Spoilers for pretty much everything in the Last Jedi and the films that preceded it
How the last Jedi lands so many big twists by Spencer Kornhaber (the Atlantic)
Star Wars: the Last Jedi – a spoiler-filled exploration by Ryan Lamble (Den of Geek)
“All of this serves to create a sense of shrinking rather than growing threat – a brave and slightly odd move for the middle chapter in a trilogy. The Last Jedi has unexpectedly sewn all kinds of plot threads up: Snoke’s gone, Luke nobly sacrificed himself, Rey has confronted her past. Yes, the Resistance’s numbers have been decimated, but the First Order has been dealt an even greater blow: its grand puppet master is dead, and in his place we have an aggressive hot-head and a military general so hapless that he could get his own sitcom (co-starring Adrian Edmondson, obviously). This raises the question: will the Resistance destroy the First Order, or will the First Order simply implode through mania and sheer incompetence?”
Toxic Masculinity Is the True Villain of Star Wars: The Last Jedi by Katyi Burt (Den of Geek)
“In the Original Trilogy, Han is presented as the ultimate dude. In heteronormative terms, he is the character every man should want to be and every woman should want to be with. In The Last Jedi, Poe is presented as a character who needs to stop with the mansplaining and learn from the more seasoned female leaders in his life.
That’s not to say that Poe isn’t likeable. Both the film itself and the characters within the cinematic world admire Poe’s character, but, and here’s the kicker, not as a leader. At least not yet.
Instead, the film supports General Leia and Admiral Holdo and their measured maturity over Poe’s machismo-driven exuberance. “She cared more about protecting the light than seeming like a hero,” Leia tells Poe about Holdo’s sacrifice, subverting the tired narrative trend of the alpha male hero as the only viable or best leadership choice. “Not every problem can be solved by jumping in an X-Wing and blowing stuff up,” Leia tells Poe before demoting him. Skilled X-Wing piloting is a solution to some problems, sure, but for Poe to think his is a skillset that solves allproblems is pure hubris.”
[MM: on a related note ‘Emo Kylo Ren‘ has redubbed himself as a Ren’s Right Activist]
The Weekly Planet‘s discussion of the film is both funny and insightful. It also made me feel better about the ‘why didn’t Holdo just tell Poe problem’.
On Soundtracking, Edith Bowman interviews director Rian Johnson about what it’s like to work with John Williams. Short answer: very cool!