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rkcrawf said:@JaimieT Very thoughtful analysis.
I, esp. after listening to the Solo podcast, am trying to figure out what this "feels like Star Wars" thing means. I did not love TLJ, but I do think it felt like Star Wars. I thought Solo felt more like Star Wars, and I'm not sure if that viewpoint is heavily influenced by nostalgia (and the occasional bit of fan service and John William's score). I partially agree with you about "hope," but I put forward that Rey getting more adept at the Force in a few days (plus the little boy at the end) should offer hope. However, I don't think RJ put the right emphasis on it, because the death of Luke was center stage.
I suppose we all have our opinions, but I find it strange that TLJ is seen in such a negative light. It's, imo, the most "Star Wars" ass "Star Wars" film since the first one, because it deals with the same ideals of heroics that don't rely on destiny to save the day.
In contrast, "Solo" certainly looked like "Star Wars", but I didn't really feel much of the soul there, and sadly, I just didn't buy the actor as Han, but whatever, I'm glad people are liking it. Wish I could have been more on board myself. Han's my favorite character. Oh well.
"TLJ took away the hope of Luke Skywalker and upset the balance. Furthermore Rian Johnson didn't explain the First Order so we'd feel like we have a plan going forward. We were left with nothing... no hope... just some intentional (and unintentional) themes that are absolutely fine and poignant but are not hopeful. They are about the pervasive resilience of evil at worst; at best, about the importance of how we view our (constant) struggle."
I feel like we watched different movies. I also feel like we view hope very differently. First, if we go by that definition of what "Star Wars" is, that "Star Wars" IS hope, then "Empire" would be, by far, the least "Star Wars" film there is. TLJ is a kick in the pants, for sure, but at the end of "Empire, woof, you're left with very little to grasp onto.
In contrast, I felt both sad, but uplifted at the end of TLJ. Not only did Rey, Poe, and Finn learn something about what it means to actually be a part of something bigger, but we got a glimpse of a galaxy ready to rise up. And what really made TLJ sing the hymns of hope was that the Force is finally out from under the thumb of the Skywalker family and of "destiny" in general. TLJ democratized the Force in a way we haven't seen since "A New Hope". Hell, Rey is that new hope. Anyone can be a hero, anyone can find the power within them, be that figurative in the case of Poe or Finn, or quite literal, in Rey's case. And it can come from anywhere. From the most powerful family in the universe, or "gutter trash", a nobody that still has the desire to be something more.
So yeah, completely disagree with the thesis that TLJ lacks hope. I actually hadn't quite heard that before in terms of the criticism of the film, but now I'm REALLY confused about what Star Wars fans want lol.
@JohnnyCharisma I think you and I both came from the same place on episode 6, into being convinced otherwise by @Jim and @A_Ron_Hubbard and the rest of the community, and then into being confused and slightly frustrated in episode 8 in regards to Laurie. And you also make an interesting point about ambiguity and it's purpose as a point or as a fork in the road we aren't sure which to take. In this case, I think I came to the conclusion that even if the intent was that Laurie was dead in episode 6, the hints they gave us feed into the larger narrative of uncertainty and chance encounters, i.e. the phone call. Did Laurie go out on the water with the intent to kill herself? I absolutely think she did, but I also think a phone call can save a life, much like Nora's phone call to Laurie gave her the permission to give Kevin a chance to explain. Jill and Tommy turned a tragedy into an uneventful afternoon of scuba diving, just by being present, just by being there, showing Laurie that some of the people in her life are okay, and that maybe she could be too.
Regardless, I hope at the end of the day that it doesn't sour, for those that felt it cheap, an otherwise beautiful finale. Ultimately, its interesting that Laurie choosing death was more satisfying for people than Laurie choosing life. I guess its all in how we look at it, especially for those us that seemed to be in the minority lol.
I've read in several places that the end of season 2 was the perfect place to leave our characters, and for Kevin, that may have been true, but now that we have this season, and this final episode, it made me realize how empty and unresolved season 2 left Nora. I'm glad she now has a story to help her cope till the end of her days.
As the hours have passed, I've come to realize that I absolutely love this finale, and in a way, it reminds me of the end of "The Last of Us" video game, for those that have played it. Bravo Lindelof!
This show, man. This show! In most other pieces of fiction that use dreams, or the afterlife, or any other strange, imaginary place to be an analogy for the inner workings of a character, I normally roll my eyes when the attempt is made. Even more so when the main character sees people in ghost-like fashion. Ironically, then, that I consider this to be one of my favorite pieces of fiction of all time. After last season, I tried to figure out why that was, and for the most part, I could never find a real answer within my own head...until this episode. It's because of the element of belief AND that our main character has mental issues. Both of those things make these kinds of hyper-real, self-help sessions work brilliantly for me. Most fiction use these elements only when needed for the main character to get something and then throws them away once they've got it. In "The Leftovers", this was present from the beginning and stays with it even when Kevin thinks he's better. Kevin really is a mentally damaged person and a single magic trip to another place or an antagonistic imaginary "friend" doesn't hold all the answers. This is a (often times horrific) process. And when all is said and done, the best possible epiphany he can gather is "now what?". Sorry Kevin, that's generally the way of things.
And for a few little humorous observations:
Can't wait for the cast!
- The GR makes an amazing return in the form of it's true leader, President Kevin. When the suit fits...
- Kevin's mind actualizing Evie's true family as the GR. Is that what he really thinks of John?
- Nora might very well get her cremation wish, except she won't because she's old...or is she? What?
- Patti Levin as his defense mechanism/secretary of defense. Having a defense mechanism that wants to nuke everything is certainly rough. :P
- Speaking of Patti, Ann Dowd is just fucking amazing. So glad to have her back this season for one final go.
- Did Kevin actually tie himself to the seesaw?
- Penis keys.