Jan 10, 2018
Talking about the new Star Wars film including the audience reaction, English accents you can hear in Star Wars, and a run-through of the plot with my thoughts about the events and characters. Plot spoilers throughout the episode! Transcript available (below).
Episode page: https://wp.me/p4IuUx-87f
italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk
This episode is all about Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Some of this stuff that I’m saying is scripted, some parts are not - but if you want to read along with me while I’m talking, which can be a great way to work on your English, see specific phrases I’m using and so on - if you want to read along with me, check out the page for this episode on my website.
In fact there will be two episodes about Star Wars. This one, which is just me talking about the film, going through the plot, giving my thoughts and discussing the audience reactions to the film, and also the next one, which will be a conversation about the film with my brother and my dad. We went to see the film together while they were here at Christmas time and afterwards I managed to record a conversation with the them and you can hear their reactions and some general rambling about it - that’ll be in the next episode.
So, at least 2 episodes about Star Wars. I was wondering if I should devote so much time to this, especially considering that some of you probably aren’t into Star Wars at all. Then I thought to myself - “Well, how do I choose my topics when I know that I can’t please everyone?” Often the deciding factor is - do I want to talk about it myself? Would I want to listen to it? The answer to those questions is yes. When I came out of the cinema in December having just seen this film I just wanted to hear other people’s comments about the film, and I looked for podcasts about it and youtube videos and stuff, and if I was learning English I would definitely like to hear someone talking about this film in English. Certainly for my ideal learning French podcast I would want to hear someone discussing the film in some depth in clear French - I am still yet to find this elusive perfect French version of Luke’s English podcast! And also, you know what? I just really want to talk about Star Wars for a while just because it pleases me to do it. So there you go, that’s my justification for doing these episodes.
There are spoilers for the film throughout this episode - so if
you haven’t seen The Last Jedi yet, you might want to wait before
you listen to this. I’m pretty sure the film has been out for a
while in most places. I understand that it came out in China on 5
January - a bit later than in other countries. So I think there’s
been enough time now for me to do some spoilers.
If you’re not a fan of Star Wars (which is totally fine of course), I understand that this might not be for you. I don’t expect everyone to be into Star Wars - it’s just something I’ve always enjoyed since childhood. So if you’re just not a Star Wars fan - I totally understand, but you’ll just have to put up with an episode or two about Star Wars this time, or you can just skip them - it’s totally up to you.
If you want to listen to something else from me, like perhaps an episode about vocabulary, or an episode with various jokes, an episode with a mystery adventure story or an episode with grammar and pronunciation questions answered - let me remind you that you can download the LEP App completely free and there you will find at least 7 exclusive app-only episodes that deal with those things specifically.
Just check out the app store, download the LEP app, check the App-Only Episodes category and away you go.
And of course you have the entire episode archive there which
you can peruse at your leisure.
But for this one and the next one, it’s all about Star Wars - and if you are a fan, I hope you will enjoy being immersed in the world of Star Wars The Last Jedi for a couple of episodes.
Let me say again very clearly there will be spoilers coming as I am going to talk about exactly what happens in The Last Jedi in quite a lot of detail. Please don’t let me spoil this film for you - even if you’re keen to listen to this new episode I strongly recommend that you wait until you’ve seen the film first.
So, perhaps the people I have left with me now are:
Fans of Star Wars who have already seen the film.
And maybe some other LEPsters who might not be big fans of Star Wars but are just happy to listen to me talking about it, even if it includes plot spoilers.
I should also say that I might lose some more of you when I say that I really liked Star Wars The Last Jedi - not everything, but on the whole I really enjoyed the film and I feel like the good things definitely outweigh the bad things.
I have seen it twice now, and so there’s always a chance that I might change my opinion after seeing it a third time, but I don’t think so.
I said I might lose some more of you when I say that I enjoyed this film and that is because the response to this film has been very divided. Plenty of people like it a lot but having said that plenty of people dislike and even hate this film.
This reaction mainly comes from so-called “hardcore fans” online
who are posting very negative reviews on YouTube as well as on film
review websites like IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes.
But I’m quite a hardcore fan and I loved it.
In terms of my fandom, here is a summary. I grew up with the films. Watched the original trilogy over and over again throughout my life. Watched ROTJ in the cinema. As a teenager I used to have lots of fun speculating about the backstory of certain characters and so on. As a child I used to think I was Luke Skywalker, as I’ve said in previous episodes. I was quite obsessive about it growing up. In the 90s and 2000s I saw the prequel films and was disappointed by them. I found them to be badly written and directed, with pretty bland characters and too much CGI. Not everything was bad about the prequels - I like the Darth Maul scenes, the pod-race, the scenes between Obi Wan Kenobi and Jango Fett but that might be it I think. I found the rest of it to be more like a Saturday morning cartoon in places.
More recently I saw reviews of the prequel trilogy on YouTube that cemented my opinion of those films as being rubbish. I’m talking about Mr Plinkett’s reviews, by RedLetterMedia.
Very astute criticisms of the prequels, with some twisted humour thrown in.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the prequel trilogy “ruined my childhood” as some fans have said (and are also saying about The Last Jedi). I think if your childhood can be ruined by a fantasy film that you watch as an adult, then perhaps your childhood was already quite flimsy in the first place. What this phrase really means is that the films spoil the Star Wars franchise, which was such a key part of your upbringing… Anyway, the prequels didn’t ruin my childhood but they did disappoint me a bit.
Then it was announced that more Star Wars movies would be released, after Lucasfilm was taken over by Disney. 2 years ago The Force Awakens was released and I really enjoyed it, even if it was very derivative of the original Star Wars films (episode 4). It basically copied the plot of Episode 4 - but I’m alright with that. I thought it was done in a way that was far closer to the original spirit and aesthetic of Star Wars and that was really pleasing. Also they introduced a few new characters that was interesting.
Also, in 2015 Rogue One was released - a film set just before Episode 4. This was a sort of war movie inspired episode that didn’t have any Jedi or lightsabers, but told the story of how the rebels managed to get the plans to destroy the Death Star. I really enjoyed that too! It feels like Star Wars is good again.
I love reading about fan theories and speculations on forums
(like Star Wars Leaks on Reddit) and I do watch lots of dumb
YouTube speculation videos about Star Wars, and there were a lot of
them released onto YouTube before The Last Jedi came out.
But I like to think that I have my fandom under control. I love the world of Star Wars and I feel invested in the stories, but I try not to expect too much from the films. I remember the prequel trilogy - I used to get my hopes up really high before each film was released and I was disappointed each time.
Also, I know that your enjoyment of these films is largely a question of taste and a question of subjective experience. What makes a bad film for some people makes a good film for others.
The relationship between the fans of Star Wars and the films is very complicated. A lot of people feel very personally invested in this franchise. The fans feel that they own the franchise or that it represents their own personal life, childhood, dreams, imagination and everything.
It’s strange how Star Wars can do that. When it is at its best it manages to touch people in the most personal and profound ways. Also, the level of speculation and theorising among the fans has created such massive expectation from the films that it’s almost impossible to please everyone now, and when a film fails to meet people’s specific vision for the story and characters it can feel like a very personal disappointment.
But I think some fans are expecting too much from Star Wars now.
They’ve put it on a pedestal - which is a way of saying that they
expect it to be perfect and to live up to their highest
expectations all the time. But it’s just a movie franchise and to
an extent it’s a children’s movie franchise. I think some people
just need to chill out a bit and stop expecting so much from the
films. Saying that, there is bound to be someone out there
listening to me who disagrees, who says I’m being an apologist, who
says there’s no excuse for what they’ve done.
When I read some of the negative reactions, I honestly think - “did we see the same film?” Some people are so angry! It makes me wonder if perhaps there are other things going on, like that these people are not just angry with the film, but they’re angry with what they see as a certain political agenda being expressed through the film. This probably feeds into the ongoing saga of the war between right-wing people (who don’t say they’re right wing) and what they describe as liberal social justice warriors. I see these arguments all the time online in comments sections and so on. The angry ones (whatever their political position) get furious when there’s a suggestion that a film is being used to promote feminism, or to promote ethnic diversity or perhaps animal welfare or environmental issues. A hint of this in a film makes some people really mad. There’s a bit of this in The Last Jedi - some strong female characters, black, asian and hispanic actors in prominent roles, a storyline about animal cruelty… Part of the hatred aimed at SW is fuelled by this stuff.
But also, some people don’t like it because they think it’s bad storytelling, and because of the way some characters are dealt with - particularly Luke Skywalker. A lot of people can’t stand the way he is represented in the film.
Added to that, there’s the humour. Some people have really taken against the moments of humour which they think don’t fit in with the tone of the film as a whole or the whole franchise in general.
I’m talking there about some reasons why the film is disliked by some people - but not everyone of course. Plenty of people like or love this film too although it’s hard to tell what the overall audience reaction has been. I think it’s fair to say that the film is dividing people, particularly the more serious fans.
I don’t know what you thought of The Last Jedi. There are some pretty strong feelings out there. You might disagree with me when I say I like it, but I hope you hear me out on this. Of course the film is not 100% perfect or anything but generally I think there is a great deal to be enjoyed about it.
I’d like to now go through the film from start to finish,
describe what happens and give my thoughts on each part.
You remember the numbers don’t you?
OT - Original Trilogy (4, 5, 6)
PT - Prequel Trilogy (1, 2, 3)
ST - Sequel Trilogy (7, 8, 9)
Also Rogue One that fits in before episode 4.
The Force Awakens
The Resistance are searching for Luke Skywalker because they need his help. There’s a missing piece of a map hidden inside the droid BB8.
A scavenger girl called Rey finds the droid.
Han Solo and Princess Leia had a son who turned to the dark side.
The Last Jedi - Opening Crawl
How did it feel in the cinema at this point?
I was trying to keep my expectations realistic. I thought - if I expect too much from this I might be disappointed. It’s just a film and ultimately it’s just a space fantasy. It seems silly to invest so much into it.
Having said that, I was really looking forward to getting stuck into some new Star Wars and I had no idea what was coming.
The Lucasfilm logo appeared and I was really trying to just stay calm but I have to admit it was difficult. I felt really nervous.
Star Wars logo + music and I was already getting chills and
started welling up. I know it’s a bit pathetic or something, but
there it is. Somehow these films just take me directly back to my
childhood. It’s like stepping back in time and going straight back
to my living room when I was 7 years old and my Dad was younger
than I am now and I’d never had any real experiences, I’d never
left home, never had my heart broken, never fallen in love…
I was a bit emotional during this film. I just can’t help it. Also bear in mind that I was watching this while fully expecting my wife to give birth to our baby at any moment. I literally had my phone in my hand and every single vibration I expected was a text from my wife saying that her water had broken. Anyway, I was feeling very emotionally susceptible while watching the film, which is fine - I’m in touch with my feelings, there’s nothing wrong with that, is there?
The opening crawl started and it’s impossible not to get excited by this, if you’re a Star Wars fan. For some reason I can never really read it and take it in.
THE LAST JEDI
The FIRST ORDER reigns.
Having decimated the peaceful
Republic, Supreme Leader Snoke
now deploys his merciless
legions to seize military
control of the galaxy.
Only General Leia Organa's
band of RESISTANCE fighters
stand against the rising
tyranny, certain that Jedi
Master Luke Skywalker will
return and restore a spark of
hope to the fight.
But the Resistance has been
exposed. As the First Order
speeds toward the Rebel base,
the brave heroes mount a
The First Order are now in complete control of the galaxy after having blown up the republic with Starkiller Base.
The Resistance are on the run, escaping from their base. The
First Order are closing in, with vastly superior weaponry, ships,
and so on.
They blow up the base as remaining resistance ships escape, but they’re being pursued by a First Order fleet.
In an effective but costly counterattack led by Poe Dameron,
Resistance fighters manage to destroy a First Order
One of the FO officers is played by Ade Edmondson, and all the Brits are delighted.
Admiral Hux is played by Domhnall Gleeson, Irish actor. He really “hams it up”.
First bit of controversial humour. “Holding for Admiral Hugs”
FO officers are pretty incompetent and Gleeson plays a lot of his scenes for laughs - it’s a completely over the top performance. Old fashioned RP, and general frothing at the mouth.
A note about accents:
In SW almost all the Imperial Officers have old fashioned heightened RP accents. This is because this is the accent that Americans associate with an evil old empire - because the British Empire was an evil old empire for the USA. This association still exists - more so in the 70s but still today. Also, it means stuffy formality.
Obi Wan Kenobi also had an old school English accent, but that was to suggest that he came from an era that no longer exists - the old republic. It just fits the character. His British accent gives him class, dignity and suggests that he is more than just a “crazy old man”.
Vader also had a bit of an RP British accent, but this gradually changed into a trans-atlantic American accent. Still old fashioned and formal in tone, but a bit American. That’s just because the voice actor - James Earl Jones - was a classically trained American actor. These great actors really brought a lot of weight and class to the original films and this was repeated in the prequel trilogy. They chose more well trained British actors because they have class. This includes people like Terence Stamp.
In this sequel trilogy (ST), accents are also used to create certain feelings and associations with the characters. The FO officers still speak in old fashioned RP in order to give that sense of old empire (think of the naval officers in Pirates of the Caribbean who speak in a similarly old fashioned way). Supreme Leader Snoke speaks in formal British RP. We don’t know much about him (and I’ll come to that in a bit) but basically he’s a bit like the Emperor - probably very old and powerful and he is the Supreme Leader of the First Order so of course he has the old fashioned English RP accent.
Most of the other characters speak American English though, and
this seems to be the default accent for “ordinary person” in the
Star Wars universe. This includes Han Solo - a kind of cowboy
smuggler flyboy kind of guy, and Luke Skywalker- just a farmer from
a desert planet. Nobody special (or at least that is the background
he has come from).
Also, most of the new characters speak with standard American accents - Finn is just an ordinary guy - quite a low level person since he used to be just a stormtrooper and he speaks with an American accent, although the actor is actually from Peckham in South London. Apparently he auditioned in his normal voice but it just didn’t feel right. He auditioned in an American accent and it just fit the character better. Poe Dameron also has a standard American accent. As I said - ordinary people, rebels, not part of the empire.
But then there’s Rey. She speaks with quite a posh English accent, although not in the formal way that the FO officers speak. She is definitely just a normal person too, and according to this film she is nobody special (unless this is just a trick and in episode 9 they will reveal something special about her, but I don’t think so - again, more on this later). So why does she have this English RP accent? I don’t really know! Perhaps the actress doesn’t do a very good American accent and this is just her normal voice. Perhaps they just wanted to arouse our interest in this character by giving her a distinctive and classy voice, like Obi Wan Kenobi. The fans certainly took this point as a big clue about her origins. A lot of people believed that because she is force sensitive and speaks in a posh English accent that she must be related to other force users with this accent like Obi Wan Kenobi or perhaps even Emperor Palpatine. There are other details that support these fan theories. But apparently her accent doesn’t mean this. But still, it’s interesting to note that although she grew up on an insignificant planet and lived as a scavenger for all her life, she still speaks with quite a posh English accent, when all the people around her on her home planet of Jakku don’t have the same accent. Her slave owner for example (because in TFA she appears to be basically a slave or at least someone who works for food rations rather than money) - her master or boss speaks with a working class cockney English accent.
Just a note on accents there. Next time you watch these films in English, think about that.
Back to the plot.
The Resistance avoid getting blown up by the First Order ships - massive battleships called Dreadnaughts.
Poe Dameron bravely and recklessly flies right up to the FO dreadnaught and does some Top Gun style maverick moves, taking out lots of gun turrets and generally being a brilliant pilot. He clears the way for the Resistance bombers.
WW2 style bombers.
Star Wars always took inspiration from WW2 films.
The bombers are laden with cool-looking round black bombs.
Some people say “but there’s no gravity in space!” - but this is Star Wars not Star Trek. It’s fantasy, not science fiction. If your argument is that it doesn’t make scientific sense then sorry, that’s a bit invalid considering Star Wars has never stood up to scientific scrutiny. It’s an emotional character driven fable set in space in a galaxy far far away a long time ago. It’s more like a greek myth or an episode of Flash Gordon than 2001 A Space Odyssey.
There are some classic moments of Star Wars fighter combat in space, including a fat guy with a beard who instantly dies. This is something that happens in so many Star Wars films, beginning with Episode 4 when a fat bearded pilot called Porkins dies, and it happens again in Episode 7 I think, and then here we go again - a fat bearded pilot buys the farm almost instantly. It’s a running joke. I wonder how the fat bearded guy community feels about this.
Poe is an awesome pilot but an incredible risk taker and he ends up getting most of the Resistance fleet destroyed, except for one lone bomber which somehow manages to get through the FO defences.
Super-dramatic sequence with the last remaining bomber.
This feels like the ending sequence of the film rather than the start.
How could anyone not find this exciting and brilliant?
This is Rose’s sister. She’s a gunner on the bomber. All the other crew have been killed. It’s up to her to drop the bombs. Very dramatic stuff with the trigger button. She falls and the button is on a ledge above her. There’s a suggestion that Leia uses the force to help her. She also holds onto a necklace - the other half belongs to her sister Rose. The button drops down but she seems to miss it. This is executed in a slightly cheesy and cliched way by Rian Johnson. The button clearly drops past her and out of reach but in slow motion we see the button dropping from another angle and her hand comes from nowhere to grab it.
It’s exactly the same thing that happens in Mission Impossible with Tom Cruise when he is in a high security room trying to steal some classified information or something. He’s suspended from the ceiling and a bead of sweat drops from his forehead. If it touches the floor, he’s dead basically. The bead of sweat falls and is definitely going to land on the floor but his hand comes in and stops it at the last minute. The magic of the movies, right?
Some people probably found that annoying, but it’s just a trick that’s been used in countless other movies. Movies always play with time, they slow it down, speed it up, use different angles and so on in order to raise the tension. The worst you can say about this sequence is that it’s a cliche. I personally found it to be good old fashioned dramatic tension and the moment when she presses the button and the bombs drop onto the dreadnaught very satisfying. Massive explosion and the dreadnaught is destroyed, although at great cost to the Resistance.
That was a really exciting sequence. I didn’t mind the jokey dialogue between Poe and Hux. I love the way the FO officers are quite ridiculous. I always found that funny in Star Wars anyway.
But there is a hell of a lot of war in this film. Of course - it’s Star Wars. But I remember James saying in another episode that we did about Star Wars once - will this war ever end? Probably not. It’s going to go on and on forever. It’s a pity that this is all about war and that this is great entertainment for us. War as entertainment. That’s a bit of a pity. You see it a lot in other films too, like Avengers Infinity War for example. War war war - explosions and explosions.
The Resistance fleet jumps into hyperspace and escapes, for now.
Poe gets told off by General Leia who demotes him.
Poe’s character arc in this film is that he has to learn how to develop from a reckless if brilliant fighter pilot to a strategic and inspiring leader of the Resistance.
One of the complaints about the film is that none of the characters develop. I disagree. Most of the characters have clear character arcs.
Hux gets told off by Supreme Leader Snoke who throws him around the room and drags him across the floor using the force.
So, I think Hux is summoned to Snoke’s throne room along with Kylo Ren.
Snoke is really pissed off but Hux reveals that they are actually tracking the Resistance through hyperspace - something that wasn’t possible before - hyperspace tracking.
Some fans are pissed off about this - that it’s a new thing that’s come from nowhere but this was mentioned v quickly in Rogue One, so there it is - it’s not completely out of the blue that this is possible.
This kind of gets him off the hook with Snoke.
Then Hux leaves Snoke alone with Kylo Ren who is still wearing his mask from episode 7.
This is a cool scene.
Snoke bullies Kylo - explains how he’s disappointed, how he’s lost faith in him, how he is still conflicted despite having killed Solo. He said when he found him he thought he had so much potential and raw power and that he could be the new Darth Vader but he’s just a boy in a mask who got beaten by a girl. To be fair to Kylo he had been shot when he took on Rey, but still. Snoke really makes him feel small and useless. Snoke is manipulating him but in a very cruel way.
He basically slaps him down. In fact he gives him a jolt of force lightning. Kylo stands up defiantly and Snoke shocks him quickly sending him flying backwards. I suppose to teach him a lesson - like a cruel parent or something. When this happens we see Snoke’s power used casually and also his guards quickly adopt fighting positions when Kylo stands and then return to their original positions after a couple of seconds. These guards look badass and cool, and better than the Imperial Guards that (badly) protected Emperor Palpatine in the original films.
Snoke looks amazing.
Kylo feels utterly humiliated and furious at this point.
Adam Driver’s performance is great.
It’s understated, except for the moments when he flies into a rage. We don’t quite know what’s going on inside him, except for subtle looks he gives, subtle changes in his expression which suggest that he’s feeling hurt, angry, determined, impatient, calculating. He’s a bit of an enigma. He never blinks in the film, I think. He never quite reveals his hand.
I feel sympathy towards him, considering how Snoke bullies him, builds him up and knocks him down.
I actually think he’s a bit more interesting than just a guy in a mask. Vader is of course a brilliant villain, but he’s also really ridiculous. The helmet is a bit over the top.
Kylo removes the mask and this is a good idea - in terms of the film making. It allows us to see Adam Driver’s performance. I like the way he is mostly quite blank in his expression - it’s hard to read him. Then at certain key moments we see the conflict inside him.
I like the fact that we never really know which way he is going. Is he turning good or bad? Or is it possible that he’s going in a completely new direction - against The Resistance & Luke Skywalker but also against Snoke who is using and abusing him?
Kylo is upset and very angry - not only does he remove the mask but he destroys it against the wall of the lift. He smashes it to pieces. This guy is calm and expressionless one minute and completely unhinged the next minute and I love that.
He orders his ship to be made ready.
The Resistance are just licking their wounds from the bomber run on the dreadnaught. Poe is feeling gutted that he’s been demoted.
Finn wakes up inside his bacta tank thing - some sort of medical body suit he’s been wearing while recovering. There’s a bit of comedy when he walks out of the medical ward wearing this ridiculous suit with pipes sticking out of it and liquid going everywhere. It looks pretty dumb, but it doesn’t really do any harm to the film or to Finn. Just a slightly goofy moment. Poe sees him and kind of fills him in on the plot.
I think at this point the First Order ships suddenly jump out of hyperspace right behind the Resistance and The Resistance are shocked to discover that the First Order have somehow tracked them through hyperspace.
The thing is, The Resistance are a certain distance ahead of the First Order ships - just out of range of the FO’s big weapons. I admit that this part of the plot is quite contrived. We now have a sort of standoff, or a low-speed chase in which the FO can’t get any closer because their big ships aren’t quite fast enough and The REsistance ships are relying on their shields and their mobility to keep out of range of the FO’s guns.
I don’t know why the FO can’t just do a really quick hyperspace jump so they’re immediately behind The Resistance ships and then use their big weapons. I don’t really understand why the FO ships aren’t faster and why their big weapons have such a short range - but honestly, I don’t really care. It doesn’t matter that much to me. The situation is this - the FO decide to play the long game. They’re convinced that eventually The Resistance will run out of fuel and then their shields will fail and they’ll fall within range and the FO will be able to destroy them. They also know that The Resistance can’t escape through hyperspeed. So they wait. That’s good enough for me! It shows the arrogance and cruelty of the FO - enjoying the feeling that they have the upper hand and perhaps even relishing the dominance of their position.
In terms of the film it allows other things to happen in the meantime and works as a kind of ticking clock device, which is really common in many films. A ticking clock or ultimatum which gives a sense of urgency to everything that happens. The protagonists have to hurry because they’re running out of time.
Kylo then goes out on an attack run against The Resistance with a few other FO fighters.
First time we’ve seen Kylo in his own Tie Fighter. It’s a bit like Vader’s tie fighter or perhaps the fighter flown by Anakin Skywalker in the prequels. Kylo also does some spinning, which is something Anakin was known for doing in the prequels. It’s quite a nice touch since Kylo is Anakin’s grandson.
Kylo destroys a lot of The Resistance x-wing fighters in the hanger on their ship The Raddus.
Loads of Resistance pilots die.
Kylo is a badass pilot. He flies past the bridge of The Raddus, where his mother Admiral Leia is situated. There’s a cool moment when the two of them obviously become aware of each other through the force. Kylo is planning to blow up the bridge, killing everyone, including his mother, but he pauses and seems to be wrestling with inner conflict. We see Leia perhaps reaching out using the force. This is a great emotional moment and really good performances by both Adam Driver and Carrie Fisher. A lot of emotion is shown in their faces. Kylo doesn’t shoot his missiles into the bridge. He can’t kill his mother, apparently. Maybe Leia is using the force to control his mind or something, or perhaps Kylo hasn’t become completely dark yet and the light part of him has mercy on her. It’s interesting anyway - to see his conflict and to consider where his loyalties really lie - with Snoke or with Leia. We don’t really know, but he doesn’t launch his missiles in any case. However, the two tie-fighters by his side do shoot their missiles and the bridge is blown up - sending everyone hurtling out into space, including Leia.
Kylo is then told to return to the FO fleet and he seems frustrated - perhaps because his mother has just been blown up, or because he resents being given orders by General Hux. At this moment I feel like he’s going to turn back to the light side, or at least that he’s not completely loyal to Snoke and the FO. This conflict is really interesting and I don’t see why some people don’t see this as a really positive point about the film. Trying to work out Kylo Ren is fascinating.
I reckon the best things about this film are the inner conflicts in the main characters. There is depth, contradiction, failure, confusion and pain in these characters, and the film shows this to the audience, rather than explaining it in really clumsy dialogue like you get in the prequel films.
Kylo flies back to the FO fleet.
Then perhaps the most controversial and weird moment in this film happens. This is the one that a lot of people really don’t like.
This is the end of part 1.
Part 2 - coming soon.