Sins of George’s Past Arise Once More in Star Wars 40

by Taylor Anderson

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

George Lucas has many sins to atone for. Jar-Jar Binks, Episode II, and of course the “special edition” of the original trilogy. Of this last sin, perhaps what makes it the most grievous is that it has taken that which was perfect and smeared crap all over it. While there’s a lot to complain about with the re-releases, nothing gets me more worked up than the added scene in Episode where Han encounters Jabba outside of the Millennium Falcon. The CGI in this scene is just awful and it’s clear that Harrison Ford is not actually talking to a giant slug, but simply an overweight man, as Jabba appeared in the original scene. With such sins as its burden, I though Star Wars would be careful not to repeat anything of that nature. And so it was, until Star Wars issue 40.

Visually, this issue is just kind of mess. There are several action scenes throughout that are hard to follow and unclear. I get the vague sense in the opening battle scene that several things are happening at once, such as Han blowing something up in the Falcon, Luke riding a weird horse thing, and other such stuff. In each of these scenes, artist Salvador Larroca uses an odd combination of silhouettes and close-ups which confuse what going on.

As bewildering as these action scenes are, they aren’t nearly as troubling as Larroca’s use of cell tracing in this issue. We’ve written a lot about this topic at Retcon Punch, both good and bad, but this issue presents something that is more noticeable than anything I’ve seen before. In a scene featuring Luke and Leia debating their next plans, Larroca combines his cell-tracing technique with overlapping layers of his own.

The result is not great. It looks as if Leia and Luke’s faces have been crudely pasted over an already existing frame. Just like in the scene where Han meets Jabba, there appear to be two elements here that don’t exist on the same plane. On the one, you have the robes Luke and Leia are wearing. On the other, you have their faces. The two textures don’t match at all and create a disturbing and frankly sloppy look.

For a complete list of what we’re reading, head on over to our Pull List page. Whenever possible, buy your comics from your local mom and pop comic bookstore. If you want to rock digital copies, head on over to Comixology and download issues there. There’s no need to pirate, right?

6 comments on “Sins of George’s Past Arise Once More in Star Wars 40

  1. Honestly, the biggest problem with the Jabba scene isn’t the CGI, or the fact that it was filmed with a completely different Jabba. It is that the scene is just a repeat of the Greedo scene. It kills the pacing by reiterating exactly what was already said. It has no reason to exist.

    Also, whose seen the Last Jedi? Damn, that was amazing. I’m writing a proper, very spoilery review that I’ll post here later, because it feels impossible to really discuss without spoiling. But damn, is it amazing. Rian Johnson may be the most technically competent director Star Wars ever had, with imaginative camera angles, sensational sets of great performances everywhere in the film. Combine that with a fantastic script that gives richness and texture to the characters and boldly pushes Star Wars into a fascinating future, and you have something special.

    Don’t let the vocal online minority trick you into thinking this is a bad movie. As the critics and general audiences* (an A CinemaScore is a much better judge at audience response than RT/Metacritic user reviews) are saying, this is amazing. It is not a movie that cares about how invested you are in the lore of Star Wars. It is a movie that greatly believes that character and story matter more than lore, and does not care about your Snoke fan theory. In fact, the text of the movie is basically a criticism of anyone who thinks they are a more ‘real’ fan than anyone else. And that is pissing a particularly large vocal contingent off (that isn’t to say every negative response is like this. Just the people I’m talking about). But no matter what those fans say, this movie is still great.

    Seen it twice, and both times just marvelled at how good it is. After two movies that were flawed, the new Star Wars finally has everything come together to produce a great film. The comparisons to Empire Strikes Back are not exaggerations

    • Massive spoilers, but here’s my full review

      ________________________________________________________

      My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
      Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair! – Ozymandias

      Let the past die. Kill it if you have to – Star Wars: The Last Jedi

      The story of the Force Awakens is about the legacy of Star Wars being passed down upon the cast. The new generation, faced with the legacy of the old. The Force Awakens is about receiving that legacy, which is why it is so familiar (Force Awakens was TOO familiar, but that doesn’t change the underlying idea). The Last Jedi asks ‘How do you handle that legacy’, and it approaches this with a healthy lack of worship. In fact, it goes so far to say ‘let it die. Move on’

      Because there is a reason why I opened with Ozymandias. No Legacy survives time, not truly. Eventually, nothing is left but ashes. The original trilogy of Star Wars are masterpieces, but they also have problems. A series inspired by Vietnam was bereft of PoC to the point where the classic joke was that Lando was the only blackman in the Star Wars universe. Han and Leia’s relationship is problematic, feeding into sexist tropes about disrespecting Leia’s wishes until she relents. The Hero’s Journey was introduced, to corrupt Hollywood. And the fantastic twist in the Empire Strikes Back sentenced the franchise to spend the next few movies trapped by the horrible theme of the ‘Great Man’. A vision of the world where everything revolved around one single family that the entire galaxy revolved around. I mean, the Skywalkers are so important to the Galaxy that Anakin was literal born by Immaculate Conception.

      The Last Jedi loves Star Wars, but because it loves it, it interrogates it and wants it to grow, to adapt. It knows that you have to let the past die, that to recycle and regurgitate the old material is a path to ruin. A path to Ozymandias’ ultimate fate. And so the Last Jedi is specifically about this negotiation. What are the Jedi? What are the Rebel Alliance? What makes them important? What is valuable? It knows the legacy itself is worthless, but it also knows that the lessons the previous generation taught can teach the new generation to build their legacies.

      And this is where things get really deep. Because it is here where Johnson starts negotiating on three completely different levels. Firstly, there is the story level. The ways that the story itself is about grappling with the flawed legacy of the previous trilogy’s cast. Then there is the meta level that engages with Star Wars’ legacy in particular. And then there is the third, even more meta level that engages with genre fiction as a whole.

      And it is here that I need to discuss tone and structure, because this movie is such an intricate piece of clockwork that I can’t ignore it before I go deep into story. The Last Jedi is possibly the darkest Star Wars movie there is. The most hopeless. But it is also the funniest. The Last Jedi uses humour, or beautiful moments of grace like Leia’s amazing use of the Force, as a way to have us constantly recover from the constant, unrelenting hopelessness. This serves multiple purposes. It makes the movie entertaining, but it also makes the movie more dynamic than a one note tone. But it also means that every time things go wrong, every time we are hit hard by the hopelessness of the movie, we feel it as humour as allowed us to recover before the next onslaught of darkness.

      Because what an onslaught it is. The Last Jedi cleverly depicts the climax of the Force Awakens as merely a symbolic victory. The symbolism is important – Poe and Finn are acknowledged as heroes. But the movie is also aware that ultimately, the Resistance was too late to destroy Starkiller Base. It had already destroyed the only thing that mattered, the New Republic, and stopping Starkiller Base from destroying the Resistance’s base doesn’t change the fact that the First Order knows where the Resistance is. The movie begins with the Resistance at the edge of defeat, with the only hope coming from the possibility of Luke Skywalker saving the day, an idea quickly thrown out by the reveal of how broken he is. And all three main plots involve Rey, Finn and Poe on last ditch efforts to save the day from the jaws of defeat only to completely fail. And in a specific rejection of more traditional structures, it uses this climax not as an ending (and it essentially is an ending), but as an Act break, forcing the cast to deal with the weight of their failure as hope dies on Crait, only for the true climax to be revealed as the themes of interrogating Legacy finally are finally fulfilled and the cast truly commit to moving on from the legacy of the original movies and finding new horizons. And it is only at that point that hope can be reborn.

      And so, we come to the main plotlines. Poe’s plotline is a deconstruction of the egotistical idea of the singular hero. Star Wars, for a series about a Rebel Alliance, was heavily focused on a small cast of heroes that did everything. With the exception of Wedge Antilles, there is very little sense of any character in the Rebellion being anything other than a backdrop. And even Wedge is barely a character in the movies. Hell, Han takes a squad down to Endor, and they barely feature in any meaningful way to events. In truth, the Rebel Alliance isn’t an alliance, just a construct for Luke, Han and Leia to be the heroes. And this sort of idea is throughout genre fiction, such a strong focus on a singular hero that no one else matters.
      And Poe has fallen for this illusion. He is a hero, as are the men he leads to their deaths in that amazing opening sequence (Paige Tico’s heroic sacrifice is a masterful piece of filmmaking, and a truly great scene for a nobody character that really shows what sort of game Johnson is playing). But what he isn’t, as Leia reminds him as she demotes him, is a leader. A leader thinks of the Resistance first, and Poe’s reckless actions are not in the Resistance’s best interests. Poe needs to learn that there is no space for a renegade hero who ignores the greater movement he is part of. But that true victory can only come by actually working together, being a leader and understanding his place in the greater movement.
      Losing Leia for the disconcerting Admiral Holdo, Poe loses what little protection he has from his pre existing relationship with Leia, and is instead forced to work as part of a Resistance where he isn’t treated as special. He goes rogue and creates a ‘need to know’ plan to ‘save’ the Resistance, unaware that Holdo is doing the exact same thing. And that there is no reason why some hotshot pilot would need to know the plan. Hell, the idea that Holdo isn’t telling Poe anything because she is still in the middle of strategizing never crosses his mind. Maybe the reason Poe was left in the dark was the moment a plan existed, the plan was put into action and it was far more important to contact maintenance crews and shuttle pilots than an X-Wing pilot who has no role in the plan. There are a million reasons for Holdo not to tell Poe anything, from operational security reasons to the fact that as admiral, it is not he rjob to personally talk to every captain who wants personal reassurances. Her job is to command. Quite simply, there is no reason that he needs to know and nothing more important that he can do than place his trust in the greater Resistance instead of letting his ego get the better of him. Instead, he nearly gets the Resistance killed as his plan leads to the exact chain of events that let the First Order learn of Holdo’s deceptions. Many die, and the Resistance is saved only by Holdo’s actions.
      In too much of genre entertainment, including the original Star Wars movies, we see lead characters as heroes the narrative bends themselves around. Nothing is more important than what Luke, or Han, or a million other heroes do, regardless of the greater organisation they are part of. That isn’t to say that Luke, Hane and Poe aren’t heroes. Just that Johnson is promoting a greater vision of heroism. One where their traditional heroic qualities are balanced with an understanding in their place in the greater whole. A teamwork that extends beyond their personal relationships but the the greater institutions they belong to. Holdo and Leia both like Poe for his traditionally heroic qualities. But Poe is a greater hero by the end of this film because he can balance those qualities with an understanding of his greater place in the Resistance. A heroism that balances individual action with the importance of the collective.

      And then there is Finn. Finn has no place in the Rebel Alliance. The Rebel Alliance exists to fight hatred, but Finn doesn’t want to fight. Fighting was exactly what led him to defect from the First Order. He’s a lover, not a fighter. There is a reason his first line is a worried ‘Rey’. He cares for his friends, not for bringing the First Order down.
      And so, that is a big question in Finn’s arc. If he has no place in the Rebel Alliance, does he have a place in the Resistance? Here, Johnson interrogates the philosophy of the Rebel Alliance and forges a better philosophy. The previous Rebel Alliance was by no means horrible. Fighting fascism is a virtue. But there is something better that the Rebel Alliance could be than merely fighting evil.
      This is where Rose comes in. She is the result of Johnson’s interrogation of the Rebellion. She acts as Finn’s guide to morality, helping him become a rebel by presenting a version of rebellion palatable to him. It is a big reason why Canto Bight is so important. The key focus of Canto Bight is on pain and exploitation. And not just by evil fascists, but by the upper classes of society as a whole. Finn doesn’t want to fight, but he does want to protect. And through Rose, he grows and grows in his understanding, seeing the problems hidden beneath the surface and becoming willing to fight for the little guy. The Canto Bight chase scene goes on too long, but it is a key part of Finn’s arc, as he finds his way to resist. Even as Rose then calls him to a greater purpose. Not just resisting, but saving. A call of empathy, not division. That’s Finn’s rue power (to phrase it in modern parlance, Love Trumps Hate. This is the perfect movie for 2017). It all leads to his attempted heroic sacrifice, and attempt to save those he loves. One cut short, because the Last Jedi sees the Resistance as a collective. It isn’t a movie that is going to let the fact that Finn made the choice to sacrifice himself change the fact that the others in the Resistance fight to save others as well.
      But this isn’t the only key part of the interrogation of the Rebel Alliance. Notably, both Finn and Rose underprivileged, both because of their backstories and the fact that they are PoC. Which is essential. I’ve already mentioned that one of the original trilogy’s sins is that Lando is the only black man in the universe. The original Star Wars trilogy, a metaphor for the Vietnam war, somehow managed to tell a story where the rebels were all white. And it isn’t just that they are white. They are all of high class. The Rebellion is led by literal aristocracy. The ordinary Farm Boy is revealed to be part of an all powerful bloodline, the sole bloodline of importance in the Galaxy. Even Lando is essentially the Head of State of Cloud City (though notably neuvo riche). The only person who isn’t high class is Han, who is sketchy and morally ambiguous. There is no space here for people like Finn and Rose, the underclass of the Star Wars universe, abused by those in power. And so, the Resistance, unlike the Rebellion, is specifically designed as being made up of the oppressed underclass. Rose’s story isn’t of a Princess who lost her throne, but a victim of the First Order’s oppression on the underclass. Oh, the Resistance has unfortunate ties to the Canto Bight weapons dealers – a big part of DJ’s role is to show that there is still much more that needs to be done to improve. But the problem with fighting society is that you are still part of society, and ultimately the great challenge is you still need X-Wings. That’s the reminder that there is still a lot that can be done to improve. But the key idea here is to take the Rebellion away from the princesses and knights and create a Resistance of the ‘nobodies’. A Resistance for everyone, no matter race or creed.

      Which is also a key part of Rey and Kylo’s story, but there is so much to say here. The most important thing is that these two characters are the characters that are the ‘fans’. Kylo is a Vader worshipping fanboy, while Rey lived surrounded by Star Wars memoribilla, from he rhelmet, to her doll to the fact that she was literally living in an AT-AT. Kylo represents fandom’s worst, most entitled instincts, while Rey is an interrogation on being a better fan.
      One of the key parts about Rey is that she struggles with illegitimacy. She actually reaches the level of self-hatred. I’ve never understood exactly how Rey’s parents became a mystery, because I don’t think the Force Awakens suggested it was a mystery, as opposed to just a struggle of Rey’s. But it is certainly a mystery in the Last Jedi – except Rey already knows the answer. The problem is, she refuses to admit it. She was abandoned by her parents, and wants there to be some grand reason why. She wants her parents to be important, to be Luke, or Obi-wan or Snoke or something that makes her important. Because otherwise, that means she’s nobody. She’s trash. She’s someone not worth loving and fit only to be abandoned.
      That’s also why she wants Luke’s training. Not just because it will help fight the First Order. But to latch onto Luke and his legacy to be ‘important’. That’s why Rey’s trip to the mirror was so disturbing. Because she asked to see her parents, and that’s what the mirror showed her. Because who else parented Rey, than Rey herself? Who raised Rey, cared for Rey, as she grew up? The answer is Rey herself.
      And so, she wants to use Luke, use Star Wars, as a way to grab meaning. Except, what she sees is a broken man. She gives him the lightsabre, and after a masterclass performance where Mark Hamill shows such a complex range of emotions, he throws it away. Because the perfect version of Star Wars that Rey wants doesn’t exist. The heroes of the Original Trilogy ultimately failed. The First Order rose and rendered their work meaningless. And more importantly, they rose from the failures of the Original Trilogy heroes themselves.
      And it isn’t hard to understand why. I mean, Luke wasn’t the perfect Jedi by the end of the original trilogy. He was deeply flawed. The all black costume and the force choking in Return of the Jedi was supposed to represent the fight with the dark side, and it is only at the very end of the movie we see the white inner of the costume. In fact, Luke almost failed. He almost killed Vader. It was merely seeing how Vader’s cybernetics matched his own that Luke remembered Vader’s humanity, and was able to redeem Vader. But he came so close to falling. Luke never defeated the dark inside him. It was always there (back in England, I had to do Religious Studies as part of school, and I’ve always remembered one important lesson our teacher taught us about the three temptations in the desert. At the end, it says that the devil left Jesus alone ‘for a time’. Which was to say that even after the desert, Jesus was constantly being tempted. Same with Luke here). And so, Luke makes a grave mistake. Even if only for a moment, Luke let his worst instincts, the instincts he constantly fought, get the better of him. In all likelihood, it was only a moment. But while chance was on his side when he defeated the Emperor, it wasn’t with Kylo. And so, chance didn’t save Luke from his failing, but doom him.
      And so, he’s ahead of the curve of all the characters, in his understanding that it is time for the Jedi, for the original Star Wars, to die. He is right to call out the failing of the Jedi. Both the Jedi of the prequel and his own failure. It is hubris to believe the traditional Jedi are perfect. What he is missing the will to actually end things. Instead, by sulking off to his island, he lets the Galaxy limp along from the failures of the previous way. In the end, he can’t even burn down the tree. He needs outside help (but more on that later).
      Kylo, meanwhile, has also seen the failing of the old ways. That’s why he connects with Rey. Despite Rey’s initial hostility, they become close through their Force Bond, because Rey sees in Kylo what she is missing. In Kylo, Rey sees a person who has learned the lesson that she can’t bring herself to learn. That the legacy of the past, whether it is Skywalker, Solo or Rey’s own parents, will only fail you. What Rey needs to move past her self-hatred.
      And so, Rey tries to save Kylo. Except in doing so, she only repeats the tropes of Return of the Jedi. Snoke, despite a great performance from Andy Serkis and some superficial differences (I appreciate that he doesn’t want to convert Rey, just interrogate and kill her), Snoke is just a repeat of the Emperor. That’s what he is supposed to be. A representation of the past of Star Wars. It influences every part of him, from his obsession with Kylo Ren’s Skywalker heritage to the derivative nature of his major scenes. He represents everything Star Wars needs to kill.
      And, as lashing out at the past in the one thing Kylo is good at, he kills Snoke in an honestly fantastic twist. It is the exact sort of twist that I love, one that completely changes the battlefield while being rooted in character. Snoke’s death forces Star Wars into brand new directions (which is why the death is immediately followed by one of the best, most original lightsaber fights ever. We have never seen a fight like that before, for a reason). And Kylo also forces Rey to confront the truth. And she tearfully has to admit that she always knew who her parents were, in one of the most important thematic moments in the movie. That they were nobodies, that abandoned her. This idea that the Rey is not from any major bloodline? There is nothing special about her? That’s the point of everything. It plays into the same thing as Finn and Rose’s fights against classism. Rey is powerful/important not because of her bloodline or lineage, but because she herself is important. Because the Force doesn’t belong to the all-powerful Skywalker line that the entire galaxy revolves around. It belongs to everyone. Anyone can have the Force. Anyone can have the power. Anyone can reshape the Galaxy, from the heir of Skywalker to the girl from nowhere. A powerful, inclusive message. The Force belongs to everyone.
      And so, both good and evil have been broken, reforged into new, modern identities. Except Kylo can’t move on. He can lash out at the past, but he can’t move forward. He can’t give up the comforts, and it prevents his redemption. Instead, it shackles him back. His attempts to convert Rey are built on the idea that because her parents were nobodies, she can only have meaning with the heir of Skywalker. And he can’t leave the safety of the past. He may hate it, but he can’t live without it. And so he remains conflicted, remains a mess. And loses his chance of redemption by fully committing to evil.

      And so, we reach Crait. Poe’s plans, built on old ways of doing things, have led the Resistance to ruins. And while it is very clear that the old Star Wars must die, it hasn’t truly died yet. And that’s the problem. Because without that death, the spark of rebellion is dead. The way things were are too flawed, too old, too unoriginal, too boring (as Yoda said about the Jedi texts. “Read them, have you? Page turners, they are not”). Without something original, something fresh, new and modern, Star Wars ends here. There is nothing left to do. The Resistance’s one attack just fails, and the next move is extermination. Until Luke arrives
      Because while the rest of the movie made clear the need for Star Wars to die, Luke is the one who is taught why it needs to die and what that means. Yoda arrives and destroys the tree, to ‘end’ Star Wars because without endings, there can be no beginnings. Only with the original trilogyu’s death can the new Star Wars be born. When Hux relents to Kylo’s rule, they use the phrase ‘The Supreme Leader is dead. Long live the Supreme Leader’. Same thing here. Star Wars is Dead. Long Live Star Wars. By ‘ending’ Star Wars, Yoda purges the franchise of every negative element that has held it back, that has led to pain and failure throughout this movie. And what of the good parts of Star Wars? For no matter ow long we criticism Star Wars, the originals are classics. Well, Yoda addresses that to. Because the original Star Wars is the master to the new era of Star Wars. “We are what they grow beyond”. The only way to truly value the original Star Wars is to let it die so that the new generation can grow beyond it. Because the true value in Star Wars is not the movies themselves, but how their many strengths inspire and teach the next generation to be even better. Letting Star Wars die isn’t an act of hate, but of love. Because there is no way to love Star Wars more than to let it inspire you to aim for even greater heights, instead of slaving yourself to a flawed past (also of note here is that Yoda is not ashamed of Star Wars’ failures. He sees them as just as important as the successes in what makes a great Master).
      And so Luke reignited the spark of rebellion by writing a new, better story. The fact that the Luke at the end is an illusion is key. It is fictional, but better than the real thing. The new, more modern version. This is the actualisation of what a Jedi means that has never been reached before. Not just because of the sheer power required to telecommunicate through interstellar distances. But a rousing defeat Kylo Ren, the First Order and evil through purely non violent means (one fun thing I love? Kylo’s ‘victory’, because of Luke, is both literally and figuratively an illusion). The new generation of Star Wars truly begins and the galaxy is save dbecause of it. Luke could never survive such a feat, he had to become one with the Force. There is no place for him in the new generation.

      But by killing and replacing Star Wars, the day is saved. And a little kid with nothing on Canto Bight gets to understand that the Force is for everyone, gets inspired by the teachings of the stories told, to start a quest to make things better. Just as the original Star Wars did a long time ago.

      Let the past die. Kill it if you have to
      Why?
      Because “We are what they grow beyond,”

    • I can’t speak for Matt, but I probably am. I think lore can be really interesting, and when there’s juicy lore it’s fun to figure it out (see any of my Wicked+Divine posts), but ultimately lore means nothing if theme and character isn’t there to make it interesting. Generally, if I can’t care about the characters, I’m not going to care about the lore surrounding them.

      ***LAST JEDI SPOILERS***
      *******************

      I think part of the problem with the two pieces of Force Awakens lore everybody got hung up on — Snoke’s identity and the identity of Rey’s parents — was that everybody dove TOO deep into the lore with them. Everybody thought Rey was a Skywalker or a Kenobi. Everybody thought Snoke was some deep-cut character from the EU or another. I think both of those choices would have been a mistake. For all the nostalgia built into the Force Awakens, it was also a movie about making something new, a movie meant to make Rey and Finn the new heroes of the Star Wars saga, and I think tying them so directly to past heroes would dilute that power. I fell in love with those characters because they’re Rey and Finn, not because they might be related to some other Star Wars hero I already loved. Even Force Awakens made the only explicit connection between the original generation of heroes and the new ones the villainous Kylo Ren.

      I wouldn’t mind knowing more about Snoke, but I also think we know enough about him for the character to work — he’s an immensely powerful Dark Side user who took command of the fragmented remains of the Empire and united them in a bid to take over the universe. He’s not important enough of a character for anything else about him to be vital to the story. Much like the Emperor before him with Vader, Snoke’s role is to be someone to control and challenge Kylo Ren. Snoke was only important for the effect he had on Kylo. Would knowing how he got so powerful or found his connection to the Dark Side or why he wanted power change how we feel about any of the Snoke/Kylo scenes in Last Jedi? I doubt it.

      (the only thing I’d really like to see about Snoke is how he managed to speak to Ben Solo and win him over, but even that’s not essential for understanding either character)

      As for Rey, her power COMES from her disconnect from the rest of the Star Wars lore. I’ve seen some essays about the power of Rey being a Skywalker, so I wouldn’t necessarily have been crushed if she was, but I think it’s so much stronger for her to just be a nobody. Rey isn’t strong in the force because she’s a Skywalker. Rey isn’t a hero because she’s a Skywalker. She’s powerful and brave because she’s Rey, and if she can be a hero, then so can anybody. Then so can we.

      I can understand why Star Wars fan like lore, to an extent I do too (in my teenage years I once knew all the different forms and stances of lightsaber handling), but I also think they/we can get too myopic with it. Expecting everything to be connected makes the universe feel small and robs non-Skywalker characters of power, importance and significance. We wanted Rey to be a Skywalker or Finn to be related to Lando (ick) why, because they’re not important if they’re not? That’s a mistake I’m glad Last Jedi avoided. The whole idea of the Last Jedi is that the power of the force belongs to everyone, and I think it’s a really, really powerful sentiment. And goddamn timely.

      • Yeah, Spencer, you’ve basically summed up my thoughts. Even discussed some of my content of my review.

        The only thing I’d add is that where I think many have gone wrong with their approach on the Last Jedi is that the whole point of speculating on lore is to predict what it will mean for story, character and theme, and that is what some people have forgotten. Spent so long trying to guess who Rey’s parents are, that they forgot the reason we care about the reveal in Empire is how heart wrenching it is for Luke to learn that the father he admired was actually his nemesis, and what it means that Vader had was actually a father.

        Snoke’s back story is irrelevant. The only important part, how he tempted Kylo, would be distracting in a mocie that wanted to focus on Luke’s role.
        And Rey’s parents is a legitimate mystery that can be worked out through character and theme, not lore. I did.

        The fact that the answers to the big mystery weren’t based on lore is not a failure. A mystery’s resolution can be based on other things, even if that means you spent two years theorising in all the wrong places.

        You just have to remember that no matter how much you enjoy lore, lore is a means to an end, not an end in itself. And I think too many people forgot that

  2. I’m disappointed that Gillen’s Star Wars is being derailed by frustrating art. Gillen isn’t firing on full cylinders yet, but I also find it next to impossible to fully focus on his story when there’s so much weird, unwieldy stuff going on with Larocca’s art. It’s especially frustrating when I know that Larocca is a tremendous artist when he isn’t pursuing limited, jarring artistic choices. I’m frustrated to find us just picking apart the art of this book every month instead of engaging with the story at all, but at the same time, the art makes the book feel almost impenetrable, and hangs over it in a way that we can’t engage with the book at all without at least acknowledging it.

    It’s very disappointing.

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