Star Wars The Last Jedi Review **SPOILERS**

 

So I finally got to see Star Wars The Last Jedi and when the movie ended, my wife asked me what I thought. My response was a simple, but unexpected three words…

I don’t know…

I’d seen some reviews going in, and heard opinions on both sides of the spectrum. So I went in with a cautious optimism. I knew Luke was going to finally reveal all. I knew we’d finally figure out who Snoke was, I knew we’d finally decode everything as to what was to become of the Jedi. This was going to be it, we’d finally get everything come together. So let’s break it down. Again I’m going to warn you all that there are spoilers ahead. So if you haven’t seen the movie yet, you’ve been warned. I am not responsible if you keep going.

So the Resistance… or rebellion… is on the run. This is weird, they refer to it as both. They’ve abandoned their base and are now being chased by a large First Order Fleet… and that’s pretty much where they are the entire movie. The resistance is on a Raddus class Mon Calamari Star Cruiser throughout most of the movie, running from an enemy fleet.

Rey goes off to train with Luke. She hands him the lightsaber and waits for him to speak his first sage words and… he throws the lightsaber over his shoulder and walks away. Okay…

So apparently her and Ben Solo have some kind of odd force bond. They speak throughout the movie, each trying to coax the other to their side. During this time, Luke reveals how his new Jedi Order fell… and how it was actually Luke’s fault. When he sensed what Ben was becoming, he had a momentary inkling to kill him. Ben woke up and saw his master looking down at him with a lightsaber… and at that moment, Luke realized that he’d failed.

Rey fights Luke until he admits it and then she leaves to go see Ben while Luke has a conversation with Yoda’s ghost about what Rey needs to learn.

Meanwhile, Fin takes off with a new love interest from the resistance cruiser and goes to a casino world to help find a data hacker that can help them get away from the first order. They’re told to find a gambler who was also a master hacker (*gasp* LANDO!?!?!?). Nope… they find Benicio Del Toro who helps them escape, helps them get on the First Order Flagship where Benicio betrays them, get’s paid for it, and leaves… okay… expected more out of him, but whatever.

So all the while, General Organa (Leia) has been injured on the Cruiser and one of her subordinates, Admiral Holdo, played by Laura Dern takes over. (Ellie from Jurassic Park if you don’t know who that is.) She’s actually a pretty good character, one I really liked and would liked to have seen more from… however she orders everyone off the cruiser in transports and tries to draw off the first order while they make their way to an old rebel base.

Rey shows up on the flagship where she confronts Supreme Leader Snoke. He pretty much tortures her and then invites Ben to kill her. He instead turns on Snoke and murders him… so we still have no idea who he is, but he’s dead so who cares. Ben then reveals that Rey’s parents are nobodies. Yeah, so all those theories you all had about who her parents were? They’re all wrong. She’s an insignificant nobody from a backwater world. Ben offers her to join with him and help him take over the Galaxy, but of course she refuses.

The First Order begins attacking the transports, at which point the Admiral turns her cruiser towards the First Order Fleet and engages her lightspeed drive, taking out the entire fleet. The remaining band of rebels land on the planet and take up refuge in the base, while the first order lands their remaining ships and are now referring to Ben as the Supreme Leader.

A fight reminiscent of Hoth ensues, the Rebels fly these old speeders and attempt to take on the First Order Walkers… and they get slaughtered. Luke then shows up on the scene and steps in front of the walkers to challenge Ben. The two have a… surprisingly bad ass fight, at which point its revealed that Luke isn’t really there. He’s still at the temple, but weakened and appears to be injured. He slowly disappears, becoming one with the force.

Ben leaves with the First Order, Rey reveals more Jedi powers, and the few surviving members of the resistance board the Millenium Falcon and head off into space.

So… the movie ends and…

We still have no clue who Snoke was.

Rey is revealed to be nobody.

The First Order is in Shambles.

The New Republic is apparently all but quashed.

The Resistance is no better.

Luke is dead.

Rey is a fledgling Jedi with no lightsaber as it was destroyed in the fight with Ben.

So what did I think?

Honestly… I don’t know, as I said above. The movie started off seemingly not taking itself very seriously at all. Way too many jokes and funny moments to the point where it was almost a comedy. Then it picked up and got serious. The fights were great and much of the story worked. That being said… I felt like it didn’t explain a lot of what it should have and… honestly we didn’t really see a lot happen. The Resistance spent most of the movie on a large cruiser slowly running away as it was getting pummeled by turbo lasers.

The parts with the Jedi were great, though I didn’t expect all of that backstory about Luke, nor his reactions. I am glad I saw it and do think it was a great movie, but… I don’t really know how to feel about it. I didn’t hate it, but I don’t know if I loved it either. I definitely give them credit for trying something new, but outside of losing Luke and Snoke, I don’t feel like anything was really accomplished.

Do I recommend seeing it? Hell yes. It’s definitely worth it. Just be prepared to leave the theater scratching your head.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

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From My Writing (Christmas!) Playlist

Well it’s about time to wrap up the Christmas Countdown this year on this December the 25th! For the grand finale, I give you one of my personal favorites! It has never truly been the Christmas season for me until this song was played. So to hear it sang by Andrea Bocelli…  I was thrilled, and I am thrilled to share it with all of you!

Merry Christmas from my family to all of yours around the world! Bless you on this most joyous of days! Hope today finds you surrounded by loved ones with many smiles and many happy cheers… and for those of us old enough, some decent booze!

When to Listen: What are you doing? Stop writing, right now! Put this song on speaker and let everyone hear it. This is something better shared! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

From My Writing (Christmas!) Playlist

Okay okay, last one, I promise!!!

When to Listen: Don’t write, just sit back and revel in what all of us who have children know is truth!!!

 



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Contempt for the Contemptful Reader

 

Dear Jim,

I’ve read some of your other posts and was wondering if you had any advice for me. A lot of your other posts have taken stabs at identity politics. I think you and I fall on opposite ends of the spectrum, but I figured I’d give this a shot.

For a long time, I’ve wanted to write a strong lesbian character. Someone I and others like me can relate to. However, since publication, I’ve been getting a lot of critical and downright offensive comments regarding my work. Some of them even come from self-proclaimed homosexuals who say that the character is stereotypical and offensive. I suspect a lot of these people are trolling and would like to expose them as the hateful individuals they are, so I was thinking of writing a blog piece calling them out on their hatred, but I’m worried about potential backlash from doing this.

If you have any advice, I’d really appreciate it.

Thanks,
Alicia (User asked not to use full name)


… Oh boy…

Hi Alicia,

First of all, I want to respond to your idea of posting a response to your critics calling them out. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU DO THIS!!! Dismissing a part of your audience that may have taken issue with something you wrote will not gain you anything. It won’t bring anyone over to your side and it won’t establish you any level of moral high ground.

I invite you to go back and look at my posts regarding the Ghostbusters debacle and Marvel Comics trends. In those cases, Paul Feig and Marvel accused their audiences of being bigoted trolls. The resulting backlash made things considerably worse than if they’d kept their mouths shut.

What I would ask is whether or not you’ve actually considered that their criticisms might actually be valid? I would look at what they’ve said to you, check out any examples that they may have provided and go back and look at your writing to see if you can figure out what they’re talking about.

Looking at one thing you sent me in your message:
“For a long time, I’ve wanted to write a strong lesbian character. Someone I and others like me can relate to.”

I have a feeling that you may have fallen into a trap that a lot of other people have fallen into. When writing a character, I’ve always found that there is a right way to do it and a wrong way. Basically, this is what it boils down to:

Writing a (LGBT\Female\Male\Minority) Character vs. Writing a Character that Happens to be (LGBT\Female\Male\Minority).

At first glance, there may appear to be little to no difference here, but upon further examination the difference is actually very nuanced. Let’s go with the example you gave above about writing a lesbian character. How often does the fact that she’s a lesbian come up? Is she defined by that characteristic?

See the problem with writing a character this way is that too often the character is defined by their sexual preference and that becomes literally all their is to that character. In essence, that character isn’t a character at all, it’s a character archetype which displays extremely stereotypical lesbian traits. This happens because when a character is defined by what they are instead of who they are, they can’t really bring anything more than that to the table and thus cannot contribute any more than that to any dialogue. They’re always going to stand out and they’re never going to be relatable.

Now let’s look at it from the other perspective. Did you write a character that happens to be a lesbian? In other words, did you write a character with a personality, quirks, etc. that offers more than simply being a lesbian? Are there other aspects to the characters personality… and finally, can people other than lesbians relate to this character?

If you create this character and don’t place all the focus on the fact that she’s a lesbian, suddenly this character will likely seem more like an actual human being that could exist. Give her real world problems, some of which only a lesbian would have to, but others that every day people would have to.

You can still have your character tackle issues that those in the LGBT community faces, but without a human characteristic, people are going to see an archetype that is going to come off as stereotypical. Now I grant you that this is simply an assumption on my part as you didn’t provide me any source material, but I’ve seen many writers fall into this trap and I grant you, it is an easy one to fall into.

My advice to you is two-fold. First, sorry to be blunt about this, but you need to grow a thicker skin. This is advice that you really should have gotten before you started out and I’m sorry that you’re learning it after the fact. Different people speak different ways and what might come off as mean may simply be them being blunt. That being said, their are going to be trolls out there and if you put yourself out in view of the public, especially online, chances are good that you’re going to get trolled.

Which brings me to my second piece of advice. Take a couple of their comments, post them in a blog piece and say something to the effect of “Okay, I can understand why you might feel that way, but honestly my intent was to create a character for people like me that we can relate to. If you have any advice on how I can improve, I’d like to hear them. All I ask is that you give my story a chance.”

That’s really all you have to say and most of the time you’ll either silence or satisfy much of the controversy surrounding your work. Just to reiterate though, do not call them out, do not resort to name-calling, and do not accuse them of bigotry/hatred. Doing that will be like throwing gasoline on the fire and will embolden critics. Word of mouth is everything in this business and attacking critics will come off as you showing contempt for your readers if they don’t necessarily agree with you.

In the end, you won’t silence them and you’ll only be hurting yourself and your writing.

I know that this was an extremely blunt piece of advice, but I really think that what I wrote above is the best way forward for you. If you’d like to discuss this further, my door is always open and you are 100% encouraged to send me a followup if you need any help.

Now what’s say we open this up to my reader base? What does everyone think? Does anyone have advice for A.? How can she rectify this situation?

Thanks All,

Jim



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

 

Unfinished Works and What To Do With Them.

 

Hi Jim,

I have a number of stories that I’ve just completely run out of steam on. I don’t want to finish them, I’m not enthusiastic about writing them anymore. I was wondering, what do you think I should do with them? I spent a lot of time on them and it seems a shame to just up and delete them. What do you think?

Thanks,
Nick


Hi Nick,

I hear you. It’s always tough to bite the bullet and give up on a story that you’ve worked so hard on. I’ve posted a number of my unfinished stories here, which you can go back and read if you like.

All right to answer your question, there are quite a few things you can do with them. First, you could put them on the back burner. Who knows, you may come up with a way to continue the story sometime down the line. It’s never too late to go back and re-examine your previous works.

Secondly, you can always recycle the characters. Keep them around and reuse them later on in another book. If you write another story and are looking for dynamic characters to use, why write new ones? You’ve got characters right in a saved file that you were at one time very enthusiastic about. This is your chance to give them the finished story that they deserve.

Third, use those stories as a reference. Believe it or not, an abandoned Star Wars fanfic I wrote many years ago became the sequel to my first full-length novel, Divinity. Yes obviously the Face of Evil was cannibalized beyond recognition when it was rewritten as Damnation, but some elements of the original story still exist. If not for keeping a copy of The Face of Evil, Damnation may have either never existed or been a lot different than it is.

Finally, find another author to read and finish the work. Yes, there’s no rule that says you can’t co-author the story with someone else. I’ve personally never done this, but I have heard of others doing it with some success.

So I think in the end, having a library of unfinished works around cost you nothing more than a few megabytes. They’re good reference, a good starting point, and may be something you can revisit later on. So my advice to you is never to delete your writing. Don’t tear it up, don’t destroy it. Even in it’s unfinished form, the story itself has value.

Anyway, I hope this gives you some insight. If you have any further questions, please feel free to email me. Now let’s open it up to the other writers on here. What does everyone else think? What do you do with works that you can’t finish? Do you keep them around or just keep certain elements in your head? Is there some value in keeping them around?



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

From My Writing (Christmas!) Playlist

So this one is a little more solemn and more downplayed, but is a nice song nonetheless.

When to Listen: I would say that this is a song to listen to when winding down after writing.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

From My Writing (Christmas!) Playlist

This is awesome. Always has been. There is some controversy as to whether or not Metallica was the one playing with the Trans Siberian Orchestra here, but I don’t care. It’s a really good song.

When to Listen: Build up. This is a song you listen in anticipation of the final battle use this when writing as the armies march to the final fight, or when a hero approaches his final destination.

 



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim