by Karl Denninger, Market-Ticker:
I saw The Last Jedi on opening night.
I enjoyed the film. But with that said, let me offer the following: Disney has ruined the franchise.
Oh, don’t get me wrong — the cinematography was excellent. The use of CGI unobtrusive and convincing. Lighting, sound, right up the line where you expect it to be.
But then the troubles started, and they’re all related to the story.
Disney has infused this with just too much bull**** — and layered plenty of SJW crap on top.
If you haven’t seen it yet don’t read any further, as there are a lot of spoilers in here. Then again, there’s not really much to spoil when it comes to the story, so I’m not sorry — not one bit.
Let me preface most of this by saying that when I go see a science fiction film these days I expect rank violations of the Laws of Physics. Artificial gravity within ships, for example, so we don’t all need magnetic boots or a vessel that rotates to produce centrifugal force. Force fields (not the least of which are necessary for navigational deflectors, lest a grain of sand in space puncture your nice ship and let all the air out!) Drive systems we can’t really explain, but which have plausible explanations that are at least consistent within the story (hyperdrives, for example.)
In short I suspend disbelief when I walk into the theater — unless it’s a movie like Gravity, where the setting of the film in the present day (with our limitations) means that I get assaulted within the first 20 minutes by physical impossibilities being presented as major plotlines, recognize them, and it pisses me off for the next two hours straight. That’s what I get for having a decent understanding of orbital mechanics.
But let’s just go after a few in The Last Jedi that are simple gratuitous lines of crap — and which if Disney had paid any attention to anything were easily overcome without being so damned stupid as to puncture the suspension of disbelief bubble not in the theater, but upon later reflection.
First, Leia gets blown out into space when her ship’s bridge is hit by missiles. So do a lot of other people, and they all die as you’d expect someone to when a ship gets hit by a missile, it blows up, their ship now has a big hole in it and the contents of that compartment, including the atmosphere and occupants, are ejected into space. Leia doesn’t die — she’s not crisped by the very large explosion of said missile (really?), not hit by any of the debris from said explosion (REALLY?), and doesn’t freeze to death in the zero-atmosphere and near-zero-temperature of deep space. Instead, although unconscious, enough of her mental acuity survives to use The Force — despite never being trained in its use whatsoever in any previous film — to move her physical body (which, I remind you, was ejected at a high rate of velocity out of said ship) back to the ship, back through the hole in the destroyed bridge and to the door.
Ok, we’re already into theater of the absurd so I hope you don’t mind the next bit of idiocy when the crew of said ship opens that very door which is visibly open to deep space behind her as the entire front of the bridge has been blown to bits by the missile strike and not only do the control systems on said door not have any safeties on them to prevent that abjectly suicidal act somehow committing this act does not immediately depressurize the rest of the ship and suck everyone inside who are in street clothes, starting with the fool who hit the controls at the door, out into space to die. There is no airlock door behind her, in short, that is closed before that door to the corridor is opened. What the actual ****? Why do we need doors, windows and similar structure on said ship at all?
Next, we have the bombers. Bombers that are very large ships (since they’re full of bombs) but are both very slow and without any apparent shielding or material defensive capability — and thus are easily blown up by little Tie Fighters that are a hundredth of their size and displacement. Against exactly what were those bombers designed to be used — Ewok colonies? Ok, we’ll leave that alone for a minute; one bomber survives, sort of, albeit severely damaged with the entire crew apparently dead save one Asian chick inside in the bomb bay with a manual pickle switch that is rattling around on a catwalk above her. Said bomb bay door is open to deep space over the target with said Asian chick inside, minus any exposure protection. No spacesuit, no helmet, nothing. Despite this she does not immediately die (although in zero atmosphere since the bay doors are open to deep space) and there is no apparent force field either, never mind the ship being grievously crippled.
That would be bad enough but then in a miraculous last-ditch act the bomb pickle switch falls off the catwalk into her hand, she pickles the bombs and gravity drops them out of their racks exhibiting the expected V^2 gravity acceleration curve toward the target. In deep space. Said bombs hit the dreadnought and blow it up, along with the bomber and Asian chick. Yes, I buy artificial gravity inside a spaceship for the convenience of the crew but not in deep space beyond said ship’s walls, which means that such “bombs”, had the writers had a single ****ing lick of sense, would have had to include somemeans of imparting acceleration to the projectiles (like a small rocket on the back of each, etc.) Nope — these are clearly iron bombs and fall from their racks unaided all the way to their target. Fall. In space. Yeah. Pardon my giggles at the abject stupidity of Disney’s screenwriters.
If you watched the earlier Star Wars movies (you know, the ones where someone actually had a ****ing clue when they wrote the scripts) you’ll notice that when ships come into a landing bay in space there is an obvious force field encircling the entrance containing the atmosphere in said bay and preventing all the people (and things) inside from being instantly sucked into space and dying of exposure.
If that’s not bad enough the rebel fleet, being chased by the First Order and now having lost its bombers and pretty much all of its fighters as well has multiple ships running away in formation but low on fuel. Oh, we actually have fuel that can run out? I’m impressed that someone within Disney remembered that ships need fuel! But as they run out of fuel they magically stop and come into range of the First Order’s weapons — and are destroyed. Yes, they just stop — in deep space. I see Disney’s writers have never considered that a spaceship is not a car — or a Disney bus — and upon running out of fuel will continue on its present course and speed effectively forever, or at least until it gets caught in something’s gravity well or hits another object, likely long after everyone inside has run out of oxygen and frozen to death.
The idiocy doesn’t stop there as we must consider the command ship (which has the most fuel.) It exactly matches the First Order’s Star Destroyer veloc
ity — to the literal meter/second — and thus can neither escape or be overtaken until its fuel runs out, which thus forms a convenient “you’re going to all die” deadline. In other words the writers inserted an utterly idiotic plot device that has no reasonable explanation in any universe (Star Wars or otherwise) but is used merely to find a way to add a day or so to the plotline for other mindless diversions — while killing nearly all of the rebels much like a raccoon slaughters your chickens in the middle of the night.
There are dozens of ways to get where they were going in this regard but instead of actually deploying an IQ greater than my shoe size the writers chose a story line that was stupid enough to make one throw up in their seat.
Then we have an ersatz-commander, next in line if you will after the previous commander got blown up, who happens to be a hippy-haired woman. Said “commanding officer” has no actual plan at all and no apparent combat experience of any sort; what she originally intends to do is effectively abandon ship, putting the people on unarmed, defenseless small craft and thus get everyone on board killed. She dismisses the guy who actually led blowing up the dreadnought (albeit with horrific losses) when he points this out — although he doesn’t appear to have a plan either, so what’s his excuse? He says “nuts” to that crap and leads a mutiny but the hippy-haired chick ultimately wins — not on superior decision making (fighter-jockey, in an act of utter witless stupidity doesn’t even bother tossing hippy-hair in the brig!) but, well, just ’cause Leia wasn’t quite done yet.
Then, after watching most of those who hippy-hair orders into unarmed and defenseless ships die one laser-blast at a time our mealy-brained “newfound hippy-hair general” has the brilliant idea of using the warp drive (which she can only use once due to lack of fuel) as a weapon and points the ship at the Star Destroyer, engaging the drive and cutting through it, blowing herself (and it) to bits. Nice suicide, lady.
The cinematics of this little special effect are awesome — it’s arguably the best special effect sequence in the entire film.
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