Throwback Thursday to the Humor in Star Wars: The Last Jediby Todd King, contributing writer
It's now countdown time to The Rise of the Resistance. It's seven weeks until it opens in Walt Disney World, and 13 weeks until it opens in Disneyland. All we can do now is wait while we try to fathom the view these guests have in the video below:
Join the Resistance in an epic battle against the First Order on this exciting new ride opening December 5, 2019 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida and Jan. 17, 2020 at Disneyland park in California. Disney.
If you're curious about details of things to do in Galaxy's Edge, read Megan Walker's latest article, "Building a New Friend at Droid Depot." Megan sums up the experience this way:
"Not only is it a really hands-on experience where you get to build your droid yourself and not just pick it off a shelf, but it's also completely customizable, which makes every droid really unique to whoever built it."
Triple Force Friday Happened
Did you get any new Star Wars stuff? There are lots of new products that are filling (and disappearing from) store shelves like this, quite frankly, photogenic figure above of The Mandalorian. That one is from the Black Series and if you want to find out more about the series, there is an interview with Hasbro design manager Sam Smith at StarWars.com.
There was also a very fun livestream with the hosts of The Star Wars Show presenting some of the new toys and merchandise and revealing them to some of the stars of the upcoming films and projects. You can see John Boyega see new Finn figures, Anthony Daniels comment on C3PO's likeness and new weaponry, and Diego Luna go crazy over new Mandalorian stuff. It really is a delightful format to highlight some of the new items with the stars themselves. Check it out below:
Triple Force Friday Global Reveal Livestream. Official Star Wars YouTube Channel.
For a nearly full rundown of the products in stores, check out the images in this article from StarWars.com that includes information on figures, watches, and sweatshirts.
A Look at the Laughs in The Last Jedi
I've nearly reached the end of my months-long journey in my positive reviews of the humor in all the Star Wars movies. This month, is two years out from the release of Episode VIII so the throwback of this Thursday isn't too far. Two years may feel like a long time anyway, but we used to have to wait three years between movies and that was near agony. In these two years heaps of criticism from all sides have attacked and defended, put down and lifted up The Last Jedi and people continue to argue about all the way up to the release of The Rise of Skywalker in two months time. Something must be incredible about it because we're still talking about it and the one thing I can't seem to find is abject apathy toward it which is probably a good thing.
I don't want to dwell on the arguments or make a treatise or compose a dissertation on all the finer points of canon-making, storytelling, and whatnot because my mission is to look at the comedy of the movies, including this one. I was surprised just how funny parts of this movie was, especially on repeat viewings. There are a few subtle moments I missed a few times and it keeps me coming back like all the others!
Suffice it to say I simply love all the Star Wars movies. I grew up with it; it grew up with me. Maybe this love is blind. I love The Last Jedi, too. Perhaps you believe I don't think critically about it and dismiss me. Perhaps you think I'll just accept anything bearing the "Star Wars" moniker (possible). It would be flippant of me to say that I don't care what you think, and that would be untrue. However, I don't feel it necessary to defend my views—but as a writer I desire to state them anyway, not as an attack or as a defense, but to append my reflections on the greater conversation. This movie is very rich, subtly complicated, and just as wonderful and imperfect as the others.
It was not what I expected. Dare I say, it was not what I wanted. It is a challenge to me. It has made me consider the characters, the story, and their progressions in new ways. These characters should have enough experience to avoid the mistakes they made, I kept thinking to myself. But, what if these were new experiences and the old solutions couldn't fix the new problems? The challenges don't stop and evil never dies (no one is ever truly gone). Rose expects Finn to be a hero, he keeps the desire to run. Rey expects Luke to be the ultimate wise and powerful Jedi, he thought so, too, but it still didn't stop the evil. What then? These are questions I didn't know I wanted to consider. The film challenged me like no other. To modify Ego's review from Pixar's Ratatouille:
"To say that both the [movie] and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about [Star Wars] is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core."
Did I end up getting something better than the tangled tales in my imagination? Not sure if that's ever happened with any movie or story. Not that I could write anything better than any of these movies, just that imagination is more free and more wild than any screenplay regardless of the author. What I got was a story, like in all the Star Wars movies, that I can sink my teeth into. They all have so much to enjoy and to contemplate—that's why I love them all. This one, where my heroes feel like imposters, where my heroes make bad decisions, where my heroes fail so hard they hurt others, makes it hard to like. This one, where my heroes eventually stop being self-centered, where my heroes move on to make better choices, where my heroes learn from their mistakes, gives it purpose. I accept it, and I love it with a new kind of love I didn't have before.
On to the Funny Bits
Enough about the analysis that I said I wouldn't do, how about the humor?
BB-8 follows in the "footsteps" of R2-D2 as the fiesty one. When he's on screen, he steals the scene.
Wookie vs. Porg
I can't help but compare the next two images…
The Finn and The Rose
Finn realizes she's getting in the way of his escape and tries to simply brush her off and give a polite adieu by saying, "May the Force be with you." His newest fan reacts with a whispered, "Wow." That's pretty much how I'd react if a star from Star Wars said that to me. © Lucasfilm.
Finn keeps trying to get rid of Rose with some, perhaps false, modesty saying that he's not a hero. "But you are a hero!" replies Rose running up to him, blocking him further from the escape pod. © Lucasfilm.
After she inevitably knocks him out, they eventually start dealing with a larger issue—that their ship is being tracked. Even now calling him a traitor (which he's been called before), Rose starts problem-solving out loud while Finn joins in, saying that he used to mop the floor where the beacon they need to shut off resides. © Lucasfilm.
When Rose and Finn present their plan to Poe, he asks them how they met. Rose says, "Just luck," confirming that she's willing to forget his attempted escape and work with him for the greater good (and she never brings it up again). To Finn, this means he's earned her trust. It's a sweet moment. © Lucasfilm.
At this non sequitur by Maz, Rose and Finn take a quick and subtle moment to consider what she means by this." I didn't catch this funny moment until several viewings later and I like discovering these little asides. © Lucasfilm.
Taking Care of Carelessness
Rey has a shaky relationship to Ach-To's caretakers from the start where she accidentally shoots a hole in one of the stone huts after encountered Kylo Ren. The caretakers are exasperated by this sudden destruction. © Lucasfilm.
The innocent caretaker stares in disbelief that the cart is gone and silently laments its loss. Rey further depreciates her relationship to them which reminds her again she has more to learn. © Lucasfilm.
General Armitage Hux is such a lovable fool played spiritedly by Domhnall Gleeson who gets several opportunities to mug while being abused by Snoke and Kylo Ren. Here, he's easily distracted by Poe's prank call when he should be firing his ship's lasers. © Lucasfilm.
Hux is the master of the smug look, Grand Moff Tarkin would be proud if it weren't for the General's barely contained insecurities. He always looks like this just before he's proven wrong about something. © Lucasfilm.
Snoke's great quotable line (for you to use at your next office meeting): "My disappointment in your performance can not be overstated." Hux suffers the first of several Force pushes into a hard surface. © Lucasfilm.
While Luke is not, and has never really been, a camtono of monkeys, funny moments do happen around him and because of him. When he finally utters, "Go away!" to whom he presumed was Rey, his door came crashing in via the hands of his friend, Chewbacca. © Lucasfilm.
Yeah, I know people hate this scene, but I find it weirdly funny and it established two things: #1 green milk, which can be found in Galaxy's Edge for real and #2 that without needing to say so, it shows that Luke in his self-exile may have gone a bit crazy. We're not dealing with the old Luke, we're dealing with Old Luke. © Lucasfilm.
Luke's look here, which I love, must be saying, "Ya think?" But he doesn't admonish her, he just knows she is new in the ways of the Force and proceeds to help her on this journey, even if just for a moment. © Lucasfilm.
Yet another memed moment is here when Luke yells at the late Yoda for burning the Sacred Jedi Texts! The meme was used to describe a feeling when something of worthless value was destroyed. © Lucasfilm.
In his final moments, Luke provides us a fitting image (and yet another meme) to just how powerful he could be when he nonchalantly brushes the dust from his tunic after withstanding a minute-long barrage of lasers from First Order walkers. © Lucasfilm.
Rey has learned a lot about the Force, herself, the light and the dark, and has learned from her own failures, too. She knew little about the Force thinking that part of it was about lifting rocks. She knows it is so much more, like using the Force to free others, even if that involves making rocks float. © Lucasfilm.
In an editing gag, we see what looks like a starship about to land on a platform. We've seen many ships land and they often have exhausts to soften their touch to the ground. This one looks like it could have been something akin to Boba Fett's Slave I ship, but… © Lucasfilm.
Very honorable mention. I really didn't notice that DJ put the imperial hat on backwards. I knew there was something odd about his look in this scene but until I paused it, I didn't see his style choice here. It's silly and I love it. © Lucasfilm.
The Last Movie before the Last Movie
So, what humorous moments from The Last Jedi did I miss? Please comment on them.
Thank you for reading along on this year's journey focusing on the comedy in the Star Wars movies. Next time we'll fly into Solo: A Star Wars Story which will have an extensive number of funny moments indeed. Then in December, The Rise of Skywalker, the ninth and final episode of the Skywalker Saga, will be showing in the theaters and I'm sure to have many mixed emotions—sad that it's ending yet happy that the story is complete. I'm sure it will have its fair share of humor like all the other films possess. What a time it will be. Until then, there's always plenty to talk about and plenty to find anew.