Hello ladies and gentlemen! My name is Chris Taylor, I am the Advocate of the Devil, and welcome to the first episode that is being written for the new year! Yaaaay!!
Over the course of the last month… or so… ish, I’ve managed to accomplish quite a bit. I survived yet another Holiday season without hitting bankruptcy, I tetris’d myself into a new apartment, AND had juuuuust enough spare time to see The Last Jedi.
Two years spent in waiting and after the, and I’m quoting the Internet here, absolute necessity of a nostalgia trip that was The Force Awakens, we fans got exactly what we all asked for: A movie that not only did justice to what came before it, but something that was DIFFERENT, something that didn’t rely entirely on previous entries in the Star Wars Universe.
So naturally, Hell froze over and the Internet was satisfied, right?
But this is what we wanted…
Remove from Canon? Are you fucking kidding me? This is ridiculous!
Some of the comments on the other Star Wars videos we’ve done have asked us to defend The Force Awakens. At first, I didn’t want to. The rest of the trilogy hasn’t come out yet and we don’t know exactly where all the story beats are leading up to just yet. It’s incomplete.
However, I can’t get this flick out of my head, and seeing the public outcry, the over reaction of the fan base… I need to get this off my chest. It’s time to go where so many have gone before, including BD, and share my thoughts on The Last Jedi.
So the first thing that I want to get off my chest is this, and it’s a question: What did you expect was going to happen? When the Force Awakens came out, for the first few… I’m going to be generous and say the first week, but it was most likely only a few hours, everyone was happy. Elated even! We had our Star Wars back!
And then that new car smell wore off a little bit, maybe we even went and saw it a second time in theatre’s and started piecing together a few things. A few similarities started to crop up between Episode 7 and every other movie from the original trilogy.
Right down to it being yet another Death Star.
We get a Cantina, a desert planet ala Tatooine, a mysterious person who is strong with the force. No talk of politics or midichlorians, just a straight up, simple Space Fantasy story. And it was all… just a little too much like A New Hope.
After the initial bits of happiness, we do what we seemingly ALWAYS do with the things we like and… try to figure out all the worst parts of it, and then only focus on that, since clearly we aren’t allowed to have things that make us happy.
But above all else, we start OVER thinking what this movie was, or more specifically… what the NEXT movie COULD be about. We look at all the things that weren’t outright spelled out, and then start making our own assumptions on things.
Rey NEEDS to be special! And so she must be Luke’s kid, or maybe Old Ben had a fling with someone. Rey is too strong in the force, and this is Star Wars, she MUST be linked somehow to the Skywalkers.
I’m not going to lie, I did a fair bit of speculating myself. I personally thought she was a Skywalker since… it’s a numbered Star Wars movie, and they’ve all been focused on a Skywalker. Anakin for the prequels, Luke for the originals.
And yet… when in Force Awakens was this alluded to? Was it ever said out right or even hinted at that she was related to previous characters? No! The one thing that we DID get was a vision after she touches Luke’s slash Annie’s lightsaber.
But this also isn’t the first time we’ve seen characters have visions. Both Luke and Anakin have visions in their respective movies, sure, but… that’s actually not what I mean. Let me explain.
When Luke is training on Dagobah with Yoda, he sees a premonition of his friends being tortured. Yoda makes mention of the fact that he’s seeing a vision of what could be in the future, but to leave so quickly would be to do as Vader would want, for him to be an incomplete Jedi and turn to the Dark Side of the Force.
The way Yoda describes this, however, is not in shock or even in surprise. It is clear by the inflections of Yoda’s speech that this is one aspect of the Force’s power: Being able to see the future, or at least glimmers of it.
There’s precedent set in the Prequels as well. The one who shall destroy the Sith and Bring Balance to the force… not Anakin, but the prophecy ABOUT Anakin! Clearly someone within the Jedi order has had visions before! So is it so surprising that Rey, a person who is clearly strong with The Force, could have visions too?
This actually brings me to my next point: Expectations! People at one point or another have ragged on the Prequels. I myself have already taken up enough space in Youtube defending my stance on those movies, but that’s not to say that there weren’t some good points against them.
That being said, prequels by their very nature are somewhat predictable. They exist within the same timeframe as the originals and… well, we already saw what happened. We see the end results. So a prequel is going to be able to fill in the blanks on some of the details, help set up what is going to happen, but there’s very little room for surprise since we know exactly where it’s leading up to!
So in that respect, we knew what to expect. We knew that this was going to be the tale of how Anakin became Darth Vader, who Obi Wan was before he became a desert hermit.
I covered a little bit of this in my Mass Effect video too but the same holds true here too. As soon as we heard that there was going to be ANOTHER trilogy, our minds started concocting all the things that these movies COULD be! And in so doing, what came out could never match up to what was going on inside our own heads. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that per se, except doesn’t that seem a tad too familiar?
Yes, that’s right, that’s what happened with the prequels too? We heard that there were going to be more Star Wars movies, written and directed by the guy who made A New Hope, and after years of knowing and loving the originals and what was mentioned within them, we started imagining what they could be.
But they weren’t what we thought. There was a lot of pandering to the originals, a lot of things seemingly shoe horned in just to appease fans, and not enough difference!
The thing that seemed to upset the fanbase the most about The Force Awakens was that it was afraid to take risks, to do something new with the franchise. And yet here, in The Last Jedi, we have EVERY new thing… and that isn’t good enough either?
Poe Dameron, our new Trilogy’s Han Solo archetype should be winning every fight, having everyone on his side, and yet he needs to get knocked down a peg. Supreme Leader Snoke looks like he’s about to be set up as our new Emperor Palpatine… Question: Do we really WANT another set of movies to be EXACTLY like the previous ones? Isn’t that the trap that the prequels, or even The Force Awakens fell into?
That’s why when Kylo Ren tells Rey that they need to destroy the past, obliterate it so that they can create their own destiny… I got chills. Chills of wonder and excitement. A new time for adventure!
Yeah well I’m not a Jedi, Silent Bob. I’m a human being. What The Last Jedi has done was something that we haven’t experienced since either A New Hope OR Empire Strikes back, and that is give us absolutely ZERO idea of where things are going to go! The Galaxy far far away is wide open for new story beats, new places for these characters to go.
AND it was a great way of both linking this new trilogy with the old, AND telling us, as Luke puts it right at the beginning, that this isn’t going to go where we expect it to go. That things are going to be different.
Star Wars is a massive franchise, and the way it’s going to stay, the way to give it longevity, is to keep trying NEW things. If all we ever get is the same story over and over again, then why would we bother with it?
But above all else, and this is my last and most important point… it’s still being talked about. Still being examined by so many different people. Whether it be in the positive aspects of the greater narrative, or the negative things that just didn’t quite click with us, this is a movie that won’t soon be forgotten.
In pro wrestling, what matters most is a reaction. Any reaction. Whether you’re a good guy or a bad guy, so long as the audience is reacting in some way to what you’re doing, even the opposite of what you’re trying to do, then you at least know you’re on to something.
The worst thing for a pro wrestler is silence. Zero feed back. With no noise, you don’t know if what you’re doing is right or wrong, you’re just floundering along with no hope or direction.
It’s the same with movies. If the crowd loves it, great, you know you’re doing something right. If the crowd lambasts it, then they’re telling you what you need to fix. If the crowd is silent… then you don’t know one way or another, and you’re just stuck in existence.
Star Wars Episode eight, The Last Jedi has got us ALL talking, which I don’t think very many people were expecting after The Force Awakens, and I am infinitely more excited about episode 9 then I thought I could be because of it.
Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, I do hope I managed to shed some light into why I enjoyed The Last Jedi. Whether it be in the subversion of our expectations, or even just the simple act of essentially giving us what we all asked for, The Last Jedi deserves to remain in Canon for all of its positives AND negatives.
And even if you decide to disagree, which you have absolutely every right to, at least we’re all TALKING about Star Wars again, something I think quite a few people doubted was going to happen after the release of Episode 7.
As always, don’t forget to hit that subscribe button to keep up with everything we have going on here at Devious Advocacy, and if you’d like you can click the link in the description below to keep the discussion going on Discord! We have many Star Wars fans on there, us included!
Thank you Thank you THANK you to all of you wonderful Patrons for supporting us this far. This new year is looking to be very exciting for all of us, and we hope you enjoy the ride.
And finally, and most importantly, let us know in the comments below what you think! Whether you think I’m right, or couldn’t disagree fast enough, please be a lightsaber, not a blaster.
But for now, in the Case of The Last Jedi… The Defense Rests.
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