Nerd Confessions Podcast: May the porgs be with you! On the podcast this week we are discussing the 8th entry in the episodic Star Wars film series, The Last Jedi. Does Episode VIII live up to the expectations fans had after Episode VII came out? Is Disney ruining what George Lucas and Lucasfilm put so much love into by trusting Rian Johnson? Watch or listen along as we discuss! The first half of our Last Jedi discussion is spoiler free with the later half getting into all those spoilers. Don’t worry, we will warn you when it’s time to skip ahead or tune out! In our spoilers discussion we address the many fan frustrations and hot points of potential plot holes in addition to things you may have missed!

Listener Confession from @Manuel_Hernandez_Animations with more great artwork! You can find more south park like artwork on his instagram.

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Show Notes

Nerd News

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Spoiler Free

What is Star Wars the Last Jedi?

The Last Jedi is the direct sequel to The Force Awakens and the 8th episode of the Star Wars episodic film line. It is also the third film to be released since George Lucas sold the property to Disney.

The film picks up right where The Force Awakens left off with Rey handing luke the lightsaber and a damaged New Order striking back at the Resistance.

Development

Second unit photography began during pre-production at Skellig Michael in Ireland (Ahch-To as it’s called in the movie) on September 14, 2015. They had some weather difficulties during their filming there so it was only about three days of filming.

The production began work on the 007 Stage at Pinewood Studios on November 15, 2015.

In January 2016, production of Episode VIII was delayed until February 2016, due to script rewrites.

Principal photography wrapped on July 22, 2016.

According to creature designer Neal Scanlan, “There are more practical effects in this film than any Star Wars film”, as the film implements 180 to 200 creatures created with practical effects, some of which were cut from the final edit.

Neal Scanlan previously worked on The Force Awakens as well and movies such as Babe which won an academy award for visual effects in 1996. (Jurassic World is a more recent example)

A change from The Force Awakens director, JJ Abrams, this film was directed and written by Rian Johnson known previously for Looper.

Music

At a Tanglewood concert in August 2016, John Williams confirmed he was scheduled to start scoring Episode VIII. He began recording the score “off and on” in December 2016 until  April 2017. On February 21, 2017, recording was underway, with Williams conducting.

Cast

  • Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker
  • Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa
  • Adam Driver as Kylo Ren
  • Daisy Ridley as Rey
  • John Boyega as Finn
  • Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron
  • Andy Serkis as Snoke
  • Lupita Nyong as Maz Kanata
  • Doomhnall Gleeson as General Hux
  • Anthony Daniels as C-3PO
  • Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma
  • Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico (NEW)
  • Laura Dern as Vice Admiral Holdo (NEW, purple hair)
  • Benicio Del Toro as DJ (Thief)
  • Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca (No more Peter Mayhew 😦 )
  • Amanda Lawrence as Commander D’Acy (The NOSE)

Overall Thoughts

What do we rate it? 8.5

! SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS !

Fan Controversy

  • Shouldn’t the Dreadnaught in the beginning of the movie have shields?: It’s mentioned in the movie that the battering ram canon used against the gate at the rebel base is miniaturized Death Star tech. The canons on the dreadnaught may be as well since they are able to destroy entire ships and surfaces of planets in just a few blasts. Perhaps part of using Death Star tech is that you can’t have shields on board and only from an external source. This could be because of how much power is required for the canon.
  • Superman Leia: The director, Rian Johnson explained that he views the use of force powers as instinctual such as when Luke reached for his Lightsaber in the Empire Strikes Back. Leia hasn’t had much of a chance to show her power with the force and he thought this would be a great way to do so since she is not trained in battle. Jedi abilities that we would previously only see in the expanded universe, games and side series such as Clone Wars and Rebels we got to see here. Force bubble and force pull in the weightlessness of space to bring yourself to the ship.
  • Crew not getting sucked into space when opening door for Leia: You can see a energy field technology in use in docks such as Star Destroyers and Death Star which solid matter can pass through unlike Star Trek. Also visible with the bombers in this film. It’s not unfeasible that they would have this built into doorways.
  • Why didn’t some of the Star Destroyer ships just go into lightspeed and cut off the rebel fleet?: They had them on the run, it was just a matter of draining resources. Why risk a complicated maneuver?
  • Why didn’t they just send fighters after the rebel fleet?: Tie Fighters are short range fighters only. The tactic for both the Empire and the New Order is to carry a large amount of unshielded and highly expendable fighters with no hyperdrive engine installed in carriers such as Star Destroyers. While the Rebels/Resistance are always in smaller number and have both shields and hyperdrive engines.
  • Luke just died like a bitch: It was mentioned when Rey and Kylo were joined together  with the force (ForceTime) that Rey couldn’t be the one behind them being joined because the effort would kill her. It’s possible that for Luke, projecting himself for so long through the force was a sacrifice and drained him completely until he joined the force.
  • Why don’t all stormtroopers have the chrome armor that Phasma has which actually repels blaster fire: Much like how they go for cheap Tie Fighters in large quantity it’s probably the same with Stormtroopers where only captains or other significant leaders would have the opportunity to wear such expensive armor.

 

Things you may have missed:

  • At the end of the film one of the children from the race track on Canto Bight (Casino Planet) reveals they are force sensitive by using the force to grab a broom.
  • For Yoda’s appearance in the film as a Force ghost, the character was created using puppetry, as was done in the original Star Wars trilogy.
  • A force ghost interacted with the real world for the first time in the major movies. Yoda was able to manipulate the weather like Storm from XMen. Director Rian Johnson explained we can expect more of this in the future.
  • While Yoda might have destroyed the Force Tree which held the original Jedi Texts we later see that in a drawer on the Millennium Falcon that she may have taken some of those texts or has similar texts already.
  • Luke calls lightsabers a laser sword. This has to be a throwback to George Lucas always calling them that despite them getting the official name, lightsaber for merchandising.
  • When Luke spoke about looking into Ben Solo’s mind he said that Snoke had already turned him. This means that he already knew Snoke somehow. This means we may be learning more about Snoke in the next film with more backstory and perhaps the introduction of the Knights of Ren.
  • The design of the porgs were inspired by Puffins.

Fun facts:

  • In the Dark Empire comics done by Dark Horse, Luke Skywalker astral projected himself across the galaxy much like in this film.
  • Kanon Jarrus from the canon Star Wars tv series, Rebels was sucked into space briefly and survived rescued by another ship much like Leia.
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