Special Edition Podcast

Special Edition – Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Show Notes

It’s a new annual holiday tradition! It’s time to gather around the fire and talk about the newest chapter of the Star Wars Saga — Star Wars: The Last Jedi! Josh Flanagan and Conor Kilpatrick welcome back special guest Ron Richards to break it down. (Disclaimer: Ron Richard’s opinions are his own and do not represent Marvel Entertainment or the Walt Disney Corporation.)

Running Time: 01:02:29

“Main Title and Escape”
John Williams


John Williams


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  1. Ooh, I’ve been waiting for this one! I’m just about to start listening so I have no idea where you fall on this but, for the record, I seriously love this movie. Now, let’s see if I guessed right, based on Josh’s cryptic Twitter clues about his own reaction…

    • I strongly disagree with most of what you’ve said but I really loved your discussion. I particularly like that you guys are mature enough to understand that just because it isn’t what you want out of a Star Wars movie doesn’t mean that it won’t work for people who want something different. Like, there’s a huge difference between that and, oh I don’t know, launching a dumbass fan petition to get the movie struck from the “canon”.

      I think what may be one of the biggest differences between you guys and me is that however much I grew up on and loved the original trilogy (I’m only a few years younger than you), to me the Star Wars universe was always almost – but not quite – as interesting as the OT’s major characters. Yes, Luke, Han and Leia but yes also to Mara Jade, Grand Admiral Thrawn and Coran Horn. Hell, some of my favourite Star Wars stories ever back then were found in the X-Wing books. I haven’t read a new Star Wars book or even comic in at least a decade, I would say but when I think Star Wars a lot of that does come back to me. Though, of course, this does mean that there is a certain cognitive dissonance when I watch the new movies that have gone in so completely the opposite direction to the old Expanded Universe.

      So, not only did I really enjoy the new directions this film went in, I can’t imagine not being super excited for the next one just because the only one of the originals that will be in it, presumably, is Luke Skywalker (and I’m reasonably sure quite a bit). I’m interested in the Universe in general and I really love all the new characters that have been introduced over the past couple of films. Besides, even if Johnson has much less interest in recapturing the originals’ tone exactly, I do think there’s enough in there that does feel like Star Wars to me for it to work. Certainly oodles more than the prequels.

      For a bit of self-promotion, here’s my review of the film that I wrote before it came out and where the only response I had seen was the near-universal critical praise it received. I was absolutely convinced that everyone would love this. Check it out at http://ilanpreskovsky.blogspot.co.za/2017/12/star-wars-episode-viii-last-jedi.html if you’re so inclined.

      Oh, also did I hear Conor say “wife”? I know Josh has been married for a while and Ron just got married but I had no idea about Conor. Congrats, man, whenever it was!

      Finally, this being the last podcast of the year, happy holidays, guys, and thanks so much for another year of top-notch content!

      Even if Ron did leave us. Again.

      (Not that I blame him and it was fun to see him on the latest Patrons Hangout. Speaking of, and I’ll leave you with this one thought: Mark Hamill: GDAT? …He’s Canadian, isn’t he?)

  2. Interested to know what you guys think after watching it again. I came out of my first showing feeling conflicted and sharing some of the same issues you guys did, but seeing it again I felt just about all of it worked better and I really liked it a lot more after seeing it a 2nd and 3rd time, to the point I think I love it now (and I’ve heard that from many others as well).

    Oh and great show guys, always good to hear you 3 together.

    • I felt the same way! And I also did after TFA. During my first viewing of TFA I went in with super high expectations and came out feeling conflicted and very bothered by the “beat-for-beat remake of ANH” criticism. But then seeing it again and again I’ve been drawn into the movie and now I love TFA as much as Connor.

      After TLJ I came out feeling like Ron but after seeing it again I enjoyed it much more. The Rey/Kylo/Luke storyline is really a highlight of the entire series while on second viewing the excursion to canto bite and the Del-torro and Dern performances were much less distracting.

      My rankings seem to be a little different.
      1. Return of the Jedi
      2. Empire Strikes Back
      3. A New Hope
      4. The Force Awakens
      5. The Last Jedi
      6. Rouge One
      7. Phantom Menace
      8. Revenge of the Sith
      9. Attack of the Clones

  3. The Last Jedi is a much, much better film than either Force Awakens or Rogue One. The Original Trilogy is still at the top of my list, but TFA and Rogue One (both of which I enjoyed to varying degrees) are not even in the same ballpark as The Last Jedi. Don’t worry guys, it’s OK to be wrong sometimes.

    • Yea I agree with this. I also agree with some of the criticisms I’ve heard, but it didn’t ruin the movie for me by any means. There seems to be a common consensus between disappointed fans who are upset to see the series moving away from the original cast, but I am so glad for that. It would be soo disturbing and odd to see it play out for too long. Like watching an aging rockstar.

  4. I dunno you guys. I’ve heard a few folks mention that these are Disney movies now and not George Lucas films as though Lucas didn’t already ruin this franchise several times over.

  5. I really enjoyed TLJ. It took our expectations and flipped them around which is why I think it gave some people an initial shock. It’s not perfect but no Star Wars movie has been. I am excited to see how this trilogy ends and,more than anything Kylo Ren is the linchpin and seeing how the relationship between him and Rey develops in the end should be the focal point to Episode IX. The ending with the kid feels like the start to Rian Johnson’s next trilogy, from reading up on that, Disney promised him new characters in a different part of the galaxy, so that is more than likely the start of those movies.

  6. Loved the great discussion.

    I didn’t love TLJ but I didn’t hate it either.

    My top 3 Likes of the movie:
    Ray and Ren
    The Opening and closing Battles

    My top 3 dislikes:
    Admiral Akbar being killed off screen!!!!
    The casino world (Lando would have been awesome)
    Not enough of the heroes being together

    My Updated Star Wars Rankings:
    The Empire Strikes Back
    Return of the Jedi
    A New Hope
    Rouge 1
    Revenge of the Sith
    The Force Awakens
    Attack of the Clones
    The Last Jedi
    The Phantom Menace

    *Conor you buried the lead you got married?!?!?!?!?! Congratulations!!!!!

  7. Hehe always fun to hear your podcasts, I just want to share some thoughts.

    The first trilogy had a slow passing and wide angles with full body shots, probably influenced by Japanese director Kurusawa, and that worked well for sceneries, characters and physical models, almost as Lucas was giving you time to “appreciate” the crafting in all this reality.

    For me, the original Star Wars was a story about place not character. And in terms of film history is an important achievement in special effects.

    Force awakens has nothing of the above, the editing is so JJ style, super fast, someone is always turning a corner and something explodes in his face, a lot of face shot – face shot – face shot…….. the movie feels artificial. JJ is a great technician but he is no artist, he can play great piano pieces but he cannot compose

    The last Jedi was a strange and sometimes boring, with a lot of irrelevant characters, but it had some interesting experiments, the Jedi fights were awesome.

    To be honest I was attached to spaceship models and Jedi fights, never really cared about who is father and who is son.

  8. Once again, thanks for perfectly expressing how I feel about a movie. This was fine, but I’m out.

  9. Every time I listen to one of the iFanboy Star Wars movie podcasts it becomes very clear to me that these guys care way more about this stuff than I do and I wonder why. I think The Phantom Menace forced me to take Star Wars off that pedestal I had place it on during my childhood. Ever since then I’ve just sort of took a “show me something interesting” approach. It’s all EU now for me basically. I approach it in the same way as when I use to read the novels. It’s fun, but if it sucks it doesn’t take away from my enjoyment of those original movies.

    I think their ratings are fair. It’s is probably a 3 star movie. Not great, but not terrible. They definitely made some baffling decisions and the whole slow car chase in space was at the epicenter of the issues with the film. I wonder if it worked better before he edited down the movie. As passionate as they sound they definitely gave a much more rational review and rating than all the dudes on Rotten Tomatoes trying to tank the movie’s score by rating it a 1/2 star.

  10. RATINGS: 4 out of 5 stars.
    1. A New Hope
    2. Empire Strikes Back
    3. Last Jedi
    4. Force Awakens
    5. Return of the Jedi
    6. Rogue One
    7. The rest.

  11. I didn’t mind del Toro introducing the idea of a “grayness” in Star Wars. This is something that I think our society needs – after Vietnam, we needed to be reminded that there are still good guys and light in the world, but these days we’ve taken that so far that you must EITHER be A or B. If I’m A and you’re A, then you are good, but you must be completely all in about the philosophy of A or you are not good enough. If I’m A and you’re B, then you are evil, and there is no goodness in you. There is no middle anymore. DJ reminds us that there are a lot of unaligned people caught in the middle of all this just trying to survive. It makes the world more complicated, whereas the trade disputes of Ep 1 are just boring.

    Also, some people are speculating that the end with the kids is presaging Rian’s new trilogy coming after Ep IX. But since he’s not directing Ep IX, he squeezed it in here.

    • I also didn’t mind Del Toro. To me he seemed to fit fine with the more mercenary type character we’ve seen especially in the outer rim worlds. I even liked the Casino section. The rail against military industry was a bit heavy handed, but it was nice to show us the other side. We often see the oppressed to give the rebels sympathy, but this was a window into privilege. You’d think by the movies that all Imperial or First Order supporters are military uniform wearing goose steppers. I liked that we saw things like law enforcement, laborers and aristocrats. They didn’t have storm troopers holding a gun to their heads making sure they stayed in line. They were just living in the system. Though I’m still confused by the politics in these movies. Was there still a republic? Is the First Order running everything now? How are they so popular that no one comes to the rebel’s aid even after the rebels managed to take out Starkiller base. Sort of baffling.

      I think my real issues with the movie begin and end with the space chase/mutiny subplot. While I did like the light speed ram scene, Holdo’s sacrifice falls flat since we barely know her and when she does show up she’s just dumping on a character we do know and like. That should have definitely been someone we already knew either from the original trilogy or from The Force Awakens. Probably should have maintained a consistent creative team for all three of these movies so they felt more connected IMO. Also they needed more motivation for Holdo to withhold info from Poe. Maybe even just the suspicion that there was a traitor on board would have helped greatly make those scenes make more sense. As is it just seems like Holdo is being petty because she disagreed with Poe’s military action in the beginning of the movie.

    • Last Jedi seemed to try to be adding that impossible thing into the Star Wars Universe…nuance.

      Also original trilogy may have seemingly been very “good” & “bad” guy divided, however each episode is about the larger idea of redemption and being able to overcome the history of your past bad actions through choice. Star Wars=Han Solo forgos his selfish ways to assist Luke in the Death Star battle; Empire= Lando assists with the escape after selling out the heroes; Jedi= Vader turns against the Emperor.

      so your place in the “good” or “bad” camp was neither permanent nor held there by your past actions.

  12. Saw it twice. Was a little unsure the first time, loved it the second time. I really enjoyed the podcast, & even if I didn’t agree with a lot, it’s good to hear varying opinions & reasons behind them. Ron referred to Captain Phasma as being built up as the next Boba Fett—–and that’s EXACTLY what she was = Visually appealing character with an air of mystery that doesn’t get much screen time & then goes out like a punk. Look forward to hearing more takes & opinions on this movie & the Star Wars universe in general. It’s a nice side distraction from all the other garbage going on right now. Thanks, guys. Keep up the great work.

  13. Definitely my favorite of the new movies. Basically, it is the 1st of the new movies that felt like it was moving forward and not just folks who grew up with the originals making competent fan works.

    The Force Awakens: Was a relief after the prequels to feel that Star Wars vibe & exuberance. It helped wash away some of the bad taste of those movies. On the other hand, it borrowed so many plot elements so directly from the original trilogy that I just couldn’t overlook that “great cover band doing a song you like” thing other folks have also used to criticize it. That said, I found the characters more interesting than those of Rogue One.

    Rogue One: Not the best Star Wars movie, but I give it props over TFA for not feeling as much like a rehash. It also, force choke joke aside, let us just see a bit of the old Darth Vader to more fully flush the prequel taste away. While not related to story, that ending space battle may be my favorite “In Space” battle of the series (land battle still being Hoth).

    The Last Jedi: I buy some of the plot criticisms. Overall, I feel like it does a decent job of shaking up Star Wars, maybe poking a bit at what I’d call “Star Wars Idolatry” in order to point towards or freshly examine Star Wars themes. Just watching a movie and not feeling like I knew what was going to happen, to feel some surprise, was very welcomed. The last 2 movies had none of that for me.

    Current Standings: 4, 5, 6, 8, R1, 7, 3, 2, 1

  14. *Carrie can barely stand or speak.
    *No cool lines or scenes. Nothing I want to rewatch.
    *Rose is Jar Jar Binks.
    *The main characters are emotional wrecks making bad decisions.
    *Heroism is non-existent, except Finn at the end, but JarJaRose stops him.
    *Luke goes out like a bitch.
    *Rey’s abilities are unearned.
    *Nobody is competent. Nobody. Even people that were formerly competent. Failure throughout the entire movie.

    Agree with Ron that it looks/ sounds good and there the opening star battle and the Snoke throne room fight are good. The guy can direct but cannot write.

    This is down there with Ep I.

  15. This podcast was how I found out that Ron has left the show again (I’m like 8 weeks behind on listening to the Pick of the Week podcasts, I was just wondering why Ron was so busy!). That makes me so sad! Boo! (But also, congrats).

  16. After watching this my Star Wars brain is buzzing

    So I am wondering
    What Star Wars comics could I read
    I read some of the main book and it is good so far, but I’m wondering if I’m getting the best part of the marvel Star Wars universe

    If you have any suggestions please tell me
    Thanks again
    Enjoyed the podcast

  17. Did anyone else happen to see it on IMAX 70mm film? I was expecting to be blown away like I was when I saw Dunkirk on IMAX, but was surprised at the less than stellar picture quality. I don’t mind film grain (I used to be a projectionist back in the days of reels and platters and saw LOTS of films that way), but there was something else going on with the image quality beyond just the grain. It also never opened up into the full IMAX aspect ratio, so never got the full effect of that 6-story screen.

    Star Wars
    Force Awakens
    Last Jedi
    Rogue One

  18. I pretty much agree with you guys on everything. There was enough to love to smooth over most of the bumps. The thing I still can’t process is the slow motion car chase plot device but – what can you do? I think that was the only part where I actually had to stare at the floor and hold my head. My wish list: I would’ve had a bad ass saber fight just to see Luke in action one last time.

    I’m still so thankful us old timers at least got Force Awakens. If JJ can inject a bit of the old magic into IX and bring Rey and Finn together again, I’ll walk away happy and satisfied.

  19. My problem was the lack of action. It started off awesome and then when I realized the whole movie was going to be a super slow chase I was very disappointed. I don’t find Hux of Kylo intimidating at all and they are too young. The commander of the dreadnought at the beginning would make a better Imperial leader. Finn is terrible and I was rooting for him to die at the end. His whole plot line reminded me of the prequels. The scene with Chewbacca roasting a porg was horrifying. The one character I found interesting was Snoke and we all know what happened. This was basically an alternative remake of Empire. The end seemed thrown in to add some action and like they were saying “hey people love AT ATs” I came out of the theater not knowing how I felt. If the chase was more action packed I would of been fine. Why didn’t the ships separate and jump to different places? Or jump and do another quick jump before the Imperials got there?

  20. I am legit depressed.

    I hated this movie.

    For everything you guys mentioned, and more.

    I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Star Wars OG: I loved it in 1977 as a 7 year old, I excitedly went home from TESB in 1980 so I could put my Han Solo figure in a cup of water in the freezer and play carbonite, and after 1983’s ROTJ, I had a Star Wars Saga-themed bar mitzvah. The prequels, a mix of awful and mediocre with chunks of greatness, were a shock to me, but there is a huge difference between ruining the past of something you love and ruining its future. And wrecking the future of this franchise – for me – is what TLJ just did.

    I had nagging problems with this movie from the opening titles and all throughout its 2.5 hours. And, as Conor mentioned, as of the end of it, I see no reason to see Episode IX or any more new Star Wars. All of the human characters I loved are now dead. The droids and aliens I loved have been disrespected and shunted to the side by new producers who clearly have absolutely no desire to play them.

    After leaving the theater feeling all of this, I still made myself see TLJ again, because I owed it to this franchise I’ve invested a life’s worth of dreams in, to see if maybe a second viewing would rectify enough of it for me. Sadly, nothing changed. I wish I liked this movie. I am so deeply envious of the many SW fans who do. But this movie ended it for me. I seriously feel like the love of my life just dumped me during the holidays.

    There is a light of hope for me, though. I’ve somehow made it to 2017 without ever having seen or a read a Harry Potter story! lol Maybe I can replace Star Wars with this franchise, to last me for the next half of my life? Let me know if Harry Potter (or any other franchise) is a good place for me to go now.

    • My God, dude. Harry Potter most certainly can fill that void. I love it so much, and they only get better as the series goes. Please just read the books before you watch the movies. I almost envy you. Reading that series my first time through was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. I’ve spent many lazy Sundays just popping on the movies and sitting on the couch with my wife. I hope you do take the time to read the series, and enjoy them as much as I have.

    • Say no more, you’ve convinced me. My first new year’s resolution: buy a copy of Harry Potter Episode I (or whatever it’s called) and read, read, read! Thanks for your encouragement @ryanwhodat, happy holidays to you 🙂

  21. So, another year, another Star Wars movie, and another message thread bashing the movie…color me shocked. As said many times before, there is nothing on this planet that Star Wars fans hate more than Star Wars. What a ridiculous statement……..if it weren’t 100% true.

    • 100% to this. And the same thing goes for Star Trek. “Fans” who acknowledge nothing beyond the 60’s series (and maybe some TNG) and Wrath of Kahn. They hate DS9, hate Enterprise, wouldn’t watch Voyager, won’t watch Discovery and hate all the JJ/Kelvin timeline movies. Yeah… real “fans”. Baffling.

    • Nope. I’ve loved Star Trek as long as I’ve loved Star Wars, I even love Discovery, as franchise-bending and different (and “subverting of expectations!”) as it is. I’ve loved and loved less many iterations of Trek through the years, but not even Star Trek V or Into Darkness or Neelix left me feeling awful and dead like I did after seeing “The Last Jedi.” Have never considered unplugging from the Trek franchise like I am now done with Star Wars.

  22. At age 43 and being a long time fan of Star Wars, buying the toys in the 80’s, buying the VHS version, Laser Disc version,DVD and Blu-ray versions of the original trilogy, reading the original Marvel run , then to Dark Horse and back to Marvel again I loved this goddam movie.Sure there were slow parts like the casino stuff but over all this was a fantastic film.The best since Empire Strikes Back and that’s that!BOOM!

    • Completely agree. We need to be careful though…the slings and arrows will come flying at us now from Star Wars “purists” for feeling the way we do.

  23. Perhaps I’m just able to compartmentalize the feelings of the child i was; watching the first run of the original trilogy in the theaters and memorizing 100 pages of Star Wars trivia book while driving highways in multiple cross country moves or creating endless carefully staged adventures with as many action figures as my paper route and lawn mowing money could afford; with the guy in his forties that I am today, but I can see no possible way that The Last Jedi has “destroyed” my childhood or created some sort of moral rift that one cannot step back from.

    That sentiment is just preposterous. Riffing off the top of my head I could spit out hundreds of plausible offensive outcomes for the characters to spoil my enjoyment of the brand and The Last Jedi contained none of these.

    I mean, did Rey turn out to be the illegitimate love child from an affair of Luke and Leia? No.

    As an adult, I enjoyed Last Jedi. And the concepts that people aren’t perfect, they make mistakes, they do selfish things, things don’t always work out as you plan, life often subverts your expectations and you should just try to be better and more understanding.

    I’m not sure what sort of transcendence one was wishing for from this film, but what is The Last Jedi’s great sin?

    It followed some trivial new characters around a few boring sequences ignoring some more screen time for Luke, before his fitting end?

    and for this, you cast your gaze away forever?

    I mean what were your expectations for this film really? Obi-Wan dies like 45 minutes into A New Hope and we all still came back for Empire.

    • If I tried, I couldn’t have said this any better. Bravo to you sir. And to the rest of you that do nothing but bitch about every new piece of Star Wars that is released, I have the simplest fix for you. Stop watching it.

  24. I mostly agree with all the comments said. One comment that sticks in my mind is “This is Disney’s Star Wars now” which is true. The legacy Star Wars is over as we remember it. This is saddening but all good things must come to an end. Hopefully the next Star Wars movie in 2020 is better, and the Han Solo movie in May 2018 is good.

  25. When you kill Admiral Akbar off screen you are purposefully giddy about saying FU to fans.
    The kind of stunts as to say- watch this people are going to hate it but How bold am I?
    That’s anathema to organic story telling it’s ego stroking and that kind of person may make some right moves along the way
    in their movie but is ultimately coming from a place that is far removed of the immersive story telling needed to tell any kind of convincing story in this or any other storied universe like Star Wars.
    Not to mention the disjointed cuts and scenes – the casino sequence- Reys 2 min Jedi ‘training’??
    Basic- basic jobs of a ‘director’ are let down here – it is not a well made movie in the craft of movie making.
    I get the sense Johnson Is capable of this but was just preoccupied by all the self gratification he was stroking it with the Eff-off bombs sprinkled throughout.

    No matter what fan you are- where you’re coming from new or old fan approach, it’s clear to see that this director is- a little bitch.

  26. PymSlap (@alaska_nebraska) says:

    I read “Star Wars – Canto Bight.” It features four stories by four different authors all set exclusively in the casino city from Episode VIII. I think my favorite was “The Wine in Dreams” by Mira Grant. It follows a sommelier on her hunt for a rare vintage. I laughed thinking about all of the teenagers reading the book and shakily trying their best to pronounce sommelier. I struggled myself trying to unearth the name of the new character in the film that is too drunk to tell the difference between BB-8 and a slot machine. Does anyone know if that alien was played by Warwick Davis?

  27. I think you guys summed it up best with these aren’t our Star Wars movies anymore. Now Disney is making Star Wars films indeed. If you can wrap yourself around this idea humbly, you can enjoy these popcorn films for what they are now.

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