Even if I don’t always agree with their actual choices, I admire the ability of WatchMojo to churn out list topics like fortune cookies. Character deaths are tricky. On one hand, a great character death can be a defining moment not just for the story arc of the deceased character but also for every character around them. On the other, if you botch it, people get maaaaaad. WatchMojo hits a number of them in their Top 10: Movie Deaths That Pissed People Off. The list is too heavily weighted toward recent films, and has some duds (is anyone really super incensed over Mortal Komat: Annihilation, Pacific Rim: Uprising, or Godzilla?). It does also make the long-overdue argument that all Kate Winslet had to do to save us from one of the most annoying deaths of all time in Titanic was haul to Leonardo Dicaprio out of the water and spoon. No matter what side of the debate you are on, you have to admit that the deaths of Luke Skywalker and Captain Kirk deeply peeved people. What makes me maddest about character death is when characters die just to fill an unspoken death quota in bigger films. I love Joss Whedon, but he is the absolute worst at this. Whedon blood rage is the only explanation for why Quicksilver had to die in Age of Ultron or, even worse, why Wash & Shepherd Book were slaughtered in Serenity. Which character deaths made you throw things for weeks?
WatchMojo’s got a timely list of everyone’s favorite scruffy-looking nerf herder’s 10 best moments from the Star Wars Saga. WM does a really nice job putting together a highlight reel of Harrison Ford’s time with the character pulling its list from A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and The Force Awakens (nothing from Return of the Jedi?).
The list comes in the wake of Solo: A Star Wars Story’s pretty disastrous opening weekend. Adjusted for inflation, it’s the worst opening in franchise history, and considering the film was shot twice, Lucasfilm had a lot of money wrapped up in its second spin-off. Every franchise eventually has a bomb, but it’s usually a film that deserves to bomb. In this case, Solo was doomed even before The Last Jedi’s controversy that alienated a large portion of the fan base that traditionally whips itself into a frenzy for opening weekends. I wrote a column last summer, before The Last Jedi alienated me, begging Lucasfilm to keep Star Wars in December and to stop trying to put the franchise back in May, where it had traditionally opened under FOX. Even though it’s uneven, Solo is ultimately a good film with a really nice cast that sets itself up for even bigger adventures that we likely now will never get to see. I hope we do, but that would take some serious introspection on Disney’s part as to why exactly the film failed to connect. Hopefully they’ll take the lessons they should learn, let future installments breathe, and realize their mistakes. If not, they’re going to have a much more serious problem than a single Star Wars film that lost money.
The latest fantastic Star Wars tribute video from Hero Fan Productions (you have to subscribe to them on YouTube) features something not often dwelt upon when you think of the Jedi. They are awesome. They are heroic. They are also…possibly the worst educators in fiction. Yoda trained Dooku, Obi-Wan trained Anakin, Obi-Wan and Yoda barely trained Luke, Luke botched training Ben, and gave Rey 48 hours or so of instruction before Ghost Yoda had to show up and whack him over the head with his ghost stick (which apparently you can do if you’re a ghost…now).
Of course there were extenuating circumstances in all these training failures, and the hubris of the Jedi Order was what ensured its downfall from Palpatine (who was, all things considered, probably a better teacher than any of them). Those who can do; those who can’t teach. What the Jedi needed were a lot more mediocre doers who made better teachers. I’m sure Rey will take all the magic broom kids from Canto Bight and turn them into a new generation of Sith if the pattern holds. Still, it’s a wonderfully edited look at the lessons of failure in the Star Wars Saga from The Phantom Menace through The Last Jedi.
Walt Disney Home Entertainment has officially announced that it will release on 4K Blu-ray and Blu-ray Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi. The two releases will be available for purchase on March 27.
Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi—the next action-packed chapter of the Star Wars saga— Earned critical acclaim and the No. 1 spot atop 2017’s list of highest-grossing films. The visually stunning film welcomes the return of original characters, including Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, Yoda, R2-D2 and C-3PO and further explores the deepening journey of the saga’s new members, Rey, Finn, Poe, and Kylo Ren. Now families can bring home the movie on 4K Blu-ray and Blu-ray.
The Last Jedi has been an extremely polarizing film among Star Wars fans despite its huge success at the box office, and that polarization was reflected in the Killing Time community’s rating of Episode VIII. While the #1 response was a 10, the #2 response was a 1. Every number got votes, and the ranges were so wild, that I thought it might be more instructive to break out….math. We’ve run polls after each Disney Star Wars film giving the KT community a chance to offer their rating on each. I went back into the archives, and instead of percentages, I calculated the weighted average for each film. Here’s what I found: Star Wars: The Last Jedi – 6.197 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – 8.614 Star Wars: The Force Awakens – 7.585
My review of Episode VIII was very mixed, but not too far off in score from the community average. I have spent a month mulling over Episode VIII. I have to say I feel less charitable toward the film the more I think about the ramifications for the Saga going forward. Star Wars fans nitpick. We do. But The Last Jedi has huge problems just as a film in terms of pacing, and while technically near-perfect, the impact that Rian Johnson’s choices have for the future of the franchise are deeply unsettling, as are the number of inexplicable plot holes that riddle the film. If I didn’t know Johnson was such a fan, I would think he hadn’t seen a Star Wars film before, because there are things in this film that just are NOT Star Wars. But it also has brilliant moments. It’s a maddening film, and-to be honest-I’ve not gone through it as much as I would normally because it’s so frustrating to me. I don’t know what it’s legacy will be, but in terms of ranking it, I’d only put it ahead of Episode I & II.
The next poll will be our biggest of the year: our SIXTH annual reader’s choice for Best Film of the Year (which has been won the last two years by Star Wars films).