Saturday, September 1, 2018

The pendulum swings back on The Last Jedi

You'd think that everything that could be said in video form about Star Wars: The Last Jedi would
have hit the internet by about March, if only to capitalize on it still being at the forefront of our conversations. Late August, after the release of the next Star Wars movie, seems like an odd time to still be contributing to that conversation.

But apparently, that's how long it takes to craft an epic takedown like the one crafted by the guys at Red Letter Media, through the voice of their cranky old man character, Mr. Plinkett.

August 28th was when this video dropped. I urge you to watch it as soon as possible, even though it's 58 minutes long.

Not only is it hilarious, but man is it filled with salient points.

I won't enumerate them here because you really should watch the video. But I'll give you a taste. There's a whole brilliant section on the pointlessness and bullheadedness of Admiral Holdo withholding her master plan from Poe. Plinkett contrasts this with footage of the crew of Star Trek: The Next Generation discussing in an open forum, in which Captain Picard is just one of ten participants, all the options for a particular course of action. Picard nods and continually solicits more input from other people. There might be a full two minutes of this footage (which is one of the reasons the video is 58 minutes long). But it makes its point admirably. It's logical to seek input from other qualified military experts when coming to a decision. It's not logical to say "Do as your told." In fact, it's First Order-like.

I agree with almost everything Mr. Plinkett says, and I only say "almost" because "everything" feels too absolutist. I don't remember disagreeing with anything, I'll say that.

Which is a surprise to me, as my appreciation of The Last Jedi had been on the upswing.

You may remember in this post I told you, very briefly, about watching the film for the second time on the plane, of all places, and developing a new appreciation of it. (It was one sentence, so don't bother to go to the link. I'm not even sure why I linked it.) I believe I went into that viewing with the burden of "it must be me," like I was too conventional in my needs from a Star Wars movie and I failed to appreciate all the subversive things Rian Johnson was doing. Whatever my mindset was, I did indeed boost my assessment of its qualities a notch or two.

But Mr. Plinkett reminded me of all the problems I had the first time, which I may not have even been able to articulate without him articulating them for me. Twice in this video he says "You may not have noticed it, but your brain did." Exactly. There are so many things wrong with that movie structurally, tonally and logically that you can't put you're finger on all of them unless someone breaks it down over the course of an irreverent hour of commentary/comedy. Just because it's funny doesn't mean it's not so, so true.

So go watch it. And let's appreciate that Mr. Plinkett waited until he had full, easy video access, had collected all his thoughts and other video clips, and was ready to drop the mic on us as he's done here.

I'm not going into the "I hate The Last Jedi" camp. I'm not one of those cretins who trolled Kellie Marie Tran into disappearing from social media. But I do think this movie has a ton of problems that are clear as day when someone like Mr. Plinkett shows them to us.

And I'm not sure if this Last Jedi pendulum is going to swing back in the other direction anytime soon. 


Chris said...

I listened to Mr. Plinkett's video on The Last Jedi today (and previously the prequels) and was wondering why Disney don't bring him on as a consultant for E9 as he seems to have a good sense of the story problems associated with making new Star Wars. Think the most telling thing he noticed was Kylo Ren not having "a Jedi sense" about the hologram trick.

Derek Armstrong said...

Would be smart for them to do that, but they likely can't take seriously someone who comes in the guise of an internet troll. Agreed on the hologram trick, and I have something to add to that: If you're Luke and you're going to expend your remaining life force on a truck like that, maybe it'd be good to tell you're allies you're doing that, so they don't just stand and watch the entire show. Why leave it up to a non Force sensitive like Poe to tell everybody they need to use this opportunity to escape? My biggest takeaway from the video was the off tones,like a presumably mournful Rey taking pleasure in firing the Falcon's cannons. Thanks for the comment!