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Discussion TLJ The Island: A "Luke in TLJ" Teeth Gnashers Perspective (see warning on page 9 before posting)

Discussion in 'Star Wars: Sequel Trilogy (Released Films)' started by -LordSkywalker-, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. -LordSkywalker-

    -LordSkywalker- Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 3, 2013
    This thread is to discuss negative interpretations of Luke’s journey in TLJ, i.e. “A Teeth Gnashers Perspective”.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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  2. DarthKeithSkywalker

    DarthKeithSkywalker Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Oct 5, 2015
    I've posted this before in the Luke in TLJ thread. Thought it would be more appropriate over here.

    So here's the thing: I have no problem if Rian Johnson wants to portray Luke Skywalker as human and not infallible to fail. The problem lies in the execution.

    In "Return of the Jedi", Luke kept on believing his father could turn back and kept on clinging to that hope by surrendering himself to him and tried to appeal to Vader's inner goodness, before when he was fighting him in the throne room. Until when Vader threatened to turn Leia to the dark side later did Luke go ballistic on Vader, but finally stopped and tossed his saber away, thereby passing his trial to become a Jedi Knight, culminating in his greatest moment of his Hero's Journey in the original trilogy.

    In "The Last Jedi", Luke was never shown wanting to do whatever he could to help turn Ben even though Vader was more evil than Ben after all he saw was a fleeting vision. Luke's decision not to fight Vader was the climax of his character arc (and arguably the entire trilogy), and the moment he truly became a Jedi. Having him later go back on it completely undermines that moment. It is, frankly, piss poor execution.

    His failure happened because he made decisions that contrasts what we see in "Return of the Jedi". In fact, they directly contradicted the character growth we see in the throne room duel. To do that to a character you have to earn that through the storytelling.

    You have to develop the character to the point that it is believable that he would do that. You can't simply say, "Oh people change over time", or "It was instinct". No, that is not good storytelling, in my opinion.
     
  3. cerealbox

    cerealbox Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    May 5, 2016
    Spare the rod, spoil the child
     
  4. -LordSkywalker-

    -LordSkywalker- Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 3, 2013
    Totally agree. It is jarring to say the least to go from Luke at a point of spiritual enlightenment at the end of ROTJ after an arduous charcter arc in the OT to what we see in TLJ.

    For me the movie needed to be much more explicit as to what changed Luke from as Mark Hamill said “the most optimistic guy in the galaxy” to this jaded hermit who first instinct was to kill his nephew rather than save him.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  5. DarthPhilosopher

    DarthPhilosopher Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 23, 2011
    So do you genuinely think that Luke tried to kill Ben?

    Or is Luke having a moment of panic too much often you?

    This is why the other thread has been given a no-complaints makeover. There is no more discussion to be had. You post what you posted. I post the same rebuttle questions. And you say that Luke wouldn't consider it

    You wanted Luke to be beyond faults. What faults would you have accepted?
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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  6. ChildOfWinds

    ChildOfWinds Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 7, 2001
    I agree, @ Darth Keith skywalker. When the portrayal is moved so far away from the character that we knew from the previous trilogy, audience members can be pulled right out of the film. I know that my reaction was immediate: Luke wouldn’t do that! He found good even in Vader, who had done tremendous evil for over 25 years! He wouldn’t give up on his beloved twin’ s only son, ESPECIALLY since he hadn’t yet committed any crimes. Plus, knowing the rules about force visions, we as audience members know, as does Luke, that the future is always in motion. There was no certainty that Ben would fall at that point. So, the filmmaker’s whole explanation for why Luke would run away like a coward into exile for six years, didn’t work for me. And that was just one thing that I thought was wrong with what they did with Luke.
     
  7. cerealbox

    cerealbox Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    May 5, 2016
    Well, for one thing, Luke now has in his care, 12 impressionable young people.

    If he has reason to believe one of them will hurt the others, he has to act on it. As their guardian.

    Luke's first instinct would be to defend his other students.

    I mean, are there any teachers or professors here in the forum, that may want to chime in?
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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  8. Xinau

    Xinau Jedi Knight star 4

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    Apr 22, 2015
  9. -LordSkywalker-

    -LordSkywalker- Jedi Master star 4

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    Aug 3, 2013
    Yes he does but as a first instinct the Luke ignites his lightsaber over his sleeping nephew? Love, if not for Ben then Leia should have made his instinct to be otherwise. Given that, IMO the filmmaker has to do a lot more heavy lifting in my mind to make me believe that kind of 180.

    Also Ben had not done anything wrong yet and Luke already learned in the OT (paying the price of his hand) that visions of the future are not to be trusted.
     
  10. ChildOfWinds

    ChildOfWinds Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 7, 2001
    I would have accepted a more believable “ Luke fault”, which would be that Luke always believed that you could find good in everyone, plus his love of family. I could see Luke realizing that Ben had a darkness about him, but that he was certain he could reach him and turn him to the light as he did his father. That maybe even one of his other students warned him that Ben was planning something terrible, but Luke still felt that his love for Ben could win him over, only to have Ben betray him and kill all of his Jedi and destroy his academy. But I wouldn’t want any of the other Jedi to fall. It was bad enough that the filmmakers had Ben/Kylo fall on his watch. Did he need to make Luke such a terrible, out of touch teacher that half the students fell to the dark side?
     
  11. MS1

    MS1 Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 18, 2015
    So much need for this thread. Thank you. I grew up as a child where StarWars was everything and I looked forward to TLJ more than any movie since ROTJ. It has broken my heart and I can't for a moment reconcile how anyone justifies to themselves to change and assassinate a character that has so much admiration and legacy.

    There are parts of TLJ that I like and I was very much looking forward to the story of Luke and Rey's progression. The visuals are amazing, as is the sound but for me its clear now that the OT characters are simply being used for shock value in economical and poorly planned stories. As an audience member I'm not prepared to be insulted in such fashion nor have my childhood heroes reimagined so as they are unrecognisable. The end of TLJ left me without emotion nor hint of enthusiasm to see any more of the ST. From a story standpoint there was nothing gained by using Lukes projection over him being there unless it was to not die. Yet he died and all hope to enjoy StarWars along with it.

    The one take away from TLJ was how good Mark's acting and screen presence was and I'm just so deeply saddened that wasn't used to make movie history instead of TLJ making history for all the wrong reasons. I wish we got to see Luke happy at some point. Mark and Luke are both happy and positive people and Luke has faced the greatest of challenges and overcame them. His story in TLJ was a horrible misuse of 40 years of audience love for the story of Luke Skywalker.

    R.I.P Luke Skywalker 2017

    As a point of failure in the film I think it was as unsuccessful as it possibly could have ever been in explaining why Luke ended up on that island. Playing a part in creating the greatest evil in the galaxy is not something he would run away from. Trying to kill his sisters and best friends son is not something he would have ever done. There are so many other possibilities of intervention before murder.

    We can't change the movie but I believe there are stories that could have explained his exile. Why one couldn't be reached we will never know :-(
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  12. HandofSkywalker86

    HandofSkywalker86 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Really, what it comes down to is that the Sequel Trilogy didn't earn the treatment that Luke received. Three of the most successful and beloved movies ever shown on the silver screen painted Luke as one of the most iconic heroes in cinematic history. They took him from a callow youth on a farm and turned him to a powerful jedi willing to sacrifice himself in order to redeem a family member. He became a man who was worthy of the legend that sprung up around him, a hero that others could believe in. This is a journey chalk full of mythology and struggle, something that resonated with me for decades. Time and effort and real thought was put into his journey and the many obstacles he had to overcome. In the end, we're left with Luke and his friends and family triumphant over the Galactic Empire in a galaxy far far away. A fairy tale if I've ever seen one.

    And, then, the Sequel Trilogy comes in and tears down everything he accomplished and pisses on its ashes. It creates scenes and plots where the character of Luke Skywalker has to be bent and broken to fit into until what we're left with isn't really Luke. Mark Hamill does a credible job on the screen. He and Adam Driver give the best performances in the film, but Luke Skywalker was hardly in evidence. From what was established in the Original Trilogy, the trilogy that the current crop of films mines so heavily for nostalgia, Luke was an optimistic and hopeful hero, he was loyal to a fault to his friends and family, he was a man of action, and he could see the light even in the darkest of souls. The Luke we got was a broken man content with dying on the most isolated planet in the galaxy, he was happy to let his immensely powerful darksider nephew run amok, and he was a coward unwilling and unable to look past his own pain to try to help the galaxy.

    That is not Luke Skywalker.


    All of this stems from a heavily contrived plot point of him standing over his sleeping nephew at night where he contemplated murder based on a vision... instead of trying to talk to him normally. This is all when he went to the greatest lengths to redeem one of the most vile men in the Galaxy's long history, and he knows that the future is always in motion. Even as a simple moisture farmer, Luke was never that inept! Nothing in his well-established history shows that this is an action he would take. This is plainly character assassination to suit the needs of the movie.

    Does my rejection of the way Luke was treated in this movie mean that I want a 'Perfect Luke'? Absolutely not. Flaws are essential for any character worth their salt. However, these flaws should be in-line with the character established over the course of three damned movies. Luke has a litany of such flaws and foibles a writer could play with... just not the one's that were foisted on him in this latest movie. If they wanted to take this route, they should have dedicated far more time and narrative weight to setup Luke's 'evolution' of character and shown the character growth more organically. As it is? They broke Luke's character to fit the story they wanted, and then they did a poor job of trying to sew it back together.

    Of all my problems with The Last Jedi, this continues to be the one thing that sticks in my craw, and the one that may very well keep me from seeing any further Star Wars films.
     
  13. DarthPhilosopher

    DarthPhilosopher Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 23, 2011

    There is nothing in the movie that suggests Luke doesn't still see good in Ben. It's just that he can't save him and that torments Luke.
     
  14. cut-of-space

    cut-of-space Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Nov 29, 2017

    Acceptable faults for post-ROTJ Luke:

    • Feeling extreme guilt.
    • Blaming himself too much.
    • Disillusionment with the Jedi Order.
    • Obsessing over ways to fix his mistakes.
    • Loving & kind to such a degree that he's weighed down by it.
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder + depression from what he's been though.
    • Being 100% unable to fight his nephew because he loves his family too much.
    • Etc.
    Unacceptable faults:
    • Giving up completely.
    • Rejecting his role as a hero.
    • Losing every shred of optimism.
    • Being mean to a young girl he just met after she asks for his help.
    • Repeating the mistakes of his father instead of learning from them.
    • Walking into his sleeping nephew's room and igniting a saber above him...
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  15. MS1

    MS1 Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 18, 2015
    Why would you say he can't save him and what is it thats created that impression?


    @cut-of-space I like your list and agree. In relation to the first list Luke going to the Jedi Island should have meant something. I would have far preferred that Luke saw a failing in himself and was searching for understanding. As it is it is just an island on a planet that was just hidden. It was not the location of any hidden secrets or a way to be closer to the Force. It could have been any hidden planet. But why was the island hidden?

    As soon as you start asking why it leads to so many other questions. Why does the dark side always overcome the Skywalker's when it was extinguished from the Jedi for 1,000 years. That would have been something relevant to put into the story wouldn't it? TLJ seems to answer no questions it just ends ones asked in TLJ.

    Luke also doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who would go to a place to die slowly. If thats what he wanted then I think he would hyperspace into the nearest star and end it with sudden effectiveness.

    The whole movie try's to present that Luke fails on every single level. Of cause the reality is that Luke overcomes all obstacles. In 50 million systems he is the only Jedi and the means something.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  16. -LordSkywalker-

    -LordSkywalker- Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 3, 2013
    I feel much the same. As a forty-year old parent, Luke Skywalker in OT was one of the only innocent things I had left from my childhood. This movie’s deconstruction of Luke has permanently robbed me of that. It would have been great to see Mark’s fantastic acting put to use in a more in-in-character depiction of Luke.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  17. DarthPhilosopher

    DarthPhilosopher Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Because from Kylo's perspective Luke tied to kill him. We know that isn't actually true, but Kylo doesn't. That's why Luke can't save him. It's ridiculous that Luke is meant to be in position to save everyone.
     
  18. DarthKeithSkywalker

    DarthKeithSkywalker Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Oct 5, 2015

    I want Luke to have some sort of progression since ROTJ. Don't get me wrong, Jedi can and should fail. Even Jedi masters. But given the nature of Luke's character, I don't believe for a second that he would just secretly sneak into Ben's hut when he was sleeping, read his mind without his consent, shocked at what he perceived to be and ignited the saber (even fleetingly).

    Yes, I've also said before that whatever happened after that is all due to Ben, not Luke. Again, don't get me wrong. I'm not blaming Luke for whatever happened after that. It shouldn't be Luke's fault at all. Ben killed the students, Ben destroyed the temple, Ben killed far countless more after that.

    It's the way that part of Luke's failure that was executed on screen that I have a problem with. Luke used love & compassion to appeal to Vader in ROTJ while 24 years later, Luke ignited a saber after sensing Kylo's mind. He didn't kill Ben, yes, but there was an attempt & he felt ashamed for it. Why didn't Luke did the same for Ben he did for Vader? RJ said to IGN "Are you kidding? Vader was worse than Kylo ever was, I think, and got redeemed." Since that's the case, why is Luke so adamant Kylo is so deep in the dark side that he couldn't be turned at that point of time but Luke still sensed the good in Vader enough to redeem him?

    And juxtaposing Luke's failure as a Jedi compared to Obi-Wan's and Yoda's, it's ok for Jedi to fail. Obi-Wan failed, exiled in Tatooine, still believed in the Force & wait to train Luke. Yoda failed, exiled in Dagobah, learnt his mistakes, believed in the Force & trained Luke. Luke exiled, lost faith in the Force & refused to fight Snoke. So why didn't Luke even bother to go confront Snoke directly after Ben destroyed this Jedi Temple? Luke just give up totally & go to Ahch-To to die?

    Yes, Luke is human. We already saw that in the OT. I don't need TLJ to show me that again. I saw Luke facing down the dark side & reject it in ROTJ, so frankly, I didn't need to see him struggle again 24 years later. It's him going to Ahch-To to wait for his death while Snoke & Ben ravage the galaxy, & still didn't want to help after learning Han is dead I have a problem with.

    Again, to be clear, I'm not blaming Luke, in case people put words into my mouth. Ben did what he did, Luke did what he did. Sure, he did came through at the end to be heroic Luke again. Reflects more of how RJ didn't know what to do with Luke without him outshining the new generation. That's fine. It's a new story. I can also create a story where I changed a character's basic values to fit into my story. Whether that character is recognizable or not, obviously will be up for debate. And then I will come up with circumstances to explain that change to justify the story.

    Just my two cents. We don't have to tear down each other just to show I'm right or you're right. Good for you for liking it & able to justify it. For me, I just don't like Luke's progression at all & it feels alot like regression to me instead. Just that I hope fans who like it can see where other fans who don't are coming from. That is all. Now, let the feeding frenzy begin.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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  19. dick rodgers

    dick rodgers Jedi Knight star 2

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    Feb 23, 2016
    i hear ya. it showed me how little KK cares about the OT characters. how much she respects the history and the fans. the OT nostalgia angle is a ploy for $$$. hope this thread doesnt get shut down! wouldnt surprise me.
     
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  20. DarthPhilosopher

    DarthPhilosopher Jedi Master star 4

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    Jan 23, 2011

    Firstly, I'm not arguing to prove you wrong. I'm discussing because I initially had the same perspective and now believe I was wrong.

    Second the bolded part is just incorrect and simply isn't on screen (except as Kylo's vision). I think that might be why you're having trouble with the scene. Everything following seems to me to rely on that incorrect statement.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  21. MS1

    MS1 Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 18, 2015
    Its interesting how many people say that. I am the same and have a young daughter and was deeply invested in Rey and the message from TFA. Lukes story is the one getting the most attention but I think Rey's has been lost as well. My sister hates TLJ and she feels the damage done to Luke is also done to Leia and I also agree with her point of view.

    It is a fundamental complaint that I have that SW has diverged from one about the battle between good and evil and right and wrong into a message of incoherence. We have enough grey areas in life but StarWars built a moral code in kids and that was a really good thing.
     
  22. -LordSkywalker-

    -LordSkywalker- Jedi Master star 4

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    Aug 3, 2013
    Yeah they using Luke as the vessel for this morally ambiguous view of the world. A kind of riff on the “die a hero or live long enough to become the villain” from The Dark Knight.
     
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  23. DarthPhilosopher

    DarthPhilosopher Jedi Master star 4

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    Jan 23, 2011
    How is he morally ambiguous? He literally feels guilty for having a moment of potential darkness and is willing to end the Jedi to stop their potential to breed darkness. If anything he is too obsessed with preserving the light.
     
  24. -LordSkywalker-

    -LordSkywalker- Jedi Master star 4

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    Aug 3, 2013
    Putting aside Ben’s misdeeds after, I view Luke sneaking into his room and probing his mind without permission as a violation of Ben. IMO it is not a moral thing to do even if done for the right reasons.

    Also while not about Luke, the whole riff with DJ basically says there are no real “good guys”.
     
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  25. MS1

    MS1 Jedi Knight star 4

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    Dec 18, 2015
    The spirit of my comment was suggesting the movie in general and not Lukes actions. But I agree with the point above that @-LordSkywalker- makes.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018