troopers come out, and Kylo goes to confront him alone, the rest can play out the same. I just think it would have been so cool to see a final ultimate use of the Force by Skywalker.
This was also explained in the book as super complicated technology that the First Order developed based on an Imperial project.. but with alien help/etc. It's all very technical and detailed, but it makes "Star Wars sense". BUT it's kind of a big thing to hide behind details you can't really show on screen.. not sure why they didn't think of a better way to do this.
So yeah.. the book was better than the movie. I can recommend the book where I wouldn't really recommend the movie. I guess that's an improvement.