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5 awesome moments that happened in The Last Jedi


SE8 WAITER DROID from Star Wars

A summary post where we cover what were 5 great things about The Last Jedi and wee gripe at the end about some plot points...

How Poe Dameron's "I know" changed Rey's character forever in The Last Jedi


When Poe told Rey, he already knew her with the classic "I know" line, he thus framed her as being someone, rather than the nobody that Kylo Ren tried to define her by. In do so, he gave her back her identify.

It also means we no longer need to worry about who Rey's parents REALLY are?


There was a lot of trivia as a result of the production

  1. Director Rian Johnson came up with the episode's title during his first draft and had to keep it secret for several years.
  2. Rian has confirmed that to his mind, The Last Jedi title refers to Luke.
  3. Rogue One's director Gareth Edwards has a small cameo (as he did in Rogue One)
  4. It's almost a forgone conclusion these days, but Warwick Davis has yet another cameo as well, making it his tenth appearance in a Star Wars film. Here's a list of the cameo parts of The Last Jedi.
  5. Rian Johnson asked JJ Abrams for a Force Awakens script change to allow R2D2 to accompany Rey to Ach-to Island instead of BB8. This was so R2 could feature more and also echo the fact that he was on Degobah with Luke during his training with Yoda, much the same as Rey does with Luke.


There where many subtle moments that Rain added to his script

Subtly, both in terms of detail and theme, had a big effect of what many viewers actually take from the movie. Here's some key quiet little moments, some with fair consequence:

  1. The Falthier boy jockey at the end used the Force to pick up the broom... he was the result of the Spark after all. 
  2. Rey stole the Jedi books and hid them in the Millennium Falcon. You can see them in the draw in the end of the movie
  3. As the Force Tree burns, its flames appear to make the Rebel Alliance symbol. This could be interpreted as the Jedi movement and the Rebels rising 'from the ashes' 
  4. When Luke is projecting himself to Crait from the Island there are two clues for the viewer to understand this is happening. The first is his beard is brown and he appears younger - this is the same look as when he last saw Kylo Ren at the 'Jedi Academy' flashback. The second clue is while Kylo's feet where disturbing the red salt during the confrontation, when Luke walked over the same ground, no red salt was disturbed. 
  5. Luke Skywalker's mechanical hand features a damaged area where his hand was shot by a laser blast during the rescue of Han Solo in Return of the Jedi. It's symbolic of the legacy of issues Luke has been carrying around with him.

Luke was tricked by Yoda in The Last Jedi and it was great


The Little Green guy once again taught Luke a thing or two about classroom management when he visited him on the Island by playing a wee word play trick on him.

We first meet Yoda again as he watches Luke walk the up the Island steps with the intention of burning the Force tree and the Jedi 'bibles'. Luke changes his mind so Yoda (as a Force ghost!) zapps some lightning down and does the job himself.

While Luke tried to rescue the books that had been safely looked after on the Island since the Jedi began, Yoda intoned gravely:

“Wisdom they held, but that library contained nothing that the girl Rey does not already possess.”

It was a line designed to say to Luke, at face value, that the books no longer mattered with the implication being that the time of Jedi was over.

And Luke appeared to accept that. Well, he had no choice as the tree exploded.

But cut to the last scene on the Millennium Falcon after our heroes are rescued by Chewbacca and Rey. As Finn opens the drawer to get a blanket for Rose, what was in there?

Yes, the Jedi books.

Rey had ALREADY stolen them from Luke before he wanted to burn the tree down. Nice trick Yoda!

Snoke shared the same over confidence problem as Palpatine


If you thought Yoda's trick on Luke was clever, Kylo Ren pulled off a doozey of trick on Snoke.

While he is urging on Kylo to kill Rey, Snoke misreads the intention of Kylo's mind. Due to his arrogance and hubris, he misread the enemy that Kylo was thinking of.

Kylo wanted to kill Snoke and take the First Order for himself. He was not intending to kill Rey as Snoke presumed. Perhaps Snoke should not have insulted Kylo in front of his would be lover eh?

So, Kylo slowly turned his saber and also Rey's at the same time. Rey's of course was conveniently at Snoke's side.

And then the trap set, Kylo committed fully to his plan and ignited Rey's saber through Snoke's body and severed him in half.

Kylo had wholly and totally tricked Snoke.

You could call it a severance package...

We did have a few questions about a few odd plot points

  1. Why has no one ever driven a hyperspace device into any ships before like Admiral Holdo?
  2. Why was Rose so stupid in letting Finn live which meant certain death for the others? Shurrrre, she fell in love with him with but it all felt wrong and entirely selfish, despite her claim about saving those we love as the reason.
  3. Why did General Hux not send Star Destroyers AHEAD of the Rebel Fleet to flank them? They could have easily zipped into hyperspace with a strong gist of where they would be. 
  4. Why did Luke want to kill Kylo back when Luke was training him? It's simply out of character for ROTJ Luke. Have a damn chat about it first with his mother at least? 
  5. What was Luke's third lesson for Rey? Was it a deleted scene?
  6. How can Kylo Ren stop laser blasts in mid air with the Force but struggle so much with Snoke's Praetorian Guards?

JJ reviews U2's Songs of Innocence



This album has been a long time coming. When Songs of Innocence 'fell out of the sky' from no where, Bono was quick to mention U2 had actually recorded two albums and would be releasing a companion album soon after.

Well, no one listens to Bono so when he said 2016, we knew he meant 2019 so it's with some listening pleasure we are reviewing Songs of Experience in late 2017.

And it is a  genuine companion album to Songs of Innocence by several means. The inspiration is of course William Blake's book of poetry which casts life into the two groups of innocence and experience, the lyrics of Bono which are hugely introspective of his life (every song could be about himself or his wife) and by way of two songs taking musical cues from Volcano and Song for Someone from the first album.

So, here's our review on a track by track basis:

Love is all we have left


A mild opening track which sets a sombre tone for the album. Atmospheric and it largely works except for the ridiculous vocal manipulation done midway through. Could not be more of a different album opener that Discotheque if you tried. There's clearly going to be no tounge in cheek or village people on album.

Woah, a bomb track straight off the board. Bland, uninspiring, how the heck did this song get through the band's internal vetting processes?

The first single, and a great U2 track. A zippy chorus that gets better and better with each listen. This song is kind of almost by-the-numbers single but U2 has always had better numbers than any band.  It's comparable to Magnificent from No Line on the Horizon in that sense.

Get Out of Your Own Way


Another single, that promises much when it evokes the opening of Where The Streets Have No Name but doesn't get quite to that level of glory. A firm track to back up the first single.

The one with Kendrick Lamar marshaling comment on rich people. Another American love letter from the band to America. They sure do write a lot about the US of A!

The chorus is a direct lift from Songs of Innocence's Volcano and easily improves on what was a weak track from that album.

Another stray from the rescue home. Could have done with a bit more TLC before being released back into the wild. 

No we are talking. The first genuinely brilliant song with a chorus hook to die for. A classic song in the sense that it's a upbeat song where the lyrics focus on the utterly depressing subject of Syrian refugees.

The Showman (Little More Better) 


If ever U2 were ever to write a proper Irish song that could be song across pubs around the world when the punters are up for a tune, this is it. 

This one of the best songs U2 have written in a decade. With a wonderful melody and a sing a long chorus to die for. 10 out of 10. 

A love ballad in pace, with lyrics that seem to be about Bono reflecting on his past life. The way Bono sings it is almost confessional. A potential live favourite. 

Landlady


A clear love note from Bono to his wife Ali. Slow and plodding but builds nicely. 

The rocker song on the album, this has STADIUM written all over it. A filthy base line from Adam Clayton and his best in many an album. 

A filler track, but better than Lights of Home. Like many tracks on this album, a slow starter that land quite well at the end. 

The most beautifully haunting song on this album. Borrowing heavily from the wonderful Song for Someone this is U2's equivalent of Metallica's Unforgiven II
Simply superb and it continues U2's song tradition of really good album closing tracks. 

Summary

U2 will never record another Achtung Baby but we can still expect them to record cracker songs and a handful of those have been delivered with this album. A genuine surprise that the Lights of Home is so genuinely bad but that can be quickly over looked by the big singles and sing-a-long tracks that far outweigh any complaints.

Despite Bono's rhetoric' about American President Donald Trump being the basis for a lyrical rewrite on many songs, the effect is neglible - maybe there's a a dig about him as a dinosaur in The Blackout and a bit of a sledge in American Soul but that would be about it. 

A strong effort from U2 and they should be proud that they have made a true companion album. Many bands are afraid to try new things so as to not upset the gravy train but yet again the biggest band in the world has got their hands dirty.  

Tom and Hester, up a treee


Here's some of our more popular posts over the year from our Mortal Engines site that you may find interesting - they cover both the book and the making of the new Peter Jackson produced Movie which is set for release in late 2018.



This is an interesting article on Hester Shaw.

U2 has a new sweet album about themselves and Donald Trump


Ireland's Finest Band, U2 have recorded a new album, called Songs of Experience. It’s a companion album to the Songs of Innocence album which was released some three odd years ago.

Where Songs of Innocence reflected on the four members of U2’s childhoods (innocence and the loss of it), this new album features songs that are reflective of how the band has grown up themselves and lived their lives as adults.

Frontman Bono has said that many of the songs are about himself such as The Blackout and The Little Things That Give You away. Off the later, he didn't realise it was about himself until he had finished the song with the band.

Bono also took the opportunity to imbue his songs with barbed social commentary on the American Presidency of Donald Trump, of whom Bono appears to be no fan at all (read the lyrics to American Soul as case in point). This should be of no surprise to any U2 fan who has ever read any of the band’s lyrics as they often make political commentary on matters dear to their hearts.

Sonicaly, Songs of Experience is what has become standard U2. Songs such as first single, You’re The Best Thing About me are clean with an uplifting chorus. The Blackout harkens back to Achtung Baby’s Zoo Station and Little Things carries on in the same manner as Every Breaking Wave or Song for Someone did from Songs of Innocence. Again, this should be of no surprise for the listener as Experience is heavy tied to it’s companion album.

Order Songs of Experience from Amazon.

Best birthday card ever!!


My wife knows me so very well! Xx