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786

Much like Ricardo, I, too, will miss all the weirdos we met along the way.

So this may be the last time I talk about Star Wars under an NN4B page! Might as well make it count. 2019’s Star Wars Celebration brought us three big SW trailers, the first being the teaser for Ep 9. Rise of Skywalker.

It’s basically firing on all nostalgia cylinders. I love this trailer, as I have loved every Star Wars trailer since The Phantom Menace! I still occasionally pull up youtube and rewatch all the Star Wars trailers from time to time and remember how excited I was for each subsequent film. I’m just gonna lay out some of my thoughts on the contents of this one:

The Rey vs TIE sequence takes up the majority of the trailer, and it’s pretty neat. But considering the TIE fighter (presumably piloted by Kylo) isn’t shooting at her, and she doesn’t appear to be swinging at it when she jumps, I suspect this running sequence is her calling a TIE Uber, and not her trying to sword it to death. Another uneasy alliance between Rey and Kylo?

I am kind of disappointed that Rey somehow completely and improbably fixed Luke’s old saber. Like, it EXPLODED in the last film, and it fell into a super gas giant in Empire Strikes Back. This thing’s as immortal as the Millennium Falcon. I’m amused with how much gravitas it’s been given since Anakin only ever seemed to treat sabers as disposable tools. Well, I suppose it meant more to Luke anyway. I would’ve loved to see a new color when she ignited the blade. Maybe orange, yellow, or just pure white, to indicate she’d rebuilt it and made it her own. Kinda lame we’re still stuck with classic sky blue.

A-wings are back! And Y-wings, based on the leaked poster art from a couple weeks ago. No B-wings though? I want the complete alphabet!

Kylo rebuilds his Vader-wannabe helmet! I was a big fan of the helmet, although I love in TLJ when Snoke tells him to take the thing off because it’s silly, basically confirming that Kylo only wears it because he thinks it looks cool. Clearly, with its reconstruction, Kylo’s embraced his true fanboyism, thus completing his fall to the Dark Side. Although the helmet’s return does make one wonder if JJ is trying to rewind the clock on Rian Johnson’s story decisions in TLJ. Hopefully they won’t retcon Rey’s parents being scumbags who sold her for drinking money and then died in a pauper’s grave. It’s legit my favorite thing about TLJ (that and Luke calling out the prequels as super awful).

Lando’s been reunited with his long lost love. L3-37 (or at least her navigation unit)! Unlike Harrison Ford, Billy Dee’s been pretty happy to jump back into his Lando roll on and off over the years. He had a cameo on Star Wars Rebels (although, ugh, it was a really bad episode where everyone acts out of character for no reason). Anyway, I’m glad to see him back in actionOH WAIT ARE THEY GONNA KILL LANDO IN THIS ONE???

We see presumably Leia holding the A New Hope medal that Luke and Han (BUT NOT CHEWIE) were awarded on Yavin 4. Keep punching those nostalgia buttons, JJ!

So we’ve got the main cast overlooking part of the Death Star on some planet. One has to presume it’s the second Death Star’s remains, mostly because it’s accompanied by the Emperor’s laughter, and we never saw Palpatine on DS1 (in the films and the new canon, at least). So maybe we’ll visit Endor again! It would be the first time in these new films that we return to a location from the previous two trilogies (oh, well, I guess we went to Yavin 4 in Rogue One). Or maybe JJ will handwave  cosmic distances (as he’s want to do) and say that the 2nd Death Star’s remains fell onto a different planet near Endor. I mean, technically the Ewoks live on the Forest Moon of Endor, meaning there is a larger planet called Endor that the forest moon orbits around, although I can find literally no information on said Planet Endor. But apparently there are two Endorian suns in the Endor system, named Endor 1 and Endor 2. Okay, this is pretty confusing…

Palpatine lives? He certainly laughs. And Ian McDiarmid did appear at the trailer reveal at Star Wars Celebration. One has to assume the Emperor was pretty definitively dead at the end of RotJ (I mean, he exploded), and it’s also been 30+ years canonically since then, and he was already a pretty old  looking dude. So My assumption is that we’re gonna have a whole buncha Force Ghosts in Episode 9, or a pretty wild flashback sequence. Thanks to TLJ, both flashbacks AND Force Ghosts are now fair game in Disney films.

The music in the trailer is the biggest, grandest possible version of Princess Leia’s theme to date, gives me chills.

I think the meaning behind the film’s title, Rise of Skywalker, is going to be about turning the name Skywalker into a job description of sorts, similar to Jedi. Luke’s take on the Force is ultimately one that rejects the dumb teachings of the Jedi in the prequels (and even to a degree in the original trilogy, as he rejects killing his father despite Yoda and Obiwan wanting him to kill Vader). So maybe to be a Skywalker is to be a new type of Jedi or Force User, or even just regular person, who works to bring peace and justice to the galaxy, which is honestly what Jedi should’ve been from the beginning, but subsequent sequels kinda ruined that. So maybe Rise of Skywalker is the rise of a new order of Jedi known as Skywalkers (although I wouldn’t presume Disney would reduce the use of the term Jedi, as it’s super iconic and pop culture relevant, and a big part of that $4.05 billion they paid Lucas to own).

On to the next trailer! The leaked teaser trailer for The Mandalorian (an official version hasn’t gone up yet).

I don’t have much to say about this show other than I like the people involved in it, and I like that it will be structured as episodic storytelling with different writers and directors each episode. It’s clearly got a massive budget, and I think it’ll finally give us the Star Wars stories disconnected from the mainline films that we’ve all been wanting, especially considering the sidestory movies can’t seem to stop just being more prequels to the numbered films. Anyway, I’m excited for this! Granted I’m pretty much always excited for anything Star Wars until it actually comes out!

And finally, we have the trailer for Jedi: Fallen Order. The third high profile Star Wars game to be produced by EA, who’s owned exclusive rights to making all Star Wars games since 2015. Now, for a little background info on why this game is a “BIG DEAL”.

For those not in the know, ever since EA was awarded the Star Wars games exclusivity deal with Disney, they’ve only produced two games; Star Wars Battlefront, and its sequel, Battlefront 2. There are a lot of reasons only two games have been produced, a big one being because EA forces its developer studios to work with the unwieldy, EA owned Frostbite game engine, which has resulted in at least two cancelled Star Wars games, and the demise of Visceral Games. Luckily, Respawn Entertainment, the EA owned developer of Jedi: Fallen Order, is run by Vince Zampella, a game producing guru who has no intention of taking any of EA’s crap. He required that Fallen Order be produced using the much more beloved and user friendly Unreal Engine 4 instead of the maligned Frostbite engine. And the results are pretty clear from the trailer, which is supposedly using the in-game graphics engine. It looks incredible. The actual story being sold by the trailer, though, I am less enthralled by.

Remember in X-Men Apocalypse where Magneto is in hiding, working as a regular guy at some sort of construction site in Poland, and he uses his metal bending to save a construction worker from a fatal accident? And because he saved the guy, he’s outed as a mutant and the police hunt him?

That’s this trailer, except replace Michael Fassbender with a whiny 20 year old. Not to disparage too much, just that my immediate reaction to the main character is that he’s not terribly charismatic. I have the same problem with Starkiller (not the Base) in the Force Unleashed games. Hopefully this new character doesn’t spend the whole game feeling sorry for himself “Woe is me for being a Jedi in these dark times!”

Also, much like Starkiller from Unleashed, one has to assume this character is pretty much fated to die or go into a looong seclusion to avoid conflicting with Luke’s journey.

Also, when this new character gets a blade at the end of the trailer, it’s ANOTHER blue lightsaber? Sigh! before the prequels, the old Expanded Universe had basically made lightsaber crystals all the colors of the rainbow. Then, I dunno why, Lucas insisted that all lightsabers were only the three colors that were featured in the OT (thanks gods he made an exception for Sam Jackson’s purple blade request). I’d love to see more saber colors introduced into the new canon. Seems like a great merchandise marketing opportunity, if for no other reason!

Having said all that, I’m really excited for Jedi: Fallen Order because it will be exclusively a Single Player campaign game, and will have NO microtransactions, which is quite novel nowadays, especially coming from EA, who is often pushing multiplayer, loot grinding games. Pretty certain the lack of microtransactions was another Zampella requirement to make the game.

PHEW, thems all my thoughts on Star Wars! (well, okay, that’s barely the tip of the iceburg, but this is already a crazy long blog post.) Did anyone actually read the whole thing? Feel free to share your own thoughts so we can get into long, rambling conversation threads in the comments.

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  • z0mb1e

    I just realized the last comic is going to be Cho, the priest, and the monk having a drink in the bar…

    • charles81

      came in to say the exact same thing. Last panel will be them walking in side by side.

      THE END… of the world of No Need for Bushido

      • clogboy

        We already know that isn’t going to end the world… We’ve seen Lex and Matrix who’re clearly from the future. And as all time travel shows have shown us then the only thing mitigating time paradoxes is destiny. Since we see that the future has already happened, in any situation it always will, and everything will go exactly as it always was supposed to.

        • Nnelg

          Are you sure it’s time travel, and not that the world is a simulation running in the far future, and every character is an AI? Then the simulation could end/crash.

      • z0mb1e
    • Nos Rin aka CTCO

      I KNOW RIGHT?! I was just going to comment that’s how the end of the comic will be!

  • Sunwu

    Threapist: the nn4b is not real, it’s ending wont make you sad

    Me: YOU DONT KNOW ANYTHING!!! T-T

    • Archangel

      What is “real”? How do you define “real”? If you’re talking about what you can hear, smell, taste, and see then “real” is simply electrical impulses interpreted by your brain.

      • clogboy

        I like this Carthesian bender you’re all on. :)
        If two people (or more) perceive the same experience and there’s nothing supporting otherwise, then that’s as close to an understanding of reality as we can get. aka ‘science’ (or empirical, if you want to be a stickler.)

        My personal observation of reality is that it doesn’t rely on you to believe in it. If it’s equally impactful for everyone and ignoring it doesn’t undo the symptoms, then it must be real. And there’s nothing more real to you than what you feel. And hopefully, these two experiences align in the majority of the situations in your life.
        Can a simulation be ‘real’? A simulation can theoretically be lifelike, and if it has consequences (if you die in the Matrix, you die in the real world) then I’d call that a distinction without a difference, as Pike would put it. It only make a difference if an error in the simulation causes you to injure or die without any explanation pertaining to the simulation. Up to this point, I don’t think that has ever happened, ergo there’s no evidence supporting that we live in a simulation.

    • 627235

      We have no access to reality beyond our perceptions. If we perceive it to be real, we have no way to know it isn’t. If someone tells us it isn’t, they merely have differing perceptions.

      Also, sadness is healthy (in moderation).

  • Shane

    hey, where’s 786? it goes straight from 785 to 787.

    • jwkovell

      Nothing to see here.
      *Whistles nonchalantlely*

  • KungFuKlobber

    Luke: “No one’s ever really gone.”
    Porkins: “I can hold it!”

  • Little Kingsguard

    Wait, since when can Ricardo speak Japanese? Has Genchu’s mistranslations finally taught him the all important lesson of self-reliance?

    • Archangel

      I think they just forgot to put the Portuguese marks around their dialogue.

  • Kid Chaos

    So long, Ricky! It was nice knowing you (well, not really, but whatever). 😜

  • Archangel

    Panel 4 is going to have me in stitches off and on all day long.

  • IDPounder

    Ken and Yumiko holding hands is just adorable.

    • EBeth

      I might have squeed…just a little. ;D

      • IDPounder

        I knew if anyone would, it would be EBeth!

        • EBeth

          You know me so well. 😀
          Awww, man! I’m gonna miss you guys!!!

    • Astralfury

      It’s the best couple let’s be honest here.

    • TK

      I liked it before it was cool… oh man, will I have to go back and reread everything?

  • Hfar

    Any junk is worth selling if you label it “exotic.” Rrrrricardo’s going to do just fine.

    • leavescat

      Considering Ricardo almost managed to sell weapons despite two people actively sabotaging him (three, later), I think he’s actually a pretty good salesman and will have little trouble finding worthless crap that western markets will pay a premium for.

  • leavescat

    I always liked Obi-wan’s green saber.

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      >_>;;;

  • Nos Rin aka CTCO

    If the emporer is still somehow alive. I am legit going to be annoyed. There is just NO creativity in these new films, I mean really. UHG.
    The whole tie fighter thing with rei was kind of dumb for me. She is painfully a mary sue and it hurts.
    Most of the trailer didn’t really hype me except one thing.
    LANDO CALRISSIAN BABY!!!! I pray they don’t kill Lando!
    also leia’s scenes are going to be painfully shoehorned in. I just know it.

    I hope to watch the mandalorian show one day.

    And I’m not holding my breath and that new game. I’m very much wait and see for it.

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      Just gonna point out that the term “Mary Sue” has no official definition, so it is whatever you want it to be.

      • Nos Rin aka CTCO

        there is a very very strong consensous among writers and readers on what the term means.
        It’s basically a character who is “always right” no matter what, they’re never wrong and they “can make no mistakes.” A character everyone adores and is always the center of attention.

        • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

          Hm, go on any social media and ask for the definition of Mary Sue. You’re going to get a million different responses, there is no clear consensus, even among ‘wrtiers’ and ‘readers’. You and I are writers and readers and we’re disagreeing on it right now.

          Also, if we go by your definition, that would mean Rey isn’t a Mary Sue. Luke does not seem to adore her, Kylo Ren does not seem to adore her. Unkar Plutt certainly doesn’t seem to adore her. Leia seemed to like her, Han liked her, Finn seemed to adore her, I’ll give you that! No one else seemed to know or care about her. Also, when she picked up the lightsaber for the first time in TFA, she flipped out, ran into the woods and got kidnapped by Kylo Ren. Also in TLJ she cut a giant rock by accident and and it fell onto a fish cart, and she blew a hole in a hut, and those islanders really didn’t seem to like her. And to top it all off, she believed that Kylo Ren would become a good guy if she joined up with him, and she was totally wrong about that. So if you still want to call her a Mary Sue, I’m just trying to make it clear that the term is completely subjective. One person’s Mary Sue is another person’s favorite character of all time, there’s no standard barometer.

          I do agree she’s more often than not hyper competent, but if we go with the idea that she’s some new type of Force user who’s stronger than previous generations because the Force is awakening in new people (which seems to be the implication at the end of TLJ), then I’m willing to buy her hyper competence as a plot device. I personally think Rey is a likable, very human character with a wide emotional range. I find Daisy Ridley’s portrayal of the character to be extremely likable and easy to root for. In that way, she’s a lot like OT Luke.

          • Nos Rin aka CTCO

            Well, generally, when I refer to someone as a mary sue, they’re typically overpowered, they don’t make mistakes, they have incredibly strong plot armor where they are always okay.

            I see Rei as a mary sue because she handles herself a little too well in fights sometimes, and masters the force a bit too quickly.
            I think it’s fair to assess her progression in comparison to Luke.

            She figured force persuasion without anyone even telling her it was a thing she could do. She managed to land perfect shots after handling the pistol for only a second or two, and her surviving against the red armor guys was total BS.
            I watched a video where someone broke down the fight scene and really tore it apart. that part where she goes against the guy with two knives? They edit out one of them so we don’t realize he could have stabbed her in the back 50 times when he had her in a lock.

            I can not buy into the hyper competence line. Po is just too good of a pilot, the first order is too massive and overpowerful, everything about these new movies is leagues over the top above all the older films and while that makes for a good popcorn flick, it just does not work for me.

            Granted though, I’ve never been huge into SW’s story, at least I tell myself that. I love the ships, oh do I love the ships. I love the guns and the armor, the clothes and the aliens races. The world building is so great!

            you do make some fair points, she might not be a complete mary sue, but she’s definitely overly competent and that just irks me. it just feels like a self incert fandom character at a certain point.

          • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

            Your points are fair. I have a lot of similar complaints about the Disney Star Wars films. They’re a little cartoony, they feel like caricatures of the original trilogy. But at the same time, the prequels felt like muddled messes, partly recycling iconic imagery from the OT, and partly playing out a convoluted plot with terrible dialog that ultimately left no emotional impact. I’ll take the overdone caricatures of the Disney films any day. At least they feel more like the Star Wars I remember.

            And in a lot of ways, I’ve just grown used to over powered, hyper competent characters in big action adventure films, it’s mostly how movies are made nowadays. I don’t like it, particularly, but I’ve grown complacent with it, but the trend doesn’t seem to be subsisting.

            Anyway, I generally think of the Disney era of Star Wars as a soft reboot (which it absolutely is). I recognize that it does not perfectly line up with the portrayal of characters, mechanics, and Force powers in the OT, but then again the prequels sure as heck didn’t align with the OT in the slightest, either in visual design, story, or tone. In that, the Disney films are doing a much better job.

            And there’s a lot to love about the Disney films, especially for fans of Star Wars ships, music, and costumes! I mean the First Order is arguably more badass in its designs than the Empire. The Resistance’s X-Wings look wickedly cool. Everyone’s running around in rad jackets and flight suits, all the costuming is great, there’s tons of amazing practical effects, the new soundtracks are all fantastic! The chances of new Disney owned Star Wars films living up to my expectations was near impossible, so I’ve kind of just embraced the parts I liked while shrugging off the parts I’m not thrilled with. I honestly haven’t felt this excited about Star Wars since I was a teenager more than two decades ago, so I’m having a pretty great time, honestly!

          • Nos Rin aka CTCO

            See, I really liked ep7 despite it’s flaws, ep8 was terrible, imo, solo was pretty decent, and I liked rogue one despite a few things. so the disney films are definitely a mixed bag for me.

            If I can just PLEASE have more bromance between Finn and Po, I’d be so damn happy.

            but ya, the outfit designs are all awesome. I definitely agree with that.

            “Oh, here’s your jacket back.”
            “No, keep it, it looks good on you.”

          • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

            Yeah, Star Wars is a 42 year old franchise at this point, with countless numbers of people contributing to it. When a franchise is that long running and that broad, any new addition is never going to satisfy everyone. I still love Star Wars, but I also recognize that it’s all just a bunch of disparate fictions, and as someone who likes to write my own narratives, parts of the franchise inspire me and parts are a blueprint for things I want to avoid in my own stories.

            I often wonder how ambivalent I’d feel to the franchise if I hadn’t fallen in love with it when I was 12. Nostalgia is a powerful drug. The chances of me falling in love with a new franchise at my age to the same degree that Star Wars influenced me is extremely unlikely to ever happen, so I guess just knowing it’s still pop culture relevant, and its still producing films I want to see, is pretty incredible.

          • Nos Rin aka CTCO

            I just hope 9 captures the same joy that 7 did for me.
            some of the old expanded universe was pretty bad too though.

          • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

            “I watched a video where someone broke down the fight scene and really tore it apart. that part where she goes against the guy with two knives? They edit out one of them so we don’t realize he could have stabbed her in the back 50 times when he had her in a lock.”

            Also? Like, who the hell cares, it goes by on screen in less than half a second, I can’t believe how upset the internet got over this.

          • Nos Rin aka CTCO

            Sometimes the smallest moment is the most important.

            Look, it was a cool and fun fight to watch, but from a story telling aspect, it bothered me.
            I want star wars to be a little more than just a popcorn flick.

    • clogboy

      Let’s recap:
      Palpatine was under the teachings of Darth Plagueis, who taught him to use the Force to control life force. Darth Maul was cut in two, still alive. Leia used the Force to pull herself to a ship and board it, she survived in open space for a few seconds. Palpatine resurrected Anakin after his limbs had burned off, using Padme’s life force. Kylo Ren, a mere apprentice, survives being hit in the chest with Chewie’s bow caster. Yoda’s force ghost can shoot lightning. Luke can force-project himself across star systems.

      Do you think a mere exploding Death Star in outer space is enough to kill Palpatine? If he was dead to begin with, I think there’s nothing stopping his Force Ghost to bring his body to safety, bring it back to life and return to it. If he was only mortally wounded, maybe someone picked him up and he’s been in hibernation for a couple of decades while he rebuilt himself cell by cell. I think Jedi healing powers are not canon, but other than that, sensing (and controlling) life force is. Maybe Snoke was Palpatine’s caretaker. Maybe Snoke WAS Palpatine (and survived in the same way Maul did). I’m trying to think of any logical explanation that doesn’t break the Rule of Two, where a Sith master can take one apprentice only to the point where the apprentice kills his master and take his place (because Sith value nothing more than ambition, hence why there can ever only be two: the Master and his successor).

      I think Palpatine’s survival can be explained. I equally think his survival could be a genius plot point, but it might also backfire in the form of a lame nostalgia trip.

      • Nos Rin aka CTCO

        Ya and I seriously call bullshit on darth maul surviving being CUT IN HALF. and that scene with leia was STUPID.
        also, semantics here I Know, but he got “grazed” on the side, he was not hit square in the chest like poor FN-2199.

        And let’s be honest, if palpatine is alive it kind of ruins the moment of luke and vader finally defeating the big bad evil.

        But the bigger picture is palpatine is only back because they killed snoke and disney couldn’t pull a brand new idea for star wars out of their magical hat even if we gave them ten years to try. They have no idea who to use as a villain. They’re just grasping at straws.

        and the rule of 2 is silly. when 1 dies does someone else instantly, magically become a sith? what exactly are dark jedi then?

        • clogboy

          The Skywalkers are uprooting a lot of stuff. Balance? Nah. Receive training from a young age? Nerp. Following the rules of the Jedi order? Nope.
          It’s too bad that the Jedi order couldn’t protect the Republic from Palpatine, and from his meddling on Padme’s planet and with the Trade Federation to begin with. Obi-Wan and Anakin did right, intervening like they did, and I like that the Jedi order stepped in when they did. But it was too little, too late.
          Was the Jedi Order’s rigid attitude the only reason for their downfall? No. And they functioned well for a long time. But Palpatine created and exploited weaknesses in the power structure that they were unable to defend against.
          Following Palpatine’s death, there was no power structure in place to defeat and replace the Empire. The problem is bigger than the Jedi, it is political, and the political forces making what’s left of the Republic are now gone. Honestly, I can’t see how all this can be fixed in the next movie. Rey and Kylo can probably create a balance in the Force together, but that’s not going to end the Civil War. The new Jedi order (or whatever benevolent group of force sensitive people they can come up with) can raise popularity for the rebellion again and I feel that’s where it has to start.

          • Nos Rin aka CTCO

            Ya, I don’t know how 9 is going to salvage the mess 8 made.
            But was the FIrst Order still the empire or just a new force? It doesn’t make much sense that they got THAT big and powerful when it was establish in 7 that there WAS a new republic.

    • purplelibraryguy

      I think the reflex objection to “mary sue” characters that there’s a lot of nowadays is exaggerated. People been reading too much TV Tropes. It’s to the point where everyone has to be basically a jerk or they’re a bad character. Nothing wrong with having a hero who’s, like, heroic now and then.

      • Nos Rin aka CTCO

        not a jerk. just not “always right no matter what” or “never makes any mistakes.”
        Everyone has flaws and character who “can do no wrong” are irritating to many people, and understandably so.

        • purplelibraryguy

          I understand the theory. But in practice, “Mary Sue” is an accusation thrown around very loosely these days. We used to have a lot more tolerance, even fondness, for characters who weren’t antiheroes. We’re a lot more insecure now it seems; we don’t like characters who seem better than us, and our notion of how good “us” is, seems to be pretty impoverished.

          • Nos Rin aka CTCO

            I agree, the term is probably overly used, but I almost feel the entire new star wars universe is, well it’s all so overpowered compared to all the old stuff and that just, it bugs me.
            Po is way too damn good of a pilot, but damn is he fun to watch.

  • Nos Rin aka CTCO

    looking back at 8, one thing that bugged me is the whole “Luke is done being a jedi.” then gets all upset when yoda burns the texts that he was holding onto even though he was done being a jedi.
    right, okay. that makes sense.

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      Luke is totally a jaded Star Wars fan in 8. I completely relate to him, because I also covet, like, every Star Wars thing while also hating the shit out of basically everything post Phantom Menace. I I’m mired deep in lore and canon and incidental Star Wars knowledge while also recognizing it’s all stupid and contradictory. If someone showed up at my house and lit all my Star Wars shit on fire, I would FLIP OUT, despite constantly complaining about the franchise for 20 years.

      That’s honestly one of the reasons I love TLJ, Luke is basically a jaded Star Wars fan who needs to let go of all his anger and frustration because of how stupid it’s all gotten. He needs to let go and just enjoy it on the fun surface level that got him into it to begin with, an exciting space adventure with underdog good guys who stand up to powerful bad guys. Rey gets it, and she wants Luke to let go of his jaded feelings and step up and be the hero she wants him to be, and ultimately he does. I absolutely love all the parts with Rey, Kylo, and Luke in TLJ.

      The other plots, with Rose and Finn, and Poe and Holdo, I don’t dislike on principal, but I do find a lot of problems with the execution., and some of the deleted scenes would have absolutely improved them. I was flipping angry on first viewing in the theater. It’s so weird how they treat all the space combat with the physics of naval combat, and there’s a bunch of technobabble about hyperspace tracking that I feel crosses into Star Trek territory. But I’ve complained about all that stuff before. I’ve definitely grown to like the movie quite a bit, though, mostly because I love half of it pretty much unconditionally.

      • Nos Rin aka CTCO

        you actually liked Phantom Menance?!
        I did too actually, even watched it over 11 times one summer, (CAUSE I WAS REALLY BORED)
        I honestly think episode 8 is the Worst star wars movie, ever. It’s just got so much garbage to hate. plenty of canon breaking, barely any original ideas, etc etc.

        Luke’s actions DO make sense for all the bad shit going on. it’s just a shame it is how it is.

        We don’t need star wars to be a metaphor for the fandom. we need it to be a quality space story that doesn’t hamfist propaganda into our face. That is Star Trek’s job and they did it very well for a long time.

        Snoke’s death scene I really like. I liked the fight scene with the red guys too until you actually analyze it and realize how bad it actually is.

        The worst crimes of that movie though, let’s see. Finally getting to see Leia use forcepowers in the dumbest way possible. Over half the movie being a long drawn out boring chase scene. ZERO bromance between Finn and PO like we had seen in 7 (I still like 7 quite a lot despite it’s few flaws). And that really cute a-wing pilot leader I totally crushed on who ended up dieing before we could get to know her.

        overall 8 had just too much stuff I hated that I could ever watch it again.

        • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

          I certainly like Phantom Menace more than the other two prequel films. Star Wars can be fandom allegory, it can be basically anything. The prequels had a ton of political allegory correlating to George Bush Jr’s administration.

          But all your complaints about TLJ are just tastes and preferences. It’s totally fine that you hate it more than all the other Star Wars films (although, I mean, I don’t know how you can hate it more than Attack of the Clones), but that doesn’t mean it is objectively the worst movie in the franchise or anything. I think a lot of its ideas about what the Force is and what it means to be a Jedi are really fun and fascinating to watch and analyze. It’s a meatier film than TFA. similar to ANH compared to ESB. Also, I constantly hear complaints of TLJ ‘retconning’, and I have no idea what exactly that means or what people think was retconned.

          Honestly, my biggest problem with TLJ is that Rian Johnson treated all the space combat as if it were naval combat, like, literally. Imagine the capital ships are on an ocean in atmosphere and suddenly everything makes a lot more sense. But they’re NOT on an ocean and it makes NO sense, and that frustrates me. I assume Johnson did that because the original trilogy took inspiration from WWII dogfighting, but taking inspiration and literal translation are not the same! Anyway, there’s my main pet peeve about TLJ. Oh, that and Phasma should’ve been hunting Finn and Rose on the casino planet, that would’ve been rad. Oh and they shouldn’t have cut most of the cut scenes on the bluray because they were all great and helped define the characters better and I wish we could just get an extended edition.

          • Nos Rin aka CTCO

            Well, running out of gas in space? that was dumb. the whole slow death of the rebellion was just plain annoying to me.
            OMG Phasma was utterly WASTED as a character and I really really hated that. she was so badass looking and she was less useful than boba fett!!!
            also the big issue people had with retconning was when that woman used hyperspace to attack the first order fleet. it was so fucking cool, but made zero sense. “if that’s possible, and clearly it is because the first order freaked out, why has this Not been weaponized with drones?!” a fair point I’d say.

            but the entire chase scene killed the movie for me more than anything else. it was boring, and tedious, and how the hell did that thug find out about the cloaked ships?
            There were plenty of plot points that just sucked.
            And We FINALLY got to see Leia use the force, but it was the DUMBEST thing ever!

            I won’t try and argue that 8 was the worst, but I promise you I hated it the most.
            I didn’t like 3 because the jedi all died, including kit fisto and Aayla Secura. their deaths really made me sad.
            I always wanted to do a star wars RPG where most of the jedi actually survived Order 66 but all went into hiding for the time being.

          • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

            I’m currently running a homebrew Star Wars RP campaign with friends! I set it ten years after Order 66, in between episodes 3&4, and everyone is playing a Jedi padawan that survived the purge and then had to go into hiding for a decade. It’s a ton of fun, and I’m not sticking to canon, so I basically rewrote the events of the prequels so they’re more to my liking. I essentially made the purge more tragic because the Jedi had opposed Palpatine’s rise from the beginning, and had fought back against him, but they couldn’t stop the senate because they had no political power and no one would listen to them. Thus the Jedi were still good guys, but lost anyway (as opposed to the movies where the Jedi are corrupt, dumb religious zealots who don’t see the obvious right in front of them).

            Anyway, you should try it out if you’re into tabletop gaming at all! I’ve found Fantasy Flight’s Star Wars games are a great way to play out the kind of Star Wars stories I’d want to see on film. Force and Destiny is my favorite, since all the player characters get to mess around with Force powers.

          • Nos Rin aka CTCO

            I am MASSIVELY into table top gaming. ever since middle school (i’m turning 31 saturday)
            I even played a little A2e dnd back when i first got into it.
            Sadly though, I just can’t get a good group since nearly a decade ago.

            I want to do a story that takes place soon after episode 6, one where order 66 did not wipe out nearly all jedi, a lot of my favorites would have survived it. like Ayla and Kit fitsu.

            Which system are you using? I went and about abunch of advanced d20 SW and then discovered how terrible it is, but at the same time there’s a MASSIVE TON of fluff. like i got a book with EIGHTY playable alien races! EIGHTY!!! two books with around 30 planets each too!
            very few space ships though even there’s plenty of stuff in the movies alone, shame they didn’t do more with that.

          • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

            Happy Berfday! We’ve been playing Fantasy Flight Games’ Star Wars RP, which uses a pretty streamlined set of custom dice. We played an Edge of the Empire campaign a couple years ago that was set between Eps 4&5, but I’m currently GMing a homebrew Force and Destiny campaign set between the prequel and original trilogies.

            The game system is pretty straight forward once you under stand the basics, and it’s super flexible if you did want to create a campaign where more Jedi survived Revenge of the Sith.

            There are tons of species available, and since vehicle combat is a big part of the game, there are a significant number of ships and vehicles with stats. Anything that’s not in the game, you can usually find some custom stats online.

          • Nos Rin aka CTCO

            Thanks, but not much of one, my back is seizing up on me for the second weeked in a row and this time I didn’t do anything, oh plus the pain didn’t go away by the next day too! yay! FML.
            oh sweet. I heard that one was good. I really really want to do an Edge of the Empire game.
            One day I’ll get my hands on some copies of the books. I might consider grabbing a starter pack and the core book for edge of the empire to get me going.
            Problem is I have countless RPG systems that don’t get used maybe when I move to a bigger area I’ll find someone.

      • Slograman

        If I may belatedly pop in (and admittedly continue a discussion that Alex and I’ve had before)….

        I’m fine with the metaphor of Luke being a fan and that the past should be forgotten, but to continue the metaphor, nothing good has yet replaced the old stuff. I think TFA began what could’ve been a new, good start, but for some reason, the new trilogy got sidejacked with TLJ’s strange obsession with rewinding EVERYTHING. I think subverting the expectations set up in TFA is where TLJ goes way too far. It’s such a disruptive movie.

        You watch TFA and assume that Poe and Finn will, I don’t know, have some sort of relationship in the rest of the trilogy? They have like one conversation in TLJ. I can go through each and every character interaction, but this pair pretty much summarizes it, and poster Nos Rin mentioned it below as well.

        In the end, TLJ is just a big reset button. It forgot to have anything important or interesting go on. TFA set it up, TLJ smacked it down, and now I’m not sure I care so much about this third movie.

        Not that Star Wars has any sense of scale or society, but isn’t the First Order pretty much destroyed? They seem to only have a handful of ATATs, star ships, probably a handful of TIEs (aka cannon fodder), and little to no leadership. They have no Death Star (or its superweapon brethren), they have no feared leader (Huxley is now a cartoon character, and Kylo, much as I like his character, isn’t exactly a tactful leader), and their army is, apparently, easily fooled, outrun, or blown up bit by bit.

        So what does a third Star Wars movie possibly have us to offer? TFA promised us a training sequence with Luke Skywalker and interesting characters. TLJ promises us that Poe is now a hot-headed idiot, Finn has ADHD and gets distracted easily by things like casino hijinks, Rey has learned to lift rocks and little more, and Lando flies the MF. Cool points in that last premise, but the rest has just been too diluted for me. I’d be somewhat interested in what Kylo is up to, but I have no idea where they’re taking the character.

        I’m with you Alex – I like redemption stories. But the guy DID kill Han Solo, and then he and the First Order committed several genocides. That’s all hard to forgive. Kylo has to at least lose an arm and save a planet.

        • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

          Ha, well, we’ve talked about TLJ plenty, and the stuff we don’t like about it. But, I mean, I guess it’s what we’ve got, and it’s not like I’m gonna stop liking Star Wars (considering I’m still a fan after THE PREQUELSSSS). So I’ll just take what I can get and build a head-canon around what’s there so I can keep getting enjoyment out of the mess that is this decades/generations old silly space opera franchise! Besides, you know there’s quite a bit I like in TLJ, despite its goofier bits!

          Also, I would have ZERO problem seeing Kylo Ren get de-limbed. He’s such a jerk.

          • Slograman

            Fair enough, but I’m still lukewarm to the new movie. Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to see it opening day/night/weekend/whatever tickets aren’t bought up by bots yet, but my expectations are pretty low unfortunately, at least regarding this trilogy. Hopefully I’ll be pleasantly surprised, however.

  • IDPounder

    Waaaaaiit a minute…Cho said “Those actors look just like us!”

    How in the name of Ash would a blind man happen to know that little factoid?!

    • Turul

      He thought Yori’s actor looked just like Ina, and his own actor looked just like Ricardo, of course.

    • Gandalf the Tsaagan

      Even a mole can tell between an earth worm and a silk worm!

    • purplelibraryguy

      I think it’s more an ironic thing because, like, they totally don’t. So, being a blind man, he’s mistaken.

    • Adam Latosiński

      They all look the same to him.

  • Yasmin Mazur

    star wars – so ray isn’t kylo’s twin? that would be weird…

    • KungFuKlobber

      Not as weird as when your twin makes out with you and then you find out later that she’s your twin and when you tell her she says, “Somehow, I’ve always known.”

  • EBeth

    Alex, you had a lot of excellent things to say in that post. Sadly, all I could fixate on was that Zampella (God bless him!) got EA to agree to using the Unreal engine. I think that made me burst into tears of joy. I can only pray that Casey Hudson can someday also strongarm them into the same (not holding my breath on that one). Frostbite makes some phenomenal scenery, but pretty much falls short on darn near everything else. Sad, really.

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      I’m praying to the gods for a better future for Bioware. So bummed to find out they pitched Kotor3 to EA and got shot down!!!

  • SlugFiller

    I’m fairly sure the “Skywalker” in “Rise of Skywalker” refers to Kylo Ren. Think about it: His entire gig is about idolizing his grandfather. Given that he already killed his father, and has been using an alias for, presumably, quite some time, it would make sense for him to completely discard the last name of “Solo” and choose “Skywalker” instead. If he ends up training under Palpatine’s ghost, it would simply come full circle.

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      Perhaps, but I feel only if it’s a redemption arc for Kylo, as he has a lot of hatred for Luke, and his interest in Anakin seems to only encompass the time spent as Vader. Kylo clearly has no love for the name Skywalker, going so far as to change his name, so I’m not sure why he would suddenly embrace it.

      At the same time, Luke’s basically inspired the galaxy, based on the last scene in TLJ with the kids re-enacting his last stand. So I feel the movie title using the word Skywalker as an ambiguous noun is meant to hide another meaning beyond “we got more Skywalker kids up in here”. If Disney really wants to expand the universe far beyond the Skywalker lineage, while still keeping such a pop culture relevant word in circulation in the franchise, making it some sort of bestowed title makes a lot of sense, especially since Skywalker sounds like a title even more than a name.

      • SlugFiller

        Kylo changed his name from “Ben Solo” not “Skywalker”. I don’t think he carries hatred for the name. Considering he calls the Vader mask “Grandfather” without hesitation, I don’t think he denounces the inherent heritage involved.

        I wouldn’t rule out a redemption arc, though. The new movies so far have been a clever re-telling of the original trilogy, focusing on the prime aspects of each of the original movies. The first focused on the desert planet hero with tons of special effects. The second on chasing the rebels, plot twists, ancestry reveals, and moral ambiguity. So the third should be a combination of final fight with rebuilt super-weapon, redemption arc, plus some material that could later be used for a children-only spinoff.

        • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

          Well, like you say, he completely changed his name, he didn’t change it to Skywalker. Also, considering he sees Luke as his attempted murderer, and he’s trying REALLY hard to kill Luke in TLJ, I get the impression Skywalker is not a name he associates with happy memories. Not to mention, he’s specifically calling Vader’s mask ‘grandfather’, not, like, some holo-photo of Anakin. He’s also trying to emulate Vader, not Anakin. Pretty sure he’s no fan of the Skywalker name.

          I’d definitely like a redemption arc for Kylo, even though I know a lot of people who think he shouldn’t survive the trilogy. I just love redemption story arcs in general, and he seems to consistently be conflicted with the shitty things he’s done up to the point where Rey rejects him in TLJ. Afer which, he seems to become an unhinged madman. Maybe he’ll get a heroic sacrifice redemption scene as opposed to living a life to atone for his crimes. Living a life of atonement always feels like a more positive message to me than dying in atonal sacrifice.

          Considering how toxic the Star Wars fandom can be nowadays, I wouldn’t blame any actors for wanting to complete their story arcs and get out while the getting’s good.

  • Seekis

    I believe the laugh comes from Palpatine’s ghost. He already knew how to transcend death. He always said it. Maybe it’s the same that Qui-Gon Jinn discovered. “force ghost” and maybe Palpatine knows how to become flesh again. Sounds dark enough! Maybe he’s been posing as Darth Vader’s force ghost in order to make Kylo or Snoke do his bidding. It’s an interesting concept! The trailer hints light force ghost will be present in some form or another in tRoS

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      I feel the new films won’t dip too deep into prequel lore, especially since the general movie going audience say those movies once several decades ago and promptly forgot about them, if they understood the convoluted plots at all.

      I really like the idea that Palpatine and Snoke are part of a large group of Sith jerks who congregate in the unknown regions, plotting various paths to galactic domination and each taking turns to succeed.

  • Namaphry

    Cho is so observant.

  • Slograman

    ALEX

    You come from nothing

    You’re nothing

    …best damn line in that movie.

  • Thomas

    What about a (laughing) emperor clone body?

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