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Episode 2 · 2 years ago

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI (2017) with Storyboard Artist Kurt van der Basch

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode Parth and Trent are joined by Trent's short time friend Zach. They argue about some space movie and interview Kurt van der Basch, a storyboard artist that worked on it. 

Edited by Trent Algayer

What have you guys been eating? Well, thanks for asking, parth. My most recent meal has been some tomato soup and some grilled cheese that my mother prepared for me. Zach. Well, I recently woke up. Haven't had a chance to get breakfast yet, but I have consumed a large quantity of coffee, so I'm here for this. Let it be known that it is two PM. It's twenty one. What time do you wake up and do you feel like a Leech to society? I woke up around one PM. I don't feel like a leash to society because I'm rolling with the quarantine punches now. You might be wondering what I've woken up at this time. Were we not in quarantine, and the answer is yes. So, parth, let's let's just get this over with. Have you? Have you eaten anything? I had a peanut butter Jelly Sandwich. Oh part. You know, just from the looks of you, I would think that your body is like a perfect machine and it requires no fuel and and produced is no waste. I am you're a self sustaining organism. Well, when people look at me, they go that's a person that eats. Well, you know, or just like, who's that handsome guy exactly? That's what I tend to think. ZAC, when you see parth, what do you think? I would assume he photosynthesized, thus explaining his bronzer complexion. anyways, onto the show. Welcome to craft services, where we talk about the movies. Each week we discuss a different film and hopefully have an interview with a crew member of that film to talk with us about their experience. This week we're going to be talking about star wars the last Jedi. With us we have storyboard artist Kurt Vander bast all the way from the Chech Republic. I'm just going to give a little IMDB synopsis. Ray Develops her newly discovered abilities with the guidance of Luke Skywalker, who's unsettled by the strength of her powers. Meanwhile, the resistance prepares for battle with the first order. We have a guest this episode. Introduce Yourself. Oh Hi, my name's Zach Masill and I'm excited and looking forward to talk about the last Jedi. How how'd you come to be here? I am longtime friend of Trent out gear, not that lie, short time friend of Trent Ou gear. Yeah, I very recently, within the past six minutes, met parth, but he seems like a good guy. Yeah, okay, you're not like head over heels though, like you're still like more like a Trent Fan. Are a lot of our audience has been dividing into like faction proach run or pro parth, and I need to know that you're on my side. Trent, you know we we've had each other's backs for a short time, as you pointed out earlier. I'll just say I mean I wouldn't have said like you were a short time friend of mine. I'd you know, I've only known you like six minutes and I can see your first friend already, so it take from that what you will. That would make me think that you are very few close friends. I can confirm that parth has a trouble with intimacy and and growing close to his comrades and classmates has been a long term issue for him, and that's why we're here to counsel him. With a little help from our friend George Lucas, maybe parth can learn some social skills and out at the top. Who Our guests? Hello, everybody. We're here today joined by incredible guests Kurt Vanderbadge. He's worked as a storyboard artist on such films as Star Wars, the Force Awakens, Star Wars, the last Jedi, Jurassic World, falling kingdom and Cloud Atlas. We're super lucky to have him and we're excited to talk with him. How are you doing today? I'm great. I'm talking to you from Prague. That's very exciting. Do you live there? Yeah, I've lived here since one thousand nine hundred and ninety nine. How'd you? How'd you end up in Prague and where are you from? Originally, I'm from Nova Scotia in Canada, and I came to Prague in ninety nine, like I said, expecting to teach English for three months and probably return to Canada, but I got sort of stuck here and never left. Twenty one years later, stuck there in the positive sounds. How did you go from teaching English and then what were you're like jobs after that? and Oh yeah, it was a positive way. I didn't get drown in jail, but I know well. I didn't like to teaching English. I only I did that for about a month. I was really bad at it and in I worked in a few bars picked up the language more or less at the beginning. And then a friend of mine was working at the movie studios here and she said there's these English guys making a fantasy movie for the...

...hall Mark Channel, which I don't think even exists anymore. In this is when, you know they were just throwing all kinds of money into these sort of miniseries like this called the Monkey King, and they need an art department runner. So I went and showed them my sketch book and they said, well, you probably won't be doing much drawing anyway, but you know, you've got the job. And and shortly into it some scene was moved forward and because it was a fantasy movie, everything had to be built, you know, all the props and and everything. So they said, okay, well, now's your chance. So I got to start drawing some props and in addition to all the tea and coffee and, you know, ordering lunches that I was doing. And Yeah, and so I added that to to my other responsibilities. It was great. So that kind of leads us into our next question, which is just going to be like how you so that's how you got involved in the film, into the industry. I suppose and we saw. We kind of stalk to your site and we saw that you studied class that you study classical piano, and then how, what? What was that just? Are you still interested in that? Or is that? was that just something you switched into the visual arts from? Or like what happened there? Oh, yeah, I studied piano at university and but I could always draw and probably I could draw even before I started to take the piano seriously. So it just sort of became this sort of I don't know, I thought I really wanted to do it and then around the third year of my four year degree, I went off to study at one summer festival in Orford, outside Montreal, and I could just see, like all how badly all the other pianists wanted it, and I thought that's not me, but I think I really want to be an artist. So I finished the degree and it's you know, it's a nice to be able to be an amateur pianist. It's much nicer than you know then, I think, probably someone WHO's trying to be one and not quite good enough. So so yeah, it's good. I still play when I can. Your credit as a your credit as a storyboard artist on most of your project. So if you could just explain exactly what that is the your process? Yeah, Um, I think since, you know, I don't know if the last ten or twelve years, maybe more, when people have been buying all these box sets and DVD's and they're trying to fill up all the extras on them, I think now it's become a lot more common knowledge what storyboards are because they're often put into these DVD extras, whereas before nobody had any idea what it was. You know, only people in the industry new. So this is kind of interesting now because, you know, people are actually interested in storyboards themselves as a sort of art form. So what it is is essentially it's the first visual representation of the directors ideas of how how the movie is going to look, you know, in a very broadway. So it means like if you read in a script that, you know, some guys are recording a podcast. There's a million different possibilities for how these shots look. You know, does it open on you know, profile shot of really close up of lips and a microphone or, you know, are we pulling back for there's you know, there's a million things I could say, and the director is the one who's decided how he or she wants it to be. So we sit together and they described to me. Okay, shot one is, you know, for instance, you know, maybe it's a top shot looking on a table and you guys are another side of a table with computers open, and then the cameras going to push down. So I make little scribbles in my meeting and and then afterwards, you know, after we go through the whole sequence, I take them away and draw them up sort of nicely and type up descriptions. You know, if describing with the cameras doing, add lots of arrows. So if people inside the frame are moving, you know, they get an Arrow, or if the frame is the camera and it's moving, it gets an arrow. And then, yeah, and eventually you you work out all the sequences. That the that there's time and money to to storyboard. Generally, when if it's sort of, you know, an indie drama with just a lot of talking heads, they won't do that much storyboarding, if any at all, or maybe the director will just do some scribbles himself, and it's usually, you know, it's visual effects films with you know, effects and action and stuff like that that needs specific storyboarding to save time on set. Because the whole point, then, which I didn't mention, is that these these little sort of like this almost comic book version of parts of the script is then used to show to the crew so that they know exactly what the director's intentions are and once this is signed off,...

...then they can sort of refer to this as the Bible. Does that make sense? Yeah, that's great. I was wondering about what like medium you use, like do and like do you use multiple versions, like do do paper and Pencil or do do things on the computer? Until I think I was always paper and Pencil and I would scan it and then put it into a sort of PDF and type of the descriptions. Or then for a little while I was paper and Pencil and then I would scan it and I would add sort of like great tone using a wacom tablet and and and and Photoshop. And then just after the last time I worked paper on Pencil was in on the Vikings. I don't know if you know that series. And and then after that I got to try the new IPAD PRO and and that was like a game changer for me. I had never liked. The reason I really resisted drawing on a wacom tablet, you know, on where you draw on the screen like a Syntique is it just never felt right and it always looked like I drawn it with my wrong hand or it just I couldn't forget about the medium and just start to think about the drawing and and something about the I don't know, the the glass and the hard plastic of the of the Apple Pencil. I just immediately forgot about the you know, the toy, and was only thinking about the drawing and it looked just as good or bad, depending on your stance, as my regular pencil drawing. So I I just loved it and immediately it made my workflow so much better. Like, for instance, if you drawing like one thing with the same background, and just one things changes, all I just have to do is loop it with my finger, three finger swipe to copy pasted in Bang, Bang Bang. You know, you can do this and it's great. It's so wonderful. You can. You know, people in the art department can send you a sketchup draw drawing of a set and you can sort of fly around it and take screenshots and then use that as a sort of basis to draw shots that are really specific, especially if it's a complicated environment that you know the director wants to have perfect. I was wondering if multiple storyboard artists are working simultaneously on the same project and if you have any collaboration with them. Yeah, on big projects that definitely happens. You know, those couple of the jobs that you've mentioned in your intro, like like Jurassic I think overall there were seven of us and at one time four of us like all together, and then, like, people come and go and some like collaboration. I get a way, because sometimes you draw a scene and then it comes back a couple weeks later that they've, you know, rewritten it, or there's some kind of difference, they've taken out of character and you need to revise it, or just that the director wants to add a few a few beats to it, and so maybe you've already moved on to something else that's, you know, urgent. So another storyboard artist might have to take your scene and sort and sort of add stuff to the middle of it or revise it, and once in a while they'll ask you to see if you can keep the the style the same, but generally it doesn't really matter as long as you can as you can see it and make it out. Yeah, yeah, you do wind up with these sort of Frankenstein versions of scenes where you can see like three or four different hands through it by the end of the movie. So one of the things I was wondering was, like your relationship with the director as a storyboard artist. So, like, do they just give you a scene and then you kind of try to figure out blocking and things by yourself, or is that something that you communicate closely with the director, or is that something that changes from project to project? The last one, it changes from project to project. Sometimes directors love your input and we'll say, well, why don't you have a crack at at first, see what you've done, and then maybe they'll keep, you know, a little bit of it, or maybe nothing. But some I find that some directors like to or find it useful to see what they don't want in order to be able to articulate what they do want. This is right something that happens in and totally understandable. So it means that even if you spend a day drawing the whole scene, that gets thrown out. It's still been useful as an exercise because it's brought the director to the point where they can say, Oh, actually, I really need this, this and this. But Um, usually it's some I find mostly lately it's something in the middle where we'll have a meeting together and we'll talk and they have they know generally what they want, or they'll especially have like a few key shots or or sort of shot sequences that they want, and then in the differ in the middle,...

...people are, you know, generally open to you making a suggestion. Oh yeah, wouldn't be good if we went behind their head here or, you know, we tracked along the Hallway, and then they'll say yes or no, and you know, and often it's yes, because a good director knows that you have to take ideas from everywhere. I was wondering if do you are there some projects where you only do like key shots, or are you on every project, like doing every shot on the shot list? Oh, I guess like these sort of key frame pictures is an interesting thing that I've only experienced lately where it we did it on them Jurassic World, the following kingdom one the where they had made an entire version of the script from beginning to end, using only key frames, meaning like a sort of representative one frame of each scene that and then they put it up in this big war room that they had all the meetings in and you could go in and basically look at the shape of the movie from beginning to end. But these were generally taken out of worked up scenes that we had done and then just like slightly improved, because there might be people who aren't able to look at like a really that's crivilged and know exactly what it's supposed to mean. But yeah, no, so so, yes, this happens sometimes, but usually you'll draw the whole scene as it's needed, using using the entire shot list, but you almost never storyboard a whole movie like scenes that are. They basically start with sort of a wish list of like, you know, the big complicated action vfx extravagance climax of the movie is usually the first thing you start with and then there's sort of like a, you know, a list of things of lesser importance as it comes down. But often with these these franchise movies or, you know, these big budget vfx movies, you'll you'll be drawing before the script is even lockdown. So you will sometimes be drawing scenes that are just exploratory. You know this happens to I was going to ask if you have any say in which scenes you're assigned, like are some strawboard artists, say, like a drama, like a drama person, while others are like big action sequences, and do you have any say in which of of which scenes you're assigned, like based on your scale set of preferences? Interesting? No, I've never experienced that. It's basically just who's free. Generally I've it's I guess I could say. Yeah, generally I've been mostly on projects where it's just me, and then only the those those big London jobs, you know, then where there's been more, and in those cases it wasn't based on you know what you know. Basically, you just draw what you're asked to draw and you, I don't specialize. I mean some people are really great at drawing certain things, but it doesn't it doesn't really matter. So No, speaking of the Big London Jobs, you landed probably the biggest London job ever as a story part artist and we were just wondering how you ended up getting involved with Star Wars. That was a just sort of a nice coincidence. storyboard artist generally, especially over here in Europe, in the UK, don't use agents. It's just about who you know and who you've worked with and you know you're lucky if the phone rings. And London was really busy at the time when when the force awakens was starting up, and somebody called my friend and Giles Astbury's another storyboarters. He's great and and he had to turn the job down and gave them my number and and so they called me without letting on what they were first. And so when I finally figured out what this was, it was really exciting and of course, you know, it's really nice to work on something special if you're a big fan like me. I have been since I was a kid. So, yeah, how did they how did they mask what production it was? Well, the use this often happens when you're offered a job that you did. They'll just say, you know, hi, I'm so and so producers, assistant to a producer, and I'm just wanted to check your availability. And in this case, and I've seen this before, that they just did they just took the signature off the email. So so it was sort of frustrating and I was like, Oh, you know, what could this job be? I knew it was London. So anyway, eventually they revealed what it was and I, you know, ran around the house doing cart wheels. So you worked on both seven and eight and I'm a big fan of...

...both movies. I was wondering, since there's a difference and director, that that was that. Did that change your process a lot, or was it mostly the same? Yeah, the process was very different. It was. It was the more usual process with Jj Abrahams, you know, going for a shot list meeting, and then with with Ryan Johnson, he's, you know, he has a very clear idea of what he want. Not that JJ didn't, but that Ryan just did a different approach to it where, you know, he would make these little scribbles for us and it was, you know, it was it was quite different and but also enjoyable in a different way. So does that happen like some what often? But like a director will come to you with their their own drawings? Oh yeah, I'll all the time, all the time. Jay Biona, who did fallen kingdom, did these funny little drawings like he's actually a great artist, but you know, he never has time, and so he would do these like really, you know, sort of hilariously bad scribbles of, you know, what he needed, and I would just like take them on in a multiply layer under my drawing and then you can just stick to and this is in general, not just with him, like if you get a director, if a director draws you scribble, then it's you know, it's Gospel, and you I would just take a picture of it with my phone and are drop it onto my unto my Ipad, and then drag it into my drawing program and then essentially draw over it, you know, draw it more completely, but you know, conserve all of the all of the proportions that you've been given by the director, and you know, then it's perfect. You know, more or less between projects, do you, like a trot try to establish like a visual language that fits, like fits like the mood or the tone, or how do you go about like finding like, like finding your voice with each new like visual like language? Oh, I know what you mean. And literally, because like what almost always happens, and not almost always is, but very often happens, is they have they don't have a budget, or they only are able to start storyboarding, you know, shortly before they're about to, you know, to shoot, and so you wind up, like always, doing your scenes under major time constraints. So sometimes they'll even tell you, listen, like we just want to get as much done as we possibly can. So please just US draw scribble thumbnails as long as you know, with with you know, including a shot description, we can make out the scribble and that's it. In so like often you're forced to draw kind of badly, so there would be no question of thinking about style or tone. You're just hoping you get it done in time for, you know, for the for the wrecky where they go to check out the sets. And then other times, like I've been working on this Amazon show called Carnival row lately, and and it has been there's generally been a bit more time and so I was able to work them up and render them a little bit more. But I think as far as like changing style for the for the show, I would never do that. I'd beast. I basically just have one style and, like a lot of storyboard artists will tell you like that, because you wind up drawing so much, you know, thousands of these drawings a year are, you know, many thousands, probably. I find that my style changes from year to year so much anyway, because you're just drawing so much, so it's very hard to be consistent. I think there's a few guys who were so consistent and I really admire it, but not me. Just speaking on style, are there artists, like our specific artists, that you would say were influences on you and your style? Or I'm going to you just said it, the changes, but like or if there were people that sort of influenced you to go into this industry that way? Oh, in terms of storyboard artists themselves, when I startboard artists, or just artists like in general that you you found influential, or even just like favorite favorite like childhood movies that taught you like the magic of the industry. Oh, okay, that's interesting. Yeah, I'm sure there are. If I gave it some thought. I love mobius, I mean, who doesn't? And you know, and and I liked a lot of you know, sort of like art art, you know the sort of classical western art and and was always looking at that stuff as a kid and I you know,...

...that was I sort of thought I wanted to become like a painter for a while and then, and then, you know, I realize that you can actually make money drawing these illustrations for movies. So that's a digression, though. And then in terms of of like storeboard artists, I was I was in a concept artist on one of the Narnia movies that they were doing in Prague, and then I got a call from a different company who was doing wanted that James mcavoy and handling it ai. Yeah, and they were looking for a storyboard artist and I had only done it, I think, once or twice by that point in. This was seemed like a really fun, exciting job, and so the people that Narnia were nice and they let me go because they knew I really wanted to have this and and I wound up working with one English storyboard artist called Martin Astbury, who is, you know, a legend. He's been doing it for years and years, and so getting on an early job to sort of sit across the table from him and look over his shoulder and get like some tips was, I mean, aside from him being extremely funny, it was it was really a great experience and it really it was. If I don't think if I had that experience at that time I would have really continued in the way I did, because he was just like, you know, look, you cannot, you cannot get lost in detail. You have to you know, you have to just bang them out and developed like a way of being fast and concise. Yeah, I was really great. And then, of course, like there's like these these online groups. There's a couple facebook groups, one called framedom and a couple others where, I mean now there's like just it seems like there's just a million people and friend of so I can't even follow it anymore. But at the beginning it was just all these professional storyboardist from La and the UK and, you know, not really that many of us. And you would just post one of your frames and you can see that there's some in in the UK like Penrod banks, who's wonderful, and this Guy Brock Bank, who's WHO's fantastic. So and everybody, Alex Hill, Kurts, everybody just, you know, drools over these frames by these guys and I find them in sort of inspiring to so you briefly mentioned you worked as a concept artist and also, and look at your IMDB, we saw that you worked as a scenic painter. I was just curious if you could talk about like the responsibilities of those positions and how they like built up to you being a story guard artist. Oh yeah, the scenic painter thing was fun. I really enjoyed it. I had worked for two movies with this Canadian production designer called Carol Speer, and we were on a blade to and they sort of hired me as a concept artist. It was only, I think, my second movie job, and then the their scenic painter needed another person working with him who spoke check in English, and so they suggested me and I said I'd like to try it and it wound up just being a really great job. Like you're just filthy from morning till night. You have to drive around two different locations in different sets and you know, with a big sprayer on your back making everything look dirty, and it was you know, they're all these like fun. I mean I'm sort of reducing the job of scenic pictures slightly. I'm sure they would they would describe it differently, but I really liked it. But what I did miss was drawing, and so after a few jobs as a scenic maybe four or five I I got an offer to be a storyboard artist on this movie that leevs driver was directing, and I think they just wanted to save money and they thought, oh, he can draw, you know, maybe you can manage it. So I met with Leev and and said I had never done it before and he said, well, I've never directed before, so this will be a good match. And it was my first job and I didn't go back. I kept I kept doing storyboards after that. So you spoken about how a lot of these big budget movies have really quick production schedules. Yees, you have to work really quickly. But then I'm wondering, also because they are also such a long productions, how long on average would you say a project like that takes and like the difference between that and like a TV show or something like that? Oh well, it's sort of depends. Like with like, for instance, with the last Jedi, there was I was working with the storeboard artists that...

I mentioned, Martin Asbury and David Alcock, who is like this, you know, legendary English storeboard artist WHO's really, really good, and he and he was sort of he sort of led it and once things were calming down, then they let me and Martin go in. David stayed on for the entire production just to sort of be around just in case. I did the same thing on Jurassic World, where we had, like I told you, we had these we had seven people through and then in the end they just kept me and I would basically hang around set until the director had a moment and would need something. So in that case I was on it for thirteen months. But sometimes if you're just hired during you know, like last Jedi or something like that, then maybe you would be like two or three months or a bit longer. And then, of course, with the TV show there's so much to get through. These TV jobs are great because, first because your gigs are a lot longer, so you're not looking for work again and and I just find that with television, this is not your question, but I find that with television they don't like really have time to to waste as they do on movies, like where you might draw six versions of a scene that are completely different, while the director and the and the in the writer and stuff like that. I'll I'll try out different ideas. With the TV the time is really money and they they tend to know what they want earlier and so you don't draw so many versions of scenes and you you get through a lot more. Also, they really need the story boards because storyboards safe so much time on set when you've got a plan like that. So they you know, they tend to be more concise and more thorough. So would you say you kind of prefer the workflow of a TV show more just because of the necessity of immediacy? I guess. I guess. So there's aspects of it that I really like a lot more like there's not. I mean there it can be very exciting to work on movies and you can work with some like really exciting people, but I find that like the whole the whole feeling of the crew on a TV show or like, when I'm talking TV, I mean basically these stream services, and like the director behaves almost like a first ad, you know, walking around with their own notes and clipboard, planning everything out, like because because time is so precious and everything is has to be so clear, really planned. Also because on a TV show the director has someone above them, which is called the show runner, and that they are basically like the sort of the overdirector who makes sure that all the various direct because usually you'll have like one director directing two or three episodes. They'll be prepping them, storyboarding them, and then when they start to shoot them, all start working with the next director who's prepping their, you know, two or three episodes, and like that in so on. The showrunner keeps it all consistent that you know that there's one, one main main feeling to it all or style. I was wondering if are you only involved during, like from movies, during preproduction, or is there a point where your contribution is like locked in, or are they changing things like through day to day shooting and then you're contacted to make like quick revisions or new versions? Oh, totally. Jurassic world was a good example for that, because they were doing so, you know, one point we thought that we were going to lose our jobs because they started to do this great, you know, all this great visual effects, like pre visualizations, which are basically these they look like, you know, the s video game style animations of the scene and and people were saying, Oh, this is going to take over storyboarding, but it didn't and it just became another, another step in the process, with storyboards still coming you know, the director to the storyboard artist and then they would maybe do the Previz, but they would base that previs on these storyboards. And then there's another thing that happens sometimes, which is they will make what's sort of like a boredomatic I don't know if he heard that expression, but essentially they'll take the storyboards you've drawn, cut them out and put them into an editing program adding, you know, noise or music and these sort of things, and start to build, you know, like a timed scene like that. And then and then the previous people, as they finish their their s video game animation, I means, I mean it's getting better and better every year, but they'll sort of did basically take...

...out your drawing and plug it in with their their animated bit. And so what would happen like on Jurassic you know, deep into the shooting process, when they'd, you know, been shooting for, you know, weeks already, I was still nearby, as the director would in sort of you know, at certain times, be sitting in the in the previous room looking at sequences that they put together and he would get an idea in then, like some out of breath, you know, previous guy would come running into my room saying could you quickly draw blood going through a tube, like really fast? Well, I wait, and then I would just air drop it to need, run back down the hall, put it into the edit and then they you know. And so this was going on constantly where there was saying, Oh, you know, we need this frame, this frame, this pain. So where you weren't even drawing full sequences by that point, you're just like plugging it in and they're sculpting and finessing these scenes with drawings that were then replaced by previous animation, which is then replaced by the by the final shot material. It shows that you didn't work on episode nine. I'm wondering that that production kind of went through some production changes, like regarding the director. So was that because of that, or was it just sort of happenstance and you've gotten some other job? Yeah, yeah, you never know. They who's going to be working on it. But the main guy on that was David Alcock, who was who was one of the guys U Jurassic with me and on a yeah, and I think he's put it some because work online. You can you can look for its fantastic. So, like when you, since you do so much work in preproduction and like your storyboards are basically the basis for what they're going to shoot, is it often reflected in the final like project or and like how does it feel to have, I guess I have have it be what you drew versus have it be something different from what you drew. If you know right, well, when it really looks like the storyboards, then it's kind of exciting because you think, oh, this is great, then they really meant it. But I think with a lot of these bigger projects especially, I think because obviously after if after it's boarded and shot, then it goes through the editing process and then, you know, they sit with it and and either they you know, they you know they can. They can change it so much from the from the board. So generally, you know, sometimes it's unrecognizable by the time you get it, which can be a bit disappointing, but you know, that's just how it works and generally you know it's they've they've had time to think about it. You know if this was really necessary. So doesn't I haven't really answered your question, which is there's there's this interesting thing that sometimes happened when you're watching a movie that that you worked on and you know, especially a sequence, where you have that feeling seeing something for the first time, that you've seen it before because you know where it's going to go and it's an odd feeling. This is kind of just a question for me. I'm a very big fan of the witch house. Kis Oh, you you've worked on Cloud Atlas, Jupiter sending and Sensate, which was like the third netflix series. So what was it like to work with them? Well, I don't really know because on Jupiter sending they were mostly in Chicago during the preproduction time that I was working in Berlin and I didn't interact with them hardly at all because I was working as a as a concept artist, so I was interacting with the production designer mostly. And then on on cloud outlasts, you know there were two teams. There was the Tom Tiklar team and the WATCHOUSE KI team and they each did three parts of the story and I was on tickulars team and then it was because of my connection to him that I was working on since eight, so I was doing all of his sequences on senseate. So, so disappointingly, I can't tell you anything about them, but I think they're amazing, but you already know that. Yeah. Well, so it seems like you have a relationship with the production designer. So like is is is our is your closest like working collaborator them or the director or like? Is that another? Like it's very able to change. Oh well, it's the it's I guess that the production designer will be in probably second place. The directors always first for a storyboard artist, and you know you they'll often, you know, when you're starting a job, make sure that you've got a room that's kind of close to them so that they can just, you know, dip their head in and say, Oh, I thought up this shot. You know that you want to be sort of in their trajectory. And then, but then you definitely, you know, are...

...so dependent on the production designer because you know they're going to be telling you how they want things to look. And often, like I've worked with this production designer, Andy Nicholson, who did assassin's creed and Jurassic world with us, and he really liked for us to do storyboards before he had really designed it, because he said, then I know what the director wants if you just make up some sort of ambiguous sort of world based on the action and the in the shape of things. Then he would base his designs on what the director needed and then worked with, you know, a concept artist to then take these little scribbles that we had done storyboard wise and use those two to make up, you know, some proposals for the director. It was a really interesting way of working. But yeah, always you need to have a good relationship with the production designer and the our department in general, who are going to be, like I said earlier, sometimes now people are mostly building things and, you know, in in computer assisted design, so they can generally send you, if it's a set, they can generally send you a set or an interior or a whole city, in the case of, you know, carnival row as Ad Build, and you can sort of fly around inside it with something like sketch up viewer or one of these things and find angles and and and essentially trace over them and then just draw the action on top of it, which is a huge time Saber and also it makes things very, very specific and correct, especially if this is something that's going to be done in in visual effects, where you can't be too ambig gifts about the backgrounds, as you sometimes are, you know, to save time, like if if you're drawing a scene and you can just sort of indicate the background, because maybe that's all that's important about the about drawing the scene. Does that make sense? Oh, yeah, yeah, so we're obviously in the middle of strange and on certain kinds right now. MMM, how has that sort of affected your ability to work, or if it's changed the way you work or something of that? Well, I always did a lot of work remotely, like I've done entire films, you know, in my pajamas, where I've only been interacting with the director via email. But I mean on carnival row we shut down from one night to the next where I had to call the directors assistant and say, Oh, is that meeting on for tomorrow morning? This is like Thursday in March, and she was like didn't you hear? We've just completely shut down. So, like it was really abrupt. And then, I mean I have the capacity to work remotely, but there's just no no productions on at the moment. There's some whispering that's some things are starting up. So, but they've been making some commercials. In fact, that's what I'm doing today, of making a little money doing commercials, which is always nice, between big jobs to you know, to keep to keep, you know, earning, and and then, on top of that, like taking it's kind of been an exhaust year. There's just always been a project going. And you, as a freelancer, I mean I'm sure any other freelancer will tell you the same thing. You just sort of hate to turn down jobs because you could the next one. You never know when the next one's going to be. Since Star Wars I've been lucky that I've gotten quite a few offers, but you know it won't always be like that. You can't count on it. So you know, you do sort of nervously take job. So I having this sort of forced break was fantastic. I just started, like, you know, doing drawing and painting on my own rather than for a production, and you know, it was good to get a good break and now, you know, start up with new energy. I have a question. Sure, since it's some shots definitely require like camera movement and you have to account for that and that could factor in like the like the geography of the scene and like the set. Do they give you, like the like the floor plan for like whatever, like room or space they final products will be taking place in, or do you have like any like creative freedom with that? And then they base it around like you and the the directors like ideas well. Well, that's sort of yeah, that's sort of what I meant before. Some if the if it's early, early on, and sometimes storybood artists are broad on very early, you'll be drawing a scene before it's been totally you know, before the writing of his is lockdown and you know, I've started before the production designer on certain jobs, and so you're drawing things that are where the director is just giving you the shape of the seed. You know, they want them to jump over something, they want this thing to fly around something. You know, Oh, I want a cliff, but maybe that it's not been designed, and so you then the designer, the production designer, will use...

...these you know and then you know as as a sort of a general idea of the shape of things and will make their designs based on it. Other Times, if you're drawing in the production designers already started, you know, and everything's been designed, then they'll give you very specific you either get from the concept artists angles of the room or the space or the even the exterior what it could look like, and then you can base on one drawing, you can sort of guess what it's going to look like like. One skill that a storyboard artist has to have is to be able to imagine places, spaces and people from any angle, and it's something that you get better at as you as it goes on and you become sort of instinct. But so you can get a floor plan and and a couple of, you know, concept are pieces, or sometimes the locations department, along with the first ad the first assistant director, will send you photos of like the location scouts where they've just taken pictures looking in all directions, and then the productions designer will scribble on them. Okay, yeah, we've got this old house, but over here we're adding, you know, this thing, and then you can you can draw based on that or, like I said, you can get a completely perfect d model that you can fly around inside of as as like a camera and take screenshots of it. I was just wondering how obviously it's a case by case basis and there's a range, but how long does like one individual storyboard take you and it's like how many do you typically complete in like one sitting or like one work day? It's it depends, if you I did this commercial recently which was like just all these high angles of a city, so I hardly like did any at all in a day because it was for VFS and they wanted it to be, you know, more or less correct. So I mean close ups of People's faces take a lot less time than, you know, wide shots of cities. So but I there's a sort of industry standard of like thirty a day, but it could, you know, it could be up to fifty or more if they're really in a bind and and it could be a lot less if they need to be nicer. You know, you could maybe twenty. So and then, like, I don't it depends. It does depend so much on how good you want it to be. I often generally will draw like a of sketch and do in sketch out a whole seem rough and then send it to the person who needs to see it to make give me their input before I spend the time doing a sort of finished version, because if they're going to cut stuff, then you might as well not waste the time by the time that you are drawing your storyboards safe or a big movie, are the actors already cast and so are you drawing them or are you just drawing like blank faces or just like the description of the character as it is in the script? Yeah, so often the casting is not locked down when you start and you might know, you know only the main one, and in that case I printed some pictures of them. But I never try and, you know, draw portraits first. I'm just not really very good at drawing. Likeness is like that so easily, like some there's a few th we are but artist who are graded that, but generally you just try and make it look like the description of the character. And if they have, like you know, you know, a sort of grow to marks faced, and so much the better, because it's easier to differentiate people, you know, from frame to frame. I was just going to ask. I don't know whether you're allowed to to this surnounced of by the power of editing. We can always take it out, but if you could speak on like what specific seeing you work on in beforece awakened the last Jedi? Yeah, I don't think. I think that's fine. In the force awakens you know, they were quite a few. One of them that was really fun is the is the Falcon crash and which, you know, was really great to be able to draw these iconic characters for the first time. I remember being really excited and a bit of the the when when Ray I'm in the other one, when ray is having her when she's trying to convince Luke to train her, was involved in that scene, for instance. Thank you so much for your time. Is there any place that people like our listeners can reach you at if they want to see your work or anything like that? I have it's I have some work on my instagram, which is just my name, Benderbuss or curven of us and I don't know actually, and and I have a website also under my name with some of my work. It's generally just for people who want to hire me and get a little sample of what it looks like, but you...

...welcome to have a look. Thanks, guys. It was really, really nice. Thank you so much for coming. Okay, stay healthy. You too to okay. By. Thanks to Kirk for talking with us. It was very informative. Let's get toward discussion, since Kirk gave us some behind the scenes information on the production. Let's give some production history for our for audio is here part. What was what was the budget of this movie? Do you know? Oh glad that you ask. So this this movie was budgeted for between two hundred and three hundred and seventeen million dollars, or so wikipedia tells me. It made one point three, three, three billion dollars. I looked up what one point three billion is other context, and it is the GDP of the country of Granada and also the population of India. So maybe just every person in India paid one dollar to see this movie once. As a person of Indian descent, I'm going to tell you that's true. Oh well, I would think that, you know, the remainder of the world might want to see it, but I guess it's Star Wars is India's a little secret. Now it's true. Well, in actuality it made seven hundred twelve million dollars internationally and domestically it made six hundred twenty million dollars. So not a not a bad, not a bad job, Disney. Yeah, Disney, you made a like four or five times your money. Way To go. A who would have thought that star wars was profitable at the box office. Part. Did you know that this movie received Oscar nominations? Let's talk about it. There was best achievement in visual effects, musical score from you know, John Williams, sound editing and sound mixing I and it won none of them. No bummer, Star Wars continuing to go through life receiving no credit. Speaking of credit, this movie was released to, in contrast to the force, awakens to a very divisive fan reaction. So I've had Trent compile some one star reviews from Amazoncom. Would you like to would you like to read some of those trend yeah, good, preface. Part. So this is going to be a new segment of the show where I read some people thoughts who didn't didn't like the movie. And let me give a warning now that some of these people didn't like this movie for the wrong reasons, as you're about to see. Okay, title. What happened to Star Wars? And I quote? I like Star Wars, but the sucked. They kept breaking the rules of the Star Wars Universe and promoting feminist BS. I don't think I will be following this genre anymore. Well, put review two thanks, Disney. This movie was barely washable. It is sad to see how this franchise has fallen. What the heck did they do with skywalker's character? He's a complete dweed now. Also, the purple hair lady just beat out jar jar banks as the most annoying character in the entire franchise. That's not true. Moving on titled, I did not like it, and I quote, nothing against Amazon at all, but this was terrible and pitiful and did not help the franchise. In fact, George Lucas needs to personally apologize to all the fans for what he did to our beloved Star Wars. Last but not least, titled Sucks More Than You can imagine, and I quote, suck, suck, sucks all PC plot. Shame on you, Disney. Shame, shame, shame on Lucas for selling out. I wish I had better command of the English language to describe how disappointed I am. I sometimes relish mocking the infant brain meat bags who go crazy over the new films in the Star Wars Universe. Yeah, that's it for this segment, but I think they made some good points. Yeah, I think saying that whole do Oh is is more cringe than Jarde our banks is nonsense. And also this person who says nothing against Amazon. What what do the think Amazon deffiliation is with star waring? They're writing on an Amazoncom I guess so, but it's not. Yes, it's on their website, but it's not personal. I mean this person did also say that George Lucas needed to personally apologize to each fan for what he did to to their beloved franchise made for babies, that was created to sell toys, even though George Lucas just wanted to sell his franchise for for billion dollars. He I think he's the...

...one person who can't be blamed because you know it's out of his hand, the only one who had nothing to do with it. And now for a word from our sponsor. Hi, this is Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon. June is small business month, the time to support grassroots organizations such as Amazoncom. We started as a small online bookstore and now we sell some other stuff too. Let it be known I treat my employees exceptionally well and I have nowhere near one trillion dollars. Thank you. Fun Fact. This is the long at a runtime of one hundred and fifty two minutes. It is to date the longest star wars movie in the saga. It's true. What was what do you guys think? So one of the things about the last Jedi that's that's confusing to me is how much I want to like it, but how much I can. This is the first time I was rewatching it since I watched rise of Skywalker, came out in December, and this is definitely the best time I had viewing it, but it still has some some problems as far as I'm concerned. The first time I watched this movie, I wasn't really sure what I thought about it. I remember saying I either love this movie or hate it, and then I started out disliking this movie, and I've now jumped onto the last Jedi bandwagon and I very much enjoyed my latest feeling of this. I'll say I'm my piece. So I immediately bought into the the hate machine, simply because it wasn't as like formulaic as all of the other star wars movies to date, and there were some elements that didn't resonate with me, as I'm sure we'll get into later. But much to my Chagrin, last night's viewing has really provided some insight and I think I'm I would go as far as I say I'm neutral on this movie, where there are as many things as I like outwardly despise, there's some awesome moments too, and so there's much like the force, there's a balance. Well done. Well said, Trent. Yes, that was a scripted I wrote that down last night. And did it come off as genuine? Yeah, the almost did until you told us it wasn't. Yeah, well, that's the first rule of Improv is. Yes, and Oh, I thought you were going to say the first rule of Improv is to write all your material down first. I don't know part that's the second rule of Improv. So what it? What did everybody think of? Let's just break this down. What everybody think of the story? I think it can be said that this movie, I'd say it's the most condensed star wars movie where it takes place in the shortest span of time, because I would say, beginning to end, what is it all within? It's eighteen hours. I was going to say that it feels like less than that. It's they said that by the time that the ship is running out of fuel, they say they have eighteen hours of fuel reserves, but like force awakens just a reference is like over a matter of days. Is that correct? Well, that you know. That's part of the problem. Is that just to because soon? Yeah, it's the timelines are so vague. Yeah, in the empire strikes back. Problem with that, like the the first star wars movie takes place over like a day. In the empire strikes back, it seems as if Luke is training for like several months and meanwhile on and layou are on one romp through the asteroid built. Yeah, it's never really clear how much time elapses, but in this one that they did say that there's eighteen hours of fuel lift. But I would say that this movie feels very like kinetic and that, even though I like there's so many like separate like journeys and dynamics that it just like all cross cutting between different like tasks. Yeah, I would say this is the most other than the end of the phantom menace, which has like for intercutting action set pieces like this is probably the most like frayed star wars movie because as as three different storylines going on at the same time, when usually, like at least in the original trilogy, it'll it'll be splended two with like Luke doing so, hmm, and then like con and Leia or Chewy. You know, I didn't really have a problem with it having three different storylines. I feel like it gives it momentum that whenever one scene starts to like to lie off, it just it just cuts to the next one. But I feel like the problem with that is there's an imbalance and how much investment the audience has in different yeah, different strands are dynamics. So when one of like the less interesting ones is on, you just want to go back to Kylo right. It's interest. I think the best part of the new movies is is Kylo rent and and ray and his...

...like force face times was a new concept that I want to criticize for never being mentioned before, but I guess that this is just an extension of like Luke and lay being able to like sense each other and stuff for Luke in vader. I really like the I really like I feel like you don't need to explain all sorts of for Shit happens on the original trilogy that that has and and the prequel trilogy that like has no prior explanation, but it's not like like I can buy for skype. You see, that's you know, one of the benefits of having seen rises skywalker now is is that, you know, we kind of get some insight into that relationship, in the connection that they have. You know, this this movie kind of laid the groundwork for the you know, quote unquote, Diad in the force that nobody had seen before. So in a few ways it is entirely new. But I mean, if we're going through it, then there's also like the post storyline as he interacts with Leiah and haul though, and then you have the fin and rose arc. Yeah, the the Luke Ray Aspect of the story is, I think like some of that is peak star wars, some of the scene. But even Mark Hamill has like gone on the record as critiquing the direction they've taken Luke skywalkers character, because he was always known for, you know, he was the new hope and that was like his thesis statement. And now he is like abandon the force entirely and abandon his sister and friends when they like might more will die with due to his absence. I'm okay with it, because what arc do you give Luke? Yeah, I agree that his arc was already completed, so this is kind of like resetting his character, so there's more room for growth. Oh well, what I was going to say is that when I was watching again this time, and I remember seeing a lot of people upset that Luke was like this old man Luke who is kind of a hermit, the same way it will be one was not the same way, but similar, and I actually kind of thought that was in character for him, especially like the thing with him overreacting to the darkness he sees in Kilo. In every version of Luke that we saw in in the original trilogy he was impulsive, you know, he was close to the dark side. You know, he was never this level headed Jedi masters. So that kind of made sense to me. The part of the movie where I think it veered off the Luke skywalker track was when he confronts Kylo and he says that he's not even going to try to redeem him. That's not Luke Skywalker, you know. Do you think that could be attributed to he wants to engage in this showdown like just just because his purpose is to stall time. So like what he's saying doesn't like really matter, because he's just trying to like distract him? Maybe it's just for the purpose of like enraging him. Yeah, well, that could be said. To that point, in that scene where he does the force projection, it confused me because he has anakin skywalker's lightsaber and it's blue. Right, do you guys know what I'm talking about? But earlier, like maybe ten minutes before, we watched Anakin's lightsaber get destroyed in the chamber room with smoke, snoke, let's fake. Yeah, I know that's so. You could say that maybe he used he projected himself to have this blue lightsaber that was rightfully Anakin Darth vaders in order to enrage kilo. Maybe, like it could just be another blue lightsaber that he happened to acquire. But if Kylo was just in the room while that lightsaber blew up, couldn't he be like, Oh, this is some sort of trick, because I just watch that object explode? I don't think Kylo is thinking that much about the color of Luke's lightsaber. It's not just the color, it's the handle, like the hilt is. You can tell which blue lightsabers Anakin's because the hilt, every hilt is different. Fair enough, but where's his green lightsaber from return of the Jedi? Is that never mentioned? Well, ice, what I assume is since like that's the lightsaber that he used, that almost a kill Kilo because because one of the problems, that not a problem, but like a small issue I had was earlier when I used to walk before the current viewing of the movie, was I really like the character art that they give Luke. Of It's kind of weird, like this is the new star wars trilogy. Seems to have a very Meta approach to them. They're very much about people being very aware of Star Wars in the original trilogy and stuff like that. So it felt it felt very interesting to me that everybody got upset that Luke skywalker wasn't the Luke Skywalker we knew, when that's the point of the movie. The whole point is that he isn't that. And so when he shows up at the end and he's, you know, he looks younger as hairs cut, it's that supposed to Oh, the Luke Skywalker we know has come to save us. And so then my thought was, well then, why doesn't he have the green lightsaber from return of the Jedi? And so the the argument that I came up with it was, well, if he has, he goes into hiding for several years because he believes he failed Kylo Ren and I doubt he would want to keep that green lightsaber and he's sort of abandoned every aspect.

He's closed himself off from the force. Yeah, he's. He's renounced Jedis entirely and he had no problem of trying to get rid of an IT kids blue lightsaber. So it not being there made sense to me. And Luke's character regressing into his like angsty teen stage. I know receive some criticism, but I think it like makes sense because then a new hope. He's very whiney. Why the whole trilogy except except for most of return of the Jedi. I think a lot of people's dislike of Luke's portrayal has to do with the fact in like the way that Luke and the force is shown in the original trilogy. You know, it's not given to you all at once. It you never really see a lot of it and it leaves you wanting more of it. So people were kind of expecting to see Jedi Master Luke, you know, kicking ass and taking names and doing all sorts of badass stuff. But you know, this movie doesn't give you that until the very end. Like what what you would gain from that? Like I don't know what that does, other than it would be cool to see him do all that stuff. Just seeing Luke Skywalker the way he was when we last saw him feels like a would have been a wasted opportunity in my eyes. Loyalists have the like the framed image in their mind of Luke as like this all powerful being at the end of return of the Jedi, and then they don't understand how we could have like lost all that ability. Like it's a much misunderstanding to say like he was an all powerful Jedi, like like there's this weird perception. But he he gives into the dark side then says then throws away his Lightsaber, his dad saves him, like he's not even the one that wins. I don't know, it's always felt weird to me how people have this perception of him that I I've never really bought into. You think Luke gives into the dark sign? Dude, yeah, he like gets super pissed a darth vader and then cuts off his hand. Okay, even before that. A job is palace, like he just he just like forced chokes those the the guards, do you know talking about? And he's wearing all black, like it all has a very sinister feeling. FREAKINS cell three, c three Po and RTD to his slaves. I always thought that that was something that was like a ploy. I mean, make no mistake about it, Luke didn't want to slaughter all those people. A job as palace, but, you know, he tried to be diplomatic, but he knew it wasn't going to work and ultimately he killed every single person there. You know, like that's not very Jedi. Just to the point of Luke skywalker's character. I think the reason that this movie has been more enjoyable for me upon rewatches is because, where I was originally kind of affronted by Luke's old man Luke, because he's not what I expected to see. I expect to see, you know, Badass Luke. I think rewatching it is what me is why that's why I'm enjoying it better, because I understand why they went this direction with Luke's character. Yeah, I agree. What do you guys think of the Canto Bite sequence? Well, it's can't do. It's CaN'to Bite, the casino, the the the mom, the MOSS eysley remake. Well, see, I actually think there's a reason why I like can'to bite as a setting and there's a reason why I don't like the rest of the Fin Rosar. I think that in star wars in the past, like we've seen, you know, like scummy outlaw areas, you know, like Moss Eisley, Cantina, and now we're seeing you know it. Before they go to Canto Bite, it says that they're going to a terrible place filled with terrible people, and so you're expecting another Cantina scene with kind of like outlaws, but in reality it's like the one percent exactly. You know. They take it in a different direction. They instead of showing you the bottom of the universe, they're showing you the upper echelon, which I thought I to their credit. I like that a lot. I really like that. Okay, so the entire reason they go to that planet is to find the Red Lapel Guy, the Master Code Breaker. Yes, this is the weakest part of the movie because it makes hero sense. Okay, so they facetime mas even though she's like midcombat she has no problem, except in the call she's like yes, I of course I could do this, but I'm clearly occupied. So there's only one other person in the galaxy. He'll be hopefully playing at this, at this card table like otherwise, like you, guys are screwed. But then they get thrown into space jail for like a beach parking violation, and then luckily, the first prisoner they bump into is also has that very niche skill set, and I think the most obvious solution to this should have been Maus is like, oh, look for Binyacio del Toro, and then they would be, I don't know, looking around for him, say we can't find him, and then they get thrown in jail for, you know, like space traffic, and then and then there is and then it's just...

...like convenient. You're exactly right. I know it's a common complaint, but I think it required acknowledgement. So I really like what they do with Finn and rows. Just don't like that their whole quest is like you got to do this thing. Oh, we can't do that thing. Oh well, that's fine, this thing is here anyways. So now we do this thing. Yeah, Oh, we don't have that thing. Well, it's fine, this thing is here too. Oh well, actually know, like, and it's the the whole quest is supposed to be. Well, we get this codebreaker and we're able to break into this thing, into the tracking thing, and they won't notice. So they'll be able to light speed or hyperspace where of the fuck, like, they'll be able to jump, yeah, without being drack but but the issue is they never solve that. Yeah, they're their plan ultimately fails and so if they had done nothing, the result would have been the same, which which I'm okay with, if because a lot of this movie is about failure, like the whole the whole part, all Luke Skywalker's whole arc is based off of failure. I think one of the best scenes in the movie is the conversation with him in Yoda. But but the problem is they don't necessarily gain anything by having failed at that. Like, I'm okay on the whole. I'm okay with it because generally I'm able to excuse things not narratively making sense if they further character or emotional development, and I think it gives fin an interesting arc. But I just have that's that's my main issue with that arc. The thing is, the second they leave the ship, they fail every single task that they've set out to do, but they still succeed. They failed upwards. You know, they don't get the Codebreaker, but they find this replacement. They break, they do break into the the code thing, but then the guy betrays them in a backstab and a twist that didn't even seem necessary because we didn't know him to begin with. What I listened to the director's commentary before I rewatched the movie, and basically what Ryan Johnson said was he was very cognizant of what scoundrels are generally like with in Star Wars, like with Lando and with Han, and we assumed them to eventually have a heart of gold. They will redeem themselves, and he liked the idea of somebody being true to their word, which I don't really mind. Well, I know he he didn't even turn them like, he didn't sabotage their mission, but once they were caught, he told the he told the first order that their plan was to use the escape pods and to okay, also, it's such madness that even though like the resistant ships are visible from like the window of like the command ship for the first order. They're like, oh, like, they're not. They're not tracking like these smaller vessels like that. They're just focused on like the one remaining ship. Well, it's not even that they're not tracking them. It's kind of silly to say that they couldn't see them when they're that close. When I was going to say it isn't even like an issue of scanners where they could like slip beneath the surface. It just like, Oh, look outside. It's like, Oh, there's thirty escape pods leaving at once. I wonder what this could mean. My least favorite part of this movie is post storyline, because it just adds like thirty to forty five minutes like to the runtime. Good by rose and fin time for their antics, and he's left out of the informational loop for no reason. My issue with it is that, okay, you want to give Poe an arc, fine, he's a he's essentially he's too cocky and he needs to calm down to become a leader, which is fine, except it doesn't have anything to do with the overall thematics of the movie. In my eyes, raised whole thing with Luke is to try to get Luke to stop being apathetic and to be a force for good. That's kind of the same thing with fin which is which is an idea that I like, where the same people that sell xwings are the same people that sell tie fighters. It's fine, you know, you can just stay out of it, there's no need to fight for it. And rose is sort of saying like, well know, like a lot of people get mad about Canto bite because they're like, well, it's a supermission that has nothing to do with the rest of the movie, and I pretty vehemently disagree with that, because the whole point of that movie is that place is horrible because everybody is apathetic. Everybody just profits off of the suffering of others and that's it. And Finns whole thing is that he isn't part of the first order, but he's not yet part of the resistance. He still everything he did in the force awakens was just because of Ray. Hence why he tries to jump ship at the beginning, right, and so having park being get right, he realized his note. The fight does matter. That ties into Luke's arc of well, no, I need to be a...

...force for good. But pose arc is just sit down and take it when people are not making any sense and it just has nothing to do with any and when you don't get your way, stage and mutiny. Yeah, I really like this movie, but that's like one part of it that I really cannot defend. It's so stupid. Well, first of all, the resistance. I don't know if you notice this, but there's like four hundred people in the resistance. Like the orders of magnitude between the first order in the resistance are like immensely off. There's like four hundred. That's what you think. At the end of this movie there's like twelve people left. Yes, and also it seems like upwards of like eighty percent of the fleet is killed during every mission, and that doesn't seem like a sustainable army. I'm not asking for Star Wars to be, you know, some perfect display of what the military is or something like that, but Po Literally Mute need and he tried to overthrow the acting general, like he probably would have been killed for that, you know, like or at least put in jail. Other thing is that I can understand. I can understand why he did what he did, because she's making no sense. Like, like I could at least understand it if there was a legitimate reason for why hold oh would not withholding information and like and like. The thing is what I when I when I go online, people that are like super staunch defenders of this movie are like, well, why would she tell him? He led to like most of their fleet being killed and was just a very cocky person. But it's like, well, don't you think withholding information from him is just going to make him do more stupid shit? He's like general, he's well, he was the commander and now he's a captain. So Poe is the same rank as Luke was at in in the empire. Strikes back. You know, he was leading like a some xwing fighters. You know, he was like a red leader or gold leader or something like that. But the thing is that post story there is contradictory to Finn Story in the first movie, and it's that Finn is like this low level warrior who defies orders and does something better because he wasn't supposed to follow them. But like the thread and post story is seemingly like, you know, shut up and follow orders. You know, sometimes people know better than you. You want to know who else followed order. The knots. I don't think that's the pointness. I think that's what comes off. Like the point seems to be, well, sometimes it's better not to attack, it's better to live to fight another day. Right. But yes, but that only works if you're given like a legitimate reason, like like there is no plan, there's no reason for Poe to think as a rational human being. This makes sense because at the beginning, at the beginning, you can kind of get like, oh, pose in the wrong here. Poe just wants to get a small victory. So when Poe gets slapped by Leia and it's like you're demoted, like okay, yeah, that that makes sense. But am I supposed to believe that Poe is in the wrong when the general is just saying yeah, just full, full speed ahead and not telling anybody the plan? I also think at the beginning, because pose like, Oh, this is an opportunity to take out like one dreadnought, like that's a fleet destroyer. But like, look at how many ships the first order has. One dreadnought means nothing to them and you're gonna like sacrifice like eighty percent the resistance as even have like a fleet left to be destroyed. So they really need to like hunker down and like preserve their resources. Like, I don't know, Poe is responsible for the death of like hundreds of people. There should be like some weight to that, you know. Can I can, I just are a complaint I have about this. Any time they're really trying to impress you and be like wow, the first orders see serious, they're just like what if we make the Shit's bigger? You know, like there's a like went snokes ship is like fifty times bigger than a star destroyer. What the Hell? Like there's a certain point where it's no longer believable, like the amount that you can just increase a ship to. May See. Also, even outside of the terms of believability, it kind of a bigger problem in rise of skywalker. But Great, the reason, the reason that a star destroyer is intimidating in the original trilogy, in like that first movie, there's only one of them, but it's fucking huge, you know, like it's huge in comparison to the one like rebel ship. So what what you get there is you get specificity, whereas you can show and now with computers you can show literally anything you want, because humans thinking specifics. So like having just things be bigger, it doesn't mean anything like it. Like we don't feel that difference, which is an issue. Yeah, you know, there's there's been a certain like, well, I see your star destroyer and I raise it. One superstar destroyer type thing through the throughout the whole series, you know, like a star destroyers what like the size of a big city, yeah, or something like that, and then the death stars, the size of a moon, and then we...

...get the star killer base, which is the size of a planet, and then we get these, you know, like what a snoke ship called the supremacy. It's beyond imagination. I can't I couldn't even compare it to something. I really, really love what it's trying to go for and I think in most cases it succeeds, but there's a lot of little details that I can't really defend. Yeah, speaking off, speaking of I say we addressed the elephant in the room. While we're on the topic of ships, hold US maneuver, yes, hold those maneuver is completely changing the definition of going into like hyperspace. The interpretation hitherto was it's entering some sort of wormhole and it transports you across the galaxy and I wasn't there to question it. But now it's just going really fast in one direction with this logic. Then with all the past death stars, like why don't we hyperspeed the MOLINNING Falcon through the death star? That would have been prompt solved, and now you can make that argument for every space battle from this point forward. There there's definitely a logical gap here. But here's what I'll say in defense of the you know, quote unquote, hold on maneuver, which I think they refer to it as later. Yeah, one of the original trilogy Han says something about needing to do calculations before they jump to hyperspace. I interpreted that, as you know, ensuring that our path does not take us through a star or something like that. At least to me, there's some amount of Tangibility, you know, like like you can the ship isn't disappearing in one spot and going through another, and we see that because the people on the ship experience some amount of time right, you know, they're not just disappearing one place and reappearing in another, at least in some cases. But still that does beg the question. And why would you ever use a laser. If you could just have, you know, like some kind of unmanned ship who is supposed to go through a material. They've set a precedent that suicide bombing can be the answer to all future disputes and I don't think they're going to honor it. That that's like exactly the reason Ryan Johnson gives, because they say something about like if you don't do your calculations right, you can end up going straight through a planet or something, and so he said that was his justification for why it made sense. It kind of creates the problem you have when you introduced time travel into a series. HMM. It's like, well, now, why don't we just do this all the time? But it's kind of a thing where, okay, it's fine, like I'm fine with it. The the the the ship was never that that. That's not a very sustainable strategy to have people kill themselves. I can understand the issue. It's kind of a nitpick. It makes sense to use the whole down maneuver to go through the one big conman ship split in half. Great, but all of the other ships behind it explode. Also why? You know, I had that issue with it this time. It seems as if maybe, you know, maybe whole doose ship is supposed to break apart. That's how I took it. I I couldn't really justify it in my own head. It was a pretty visual and a cool thing to look at, but it didn't make them. Doesn't make but does it? Is it that big of a deal? Like doesn't really. Is that like really a big part of the narrative at all? Well, that's the thing. I think part of the reason this movie does leave like I want to like it, but it leaves a bad taste in my mouth, is because there's all these little trivialities, incursions. There's all these little incursions about upon what I think about Star Wars, and that is one of them. Part I can't follow you down the road of incursion. Isn't like central to the story? Then you're able to like turn a blind eye to it. Is I still think that at least this example alone is like absurd and like inexplicable and like you shouldn't make creative decisions just because they look cool if it takes place in entire in your universe. I don't know that like plays by a certain set of rules. The way I look at it is. This is not a maneuver that's been done before, but seems pretty self explanatory. Don't know why one had tried it earlier. I mean, everybody's very shocked when that happens. So I'm just going to chalk it down to it's not been done before or in recorded his like like, so far as they know. And I feel like the movie is way more about its characters and way more about what it's trying to say with like mainly Luke Story and raise story, that it's like it's an annoying thing. Is it really that big of a I'm not saying it isn't an issue, but is it's so big of an issue that it it gohosted the surrounding star destroyers that it takes you up like so out of the movie? It doesn't for me because again, it kind of it comes down to what I was saying like on my on the last episode of there's there's kind of two groups and you can kind of go in and in and out of...

...both. But the two ways to look at Star Wars is through it. It's it functions as any other film series and is about its characters and plotting and pacing and it's and the other way is the lore of well, this is a whole universe and there's rules and established things like that and so like. That's the sort of thing that really will bother people that really care about I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but really care about how hyperspace and lightspeed and like the the specific ships and how all they work. That's going to bother you way more if you're more into that than if you really don't care about that, which I you know, other than so what you're saying is that there are some cinematic in universe things that men might not bother people if you're not too into it. Right. But part of the thing that, you know, kind of left me with a bad taste in my mouth on this viewing is that there's a lot that the movie asks you to just like skip over. For example, the thing that comes to mind is when smoke snoke is killed, Kylo Ren kills him and then like Ray and Kylo or in that room, they're just like they're and then the next thing we know, Kylo's like on the floor and he says that Ray escaped using snow ship, and then the next time we see Ray. She's just in the Mollie. I'm so glad you brought this up. This like boiled my blood. H How did she get on the Morning Falcon? It's not explained. She probably has some sort of communication device so that Cho we can pick a row, but you know, that's what I'm saying. Like there's so many points in the movie where they're like where you in your head have to be like, well, she probably had this. Does it matter? Like does it ultimately? I don't know. It doesn't ultimately take or give anything. If I know how she gets there. Well, you know, just the way that it fell to me was like that they probably filmed the scene of her getting on the Millennium Falcon and then, in the name of like pacing or the time limit or something, they just cut it and asked you to make the jump. For that reason it feels a little jagged to me. That's all. It's not like it's again, it's not one big thing that ruins this movie for me, and not even that the movie is ruined, it's just that there's a there's these tiny little things throughout it that that just kind of pissed me off. Speaking of thin gets, his second love interest in this movie rose, and it is even though it a romance with with Ray was established in the entire last movie. And then, don't worry, in the next movie, due to like audience reception, we're going to sideline rows and give fin a new romantic interest. That is, and I count three romantic interests. I kind of disagree. I never I don't feel like Ray is supposed to be a romantic interest for him. Pot Are you, SAR part but I said this in the last time. If they wanted to make him a if they wanted to make her a romantic interest for him, when they reunited on star killer base, they would have kissed. I agree. However, that does not stop this movie from having one of the most awkward kissing scenes I've ever seen, I termed the thin rose kiss. Yes, I remembered it being more uncomfortable they I agree that it's in poor taste because they just use the batter and Graham laser to like infiltrate their base and they're all moments away from death and this is no time for smooching the like. At least it was brief. I can't it look like it looks like it was a like John Boyega didn't know it was going to happen, and not in like, like not an a functional way where it's like he's caught off guard. It's sort of like he knows it's going to happen, it just happened sooner than he thought it would. You know what it's like. It just felt so weird to me. You know, maybe this is at a bounds for the last Jedi, but when I watched it this time, like it kind of reminded me of the you know, the kiss between Ray and and Kylo at the end of as a skywalker. It just it did came out of nowhere to me. I did not want to see it as a romantic connection because the whole movie she's like Fin stop being a bad person, lay on Han work, because there are scenes of them displaying their attraction and or can trying to like hide the fact that they're attracted to each other, and there's actual scenes devoted to their characters emotionally connecting with each other, whereas you get none of that. And I really don't know, like the movie would have been perfectly fine with her not kissing him. So I don't understand why they had or do that. You know. I also I appreciate the message that rose delivers to him or she's like the way we win this isn't by destroying what we hate, it's by saving what we love. I get, like that's a cool message. I appreciate that wanted to subvert expectations...

...like they would have let right into itself. That's what I'm saying, you know, especially with like this somewhat minimal role he plays in the next movie in the last time, I think this was his chance to like go down in history and I just think as a creative decision, like it would have made more sense for him to sacrifice himself and like that would have completed his arc. At the beginning of the movie he was like he was a running away, and now he's learned some lessons, gained some friends and now he like, like it just doesn't make sense like for his arc, like wait, no, that's such a stupid idea. Why would you ever risk your life for that? Makes more sense for poor or something like like. Yeah, it doesn't make sense to for to say to fin wait, no, don't, don't risk your life or possibly sacrifice yourself, because his whole arc is about learning that it's important. There's things more important than yourself. You know, that scene does kind of complete pose arc a little bit because, you know, instead of just be lining with the rest of the ships towards the thing, I calls them off. I've also kind of grown tired of like with fin in the force awakens, and Now Rose in this movie. Or someone will get injured and then they'll say like some dramatic last words and then their body goes limb and then you're like, Oh darn, like is that character dead? How moving? And then literally, like five minutes later, like they'll get like some medical professionals and they'll like I got a heartbeat, and then I'm just like Oh, like, they're fine. So, like they'll show up in the next movie. Perfect by adding rose into the narrative. And you know, you don't even have to call a rose, just by adding like this fourth character into the narrative. You know, when you have these central three, letting either, you know, rose or po or fin be the one that destroys that cannon would have neatly, you know, closed the loop. Or if if rows of the one to sacrifice herself. Yeah, she puches fin out of the way. And then she does it and then the she her she is, he loves saving what she loves. And also, since this movie like was just gonna I know is due to like reception and that no one wanted to see any more of her, so they like left her out of all the misadventures in the following movie. But that one to have even been a problem if you just killed someone. Here's my question. Do you think that it's justified to to dislike rose like just from you know, without being you know, sexist or racist or something like that? Is there a genuine reason to dislike here? I think they're you can make the case for it. I don't dislike her, but you can definitely make the case that all she does is tell everybody that they're bad and then she like the I like the idea of her saying no, Finn, don't do that, just you got to say what we love, but it involves in execution, her taking a ship and like angrily like bumping into him, and that could have killed him. To like, you can make the case to say that, like she's just kind of boring and kind of bland and doesn't have as much personality as fin or po or ray but I don't mind her, I just think her role, like I've no qualms with like the character herself. I just think it's or the poor actress, but it just like the script. She was a sign and, like I think anyone who would, because Poe in essence is saving the remainder of the resistance and rose is coming in the like in the way of that, and luckily they find a like a back escape route. But if that weren't conveniently located and then everyone dies because of rose alone, that that's a good point. I think that's totally fair. Yeah, I like Zach, your point of they needed to get people, they needed to get it down to a trio, because when you have I mean, it ended up not mattering because they fucking shafted her anyways. Like you get this problem of there's just too much and you could have had her sacrifice herself, and that's like the ultimate like thing. For Finn that could have been like Shit, she put her money where her mouth was and like that would give him forward momentum into the next movie, whereas I think the big problem I have with this movie is I think it's a pretty good movie that functions more as a standalone film than it does the middle part of a trilogy. Well, you know, it occurs to me. I'm just like looking over my nose right now. The there's one thing so far, like way in the beginning of the movie, that we haven't talked about yet, that that kind of really bothered me. Is...

...actually the first Red Flag I had, and that's the scene where Leia forces herself back into the I know we'd we'd come in to this eventually. It's time, gentlemen, let's discuss parth. I know you're probably going to come to its defense, aren't you? Know nothing less, I think, idea good execution. Oh, it's awkward, and also the one good thing I think about the scene in its execution is just the score. I like John Williams lay. I think that what the scene boils down to is that we needed to know. We you know, we needed a hint that Leo was a force user, that she had received some training. That way she could train ray in the following movie. That makes sense to me. I understand that now having seen it. But you know, the idea that she could at the time, you know, the idea that she could just like be in space for like twenty seconds and not have her eyes ripped out of her head and then just like pull herself in as as an extension of that, the lack of gravity like isn't a problem in this movie. Okay, so with roses sister at the beginning she is in the bomber vessel and the bottom of the ship is completely open and she's, you know, breathing. Well, I was just going to say I'm generally with movies like like Star Wars, don't put too much stock into how space would reasonably affect the human body, because there's no fire in space. There's there's no sound ace. Yeah, so that part isn't like my problem with it. It just looks so weird. It just doesn't look it just does not it's supposed to be this beautiful moment and it just looks weird to me. I know during my first viewing, at this point Carrie Fisher had very tragically had yeah, and so my immediate thought was it's and I know that like the production of the movie had wrapped before she died, so like this had always been part of the plant, but it felt so odd to me that it seemed like this was like a fitting retirement of her character and they like brought her back and then just to like kill her again in the next movie, when we know that the actress is already dead, and then there's probably gonna have to be like some well, some CGI like reincarnation, and it just made me uncomfortable. I think I understand why they did it now, because I think it's actually really good that she became raised master. You know, like at no point did Luke really give ray a considerable amount of training. It was always supposed to be lea. But you know, another critique I have of that scene is that a few seconds later they say that all their leadership is dead, including Admiral Actbar. I feel like hold those whole character would have gone over better had she been supplanted, you know, changed with Admiral Actbar, a familiar face we are. Are you saying that you would prefer if like Admiral Actbar like played the role of hold oh, because at least so that's like an old leader in that were familiar with? When Holdo was first introduced, there's a scene where post says, wait, that's hold over from that. You hold over from this. So so incident. Yeah, from this a battle like you wouldn't have needed to like introduce this background for her if you would already use this character whose familiar face we know and love. And Merlakbar isn't really a character to me. I mean he he has in return of the Jedi like he's mean. If the trap par he's wellnown because we know star wars. He's not really character in store like, at least in films. But I don't think anything really gets serple changed, other than fans would then be pissed that he was killed in a different way. And now for a word from our sponsor. This is CEO of Cocacola. John Cocacola by Soda Company Has Been Making Soda for several years now, so we know a thing or two about making soda. It's a summertime. You're probably parched. Quench that thirst. Some of my affomentioned Soda. We saw it at the grocery store and some other places also. It's healthy, it's nutritious, it's caffeinated. All I ask is that you purchase some of my famous cocacola products and drink it. It's it's finally come time to discuss the political elements of this film. There is social commentary. There's an a cruelty, there's child labor, there's socioeconomics. Let's discuss let me say something positive about it first. I think that the you know, the the Child Labor thing is interesting because they introduce these like characters were like clearly abused and their children and stuff. And one of the themes of the movie is hope being snuffed out and they need Luke Skywalker back to bring the hope back. And so the final scene where that that, you know, the kids are retelling the story of...

Luke, like facing down all those Atat's, and then this is the first time I noticed it, when he gets yelled at one of those kids and he goes outside to start sweeping, like he pulled the room to him with the really, yeah, yeah, is the first time I noticed it and I was like wow, that was really good. Shows the next, next generation. It's very subtle. There's there, you know, there's hope left in the galaxy, and to that effect I think the children were useful. Would you call it up? Like it's not like a post credit scene, but it's like for a minute like Oh, like the movie is over, and then and then it's just a bunch of children's Jew and children's stuff. I actually I thought those that was like one of the most effective scenes. I I really like the scene because the idea that like star wars is as magical and as amazing to the characters in Star Wars as it is for people watching the movie. Yeah, so the point like like Terray Luke skywalkers this amazing myth that she's heard stories of and like it's this amazing thing and then the reality is that he's this like broken man that's like in in an immense amount of regret of his actions. And the the idea that like that stuff matters and that it is possible to give hope through like like myths and like like they matter. I like that because it's kind of like people gain something from that, you know, from from those stories, and so I think, like the scene with the kids at the end, it does feel a little tacked on, but it kind of continues with that idea well. I think it also plays well into the one of the ending scenes arise of Skywalker the end of the trilogy, when all the ships from the outer rims of the rest of the universe come to the defense of the rebellion you know, like that scene at the end of the last Jedi is kind of like letting you know that their message is being heard. Yeah, it's not sure you know what I'm saying. It's so some this entire movie. Different like scenes and set pieces were so reminiscent of like some of the greatest hits from the original trilogy and I think most notably like the the yeah, the Throne Room with Snow Kylo and Ray is pretty much beat for beat like the Empire Vader and Luke. And when Ray is like, Oh, I'm gonna go confront kilo, like they're still light in him that conversation and Luke is discouraging it, saying like you haven't had enough training. It's exactly the conversation that like Yoda and Luke have about like they're still being light invader. Well, well, one of the things I picked up on this rewatch is is kind of the foiling of Ray and and Kilo is even better than I had previously thought, because she is predisposed to the light side, but when Luke first gets her to touch the Rock and feel the force, she immediately goes to the dark side, on the other end of the spectrum. You know, Kilo has tried to apply himself to the dark side of the force under snoke, but he but he doesn't blow his mother in that scene. That was actually one of the utility to that scene, I thought, is that he knows his mother's on that deck, so he doesn't shoot it. Another example was like the cave sequence and empire, where Luke fine like he decapitates vader and then he's the one behind the mask and he's like, oh, it's because of my inner conflict. But I think rays rendition of her, like ocean. Whole Hallucination is she is like, Oh, who are my parents? And then it's her, and I'm like, well, that's not even like symbolic in any way shod like she she's not her. She's not her own parents. Let's make that very clear. The way that I took that was that she's searching for her parents because she's trying to kind of in a way where like everybody was like well, who are raised parents? You know who are they? Like the audience, it's meant to be. It's more about finding yourself and you don't need it's not about finding other people to attach meaning to do. Do you think this movie knows who raised parents are eventually going to be. No, yeah, absolutely, no, no way, dude rides it, rises gonna walk around, I feel and I hate that they did. Yeah, because I thought it was like so effective. With Kylo, was like your parents were like nobody's, like you were nothing, and I was like, I was like finally, like someone in Star Wars who isn't related to anyone, and they were just like like they were just one with the force, like this kid with the broomstick, like it can happen to anyone, and I was totally content with that. And then to like...

...and then to back pedal so far. One thing I like to credit this or with this movie with is attempting to force star wars to do things that it's not yet done before. I think the fact that it repeats the Throne Room scene and like seems like that it's fine, if I'm okay with it. In the force awakens, it's not like it's badly redoing it here. I'm okay with because if ray is related to somebody, right, and let's even go with she's related to Palpatine, because that's what we end up knowing, right. That's ultimately the same exact inner conflict that Luke had. If Kilo is a conflicted person and is reaching to become the into the dark side, but can't help but feel the light and has snoke over him, and we keep that until the third movie it's just darth vader again. And what I like about this movie is what it attempted to do, which the next movie then decided not to go forward with, was create new dynamics that we haven't seen. Ray has accepted that her parents are nobody. Now she has to go on her own and Kylo is now the man in charge. But ended up this movie sadly says goodbye to beloved characters, snoke and Captain Phasma. Captain Phasma, who was grossly overhyped and grossly under used. You know, actually, having seen the Mandalorian now I kind of have more an appreciation for Phasma, only in the way that, like, when I first watch captain Phasma gets shot with a laser rifle and then have it bounce right off her, I was like, well, why doesn't everybody where this armor that deflects lasers if lasers are the medium? Yeah, like everything, every storm troopers would have this equipment. If it makes them impenetrable to attack. Yeah, but you know, now, having seen the Mandalorian, at least in my own head, I can say, well, maybe it was like this. You know, the metal that the Mandalorian uses best, best car. I think there's a logical arc in this movie where like fin and Phasma are meant to be like enemies, and how there's a wasted battle and Force Awakens, where Finn Squares off with just like the regular storatrooper kind and gets his ass beat. Well, that should have been phasma. So and then this time when he defeats her, it shows some growth. But this is the first time they face off and he trounces her and it makes that like rival. It undercuts like their rivalry, so to speak. I agree. And also I think them doing away with like I think snoke was underdeveloped, is like we were just beginning to find things out about like who he was, and and now now he's gone. I was interested originally to hear more about Luke's relationship to Snoke, because Luke knew of Snoke, you know, like he spoke to him, and snoke is the first dark side user in the movies. I think that we see who is not a sithe, or at least who is not intentionally a sith. You know, he was evidently puppeted by by the emperor. So say what you will, but like, ultimately one of the things about this movie was that snoke and Kilo weren't sith you know, they were just dark side using right and it would have been cool to see kilo be his own villain and then, you know, maybe eventually come back to the light side. But I guess that's more of a discuss. Here's the question. Why is hucks so loyal to snow? So I think that question kind of pulls with it the question of, like what is the relationship between snoke and the first or? Yeah, to me it seems like snoke is this person who's either, you know, a crued this power, is a war Lord. He's like a warlord who is a part of the dark side, who recruits the first order and thereby also recruits kilo. But that relationship is never made clear. In fact, one of the fall like failings that this entire trilogy is establishing what exactly the first order means to the republic, and it took me doing back information of my own to understand what's actually going on here and the original trilogy it's very clear. The Empire is an oppressive regime, rebels are rebels and here it there's the resistance. There's also a republic, but they get completely blown up and we have no idea how far reaching the first order is. We have no idea of what the political situation is like. I mean, correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that the republic was peaceful, had no standing army and Leah was a part of it. When she realized that the first order was gaining strength, power whatever, she started this resistance, but it was too late and the the republic was a conquered is that? Does that sound right? Sure you put more thought into them the filmmakers did. I just I de desperately wanted to make sense. That's something that the open. That's that's what the crawl should have addressed. I don't think the CRAL. I thought...

...the crawl in the force awakens was like so effective and setting the stage because there'd been like a thirty year gap and I I really obtain no new information from this title crawl. There were just they were just like get we're picking up where we left off from the last movie. Okay, you're here. Three paragraphs of text that summarize more or less things you know already. I thought the force awakens had a sense of humor that was very well executed and ingrained, and this movie had a lot of marvel style jokes that I felt were out of place. The yeah, one of the you know, like the opening with the like, the your mother joke with hucks. I actually thought that was one of the more excusable discipline. It leads a joke. At least it was practical. It because you're trying to buy time. Yeah, you know, why is stalling like like the moral of this story, like it so many times, the like we need more time, I guess. I guess maybe because it takes place in such a compressed amount of time for just constantly fighting for more. It seems like a weird thing to bind yourself to, you know, as just as a story writer, to say like well, it didn't we didn't need to be this press for time, and it doesn't really create any urgency loads. And I can't the whole movie. Here's my question. There's one thing that's been burning in my head. Can we do you want to? It's it's the fourth all right. I think that this movie kind of takes the initiative to really kind of define what the force is, or rather what the relationship between the light side and the dark side is. Right, yeah, I see where I'm going with this. It was never really clear whether there was supposed to be like x amount of light side, x amount of dark side, or, you know, like if the balance was never identified, whether the dark side was something that tip the scale out of balance or was the thing that brought it all and yeah, let's do you see what I think? And I think this movie didn't commit either way, or at least this trilogy didn't commit either way. I think that this movie wanted to say the light side is balanced by the dark side. I've always found the concept of the light side and the dark side, even in the original trilogy, mildly confusing, because what does that mean? Like the turn to the dark side, like, yeah, to give yourself into the dark side. What does that? One thing I kind of like that this movie does is redefine the force back into it's a feeling. It's sort of a it's an ethereal. It's not necessarily a physical thing like medichlorians or something. Yeah, I appreciate the lack of Minichlorians in this movie, I but I would agree with you that this, the trilogy, brings up the idea of explaining it and then never really does anything with that. Well, I think you know it's good that. I don't think there's an answer. I think you can interpret it either as the dark side is this perversion of what the force is supposed to be, you know, using it to gain power, or you can see it as the other half. Yeah, in my interpretation is that this movie says that the light side can exist without the dark side, right, because it brings Kylo Ren or brings ray to check kylo Ren. You know, the Diad and whatnot. Yeah, sure, point. I think fundamentally it comes down to the fact that Star Wars, as a story, can only really be a simple good versus bad story, and the idea of good and bad not necessarily meaning dark side and light side, and like it beat that being more complicated is something that in a star wars movie you I don't see them ever addressing that in any meaningful way. I think this movie comes closest to it. I agree on a filmmaking level. This movie does some stuff that we've never really seen before. We see the same flashback three different times and three different ways. I like that. It's like each person perspective doesn't look tell the first and the third version. He does. He leaves out the beginning portion where he ignites his lightsaber, but I like the Kylo and Luke have different perspectives on how the whole situation went down and it was just like their miscommunication that like drove them apart and cause the division of the Galaxy. I think it's totally in Luke's character to act impulsively and to draw his lightsaber, but it's also in his character to immediately a great credit and then you know he has he says he has to deal with the consequences of his hastiness. Now. Something that I think was, you know, kind of also offensive to people who wanted more from Luke is his is the end, is his last scene. You know it when he's done with a force projection. What do you guys? Wasn't satisfied. I don't think it was a proper send off. I liked it. I thought I gave him a dark Trent. I was with you originally. I was like what, he's just gonna die now. But then I thought about it a little bit more and what happened to Luke is pretty much the same exact thing that happens to Ben Kenobie. You know, there's a big parallel to luke and Ben Kenobi because it's not like Luke just dies.

I mean he's gone, right, he's gone. They say he's gone, but it's not like he like the effort killed him. I don't think that's what Ryan Johnson says. It's because he wants to go out on his own terms and able to do that. Well, he does the same thing as been you know, like bend, at least in my understanding, does not actually get hit by Darth vader's lightsaber. He sees that Darth Vader is going to strike him and then he becomes one with the force the same way that you know, I don't know if you know all the background lore, but the way the quagon Jin figured out how to do so. He chooses to become one with a force because he'll be more powerful that way. It's sorry, can you only become a force ghost if you like die on your own terms, much like Obi Wan and and all the people you've mentioned dead or if you're a Jedi and you die, do so force ghost. Well, that's that. You know that. The background to that is that it was unheard. They're like there were no force ghosts before the parts of the story that were familiar with. But when Quigon Jin dies, he discovers, quote unquote, the path immortality or how to become one with the force, and so he visits Yoda at some point during the clone wars and he shares the secret with him. So like they're only like five force ghosts. You know, there's Quigon, Jimmy comes one, he tells you to how to do it, Yoda tells been and then there's kind of like this plot hole with how anakin figures out how to do it and comes back as a ghost. But then ultimately, I would understand that Ben Taught Luke how to do it and so he determines that he can do more good now as a force ghost then he can in person. I think the one problem, one thing I would say is I just don't think this movie has a lot of forward momentum for the Middle Act of a trilogy, and one thing you could potentially have done is to save Luke's redemption for the third movie. I think that's when you would expect it to come. But how to get into the issue of is this about the new characters or about the old ones? I was thinking about it and I was like, Huh, I wish that one of like the big three, of the of the new characters in this trilogy would have died, because I remembered in the original trilogy like characters dying like that was a thing. And then I thought back and I was like, well, they only killed Ben Kenobe and Yoda, which was like the past generation. Like version only kills people from the generation prior of by killing Luke and Han Leia. So I guess it's continuing the cycle. So I can't really critique it because it just like staying the course. I really liked Ryan Johnson's direction. I thought he was I think his camera work is pretty it was pretty close to the style that JJ rooms had in force awakens. Like it's very active. I thought there was some more interesting blocking. Problem I had with force awakens is that pretty much all the conversations take place in close ups, whereas here there was some variance, a little bit more, and I just I also thought there was a better use of production design. The one thing that stands out in my mind from like a direction standpoint is the inclusion of the montage on Luke's island where rays qui quote, like feeling the force. Does this fall under directing? I thought it was good to include and it was definitely the first montage right that that was ever in Star Wars and I thought it was like actually, like beautiful. I agree, you know, like they show the grass growing in the island and the ocean and the dark side and the light side and how it all kind of like coexists, and that was very striking to me. Also, I was like I like this, but it just does. It feels completely foreign to a star wars movie. It was all the experimental. That's something I really like, is that he kind of does film stuff that's pretty like we understand it, like we've seen a lot of movies that do that, but it's not ever been in a star wars movie. Well, I'd say that people who die on the last Jedi Hill, their biggest defense is that it quote unquote, subverts expectations and it like breaks the rules and the patterns that every movie up to this point has set. I would rather like try something new and fail then just like keep like beating the dead horse. So I'm glad that Ryan Johnson was willing to take some risks and make some and make some like unpopular decisions. I mean we don't even have a lightsaber fight in this movie. Like...

...favors never clash. To that point, I thought it was kind of weird the scene where Luke and ray fight with like sticks. It feels like a lightsaber battle but it's with, yes, sticks. I think the the Throne Room battle with Kylo and Ray and killing snoke and then all of the guards might be my favorite star wars fight scene ever. The Wide Angle and it's the blocking and it's elaborate fight choreography and I just I think it's the best scene of this movie. I think the best scene is Luke talking R D to aboard the Millennium Falcon. What. Well, when they do the Old Hologram? Yeah, I think I think that it's super effective. It like for the first time when I was watching it, I saw that I was like wow, this feels like Luke Skywalker, my favorite team is probably on crate with Luke and kilo. Dude, that scene is undeniably Badass. That whole like the the set there, that that that could that scenery kind of sums up the idea of the movie right, like on the outside it looks the same, it looks like Goth right, but once things start to happen, you know, you see that this is this is a different thing entirely and there's the red salt underneath it or whatever. Yeah, I thought that. I thought that was one little detail that I really elevated. Like the scene entirely. We go to places that are not desert or forests, which is, yes, what the Force Awakens, was pretty much comprised of other than like, I guess this on star killer base, but like we got a casino planet which in story we get like our Cantina scene with like all these costume designs and alien designs, and then we get like an ice hot type planet with like red undertones and things, which I like. That's star wars is only guilty of that because the original trilogy's like plant uts and sets are so iconic that anything that even resembles them like later on is going to feel like they're trying to recreate like fan favorites. Well, I kind of disagree because because with with the first one, that's kind of obviously I have a very small amount of budget. The whole planet is made out of sand. Like like I can film in Tunisia. Let's just make the whole planet that. But like with with, with, with empire, you get Dagabat, you get hoth, you get crowd city, you get you know. So there's a healthy variety of stuff. They're the return of the JEDIS, kind of falls back into end doors. All just a forest and and then they're back on tattooing, which is where jobs palaces right and like the force awakens, kind of has both forest and just sand. We are pretty much the one thing I really like is the fight on starkilar base, because we've never seen lightsaber, lightsabers and snow before and I was pretty cool, but I was cool. Yeah, I think we'd be remiss if we didn't talk talk Yoda for a minute, because they I think it's common knowledge that after this CGI distaste from the prequels, they there was a puppet renaissance and they use the puppet again, which I was happy for, as I prefer practical effects, but I thought it looked strikingly different from the last time we saw Yoda and it bothered me. It looks different and it's weird because they they said that they used to be exact same mold. I feel like his speech pattern is different to I didn't notice that, but it was still a great scene. You know, he destroys the tree. That's about his Yoda as a get. I was going to say that, besides, like the symbolism of like starting a knew by like by destroying like the the sacred text, like I understand it as a a storytelling device, but I don't see why I, like Yoda, would like want to like destroy their the Jedi history. I actually think that's, in a small way, like closing Yoda's own arc like over the entire nine movies, because, like in the prequel trilogy, you know, say you will about it, but Yoda is like a part of the problem. You supposed to be like one of these wisest Jedi, but he's leading a war effort. You know, at their core the Jedi worn about war, and so he's a part of the failings of the Jedi and I think that's why it closes his own loop where he sees he's like maybe the Jedi are not the be all end all of the force and of the light side and of teaching about it. Yeah, it was like acknowledging his own responsibility and that the Jedi weren't perfect. Yeah, I know you, Mat you make a good point. I like it because Kylo Ren's whole thing is that you need to tear burn down the past and that well, in his own word, let the old things tie at the beginning.

That's what Luke says to he's like, the Jedi need to die. It's time for the Jedi to end. And what I think this movie shows is that, like Yoda says, mistakes will happen and people will be wrong, but that doesn't mean that it's the end of the world. Like that's Luke whole arc is. He made a mistake and he feels like because of that, he needs to be removed from the rest of society. But the real answer is to just keep like go on and learn from it. And so, like, it kind of ties into Kilo's whole arc of he doesn't want to learn, he just wants to keep going down his own path of destroying everything. And so where Luke is wrong is he's placing a lot of importance on these, unlike the history of things, and Yoda basically shows him. Well, it's not about the history, it's about learning from it. And and like you were saying, exactly, he was himself part of that problem that led to the the fall of the whole republic and the rise of the empire and all that Shit. So like it all go, it all falls into that, and so there's there's this whole theme in this movie that, like, objects are not what matter, but it's people and your ideas that matter, like Luke's lights or Annikin lightsaber gets torn in half, rose is willing to give the only momentu she has of her sister. The JEDI texts are burnt and like. So there's this whole thing that that's not really what matters. What matters is there's people, and so I like it because Yoda's saying that he needs to put his faith in people and not things, which I like. Burning the tree is the statement that said that acknowledges that Luke wanted to destroy the past or let it die, let the Jedi die. Yoda saying let them move all. And now for a word from our sponsor. Do you like food that doesn't taste particularly good. Do you like your meals prepared in the microwave? Are you an alcoholic who can be found at our bar drinking dollar Margharitas at any given moment? One Tree Your family of twelve to a hearty dinner on a forty dollar budget. Well, you've come to the right place here. It from some of our own customers. I didn't hate that. At least it was cheap, and these sizzling Fahitas are probably going to result in diarrhea. This is apple be speaking here to tell you to have an appleby's afternoon. So do you guys want to hear some fun facts? Let's hear them. Okay, look to what keen Phoenix turned down the role. That eventually went to Benicio Del Toro, which surprised me. The movie was originally forty five. Between Forty five and sixteen minutes had to be cut from the from like from the director's version, so it was originally about three and a half hours long. This is the first film the Skywalker Sagas do not include the phrase. I have a bad feeling about this, but don't worry. Director Ryan Johnson stated that the line is in fact present. It is said by Beba in the binary language at the beginning when he's attacking the dreadnought. Supposedly that's what debates blips translate to. I thought that was some Mumbo jumbo. It's what a bunch of Horse Shit. He got a bunch of Shit about it and he made you put it nicely. I have a lot of faith that Ryan Johnson and I think he's a great story teller, but that's just total bullshit. Yep, moving on. The Best Advice Ryan Johnson received from the editors of the Force Awakens was, and I quote, in every single scene, shoot a cutaway of Beba and you'll never regret it, which I thought was most evident when bebate was controlling the ATST and is like. I feel like Beba in this movie is too often an x Makena, in that he's capable of too much, as an arguist droid without, you know, without that's what yeah, exactly. The creatures known as porgs are never actually mentioned by name on screen, and also that porks were serendipitous because the island they were shooting on had a bunch of puffins on it and they didn't want to have to edit them out, so they just edited porks over it, which I thought was interesting. This is the first movie where Peter Mayhew isn't Chewbacca because he was in very poor health and died shortly thereafter the opening. We can box office of this movie made more than all of Ryan Johnson's filmography combined, and in an interview John Boyegat, who played Finn, expressed a lot of disappointment with this movie, sharing some sentiments with Mark Hamil about some of the creative choices, but how it was out of their hands and they were just long for the ride. Is the...

...director's coat available anywhere, because I'd be pretty interested to see that. Having discussed an assembly cut, there's deleted scenes on the BLU ray. It says that most of the cut material, which is like like buildups or the ends to scenes that are already featured. But the only scene that has been entirely cut I will tell you about now, a scene that was completely omitted, is one were ray notice as a ship docking near the village of the caretakers. Luke tells her that the Party of Marauders that raid this place once a month. Here he urges her not to intervene, explaining that is part of the between good and bad that the Jedi are supposed to respect. Reg norse him and goes to the rescue or only to find out that the marauders are different tribe that has simply come to party. Luke admits that he wanted to test her as he believes that the galaxy is in more urgent need of raised willingness to take action then the Jedi's way of keeping balance. I could see why they ultimately cut that it all. When you read that it was another tribe coming to party, I was like, that's a joke. Right and and in the directors commentary he says that there was a lot more intercutting between the storylines, but then in editing they realize that they could play each storyline a little bit longer. So a lot of the scenes that were cut were cut because it no longer made sense for them to be there. Do want US sign ratings now? I think the time has come. I think so do. I guess I'll go first. I gave the Force Awakens a seven, but I'm going to give this movie a five point five. That's hard than I thought you'd give it. If you asked me a week ago, I would be more in like the three or four range, but the redeeming qualities have shown through and I think I'm willing to look past some of my nitpicking because there are elements this movie I thoroughly enjoy, but I still think that the force awakens is stronger. Well, I have to agree with you. I think the force awakens is stronger and going into it, before I watched it this time, I was going to give it a five and a half out of ten. Now that we've like, now that I watched again and we discussed it, I would give it a six and a half. I agree that the Force Awakens is a more smooth movie with like less problems, but I'm going to give this an eight out of ten for sheer ambition. Well, since it seems our time is running out, our next episode is going to be on the five bloods, which is the Spike Lee movie getting released on June twelve. Thank you for your time, everyone. Thanks. Thank you to our guests, Zach. Thank you to Jackson Marino, who did our cover. Our thing. You for to Nathaniel Johnson, did our intro opening musical jingle. Thank you to Michael Shamming who made our outro jingle? Thank you to Kurt for being our interview and for Sophia Alexis for creating our opening bit. Goodbye now.

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